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Two Party System as Polyarchy

News Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Books Recommended Links US Presidential Elections of 2016 Jeb "Wolfowitz Stooge" Bush Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Bernie Sanders
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite The Deep State Myth about intelligent voter  American Exceptionalism Nation under attack meme  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Pluralism as a myth
Principal-agent problem Corporatist Corruption Predator state Media-Military-Industrial Complex Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Corporatism National Security State  
Libertarian Philosophy Ethno-lingustic Nationalism   Neoliberalism US Presidential Elections of 2012 Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

“The Democrats are the foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves – and they both want to devour you.” So what does that make Libertarians? Avian flu viruses?”

-- Leonard Pinkney

The race is no contest when you own both horses. That is why no matter which political party is in power nothing really changes other than the packaging. The puppets who drink at the champagne fountains of the powerful do the bidding of their masters. The people are superfluous to the process.

-- Daniel Estulin


Introduction

Two party system invented by elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for inverted totalitarism type of regimes, including the US neoliberalism.  Conversion of system of governance to "deep state" essentially make elections optional, but they still continue to exist in an emasculated "two parties system" form.

The term “Deep State” was coined in Turkey and is said to be a system composed of high-level elements within the intelligence services, military, security, judiciary and organized crime. In British author John le Carré’s latest novel, A Delicate Truth, a character describes the Deep State as

“… the ever-expanding circle of non-governmental insiders from banking, industry and commerce who were cleared for highly classified information denied to large swathes of Whitehall and Westminster.”

The term means an association of elements of government. security services, parts of top-level figures of financial oligarchy and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process.

In other words this is a hidden set of political actors and powerful institutions that are concealed within the wider, “visible” state which, essentially, took over the functions of traditional state, leaving such organization of Executive branch, President, congress and courts mainly ceremonial role. Such transformation is well explained by the The Iron Law of Oligarchy and in various forms happened in Third Reigh, the USSR, Turkey, China and many other countries.

Two party system is a very elegant trick that conceals and project a single party of oligarchy as two distinct parties and distract voters from any serious issues with meaningless cat fight between two during elections. In Lifting the Veil they mention one of the meaning of the term polyarchy is the system where voters are limited to voting between two pre-selected representatives of the oligarchy:

polyarchy: A system where the participation of masses of people is limited to voting among one or another representatives of the elite in periodic elections. Between elections the masses are now expected to keep quiet, to go back to life as usual while the elite make decisions and run the world until they can choose between one or another elite another four years later.

So polyarchy is a system of elite rule, and a system of elite rule that is little bit more soft-core than the elite rule that we would see under a military dictatorship. But what we see is that under a polyarchy the basic socio-economic system does not change, it does not become democratized.

▬William I. Robinson, Behind the Veil, Minute 1:29:15

That is the essence of two party system as implemented in the USA, Great Britain, Canada and several other countries. When, in the 1940s, Joseph Schumpeter argued that ordinary citizens should limit their participation in a democracy to electing its leaders, he was effectively arguing for polyarchy. Here is how Wikipedia defined the term (polyarchy):

In a discussion of contemporary British foreign policy, Mark Curtis stated that "polyarchy is generally what British leaders mean when they speak of promoting 'democracy' abroad.

This is a system in which a small group actually rules and mass participation is confined to choosing leaders in elections managed by competing elites." [8]

The whole idea (the rotation of the pre-selected representative of elite at the top) is somewhat similar to an intro marketing course on how to sell bogus products to gullible consumers forcing them to make adverse selection.

There is also related issue of information asymmetry between voters and elite (represented by Party functionaries). In reality, Democratic Party in not a separate party, but an integral part of the two prong bait-and-switch system with a special function of preventing meaningful reform. In other words in two party system both parties are essentially are two branches of a single party, the party of oligarchy.

But each branch in two party system (let's call them for simplicity Democrats and Republican parties as in the USA) has it's own "hidden" political function.

If the selection of candidates is performed strictly by the party machine (and according to the The Iron Law of Oligarchy, the party machine has innate tendency to self-organize into oligarchy), then subsequent elections is a pure formality, much like in the USSR. Or, more precisely, a political farce because the real voters are limited to top 1% who decide what candidates are selected within each party political machine (or, more correctly, the top 0.01%). In no way elections can be called democratic is public is completely disenfranchised in selection of the candidate. In this sense calling the US election democratic is pure hypocrisy of the ruling elite, who controls the MSM, and by extension the political discourse. This is a perfect trap, out of which there is no escape.

"Surface state" vs "deep state"

The USA political system does not have a single government. It actually has two distinct governments. They are called "surface state" or Madisonians and "deep state" or Trumanites (national security establishment in alliance with selected members of financial oligarchy, media owners and technocrats). It was Truman who signed National Security Act of 1947  which created major three letter agencies (CIA, DOD, FBI and NSA).

Simplifying the complex relation between those two US governments (sometimes Madisonians fight back and have Trumanites to make a temporary retreat) we can say that:

Conversion of system of governance to "deep state" which happened in the USA almost immediately after 1947 essentially made elections optional, but they still continue to exist as a ceremonial function for the sake of providing the legitimacy in an emasculated "two parties system" form.  While relationship is more complex then simple dominance, in essence "deep state" is the tail that wag the dog. And JFK assassination meant first of all the triumph of "deep state" over "surface state". In this sense 9/11 was just the last nail in the coffin of democracy.

The term “Deep State” was coined in Turkey (and actually Wikipedia discusses only it) but it is widespread modern phenomenon which can also be found in most other states. The term means a shadow alliance of elements of government. security services, selected top-level figures of financial oligarchy, media and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process. As any elite dominance project it is deeply anti-democratic although it uses fig leaf of democracy for foreign expansion via color revolutions and wars. 

Like in Third Reich this dominance is supported by relentless propaganda and brainwashing with mechanisms polished since Reagan to perfection. There is now no problem to create an "enemy of the people" when the elite wants and it does not matter which country or individual is selected as an enemy. The essence of elite politics in this area was best formulated by Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

In other words this is a hidden set of political actors and powerful institutions that are concealed within the wider, “visible” state which, essentially, took over the functions of traditional state, leaving such organization of Executive branch, President, congress and courts mainly ceremonial role. Such transformation is well explained by the The Iron Law of Oligarchy and in various forms happened in Third Reich, the USSR, Turkey, China and many other countries.

Here is how The American Conservative covers this topic:

Steve Sailer links to this unsettling essay by former career Congressional staffer Mike Lofgren, who says the “deep state” — the Washington-Wall-Street-Silicon-Valley Establishment — is a far greater threat to liberty than you think. The partisan rancor and gridlock in Washington conceals a more fundamental and pervasive agreement.

Excerpts:

These are not isolated instances of a contradiction; they have been so pervasive that they tend to be disregarded as background noise. During the time in 2011 when political warfare over the debt ceiling was beginning to paralyze the business of governance in Washington, the United States government somehow summoned the resources to overthrow Muammar Ghaddafi’s regime in Libya, and, when the instability created by that coup spilled over into Mali, provide overt and covert assistance to French intervention there. At a time when there was heated debate about continuing meat inspections and civilian air traffic control because of the budget crisis, our government was somehow able to commit $115 million to keeping a civil war going in Syria and to pay at least £100m to the United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters to buy influence over and access to that country’s intelligence. Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields. This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. They need that much storage to archive every single trace of your electronic life.

Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose. My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an “establishment.” All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude.
 

More:

Washington is the most important node of the Deep State that has taken over America, but it is not the only one. Invisible threads of money and ambition connect the town to other nodes. One is Wall Street, which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary marionette theater. Should the politicians forget their lines and threaten the status quo, Wall Street floods the town with cash and lawyers to help the hired hands remember their own best interests. The executives of the financial giants even have de facto criminal immunity. On March 6, 2013, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder stated the following: “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.” This, from the chief law enforcement officer of a justice system that has practically abolished the constitutional right to trial for poorer defendants charged with certain crimes. It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice — certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee. [3]

The corridor between Manhattan and Washington is a well trodden highway for the personalities we have all gotten to know in the period since the massive deregulation of Wall Street: Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner and many others. Not all the traffic involves persons connected with the purely financial operations of the government: In 2013, General David Petraeus joined KKR (formerly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts) of 9 West 57th Street, New York, a private equity firm with $62.3 billion in assets. KKR specializes in management buyouts and leveraged finance. General Petraeus’ expertise in these areas is unclear. His ability to peddle influence, however, is a known and valued commodity. Unlike Cincinnatus, the military commanders of the Deep State do not take up the plow once they lay down the sword. Petraeus also obtained a sinecure as a non-resident senior fellow at theBelfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. The Ivy League is, of course, the preferred bleaching tub and charm school of the American oligarchy.

Lofgren goes on to say that Silicon Valley is a node of the Deep State too, and that despite the protestations of its chieftains against NSA spying, it’s a vital part of the Deep State’s apparatus. More:

The Deep State is the big story of our time. It is the red thread that runs through the war on terrorism, the financialization and deindustrialization of the American economy, the rise of a plutocratic social structure and political dysfunction. Washington is the headquarters of the Deep State, and its time in the sun as a rival to Rome, Constantinople or London may be term-limited by its overweening sense of self-importance and its habit, as Winwood Reade said of Rome, to “live upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face.”

Read the whole thing.  Steve Sailer says that the Shallow State is a complement to the Deep State. The Shallow State is, I think, another name for what the Neoreactionaries call “The Cathedral,” defined thus:

The Cathedral — The self-organizing consensus of Progressives and Progressive ideology represented by the universities, the media, and the civil service. A term coined by blogger Mencius Moldbug. The Cathedral has no central administrator, but represents a consensus acting as a coherent group that condemns other ideologies as evil. Community writers have enumerated the platform of Progressivism as women’s suffrage, prohibition, abolition, federal income tax, democratic election of senators, labor laws, desegregation, popularization of drugs, destruction of traditional sexual norms, ethnic studies courses in colleges, decolonization, and gay marriage. A defining feature of Progressivism is that “you believe that morality has been essentially solved, and all that’s left is to work out the details.” Reactionaries see Republicans as Progressives, just lagging 10-20 years behind Democrats in their adoption of Progressive norms.

You don’t have to agree with the Neoreactionaries on what they condemn — women’s suffrage? desegregation? labor laws? really?? — to acknowledge that they’re onto something about the sacred consensus that all Right-Thinking People share. I would love to see a study comparing the press coverage from 9/11 leading up to the Iraq War with press coverage of the gay marriage issue from about 2006 till today. Specifically, I’d be curious to know about how thoroughly the media covered the cases against the policies that the Deep State and the Shallow State decided should prevail. I’m not suggesting a conspiracy here, not at all. I’m only thinking back to how it seemed so obvious to me in 2002 that we should go to war with Iraq, so perfectly clear that the only people who opposed it were fools or villains. The same consensus has emerged around same-sex marriage. I know how overwhelmingly the news media have believed this for some time, such that many American journalists simply cannot conceive that anyone against same-sex marriage is anything other than a fool or a villain. Again, this isn’t a conspiracy; it’s in the nature of the thing. Lofgren:

Cultural assimilation is partly a matter of what psychologist Irving L. Janis called “groupthink,” the chameleon-like ability of people to adopt the views of their superiors and peers. This syndrome is endemic to Washington: The town is characterized by sudden fads, be it negotiating biennial budgeting, making grand bargains or invading countries. Then, after a while, all the town’s cool kids drop those ideas as if they were radioactive. As in the military, everybody has to get on board with the mission, and questioning it is not a career-enhancing move. The universe of people who will critically examine the goings-on at the institutions they work for is always going to be a small one. As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

A more elusive aspect of cultural assimilation is the sheer dead weight of the ordinariness of it all once you have planted yourself in your office chair for the 10,000th time. Government life is typically not some vignette from an Allen Drury novel about intrigue under the Capitol dome. Sitting and staring at the clock on the off-white office wall when it’s 11:00 in the evening and you are vowing never, ever to eat another piece of takeout pizza in your life is not an experience that summons the higher literary instincts of a would-be memoirist. After a while, a functionary of the state begins to hear things that, in another context, would be quite remarkable, or at least noteworthy, and yet that simply bounce off one’s consciousness like pebbles off steel plate: “You mean the number of terrorist groups we are fighting is classified?” No wonder so few people are whistle-blowers, quite apart from the vicious retaliation whistle-blowing often provokes: Unless one is blessed with imagination and a fine sense of irony, growing immune to the curiousness of one’s surroundings is easy. To paraphrase the inimitable Donald Rumsfeld, I didn’t know all that I knew, at least until I had had a couple of years away from the government to reflect upon it.

When all you know is the people who surround you in your professional class bubble and your social circles, you can think the whole world agrees with you, or should. It’s probably not a coincidence that the American media elite live, work, and socialize in New York and Washington, the two cities that were attacked on 9/11, and whose elites — political, military, financial — were so genuinely traumatized by the events.

Anyway, that’s just a small part of it, about how the elite media manufacture consent. Here’s a final quote, one from the Moyers interview with Lofgren:

BILL MOYERS: If, as you write, the ideology of the Deep State is not democrat or republican, not left or right, what is it?

MIKE LOFGREN: It’s an ideology. I just don’t think we’ve named it. It’s a kind of corporatism. Now, the actors in this drama tend to steer clear of social issues. They pretend to be merrily neutral servants of the state, giving the best advice possible on national security or financial matters. But they hold a very deep ideology of the Washington consensus at home, which is deregulation, outsourcing, de-industrialization and financialization. And they believe in American exceptionalism abroad, which is boots on the ground everywhere, it’s our right to meddle everywhere in the world. And the result of that is perpetual war.

This can’t last. We’d better hope it can’t last. And we’d better hope it unwinds peacefully.

I, for one, remain glad that so many of us Americans are armed. When the Deep State collapses — and it will one day — it’s not going to be a happy time.

Questions to the room: Is a Gorbachev for the Deep State conceivable? That is, could you foresee a political leader emerging who could unwind the ideology and apparatus of the Deep State, and not only survive, but succeed? Or is it impossible for the Deep State to allow such a figure to thrive? Or is the Deep State, like the Soviet system Gorbachev failed to reform, too entrenched and too far gone to reform itself? If so, what then?

The second important thinker in this area is  Professor Michael J. Glennon who wrote the book  “National Security and Double Government.”

Here is how Amazon reviewer Mal Warwick summarized the book in his review written on December 22, 2014

Who makes national security decisions? Not who you think!

Why does Barack Obama's performance on national security issues in the White House contrast so strongly with his announced intentions as a candidate in 2008? After all, not only has Obama continued most of the Bush policies he decried when he ran for the presidency, he has doubled down on government surveillance, drone strikes, and other critical programs.

Michael J. Glennon set out to answer this question in his unsettling new book, National Security and Double Government. And he clearly dislikes what he found.

The answer, Glennon discovered, is that the US government is divided between the three official branches of the government, on the one hand — the "Madisonian" institutions incorporated into the Constitution — and the several hundred unelected officials who do the real work of a constellation of military and intelligence agencies, on the other hand. These officials, called "Trumanites" in Glennon's parlance for having grown out of the national security infrastructure established under Harry Truman, make the real decisions in the area of national security. (To wage the Cold War, Truman created the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Department of Defense, the CIA, the NSA, and the National Security Council.) "The United States has, in short," Glennon writes, "moved beyond a mere imperial presidency to a bifurcated system — a structure of double government — in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of U.S. national security policy. . . . The perception of threat, crisis, and emergency has been the seminal phenomenon that has created and nurtures America's double government." If Al Qaeda hadn't existed, the Trumanite network would have had to create it — and, Glennon seems to imply, might well have done so.

The Trumanites wield their power with practiced efficiency, using secrecy, exaggerated threats, peer pressure to conform, and the ability to mask the identity of the key decision-maker as their principal tools.

Michael J. Glennon comes to this task with unexcelled credentials. A professor of international law at Tufts and former legal counsel for the Senate Armed Services Committee, he came face to face on a daily basis with the "Trumanites" he writes about. National Security and Double Government is exhaustively researched and documented: notes constitute two-thirds of this deeply disturbing little book.

The more I learn about how politics and government actually work — and I've learned a fair amount in my 73 years — the more pessimistic I become about the prospects for democracy in America. In some ways, this book is the most worrisome I've read over the years, because it implies that there is no reason whatsoever to think that things can ever get better. In other words, to borrow a phrase from the Borg on Star Trek, "resistance is futile." That's a helluva takeaway, isn't it?

On reflection, what comes most vividly to mind is a comment from the late Chalmers Johnson on a conference call in which I participated several years ago. Johnson, formerly a consultant to the CIA and a professor at two campuses of the University of California (Berkeley and later San Diego), was the author of many books, including three that awakened me to many of the issues Michael Glennon examines: Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, and Nemesis. Johnson, who was then nearly 80 and in declining health, was asked by a student what he would recommend for young Americans who want to combat the menace of the military-industrial complex. "Move to Vancouver," he said.

Here is how Christopher Bellavita in Homeland Security Watch summarize an interesting discussion at Cato think tank which I highly recommend to watch:

Why has American national security policy changed so little from the Bush administration to the Obama

That’s the question Michael J. Glennon asks in his book “National Security and Double Government.”

His answer: national security policy is determined largely by “the several hundred managers of the military, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement agencies who are responsible for protecting the nation and who have come to operate largely immune from constitutional and electoral restraints.” The president, congress and the courts play largely a symbolic role in national security policy, Glennon claims.

You can read a Harvard National Security Journal article that outlines Glennon’s argument at this link: http://harvardnsj.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Glennon-Final.pdf.  The paper is not an especially easy read, but I found it to be well researched and – for  me – persuasive.

His book adds more analysis to the argument, using (from Graham Allison’s Essence of Decision) the rational actor model, the government politics model, and the organizational behavior model. Glennon extends that framework by discussing culture, networks, and the myth of alternative competing hypotheses.  The book is richer, in my opinion.  But the core of Glennon’s position is in the paper.

This link takes you to a video of Glennon talking about his book at the Cato Institute: http://www.cato.org/events/national-security-double-government (the talk starts at the 5:20 mark).

From the Cato site:

In National Security and Double Government, Michael Glennon examines the continuity in U.S. national security policy from the Bush administration to the Obama administration. Glennon explains the lack of change by pointing to the enervation of America’s “Madisonian institutions,” namely, the Congress, the presidency, and the courts. In Glennon’s view, these institutions have been supplanted by a “Trumanite network” of bureaucrats who make up the permanent national security state. National security policymaking has been removed from public view and largely insulated from law and politics. Glennon warns that leaving security policy in the hands of the Trumanite network threatens Americans’ liberties and the republican form of government.

Some blurb reviews:

“If constitutional government is to endure in the United States, Americans must confront the fundamental challenges presented by this chilling analysis of the national security state.”
Bruce Ackerman

“Glennon shows how the underlying national security bureaucracy in Washington – what might be called the deep state – ensures that presidents and their successors act on the world stage like Tweedledee and Tweedledum.”
John J. Mearsheimer

“National Security and Double Government is brilliant, deep, sad, and vastly learned across multiple fields–a work of Weberian power and stature. It deserves to be read and discussed. The book raises philosophical questions in the public sphere in a way not seen at least since Fukuyama’s end of history.”
David A. Westbrook

“In our faux democracy, those we elect to govern serve largely ornamental purposes, while those who actually wield power, especially in the realm of national security, do so chiefly with an eye toward preserving their status and prerogatives. Read this incisive and richly documented book, and you’ll understand why.”
Andrew J. Bacevich

“…Michael Glennon provides a compelling argument that America’s national security policy is growing outside the bounds of existing government institutions. This is at once a constitutional challenge, but is also a case study in how national security can change government institutions, create new ones, and, in effect, stand-up a parallel state….”
Vali Nasr

“Instead of being responsive to citizens or subject to effective checks and balances, U.S. national security policy is in fact conducted by a shadow government of bureaucrats and a supporting network of think tanks, media insiders, and ambitious policy wonks. Presidents may come and go, but the permanent national security establishment inevitably defeats their efforts to chart a new course….”
Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renee Belfer

I’ve spoken to three people I consider to be members of the “shadow national security state.”   One person said Glennon’s argument is nothing new.  The second told me he’s got it exactly right.  The third said it’s even worse.

You are irrelevant: Instead of Trump's "you are fired", party apparatchiks create the situation in which regular members are really irrelevant

In this sense "regular" voters are irrelevant and play role of extras in the game of the elite (which might include power struggle between various factions). They will always face an adverse selection between between bad for their interests candidate and even worse, often disastrous candidate.

For example, between Obama (who in reality is closer to Bush III then many people think) and close to the Tea Party candidate. The choice is clear and wrong as neither candidate represents interests of the voters. So majority of "regular" voters is automatically disenfranchised by party machine in a very fundamental way. Exectly like in should be according to the The Iron Law of Oligarchy

Moreover, in this situation the vote for any third candidate automatically became a vote for Tea Party (remembers the role supporters of Ralph Nader played in the election if Bush II in Florida). So electorate is in not only held hostage by two (pre-selected by oligarchy) candidates and is allowed only to chose between them. They are royally punished for disobedience.

Again, the classic example of this mechanism in action was the role of Nader in Gore vs. Bush election. This is the key mechanism of “managed democracy” or, as it is also called, the “inverted totalitarianism”.

All mechanisms discussed about that "winner takes all" election system profoundly and fundamentally is nothing but a subtle and elegant way of enforcement of the rule of oligarchy in the form of polyarchy, with the only difference from military dictatorship (which represents the extreme form of the elite rule) that there is no dictator for life. But it's the same iron fist (in a velvet glove). Which is a definite improvement over military dictatorship, but this is not that big an improvement. You are still tightly controlled, but instead of brute force financial or other indirect methods are used. It is not an improvement even in comparison with Soviet Politburo election of the General Secretary of CPSU, although it definitely more entertaining and has better PR potential.

i would like to stress that in a very deep sense, so called "government by the people" in case of two party system is not that different than heredity monarchal or autocratic rule, or, for a change, rule of the Soviet Politburo. This also means that Constitution became just a peace fo paper, document which is optional and redundant for ruling elite as George Bush aptly demonstrated.

Constitutional provisions can't be controlled in any meaningful way if rulers are completely detached from the voters. So voters and their interests can be abused in whatever way oligarchy wishes. To lessen the pain they can be distracted by throwing them like a bone for the dog artificial issues like homosexual marriage and deciding key economic and political issues in private. Selection of the agenda is the privilege of ruling class and always was.

Ordinary people had no say then or now. and with two part system this is by design. According to John Jay, America’s first Supreme Court chief justice, the nation should be governed by people who owned it.

Illusion of democracy

The simple plurality voting system is a single-winner voting system also called winner-takes-all or first-past-the-post. The latter term is an analogy to horse racing, where the winner of the race is the first to pass a particular point (the "post") on the track, after which all other runners automatically lose.

Elections in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada belong to this category. In this type of voting there is no requirement that the winner gain an absolute majority of votes. And as we demonstrated above such system automatically means the rule of oligarchy. On the current stage of development of the USA political system this is financial oligarchy because the social system that exists in the USA now is neoliberalism. The latter automatically makes the whole social system prone to deep and devastating crises. And that increases demand for guard labor and militarization of police. In a very fundamental way rulers are much more afraid of proles in neoliberal regime then under New Deal regime.

Duverger's law is a principle which asserts that any plurality voting system elections naturally impose a two-party system That means that single-winner voting system essentially hand all the power to the elite as it is elite that controls the electability of candidates from both parties. The discovery of this tendency is attributed to Maurice Duverger, a French sociologist who observed the effect and recorded it in several papers published in the 1950s and 1960s.

In the course of further research, other political scientists began calling the effect a "law" or principle. Duverger's law suggests a nexus or synthesis between a party system and an electoral system: only a proportional representation (PR) system creates the electoral conditions necessary to foster to foster smaller parties development while a plurality system marginalizes smaller political parties, resulting in what is known as a two-party system.

only a proportional representation (PR) system creates the electoral conditions necessary to foster smaller parties development while a plurality system marginalizes smaller political parties, resulting in what is known as a two-party system.

At the same time, a two party system provides a pretty realistic illusion of democracy and is actually remarkably effective both in enforcing the rule of oligarchy and preserving this illusion. A perfect system for a small group to rule, as all “mass participation” is confined to choosing between two preselected by party brass candidates. In other word elections are just a puppet show controlled by oligarchy much like elections controlled by party nomenklatura of the USSR when only a single candidate existed, but still elections were called and votes were counted. Actually the fact that they did not adopt a two party system this is a testament of the ideological rigidity of the USSR nomenklatura, as such a system is perfectly compatible with a totalitarian society and is essence is a small, insignificant (but very elegant and deceptive) variation of the one party rule.

In addition “Winner takes all” system automatically, by design, co-opts small parties into either Democratic Party or Republican Party camp, before they can get any level of maturity. That means that, unfortunately, within the “winner takes all” framework emergence of third party is temporal as they are quickly co-opted into one of two wings of the establishment party. The latter can well be "the War Party" as jingoism is the credo of both Democrats and Republicans, and in many cases it is difficult to understand who is more jingoistic.

A two party system as a mediator between conflicting interests of factions of the elite

In Golden Rule Thomas Ferguson argues the US two party system functions as a mediator between conflicting business interests. Between two parts of the ruling elite.

Rodolfo Lazo de la Vega

Democracy, Capitalism & the State, December 27, 2010

This review is from: Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems (American Politics and Political Economy Series) (Paperback)

The central foundational principle of the capitalist nation-state is that it is a reflection of its economic constituencies. Those who own and control the means of production shape the state in the form that they desire. This truism - that money runs politics - is the central argument of Thomas Ferguson's "Golden Rule." He begins by asking what are political parties? They are organizations composed of blocs of major investors who come together to advance favored candidates in order to control the state. They do this through direct cash contributions and by providing organizational support through the making available of sources of contacts, fundraisers and institutional legitimation. Candidates are invested in like stocks. For them electoral success is dependent on establishing the broadest base of elite support. Candidates whom have best *internalized* investor values see their "portfolios" grow exponentially at the expense of candidates who have not internalized these values. So what you have is a filtering system in which only the most indoctrinated and business friendly of the intellectual class advance to state power. The higher you go up the ladder the more you've appealed to elite interests. Representatives of the major investors are also often chosen to fill political appointments after a favored candidate has achieved office. This political-economic model helps explain why the state largely functions to serve elite business interests on the domestic and international stages.

Of course, corporate interests vary and evolve. Capital-intensive corporations tend to invest in Democratic politicians. Labor-intensive corporations tend to invest in Republicans. That's because capital-intensive corporations can afford to sit in a party which also represent organized labor. The AFL-CIO rarely poses a threat to Wall Street; and vice-versa. So what would we expect from a system like this? One thing we would expect is that on issues which the public cares about but on which there is cross-party investor agreement no party competition will take place. That means that the issues the public is most interested in will not appear on the agenda. The polls have been pretty consistent on this point. Major public interest revolves around issues having to do with trade agreements, in favor of a single-payer health care system, increased spending for education, slashing the Pentagon budget and many other issues. At times the population has been able to organize successfully and force popular issues onto the agenda despite business opposition.

Ferguson details how the growth, development and fall of major industries correspond to the growth, development, and fall of their political parties. He examines the rise and fall of five major investment bloc party systems - the Federalist vs. Jeffersonian, the Jacksonian, the Civil War party system, the system of 1896 and the New Deal. The latter is dealt with in much detail.

The book, while highly informative, is not without its flaws. Ferguson's prose is obtuse and very, very dry. The charts are helpful but the ideas could have been presented in a more compact form. Regardless of these reservations, this book is very important for an understanding of how our political system functions and deserves a large audience, discussion and action.

One of early proponents of "elite [dominance] theory" James Burnham in his book, The Machiavellians, argued and developed his theory that the emerging new élite would better serve its own interests if it retained some democratic trappings — two party system, illusion of "free press" and a controlled "circulation of the elites."

Notes on Republican Party

As Anatol Leiven noted:

...the Republican Party is really like an old style European nationalist party. Broadly serving the interests of the moneyed elite but spouting a form of populist gobbledygook, which paints America as being in a life and death, struggle with anti-American forces at home and abroad.

It is the reason for Anne Coulter, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. That is the rhetoric of struggle acts as a cover for political policies that benefit a few and lay the blame for the problems of ordinary Americans on fictitious entities.

The main side effects of the nationalism are the current policies which shackles America to Israel uncritically despite what that country might and how its actions may isolate America from the rest of the world. It also justifies America on foreign policy adventures such as the invasion of Iraq.

In terms of the two-party system, Republicans are avid, pitiless, intolerant, unbending, predatory, anti-democratic, iron-willed ideologues who’ve sold out to big business while courting big religion.

Democrats ape them, thus creating a one-party climate that fulfills the wishes of corporate "citizens" and transnational elite (becoming this way just another neoliberal party), systematically neglecting the needs of the middle class (lower classes never have any meaningful political representation, so nothing changed for them). That combination produces an apathetic electorate which completely lost hope in the political process. This is the essence of "inverted totalitarism".

Note on Democratic Party

Democratic Party after Clinton became Republican Party light, the party of Wall Street, that has nothing to do with labor movement, which previously was its base. The reasoning is that labor is nowhere to go in any case, so it is safe for democratic establishment to serve financial oligarchy.

The current democratic president would be viewed as a moderate republican just 30-50 years ago, as politically he is positioned to the right in comparison with Dwight D. Eisenhower. Just compare his famous warning about Military-Industrial Complex and Obama behavior during Snowden revelations of NSA total surveillance regime. Even Nixon, who finished Vietnam war is in some major aspects to the left of Clinton and Obama. Note how unceremoniously Obama dumped labor immediately after being reelected for the second term.

Essentially under Obama the USA two party system became undistinguishable in its major features from the USSR one party system, as behind the façade of two parties there is a single party, the party of oligarchy, the party of top 0.01% much like CPSU was the party of Soviet nomenklatura, which was hostile to the interests of middle class of the USSR (which is perfectly provable by the very low standard living of the middle class in the USSR).

Democracy promotion as used by the USA foreign policy
is actually a promotion of polyarchy

This oligarchy system was actively promoted in third world countries via so called color revolutions. Democracy promotion term in the US foreign policy is nothing but promotion of polyarchy. It is the policy that strives to put pro-Western elite groups and large international companies in power using variety of "grey area" methods which come short of armed apprising against the demonized "evil" regime. That was very successful policy in post USSR space with Ukraine and Georgia as two prominent examples.

After such a revolution a new, more pro-Western part of the elite (lumpenelite) comes to power and exercise often brutal monopoly power in the interests of the USA and transnational corporations. Typically privatization of the county is in the cards. Which regimes of Boris Yeltsin, Viktor Yushchenko and Mikheil Saakashvili demonstrated all too well. Also important that as 1965 CIA report about Philippines stresses that "The similarity of the parties, nevertheless encourages moderation, readiness to compromise, and lack of dogmatism in the political elite". Philippines were a key client regime in 1950th and 1960th with Clark Air Base and Subtic Naval Base to be the largest military facilities outside US mainland (Promoting polyarchy globalization ... - William I. Robinson (p. 120))

Here is one Amazon review of the book:

Brilliant exposition of US policy and the global order June 12, 2001

By Geoff Johnson

Format:Paperback

In this difficult but extremely provocative and scholarly work, William I. Robinson presents a new model for understanding US foreign policy and the emergent global society as a whole. The crux of his thesis is this: US foreign policy has changed in the last twenty years or so from open support of authoritarian regimes in countries where the US has economic and/or strategic interests to a program of "democracy promotion" that strives to place minority elite groups who are responsive to the interests of the United States and transnational capital at the head of the political, economic, and civic structures of "third world" countries.

Contrary to popular opinion (and that of much of academia), the real goal of democracy promotion, or what Robinson refers to as "promoting polyarchy", is not the promotion of democracy at all, but rather the promotion of the interests of an increasingly transnational elite headed by the US who seek open markets for goods and an increase in the free flow of capital. This marks a conscious shift in foreign policy in which the US now favors "consensual domination" by democratically elected governments rather than authoritarian leaders and the type of "crony capitalism" made famous by the likes of Ferdinand Marcos and Anastacio Somoza.

The first sections of the book introduce numerous theoretical concepts (drawing heavily on the theories of the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, in particular his theory of hegemony) that are crucial to the understanding of the text. I personally found these sections extremely difficult but well worth the time it takes to read certain parts several times. Robinson then goes on to document four case studies-- the Phillipines, Chile, Nicaragua, and Haiti-- each of which fleshes out his conceptual framework in much more concrete terms. The result is a disturbing picture of US foreign policy and the current direction of "globalization." I would highly recommend this to anyone with a strong interest in foreign affairs and/or the future of humanity.

Here is an interesting review of Wolin's book: Inverted Totalitarianism in the US

The US is a self-declared empire that scholars have labeled a “superpower” since it achieved military and cultural hegemony in a “unipolar moment” at the “end of history” while seeking “full-spectrum dominance” of land, sea, air, cyberspace and outer space, as stated in the Department of Defense’s Joint Vision 2020.

In order to impede the Soviet Union’s imperial projects, the US likewise slung itself astride the globe using multilateral institutions, spy networks and covert operations which produced a “Cold War” that eliminated the idea of peacetime and demanded permanent military mobilization bolstered by the military-industrial-congressional complex while placing citizens on high alert against nuclear threats and a domestic infestation of “reds” that excused the government’s surveillance of citizens.

The Constitution, which limits power, and a democracy, which requires local control and citizen empowerment, are both profaned by superpower, which defies limits in its quest for global supremacy, overshadowing localities and overpowering citizens while projecting power outward and inward simultaneously.

To describe this configuration, the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin coined the term “inverted totalitarianism.”

In old totalitarianism, the state dominated the economy while iconic demagogues who permanently held office mobilized citizens and openly flaunted the blanketing power of the new order they were imposing. With inverted totalitarianism, the economy dominates the state wherein temporary “representatives” serve a permanent corporate regime that demobilizes citizens while claiming to protect individual liberty by reducing state power, thus concealing the totalitarian character.

In terms of the two-party system, Republicans are avid, pitiless, intolerant, unbending, predatory, anti-democratic, iron-willed ideologues who’ve sold out to big business while courting big religion, and Democrats ape them, thus creating a one-party climate that fulfills the wishes of corporate “citizens” while systematically neglecting the needs of regular citizens, producing an apathetic electorate that’s lost hope in the political process.

State power is legitimated by media events called “elections” that elites have learned to control through finance, marketing and media ownership, while politicians accept bribes called “contributions” that are considered “speech” – as defined by the Supreme Court, effectively using “free speech” to silence the citizenry while replacing constituents with lobbyists.

Citizens fear job loss and benefit loss due to downsizing and outsourcing, which maximize “efficiency,” while the government shreds social safety nets for the sake of “efficiency,” leaving citizens vulnerable and yet unable to protect themselves when states outlaw collective bargaining, thus criminalizing worker self-defense.

Contrary to popular belief, slashing federal programs enhances state power by making government less unwieldy and easier to control since it dilutes public involvement, thus depleting public power and solidifying executive power.

The idea of democracy is emptied of substance and used as a slogan to justify military invasion, occupation and torture while the doctrine of “preemptive war” renders all acts of aggression as defensive and undertaken for the sake of insuring “stability.” For example, deference to US demands and the protection of corporate assets – in a war against terrorism that lacks a specific geographic location and thus requires the globe-girdling ability to strike anywhere anytime.

Instead of a Politburo circulating state propaganda that touts one political ideology, the corporate media feigns democratic debate that features “both sides” who are portrayed as extreme opposites but actually reflect a slim range of political discourse, thus giving the appearance of freedom while relying on White House, State Department and Pentagon spokespeople to supply the “official” version of political affairs, which are broadcast into every home through television, thus manipulating the public rather than including them.

Democracy functions as a useful myth that obscures the totalitarian atmosphere in which citizens feel politically impotent and fearful as they are dwarfed by giant, rigid, top-heavy bureaucracies that respond to the protocols of a corporate state that collaborates with telecommunications companies to monitor the population and develop detailed digital profiles of citizens while local police forces cooperate with federal law enforcement agencies, augmenting the burgeoning prison industry as the state loosens laws that forbid army soldiers from patrolling US streets.

The corporate state defunds public programs and forces everything into the market, including health, education, social security, pensions, public broadcasting, prisons, water, soldiers, surveillance and national intelligence, while businesses commodify the environment and patent DNA.

Two Party System as an enabler of the Quiet Coup:
privatization by the elite of the whole country

In the “democracy” that America has evolved to, money counts more than people. In past elections, the votes were counted, now they are going to start weighing them.

America The Counter-Revolution - Salem-News.Com

“(T)he rich elites of (the USA) have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens … the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot. Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it.”

-- Mike Lofgren

Two party system also makes possible a very interesting recent phenomenon, which started under Reagan (or may be Nixon) and first fully demonstrated itself after the dissolution of the USSR: a deep split between the elite and the rest of population to the extent that the country because a hostage of the elite which now behave like a brutal occupiers, not as compatriots. In other work the self-serving(aka greedy) elite with its neoliberal ideology emerged as much more formidable threat to democracy then communist ideology of the past. Neoliberalism not only defeated Marxism, it also decimated the US labor movement. Neoliberalism is in essence transnational, so Marxist slogan "proletarians of all countries unite" materialized in a form "elite of all countries unite" ;-). and that spells deep troubles for the 99% of the USA population as labor arbitrage is used to lower their living standard.

Being transnational they treat their "host" country as occupiers. Their allegiance is with transnational elite not with old ("national") bourgeoisie. In some countries like Russia under Putin national bourgeoisie (and imprisonment of Khodorkovky was a watershed invent in this respect as it prevented sell-out of Russian oil reserves to the US corporations) managed partially displace transnational elite form command hights but it remain to be seen how stable this regime is.

They now crave for "materialization" of their status in a form of great wealth and reject moral and cultural values of the past. This was first noticed by Christopher Lasch in 1994 when he published his groundbreaking book The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy. This was partly due to the book prophetic recognition that the elites of this country (and indeed the developed world) -- the professionals, top managers (upper-middle class and higher) -- were pulling away from the rest of the pack, tacitly renouncing their stake in and responsibility to society social contract, and slowly changing the rules of the game to increate economic inequality and appropriate the large share of society wealth. Tyler Durden writes Zero Hedge on Feb. 15, 2013, that 1% of Americans control over 40% of the United States’ wealth. But those making $10 million or more a year pay an average income tax rate of only 19%, less then people who are making 60K a year. As an old-school conservative, Lasch considered excessive economic inequality to be intrinsically undesirable: the difficulty of limiting the influence of wealth suggests that wealth itself needs to be limited.

Since the Reagan administration the USA has indeed accomplished a successful transformation to an effective One Party State with the financial oligarchy instead of Soviet nomenklarura and Wall Street instead of the Communist Party of the USSR. As Soviet nomenklatura had shown to the surprised world at one moment the elite can just privatize the whole country (with active participation of KGB which in theory should protect the regime). In other words the objective of the elite and their political handmaidens became to discredit and destroy the traditional nation state and auction its resources to themselves. This new ruling caste, schooled separately, brought up to believe in fairytales, lives in a world of its own, from which it can project power without understanding or even noticing the consequences. A removal from the life of the rest of the nation is no barrier to the desire to dominate it. In fact it appears to be associated with a powerful, almost psychopathic sense of entitlement. This transition of elite (which now is first and foremost financial elite) into brutal occupiers of their own country was recently popularized by Professor Simon Johnson under then name of "Quiet Coup":

The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government -- a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. ...

…the American financial industry gained political power by amassing a kind of cultural capital -- a belief system. Once, perhaps, what was good for General Motors was good for the country. Over the past decade, the attitude took hold that what was good for Wall Street was good for the country. The banking-and-securities industry has become one of the top contributors to political campaigns, but at the peak of its influence, it did not have to buy favors the way, for example, the tobacco companies or military contractors might have to. Instead, it benefited from the fact that Washington insiders already believed that large financial institutions and free-flowing capital markets were crucial to America’s position in the world.

At least since Reagan years we’ve been witnessing a quiet, slow-motion coup d’etat whose purpose is to repeal every bit of progressive legislation since the New Deal and entrench the privileged positions of the wealthy and powerful — who haven’t been as wealthy or as powerful since the Gilded Age of the late 19th century. As professor Reich noted:

Its techique is to inundate America with a few big lies, told over and over (for example, the debt is Obama’s fault and it’s out of control; corporations and the very rich are the “job creators” that need tax cuts; government is the enemy, and its regulations are strangling the private sector; unions are bad; and so on), and tell them so often they’re taken as fact.

Then having convinced enough Americans that these lies are true, take over the White House, Congress, and remaining states that haven’t yet succumbed to the regressive right (witness Tuesday’s recall election in Wisconsin).

Preventing meaningful reform

Two party system proved to be ideal instrument for preventing any meaningful social and political reform as recent political history of the USA aptly demonstrates. Here are some relevant comments from Naked Capitalism forums:

kievite

I am pretty pessimistic about the current situation. There are some tectonic forces at work and politicians can do only so much to try to prevent an earthquake.

One aspect of the problem is that the society became way too complex.

Tainter in his book suggested that as societies become more complex, the costs of meeting new challenges increase, until there comes a point where extra resources devoted to meeting new challenges produce diminishing and then negative returns.

The USA has an interesting twist in this regard which make some form of drastic change more plausible: Republican Party. The current Republican Party (aka wrecking crew) is a textbook demonstration of the forces that prevent any meaningful reform. Democratic Party is another part of the same bait-and-switch system.

The amount of resources diverted to military industrial complex and financial companies probably serve as another severe limitation on what can be done to prevent new crisis.

And with 40% of population believing that Saddam was instrumental in 9/11 the chances of political change are slim. Looks like country is pretty evenly divided and multi-year brainwashing can’t be reverted until the current generation pass away.

Rampant unemployment and absence of meaningful jobs creation are two features that make the current situation unsustainable.

Simple solutions like some form of fascism are definitely becoming more attractive in this atmosphere. So we can be sure that attempts to explore this opportunity will be made. Clerical fascism is one possibility.

High unemployment is a powerful catalyst of mass support of any radical ideology.

Actually the beginning of this century looks in many ways similar to the beginning of the previous century. And we know how things developed in the previous century. We just do not know the form “change we can believe in” will take.

kievite:

Actually splitting UR into two parties which are just replica of the USA structure with Democratic/Republican parties is a fascinating idea. As the USA experience proved it can be pretty stable politically as one branch of the same “united oligarchy party” would marginalise left and the other can marginalise extreme right.

As Gore Vidal said

“There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man.”

This might be an interesting political innovation for Russia: substituting single party regime with the “dualism without choice” (or “choice we can believe in” if we use politically correct language ;-) . This dual party structure can serve as a powerful force for marginalising opposition both on left and right. reform. In this case both parties are the necessary and vital parts of the same bait-and-switch system.

As for Medvedev actions I think that few people either in mass population or elite forgot economical and political rape of Russia under Yeltsin.

As unforgettable George W. Bush said: “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

A popular mock word for “democrats” — “der’mokcats” and for “liberals” — “liberasts” reflects the common attitude after Yeltsin reforms.

Among interesting attempt to explain the current electoral situation provided in "American Revolution Today- First Principles and Basic Precepts " have some merits:

What does the prospect of Revolution mean today in The United States? Well, the very fact that today we are a nation, whereas in the late eighteenth century our forefathers were simply a collection of subject farmers and tradesmen inhabiting a colonial outpost of The British Empire, puts us in a very different set of circumstances than our predecessors. And yet some of the very same intolerable conditions that impelled our colonial ancestors to revolt against an arbitrary and unresponsive British crown exist today.

In fact, if anything, the tax burden you and I face now is greater by a substantial sum than what existed at the outset of The American Revolution when the cry "Taxation Without Representation" was the clarion call for defiance against The British Crown. More troubling perhaps is that those individuals that stand today at the head of our leading institutions of public life, whether they be the Treasury Secretary, Federal Reserve Bank Chairman, Senior Congressmen and women, and even The President, seem every bit as disinterested in honestly addressing our legitimate concerns, and in answering our probing questions, as any eighteenth century British Parliamentarian or exhalted royal head of state were in addressing the complaints of the colonialists.

Some might offer that the answer to such a lamentable state of affairs is to simply replace, via the ballot box, recalcitrant and unresponsive leaders. Regrettably, it is the opinion of American Revolution Today that the mechanisms of government are now so deeply flawed, so intractably corrupt, that no such simple remedy is possible were it even allowed. In truth, it is the view of American Revolution Today that:

  1. The United States Federal Government, functioning primarily on behalf of monied interests, particularly big banking and Wall Street, has become a nemesis of "We The People."
  2. The entrenched two party system comprised of Democrats and Republicans is, in the main, obstructive of reform, and, by definition, utterly opposed to anything resembling revolutionary change.
  3. At this juncture, traditional means of political self determination may not be the way forward, but in any case, we at American Revolution Today are convinced that no candidate from either the Democratic or Republican parties should receive support; any affiliation with the two party system almost assures that such a candidacy would ultimately be antithetical to government benefiting "We The People."

Following on from that, no candidate who runs for Federal public office that does not feature the following planks in their campaign platform will be deemed suitable for election.

A.) Term limits
B.) Campaign Finance Reform
C.) Shortened Election Cycles
D.) Cessation of "Redistricting"
E.) Full Audit of The Federal Reserve
F.) The restoration of constitutional mandate for congressional control of U.S. currency.
G.) An end to further raising of the debt ceiling
H.) Immediate removal of all troops, personnel, and material from Iran and Afghanistan
I.) Replacement of income tax and estate taxes with new levies on consumption, and amended levies on capital gains by individuals and corporations.
J.) Health care reform that is first and foremost free market based with no governmental bias towards "Big Pharma" or the insurance industry.
K.) A multi-generational program designed to return some "reasonable sum" of manufacture back to the United States
L.) The complete overhaul of such government agencies as the SEC, The Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and Homeland Security, to name but a few.
M.) Full investigations of those individuals in and out of government who are alleged to have engaged in criminal activity associated with the collapse of various large banking concerns and quasi government agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
N.) An end to the entire "alphabet soup" of programs funneling money to too big to be allowed to exist parasitic institutions such as AIG, BOA, GS, Citicorp, and JPM.
O.) A restoration of mark to market accounting standards, and the cessation of the writing of any more "standard performance contracts" aka OTC derivatives, until such time as a regulated exchange is instituted for their trade.
P.) A complete rollback of all cap and trade legislation.

If you are in agreement with the ideas and political initiatives expressed here, and feel as we do, join us in making the Second American Revolution a reality. Join us in reestablishing a nation where The Constitution is fully respected, and where good government is defined as one that governs least and always on behalf of the greater good.

Honest Elections Myth

Here is characterization by the USA MSM of the particular foreign election

They have the right to have an honest elections... We will have to disagree on the scale of the electoral fraud – from what I can see , the “elections”: were a total , crudely executed sham

In fact this characterization if perfectly applicable to the US elections as well. In fact elections are always stolen from people by oligarchy. There was an excellent observation here:

There’s no real skill in convincing people that they’re unhappy with the current state of affairs, and to set visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads (if I may be seasonal for a moment).

Everybody feels they’re entitled to something better, and the only thing left to do is identify the person or persons standing in the way of their getting it.

But everybody who isn’t a dolt usually says at some point, “Uhhh….how’s that going to work?”

I would add my two cents.

  1. When we face critic of elections who claim they are dishonest that classic Russian question arise " Who are the judges?" (Griboedov) .

    Judges are representatives of several political forces:

    Typically none of them is better then "current corrupt regime". That supports that statement that means that taking into account the alternative, the word democracy here is used as a Trojan force for regime change with the hope that the next regime will more suitable for geo-political security interests of the USA and Western Europe.

  2. Absolutization of the idea of "honest election" is nothing but dirty PR trick. I would remind here old, but still relvant work of Robert Michels who became famous for his formuation of "Iron law of oligarchies": He demostrated (in 1911 !) that the idea of "honest election" is a myth the covers the universal trend of democratic organizations towards oligarchy. And that elections are form of civilised struggle of different oligarchic groups represented by party functionaries for power. Which in turn represent so called "leading families". The latter is one (a) that develops, retains and renews its wealth over a number of generations; (b) in which some children in each generation secure good positions in the various elites of society; and (c) where the family holds together as a network for information on and influence over the development of a local community or ─ in certain cases ─ the country as a whole. More than one thinks, the history of Europe and America in the past century has consisted of the history of the leading families.

  3. It's natural that like after any dirty football game the fans of the winning team call it brutal but honest and fans of the losing team "dirty and dishonest". As there are some objective criteria of the level of "dirty tricks" played in election people who try to absolutize the idea of "honest election" are crooks who want to "rock the boat". .

Credibility trap of two party system

Credibility trap of one party system is well known. Two party system is more resilient in this respect but is not totally immune to credibility trap.

A credibility trap [in two party sytem] is a situation in which the regulatory, political and/or the informational functions of a society have been thoroughly taken in by a corrupting influence and a fraud, so that one cannot address the situation without implicating, at least incidentally, a broad swath of the power structure and the status quo who at least tolerated it, if not profited directly from it, and most likely continue to do so.

This lead to an interesting situation when voting became a special type of entertainment aptly described in John Chuckman Nov 6, 2013 essay HOW AMERICA LEARNED TO PLAY GOD

Just as there is a natural cycle in the life of great industries – the scores of early American car manufacturers are now reduced to a few functioning as an oligopoly, an historical pattern repeated in industry after industry – there appears to be a life cycle for a government organized like that of the United States. The duopoly which runs the American government consists of two parties which differ in almost no particulars except some social issues, but even that difference is rather a sham because the American government no longer has any interest in social issues. It is concerned overwhelmingly with representing and furthering the interests of the nation’s three great power centers of the military-industrial-intelligence complex. Social issues now are soap-box stuff for street-corner politicians and members of NGOs.

But in any case, all players in this political duopoly, no matter to which office they may be elected, know they can never challenge the immense authority and virtual omnipresence of America’s military, intelligence, corporate hierarchies and special interests like the Israel Lobby, powerful anti-democratic institutions which literally shape the space America’s politicians must inhabit.

Americans today quite simply could not vote in an informed manner if they wanted to do so (and many are not interested in voting at all, as we shall see): they are completely in the dark as to what happens inside their government, both its operations within the country and in international affairs. No one knows the full extent of spending on intelligence, nor do they know what dark programs are underway. No one knows the full extent of spending on the military, nor do they know to what questionable tasks it is being put around the world. No one knows the immense extent and complexity of lobbying and special interests in the American government. And of course no one is privy to the planning and operations of the great corporations, nor do they know anything of the dealings and financing arrangements between those corporations (or the wealthy individuals who own and run them) and the people’s supposed representatives, who all must spend a substantial part of their time just raising money for the next election (the average American Senator is said to spend two-thirds of his or her time doing just that).

Americans’ votes in elections have become to a remarkable extent meaningless, although an elaborate political stage play keeps the appearance of meaning and keeps those interested in politics involved and entertained. Almost certainly as a result of sensing how little their votes count, Americans often simply do not vote and do so in increasing numbers. The further down the political totem pole you go from the presidential elections which generate the most noise owing to the obscene amounts of money spent on marketing and advertising, the greater is this truth. Maybe 60% vote for president, a minority vote in other national elections, and a tiny fraction vote in state and local elections.

This vacuum is filled with Big Intelligence which become one of the "king makers":

The record of arrogance and abuse by security organizations, such as CIA or the FBI, is long and costly, filled with errors in judgment, abuse of power, incompetence, and immense dishonesty. Owing to the black magic of classified secrecy, much of the record involves projects about which we will never know, but even what we do know about is distressing enough. And I’m not sure that it can be any other way so long as you have Big Intelligence. Apart from Big Intelligence’s own propensity towards criminal or psychopathic behavior, one of the great ironies of Big Intelligence is that it will always agree to bend, to provide whatever suppressions and fabrications are requested by political leaders working towards the aims of the other great anti-democratic institutions, the military and the corporations. This became blindingly clear in the invasion of Iraq and, even before that, in the first Gulf War.

Among other things they provide powerful filtering system so that none undesirable slips into important office:

America’s political system, honed and shaped over many decades, fits comfortably with these institutions. National elections are dominated by a two-party duopoly (being kept that way through countless institutional barriers deliberately created to maintain the status quo) , both these parties are dominated by huge flows of campaign contributions (contributions which form what economists call an effective barrier to entry against any third party seriously being able to compete), both parties embrace much the same policies except for some social issues of little interest to the establishment, and election campaigns are reduced to nothing more than gigantic advertising and marketing operations no different in nature to campaigns for two national brands of fast food or pop. It takes an extremely long time for a candidate to rise and be tested before being trusted with the huge amounts of money invested in an important campaign, and by that time he or she is a well-read book with no surprising chapters.

If for any reason this political filtering system fails, and someone slips through to an important office without having spent enough time to make them perfectly predictable, there still remains little chance of serious change on any important matter. The military-industrial-intelligence complex provides a molded space into which any newcomer absolutely must fit. Just imagine the immense pressures exerted by the mere presence of senior Pentagon brass gathered around a long polished oak table or a table surrounded by top corporate figures representing hundreds of billions in sales or representatives or a major lobbying group (and multi-million dollar financing source for the party). We see the recent example of popular hopes being crushed after the election of Obama, a man everyone on the planet hoped to see mend some of the ravages of George Bush and Dick Cheney. But the man who once sometimes wore sandals and bravely avoided a superfluous and rather silly flag pin on his lapel quickly was made to feel the crushing weight of institutional power, and he bent to every demand made on him, becoming indistinguishable from Bush. Of course, the last president who genuinely did challenge at least some of the great institutional powers, even to a modest extent, died in an ambush in Dallas.

Disenfranchised Voters

Here are pretty typical comments about the recent Congress election in The Guardian (Oct 30, 2014):

UNOINO

It makes no difference to our Handlers whether we vote for Tweedledee or Tweedledum. None whatsoever because our Handlers own them both. Now, back to work.

jeni popa

All parties aside, the right hand still has to work with the left hand. Try using just one hand, not much gets done, right ? Now try together, thank you.

Stephen_Sean -> jeni popa

Sometimes one hand is all that is required, but I see your point.

UNOINO -> jeni popa

At the moment one force is controlling both hands. They are essentially both doing the same thing. What we need is a third hand, so to speak. A third party.

Wiscot -> UNOINO

If there is one thing that will always unite Republicans and Democrats at all levels of government, it is the desire to keep it a two-party system. Any third party will be marginalized by whatever means possible. They know that people hate Congress so much that any reasonable alternative would get votes. The Establishment will always protect itself.

"Myth about intelligent/rational voter"

"Myth about intelligent/rational voter" is pretty widespread despite many books that convincingly prove that this is a myth and that people are able consistently vote against their own interests including this virtual economic interests (in other words are easily brainwashed). There are some interesting facts on the ground that disprove this myth (Washington Post, ):

Two books on the subject that deserve attention are

There is one book with neoclassical perspective on the subject (and as such completely off the mark) but at least Amazon reviews (especially negative one start reviews ;-) are well worth reading:

The Myth of the Rational Voter Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies by Bryan Caplan

Gaetan Lion:
The Myth Caplan is rational, July 20, 2010

Caplan's thesis seems sensible. The voters are irrational as they have systematic biases including anti-market bias, anti-foreigner bias, anti-trade (or pro-protectionism) bias, and pro make-work bias. In turn, the voters elect politicians that reflect their biases. And, politicians execute detrimental social policies that reflect the biases of the voters. However, Caplan thesis is wrong on numerous counts.

First, the voters are not irrational. They are ignorant of counter-intuitive economic concepts. Those are two different things. One entails voters are crazy; they are not. The other entails they don't know macroeconomics; and they truly don't.

Second, politicians govern to get reelected. And, their main master is the economy as measured by GDP growth, inflation, and unemployment. Whether they are responsible or not for such indicators, politicians will suffer the blame or get credit for them. The pressure of delivering a strong economic performance easily overcomes any of the biases Caplan mentions.

Third, on economic policy it is often technocrats, not elected by voters, who run the show. Politicians are mainly lawyers not economists. On complex macroeconomic policies technocrats control the agenda. The main two ones are the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. These two pretty much dictate fiscal and monetary policies respectively. They also work jointly in times of crisis. A good example is the recent financial crisis. The various bail outs, fiscal stimulus, TARP plan, etc... were not initiated by George Bush or Obama. They were orchestrated by Henry Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury under Bush, and his successor Timothy Geithner, and Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Fed. The public's strong anti-bank populist sentiment had no influence whatsoever on the implementation of those bail outs. Thus, recent history represents a devastating blow to Caplan's theory.

Fourth, international trade is another area that trumps Caplan's theories. His favorite theoretical examples address voters bias for protectionism and import tariffs. But, matters of international trade are now almost entirely subordinated to supranational entities such as the WTO. Additionally, you can't find a nation more in favor of free trade than the U.S. The latter has signed bilateral free trade agreements with North America (NAFTA) and many other countries. This is another embarrassing rebuttal to Caplan's theories that voters' biases result into poor economic policies. They don't. Political leaders and technocrats ignore voters' sentiments whenever they have to.

Fifth, Caplan's faith in the markets appears delusional. In his view, because democracy results in poor policies reflecting irrational voters' biases, you need an alternative. And, his alternative is the market. Quoting Caplan: "If people are rational as consumers but irrational as voters, it is a good idea to rely more on markets and less on politics." The timing of his libertarian manifesto could not have been worse. It gets published in 2007 just as we experience two spectacular market failures. The first one had been brewing up for decades: the health care crisis. That's where we found out that an unrestrained for profit health care system does not work. The second market failure was the aftermath of financial deregulation that had taken place over a decade and resulted in the current financial crisis. We should also add the recent market failure of unregulated deep sea oil drilling (the BP incident). So, for Caplan to state we should replace government by markets whenever we can is irrational.

Sixth, another weakness of Caplan's theory is that he uses data that is often over 20 years out of date. Such is the case, when he states that the elderly are less supportive of Social Security than the remainder of the public. He also states that women are less pro-choice than men. Had Caplan used current findings, it is likely that the opposite would be true.

Additionally, Caplan trips himself over basic economic concepts. Just as he goes on that economists are so smart and the rest of us are not; he demonstrates he is himself not so clear on economic concepts. Thus, when he attempts to teach us the basics of labor specialization he immediately contradicts himself. Quoting him on page 17: "If Crusoe's belief is correct, he wisely specializes in agriculture and has Friday do other kinds of work. But, if Crusoe's belief is blind to prejudice, keeping Friday out of agriculture reduces total production and makes both men poorer." As you noticed, whether Crusoe is correct or prejudice, the result is exactly the same.

David Moore wrote a far superior book pretty much on the same subject: The Opinion Makers: An Insider Exposes the Truth Behind the Polls. Moore's main point is that the public is often unqualified to answer polling questions. Meanwhile, such polls are mistaken for the voice of the Nation. But, again ignorance and craziness are not the same thing. Moore understands that. Caplan does not.

Loyd E. Eskildson "Pragmatist" (Phoenix, AZ.) 
  

1.0 out of 5 stars Boring and Adds Nothing to Today's Issues, October 1, 2007

"The greatest obstacle to social economic policy is not entrenched special interests but the popular misconceptions, irrational beliefs and personal biases of ordinary voters." I thought that was a good introduction and eagerly dived in. Then it all fell apart, beginning with page 1 and Caplan's assumption that free trade is unequivocally good for America.

Clearly free trade was good for America just after WWII when we were the only industrial entity of any consequence standing. Want cars, steel, electronics, refrigerators, TVs - whatever, we had it and they probably didn't. So Americans made out like bandits.

Today, its the Chinese, Indians, Koreans, Japanese, etc. who are raking in the benefits. While Americans lose jobs, pensions, health care coverage, and move to lower-paying jobs, economists remain isolated in their 18th century theories of free-trade developed in an era of only minor differences in standards of living, wage levels, and major limitations in communication speed and transportation.

On a macro level, Americans are also losing manufacturing capacity and skills. Shocked to see a senior Mattel executive publicly apologizing to the Chinese over issues leading to the recall of Chinese manufactured toys? Undoubtedly the Chinese have more than a little power over Mattel (and other toy makers), given that at least 75% of toys are now "Made in China" and we would have difficulty quickly substituting our own capabilities for theirs. In WWII the U.S. turned the tide of battle with its ability to mass-produce quality armaments. Today we have difficulty producing IED resistant vehicles and the most effective body armor.

The dollar's purchasing power is already another victim of today's free trade, with potentially far worse declines possible. Suppose we now suddenly decided to "bite the bullet," stop buying most low-cost items from China and reinvigorate our own manufacturing? Would China threaten retaliation by dumping the trillions of dollar IOUs they hold, wrecking our currency? Could we afford that risk?

Perhaps economists (including Caplan) will join the 21st century when Asian economists begin taking their jobs via Internet instruction in American colleges and universities. It is time to update their popular misconceptions, irrational beliefs, and personal biases.

Nicole

Don't confuse us with the facts!" June 8, 2007

Many people have noted that democracy seems not to work - policies are implemented that often are not in the best interest of voters, and when voters are surveyed they routinely lack even the most basic civic knowledge. The way people have typically answered this problem is to say that voters are uninformed, and that if they simply had more access to good information, they would use that information to make better choices. But even so, the tiny informed minority will sway elections because the uninformed majority will vote at random.

Here, Caplan directly challenges that view by asserting that voters are not simply ignorant but irrational, and that this is in fact predicted by economic theory. Voting is not like shopping - it is more like making use of a commons, because the costs of a "bad" vote are borne by the public at large, and the chance of an individual casting the deciding vote is tiny. Therefore, people will vote for what makes them feel good without bothering to find out whether it really is good - it simply doesn't matter.

... ... ...

The key idea here is that de facto educated people are not needed as voters so "diffusing" the vote to encompass a mass of uneducated people you get the situation similar when only top 1% has the right to elect. Intelligent voters are dangerous because they are heavier than control and manipulate (and if that means dismantling public education system so be it -- interest of oligarchy are more important).

What is important for elite is an illusion of choice not the choice itself. That simulates the sense of belonging for "shmaks" (aka red necks). Media, in this case is just a part of feedback control loop to manipulate the "dark masses" (aka shmaks), and the more ignorant people, the easier it is through such a control loop enables manipulation. Of course, neither of which involved such a dark reality of the population to the real issues of governance and the economy, it is not even going. After all we can't make happy all the people. So de facto, access to education is a powerful mean to make existing stratification of the society permanent. Of course, this policy creates  fundamental and unavoidable conflict with the requests for social justice. And as a result can lead to periodic shocks when masses slip out of control due to some gross injustice like financial crisis of 2008.

Actually this is what Russian elite (or at least part of Russian elite) openly proposes. Look at the transcript o Gref (the chairman of Sberbank). Recommended reading in order to better understand the real views of the ruling elite in the development and management and not to fall into some vain illusions. The second point here is that all those US cries about threats to democracy in Russia are the same cries that wolves do when they are deprived from guarding chickens. The was never democracy in Russia since 1991 and never will be as there is no democracy is the USA and never will be any.  The only differences is the methods of rotation of elite (and is this sense Russia is much more democratic then the USA).

 Yeltsin criminal regime was a dictatorship of comprador oligarchy centered around gangster syndicate of "Komsomol banksters" (Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky, Gusinsky and Co.). Shock therapy, methods of privatization used (under the direction of Harvard academic skunks) and shelling parlament proves that 100%. It was just economic rape of the country from which it did not fully recover. Actually under Yeltsin GDP dropped to level lower then during invasion of Hitler armies in WW2.

Putin partially dismounted this in favor of energy and military-industrial complex oligarchy. In a way his regime somewhat similar to George W Bush regime but with different personality and less hate toward middle class and common folks. As well as without subservience to neo-conservatives. But it looks like the same energy and military-industrial oligarchy bonsais rules the country. Medvedev tried to sit between two chairs. I think that's why Kudrin opposed growing milirary expenditures.

And this hysterical circus about votes falsifications is actually a perfect method to push voters to vote again their own economic and political interests. Consensus is very fragile as the county has huge unsolved problems. And hostility of the USA toward Russia which was quite determined to kill wondered foe should not be underestimated.

We have an example in a struggle between corrupt and criminal comprador oligarchy leaded by Yutchshenko-Timoshenko allies and industrial part of the oligarchy led by Yanokovich. In this case voters were quite successfully brainwashed. With the help of western money and consultants Yanukovich criminal past became a huge factor.

In other words common folds are always duped. For example millions of Americans who were taken for a ride by Bush II presidential campaign scripted from the pages of Niccolo Machiavelli’s "The Prince." The father of Realpolitik famously observed that “politics have no relations to morals,” and this aphorism serves as the motto for George Bush and company.  Richard Nixon once remarked, “You can’t fool all of the people, all of the time, but if you fool them once, it lasts for four years.”

 

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[Aug 01, 2015] Looks like the .1% don't want Trump or HRC but want a Bush III tool.

pgl said...

In political news, HRC raises $15 million while Jeb! raises $103 million:

https://www.yahoo.com/politics/democrats-far-behind-gop-in-raising-money-for-16-125516484431.html

Yep - the 1% are trying to buy the White House.

ilsm said in reply to pgl...

If the .1% don't want Trump.....

but want a Bush III tool.

[Jul 31, 2015] Jeremy Corbyns Labour leadership bid has a momentum even he didnt expect

"...As for the "guardian hymn sheet" - nearly of their commentators have in meltdown at the prospect of a corbyn led labour party ditching (failed) neo-liberalism."
.
"...Rather excited by a labour leader for once, the amount of spin and rhetoric thrown at Corbyn recently, suggests what the ruling elite think of him (he's a threat). "
.
"...The propaganda weapon that faces any Labour administration is formidable as the Tory driven media constantly undermines any concerted efforts to ensure that a fair and just society is created for the many rather than the few."
.
"...The media play a massive part in how they portray/present (particularly Labour) Politicians to the electorate - whether it's to continually show an embarrasing snap-shot of Miliband munching on a bacon butty, or as you say they chose to make Corbyn look like a "beardy sandal wearer" (a la the original JC, eh?). Generally, the electorate have to base their decision making on how politicians are represented in the media."
.
"..."Jeremy Corbyn is sort of the Bernie Sanders of UK but might actually become labor leader. I have to say I really like his economic ideas" ..."
.
"...Well, I think that's a mis-characterisation - in the much part created & amplified by an establishment, sychophantic right wing London based media. If you actually look at what Corbyn has to say it's pretty moderate; society & people focused & doesn't at all necessarily mean, as a policy outcome, fiscal or economic recklessness. Corbyn's position is pretty well considered & he doesn't do cheap populism."
.
"...The neo - liberal "democracies" in Europe ( or shall we just call them the German Federal State) are scared witless of the left and will do anything to crush it because they know that austerity is not the way forward to prosperity but is instead an economic mechanism to preserve the status quo...."
.
"...Politics is about unifying OTHERWISE diverse interest groups, and APPARENT diverse opinions."
.
"...The fact that capitalism cannot provide half-decent jobs for millions does not mean the working class has disappeared. A third of the electorate do not vote at all - largely because of the sentiment that they are all bastards and there is no point."
.
"...On a superficial level, you can tell Corbyn is the only candidate that doesn't advocate free-market capitalism by his refusal to adopt the uniform of the business classes. The fact that politicians now need to dress like financial advisors in order to have perceived credibility is another example of the corruption of neoliberalism."
.
"...... And then the Milliband - let alone Corbyns - face a five-year hatchet job by the Daily Mail et al, the swinging middle Englanders will sniff and wonder what that weirdo is all about, before driving out of their banal semi-detached homes in their banal semi-detatched communities to put a cross in the Conservative box for that forthright blonde chap, or that tough economic decisions fellow we've heard so many good things about."
.
"...Voters are largely lead by propaganda; and the Tories are much better at that (and have 90% of the media in their pocket; or vice versa)."
.
"...The strong right wing press and media have at all times suffocated any socialist aspirations, and never gave it a chance to really get going and in the process kept very intelligent men like Foot and Benn always struggling to get their sound policies over . The Bankers and big business and those who controlled them always made it their goal to discredit anyone who had the temerity to espouse policies the would be beneficial to the working man/woman in the UK."
Jul 31, 2015 | theguardian.com
Jeremy Corbyn regards it as a badge of honour: Tony Blair's barb that anyone voting for the insurgent candidate needs a heart transplant. It is only a matter of time before T-shirts start appearing with the slogan "I need a transplant". They might need a lot of them.

Corbyn's campaign for the Labour leadership is gathering a momentum even he did not anticipate at the outset. "The events we organise ourselves are getting bigger and bigger," Corbyn says. When he held his first rally in Birkenhead on 9 July, he attracted a more than respectable audience of 350. The numbers have been steadily growing since. He is due to speak in Liverpool this weekend, with an audience of more than 800 anticipated and an overspill room booked.

On Tuesday evening, the contender attracted more than 400 for a Q&A session in Luton, and an hour later, beginning at 9pm, he addressed a capacity crowd of 800 at London's Bloomsbury Baptist church, with others listening via a loudspeaker outside.

Corbyn said that last Saturday he did a formal meeting in Warrington and followed it up with an informal gathering of supporters in a pub garden in central Manchester. Even though the latter had been largely unpublicised, he said between 350 and 400 turned up.

On Wednesday he won the backing of Unison, one of the biggest unions in the country. He already has the backing of Unite, the biggest.

Win or lose the leadership ballot, Corbyn has brought excitement to what was otherwise shaping up as a dull campaign.

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership bid has a momentum even he didn't expect

Related: Why smart Tories should not be smug about Labour's Corbyn-mania | Matthew d'Ancona

JamesSilkDavey -> fatdaddyyork 31 Jul 2015 04:59

"No future for labour in being a watered down version of the Tories though."

There's a mile of difference between Social Democracy, Blair/Brown style, and this lot.

People here can't see that. Voters can, thankfully.

JamesSilkDavey -> Sue Dockett 31 Jul 2015 04:57

"Would you care to remind me how that turned out for the people of Britain? "

3 million unemployed, sink schools and sink estates, privatisation of public assets that British people had paid for and allowing the nation's wealth to be transferred to foreign ownership, failure to support manufacturing industry, all-out attack on the unions, allowing an American citizen to control large parts of the British media, abolishing the GLC, cosying up to Pinochet and rescuing Mark Thatcher from the desert"

And the electorate liked it. Or at least preferred it to what Labour offered in '92. You people really don't get it, do you? Neoliberalism delivered a significant increase in GDP, and the /majority/ of the country enjoyed those benefits. The Tories understand this. They understand that if you make people in the middle, and the old, feel they are on their side, then they win enough votes to get elected.

It's democracy. People vote for parties that make them richer. They don't care very much about the people at the bottom (who, lets be absolutely clear, lost a lot in the 80s)

Given that New Labour was a bloody miracle. They managed to keep getting elected, not crash the economy AND tackle the very things that you are complaining about (particularly sink schools and sink estates, and to some extent, though not enough, the income of the bottom 20%)

We are never going to live in a socialist utopia because voters are largely selfish. That doesn't mean you can't build a realistic social democratic alternative which seeks to redress the balance. I think it can certainly be done better than New Labour did it (the absence of a meaningful industrial strategy was the major weakness, as they were beguiled by 'services') but New Labour are a hell of a lot better than OsBo.

Dan Jarvis, to pick a name at random, could run on a broadly 'Blair-like' platform, win, and invest in schools, social care and housing.

Or BoJo could win and take us back, as someone said, to the 1880s.

JamesSilkDavey -> bolshevik96 31 Jul 2015 04:34

The neoliberal democracies of Europe keep voting for neoliberal parties. The threatening parties are nationalists. Socialists are nowhere.

There are three plausible political models for the UK. Social democracy (some form of 'Blair+Brownism, if you will), Conservatism and Nationalism, as presented by UKIP.

Socialism is not on the map.


JohnIgbino -> elay55 31 Jul 2015 03:09

It is still divisive, but not as much as it was in the 1950s and the 1960s. In the 1960s when I benefited from the expansion of education and subsequently went to university only 12% of the population went to university. Today there are wide ranging routes leading to university and many individuals and groups who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to gain the experience of a university education can now do so. In this sense the spirit of the 1960s persists.

But I should point out to you that the liberalisation of access to education had nothing to do with Rightwingers. Indeed, they vehemently opposed the policy. The people who fought for the liberalisation would be vilified today as Leftwingers. So when you come on this platform and begin to argue as you have been doing you demonstrate that you do not know how the post-World War 11 social policies and subsequent liberalisation of access to education helped this country to compete internationally, particularly against the country's War Allies.

Nathon -> packc47 31 Jul 2015 03:09

Attlee won over a million more votes than Churchill in 1951. He still lost the election, because of FPTP.

Even if Labour pulls back the 2 million votes it currently lags behind the Tories, it won't be matter a single shit if those votes aren't in the right places. Seats win elections, not absolute vote numbers or share. This is FPTP. And the seats that matter, the ones that will decide the next election, are the English marginals currently held by the Tories.

I have still to hear any of Corbyn's supporters even recognize this as an issue, let alone come up with a coherent plan for addressing it. It's all "win back voters from the SNP", "win back voters from the Greens", "gain back the real Labour votes Blair lost" etc. Such things will plump up our numbers nicely in already safe seats. But they will not make the blindest bit of difference in the marginal seats we have to win.


ariseandresist -> Finite187 30 Jul 2015 21:57

Well, I think that's a mis-characterisation - in the much part created & amplified by an establishment, sychophantic right wing London based media. If you actually look at what Corbyn has to say it's pretty moderate; society & people focused & doesn't at all necessarily mean, as a policy outcome, fiscal or economic recklessness. Corbyn's position is pretty well considered & he doesn't do cheap populism.


IrishIain -> Finite187 30 Jul 2015 19:50

people who didn't vote don't count

They didn't count, they can still count in 2020 and they represent a much bigger pool of potential support than a handful of swing voters in key marginals. Convincing a significant number of them to vote next time could make all the difference if you can pull it off.

It was a perfectly legitimate result

I'm not denying that in any way, I was merely pointing out that if you can convince non-voters to vote that far out weighs the potential number of swing voters amongst those who always do.

The main reason Labour voters switched to UKIP was immigration, and Corbyn's brand of socialism has nothing to say on this.

I still don't buy that. Immigration increases pressure on housing and (downward) pressure on wages. I'm sure there are racists who just don't like immigrants, but for most it is, or so I like to think, a proximate issue and ultimately wages and housing are what they really care about. A more equitable distribution of profits and more social housing provision are precisely what Corbyn's brand of socialism is offering and are directed at the ultimate problems, not dog whistles around the proximate ones.

Do I think Corbyn has all the answers? Not even close. Do I think Cooper would make a better PM? Yes, most likely. Have Cooper, Burnham or Kendall got what it takes to win a general election? Don't make me laugh.

I can't honestly see any of the four of them winning in 2020. Corbyn's vanishing to none chance is better than the other three's snowflake in hell chance. We need another Labour leader who can actually inspire people, the apathetic non-voter more than the swing voter, to vote for the party. Corbyn, for all his faults, might just pull that off. The rest of them couldn't inspire me to kick for the surface if I was drowning.


bolshevik96 30 Jul 2015 19:48

J.C is doing well because he offers what the other candidates cannot - clear blue water between the Labour Party and the Tories. Why are so many senior Labour figures frightened of the word "socialism"?...

They`re supposed to believe in it.... or has the right`s demonization of it seeped so far into the national consciousness that even the Labour Party won`t countenance it.

The neo - liberal "democracies" in Europe ( or shall we just call them the German Federal State) are scared witless of the left and will do anything to crush it because they know that austerity is not the way forward to prosperity but is instead an economic mechanism to preserve the status quo....

opinyunated2 30 Jul 2015 19:08

There is difference between firing up 300,000 left Leaning students, and others to the cause and persuading the 60 odd million to vote for a left leaning government. Does anyone remember th effect that Michael Foot had on labour when he elated leader. Canada is about to move left to the NDP this Fall but the NDP is moving to the centre ground vacated by the Tories. activist may feel good into UK. However this JC (The London one) will simply lead them into the wilderness not the promise land.


THKMTL margsmeanders 30 Jul 2015 18:14

As Sue says , The labour party was destroyed by the gang of four . It isn't necessary to listen to idiots , anyone who has thought things out for themselves, knows precisely what parrots will say before they have begun.

And everything you have said is totally predictable cliche ! Politics is about unifying OTHERWISE diverse interest groups, and APPARENT diverse opinions.

Should you decide to stop listening and actually think instead , you might realize that there is only one' right' . There is absolutely no honour in tolerating wrongs in the name 'everyone has a right to the' wrong ' opinion. They absolutely do not.


sillylittleman Sowester 30 Jul 2015 17:59

There is a lot that can happen between now and 2020. Also there really is not a "working class" any more - at least not in the way there was in the 1970's and 80's
.
The fact that capitalism cannot provide half-decent jobs for millions does not mean the working class has disappeared. A third of the electorate do not vote at all - largely because of the sentiment that they are all bastards and there is no point.

Sue Dockett -> JamesSilkDavey 30 Jul 2015 17:33

Blair destroyed Labour credibility through the lies over WMD and taking us into an illegal war ignoring all opposition. That is why he is toxic. Even a 3 legged brain dead donkey could have won the election for Labour in 1997 the Tories were so unpopular. Despite a decreasing vote Labour were still able beat the Tories and even now are only taking 36.5% of vote. It is the supporters labour lost because of Blair we need to recruit not Tory voters who will never vote labour.


Sue Dockett El Zorro 30 Jul 2015 17:28

Why is it that the success of someone classed as "left wing" will destroy party unity? It seems the "right" impales itself on its inability to work as a team unless they get their way all the time. The gang of four did more to damage Labour in '83 than foots dufflecoat or the policies.


jimmyonebomb -> bushwoodcountryclub 30 Jul 2015 14:55

Public opinion/centre ground/general consensus etc, these aren't things that are static and constant, nor are they things that are naturally ingrained in people.

They are ingrained in them largely through what they are told through media. The centre ground/ overton window whatever you want to call it moves and shifts with the times largely dependent on who is pushing what agenda forward and outlets they have he backing of to push it out. Does he have no attraction, or is it cos people only really get messages put to them that he is a raving communist who wants to re-nationalise every corner shop, and are constantly told over and over that he is unelectable without really explaining why? Surely the decision whether somone is unelectable or not is down to the electorate, not for a few 'experts' to keep constantly telling us who is and who isn't.


Gregory Dance -> FelseEngland 30 Jul 2015 14:20

Dear False England, following the right wing nut bags who hypnotised the Blairites into selling their souls and taking the nation to hell is not on Corbyn's menu and if you had any sense not on yours either!


Gregory Dance 30 Jul 2015 14:17

Corbyn is popular because he speaks straight and has an ordinary unpolished honest persona. People recognise this as a valuable and rare person in the commons because most of the others are .... well .... lying devious crap really!

The rule of thumb - If a 'leader' or political manifesto has to be heavily marketed and repeatedly polished to make it shine, its a fraud (lipstick on a pig comes to mind), trying appear acceptable to what they hope is an undiscerning rabble.


guydabored76 JamesSilkDavey 30 Jul 2015 11:40

Nonsense. Milliband was constantly derided and labelled as a left-wing extremist. An objective analysis of the policies he advocated shows that claim to be false. We live in a plutocracy and the plutocrats want to make sure that the neoliberal consensus can never be challenged. People are waking-up to this reality, I believe, hence Corbyn's popularity.


VinceDaFox 30 Jul 2015 11:29

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership bid has a momentum even he didn't expect

Is this cutting-edge news any more? I see Corbyn's popularity as a product of the relief felt by the marginalized, ignored and excluded of the Labour movement who see just a glimmer of hope that they might just get their party back from the slick political consultants of the Blairites. It's been a long time.


guydabored76 JamesSilkDavey 30 Jul 2015 11:25

They were persuaded to vote for Cameron, a vacuous, establishment functionary with a studied look of authority on his face as he recites scripts then quickly disappears before anyone can ask him a question because then, his inadequacy would be evident. Why did the cretin avoid the election TV debates?


DaleCooperFIB JamesSilkDavey 30 Jul 2015 11:21

BTW, I voted Green in the last GE too. Mainly because the bulk of their policies were more Labour-like than Labour's.
I'm hoping Corbyn will take Labour back to the centre/left and return to policies similar to the Green's.


El Zorro 30 Jul 2015 11:15

Another Day, another union endorsement of Mr. J. Corbyn!

Will it undercut the other "more mainstream" candidates when so many larger Trades Unions and constituency labour parties are flocking to the outsider? He was supposed to be a bit of an outlier, wasn't he? You can see that Corbyn is campaigning with less pressure, more assurance because of that, as if to say: "nobody expects me to win, but it's nice if I do! But in the meantime, let's have a conversation." His demeanour has helped him too. He seems calm, unruffled, affable (so far). Is there a softness in his rivals' appeal that they've not been able to break through in the same way? If yes, that can't bode well for a leader who is starting so far behind the Tories.

But ... I wonder if it could severely impale Labour Party unity? If not physically rupturing the organization, but internally. Would centrist swing or independent voters become alienated by this hard-left turn & flock over to revive the Liberal Democrats? ... Ed Miliband allegedly ushered in many more left-leaning MPs than in the Blair-era, surely Corbyn would do the same (even if he's not elected and/or is merely a caretaker leader)? Is this the Labour Party having a summer tantrum after the election & say, "you might not like us or even have voted for us, but we are who we are! So deal with it!"

Whoever triumphs, I hope they can get their act together because the thought of ANOTHER decade of cuts, austerity and cutting off opportunities for the young at the knees is especially depressing and bleak. :-(


DaleCooperFIB JamesSilkDavey 30 Jul 2015 11:03

Sorry JamesSilkDavey, but I have to disagree with you. The media play a massive part in how they portray/present (particularly Labour) Politicians to the electorate - whether it's to continually show an embarrasing snap-shot of Miliband munching on a bacon butty, or as you say they chose to make Corbyn look like a "beardy sandal wearer" (a la the original JC, eh?).

Generally, the electorate have to base their decision making on how politicians are represented in the media.


LeonardPynchon -> ds9074 30 Jul 2015 11:00

Yes thanks I understand how it works - I have fully paid back the student loan I took out years ago.

Ironic that the Tories constantly bemoan the disincentivizing effects of taxing the wealthy - why wouldn't this be equally disincentivizing? Seems to me that discouraging poorer students from going to University is the only possible reason for doing/supporting this.

Bizarre also that you believe this does not amount to a debt - the money is loaned and then repaid is it not? I clearly remember it coming out of my bank account on a monthly basis.

The IFS notes that 'The poorest 40% of students going to university in England will now graduate with debts of up to £53,000 from a three-year course, rather than up to £40,500. In return for an extra £766 per year in cash while studying.'

That's £12,500 more - a significant sum.

The government's decision to scrap maintenance grants and replace them with loans while increasing the debt burden faced by poorer students will do little to improve the public finances, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, as only around a quarter of the loans will be repaid. Furthermore the IFS concludes that the decision to freeze the repayment threshold at £21,000 for 5 years rather than allow it to increase with inflation will see graduation repayments increase by £3,800 on average.

So a negligible effect on the public finances but a considerable debt laid specifically on the poorest students - why would the Tories do this?


guydabored76 30 Jul 2015 10:38

On a superficial level, you can tell Corbyn is the only candidate that doesn't advocate free-market capitalism by his refusal to adopt the uniform of the business classes. The fact that politicians now need to dress like financial advisors in order to have perceived credibility is another example of the corruption of neoliberalism.


godforbidowright BrigadierCrispbread 30 Jul 2015 10:35

The vestiges are alive and well. But the Westminster is quite happy to plod on without rocking the boat too much, first past the post, dodgy bicameral chambers reigning supreme in our top-heavy state...

... And then the Milliband - let alone Corbyns - face a five-year hatchet job by the Daily Mail et al, the swinging middle Englanders will sniff and wonder what that weirdo is all about, before driving out of their banal semi-detached homes in their banal semi-detatched communities to put a cross in the Conservative box for that forthright blonde chap, or that tough economic decisions fellow we've heard so many good things about.

And that'll be that.


uuuuuuu -> TheMarxOfProgress 30 Jul 2015 10:34

Voters are largely lead by propaganda; and the Tories are much better at that (and have 90% of the media in their pocket; or vice versa). For the same reason Putin is also leading the polls in Russia by a huge margin.

if you can win two elections on the basis of a factual lie ("Labour spent too much") then you must be good at propaganda.


DaleCooperFIB 30 Jul 2015 10:25

Corbyn may not win the next GE (as he doesn't fit the media's identikit PM profile), but if he becomes Labour leader he will help restore it's position to the centre/left and create a real alternative for the electorate.

If one of the more media friendly faces (Jarvis, Cooper, Burnham, Umunna) work with Corbyn in repairing the Labour party, there may be a slight chance of avoiding a further Tory term in office.

The Cons only look after a select few of the population, so God help the poor, the sick, the disabled, students, the NHS, etc if the Tories do win again.

q321gg8cla -> cpslashm 30 Jul 2015 09:32

The unions exist to stop workers becoming slaves. Thatcher smashed the mining unions because she hated the fact that the Miners had through their brotherhood in appalling work conditions, created health, education and welfare systems for their communities. Also Britain has an outdated and farcical class system and any group who can provide an alternative social model of equality and benefit to the working class, the poor, the homeless gets battered because it threatens the Conservative Political model of the BEEHIVE

AvidViewer 30 Jul 2015 09:32

Frankie Boyle's piece earlier in the week raised a smile, and this from Dan Hodges may do the same (except for the heading and the final line, which suggest that Hodges doesn't quite get what he is joking about):

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11772481/The-Labour-party-is-a-joke.-We-should-stop-taking-it-seriously.html


RadioPartizan -> ID635255522172 30 Jul 2015 09:18

For millions of people - and the numbers grow greater every day - austerity is not "abstract" its a very real and savage attack on their standard of living - pushing many of them over the edge. Osbourne's budget will make millions of people - working people - thousands of pounds worse off every year (im one of them) - in addition you have services being slashed to breaking point, a housing crisis and a whole generation of under 25s being kicked to shit (tuition fees, stopping of housing benefit, exclusion from minimum wage, work fare). At the same as these privations they see tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations being enabled to dodge their tax bill.

Is there enough affected to defeat the tories in the next election? I dont know. Will they support a labour party that sits on its hands rather than fight their corner? Will they bollocks.

As for the "guardian hymn sheet" - nearly of their commentators have in meltdown at the prospect of a corbyn led labour party ditching (failed) neo-liberalism.


unlywnted gaitero 30 Jul 2015 09:17

"Not sure whether it is hilarious or tragic how closely the pro-COrbyn comments on here match the pro-Farage comments in Torygraphland threads."
You're in some fair measure right but it is neither hilarious nor tragic but positively uplifting that people are spontaneously aroused from Left and Right to oppose the stale, status quo neoliberal political views of the established parties and MSM and how interesting to observe the MSM attacking both Farage and Corbyn along similar spurious lines.


Tim Veater 30 Jul 2015 09:10

People are crying out for an antidote to Blair, his public relation acolytes and reincarnations. Corbyn has been uniformly castigated by 'new labour' and 'right wing' types, which must speak in his favour. I, in common with many I suggest, know little about him, but in just one appearance in a recent Question Time he impressed and put the other panellists in the shade. He appeared refreshingly free of slogans and the image-maker's mark. They clearly thought he wasn't worth bothering about, although they are probably clustering now. I hope he has the sense to reject them and their dark arts. He spoke rationally, calmly and with an authority that offered at last, a promise of true opposition to the patently selfish money-only ideology of the present government. In fact it may indeed have been a glimmer of the idealism embedded in the original Labour pioneers, long since buried in the sediment of a corrupt international capitalism.


cpslashm 30 Jul 2015 09:06

One question: in a re-nationalised country, what would Jeremy Corbyn do to prevent the re-emergence of powerful unions where a few thousand, unelected by the rest of the population, can bring the country to its knees by industrial inaction? I lived through these power games where some far-off "dispute" in transport, energy, health or education screwed up ordinary people's lives. When Thatcher broke the unions, many breathed a sigh of relief but the management culture which was a major reason for the disputes wasn't touched. Corbyn may want a fairer society but will he prevent unionised unfairness?


MysteryMachines 30 Jul 2015 09:01

Rather excited by a labour leader for once, the amount of spin and rhetoric thrown at Corbyn recently, suggests what the ruling elite think of him (he's a threat).

Could he win a general election? If a lizard masquerading in human skin (Cameron) can why can Corbyn not?

First things first, he needs to get elected leader, after that one step at a time.

Feeling hopeful.


Mal Evans JohnJDuffy 30 Jul 2015 08:40

Corbyn has an ace up his sleeve, though. Well, not so much up his sleeve, it's actually on full display. Young people who have never voted have a keen eye that sees the cruel Conservative ideology underpinning the atrocious Tory policies that are devastating the already destitute and vulnerable. They are angry and they are flocking to Labour to register as supporters and members of the party. There's a huge appetite there for social justice and a determination to oust the Tories from government whenever the opportunity arises.

It's really good to see our young people becoming engaged in such a way but if the successful candidate for the Labour leadership doesn't accommodate the desire for the ideological change these young people demand they will be punished for it with falling membership rolls and at the ballot box.


johngwalia 30 Jul 2015 08:39

It would appear that Blair was also convinced that it was his charisma that got him his landslide victory in 1997. Nothing to do with the fact that the Tories had dug their own grave and buried themselves in sleaze. So much so even diehard Tories never went to the polls. He could have done so much good instead he chose to do harm at the bequest of the US. Currying favour it is called which did well for him personally.

The propaganda weapon that faces any Labour administration is formidable as the Tory driven media constantly undermines any concerted efforts to ensure that a fair and just society is created for the many rather than the few.


cherryredguitar robertdr 30 Jul 2015 08:39

JC excites the labour left and political activists, but will horrify the greater electorate.

As the Indy pointed out, a majority of the greater electorate support many of Corbyn's policies, including renationalisation, rent controls and a 75% tax rate for those who are earning over £1m.

andrewdoddsuk Attmtihss 30 Jul 2015 08:38

You meant that whenever a vaguely left-wing government is elected nowadays, it immediately comes under sustained attack from high finance? Regardless of the actual policies enacted.


computer8000 30 Jul 2015 08:30

Why has Tony Blair jumped into all this ? Talks of Heart transplant ! Seems to have got insane. Must have been paid because he speaks only when paid huge sums for his speeches. He should be in the International court of Justice at Hague and be tried for the destruction of mankind when was a prime Minister.
The other Labour candidates besides Corby lack gravity and would not command leadership.


THKMTL 30 Jul 2015 08:18

Power does not exist in the Gov . The gov. cannot rule without a compliant, lobotomized by the diseducation system, general public. The most important thing ( as J.C. said) is to create a means for discussion , and a channel for high- profile REAL public opinion, which did not exist before his gratifying and uniquely honourable attempt to do so

... ... ...

continue in pride and confidence.


prosep 30 Jul 2015 08:10

Who knows, this could be the beginnings of a Socialist renaissance that could have been lying dormant until the Scots took some action and banished a pseudo Labour party to the verve of extinction in Scotland, and will probably finish off the job come next may, with the two recent shocking abstentions uppermost in their minds.

The strong right wing press and media have at all times suffocated any socialist aspirations, and never gave it a chance to really get going and in the process kept very intelligent men like Foot and Benn always struggling to get their sound policies over . The Bankers and big business and those who controlled them always made it their goal to discredit anyone who had the temerity to espouse policies the would be beneficial to the working man/woman in the UK.

The younger voter could be the springboard for this seismic change in UK politics and one should not be surprised by this as it is patently obvious to all and sundry the past 40 years have been a failure for the ordinary person with the rich getting richer and poverty in the UK taking a firm grip on, yes, even those who are in work, with the Joseph Rowntree foundation stating over half of the 13 million people classed as in poverty in this, one of the wealthiest countries in the world today, are in actual fact working .

Thatchers main aim, if not whole raison d'etre, was to destroy the unions, and in doing so left the poor worker practically defenseless and open to exploitation, and as always happens if the opportunity is there, the bosses will exploit it, and before you start screaming nonsense, just how much of the welfare bill goes indirectly to the employers in the way of the state subsidising THEIR workers, and you can already hear the rumblings of discontent at the modest rise the Government have said they must pay .

But alas this is all pie in the sky as even if Corbyn was to win, he would have to leave the Labour party and start a new one, as it seems no one is prepared to work with him, so in essence, this my friends is just wishful thinking.


Cicero001 30 Jul 2015 07:41

Corbyn is a breath of fresh air and just what the Labour party and the UK needs. A real alternative to the austerity-loving elitist landed gentry that govern us aka the Tory party.

Even if he's not going to win the 2020 election he at least will offer an alternative view in UK politics and that can only be a good thing.

The nation needs an opposition that is completely opposed to the ruling party to give the voters a real choice.

The public have complained that there was no point in voting as all the parties were the same...well not any more!

Labour tried being Tory-Lite and it got them trounced at the election...if the voters want Tory policies they will vote for the real Tory party not a bunch of Red-Tory wannabes!!

It's time Labour got back to the Left of centre and to their true roots. Time to throw the 'Nu-Labour' experiment and it's adherents into the political dustbin.

Corbyn has my vote!


MissingInActon 30 Jul 2015 07:39

As they say across the pond, do the math.
This piece has 4,114 comments as I write, and other pieces on JC have been racking the numbers up for a while. The Mail is finding every angle they can on him, trying to do him down without much support from their readers, and has gone as far as finding the market vendor who sells him his vests. The Indy has one story and a vid on the front page, and the Mirror has dug up the old 'bigger than Jesus' tag based on his google ranking.
He has the media profile he needs to start, and manage, the debate he wants. If that debate happens across the country, I think he'll be a happy man. If Labour choose anyone else, they'll be seen as deliberately picking a second-rater. John McTiernan may not give a damn about the grassroots but, come polling day, they have the last word.
Right now, JC is that word.

[Jul 31, 2015] The Fed & The Donald

July 29, 2015 | Macro Allocation Inc.

Donald Trump's ascendance as the early GOP front-runner is symbolic of a greater global trend: growing pushback against institutional political and economic power.

To many centrist politicians and mainstream political observers, Donald Trump is a boastful, insensitive egomaniac spouting populist rhetoric. Whether such a characterization is true is not worthy of debate, which may explain why the rantings of enraged career political pundits have no impact on Mr. Trump's popularity among Republican voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and across America. It seems no amount of ink or air time spent tarring and feathering Trump's reputation sticks; in fact it seems to help Teflon Don in the polls, where he leads a crowded field of career politicians.

Donald Trump is a threat not only to the nattering nabobs in the press corps and the Republican Party. His day in the sun may be symbolic of a broader dynamic: the declining power held by historically powerful institutions. Ask yourself if Trump's campaign is making a mockery of the political process or exposing the mockery that the political process has become. A not-insignificant percentage of Americans away from the coasts, are looking past his utter lack of decorum and political savvy to hitch their wagons to his outrage.

Let's forget, for a moment, about our personal politics, preferred policies, and individual candidates we may be excited to elect. Are we supposed to forget that the Supreme Court, through its 2010 decision that corporate donors should be treated legally as individual donors under the First Amendment, effectively subordinated individual voters into mere supporting targets to which political aspirants have to appeal? Most importantly, are we supposed to nod our bobble heads in agreement with the heads of the national parties to choose a candidate they find acceptable based on which will appeal to the best funded special interests?

Is anyone really polling in favor of Donald Trump or is he conveniently filling the role of the not-so-quiet counterfactual?

I recently texted one of the premier Sunday morning political pundits with these thoughts and he texted back:

"That's what I am arguing internally. This is the country's collective middle finger to Washington."

As an investment strategist and consultant observing our current global economy and markets, it is difficult not to extrapolate this sense of helplessness against powerful institutions. Tell us again why six years of central bank financial repression is serving the interests of the greater factors-of-production? As investors, should we care about widening wealth and income gaps that are clearly part-and-parcel with central bank policies devoted to maintaining asset values (see here and here)?

Should we expect free, democratic markets that create, form and price capital efficiently - not that treat financial assets as balance sheet collateral for credit?

Who can voters elect to again have an economy that puts producers over rentiers, or to have markets that price value? I'm sure it's not Donald Trump (a rentier's rentier!), but I'm also sure it's not the heads of the Democrat and Republican Parties. Who can investors elect to keep the rentier thing going? Is that really what investors should want? It's complicated.

[Jul 30, 2015] MeiN CoiF! Zero Hedge

"...She tried to outdo Bill's $200 haircut, but he held up air traffic on the east coast for two hours, so he is still ahead."
"...She failed the bar exam. http://www.buzzfeed.com/deenashanker/fail-the-bar-become-president We're ruled by elite morons."
"...You don't have to be smart to be a politician, all you need to be is "Willing to give the banksters what they want." "

ChanceIs

No, no. The haircut was only $100. Hillary had to cough up another $500 because the Secret Service had to close down the rest of th salon for security reasons. She had to compensate the owners for the lost business from all of the empty chairs and idle beauticians.

Just kidding.

Actually, I wasn't. It wasn't the Secret Service at all. It was Hillary not wanting to suffer the indignity of being coiffed next to mere mortal in an adjacent chair. You knw...the other clients would see how much gray she really has and talk to Matt Drudge.

I always love how Drudge finds the photos showing the most wrinkles.

MontgomeryScott

Is anyone old enough to remember the time, about 3 weeks after 1992 selection, that Hitlery's masochist Boi-toy Bill (three weeks after taking office in his first term) made LAX shut down for an hour while he got his hair cut (on Air Force One, on the runway)? Seems there was this rise to impeach him in the Senate after he sold the Long Beach (CA) Naval Shipyards to COSCO (actually, he LEASED them to the civilian operations sector of the Chinese Communist People's Liberation Army, but why split hairs). It served him WELL to get the attention diverted from his FIRST presidential scandal, though.

Hitlery is doing some 'pre-selection' diversion, here...

NICE hairdo, WB. I think I see a family/pod/nest of vultures in her hair, though.

AN INSIDE JOB? HOW DARE YOU! HOW DARE YOU!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx4dM5KoqU0

Lumberjack

"You Can Legally Bribe a Government Official" http://www.globalresearch.ca/you-can-legally-bribe-a-government-official/5465490

Janine Jackson interviewed investigative reporter Lee Fang about Washington's revolving door for the July 24 CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

Janine Jackson: When Eric Holder first joined law firm Covington & Burling in 2001, he was coming from a stint as deputy attorney general under Bill Clinton. So it's no wonder that when Holder went to the Obama administration as attorney general, the folks at Covington kept his seat warm.

...JJ: Well, when you talk about Eric Holder going from Covington & Burling to the White House back to Covington & Burling back to the White House back to Covington & Burling, the response from many could be summed up, I think, as "duh." I mean, some of us don't forget 1992 Hillary Clinton saying, "For goodness sakes, you can't be a lawyer if you don't represent banks."…

Nobody For President

I was laughing at the title before I even got to the site.

She tried to outdo Bill's $200 haircut, but he held up air traffic on the east coast for two hours, so he is still ahead.

Reaper

Hitlery needed affirmative action and a stuck up coif for her SS admission. She failed the bar exam. http://www.buzzfeed.com/deenashanker/fail-the-bar-become-president

We're ruled by elite morons.

ThrowAwayYourTV

You don't have to be smart to be a politician, all you need to be is "Willing to give the banksters what they want."

MeiN CoiF! Zero Hedge


ChanceIs

No, no. The haircut was only $100. Hillary had to cough up another $500 because the Secret Service had to close down the rest of th salon for security reasons. She had to compensate the owners for the lost business from all of the empty chairs and idle beauticians.

Just kidding.

Actually, I wasn't. It wasn't the Secret Service at all. It was Hillary not wanting to suffer the indignity of being coiffed next to mere mortal in an adjacent chair. You knw...the other clients would see how much gray she really has and talk to Matt Drudge.

I always love how Drudge finds the photos showing the most wrinkles.

MontgomeryScott

Is anyone old enough to remember the time, about 3 weeks after 1992 selection, that Hitlery's masochist Boi-toy Bill (three weeks after taking office in his first term) made LAX shut down for an hour while he got his hair cut (on Air Force One, on the runway)? Seems there was this rise to impeach him in the Senate after he sold the Long Beach (CA) Naval Shipyards to COSCO (actually, he LEASED them to the civilian operations sector of the Chinese Communist People's Liberation Army, but why split hairs). It served him WELL to get the attention diverted from his FIRST presidential scandal, though.

Hitlery is doing some 'pre-selection' diversion, here...

NICE hairdo, WB. I think I see a family/pod/nest of vultures in her hair, though.

AN INSIDE JOB? HOW DARE YOU! HOW DARE YOU!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx4dM5KoqU0

Lumberjack

"You Can Legally Bribe a Government Official" http://www.globalresearch.ca/you-can-legally-bribe-a-government-official/5465490
Janine Jackson interviewed investigative reporter Lee Fang about Washington's revolving door for the July 24 CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

Janine Jackson: When Eric Holder first joined law firm Covington & Burling in 2001, he was coming from a stint as deputy attorney general under Bill Clinton. So it's no wonder that when Holder went to the Obama administration as attorney general, the folks at Covington kept his seat warm.

...JJ: Well, when you talk about Eric Holder going from Covington & Burling to the White House back to Covington & Burling back to the White House back to Covington & Burling, the response from many could be summed up, I think, as "duh." I mean, some of us don't forget 1992 Hillary Clinton saying, "For goodness sakes, you can't be a lawyer if you don't represent banks."…

Nobody For President

I was laughing at the title before I even got to the site.

She tried to outdo Bill's $200 haircut, but he held up air traffic on the east coast for two hours, so he is still ahead.

Reaper

Hitlery needed affirmative action and a stuck up coif for her SS admission. She failed the bar exam. http://www.buzzfeed.com/deenashanker/fail-the-bar-become-president

We're ruled by elite morons.

ThrowAwayYourTV

You don't have to be smart to be a politician, all you need to be is "Willing to give the banksters what they want."

Could Trump Win Zero Hedge

07/28/2015 16:45 -0400

Submitted by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

The American political class has failed the country, and should be fired. That is the clearest message from the summer surge of Bernie Sanders and the remarkable rise of Donald Trump.

Sanders' candidacy can trace it roots back to the 19th-century populist party of Mary Elizabeth Lease who declaimed:

"Wall Street owns the country. It is no longer a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of Wall Street, by Wall Street, and for Wall Street. The great common people of this country are slaves, and monopoly is the master."

"Raise less corn and more hell!" Mary admonished the farmers of Kansas.

William Jennings Bryan captured the Democratic nomination in 1896 by denouncing the gold standard beloved of the hard money men of his day: "You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

Sanders is in that tradition, if not in that league as an orator. His followers, largely white, $50,000-a-year folks with college degrees, call to mind more the followers of George McGovern than Jennings Bryan.

Yet the stagnation of workers' wages as the billionaire boys club admits new members, and the hemorrhaging of U.S. jobs under trade deals done for the Davos-Doha crowd, has created a blazing issue of economic inequality that propels the Sanders campaign.

Between his issues and Trump's there is overlap. Both denounce the trade deals that deindustrialized America and shipped millions of jobs off to Mexico, Asia and China. But Trump has connected to an even more powerful current.

That is the issue of uncontrolled and illegal immigration, the sense America's borders are undefended, that untold millions of lawbreakers are in our country, and more are coming. While most come to work, they are taking American jobs and consuming tax dollars, and too many come to rob, rape, murder and make a living selling drugs.

Moreover, the politicians who have talked about this for decades are a pack of phonies who have done little to secure the border.

Trump boasts that he will get the job done, as he gets done all other jobs he has undertaken. And his poll ratings are one measure of how far out of touch the Republican establishment is with the Republican heartland.

When Trump ridicules his rivals as Lilliputians and mocks the celebrity media, the Republican base cheers and laughs with him.

He is boastful, brash, defiant, unapologetic, loves campaigning, and is putting on a great show with his Trump planes and 100-foot-long stretch limos. "Every man a king but no man wears a crown," said Huey Long. "I'm gonna make America great again," says Donald.

Compared to Trump, all the other candidates, including Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, are boring. He makes politics entertaining, fun.

Trump also benefits from the perception that his rivals and the press want him out of the race and are desperately seizing upon any gaffe to drive him out. The piling on, the abandonment of Trump by the corporate elite, may have cost him a lot of money. But it also brought him support he would not otherwise have had.

For no group of Americans has been called more names than the base of the GOP. The attacks that caused the establishment to wash its hands of Trump as an embarrassment brought the base to his defense.

But can Trump win?

If his poll numbers hold, Trump will be there six months from now when the Sweet 16 is cut to the Final Four, and he will likely be in the finals. For if Trump is running at 18 or 20 percent nationally then, among Republicans, it is hard to see how two rivals beat him.

For Trump not to be in the hunt as the New Hampshire primary opens, his campaign will have to implode, as Gary Hart's did in 1987, and Bill Clinton's almost did in 1992.

Thus, in the next six months, Trump will have to commit some truly egregious blunder that costs him his present following. Or the dirt divers of the media and "oppo research" arms of the other campaigns will have to come up with some high-yield IEDs.

Presidential primaries are minefields for the incautious, and Trump is not a cautious man. And it is difficult to see how, in a two-man race against the favorite of the Republican establishment, he could win enough primaries, caucuses and delegates to capture 50 percent of the convention votes.

For almost all of the candidates who will have dropped out by then will have endorsed the last man standing against Trump. And should Trump be nominated, his candidacy would make Barry Goldwater look like the great uniter of the GOP.

Still, who expected Donald Trump to be in the catbird seat in the GOP nomination run before the first presidential debate? And even his TV antagonists cannot deny he has been great for ratings.

[Jul 27, 2015] Clinton Favorability Plunges, Sanders Surges Amid Classified Emails Scandal

Zero Hedge

Despite all her proclamations of new fairness doctrines, false promises of her truthfulness, and exclamations of 'everyday Americanism' Hillary Rodham Clinton is seeing her favorability ratings collapse. As populist as she dares to be, in the face of her donating captors, it appears the everyday American just isn't buying it as Gallup reports just 43% Americans view her favorably (down from 66% just a few years ago) while none other than Bernie Sanders is bounding up the popularity ladder, rising from 12% to 24% favorability in recent weeks.

Via Gallup,

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' favorable rating among Americans has doubled since Gallup's initial reading in March, rising to 24% from 12% as he has become better known. Hillary Clinton's rating has slipped to 43% from 48% in April. At the same time, Clinton's unfavorable rating increased to 46%, tilting her image negative and producing her worst net favorable score since December 2007.

JustObserving

just 43% Americans view her favorably

Isn't that 44% too many?

Obama is always the most admired man in this world in Gallup polls

We will never run out of idiots in the land of the free.

Psychopath Hillary sees great humor in Gaddafi's gruesome death: We came, we saw, he died
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y

ebworthen

Time for another "dark horse" (pun intended) DEM candidate to steal Hillary's thunder.

Younger, female, and with hints of pan-sexuality...Susan Rice?

Ralph Spoilsport

This guy at the NY Post thinks she's toast. He thinks Valerie Jarret was the leak about the emails and that the White House let her do it.

http://nypost.com/2015/07/26/hillary-has-a-dangerous-enemy-in-the-obama-...

Berspankme

I am sure the leaks come from the white house too. They own the MSM and nothing gets printed without white house okay. They don't want hilary and they are determined to deep six the bitch

LetThemEatRand

"Sanders is still an unknown to a majority of Americans, with just 44% able to rate him compared with Clinton's 89%."

I wonder why. Even ZH barely covers him. I've seen probably 10 Trump stories in the last week here, several Clinton stories, and zero (hedge) Sanders stories until now.

theTribster

Yep, exactly what I've been thinking. Would be nice to see a little love in Bernie's drection, a man with integrity (and lots of it) and some good ideas - but mostly a guy that listens to and works for us.

LetThemEatRand

My interest in Bernie is the same as Trump. They are both spoilers, and they say some truth in the process (Trump very obviously ignores the Fed and is a NeoCon, and Bernie has the problem of thinking taxation is the answer to everything). I'd like to see the MSM and certainly alternative media like ZH give both good coverage so people can hear what they are saying. Maybe someone worth electing would emerge if the vote for the banker candidates were truly split among both Teams.

CHC

I would absolutely LOVE to see Hillary just totally crash and burn! I'd be delighted if she's actually charged with violating a federal law - that would be so damn awesome. That would definitely do something to restore a little faith in our judicial system, but I'm definitely not holding my breath on that. CRASH AND BURN YOU TELETUBBY!

LetThemEatRand

Assume for a moment that Trump is the Ross Perot of the Red Team candidate this election (think George Bush against Bill Clinton). Sanders could play the same role for Hillary or other Blue Team candidate, splitting the Blues. MSM including Fox and other supposedly conservative media can't get enough of Trump (same for ZH for that matter). Not so much for Bernie. What does that tell you about who "they" want to win.

Baby Eating Dingo22

Funny how Sanders gest bashed here

He represents everything that most here clamor for


1.He is not a sell-out to party or lobbyists
2.He has been honest and consistent about his position his entire career
3.He will out the Fed
4.He will out the banksters
5.He will FINALLY aim the printers where they should have ben aimed 10 years ago. Directly at Americans and not to Wall Street

The ones that don't support him seem to think that someone should come in and stop the printing and we'll be on way to recovery. That's wrong. We're broke 20 times over. The debt's NEVER being paid back.

Let Bernie print until the reset. At least the banksters and Fed will be cut down to size and the 99% can prosper in the meantime

theTribster

Agrred. There is a lot more to this country's problems then our financial system, military - healthcare - good jobs - judicial - corruption everywhere, etc. There is no reason he can't win - it isn't all about money, he needs enough to communicate nationally which he has and more is coming. An amazing fact, there is a national Bernie meeting on the 29th, I looked at how many places around my zip (outside Philly within 50 miles) where the meeting was being held - 192! That's incredible. I then looked at our other locations (Wildwood Crest, Key Colony Beach) and both had 96 and 52 respectively. That is amazing, there is a lot more to Bernie then we know - the polls are corrupt (no surprise) as is the media - Lies and omissions...

Berspankme

Bernie and Trump tapping into pissed off americans

Nutflush60

George Will once called George Wallace's 68 campaign a warnings signal for Deomcrats. Both parties are now warnedt there are lot of angry people out there.

She has the money and organization, but I think the phoniness of Hillary will be so evident to her borderline supporters as time goes on,

Would love to see Kasich pick up mometum for the Repubs.

Bazza McKenzie

Jarrett is busy doing that. The Obama crime family is in the process of obliterating the older Clinton crime family. Then they'll pop up Joe as the Obama family's candidate.

Clinton can either sulk off with her corrupt millions or get charged. That's the path they're taking her down. And that's why the MSM is running stories critical of Clinton. They would be too afraid to do so if they thought there was any chance of her getting the nomination and being elected.

holdbuysell

To dog pile on the rabbit:

Hillary Clinton Exposed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mYW5nmS9ps&feature=youtu.be

PlayMoney

This is why we need her http://sweetness-light.com/archive/barbara-olson-on-hillarys-cattle-futures

[Jul 26, 2015] Donald Trump's Top 30 Insults

"...In a Time of Universal Deceit — Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act. -- George Orwell "
"... "You mean George Bush sends our soldiers into combat, they are severely wounded, and then he wants $120,000 to make a boring speech to them?""
"...Not that Trump is right or electable - but he's calling out the mealy-mouthed pandering politically correct make everyone like us while screwing everyone over process that is the joke of a government populated by a bunch of ass clowns - so no wonder Trump resonates."
"... "I honestly can't think of a single person I'd call a "statesman" these days. " ... joseJimenez: "Well, that is because you can only lower the bar so much then anything gets thru. Obama comes to mind."
"...At this time in history, we have long passed the point of no return. Who is president just doesn't matter anymore. The Neoliberal ideology has destroyed every social fabric. What matters is to further internalize profit and socialize cost. Yes, We Can.
"
Jul 26, 2015 | Zero Hedge
In no particular order...
  1. Former President George W. Bush: "You mean George Bush sends our soldiers into combat, they are severely wounded, and then he wants $120,000 to make a boring speech to them?" asked Trump on July 9, after reports the former president charged a vets group for a speech. "Bush didn't have the IQ [to be president]," he added on June 16.
  2. Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) — "I'm not a big fan. The last thing we need is another Bush," Trump said on June 16. Trump's account also retweeted an insult to Bush's wife on July 4th: "@RObHeilbron: @realDonaldTrump #JebBush has to like the Mexican Illegals because of his wife." It was later deleted.
  3. Hillary Clinton — "Hillary Clinton was the worst secretary of State in the history of the United States," Trump told Business Insider. His account on April 16 also retweeted an attack on Clinton: "@mplefty67: If Hillary Clinton can't satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?" Trump said a campaign staffer was responsible and deleted the tweet.
  4. Anderson Cooper — "What a waste of time being interviewed by@andersoncooper when he puts on really stupid talking heads like Tim O'Brien-dumb guy with no clue!" Trump tweeted on July 22 after his interview with the CNN anchor. During his interview, Trump told Cooper: "The people don't trust you and the people don't trust the media."
  5. Bill Cosby — Trump said he believed the sexual assault allegations against the comedian, calling him "guilty as hell." "I've known him, and I've never liked him," Trump said in a July radio interview. "I think he is a highly overrated guy, both in talent and in many other ways,"
  6. Des Moines RegisterAfter the paper called on Trump to drop out, he dismissed it as a "sophomoric editorial" and called their coverage "uneven and inconsistent, but far more importantly, very dishonest."
  7. Forbes Magazine "Why does a failed magazine like @Forbes constantly seek out trivial nonsense? Their circulation way down. @Clare_OC," Trump tweeted on July 9.
  8. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) —"What a stiff, what a stiff, Lindsey Graham. By the way he has registered zero in the polls," Trump said, at a campaign speech in Bluffton, S.C. on July 21. "A total lightweight. In the private sector, he couldn't get a job. Believe me. Couldn't get a job. He couldn't do what you people did. You're retired as hell and rich. He wouldn't be rich; he'd be poor." Trump also shared Graham's personal cellphone number and said he had begged him to help get on Fox News's "Fox and Friends." "What's this guy, a beggar? He's like begging me to help him with [the show] 'Fox and Friends.'" Trump said of Graham on "CBS This Morning," on July 21.
  9. Jonah Goldberg — "Jonah Goldberg @JonahNRO of the once great @NRO#National Review is truly dumb as a rock. Why does @BretBaier put this dummy on his show?" Trump tweeted, criticizing the conservative columnist on April 20.
  10. Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman — Trump said the Mexican drug lord would be no match for him. "Can you envision Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton negotiating with 'El Chapo', the Mexican drug lord who escaped from prison? ...Trump, however, would kick his ass!" he tweeted on July 12. Trump later called in the FBI after a death threat from a Twitter account associated with Guzman.
  11. Arianna Huffington — "The liberal clown @ariannahuff told her minions at the money losing @HuffingtonPost to cover me as entertainment. I am #1 in Huff Post Poll," Trump tweeted on July 18.
  12. Penn Jillette — After the magician and comedian criticized Trump, he responded on July 16, tweeting: "I hear @pennjillette show on Broadway is terrible. Not surprised, boring guy (Penn). Without The Apprentice, show would have died long ago." He then followed up with, "I loved firing goofball atheist Penn @pennjillette on The Apprentice. He never had a chance. Wrote letter to me begging for forgiveness."
  13. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) — "What people don't know about Kasich- he was a managing partner of the horrendous Lehman Brothers when it totally destroyed the economy!" Trump tweeted on May 20.
  14. Charles Krauthammer"One of the worst and most boring political pundits on television is @krauthammer. A totally overrated clown who speaks without knowing facts," Trump tweeted about the conservative writer and Fox News contributor on June 4. A tweet a day later called him a "dumpy political pundit" and took issue with Krauthammer's support for the Iraq war. Krauthammer brought on Trump's ire by mocking his then-low standing in the polls.
  15. Bill Kristol — When the Weekly Standard editor belittled Trump's chances against Hillary, Trump responded on July 23, tweeting, "Bill, your small and slightly failing magazine will be a giant success when you finally back Trump. Country will soar!"
  16. Mitt Romney — "Why would anybody listen to @MittRomney? He lost an election that should have easily been won against Obama. By the way, so did John McCain!" Trump tweeted of the 2012 Republican nominee on July 18.
  17. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) "He's not a war hero," Trump said at a rally on July 18. "He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured." This followed a July 16 tweet saying, "@SenJohnMcCain should be defeated in the primaries. Graduated last in his class at Annapolis--dummy!" The insults came after McCain said Trump had "fired up the crazies" on immigration.
  18. ...
  19. Mexico — Trump lambasted the southern neighbor. "The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems," he said on May 30 at his campaign launch. "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." The remarks led a number of businesses to cut their ties with him. He doubled down after the escape of a top drug kingpin. "It's a corrupt place," Trump said on July 17. "It's a terrible court system." "Let's put it this way," he added, "I'm not going to Mexico."
  20. President Obama — Trump has long said he is not sure Obama was born in the U.S. and slammed his policies, calling him the "worst ever president." Obama hit back at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, mocking Trump who was in attendance. But Trump hasn't let up. During the Baltimore riots in April this year he tweeted: "Our great African American President hasn't exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore!" He also Obama to leave office early and golf on one of his many courses. "If he'd like to play, that's fine. In fact, I'd love for him to leave early and play. That'd be a very good thing," he said at his campaign launch in June. After the Chattanooga shooting, Trump pressed Obama to lower the flag for the victims. "We have a president who just can't say a few words: 'Put the flags at half-mast for the five Marines that were just killed.' Why? Why? Why?" Trump said at a South Carolina rally on July 21. "It's almost like, does he read the papers? Does he watch television?"
  21. ...
  22. Former Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) — Perry has been a tough critic of Trump's rhetoric on immigration. "Rick Perry failed at the border. Now he is critical of me. He needs a new pair of glasses to see the crimes committed by illegal immigrants," Trump tweeted on July 5th. On July 16, he added, "@GovernorPerry failed on the border. He should be forced to take an IQ test before being allowed to enter the GOP debate." "He's doing very poorly in the polls. He put on glasses so people will think he's smart. And it just doesn't work! You know people can see through the glasses," Trump said at a rally on July 21.
  23. Former Gov. George Pataki (R-N.Y.) — Trump tweeted that Pataki "couldn't be elected dog catcher if he ran again—so he didn't!" Trump tweeted July 1. He followed up with: ".@GovernorPataki was a terrible governor of NY, one of the worst -- would've been swamped if he ran again!"
  24. Karl Rove — Trump went off on the Republican strategist's record in 2012 record. "@KarlRove wasted $400 million + and didn't win one race—a total loser. @FoxNews," he tweeted on July 16, followed by "Irrelevant clown @KarlRove sweats and shakes nervously on @FoxNews as he talks 'bull' about me. Has zero cred. Made fool of himself in '12." Trump even called out the network: "@FoxNewsYou shouldn't have @KarlRove on the air—he's a clown with zero credibility—a Bushy!"
  25. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — "[Sanders] knows the country is ripped off. And I know the country is being ripped off," Trump told The Hill on July 23. "The difference is that I can do something about it and he can't. He'll never be able to negotiate with China."
  26. Republican National Committee — "The RNC has not been supportive. They were always supportive when I was a contributor. I was their fair-haired boy," Trump toldThe Hill on July 23. "The RNC has been, I think, very foolish."
  27. Chuck Todd —"I hear that sleepy eyes @chucktodd will be fired like a dog from ratings starved Meet The Press? I can't imagine what is taking so long!" Trump tweeted on July 12 about the "Meet the Press" host.
  28. ...
  29. The Wall Street JournalTrump has had a long feud with owner Rupert Murdoch. After the paper questioned his candidacy, Trump tweeted on July 20: "The ever dwindling @WSJ which is worth about 1/10 of what it was purchased for, is always hitting me politically. Who cares!"
  30. Juan Williams — "@TheJuanWilliams you never speak well of me & yet when I saw you at Fox you ran over like a child and wanted a picture," tweeted Trump on July 3 of the Fox personality.

realmoney2015

"Hillary Clinton was the worst secretary of State in the history of the United States," - Donald Trump

So why does he give her foundation money? Why did he support her 2008 campaign. Was it bad judgement and now he has changed his ways and learned his lesson? Or is this all for show to win support? Until he admits he was wrong and made a mistake, I will assume he is still a clinton supporter.

ctiger2

Ummm... cause Trump realizes you have to BUY influence in a fascist faux constitutional republic with rigged democratic elections? Like the bankers Trump funds both sides.

buzzsaw99

Gonzales: There is one question, Inspector Callahan: Why do they call you "Dirty Harry"?

De Georgio: Ah that's one thing about our Harry, doesn't play any favorites! Harry hates everybody: Limeys, Micks, Hebes, Fat Dagos, Niggers, Honkies, Chinks, you name it.

Gonzales: How does he feel about Mexicans?

De Georgio: Ask him.

Harry Callahan: Especially Spics.

Normalcy Bias

What about some of the comments Trump made about Rosie O'Donnell when they were having a flame war? Funny stuff...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d32577Hom08

elegance

That is fucking brilliant! Comedy gold. I do want that guy to be US president. Only candidate I follow on twitter.

ebworthen

It is refreshing to hear someone say what they think.

Not that Trump is right or electable - but he's calling out the mealy-mouthed pandering politically correct make everyone like us while screwing everyone over process that is the joke of a government populated by a bunch of ass clowns - so no wonder Trump resonates.

realmoney2015

But he has never mentioned the federal reserve or the bankers that actually control those politicians. Until we end the fed no major positive changes will happen.


chunga

Lucy promises this time she won't pull the football away so the few remaining voters, once again, go for the kick.

I honestly can't think of a single person I'd call a "statesman" these days.

joseJimenez

Well, that is because you can only lower the bar so much then anything gets thru. Obama comes to mind.

Lumberjack

The video is hysterical but remembering how birds of a feather act, one has to wonder.

http://dailybail.com/home/giuliani-tells-don-imus-i-wouldnt-lock-up-jami...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IrE6FMpai8

mamasan

In a Time of Universal Deceit — Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act. -- George Orwell

Omega_Man

Believe it or not. USA's only chance is with Donald.

If the mainstream zio media attacks him so much - well there is your answer.

If he is elected he should take great care... remember, someone made the decision in Dallas in November 22, 1963 to use the convertible limo... it was not by coincidence.

dogfish

The USA cant be saved. its suicidal.

joseJimenez

I have been thinking the same thing for a while. We know the scumbags that run this won't like a loose cannon

reader2010

Americans need more entertainment from public discourse if there's any.

At this time in history, we have long passed the point of no return. Who is president just doesn't matter anymore. The Neoliberal ideology has destroyed every social fabric. What matters is to further internalize profit and socialize cost. Yes, We Can.


Speech Teddy Roosevelt Gave Right After Getting Shot...

by Henry Blodget

Oct. 14, 2011 | Business Insider

Given the tension in the country today over inequality, greed, corporate influence over politics, taxes, regulation, etc., it seems worth noting that these issues aren't exactly new.

The recent extremes of corporate power and profitability juxtaposed with super-high unemployment and stagnant wages have just made them hit a boiling point.

So it's worth revisiting a famous populist speech Teddy Roosevelt gave in 1912, when similar issues plagued the country.

What's remarkable about the speech is not that Roosevelt gave it.

It's that he gave it a few minutes after getting shot by some anarchist who was pissed off that he was running for a third term.

The assassin's bullet hit Roosevelt in the chest. Before it reached his skin, however, it hit the pages of the speech he was planning to give, which were in his vest pocket. The bullet penetrated the pages, but they slowed it down. When the bullet finally hit Teddy Roosevelt, therefore, it was going too slowly to kill him.

So he insisted on making the speech.

And here it is:

"It Takes More Than That to Kill a Bull Moose":
The Leader and The Cause*

* Address at Milwaukee, Wis., October, 14, 1912. Just before entering the auditorium at Milwaukee, an attempt was made on Colonel Roosevelt's life. The above speech is from a stenographic report, differing considerably from the prepared manuscript.

[TR was shot in an assassination attempt by John Schrank, who had been having disturbing dreams about TR's predecessor, William McKinley and also thought that no president should serve more than two terms.
Schrank spent the rest of his life in a mental institution. No one came to visit him. He died shortly after Franklin Delano Roosevelt, TR's fifth cousin, was elected to a third term. Schrank had stalked TR for thousands of miles before getting a clear shot at him in Milwaukee. Schrank was caught on the spot.]

Friends, I shall ask you to be as quiet as possible. I don't know whether you fully understand that I have just been shot; but it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose. But fortunately I had my manuscript, so you see I was going to make a long speech, and there is a bullet - there is where the bullet went through - and it probably saved me from it going into my heart. The bullet is in me now, so that I cannot make a very long speech, but I will try my best.

And now, friends, I want to take advantage of this incident to say a word of solemn warning to my fellow countrymen. First of all, I want to say this about myself: I have altogether too important things to think of to feel any concern over my own death; and now I cannot speak to you insincerely within five minutes of being shot. I am telling you the literal truth when I say that my concern is for many other things. It is not in the least for my own life. I want you to understand that I am ahead of the game, anyway. No man has had a happier life than I have led; a happier life in every way. I have been able to do certain things that I greatly wished to do, and I am interested in doing other things. I can tell you with absolute truthfulness that I am very much uninterested in whether I am shot or not. It was just as when I was colonel of my regiment. I always felt that a private was to be excused for feeling at times some pangs of anxiety about his personal safety, but I cannot understand a man fit to be a colonel who can pay any heed to his personal safety when he is occupied as he ought to be with the absorbing desire to do his duty.

I am in this cause with my whole heart and soul. I believe that the Progressive movement is making life a little easier for all our people; a movement to try to take the burdens off the men and especially the women and children of this country. I am absorbed in the success of that movement.

Friends, I ask you now this evening to accept what I am saying as absolutely true, when I tell you I am not thinking of my own success. I am not thinking of my life or of anything connected with me personally. I am thinking of the movement. I say this by way of introduction, because I want to say something very serious to our people and especially to the newspapers. I don't know anything about who the man was who shot me to-night. He was seized at once by one of the stenographers in my party, Mr. Martin, and I suppose is now in the hands of the police. He shot to kill. He shot - the shot, the bullet went in here - I will show you.

I am going to ask you to be as quiet as possible for I am not able to give to challenge of the bull moose quite as loudly. Now, I do not know who he was or what he represented. He was a coward. He stood in the darkness in the crowd around the automobile and when they cheered me, and I got up to bow, he stepped forward and shot me in the darkness.

Now, friends, of course, I do not know, as I say, anything about him; but it is a very natural thing that weak and vicious minds should be inflamed to acts of violence by the kind of awful mendacity and abuse that have been heaped upon me for the last three months by the papers in the interest of not only Mr. Debs but of Mr. Wilson and Mr. Taft.

Friends, I will disown and repudiate any man of my party who attacks with such foul slander and abuse any opponent of any other party; and now I wish to say seriously to all the daily newspapers, to the Republicans, the Democrat, and Socialist parties, that they cannot, month in month out and year in and year out, make the kind of untruthful, of bitter assault that they have made and not expect that brutal, violent natures, or brutal and violent characters, especially when the brutality is accompanied by a not very strong mind; they cannot expect that such natures will be unaffected by it.

Now, friends, I am not speaking for myself at all, I give you my word, I do not care a rap about being shot; not a rap.

I have had a good many experiences in my time and this is one of them. What I care for is my country. I wish I were able to impress upon my people -- our people, the duty to feel strongly but to speak the truth of their opponents. I say now, I have never said one word one the stump against any opponent that I cannot defend. I have said nothing that I could not substantiate and nothing that I ought not to have said -- nothing that I -- nothing that, looking back at, I would not say again.

Now, friends, it ought not to be too much to ask that our opponents -[speaking to some one on the stage]-I am not sick at all. I am all right. I cannot tell you of what infinitesimal importance I regard this incident as compared with the great issues at stake in this campaign, and I ask it not for my sake, not the least in the world, but for the sake of common country, that they make up their minds to speak only the truth, and not use that kind of slander and mendacity which if taken seriously must incite weak and violent natures to crimes of violence. Don't you make any mistake. Don't you pity me. I am all right. I am all right and you cannot escape listening to the speech either.

And now, friends, this incident that has just occurred - this effort to assassinate me- emphasizes to a peculiar degree the need of the Progressive movement. Friends, every good citizen ought to do everything in his or her power to prevent the coming of the day when we shall see in this country two recognized creeds fighting one another, when we shall see the creed of the "Havenots" arraigned against the creed of the "Haves." When that day comes then such incidents as this to-night will be commonplace in our history. When you make poor men - when you permit the conditions to grow such that the poor man as such will be swayed by his sense of injury against the men who try to hold what they improperly have won, when that day comes, the most awful passions will be let loose and it will be an ill day for our country.

Now, friends, what we who are in this movement are endeavoring to do is forestall any such movement for justice now - a movement in which we ask all just men of generous hearts to join with the men who feel in their souls that lift upward which bids them refuse to be satisfied themselves while their countrymen and countrywomen suffer from avoidable misery. Now, friends, what we Progressives are trying to do is to enroll rich or poor, whatever their social or industrial position, to stand together for the most elementary rights of good citizenship, those elementary rights which are the foundation of good citizenship in this great Republic of ours.

(At this point a renewed effort was made to persuade Mr. Roosevelt to conclude his speech.)

My friends are a little more nervous than I am. Don't you waste any sympathy on me. I have had an A-1 time in life and I am having it now.

I never in my life was in any movement in which I was able to serve with such whole-hearted devotion as in this; in which I was able to feel as I do in this that common weal. I have fought for the good of our common country.

And now, friends, I shall have to cut short much of that speech that I meant to give you, but I want to touch on just two or three points.

In the first place, speaking to you here in Milwaukee, I wish to say that the Progressive party is making its appeals to all our fellow citizens without any regard to their creed or to their birthplace. We do not regard as essential the way in which a man worships his God or as being affected by where he was born. We regard it as a matter of spirit and purpose. In New York, while I was police commissioner, the two men from whom I got the most assistance were Jacob Riis, who was born in Denmark, and Arthur von Briesen, who was born in Germany - both of them as fine examples of the best and highest American citizenship as you could find in any part of this country.

I have just been introduced by one of your own men here - Henry Cochems. His grandfather, his father, and that father's seven brothers, all served in the United States army, and they entered it four years after they had come to this country from Germany. Two of them left their lives, spent their lives, on the field of battle. I am all right - I am a little sore. Anybody has a right to be sore with a bullet in him. You would find that if I was in battle now I would be leading my men just the same. Just the same way I am going to make this speech.

At one time I promoted five men for gallantry on the field of battle. Afterward in making some inquiries about them I found that two of them were Protestants, two Catholic, and one a Jew. One Protestant came from Germany and one was born in Ireland. I did not promote them because of their religion. It just happened that way. If all five of them had been Jews I would have promoted them, or if all five of them had been Protestants I would have promoted them; or if they had been Catholics. In that regiment I had a man born in Italy who distinguished himself by gallantry; there was another young fellow, a son of Polish parents, and another who came here when he was a child from Bohemia, who likewise distinguished themselves; and friends, I assure you, that I was incapable of considering any question whatever, but the worth of each individual as a fighting man. If he was a good fighting man, then I saw that Uncle Sam got the benefit of it. That is all.

I make the same appeal to our citizenship. I ask in our civic life that we in the same way pay heed only to the man's quality of citizenship, to repudiate as the worst enemy that we can have whoever tries to get us to discriminate for or against any man because of his creed or birthplace.

Now, friends, in the same way I want out people to stand by one another without regard to differences or class or occupation. I have always stood by labor-unions. I am going to make one omission to-night. I have prepared my speech because Mr. Wilson had seen fit to attack me by showing up his record in comparison with mine. But I am not going to do that to-night. I am going to simply speak of what I myself have done and what I think ought to be done in this country of ours.

It is essential that here should be organizations of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize. My appeal for organized labor is two-fold; to the outsider and the capitalist I make my appeal to treat the laborer fairly, to recognize the fact that he must organize that there must be such organization, that the laboring man must organize for his own protection, and that it is the duty of the rest of us to help him and not hinder him in organizing. That is one-half appeal that I make.

Now, the other half is to the labor man himself. My appeal to him is to remember that as he wants justice, so he must do justice. I want every labor man, every labor leader, every organized union man, to take the lead in denouncing disorder and in denouncing the inciting of riot; that in this country we shall proceed under the protection of our laws and with all respect to the laws, I want the labor men to feel in their turn that exactly as justice must be done them so they must do justice. They must bear their duty as citizens, their duty to this great country of ours, and that they must not rest content unless they do that duty to the fullest degree.

I know these doctors, when they get hold of me, will never let me go back, and there are just a few more things that I want to say to you.

And here I have got to make one comparison between Mr. Wilson and myself, simply because he has invited it and I cannot shrink from it. Mr. Wilson has seen fit to attack me, to say that I did not do much against the trusts when I was President. I have got two answers to make to that. In the first place what I did, and then I want to compare what I did when I was President with what Mr. Wilson did not do when he was governor.

When I took the office the antitrust law was practically a dead letter and the interstate commerce law in as poor a condition. I had to revive both laws. I did. I enforced both. It will be easy enough to do now what I did then, but the reason that it is easy now is because I did it when it was hard.

Nobody was doing anything. I found speedily that the interstate commerce law by being made perfect could be made a most useful instrument for helping solve some of our industrial problems. So with the antitrust law. I speedily found out that almost the only positive good achieved by such a successful lawsuit as the Northern Securities suit, for instance, was in establishing the principle that the government was supreme over the big corporation, but by itself that the law did not accomplish any of the things that we ought to have accomplished; and so I began to fight for the amendment of the law along the lines of the interstate commerce law, and now we propose, we Progressives, to establish and interstate commission having the same power over industrial concerns that the Interstate Commerce Commission has over railroads, so that whenever there is in the future a decision rendered in such important matters as the recent suits against the Standard Oil, the Sugar - no, not that - Tobacco - Tobacco Trust - we will have a commission which will see that the decree of the court is really made effective; that it is not made a merely nominal decree.

Our opponents have said that we intend to legalize monopoly. Nonsense. They have legalized monopoly. At this moment the Standard Oil and Tobacco Trust monopolies are legalized; they are being carried on under the decree of the Supreme Court. Our proposal is really to break up monopoly. Our proposal is to lay down certain requirements, and then to require the commerce commission - the industrial commission - to see that the trusts live up to those requirements. Our opponents have spoken as if we were going to let the commission declare what those requirements should be. Not at all. We are going to put the requirements in the law and then see that the commission requires them to obey that law.

And now, friends, as Mr. Wilson has invited the comparison, I only want to say this: Mr. Wilson has said that the States are the proper authorities to deal with the trusts. Well, about eighty percent of the trusts are organized in New Jersey. The Standard Oil, the Tobacco, the Sugar, the Beef, all those trusts are organized in the state of New Jersey and the laws of New Jersey say that their charters can at any time be amended or repealed if they misbehave themselves and give the government ample power to act about those laws, and Mr. Wilson has been governor a year and nine months and he has not opened his lips. The chapter describing what Mr. Wilson has done about trusts in New Jersey would read precisely like a chapter describing snakes in Ireland, which ran: "There are no snakes in Ireland." Mr. Wilson has done precisely and exactly nothing about the trusts.

I tell you, and I told you at the beginning, I do not say anything on the stump that I do not believe. I do not say anything I do not know. Let any of Mr. Wilson's friends on Tuesday point out one thing or let Mr. Wilson point out one thing that he has done about the trusts as governor of New Jersey.

And now, friends, there is one thing I want to say especially to you people here in Wisconsin. All that I have said so far is what I would say in any part of the Union. I have a peculiar right to ask that in this great contest you men and women of Wisconsin shall stand with us. You have taken the lead in progressive movements here in Wisconsin. You have taught the rest of us to look to you for inspiration and leadership. Now, friends, you have made that movement here locally. You will being doing a dreadful injustice to yourselves; you will be doing a dreadful injustice to the rest of us throughout the Union, if you fail to stand with us now that we are making this national movement. What I am about to say now I want yo to understand. If I speak of Mr. Wilson I speak with no mind of bitterness. I merely want to discuss the difference of policy between the Progressive and the Democratic party and to ask you to think for yourselves which party you will follow. I will say that, friends, because the Republican party is beaten. Nobody needs to have any idea that anything can be done with the Republican party.

When the Republican party - not the Republican party - when the bosses in control of the Republican party, the Barneses and Penroses, last June stole the nomination and wrecked the Republican party for good and all - I want to point out to you that nominally they stole that nomination from me, but it was really from you. They did not like me, and the longer they live the less cause they will have to like me. But while they don't like me, they dread you. You are the people that they dread. They dread the people themselves, and those bosses and the big special interests behind them made up their mind that they would rather see the Republican party wrecked than see it come under the control of the people themselves. So I am not dealing with the Republican party. There are only two ways you can vote this year. You can be progressive or reactionary. Whether you vote Republican or Democratic it does not make a difference, you are voting reactionary.

Now, the Democratic party in its platform and through the utterances of Mr. Wilson has distinctly committed itself to the old flintlock, muzzle-loaded doctrine of States' rights, and I have said distinctly we are for people's rights. We are for the rights of the people. If they can be obtained best through National Government, then we are for national rights. We are for people's rights however it is necessary to secure them.

Mr. Wilson has made a long essay against Senator Beveridge's bill to abolish child labor. It is the same kind of argument that would be made against our bill to prohibit women from working more than eight hours a day in industry. It is the same kind of argument that would have to be made; if it is true, it would apply equally against our proposal to insist that in continuous industries there shall be by law one day's rest in seven and three-shift eight-hour day. You have labor laws here in Wisconsin, and chamber of commerce will tell you that because of that fact there are industries that will not come to Wisconsin. They prefer to stay outside where they can work children of tender years, where they can work women fourteen and sixteen hours a day, where if it is a continuous industry, they can work men twelve hours a day and seven days a week.

Now, friends, I know that you of Wisconsin would never repeal those laws even if they are at your commercial hurt, just as I am trying to get New York to adopt such laws even though it will be to the New York's commercial hurt. But if possible I want to arrange it so that we can have justice without commercial hurt, and you can only get that if you have justice enforced nationally. You won't be burdened in Wisconsin with industries not coming to the State if the same good laws are extended all over the other States. Do you see what I mean? The States all compete in a common market; and it is not justice to the employers of a State that has enforced just and proper laws to have them exposed to the competition of another State where no such laws are enforced. Now, the Democratic platform, and their speakers declare we shall not have such laws. Mr. Wilson has distinctly declared that we shall not have a national law to prohibit the labor of children, to prohibit child labor. He has distinctly declared that we shall not have a law to establish a minimum wage for women.

I ask you to look at our declaration and hear and read our platform about social and industrial justice and then, friends, vote for the Progressive ticket without regard to me, without regard to my personality, for only by voting for that platform can you be true to the cause of progress throughout this Union.

Thanks to reader Bob Sharak for sending the speech along.

[Jul 26, 2015] Hillary Clinton aides Wall Street links raise economic policy doubts

"...Hillary Clinton is Wall St.'s contingency plan. No matter who wins, republican or democrat, they're still the real winner."
.
"...She is a hypocrite on her knees to the rich she sucks on, failing in the fight for the rights of regular Americans who need her to stand up for them.
.
On the horizon is the end of America presented to us by Republican candidates -Scott Walker- a wholly terrifying, destructive authoritarian candidate and Bush who wants a war with Iran just because war runs in his family. Neoliberalism their secret philosophy, means wealth rules and crushes every government protection or benefit in the name of freedom from all regulation, enabling unlimited profit for the un-taxable rich with nothing but corporate slavery and the underclass for the American people. That's what Republicans and their handlers call true freedom. Freedom from the ability to resist the rape of the people and planet by the psychopathic rich.
.
1 in 5 children are hungry now, the hungrier we all get the weaker we all are. Bow down now and worship the job creators for they provide us with the heaven of low wage work. We owe them the deepest respect, tax breaks and perfect lives while they find a million new ways to undermine everything that makes us human beings, teaching us to be psychopathic like them selfish, vengeful, dishonest, racist and just plain murderous.
.
The Republicans, as the face of the oligarchy, will no doubt legislate a "final solution" to the black problem, the brown problem and the moslem problem, establishing white supremacy as their assumed right as God's representatives on earth.
.
Citizens United has unleashed the psychopathic society and it like a smiling BTK killer will rip the guts out of America and turn it into a killing field.
Nobody seems to be reacting to the American progression toward the ultimate terror state, their heads buried in their media asses cannot see anything wrong. In 2017 Oligarchs with the finest military in the world at their disposal will be ready to kill in the name of peace, new markets and new profit.
.
We have taken leave of our senses - if we elect ANY Republican we have signed our own death warrant. "
The Guardian

Both Nides and Hormats have a strong history of taking pro-business stances on financial regulation and other issues near and dear to progressives. While at Morgan Stanley, which received a federal bailout, Nides pushed for the Obama administration to "find the right balance" in avoiding criticism of Wall Street in the aftermath of the financial crisis. He also played an important role in the Bill Clinton administration lobbying members of Congress to vote for Nafta in 1993.

Hormats, who has been described as Clinton's "economic guru", boasted of the Clinton State Department's support of the business community in a 2013 interview. He is also on the record being supportive of partial privatization of social security. Hormats also touted the benefits of "widescale deregulation" in the 1990s and strongly supported increased trade with China.

Nides, in particular, has played a major role in Clinton's current campaign. He has been one of the campaign's top bundlers of contributions and responsible for raising over $100,000 for the former secretary of state. He has been tipped as a future White House chief of staff in a Clinton administration. Further, employees of Morgan Stanley, where Nides serves as vice-chairman, have given Clinton more than $90,000 in the past quarter. This is more than every Republican candidate combined has received from the firm.

Sroka said: "Democrats want and the American people need a president who truly understands that the problem isn't that Wall Street firms or even Wall Street front groups like the Third Way have too little power in Washington, and that one very easy way to curb Wall Street's insatiable greed is to make sure that their former employees aren't on your payroll advising you."

Sroka was echoed by Kurt Walters, spokesman for the progressive campaign finance reform group Rootstrikers, who expressed his trepidation about potential staffers in a Clinton administration based on her past track record. "There's a lot of interest in the kind of people Secretary Clinton would hire in the executive branch, but the reality is she's already been in the executive branch and she surrounded herself with Wall Street insiders."

Profhambone -> 2miners 26 Jul 2015 12:55

It will be hard but he has principles and he presents a plan: tax the wealthy, stop the overseas empire building, infrastructure investment for re-building the middle class, bring back Glass-Steagall, cut defense, increase education. People want something other than the misty wishy-washy promise of illusion which the Clintons and the Bushes excel in doing.

Profhambone -> Cayce Jones 26 Jul 2015 12:50

But the point is Hillary is already owned by Big Business. We can't take much more from these vampires. The middle class is drying out and blowing away. If Hillary has no objection to the revolving door then she is just another illusion like Obama turned out to be....

peacefulmilitant 26 Jul 2015 12:43

Clinton is very wealthy and her son-in-law is a banker. What links do people expect her to have?

Ann Blasius -> Cayce Jones 26 Jul 2015 12:41

Both sides of the aisle are owned by Wall Street. That's why this country is in the shape it's in.

Joseph DeLassus 26 Jul 2015 12:29

If Bernie Sanders or Martin O'Malley start to rise more in the polls the Clinton people will try and paint them as far left wild eyed radicals. But if you examine the things Sanders and O'Malley stand for they are no different than mainstream Democratic proposals before Bill Clinton took the party to the right and closer to Wall Street. So it makes progressive ideas seem extreme. They are not. What is extreme is the way in which big money interests controls all three branches of government and intends to keep it that way.

CivilDiscussion 26 Jul 2015 12:05

Yeah, yeah -- but she might, maybe, possibly support an increased minimum wage, maybe extended out over ten years or so -- doesn't that make her progressive and a big champion of the working class? Just as her precious hubby, and Barack Obama, the first priority is to elect a Democrat so they can save us from those awful Republicans. NO, we have had enough of fake liberals who are bankrolled by bankers. Why not just support the GOP who at least tells that they want to make the rich richer and don't pussyfoot around and pretend to like the non-rich? But Hillary is a -- woman -- how can we not see what a fantastic thing that is? First a black president who loves bankers, then a woman president who loves bankers. Isn't that progress? No matter that most Americans are sinking into poverty and unemployment. This is the party of FDR now.

Shizz MacDribble -> 2miners 26 Jul 2015 11:48

At the moment, it is the Obama administration DOJ that is saying Clinton may have broken the law using her private email account to send classified messages. Yeah. You read that right. The Department of Justice under a democratic administration is now investigating Clinton for possible criminal activities. Sure, they will probably whitewash the whole thing in the end. The average person has little to no concept that the SMTP or POP3 they use to send their "private" emails are not secure protocols. They don't know the meaning of transmission control protocol. You can include the majority of people investigating the issue in the group of the networking ignorant. And don't try to throw any BS arguments about TLS or SSL at me. If one is using a private account or, as in Clinton's case, not using the government network, then copies of the messages one sends can still be on every public email relay along the way. In that case, all any militants would need to intercept the classified information in those emails is one IT person at any one of the relay points. In the end, the citizenry will just shrug all of this off and, yeah, it will be another waste of time and money. It will mostly be wasted because justice will not be served and the U.S. public will continue being duped by its servants. There are no new stories. Nothing ever changes. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

MadHatterSays -> veloboldie 26 Jul 2015 11:33

Hillary Clinton is Wall St.'s contingency plan. No matter who wins, republican or democrat, they're still the real winner.

Cayce Jones 26 Jul 2015 11:32

While the article notes campaign contributions by Wall Street, it fails to mention how much money has been given to Super PACs. Jeb Bush has received over $100 million in Super PAC funds, while Hillary's total is $15 million.
She has raised much more in direct campaign contributions. The difference between the campaign money and the Super PAC money is that we can look at the FEC filings and see the names of who has contributed. The fact that Hillary's funding is much more transparent should not be used against her.
Cruz and Rubio each have over $30 million in Super PAC money. And these PACs don't have to reveal who is giving them the money. The comparison between how much Morgan Stanley has given in campaign money to Democrats versus Republicans is a very small part of the picture, because Morgan Stanley could have contributed millions to any of these Super PACs and nobody will know.

2miners 26 Jul 2015 11:12

And the link to Wall St. for our current president, Obama's 2008 campaign received $42 million — "more than any other candidate in history" — from "Wall Street bankers and financial insiders."

Newsworthy piece my arse.

mallakhan123 26 Jul 2015 10:53

Money in politics will kill us all. Hillary is foolish. If she had rejected the big money and gone to the people like Bernie Sanders has done, she could have won easily, but now she is exposed as a shill for big money, everybody loses. She is a hypocrite on her knees to the rich she sucks on, failing in the fight for the rights of regular Americans who need her to stand up for them.

On the horizon is the end of America presented to us by Republican candidates -Scott Walker- a wholly terrifying, destructive authoritarian candidate and Bush who wants a war with Iran just because war runs in his family. Neoliberalism their secret philosophy, means wealth rules and crushes every government protection or benefit in the name of freedom from all regulation, enabling unlimited profit for the un-taxable rich with nothing but corporate slavery and the underclass for the American people. That's what Republicans and their handlers call true freedom. Freedom from the ability to resist the rape of the people and planet by the psychopathic rich.

1 in 5 children are hungry now, the hungrier we all get the weaker we all are. Bow down now and worship the job creators for they provide us with the heaven of low wage work. We owe them the deepest respect, tax breaks and perfect lives while they find a million new ways to undermine everything that makes us human beings, teaching us to be psychopathic like them selfish, vengeful, dishonest, racist and just plain murderous.

The Republicans, as the face of the oligarchy, will no doubt legislate a "final solution" to the black problem, the brown problem and the moslem problem, establishing white supremacy as their assumed right as God's representatives on earth.

Citizens United has unleashed the psychopathic society and it like a smiling BTK killer will rip the guts out of America and turn it into a killing field.
Nobody seems to be reacting to the American progression toward the ultimate terror state, their heads buried in their media asses cannot see anything wrong. In 2017 Oligarchs with the finest military in the world at their disposal will be ready to kill in the name of peace, new markets and new profit.
We have taken leave of our senses - if we elect ANY Republican we have signed our own death warrant. And Hillary, she will be the face of a loving grandma on a Hallmark card as the climate ,like a mad dog, eats us alive.

allymaxy Tom Voloshen 26 Jul 2015 10:37

The Roosevelt's belonged to the 1% of their time but their wealth was not held against them because they were populists and were trusted.

HC makes unforced errors that for someone who's been running for the top job for 30 years are confounding and hard to understand.

For someone schooled in politics and the way Washington works one would think she would do everything possible so as not to give ammunition to her opponents.

HC never should have had a server in her home and now should turn it over to the FBI. But she fights for herself more than she would fight for ordinary Americans, and the electorate doesn't trust her.

She is also running one of the most lackluster campaigns in recent history. That's why progressives are looking at Bernie.

If you want to revisit an inspired speech by a progressive known to voters for years, read Teddy Roosevelt's 1912 speech to a crowd in Milwaukee right after he was shot in the chest. Roosevelt's heart was in the right place, but we can't say the same about Hillary's.

http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-the-famous-populist-speech-teddy-roosevelt-gave-right-after-getting-shot-2011-10

DatelessNerd bcarey 26 Jul 2015 09:54

Historically, Clinton's list of top contributors has read like a Wall Street Who's Who: https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=Career&cid=n00000019

PatrickTrombly 26 Jul 2015 09:37

Wall Street is Wall Street.

About what will you "confront them" exactly?

Do you even know what it is that they do that adversely affects Main Street?

Don't give us meaningless phrases like "insatiable greed" or "unfettered capitalism" or "shadow banking" or "risky derivatives." Explain it.

Not a trick question. There is an answer. But if you don't know it, you can't fix the problem.

Hint - what was materially "exotic" about an "exotic" mortgage. And no, it wasn't interest only for 2 years - all 30 year loans are almost i/o at first.

Hint - what is the real reason that Warren can't break up "money center banks?" What function do they perform?

Hint - what slogan popular among the OWS protesters would, if acted upon in 2001, have prevented the housing bubble, crash and crisis?

Wall Street is the channel through which the policies that produce booms and busts, and that have transformed the US from a savings based economy to a debt based economy, flow.

Those policies are called

Open
Market
Operations

in order to artificially reduce interest rates. They print money and use it to buy securities from the big banks. Or they lend it to the big banks at 0.25%.The big banks get the money when it's still worth something.

elboberto -> mcgarnicle 26 Jul 2015 09:30

She chose corporate lawyering as a way of life before politics. Her Daughter worked a short time in that world. Son-in-law comes from Goldman Sachs and runs a hedge "fund." He comes from a similar Democrat family who got into politics and made their money off politics and political ties just like the Clintons. Wall Street and the financial industry are a large and integral part of her social, political and financial life. She is not going to do anything to change that arrangement.

Tom Voloshen 26 Jul 2015 09:24

The Clintons make hundreds of millions of dollars simply giving speeches and then talk about income inequality, how amusing.

wohlgemuth 26 Jul 2015 09:21

This is why no matter how progressive she tries to sound we are not trusting her. She has to call on Robert Reich or Stiglits (sp) or Krugman or David K. Johnson. There is NO Freemarket outside of the one percent, outside of the ones who hold the cash and the power.

[Jul 24, 2015] guaranteed retirement accounts

"The government would invest the money and guarantee a rate of return" So this is duplicate of TIPS with a twist: that money is going to WALL STREET one way or other.
Jul 24, 2015 | nakedcapitalism.com

Clinton advisor Teresa "Ghilarducci's big idea is to create government-run, guaranteed retirement accounts ("GRAs," for short). Taxpayers would be required to put 5 percent of their annual income into savings, with the money managed by the Social Security Administration. They could only opt out if their employer offered a traditional pension, and they wouldn't be able to withdraw the money as readily and early as with a 401(k). The government would invest the money and guarantee a rate of return, adjusted to inflation" [National Journal]. Because fiat money is only for banksters.

Push to lift minimum wage now "serious business" [New York Times].


jrs, July 24, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Alright policy. At a certain point does one really even want to know what the new thing they have for us to bend over for is? So WHERE is the money going to be "invested" in these new retirement plans. Yes I know it's possible to have a retirement plan without investing, it would be something like social security. But if that's what they wanted they could just increase social security, not propose a new plan (yes even increase funding but not while it covers current outgo at least). A new plan rather than expanded social security is entirely unnecessary so by proposing one they are up to no good. That money is going to WALL STREET one way or other.

... ... ...


Brindle, July 24, 2015 at 3:07 pm

The optics of this look like part of Clinton's feint left—for the base of the Dem party:

—For the Clinton campaign, Ghilarducci offers significant benefits, too. As Clinton tries to move away from the centrist economic legacy of her husband's administration, with its welfare reform and deregulation of banks, Ghilarducci offers a fresh take—and a fresh face—on economic-policy debates long dominated by a small, sharp-elbowed cast of white men who have advised the Clinton or Obama administrations.—

[Jul 24, 2015] Hillary Legal Troubles

"Criminal Inquiry Is Sought in Clinton Email Account" [New York Times]. National security stuff, of course, not privatization or corruption. "It is not clear if any of the information in the emails was marked as classified by the State Department when Mrs. Clinton sent or received them." But since Clinton privatized her server, it's a fair point that the potential is there.

[Jul 24, 2015] Justice Dept. Is Asked to Investigate Clinton Email By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and MATT APUZZO

Jul 24, 2015 | nytimes.com

Two inspectors general asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Hillary Clinton mishandled sensitive information on a private account, senior officials said.

[Jul 23, 2015] How Monsanto, Exxon Mobil, & Microsoft Lobbyists Are Bundling Funds For Hillary

Jul 23, 2015 | Zero Hedge
Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

The pantsuit revolutionary is at it again. Once again demonstrating her populist chops by employing the services of lobbyists to bundle millions in campaign funds. It's no wonder opinion polls on her have been plunging as of late.

We learn from Bloomberg that:

When Barack Obama was running for the presidency in 2008—and later for reelection in 2012—he promised he wouldn't take money from registered lobbyists, not even as bundlers. In the race to succeed him, Hillary Clinton is not following in his footsteps.

The former secretary of state raised more than $2 million from 40 "bundlers"—fundraisers who get their contacts to give to campaigns—who were also lobbyists, according to financial forms released Wednesday by the Federal Election Commission. In all, the Clinton campaign raised $46.7 million between the beginning of April and the end of June.

Clinton's bundlers include some familiar names: Jerry Crawford, an outside lobbyist to Monsanto and Iowa kingmaker, put together another $35,000 or so. Tony Podesta, a mega-lobbyist who co-founded the Podesta Group and is the brother of Clinton's campaign chair John, bundled almost $75,000.

Other bundlers lobby for big companies including Microsoft (Fred Humphries) and Exxon Mobil (Theresa Fariello) or industry groups including the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (Daphna Peled). Another group includes former staffers for prominent Democratic politicians (including President Clinton) and politicians themselves, including former South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges. Lobbyist bundlers don't have to disclose their employers, but the names appear on both Clinton's disclosures and 2015 lobbyist registrations.

She certainly knows how to diversify her portfolio when it comes to people who bribe U.S. Congress for a living.

Clinton was the only Democrat running for president to have declared lobbyist bundlers as of Thursday. Two Republicans candidates, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, also filed disclosures on lobbyist bundlers, with Bush raising more than $228,000 from eight lobbyist bundlers and Rubio raising more than $133,000 from three lobbyist bundlers.

Lobbyist participation in a campaign can be hard to avoid: Despite President Obama's promise, the New York Times found in 2011 that at least 15 of his bundlers had strong links to lobbyists, including "overseeing" them, even if they weren't registered themselves.

But hey,

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 1.09.30 PM

* * *

For related articles, see:

[Jul 21, 2015] Donald Trump: A False Flag Candidate? by

"...The usual "mainstream" media tactics regarding a political outsider they hate is to ignore him or her: the example of Ron Paul should suffice to make this point. Indeed, Jon Stewart pointed this out in a memorable "Daily Show" segment, and it took Paul three runs for the White House to get their attention."
July 13, 2015 | antiwar.com

A warmongering racist lunatic lets loose – and he's crazy like a fox

That we have to take Donald Trump seriously confirms my longstanding prognosis that we've entered another dimension in which up is down, black is white, and reason is dethroned: in short, we're living in BizarroWorld, and the landscape is not very inviting. Yet explore it I must, since the reality TV star and professional self-promoter is rising in the polls, and garnering an inordinate amount of media attention – and whether the latter is responsible for the former is something I'll get into later, but for now let us focus on what practically no one else is paying much attention to, the Trumpian foreign policy.

... ... ...

On Iraq, The Donald makes much of his alleged opposition to the Iraq war – a position no one has documented to my satisfaction – but now that we're back there, what's Trump's plan? "We shouldn't have been there," he opines, and yet "once we were there, we probably should have stayed." While this may sound bafflingly counterintuitive, not to mention flat out contradictory, you have to remember two things: 1) In Bizarro World, contradictions do exist, A is B, and the sensible is the impossible, and 2) Similar things were said about the Vietnam war by politicians less obviously nutso than The Donald. As Murray Rothbard put it in a 1968 newspaper column he wrote for the Freedom Newspapers chain:

"A lot of people throughout the country are beginning to realize that getting into the Vietnam war was a disastrous mistake. In fact, hardly anyone makes so bold as to justify America's entrance into, and generation of, that perpetual war. And so the last line of defense for the war's proponents is: Well, maybe it was a mistake to get into the war, but now that we're there, we're committed, so we have to carry on.

"A curious argument. Usually, in life, if we find out that a course of action has been a mistake, we abandon that course and try something else. This is supposed to be the time-honored principle of 'trial and error.' Or if a business project or investment turns out to be an unprofitable venture, we abandon it and try investing elsewhere. Only in the Vietnam war do we suddenly find that, having launched a disaster, we are stuck with it forevermore and must continue to pour in blood and treasure until eternity."

I'm editing a new collection of Rothbard's work, entitled The Coming American Fascism and Other Essays, due out from the Ludwig von Mises Institute pretty soon, which is where I came upon this, and it got me to thinking: maybe it wasn't the 9/11 terrorist attacks that tore a hole in the space-time continuum and blew us into Bizarro World – maybe it happened much earlier.

At any rate, The Donald's bloviations about staying in Iraq are nothing new: the man is a veritable volcano of well-worn bromides which he keeps stored under his toupee and emits when the occasion calls for it. Which wouldn't distinguish him from most other politicians except for the fact that Trump's words might as well be coming out of the mouth of a twelve-year-old. For example, in spite of his alleged opposition to the Iraq war, in 2011 he told a reporter:

"I always heard that when we went into Iraq, we went in for the oil. I said, 'Eh, that sounds smart.'"

Which is precisely what a somewhat disturbed adolescent is wont to do: grab someone else's lunch money if he thinks he can get away with it. Elaborating on his larcenous plan in 2011, Trump averred:

"I very simply said that Iran is going to take over Iraq, and if that's going to happen, we should just stay there and take the oil. They want the oil, and why should we? We de-neutered Iraq, Iran is going to walk in, take it over, take over the second largest oil fields in the world. That's going to happen. That would mean that all of those soldiers that have died and been wounded and everything else would have died in vain – and I don't want that to happen. I want their parents and their families to be proud."

Just like the criminally-inclined parents of a juvenile delinquent would be proud of their son's very first bank heist. As Rothbard was fond of saying: "Are we to be spared nothing?"

Trump's foreign policy views belie his reputation as an unconventional politician who's willing to say what others don't dare even think to themselves. Indeed, he sounds like most of the other GOP presidential wannabes when it comes to the pending nuclear deal with Iran:

"Take a look at the deal [Obama's] making with Iran. [If] he makes that deal, Israel maybe won't exist very long. It's a disaster. We have to protect Israel. And we won't be using a man like Secretary Kerry that has absolutely no concept of negotiation, who's making a horrible and laughable deal."

Is Trump willing to go to war with Iran? He positively drools at the prospect:

"America's primary goal with Iran must be to destroy its nuclear ambitions. Let me put them as plainly as I know how: Iran's nuclear program must be stopped – by any and all means necessary. Period. We cannot allow this radical regime to acquire a nuclear weapon that they will either use or hand off to terrorists. Better now than later!"

And speaking of drooling, get this:

"Who else in public life has called for a preemptive strike on North Korea?"

I'm glad you asked. The answer is: Ashton Carter and William Perry, the former the current Secretary of Defense and the latter a former Secretary of Defense. In their jointly authored book, Carter and Perry claim then-President Bill Clinton was minutes away from authorizing just such a strike before Jimmy Carter called with the news that the North Koreans were willing to negotiate. And then there's Rep. Peter King, another loudmouth New Yorker in the Trump mold, not to mention James Woolsey, Bill Clinton's CIA Director, as well as this guy.

So you think Trump is crazy? He may well be, but he's just reflecting the general lunacy that afflicts large portions of the political class in this country. Far from opposing the elites, Trump is merely echoing – often caricaturing – their looniest effusions.

Speaking of loony effusions, Bill Kristol has said that he's sick of the "elite" media dissing Trump. Dan Quayle's Brain got out his neocon playbook to declare he's "anti-anti-Trump." Which is interesting, since the last time a Republican anti-immigration, anti-free trade candidate arose, Kristol and his fellow neocons were in a lather of fear and loathing: that's because Pat Buchanan was not only one of the dreaded "nativists," he was also militantly anti-interventionist. Buchanan dared to call out Israel's amen corner as the agitators for Gulf War I and its successor: for that, he was branded an "isolationist," a label affixed to him also on account of his economic nostrums. Yet those same nostrums, when given a far cruder expression by Trump, evince a kind of admiration in the Grand Marshall of the laptop bombardiers. And the reason for this is Trump's limning of the neocons' penchant for unabashed militarism and grandiose imperialism: The Donald told a Phoenix audience over the weekend that "I'm the most militaristic person in this room." And his prescription for what we ought to do to counter ISIS sounds like a Weekly Standard editorial:

"I say that you can defeat ISIS by taking their wealth. Take back the oil. Once you go over and take back that oil, they have nothing. You bomb the hell out of them, and then you encircle it, and then you go in. And you let Mobil go in, and you let our great oil companies go in. Once you take that oil, they have nothing left. I would hit them so hard. I would find you a proper general, I would find the Patton or MacArthur. I would hit them so hard your head would spin."

Finally, one has to wonder about the provenance of the Trump phenomenon. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, it's been attributed to a populist upsurge against the regnant elites, who are so out of touch with the people that they never saw what was coming. The media, we are told, are biased against Trump – this is one of The Donald's chief complaints – and now The People are rising up against the Washington-New York know-it-alls with their "big words" and pretentious airs.

Yet this analysis is lacking in one key ingredient: the facts. For the reality is that the media, far from ignoring Trump, have lavished so much attention on him that he's eating up coverage that would otherwise go to the rest of the crowded Republican field. And that may be a clue as to what's really going on here….

The usual "mainstream" media tactics regarding a political outsider they hate is to ignore him or her: the example of Ron Paul should suffice to make this point. Indeed, Jon Stewart pointed this out in a memorable "Daily Show" segment, and it took Paul three runs for the White House to get their attention. Trump has suffered no such fate: quite the opposite, in fact. The Donald's every demagogic pronouncement is faithfully recorded and broadcast far and wide. Over a hundred reporters crowded into his latest appearances in Las Vegas and Phoenix. Jeb Bush, for all the many millions stuffed into his campaign coffers, couldn't buy that kind of exposure.

... ... ...

As San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders points out, Trump is not really any kind of Republican, and, what's more, his links to the Clintons are well-documented and close:

"In 1987, Trump registered as a Republican in New York. But in 1999, he registered with the Independence Party. In 2001, he registered as a Democrat. In 2009 he was back in with the GOP.

"Hillary Rodham Clinton sat in the front row at Trump's 2005 wedding with Melania Knauss.

"According to Politico, Trump has donated more than $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

"In the 2006 cycle, Trump donated $5,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, $20,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, but only $1,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

"When Trump flirted with running for president in 2012, CNN reported he had given $541,650 to federal Democratic candidates and committees since 1990 – more than the $429,450 he contributed to GOP candidates and committees."

National Review's Jonah Goldberg rips the veil off Trump's alleged nativism in a by turns anguished-and-amused plea to his fellow conservatives not to be taken in by The Donald's act:

"You seem to think he's an immigration hardliner, and he's certainly pretending to be. But why can't you see through it? He condemned Mitt Romney as an immigration hardliner in 2012 and favored comprehensive immigration reform. He told Bill O'Reilly he was in favor of a 'path to citizenship' for 30 million illegal immigrants:

"Trump: 'You have to give them a path. You have 20 million, 30 million, nobody knows what it is. It used to be 11 million. Now, today I hear it's 11, but I don't think it's 11. I actually heard you probably have 30 million. You have to give them a path, and you have to make it possible for them to succeed. You have to do that.'

"Question: Just how many rapists and drug dealers did Donald Trump want to give green cards to?"

Trump has been playing the media with his supposed presidential ambitions for years, but it was clear then that it was just The Donald doing what he does best – promoting himself. So why now has he suddenly turned "serious"? I give that word scare quotes because 1) Serious is not a word one associates with a clown, and 2) It's not at all clear that, for all his megalomania, he really thinks he can win the White House. He may be a lunatic but he's far from stupid.

And so the question jumps out at us: Why now?

... ... ...

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

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

[Jul 20, 2015] Trumpism The Ideology - Jeffrey Tucker

Jul 20, 2015 | Liberty.me
It's not too interesting to say that Donald Trump is a nationalist and aspiring despot who is manipulating bourgeois resentment, nativism, and ignorance to feed his power lust. It's uninteresting because it is obviously true. It's so true that stating it sounds more like an observation than a criticism.

I just heard Trump speak live. It was an awesome experience, like an interwar séance of once-powerful dictators who inspired multitudes, drove countries into the ground, and died grim deaths.

His speech at FreedomFest lasted a full hour, and I consider myself fortunate for having heard it. It was a magnificent exposure to an ideology that is very much present in American life, though hardly acknowledged. It lives mostly hidden in dark corners, and we don't even have a name for it. You bump into it at neighborhood barbecues, at Thanksgiving dinner when Uncle Harry has the floor, at the hardware store when two old friends in line to checkout mutter about the state of the country.

The ideology is a 21st century version of right fascism — one of the most politically successful ideological strains of 20th century politics. Though hardly anyone talks about it today, we really should. It is still real. It exists. It is distinct. It is not going away. Trump has tapped into it, absorbing unto his own political ambitions every conceivable bourgeois resentment: race, class, sex, religion, economic. You would have to be hopelessly ignorant of modern history not to see the outlines and where they end up.

For now, Trump seems more like comedy than reality. I want to laugh about what he said, like reading a comic-book version of Franco, Mussolini, or Hitler. And truly I did laugh, as when he denounced the existence of tech support in India that serves American companies ("how can it be cheaper to call people there than here?" — as if he still thinks that long-distance charges apply).

Let's hope this laughter doesn't turn to tears.

As an aside, I mean no criticism of FreedomFest's organizer Mark Skousen in allowing Trump to speak at this largely libertarian gathering. Mark invited every Republican candidate to address the 2,200-plus crowd. Only two accepted. Moreover, Mark is a very savvy businessman himself, and this conference operates on a for-profit basis. He does not have the luxury of giving the microphone to only people who pass the libertarian litmus test. His goal is to put on display the ideas that matter in our time and assess them by the standards of true liberty.

In my view, it was a brilliant decision to let him speak. Lovers of freedom need to confront the views of a man with views like this. What's more, of all the speeches I heard at FreedomFest, I learned more from this one than any other. I heard, for the first time in my life, what a modern iteration of a consistently statist but non-leftist outlook on politics sounds and feels like in our own time. And I watched as most of the audience undulated between delight and disgust — with perhaps only 10% actually cheering his descent into vituperative anti-intellectualism. That was gratifying.

As of this writing, Trump is leading in the polls in the Republican field. He is hated by the media, which is a plus for the hoi polloi in the GOP. He says things he should not, which is also a plus for his supporters. He is brilliant at making belligerent noises rather than having worked out policy plans. He knows that real people don't care about the details; they only want a strongman who shares their values. He makes fun of the intellectuals, of course, as all populists must do. Along with this penchant, Trump encourages a kind of nihilistic throwing out of rationality in favor of a trust in his own genius. And people respond, as we can see.

So, what does Trump actually believe? He does have a philosophy, though it takes a bit of insight and historical understanding to discern it. Of course race baiting is essential to the ideology, and there was plenty of that. When a Hispanic man asked a question, Trump interrupted him and asked if he had been sent by the Mexican government. He took it a step further, dividing blacks from Hispanics by inviting a black man to the microphone to tell how his own son was killed by an illegal immigrant.

Because Trump is the only one who speaks this way, he can count on support from the darkest elements of American life. He doesn't need to actually advocate racial homogeneity, call for a whites-only sign to be hung at immigration control, or push for expulsion or extermination of undesirables. Because such views are verboten, he has the field alone, and he can count on the support of those who think that way by making the right noises.

Trump also tosses little bones to the Christian Right, enough to allow them to believe that he represents their interests. Yes, it's implausible and hilarious. But the crowd who looks for this is easily won with winks and nudges, and those he did give. At the speech I heard, he railed against ISIS and its war against Christians, pointing out further than he is a Presbyterian and thus personally affected every time ISIS beheads a Christian. This entire section of his speech was structured to rally the nationalist Christian strain that was the bulwark of support for the last four Republican presidents.

But as much as racialist and religious resentment is part of his rhetorical apparatus, it is not his core. His core is about business, his own business and his acumen thereof. He is living proof that being a successful capitalist is no predictor of one's appreciation for an actual free market (stealing not trading is more his style). It only implies a love of money and a longing for the power that comes with it. Trump has both.

What do capitalists on his level do? They beat the competition. What does he believe he should do as president? Beat the competition, which means other countries, which means wage a trade war. If you listen to him, you would suppose that the U.S. is in some sort of massive, epochal struggle for supremacy with China, India, Malaysia, and, pretty much everyone else in the world.

It takes a bit to figure out what the heck he could mean. He speaks of the United States as if it were one thing, one single firm. A business. "We" are in competition with "them," as if the U.S. were IBM competing against Samsung, Apple, or Dell. "We" are not 300 million people pursuing unique dreams and ideas, with special tastes or interests, cooperating with people around the world to build prosperity. "We" are doing one thing, and that is being part of one business.

In effect, he believes that he is running to be the CEO of the country — not just of the government (as Ross Perot once believed) but of the entire country. In this capacity, he believes that he will make deals with other countries that cause the U.S. to come out on top, whatever that could mean. He conjures up visions of himself or one of his associates sitting across the table from some Indian or Chinese leader and making wild demands that they will buy such and such amount of product else "we" won't buy their product.

Yes, it's bizarre. As Nick Gillespie said, he has a tenuous grasp on reality. Trade theory from hundreds of years plays no role in his thinking at all. To him, America is a homogenous unit, no different from his own business enterprise. With his run for president, he is really making a takeover bid, not just for another company to own but for an entire country to manage from the top down, under his proven and brilliant record of business negotiation, acquisition, and management.

You see why the whole speech came across as bizarre? It was. And yet, maybe it was not. In the 18th century, there is a trade theory called mercantilism that posited something similar: ship the goods out and keep the money in. It builds up industrial cartels that live at the expense of the consumer. In the 19th century, this penchant for industrial protectionism and mercantilism became guild socialism, which mutated later into fascism and then into Nazism. You can read Mises to find out more on how this works.

What's distinct about Trumpism, and the tradition of thought it represents, is that it is non-leftist in its cultural and political outlook and yet still totalitarian in the sense that it seeks total control of society and economy and places no limits on state power. The left has long waged war on bourgeois institutions like family, church, and property. In contrast, right fascism has made its peace with all three. It (very wisely) seeks political strategies that call on the organic matter of the social structure and inspire masses of people to rally around the nation as a personified ideal in history, under the leadership of a great and highly accomplished man.

Trump believes himself to be that man.

He sounds fresh, exciting, even thrilling, like a man with a plan and a complete disregard for the existing establishment and all its weakness and corruption. This is how strongmen take over countries. They say some true things, boldly, and conjure up visions of national greatness under their leadership. They've got the flags, the music, the hype, the hysteria, the resources, and they work to extract that thing in many people that seeks heroes and momentous struggles in which they can prove their greatness.

Think of Commodus (161-192 AD) in his war against the corrupt Roman senate. His ascension to power came with the promise of renewed Rome. What he brought was inflation, stagnation, and suffering. Historians have usually dated the fall of Rome from his leadership. Or, if you prefer pop culture, think of Bane, the would-be dictator of Gotham in Batman, who promises an end to democratic corruption, weakness, and loss of civic pride. He sought a revolution against the prevailing elites in order to gain total power unto himself.

These people are all the same. They are populists. Oh how they love the people, and how they hate the establishment. They defy all civic conventions. Their ideology is somewhat organic to the nation, not a wacky import like socialism. They promise greatness. They have an obsession with the problem of trade and mercantilist belligerence as the only solution. They have zero conception of the social order as a complex and extended ordering of individual plans, one that functions through freedom and individual rights.

This is a dark history and I seriously doubt that Trump himself is aware of it. Instead, he just makes it up as he goes along, speaking from his gut. This penchant has always served him well. It cannot serve a whole nation well. Indeed, the very prospect is terrifying, and not just for the immigrant groups and imports he has chosen to scapegoat for all the country's problems. It's a disaster in waiting for everyone.

Hillary Clinton turns up the heat as Iowa takes on general election feel

"...She's playing the fear-mongering, personality-based, empty rhetoric game and avoiding any substantive debate save that which she can promise without having to actually DO anything about. Such techniques always play well in Democracies until the bankruptcy of the policies brings about actual collapse."
"...Sadly, the majority of Americans continue to believe that "elections" matter and that their votes will shape the foundations of US society. In truth, the most critical decisions are made by the banker-funded think tanks and foundations such as the Atlantic Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, etc., in other words, by the unelected and unrepresentative "shadow government"."

The Guardian

mkenney63 18 Jul 2015 22:40

Hillary Clinton, Really? Just look at the political corruption we see every day and the many signs of coming collapse and ask yourself if we really want this corporate shill as our president. I will vote for Bernie Sanders no matter what. I believe in political revolution and we may be at the beginning of one now. The 1% have had their day; they've had their way with the reforms that are near and dear to progressives. It's time to stop the insanity of criminal capitalism and restore our country to the people.

sherlockh 18 Jul 2015 21:23

Providing free pizza--isn't that cheating? If Hillary provided a credible economic policy instead, maybe her supporters would be as enthusiastic as Bernie's.

Rob Sacher 18 Jul 2015 17:05

Bernie Sanders has introduced a bill in Congress that will tax investors when they buy shares of stock. That's a big mistake. Shares can always go down in value. Tax on profit, not on investment.

Some people say well, it's such a small tax. I say nonsense. All taxes eventually get raised. Some people say the tax is to stop high speed traders. I say say that may be true but there are plenty of regular guys who like to trade stock and make their living from that endeavor. And, since half of all seniors own stock, whenever they choose to sell one and buy another they will get taxed. No matter if they lose money on the stock, they still get taxed.

This is wrong.

The Republicans will crush Bernie on this issue. Seniors will never vote for a any new tax on their income. Remember, they are no longer working and live off of their investments.

Bernie supporters should get him to change that part of his bill but we know that will not happen.

kerfuffler -> Sam Sammitysam 18 Jul 2015 16:49

Hillary is unpopular, even amongst Democrats. Most stories about her inspire negative comments. For this reason she is unelectable.


H9ank 18 Jul 2015 16:30

Billary is a bad choice for many reason. Dishonest, seems to play with the boys in the backroom. Is not her own boss. Tries to appease the doubters with that open guile that is really an act. Is often two faced and reneges on her promises.

I like Sanders. I'm not sure he will survive. He may be more effective in Congress than as a prez.


VWFeature 18 Jul 2015 14:36

Listen to
Hilary Clinton @ 1:33
Bernie Sanders @ 2:10
Jim Webb @ 2:29

Bernie has the fire and deserves credit for putting forth a vision, but I want Jim Webb for VP to get all the legislation passed. (Like LBJ for JFK.) Webb isn't as dramatic as Bernie, but Webb got the Vietnam War Memorial changed to include a black and hispanic GI instead of three white guys, got the post-Iraq GI education bill passed- and was against the Iraq war from the beginning, based on expert knowledge of what the military can and can't do.

He's right there with Bernie on the issues, wrote a bill reforming the criminal justice system in the Senate, which was supported by the Marijuana Project, the National Sheriffs' Association, the ACLU, the American Bar Association and a hundred other organizations. It got filibustered, but he's asking the president to create the commission to make recommendations on finally fixing the criminal 'justice' system in the US.

He's nuanced, so he'll "deplore the institution of slavery but to try to understand those who served." defending the valor of Confederate (and Union) soldiers-he has ancestors who fought on both sides- while agreeing the Confederate flag shouldn't fly at any statehouse.

He deserves more attention.


Aldous0rwell 18 Jul 2015 13:47

She's playing the fear-mongering, personality-based, empty rhetoric game and avoiding any substantive debate save that which she can promise without having to actually DO anything about. Such techniques always play well in Democracies until the bankruptcy of the policies brings about actual collapse.


Weihan Xingqi 18 Jul 2015 13:25

Sadly, the majority of Americans continue to believe that "elections" matter and that their votes will shape the foundations of US society. In truth, the most critical decisions are made by the banker-funded think tanks and foundations such as the Atlantic Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, etc., in other words, by the unelected and unrepresentative "shadow government".


SJuniper 18 Jul 2015 13:22

How can ANYONE believe ANYTHING that Hillary the Horrible says, or that she actually believes anything that she is saying? In terms of actual accomplishments, Nixon would be an improvement over either Clinton, or Obama as well, for that matter. In spite of his nuttiness, I would vote for Rand Paul over Clinton. At least I think he actually believes what he says.


Ramus 18 Jul 2015 13:16

Bernie, unlike HRC and the rest of them does not have a PAC and does not take corporate money. So he is able to say what he thinks. And to my mind, what he thinks is correct. I don't know where HRC stands on Keystone, on TPP. I do know she voted to give George W. Bush the old blank check on 10/11/2002, and Bernie actually read all the information and decided to vote no. It is a matter of trust. HRC is funded by Citibank, Goldman - Go Bernie!


Nicko Thime -> Robert Saunders 18 Jul 2015 13:14

Walker has BURIED Wisconsin in debt, failed to deliver on his employment promises and wants to waste even more government money on drug testing welfare cases, which has proven to be expensive and futile elsewhere.

But what can you expect from somebody who has always lived on the gubbmint dime? Scott Walker has never worked in the private sector.


nnedjo 18 Jul 2015 12:53

Americans must be crazy to choose this woman to be president of the US. And, about the psychology of this lady also is no need to waste words, as she struggles to come to the same house in which her husband used to satisfy his perverse desires. Imagine a flood of memories that will overwhelm the mind of Mrs. Clinton, if one day she really went into the Oval Office. Could it possibly be called "post-traumatic marriage syndrome"? And out of that room she should manage such a powerful country as the US.
Another thing, Mrs. Clinton proved to be a liar no less than her husband Bill, judging at least, by this episode:
Hillary Clinton's Bosnia sniper story exposed

And unlike the scandals of her husband, who had resulted in only one stained blue dress, scandals in which she was involved had much more serious consequences, which led, among other things, to the murder of the US ambassador in Libya:

So, even if none of this had happened, Hillary Clinton had her chance to participate in the leadership of the United States, at least initially as first lady and then as US secretary of state. And if among the three hundred millions of Americans there is nobody better than her who would take the place of the President, this fact by itself speaks very badly about American democracy.


David Meyer -> Chris Silva 18 Jul 2015 12:44

It is indeed disturbing to watch Sanders and Clinton in action. The latter never says anything unless cornered. She'll spout every platitude ever heard by man. Sad. Sad. Sad.

Sanders on the other hand simply tells you what he thinks. And that, dear American citizen is why he can't win. But by God I'll work for him.


TerryinUSA 18 Jul 2015 12:20

Hillary Clinton is a psychopath and traitor. She belongs in prison, along with a lot of people occupying the US government.
"We came, we saw, he died." Then maniacal laughter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y


Chris Silva 18 Jul 2015 12:12

Did you even watch the event? HRC's speech was about as fiery as mayonnaise. She was wooden, vague and insincere.

Bernie Sanders carried the night. While the other candidates plagiarized his platform, Bernie took it a step further and explained exactly how he will accomplish his goals when he becomes president.

O'Malley and HRC paid people to stand outside with signs and chant:

Before the event, large groups of Clinton and O'Malley supporters gathered outside, chanting and holding signs. Some were paid by Clinton's campaign and by Generation Forward, a political action committee supporting O'Malley. Many said they were not allowed to speak to the media.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/election/article27474967.html#storylink=cpy

Bernie Sanders' supporters are moved to do this by his honesty and integrity.

After the event the crowd swarmed Sanders while HRC disappeared. O'Malley and the rest were lucky if 3 or 4 people came to shake hands. One has to assume that writer of this article fell asleep during the event or is just biased and trying to manipulate readers by printing lies.


shininhstars122 Darryl Touchet 18 Jul 2015 12:02

An unobtainable dream? Hardly the bottom line is forty years of economic and political policy promoted by both parties have brought us to this point where a growing majority of Americans think America is in a downward spiral.

I disagree with that assessment as it is actually the forced fed narratives, and the painful realities of the choices we have allowed to be made in the name of our of democracy.

We can re-access our choices by questioning and challenging the special interests with out a revolution...its called throwing out the special interests and participating in our democracy in ways not ever seen in our country since the start pf the 20th century.

Most political leader can barely think beyond the next election cycle, we need leaders who can think about the next 25 to 50 years in our country.

Bernie Sanders is one such candidate.

Hilary Clinton is a plutocrat plain and simple and that is where her loyalties have and will always lie.


haroldclurman Xak999 18 Jul 2015 11:37

She voted for the Iraq War a position which to my mind does not make her the most qualified, in fact it makes her the least qualified. She also supported her husbands' NAFTA policy which sent millions of American jobs overseas, another position which the American electorate should disqualify her for the job of President. She's (imo) a betrayer to her generation and a part of the establishment for far too many years which has made our country ever more the poorer. She accepts monies from the banks for her campaign while Sen. Sanders does not and who in fact wants to break up the all too powerful banks. This is a stance which Ms Clinton will not take as she will not want to bite the hand that feeds her. This for any thinking person is a bribe. I don't want a worm for a president but a person who stands up in ACTION for what she or he believes in.


Beep Tomkens 18 Jul 2015 10:32

Clinton is a con woman, she's just not good at it. Bill and Podesta are doing a good job in obtaining and building the numbers of democratic voters. She is focused in gathering an American majority of voters, simple. She doesn't have to debate or appear and discuss anything with anyone and the democratic voter block has no questions for her. It's going to be a continuation of all the "Free Stuff" for minorities promise without having to say it. She's not running from State to State promising that , she is simply smiling and reinforcing the program. I doubt that she can get elected without publicly taking strong positions on just about every subject in pubic forums. She may, over the next year , avoid all public exposure and refuse to debate anyone if she is sure she has black , brown, yellow people and the female vote coupled with some white males. If every white male and female doesn't vote for a Republican then she will walk away with the White House and Bill Clinton will have a third term and run the country as a business for himself as he did the Secretary of State's Office.

Notice that she did not demand the vice presidency for Obama which would have set her up even more solid for the presidency, but she refused that and demanded the Secretary of State job which enabled her to sell influence.

panpipes 18 Jul 2015 09:51

I am suspicious of the way this was written. A paragraph talking about how Clinton having more visible supporters than O'Malley followed by an exact headcount for the Sanders supporters - seems like it was written in an attempt to put forward an impression that Clinton's support far outnumbered Sanders without actually saying that.

Profhambone NottaBot 18 Jul 2015 09:43

The citizens of the US Empire are not worldly enough or knowledgeable enough about their own history to NOT vote this unqualified person as President. And I believe she will be looking for a war to show her teeth to the world.


NottaBot 18 Jul 2015 09:37

Clinton lost in 2008 because she was a lousy candidate. Between then and now there's been the financial collapse, Occupy, and continuing revelations about Clinton herself, including the private email server, etc. As recently as a couple of years ago she was sucking down that good Goldman Sachs money, 250 grand a pop.

I just don't see how this creature of Wall St. will be able to win this time around. Even without a single gaffe it will be more of a struggle than she or other talking heads believe. Toss in some idiocy from Bill ("I gotta pay our bills!") or some other scandal or revelation about money and she's toast.

I do think it's high time for a woman to be president. But I want a woman who made her reputation based on honest hard work, not on being married to a former president. If that's all we needed to believe that things have changed and women are seen as an even footing with men, Pakistan would have to be counted as one of the most enlightened societies in the world! But just as B. Bhutto represented oligarchic continuation, NOT true women's equality in the political sphere, so another Clinton presidency would just be cementing the power and might of oligarchs and family here in the States.

No thanks. Give us a REAL woman candidate, please!


kjbessenjohnson 18 Jul 2015 09:09

Guardian editors: reading the comments across all of the Hillary articles implies that most of your readers believe that she's a corporate shill, and they're gonna vote for Bernie and really don't care what she has to say (or more accurately that she's going to say a bunch of progressive talking points now and ignore her campaign promises as soon as her hand hits the inaugural bible).

May I suggest keeping up with the times?

[Jul 14, 2015]Walker the Generic Hawk

Jul 14, 2015 | The American Conservative

If no one can describe Walker's foreign policy views in much detail, that's probably because they are unformed and very generic. He invokes Reagan every chance he gets, expresses hostility to diplomatic engagement, and is strongly opposed to ruling out any military options. Walker's foreign policy thus far is what one would get by recycling a handful of hawkish talking points that have circulated on cable news or in the conservative media over the last few years. When it comes to being prepared to be president, Walker simply isn't right now, but if his foreign policy statements are judged as a perfunctory box-checking exercise (which is how he seems to be treating them) he has been doing the bare minimum necessary.

When Walker has said anything on foreign policy subjects, the results have ranged from unimpressive to embarrassing, but his lack of a record could prove to be something of a blessing for his campaign

Fran Macadam, July 13, 2015 at 8:41 pm

These guys really don't have many ideas, beyond the unthinking positions they are willing to adopt if they think it can bring them power.

Whatever reasons do any of them have for running for President, beyond the desire they have to be top dog?

This is not a character trait that challenges the status quo donorist interests who own the duopoly, but seeks their approval, whatever drivel is offered up temporarily to the electorate.

seans, July 14, 2015 at 10:05 am

"He does not have to have deep experience. He just needs policies that make sense."

And who is going to give him his policies? More than likely is going to be the same cast of neocon characters that staffed the Bush II Administration because who else is he going to turn to? There simply any large grouping of Republican non-interventionists or realists to staff a Walker Administration so hardliners are going to take charge again and make the exact same mistake because they have repudiated nothing. Of what Walker has said on foreign policy is basic GOP boilerplate "we ave to get tough" which is easy to say until you have to decide between full engagement of military forces or stand down which Walker, politically, could not choose and would not given who he'll surround himself with. It will be Bush II all over again

bt, July 14, 2015 at 10:41 am

It is a little sad that generic toughness, unburdened with any actual experience in foreign affairs, is an ideal resume for a presidential candidate.

It is a recipe for allowing the military-industrial complex to do as it pleases. I am starting to think that Eisenhower's M-I complex is in fact today's Neocons – they are one and the same.

balconesfault, July 14, 2015 at 12:10 pm

@bt It is a recipe for allowing the military-industrial complex to do as it pleases

That's pretty much the marching orders for 95% of the GOP today, and 50% of the Dems to boot.

And given that anyone who doesn't give the MI complex everything it wants will immediately branded by the media (including … or especially .. the "liberal" Washington Post) as soft on defense …

And adding that anyone who doesn't give the MI complex everything it wants runs a massive risk of being labeled a traitor who sold America down the drain if anything happens in the world that we don't like …

And noting that our electorate seems wholly disinterested in punishing any legislator for pushing for higher defense spending (now, if they call for higher taxes to pay for that higher defense spending … that's a different issue) …

The game is pretty much wired to reward some level of subservience to the Neocon gameplan, be it whole on use of the plan (Bush), or select elements (Obama) … and to ridicule and punish those who reject Neocon dogma.


[Jul 14, 2015] Everybody loves Bernie Sanders – especially top Republican operatives

"...Republicans have little else than slanders of Clinton while pointing at Sanders and endlessly chanting their own message of exclusivity. "The poor, beleaguered rich people deserve their wealth and the rest of you deserve nothing." Throw in a crazy Donald Trump, another cunning Bush, a corrupt Sicillian bully, and a few nincompoops financed with billions of dollars of special interest money and suddenly HRC's message becomes the more politically viable. This is the state of American political discourse.

HRC better expresses the Republican message than Republicans themselves."

Jul 14, 2015 | The Guardian

lefthalfback2 14 Jul 2015 08:23

Geez a Republican operative calling somebody a "...cold, inauthentic fraud....".

And they say that Vaudville is dead.


catch18 14 Jul 2015 08:15

In the 2000 election, 537 votes gave George W. Bush a crucial and controversial victory in Florida.

Nader received almost 100,000 votes in Florida.

Bernie probably won't run as an independent. Although he has done so in the past.

Be careful Bernie.

MiltonWiltmellow 14 Jul 2015 08:15

"I don't know Bernie can play the role of Barack Obama in 2008 because he's a 70-something year-old curmudgeon." He added: "It becomes hard to beat a celebrity without a celebrity."

Of course if Republicans could deliver a message as resonant as Sanders, they wouldn't be Republicans.

Instead they must praise Sanders' because they have no effective political message of their own.

Republicans have little else than slanders of Clinton while pointing at Sanders and endlessly chanting their own message of exclusivity.

"The poor, beleaguered rich people deserve their wealth and the rest of you deserve nothing."

Throw in a crazy Donald Trump, another cunning Bush, a corrupt Sicillian bully, and a few nincompoops financed with billions of dollars of special interest money and suddenly HRC's message becomes the more politically viable.

This is the state of American political discourse.

HRC better expresses the Republican message than Republicans themselves.

This infuriates Republicans.

Thus Republicans must pray that Sanders can damage Clinton's political viability so that Americans forget about their own history of incompetence and cruelty.

kattw dectra 14 Jul 2015 07:56

Indeed. Trump is telling all the deep dark ideological truths of the republican party that make people wince to hear them. They've been hiding their emotions in the dark for so long, they can't stand to have them out in the open.

Sanders is telling the deep, bright truths of the democratic party that liberals have been longing for somebody to stand up and defend. They're not in the least bit embarrassed of their ideology. They've wanted somebody to talk about it for years.

Both men are saying what are in the hearts of the base they want to get votes from. Only one of those bases is happy to have the views discussed openly.


kattw 14 Jul 2015 07:53

See, here's the trick, Republicans. When you say bad things about Clinton? You're generally lying. Liberals are, by and large, smart enough that they can figure such things out. It's obvious what you're doing. As such, you don't effect anything but your own base - and driving frothing hateful idiots into a frothing round of hate is hardly an accomplishment.

When Sanders talks about her, he's being honest. He's saying things that are ACTUALLY wrong with her. Again: folks are smart enough to know the difference.

It's exactly like how you claim Obama is a Muslim/Socialist/etc. All false, all wrong, all obvious lies that merely hurt YOU, rather than the target. When folks complain about his drone program, on the other hand, at least it's something that actually exists.

Also: I'm sure republicans want Bernie to get the nod for exactly this reason. Can you imagine their glee at being able to use the 'socialist' pejorative, and NOT be reminded immediately that they are lying idiots who wouldn't know reality if it bit them on the nose AGAIN?


Book_of_Life Book_of_Life 14 Jul 2015 07:49

Turn the Pyramid upside down
PNAC NWO TTIP OWC OWG got to Go

jim6555 Sonegel 14 Jul 2015 07:48

The problem for Republicans is that in order to win early primaries in the conservative states of Iowa and South Carolina, they have to move to the very far right. In doing this, many candidates go against some of their beliefs. If they emerge victorious, they then have to begin moving back toward the political center to win the general election in November. Along the way, they often lose track of their personal principles and become willing to say anything to win the election. That's what seems to have happened to both John McCain and Mitt Romney and we will probably see the same phenomenon occurring in 2016. The media will often expose a candidate's flip flop on a position of importance. Voters are turned off by candidates who take one side of an issue in Alabama and the opposite side in New York. The Republican Party has to change the order of states in the early primaries if it ever wants to ever recapture the presidency.

Mike5000 14 Jul 2015 07:42

Clinton and her fellow Republicans in both parties still don't understand consistency and integrity.


Jay Smort 14 Jul 2015 07:35

How sad that the Republican operatives are so perplexed and fascinated. Shows how far gone they are from reality and honesty. What really impressed me with Sanders was his question that he posed at the start of his campaign. Can a politician, in this day and age, be elected who truly works for the people for the common good and isn't financed and spouts legislation written by wealthy corporations and billionaires? Even if Bernie doesn't get the nomination, he is pushing issues to the forefront and is acting as a healthy agent of political discussion unlike the ape who I shall not name.

blacksox666 14 Jul 2015 07:27

Bernie is the real deal and has a message that resonates with the people. Republican operatives should remember Tom Dewey and Harry Truman and think long and hard before they dismiss him. likewise, I think he would have very good coattails to carry people into office in the Congress. Hope so, anyhow. Hillary is old news and obviously doesn't have the middle class' problems in mind.

[Jul 14, 2015] Scott Walker: a candidate who embodies America's current partisan divisiveness

align="left">Scott Walter might eat Jeb! lunch ;-).
.
"...Weasily recognized as a lying, cheating little Koch sycophant, Walker may be "soup du jour", but there is a big difference to ruling Wisconsin and trying to rule America. Walker is dreadful for his state and would be a total disaster for America.

He will do well in the primaries because he has a boatload of money and what that money can buy behind him."
.
"...Walker DID set Wisconsin on a path to small government and personal freedom. Wisconsin WAS near the top of the heap in recovering from the recession. Walker changed all that - now it lags behind all of its neighbors by a substantial amount in nearly every category except incarceration rate, which is, somewhat amusingly, true of the US as a whole relative to most other developed countries."
.
"...Most successful countries have governments that do things for their people that businesses will never do in a million years. And many businesses do things to people (very efficiently) that should, but don't usually, get them locked up."
.
"...Walker: the man who managed to carry through on the republican threat of making sure that government couldn't function. Wisconsin, apparently, enjoys being worse off than it could be. And a lot of people in the US still seem to believe that the only way to be well off is to hit rock bottom and stay there. "

14 July 2015 | The Guardian

... ... ..


Why Walker's political underpinning should be so rigid is at least partly explained by the highly partisan nature of his politics: he appeals to half of the electorate because he is only talking to half the electorate. That syndrome was on full display Monday night at his campaign launch, where he thumped out a litany of rightwing conservative causes: his anti-abortion credentials; his championing of Wisconsin's version of the stand-your-ground laws made notorious through the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida; his signing of a concealed carry law that allows Wisconsinites to carry undercover guns; and of course his signature attack in 2011 on public sector unions and this year on their private sector equivalents with the so-called "right-to-work" legislation that prohibits requiring a worker to pay union dues.

It was all extremely well received by the devoted Walker supporters who crammed into the Waukesha County expo center on Monday wearing red, white and blue under a scorching sun. Walker was dressed to appeal to them, in a blue button-up shirt with no tie.

His rhetoric also spoke to popular conservative themes of marriage and family, a strong and aggressive military and local control of education. The crowd, gathered in the heart of the Republican stronghold of Waukesha, chanted and cheered as if on cue when the governor called for bold new leadership in Washington and "a president who will fight and win for them", an oblique reference to those union-busting battles.

Democrats who have witnessed Walker's uncompromising approach to leadership have been struck by how unflustered he is about the need to broaden his following. Peter Barca, the leader of the minority Democratic group in the Wisconsin assembly, told the Guardian that unlike most governors he had observed who made a point of building support over time, "this governor makes very little effort to try and build broader support. He governs with 52% or 53% of the electorate. He seems very comfortable with a very narrow base and doesn't even make overtures to win over more moderate voters."

Such an approach to politics – feed your base with red meat while virtually ignoring everybody else – may be enough to scrape to victory in successive elections in Wisconsin, and may yet work wonders in Iowa. But it presents Scott Walker, and his fellow Republicans, with a longer-term dilemma: are they happy to talk almost exclusively to themselves, knowing that such insularity might cost them the presidency?

Joe Marchand 14 Jul 2015 09:10

What he say is while his reforms were successfully implemented, they were disastrous for economic growth in Wisconsin. Furthermore, he is facing several investigations for corruption and appears to have a truckoad of closets containing skeletons. But I still think he'll win the nomination in the end precisely because he is so divisive. He'll try and tack to the centre once nominated, just as all the others plan to do.

khongor 14 Jul 2015 09:10

It's easier to judge Scott Walker's performance as governor than it is most governors, since there's such a good comparison right next door. Wisconsin and Minnesota are neighbors. They have similar industries, demographics, populations etc. They're a perfect case study for comparison. Conveniently, Minnesota is also run entirely by Democrats who have done things like raise taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans.
What has happened is fairly straightforward. Minnesota does better on job growth, income, percentage of citizens with health insurance, etc. If you can find one major category where Wisconsin is doing better than Minnesota, congrats.
Oh, and Minnesota has a budget surplus. Surplus. Wisconsin's tax cuts, even with massive service cuts, mean the state now has a massive budget deficit.
My hope is that everywhere Scott Walker goes on the campaign trail, somebody asks him why Minnesota is eating his state's lunch.

MKB1234 14 Jul 2015 09:06

Weasily recognized as a lying, cheating little Koch sycophant, Walker may be "soup du jour", but there is a big difference to ruling Wisconsin and trying to rule America. Walker is dreadful for his state and would be a total disaster for America.

He will do well in the primaries because he has a boatload of money and what that money can buy behind him. Don't rule him out just yet, but watch and learn and be ready to fight.

bren333 14 Jul 2015 09:05

Kind of wonder when, or even if, America will ever get over this small government thing.

Governments can be very inefficient, no question; but equating what's inefficient with what's unnecessary is really bizarre. When will this narrative end? It plainly doesn't work.

Most successful countries have governments that do things for their people that businesses will never do in a million years. And many businesses do things to people (very efficiently) that should, but don't usually, get them locked up.

kattw 14 Jul 2015 08:41

Walker DID set Wisconsin on a path to small government and personal freedom. Wisconsin WAS near the top of the heap in recovering from the recession. Walker changed all that - now it lags behind all of its neighbors by a substantial amount in nearly every category except incarceration rate, which is, somewhat amusingly, true of the US as a whole relative to most other developed countries.

Walker did exactly what he promised he would do: he shrank the government to the point where it could no longer function, and gave people the personal freedom to be as poor as they wanted to be. We should all take a good long look at his record while he runs. Not just the actions, but also the consequences.

Walker: the man who managed to carry through on the republican threat of making sure that government couldn't function. Wisconsin, apparently, enjoys being worse off than it could be. And a lot of people in the US still seem to believe that the only way to be well off is to hit rock bottom and stay there. Let's hope that enough people still instead equate success with prosperity to keep him OUT of high office.

Jul 12, 2015] Democracy in neoliberal society is illusive

"...As for democracy it does exists, but only for a tiny fraction of population — the elite and upper middle class. And this is nothing new. Historically democracy always existed mostly for the members of ruling class. For Greece that was class of slave-owners. Nothing essentially changed. This dream of "perfect democracy" is just a propaganda trick. And here you are right: "perfect democracy", "mass democracy" or "democracy for everybody" does not exist and never existed. Some strata of population and first of all low income strata historically were always excluded and marginalized. A simple question is: Does democracy exists if a party accepts $100K contributions?"
"...I agree, Anatoly. Western media networks have a wide variety of opinions on a limited number of issues only, and sing in startling unison on the some other extremely important matters. Wikileaks is a great example, the policy on Israel in the US is another."
"..."True democracy requires multi-party system." You are mixing apples and oranges. Democracy requires that citizens are equal before the law and have equal voting rights. By extension it leads to such thing as "tyranny of majority" which is inevitable (that's why Hegel prefer monarchy). Democracy also presuppose that alternative parties are not banned. But representation is completely another thing. If you are representing 3% of population and to get to Parliament requires 5% you are f*cked absolutely legitimately within this framework and can do nothing without undermining the notion of democracy as expressed. "

cartman, October 6, 2011 at 12:51 am

Slavic untermensch – especially Orthodox Christian ones – must be destroyed. Catholic Slavs are much easier to control. Witness that Poland has the presidency of the EU at the same time Merkel is giving ultimatums to the Serbs and German soldier are once again shooting Serbs at the border checkpoints (which are illegal under UNSC 1244). No matter what they say, it is totally irrelevant as a power.

kievite,October 5, 2011 at 11:23 pm

IMHO you are going a little bit too far both in regard of the value of Russian independence and existence of democracy.

As for independence. nobody cares too much about Russian independence as long as most oligarchs have London real estate, keep money in Western banks, teach children abroad in best colleges, etc.

As for democracy it does exists, but only for a tiny fraction of population — the elite and upper middle class. And this is nothing new. Historically democracy always existed mostly for the members of ruling class. For Greece that was class of slave-owners. Nothing essentially changed. This dream of "perfect democracy" is just a propaganda trick. And here you are right: "perfect democracy", "mass democracy" or "democracy for everybody" does not exist and never existed. Some strata of population and first of all low income strata historically were always excluded and marginalized. A simple question is: Does democracy exists if a party accepts $100K contributions?

But situation is more subtle. If the people's ability to vote candidates in and out of office has no meaningful influence on the decisions they make while in office, does democracy exist? The second important question is: "How much civil liberty and protection against government abuse remains in the system?"

In view of those arguments I think it is more correct to say that what in most cases what is sold under the marketing brand of "democracy" should be more properly be called "inverted totalitarism". Like with totalitarism the net effect is marginalization of citizens to control the direction of the nation through the political process. But unlike classic totalitarian states which rely on mobilization around charismatic leader, here a passive populace is preferred (famous "Go shopping" recommendation by Bush II after 9/11).

Barriers to participation like "management" of elections using two party system and by preselection of candidates by party machine are used as more subtle and effective means of control. Formally officials purport to honor electoral politics, freedom and the Constitution. In reality manipulation the levers of power excludes everybody but a tiny percentage of the population (oligarchy).

Like in classic totalitarism propaganda dispensed by schools and the media, not to mention the entertainment. The stress is on eliminating the audience for anybody who does not support the regime. Ideology is supported by powerful research institutions (aka "think tanks") and is adapted to modern realities by well paid "intellectual agents". Milton Friedman is a classic example. The goal is the same as in classic totalitarism: the dominance of official ideology, especially in schools and universities. But this is achieved without violent suppression of opposing views, mainly by bribing and ostracizing instead of the key ingredient of classical totalitarism — violence toward opponents.

AK (@sublimeoblivion),October 6, 2011 at 2:17 am

The part about media self-censorship is at least every bit as prevalent in "free" societies such as the US as in Russia. Noam Chomsky's concept of the propaganda mode cannot be mentioned enough. The latest example is how The Guardian and NYT – and remember, print newspapers everywhere are more sophisticated than TV – colluded in with-holding from publication many Wikileaks cables that cast a bad light on the power elites.

Another question is ask is, which of these countries has the most democracy – one where many policy decisions are based on the wishes of corporate lobbyists; and one where many policy decisions are made as per opinion polls and the interests of the "overwhelming majority." Much of the "free" West is in the former category; Russia and China are in the latter.

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kievite,October 6, 2011 at 2:45 am

AK: "Noam Chomsky's concept of the propaganda mode cannot be mentioned enough"

I think the right term is "Manufactured Consent". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manufacturing_Consent:_The_Political_Economy_of_the_Mass_Media

It describes five editorially-distorting filters applied to news reporting in mass media:

1. Size, Ownership, and Profit Orientation: The dominant mass-media outlets are large firms which are run for profit. Therefore they must cater to the financial interest of their owners – often corporations or particular controlling investors. The size of the firms is a necessary consequence of the capital requirements for the technology to reach a mass audience.

2. The Advertising License to Do Business: Since the majority of the revenue of major media outlets derives from advertising (not from sales or subscriptions), advertisers have acquired a "de-facto licensing authority".[1] Media outlets are not commercially viable without the support of advertisers. News media must therefore cater to the political prejudices and economic desires of their advertisers. This has weakened the working-class press, for example, and also helps explain the attrition in the number of newspapers.

3. Sourcing Mass Media News: Herman and Chomsky argue that "the large bureaucracies of the powerful subsidize the mass media, and gain special access [to the news], by their contribution to reducing the media's costs of acquiring [...] and producing, news. The large entities that provide this subsidy become 'routine' news sources and have privileged access to the gates. Non-routine sources must struggle for access, and may be ignored by the arbitrary decision of the gatekeepers."[2]

4. Flak and the Enforcers: "Flak" refers to negative responses to a media statement or program (e.g. letters, complaints, lawsuits, or legislative actions). Flak can be expensive to the media, either due to loss of advertising revenue, or due to the costs of legal defense or defense of the media outlet's public image. Flak can be organized by powerful, private influence groups (e.g. think tanks). The prospect of eliciting flak can be a deterrent to the reporting of certain kinds of facts or opinions.[2]

5. Anti-Communism: This was included as a filter in the original 1988 edition of the book, but Chomsky argues that since the end of the Cold War (1945–91), anticommunism was replaced by the "War on Terror", as the major social control mechanism.[3][4

kovane,October 6, 2011 at 7:25 am

I agree, Anatoly. Western media networks have a wide variety of opinions on a limited number of issues only, and sing in startling unison on the some other extremely important matters. Wikileaks is a great example, the policy on Israel in the US is another.

The real difficulty of politics is making weighted decisions that would be beneficial for the future of the country, listening both to lobbyist and the popular opinion. And mistakes can be made on both extremes. In retrospection, few would argue that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall act in the US was made under significant pressure of financial lobby and it seriously contributed to the 2008 meltdown. But populism is equally dangerous, as it is evidenced by Greece. Adopting policies only because they are popular, without considering the long term effect, can be a ruin of any country. Keeping a right balance between these two approaches is the key.

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grafomanka,October 6, 2011 at 9:57 am

'Managed democracy' is a front, and I would say it's kind of refreshing that we can stop living this hypocrisy now. And it's not because of Prokhorov and Kudrin, but because of bizzaro way in which Putin and Medvedev announced that they decided 'years ago'(!) about the job swap. And not even United Russia knew what was going on. What does it make United Russia then?

kovane,October 6, 2011 at 11:19 am

Democracy, first and foremost, is about the wishes of the voters. Putin can run all he wants, but if he doesn't get elected, their decision will be worth as much as my decision to run, for instance. And that's democracy and all that matters. By the way, why do you conclude that since Putin and Medvedev simply announced their decision, there were no consultations, etc?

yalensis,October 6, 2011 at 12:17 pm

@grafomanka: I don't think the main problem is what goes on within United Russia and how they internally pick their candidate. It is the job of any political party to nominate their best candidate who, in this case is obviously Putin. The real problem is that they are the ONLY viable political party. So, Russia is effectively a one-party system now. True democracy requires multi-party system.

grafomanka,October 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Yes, basically….

kievite, October 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm

"True democracy requires multi-party system."

You are mixing apples and oranges. Democracy requires that citizens are equal before the law and have equal voting rights. By extension it leads to such thing as "tyranny of majority" which is inevitable (that's why Hegel prefer monarchy). Democracy also presuppose that alternative parties are not banned.

But representation is completely another thing. If you are representing 3% of population and to get to Parliament requires 5% you are f*cked absolutely legitimately within this framework and can do nothing without undermining the notion of democracy as expressed.

Also you can have an illusory alternative parties system like the USA two party system with "winner takes all" provisions in each state which make success of the third party extremely unlikely. My impression is that the existing two party system in the USA is just an improved version of one party system that existed in the USSR with the only difference that that two wings of the same party (let's say that one that represents mainly Wall Street but is friendly to military-industrial and Energy complex and that other the represents mainly Military-industrial and Energy complex but also is quite friendly to Wall Street) are staging the theatrical battles to amuse the electorate.

I hope you are not proposing special anti-democratic regime of affirmative action to change that situation (as you might remember from Okudzhva song "A pryanikov sladkih vsegda ne hvataet na vseh").

grafomanka,October 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm

Two party system is just like 'upgraded' one party system. Right. But in one political change is possible, in the other it isn't.

yalensis,October 7, 2011 at 12:36 am

Ha ha! No, I do not believe USA 2-party system is true democracy. How can there be any democracy when 1% of the population owns 99% of all the wealth? Is ridiculous situation.

grafomanka, October 6, 2011 at 11:49 am

@kovane

They certainly pretended that there were consultations for the last 4 years, with Medvedev not ruling out that he's going to run, with the talk about some kind of modernizing fraction in the Kremlin.

Now it turned out that none of this was for real. I have more respect for Putin, at least he chose not to violate Russian constitution.

And about wishes of the votes, please. I read that opposition ads in some Russian regions were banned from state TV. Let's not pretend this is a democracy.

kovane,October 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm

So you suppose that if "elites" (that's a very democratic term, straight from the Constitution) were unanimously opposed to Putin's nomination, he would be running anyway? Just because he and Medvedev allegedly made the decision 4 years ago?

Yes, if Nemtsov's talking head was on every channel 24/7 then the opposition would have every chance to win the election. The Muslim Brothers in Egypt were banned altogether, let alone the access to media, but that didn't stop them from being the most popular movement. So let's not pretend that isn't a democracy, having own TV network is not one of the God-given rights last time I checked.

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grafomanka,October 6, 2011 at 12:33 pm

If you didn't mean consultations within the elites then what consultations did you have in mind?

TV coverage is crucially important, because as Kremlin PR masters know right TV coverage can add as much as 15-20% support to a party/candidate. And they have no competition. TV is used for black PR all the time. I don't think Egypt is the fair example, for many reasons, religious etc.

Putin is popular and quite probably Putin is what Russia needs now. It doesn't make Russia a democracy. Democracy is run on institutions, fair competition, public discussion….

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kovane,October 6, 2011 at 12:50 pm

I meant exactly consultations within elites, though "consultations" is a very unsuitable term. Maneuvering and falling behind the right candidate, that's how I would put it.

TV coverage is crucially important

That's what I wrote in the piece. And that's why the Kremlin controls TV so zealously.

Democracy is run on institutions, fair competition, public discussion

That's not democracy, that's a spherical model of democracy. Let's talk about two countries that are usually presented as model democracies, the UK and US. Does anybody discuss the policy on Israel in the US media? Did they discuss if the US should get into the war on Iraq? Bailout of the big banks in 2008? Or any major problem for that matter. And by being discussed I mean not presenting 1001 reason why it should be done. The UK mass media is even more pitiable in that regard. So, please, get off your high horse and stop gluing labels.

grafomanka,October 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm

I don't want to go into 'In America they…' If Russia is a democracy then where are the mechanisms for political change? They are technically there but in reality the Kremlin makes sure that they are useless. I certainly don't see anything democratic about how politics is handled.

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kovane,October 7, 2011 at 8:49 am

Oh, no, you're not going to reduce it to lynching Negroes. The mechanism for political change is present in Russia, and you know it. When the citizens become dissatisfied with the government UR will be forced to make some changes. In many respect the Russian system is more responsive to negative tendencies in public sentiment, because UR can't shift blame on Democrats or Republicans or the Labour party. Whatever happens, everyone knows that's UR's fault.

yalensis,October 7, 2011 at 11:01 am

Well, this is how it is with artists, they experience everything in a vivid emotional manner and are not always rational thinkers. The good news is: Bondarchuk DID show up for work the following day (ergo, he was not whisked away to death star for torture by Putin). I like his rant, I like the way he talks. But I am still scratching my head: what specific policy changes is he asking for? If he decides to build his own faction within United Russia, then he will need a platform of proposed policies. Is not enough to show: "Look how brilliantly I am expressing my emotions! I should be the next Hamlet!"

apc27,October 6, 2011 at 2:48 pm

That desire for a "public discussion" is a common criticism of the way Putin makes decisions, as he seems to prefer to keep his cards close to his chest. Some "discussion" is necessary, but all too often there is that annoying Russian delusion that "any housewife can run a country", that dictates peoples' desire to discuss things, rather than any practical considerations.

The decision as to who will run for a president may have huge implications, but at the end of the day, it is a deeply personal one. What good would our uninformed discussions could have done, besides rocking the boat and setting the power elites on the course for a direct confrontation? Plus, its not as if people's opinions are not considered. There plenty of polls and, of course, the elections themselves where Russians can have their say.

People often use US as an example of the way democracy should work, but what they themselves do not appreciate is that only in US can such polarising and all encompassing "discussions" NOT lead to chaos and ruin.

marknesop,October 6, 2011 at 5:13 pm

The impression that running a country is little more complicated than baking a cake or changing a tire is common to a great deal wider group than Russians. Please don't think I'm endorsing politicians, but politics and government are their business and they typically have some educational background that suits them to the purpose. The notion that a farmer who spends 70% of his waking hours running a farm and doesn't have time to watch more than the local news can engage at an international level and make decisions that will affect complicated relationships of which he is not even aware is beyond silly. But people insist on the right to be involved with the political process without exercising their own due diligence of informing themselves on the issues, and persist with the fiction that anyone could do the job just as well. Anyone who thinks mistakes in that respect are of little consequence, and any damages caused by a foolish choice based on sloganeering and jingoism are easily repaired should review the G.W. Bush and Yeltsin presidencies.

Putin is largely respected and trusted by the Russian people because his policies have generally brought Russia success, and under his guidance Russia has prospered while avoiding most of the stumbling-blocks placed in its path. They believe he can continue this record of success, and they believe it more than they believe Boris Nemtsov could achieve a similar level of success. Nemtsov was a Deputy Prime Minister – it is unrealistic to imagine there is a significant group of voters who do not know who he is and his name on the ballot would be instantly recognizable to nearly all voters. Voting in Boris Nemtsov, or Kasyanov or Kasparov just to prove the validity of the multiparty system would have consequences far beyond the immediate.

Just once, I wish the government would not mess with Nemtsov – would allow him all the free advertising time he wanted and access to the voters as he pleased. Of course the government could not let him just blather and make shit up the way he does in his egregious "white papers", but rebuttal should be confined to calm, reasoned ripostes that do not attempt to overpower his message, rather offering citizens the opportunity to fact-check his claims. When Nemtsov still lost by a wide margin, as I'm sure he would, he would have to confront the fact that he has nothing to offer Russians but a big ego, a big aggreived pout and an inflated sense of self-worth.

yalensis,October 7, 2011 at 11:07 am

Why cannot a housewife run the country? Was Katherine the Great not a housewife before she became Emperess? Most historians agree she was pretty good ruler, except for that unpleasant business surrounding Pugachev uprising.

marknesop,October 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I assume you were joking, but ruling – as a member of the nobility – in days gone by is quite a bit different than ruling in the superpower age when all is comprised of alliances, "what have you done for me lately?" expectations and constant jockeying for advantage. Resolving international conflicts is unlikely to be brought about by challenging the enemy to a pie-making contest, winner take all. The more you don't possess any background knowledge in – political science, international affairs, foreign policy, trade….the more you must rely on advisors: and then, not only is the resulting policy not your own, you don't even understand it well enough to know if you've been sold a bag of shit that will have serious negative effects on the country.

George W. Bush is an excellent example of the radical pursuit of a narrow ideology that can result when someone is elected on his folksy charm and his devoutness, and not much else. He relied on a tight, like-minded circle of advisors to coalesce his opinions for him, decided things based on "gut feeling" rather than analysis and was not well-read in any subject except baseball despite having had the benefits of an excellent education. And he was a member of the political class!

While some modest, ordinary citizens might make excellent leaders on a community scale or with a simple problem in a subject with which they are acquainted, international politics are generally beyond them and they are not prepared for the infighting among their own political system that will make it difficult to get anything constructive done. I'm not suggesting ordinary citizens are too stupid to be politicians – merely that their life experiences have not prepared them for the political arena and I don't understand why anyone would invest their formative years in preparing for such a career (except that you can make quite a lot of money for doing little but talking and voting).

marknesop,October 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Sorry if I sound a little disillusioned with politics and politicians right now, but I'm still steaming after watching this video from Leos Tomicek's Austere Insomniac, which shows members of the European Parliament showing up at 7:00 AM just to enregister for the day – and pocket their 284-Euro allowance for doing so – and then buggering off for the weekend: many of them have their suitcases with them. I'm not sure what the language is, but it sounds like German and the film takes pains to point out EU Parliamentarians can earn more than Chancellor Merkel for basically doing dick-all. The reporter who is filming this gets kicked out by EU Parliament security.

marknesop,October 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm

"Democracy is run on institutions, fair competition, public discussion…."

Please provide an example of somewhere that occurs absent influence or interference by the party currently in power.

yalensis,October 7, 2011 at 12:42 am

…or absent influence of big money interests…

marknesop,October 6, 2011 at 4:25 pm

This is the crux of the argument for me – let's not pretend this is a democracy, but while we're caught up in the tide of refreshing honesty, let's stop pretending there is real democracy anywhere. In that light, Russia is no better and no worse than anywhere else, so let's stop with the finger-pointing and the self-righteous pontificating. I'm not opposed to criticism of Russia, provided it is not hypocritical or unfair.

The Italian papers wouldn't run a toothpaste ad without consulting their guidelines, because Berlusconi owns the media – but nobody suggests Italy isn't a democracy or is a managed democracy. In every country that exercises a simple vote and is not a monarchy, the leaders maneuver behind the scenes to gather more power for themselves and reduce or eliminate the possibility of successful challenge by opposition – by control of media outlets, by manufactured scandal and by inflation or fabrication of their own accomplishments. When everyone drops the pretense that they're a real democracy, the accusation that this country or that country oppresses its citizens by unduly and unfairly influencing their exercise of a free vote will lose its sting altogether. Hey, you, you're a crook – say, fellow crook; like to get together for a drink after work, and compare notes?

On the opposite pole of the argument are the voters, who don't know shit about governance or running a country, much less the nuances of international relationships and alliances, but are ready to vote for the leader with the best hair or the most affable public-speaking style. Let's not pretend that's democracy, either.

marknesop,October 7, 2011 at 12:04 am

There is no democracy anywhere – and hasn't been for a long time – like the idealized model you describe. I know you don't want to get involved in a Russia-vs-the USA discussion, but the USA sets itself up for just such a comparison by regularly expounding that American-style democracy is so wonderful they simply must export it to others, and by virtue of the fact that most of Russia's harshest critics are Americans or products of American agencies.

Russia is not an ideal democracy, as kovane already pointed out, in that not all parties have equal access to media and the ruling party has extensive control over both voting mechanisms and the rulebook for viability of new parties. However, the USA is similarly deficient in democratic values in that it uses gerrymandering, redistricting and voter disenfranchisement to manipulate the popular vote, and the current opposition seems perfectly willing to use the filibuster to crash the economy so that its chances of regaining power are improved. That's manifestly not what the electorate wants, since polls regularly reveal jobs and the economy as its biggest concerns.

Granted, that's the opposite problem to Russia – in that the opposition has too much power and can highjack every economic initiative by misusing the supermajority rule – but it ushers in what some analysts describe as "the normalization of extortion politics", and is plainly not democracy because party discipline supersedes loyalty to the constituent.

"Tame" media outlets like Fox News regularly report outright falsehoods, misstate the qualifications of their guests and frequently push made-up narratives as if they were real news – is that democracy?

grafomanka,October 7, 2011 at 9:22 am

Mark, in America Democrats and Republicans are locked in constant battle, and of course it has negative effects like extortion policies and Fox News. Maybe It's even too extreme and bad for the country. Quite probably Chinese with their 5-year plans will turn out to be more effective in governing because they're not locked in constant competition battle. But America is democracy and China isn't. Americans don't have it ideal, half of the country alienated when Bush became president. But it is democracy, power shifts, you can watch the daily show which takes a piss out of Fox News.

Foppe,October 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm

However nice TDS may be, it still behaves as though there are important differences between the two parties when, when it comes to (all-important) economic policy, there really isn't.

Both parties encourage outsourcing, both give huge subsidies to industries while cutting back on redistributive programs, neither party is willing to regulate and prosecute corrupt businesses/behavior (Cheney).. Certainly they differ a bit in the area of abortion/gay rights/etc., but they're doing as little as possible while still seeming distinct.

Reply

grafomanka,October 8, 2011 at 10:31 pm

They differ economically too, but both pander to big businesses, yes. I think if Russia had more diversified economy and more different big businesses maybe politics would be a different story. But when big business in the country are oil and gas, why wouldn't the elites collude instead of competing? Collusion makes more sense to them.

About 'made-up narratives' I think Americans arrived at the conclusion that it doesn't matter what you say as long as it evokes emotional response. In the end it's emotions that win elections, not rational thinking. That's why Sarah Palin, Fox News, etc feel that they can spawn any bullshit.

[Jul 12, 2015] Donald Trump is flaming right wing passions against "illegal" immigrants

Jul 11, 2015 | economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview

pgl said...

Donald Trump is flaming right wing passions against "illegal" immigrants. But guess who Trump hired to build some of his hotels and casinos - illegal immigrants. Do the Tea Party nitwits that now heart the DONALD know this?

400 ppm said in reply to pgl...


"
Donald Trump is flaming right wing passions against "illegal" immigrants. But guess who Trump
"
~~pgl~

Easy living within a land of plenty cuts lots of slack for each of us to become *mean spirited*. Perhaps if we concentrate less on our own economic imperfections but concentrate more on lifting people of other nations we could thus indirectly learn a modicum about our own system.

Good
luck
!

pgl said in reply to 400 ppm...

He is speaking in Las Vegas right now to the right wing crowd. Did Rusty write his critic of Obamacare? 3 accountants per doctor - really? I guess these accountants are working 10 hours a week.

djb said in reply to pgl...

he cares so much about workers, he put thousands of contractors in atlantic city out of business by not paying his bills

what I heard is he'd say go on and sue, I got better lawyers than you

EMichael said in reply to pgl...

Donald Trump is the greatest example in the world why the US should have an immense estate tax.

DrDick said in reply to EMichael...

Trump (or any of the Bushes) is the best argument for a 100% estate tax on estates over $1 million.

John Cummings said in reply to pgl...

Trump himself hires 'illegal' immigrant and indeed a rentier. Leftists should demand the end to all legal 'immigration'. Capitalism is what needs the extra labor, not socialism. This is why politics is dying. The dialect has twisted politics and idiots that agree with Trumps dialect, help propagate it.

Trump himself will be destroyed by the fall. IMO, he never wanted this and the contradictions will become apparent to obliterate him soon enough. I would not be surprised he is also a Clinton agent considering their past ties. He is tying up the GOP and wasting their time.

Brad said...

Got an idea. Let's end the subsidies to crony capitalist industries soooo supported by Bush, Romney, GOP and their ilk (petroleum, Big Sugar, Military Industrial Complex, etc.).

Romney screwed the FDIC out of $16M. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-federal-bailout-that-saved-mitt-romney-20120829

Bush family made its money initially trading with the WWII enemy and then built a fortune in petroleum, which was heavily subsidized. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

Dick Cheney and his relationship with KBR-Halliburton, was the big winner in the Iraq war. http://www.ibtimes.com/winner-most-iraq-war-contracts-kbr-395-billion-decade-1135905

The real issue is not one of 'takers' or 'non-workers' but a 'smash and grab' scrum for WHO gets to be the REAL TAKERS and clearly the right wing GOP have a sense of entitlement to rip off the most and are incensed if they perceive anyone might need some social services!

What a joke!

pgl said in reply to Brad...

Hey! Their lawyers and lobbyists worked long hours to rig the system in their favor.

JF said...

"16 tons and what did I get?

Another day older and deeper in debt.

Oh, I owe my soul to the company store."


So this is the new thinking of the GOP? Produce more, work as many hours as needed, get paid no more than I'd planned on paying you. Good campaign platform. I can see how that will attract the attention of those who work for a living or worked decades before they were able to retire.

And better yet, if I get the 16 tons and I use even fewer workers (who really are indebted to me for getting a job), all the better. Good productivity metric. Just need fewer of them to work longer, harder too.

I can hear the music playing now as the GOP candidates take to the podium.

I just hope other US residents hear the doleful music too, and relate to it by voting a straight ticket for the other party.

JF said...

"don't you call me, I can't go"

The GOP platform is also designed to solve the Social Security accounting matter in the Jonathan Swift manner. Keep people working longer and harder, paying them so they can never get ahead, so they can never retire and claim any earnings via the social security system's support for the economy (and it is earned, a return on investment of the human capital).

John Cummings said...

Capitalism itself died in 1933. Governments saved it in Bernie Lomax form and now the Capitalists want to create the market state to bring Bernie back to life as a totalitarian force.

[Jul 12, 2015] Hillary Clinton and middle-class-out/progressive supply side economics proposals that Larry Summers floated for her at Davos

July 11, 2015 | economistsview.typepad.com

pgl said...

Jeb! "Work longer hours". Hillary?

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/hillary-clinton-economic-agenda-boosting-wages

Increase wage rates.

Peter K. said in reply to pgl...

"Clinton will lay out the themes of her economic plan in a speech Monday in New York. Clinton's campaign says in a preview on Saturday that the speech will emphasize the need for the real incomes of everyday Americans to rise steadily along with corporate profits and executive compensation."

Hopefully she does this. The question is how? Her speech at Roosevelt island just focused on stuff like tax breaks for small companies and profit-sharing.

Weak tea.

It rally depends on Yellen. I doubt Hillary will mention the Fed. She can increase the power of unions. I doubt she will mention that.

What did Bill Clinton campaign on? Not increasing wages. What was his record? An upward tick in the late 90s as Greenspan refused to raise rates?

JaaaaayCeeeee said in reply to Peter K....

I think Hillary Clinton will claim on Monday that it can be morning again in America for the middle class, with her middle-class-out/progressive supply side economics proposals that Larry Summers floated for her at Davos in January. Remember his "It Can Be Morning Again For The World's Middle Class" op-ed, in January 18th's links here at EV, one of several he wrote his "Report of the Commission on Inclusive Prosperity" published at the Center For American Progress?
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/report/2015/01/15/104266/report-of-the-commission-on-inclusive-prosperity/

I remember, after skimming CAP's report, thinking it had some good ideas for lots of our problems, but ignored some of the most necessary reforms, and hand waved at others.

Although the CAP report had plenty of good proposals, like recommending step up basis reform and Obama's transfer pricing abuse proposed rule, it didn't seemt o have a goal of making the tax code progressive enough and taxing capital like labor, let alone addressing Stiglitz's proposed corporate tax reform or a financial transaction tax.

Although the CAP report proposed that Congress legislate more wage and benefit protections for workers, I don't remember anything contracting or about increasing disposable pay by improving work week/vacation/job sharing/vacation/leave, and paid family leave is not the whole package. The CAP reports praises more immigration to increase labor supply and output, with nothing about visa abuse.

The praise of trade pacts as how to raise wages, not only around the world but in the USA, with nothing about preventing these trade pacts from making current VISA abuse look timid, sounded as ill-advised as the CAP report's praise for the gig economy, with nothing more than a recommendation that another commission do studies on how to prevent labor exploitation in the gig economy. In fact, the only trade policy change proposal was to include rules against currency manipulation in trade treaties. After reading the CAP report, would a Clinton administration be much more helpful to labor than the Obama administration has been (yes, updating OT proposal is good, but look at the Obama administration on minimum wage and caregivers).

Summers' CAP report admits early on that because technology, we should not expect jobs for everyone at socially acceptable wages. The CAP report even claims that more technical and top-flight education will save workers, promoting the myth that more STEM pays more, without addressing why that's not what is happening, and we know why. These two are good examples of how the proposals sound good until you think about what is missing and whether it adds up to enough, or even deserves Larry Summers claiming it adds up to "progressive supply side economics".

No matter how long a laundry list of not-enough-to-turn-the-tide progressive proposals that Hillary Clinton's donors allow her, I can't see how the economic proposals that CAP prepared for Hillary add up to economic growth that is productive enough, stable enough, and sustainable enough to generate enough economic demand for full employment policy (not mentioned in the CAP report) and living wages. I wish I were and economics expert, and could write as well as that report, but even I can tell that it is missing some minimal requirements.

The CAP report is full of great little talking points, like convert mortgage interest and property tax deductions to tax credits and limit cap gains exclusions on castle flipping. and even on exec pay (don't remember even disclosure being mentioned, though). Even touts climate mitigation as an investment opportunity without cheerleading for public/private explicitly. Excellent descriptions of some problems, like, "the direct costs of top-end pay packages are relatively small as a portion of the economy, but the indirect effects of incentivizing managers on the basis of short-term stock performance have major implications for investment, innovation, and wage growth." Well, at least apart from the execrable "incentivizing".

The CAP report proposes card check, but only after proof of employer coercion in the election process which means that workers just have to hope that Larry Summers' counterpart in a big donor Democrat administration will have whole new levels of clout, new policies, enforcement, and resources, to counter that employers no longer follow the rules and don't pay for it, either?

It would be helpful if Hillary Clinton's economics speech Monday makes it hard to know if she agrees (is fully on board and ready to bully pulpit) or disagrees (thinks there's a third way still) on the following people's proposals: Joseph Stiglitz on corporate tax reform, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on a financial transaction tax and restoring a Glass-Steagall law, the House Progressive Caucus' "People's Budget" on income tax reform, Robert Reich on labor support, Dean Baker on prioritizing reducing our trade deficit and full employment policy (and the currency manipulation, treaty, and tax changes needed to solve these), Mark Thoma's deficit neutral fiscal stimulus as a million times more necessary than weaponized Keynes, Stiglitz/Baker on alternatives to our unsustainable patent funded pharma, and Krugman on VSP's.

The New York Times and Washington Post have said that Hillary Clinton's economic proposals will be based on the CAP "Inclusive prosperity" report, but her allies are smart enough to have held a couple for effect and make a couple sound more Bernie Sander-ish, but 'ish doesn't add up to progressive policies.

[Jul 12, 2015] Jeb and the Nation of Takers

economistsview.typepad.com

Paul Krugman:

Jeb and the Nation of Takers: Maybe we were unfair to Mitt Romney; Jeb "people should work longer hours" Bush is making him look like a model of empathy for the less fortunate. ...

But I think it's also important to understand where this is coming from. Partly it's Bush trying to defend his foolish 4 percent growth claim; but it's also, I'm almost certain, coming out of the "nation of takers" dogma that completely dominates America's right wing.

At my adventure in Las Vegas, one of the questions posed by the moderator was, if I remember it correctly, "What would you do about America's growing underclass living off welfare?" When I said that the premise was wrong, that this isn't actually happening, there was general incredulity — this is part of what the right knows is happening. ...

As I asked a few months ago, where are these welfare programs people are supposedly living off? TANF is tiny;... overall spending on "income security" has shown no trend at all as a share of GDP, with all the supposed growth in means-tested programs coming from Medicaid...

But isn't there an epidemic of people declaring themselves disabled? Actually, no..., if you look at age-adjusted disability rates, they have been flat or even declining...

But none of this will, of course, make any dent in the right-wing narrative: they just know that the rising number of bums on welfare is a problem, even though there basically isn't any welfare and there are no more bums than there ever were.

Brad

Got an idea. Let's end the subsidies to crony capitalist industries soooo supported by Bush, Romney, GOP and their ilk (petroleum, Big Sugar, Military Industrial Complex, etc.).

Romney screwed the FDIC out of $16M. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-federal-bailout-that-saved-mitt-romney-20120829

Bush family made its money initially trading with the WWII enemy and then built a fortune in petroleum, which was heavily subsidized. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

Dick Cheney and his relationship with KBR-Halliburton, was the big winner in the Iraq war. http://www.ibtimes.com/winner-most-iraq-war-contracts-kbr-395-billion-decade-1135905

The real issue is not one of 'takers' or 'non-workers' but a 'smash and grab' scrum for WHO gets to be the REAL TAKERS and clearly the right wing GOP have a sense of entitlement to rip off the most and are incensed if they perceive anyone might need some social services!

What a joke!

Sandwichman

Not to overlook that even in trying to weasel out of his "people need to work longer hours" assertion, Governor Bush talked about people working 30 hours "getting in line and depending on government."
Sandwichman said in reply to Sandwichman...
John Pencavel, "The Productivity of Working Hours."

ABSTRACT: Observations on munition workers, most of them women, are organised to examine the relationship between their output and their working hours. The relationship is non-linear: below an hour's threshold, output is proportional to hours; above a threshold, output rises at a decreasing rate as hours increase. Implications of this finding for the estimation of labour supply functions are considered. The findings also link up with the current research on the effects of long working hours on accidents and injuries.

Links at: http://econospeak.blogspot.ca/2015/07/people-need-to-work-longer-shorter-hours.html#more

The Economist, December 9, 2014: Proof that you should get a life

But a new paper, by John Pencavel of Stanford University, also shows that reducing working hours can be good for productivity.

TIME, June 19, 2015: How to Unplug From Work

Productivity falls sharply after a 50-hour workweek, found Stanford economics professor John Pencavel. So connecting less is good for you and your company—though your boss may need convincing.

Financial Post, July 3, 2015: If we agree productivity has dropped despite working longer hours, how can we fix it?

Research shows working longer hours doesn't increase productivity. Economists have argued for some time working longer hours would negatively affect productivity. John Hicks, a British economist who looked at this issue in the 1930s, concluded that productivity declined as working hours increased. And John Pencavel of Stanford University showed in his research that reduced working hours can be good for productivity. The study found that productivity declined markedly after more than 50 hours a week and that the absence of a rest day (such as Sunday) damaged productivity.

New Zealand Herald, July 11. 2015: No winners in culture of overwork

Employee output falls sharply after a 50-hour working week and falls off the cliff after 55 hours, with those putting in 70 hours producing nothing more in those extra 15 hours, according to a recent study by John Pencavel of Stanford University. He says long hours are also connected to absenteeism and high employee turnover, and there are ancillary costs to employers such as providing light, heat, ventilation, and supervisory labour during those extra hours.

Human Resources Executive Online, February 5, 2015: Long Hours Lead to Lower Productivity

Research by Stanford University economics professor John Pencavel indicates there's a point of no return, if you will, when long hours and overwork become unproductive and unhealthy, and even have negative effects on your bottom line. So, counter to common thinking, your hardest workers may not be your best workers, not by a long shot.

The study—The Productivity of Working Hours, based on a review of much earlier research undertaken by investigators of the British Health of Munition Workers Committee during the First World War—finds employee output falls sharply after 50 hours of work in a week. After 55 hours, that output is fast becoming nonexistent, to the point that an employee working 70 hours in a week produces absolutely nothing between 55 and 70 hours, according to the research.

"Long weekly hours and long daily hours do not necessarily yield high output," Pencavel writes in his report, "and this implies that, for some employees engaged in certain types of work, their profit-maximizing employer [should] not be indifferent to the length of their working hours over a day or week."

This point has already been made in reports of fixed employment costs, where costs linked to the number of workers employed inclines a firm to extend workers' hours, he notes.

"[But] this paper," Pencavel writes, "has suggested a different reason for an optimizing employer to care about the length of working hours: employees at work for a long time may experience fatigue or stress that not only reduces [their] productivity, but also increases the probability of errors, accidents and sickness that impose costs on the employer.

"Unlike the case of fixed employment costs," he writes, "these concerns over work stress incline the firm not to extend the work hours of employees, but to curtail them. … This is certainly not a new argument, but it seems to have been neglected in contemporary models of labor markets. It implies that restrictions on working hours—those imposed by statute or those induced by setting penalty rates of pay for hours worked beyond a threshold, or those embodied in collective-bargaining agreements—may be viewed, not as damaging restraints on management, but as an enlightened form of improving workplace efficiency and welfare."

anne said in reply to Sandwichman...
New data:

http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=ANHRS

June 30, 2015

Average Annual Hours Worked per Employee, 2014

United States ( 1789)
OCED average ( 1770)

Australia ( 1664)
Austria ( 1629)
Belgium ( 1576)
Canada ( 1704)

Chile ( 1990)
Czech Republic ( 1776)
Denmark ( 1436)
Finland ( 1645)

France ( 1489)
Germany ( 1371)
Greece ( 2042)
Hungary ( 1858)

Iceland ( 1864)
Ireland ( 1821)
Israel ( 1853)
Italy ( 1734)

Japan ( 1729)
Korea ( 2163)
Luxembourg ( 1643)
Mexico ( 2228)

Netherlands ( 1425)
New Zealand ( 1762)
Norway ( 1427)
Poland ( 1923)

Portugal ( 1857)
Slovak Republic ( 1763)
Spain ( 1689)
Sweden ( 1609)

Switzerland ( 1568)
Turkey ( 1832)
United Kingdom ( 1677)

DrDick said in reply to Sandwichman...

This of course totally ignores the fact that Americans work longer hours than anyone else in the Developed world and that there nowhere in the US where working full-time at minimum wage pays enough to rent a two-bedroom apartment.

anne said...

http://www.cepr.net/publications/op-eds-columns/the-hard-work-election

July 10, 2015

Jeb Bush wants us to work more for the collective good. Who's the socialist now?
Americans already work more than our European counterparts, but the former governor wants to enact policies to force people to work even more hours.
By Dean Baker - Guardian

Governor Jeb Bush announced that he thinks people should work more hours in a campaign speech this week. This puts him in direct opposition to the two leading contenders on the Democratic side, both of whom are pushing proposals that will allow people to work less. This could mean that 2016 will be an election in which work hours play a central role.

Starting with Bush's position, the comment came in the context of a speech where he was listing the things that we need to do to reach his target of 4.0 percent annual GDP growth "as far as the eye can see." Bush said that we need to increase labor force participation, work longer hours, and increase productivity.

This is not the first time that Bush said that he thought people should work more. He previously argued for raising the normal retirement age for Social Security.

The sight of someone who was raised in privilege, and relied on family connections to make his careers in business and politics, telling the rest of the public they have to work more, will make good fodder for Governor Bush's political opponents. But this position is actually held by many people in policy circles in both political parties.

The argument is that we need more workers in order to sustain economic growth, even if almost no one thinks Bush's 4.0 percent growth target is remotely plausible. In particular, they argue that as we see an aging population, we will have to keep people working to older ages and get also to get more hours of work from them each year until they do retire.

This view is striking given that the United States and most of the rest of the world has been suffering from the opposite problem for the last eight years. The United States, Europe, and Japan all have fewer people working than would like to work because there is insufficient demand in the economy. The problem our economies are facing is that we don't have enough jobs.

In fact, one of the lines that is getting widely (and wrongly) repeated is that none of us will have work because robots are taking all the jobs. Obviously we can't both have a shortage of workers and a shortage of jobs at the same time.

While the robots taking all our jobs story is an exaggeration, the basic point is right. We are seeing rising productivity through time, which means that we can produce more goods and services with the same amount of work. This is the basis for rising living standards.

Historically, we have taken the benefits from higher productivity in both higher pay and more leisure. If we go back a century, work weeks of sixty or even seventy hours a week were common. While our workweek has been largely fixed at forty hours a week for the last seventy years, other countries have pursued policies to shorten the work week and/or work year. These policies include paid sick days, paid family leave, and paid vacation.

Several European countries have actively pushed policies of work sharing as an alternative to unemployment. In this case, the government compensates workers in part for a reduction in hours as opposed to paying unemployment insurance to someone who has lost their job. Germany has paved the path on this policy, which is an important factor in its 4.7 percent unemployment rate.

As a result of work sharing and other policies, the average worker in Germany puts in almost 25 percent fewer hours each year than workers in the United States, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Most other wealthy countries are close to Germany. In the Netherlands, the average work year is 21 percent shorter than in the United States. In Denmark, it is 20 percent shorter than in the United States.

The leading Democratic contenders are proposing policies to get the United States more in line with the rest of the world. Secretary Clinton has indicated she will support paid family leave and paid sick days, although she has not yet produced specific proposals. Senator Bernie Sanders, the other leading contender, also supports paid family leave and paid sick days. In addition, he recently put forward a proposal guaranteeing all workers two weeks a year of paid vacation. That might seem like small change compared to the five to six weeks a year that is now standard in Europe, but it would be a huge gain for tens of millions of workers.

There is a long way yet before the parties select their nominees, but if the general election ends up being a contest between Jeb Bush and either Clinton or Sanders, it will present the country with an unusually clear choice. We will have one candidate who wants people to work more hours and retire later, and another candidate who wants to put in place policies so that people can work less. That will make for an interesting election.

ilsm said in reply to anne...

Fascism is socialism for the 1%. The collective in fascism is the 1%.

cm said in reply to ilsm...

I don't know why everybody is so obsessed with the Fascism label. What we are discussing here has little to do with it.

likbez said in reply to cm...

I think you are wrong.

Fascism is a form of corporatism which remains a viable right wing program for setting up a highly centralized regime with militant nationalistic policies (especially external expansion), merge of industrial and financial corporations with the government, total population control, rigid control of MSM, and violent suppression of opposition.

But you need to understand that along with classic fascism, there are multiple mutations that are called by generic name of neofascism. For example some flavors of neofascism replace physical suppression of internal opposition with MSM dominance. Opposition is simply pushed out of media space and ignored, not physically suppressed. The idea of racial/ethnic purity can be replaced by cultural, by rejection of alternative culture/language in particular country; Spanish in the USA or Russian in Ukraine.

And as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity it is not that far from right wing Republican platform as we might wish.

The key question to you is: "Do we have an organized, committed nationalistic (and exceptionalism is a form of nationalism) militants, in alliance with traditional elites, who are ready to use violence without ethical or legal restraints for internal cleansing of the society and external expansion?"

And I would answer positively this question as far as external expansion goes.


Second Best said in reply to anne...

'Obviously we can't both have a shortage of workers and a shortage of jobs at the same time.'

It should be easy to swift boat Jeb Bush on a tacit admission that he is criticizing employers for not hiring more to work more hours for lack of sales, not employees voluntarily working less. The data is too strong to deny this in areas like the Beveridge Curve.

It won't happen because no challenger to Bush will advance a spending platform that hires more at higher hours, a third rail none of them will touch.

cm said in reply to Second Best...

Nobody is claiming a general shortage of workers. The claim is a shortage of suitably skilled workers. Including of course basic skills and professional attitude that should be expected to be readily available (and mostly is). And of course the unstated qualifiers "at a certain price point" and "willing to agree to all our terms".

In "tech", one significant "problem" is that general or even specialized competence is often not enough for a high level of proficiency - the worker also has to get up to speed on proprietary in house tech, learn their way around the complex processes and organizations, etc., which takes several months or even years. This is a considerable sunk cost and risk of having to do it over when the worker leaves. Company pensions/defined benefits as a means to bind workers to the company have been phased out, stock with vesting may work but is expensive at scale, and the next best thing is a work visa where the workers cannot just leave at will, or at least with nontrivial risk and hassle on their part (e.g. being forced to leave the country for a while to get a new visa).

Peter K. said...

Jeb!

Worse than Romney?

pgl said in reply to Peter K....

I thought being worse than Romney was impossible but Jeb! just may exceed "expectations".

Brad said...

Got an idea. Let's end the subsidies to crony capitalist industries soooo supported by Bush, Romney, GOP and their ilk (petroleum, Big Sugar, Military Industrial Complex, etc.).

Romney screwed the FDIC out of $16M. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-federal-bailout-that-saved-mitt-romney-20120829

Bush family made its money initially trading with the WWII enemy and then built a fortune in petroleum, which was heavily subsidized. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar

Dick Cheney and his relationship with KBR-Halliburton, was the big winner in the Iraq war. http://www.ibtimes.com/winner-most-iraq-war-contracts-kbr-395-billion-decade-1135905

The real issue is not one of 'takers' or 'non-workers' but a 'smash and grab' scrum for WHO gets to be the REAL TAKERS and clearly the right wing GOP have a sense of entitlement to rip off the most and are incensed if they perceive anyone might need some social services!

What a joke!

pgl said in reply to Brad...

Hey! Their lawyers and lobbyists worked long hours to rig the system in their favor.

JF said...

"16 tons and what did I get?

Another day older and deeper in debt.

Oh, I owe my soul to the company store."

So this is the new thinking of the GOP? Produce more, work as many hours as needed, get paid no more than I'd planned on paying you. Good campaign platform. I can see how that will attract the attention of those who work for a living or worked decades before they were able to retire.

And better yet, if I get the 16 tons and I use even fewer workers (who really are indebted to me for getting a job), all the better. Good productivity metric. Just need fewer of them to work longer, harder too.

I can hear the music playing now as the GOP candidates take to the podium.

I just hope other US residents hear the doleful music too, and relate to it by voting a straight ticket for the other party.

JF said...

"don't you call me, I can't go"

The GOP platform is also designed to solve the Social Security accounting matter in the Jonathan Swift manner. Keep people working longer and harder, paying them so they can never get ahead, so they can never retire and claim any earnings via the social security system's support for the economy (and it is earned, a return on investment of the human capital).

ilsm said in reply to JF...

How to fix entitlements: have them die before reaching SS age! As a matter of fact have them die cheap too.

The money is needed to buy F-35's to do fake missions with a plane that cannot do the fake missions.

If the US had half the $28T spend the past 70 years on the pentagon for the 99%..........

Brad said...

Speaking of more crony capitalist giveaways. Remember Bush's plan to privatize Social Security, in other words giving it to stock brokers WHO HAVE NO FIDUCIARY DUTY!

Dept. of Labor has proposed to making some retirement asset managers fidcuaires. http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20150515/FREE/150519925/dol-extends-comment-period-on-fiduciary-duty-proposal

Congress threatens to defund D. of Labor if the rule occurs! http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20150625/FREE/150629945/momentum-to-defund-dol-fiduciary-rule-seems-unstoppable

Think of how extreme this attempted giveaway was compared to anything related to the 'social safety net'!

It is "redistribution from the duped to the dupers"! http://faculty.chicagobooth.edu/luigi.zingales/papers/research/Finance.pdf

DeDude said in reply to Brad...

Yes what an outrage to demand that retirement asset managers work for the best of the retirees, rather than the Wall Street banksters who bribe them to assist in the looting of their retirees. No wonder the banksters little GOP sock puppets are throwing a fit.

ilsm said in reply to JF...

How to fix entitlements: have them die before reaching SS age! As a matter of fact have them die cheap too.

The money is needed to buy F-35's to do fake missions with a plane that cannot do the fake missions.

If the US had half the $28T spend the past 70 years on the pentagon for the 99%..........

[Jul 11, 2015] Bernie Sanders Gets His Gun

Jul 7, 2015 | The American Conservative

After every election, the Democratic Party spends a lot of time wondering why it keeps losing the support of white working-class voters. Why would the white working class support Republican candidates and policies when those candidates and policies are so detrimental to their economic interests?

Some conclude that racism is the reason, and there's something to that. Others argue that such voters are being duped by the "culture war," and there's something to that, too. But could there also be something here about liberals and their claim to knowing what the Democratic base cares about? Perhaps, I wonder, the white working class might continue to side with the Republicans because liberal Democrats maintain a barely concealed contempt for the white working class, especially in the implication that those who care about guns are insane.

Fact is, the real issue in the gun debate is geography. Bernie Sanders knows it. Vermont is a rural state with relatively weak gun laws and relatively low rates of gun violence. Guns are normal. Meanwhile, most liberal Democrats, especially the ones who write for Slate and MSNBC, live in populous urban centers located on the east and west coasts, where in their experience having a gun makes no sense at all.

I'm not bothered by hypocrisy. What bothers me about this mainstream liberal reaction to Bernie Sanders's record on gun legislation is what it says about mainstream liberalism, especially its understanding of the values of the white working class, a bloc of voters that the Democratic Party still needs in order to advance a majoritarian agenda.

As a close friend of Sanders told National Journal: "He doesn't really care about guns. But he cares that other people care about guns. He thinks there's an elitism in the antigun movement." And he's right.

[Jul 11, 2015] Gaius Publius The Clinton Campaign Notices the Sanders Campaign, or How to Read the Media

Now we start to see dirty MSM games and tricks with election polls. It is well known that the key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Desirable result that conditions those who did not yet decided to vote "for the winner" can be achieved in a very subtle way. For example if electorate of one candidate is younger, you can run poll using landline phones. Gaius Publius provide a good analysis of now MSM sell establishment candidate to lemmings in his July 10, 2015 post in Naked capitalism blog (The Clinton Campaign Notices the Sanders Campaign, or How to Read the Media)
.
"...I don't think the Clinton herders care who actually votes, only who funds."
.
"...HRC is the biggest threat to the Democrats winning the White House. She is so far to the right on almost every issue, she is the most unelectable of them all. I basically view her campaign as a front for Jeb!"
.
"...I will take at face value the statement that Sanders' personal views are a threat to the capitalists who control both major parties. But his strategy is not. In spite of his best intentions, he will end up being the sheepdog that makes sure the progressive movement stays in the Democratic Party (for the term "sheepdog" and supporting analysis see http://www.blackagendareport.com/bernie-sanders-sheepdog-4-hillary)."
nakedcapitalism.com

... ... ...

Taking Apart the Insider Game

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

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

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

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

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

The Clinton Campaign Notices Sanders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What to Look at When the Times Reports on Clinton

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

Bottom Line

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

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

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

My guess is few or none.

Reader note: Gaius asked for me to allow comments on this post, so please have at it!

AJ, July 10, 2015 at 8:14 am

I was that Sanders rally in Council Bluffs. I follow politics especially on the left very closely so I didn't really come home with any thing new (besides some extra Bernie stickers). However, the crowd was huge and engaged. It almost had the feel of a big tent revival.

One issue that I've been thinking about lately that I haven't seen publicly addressed (except for in the comments on the 538 article Lambert posted yesterday) is how reliable do we think sine of these polling numbers are? Given that Sanders support definitely skews younger, would these people even be captured in telephone polls? I tend to think this is why the Greek vote was as big of a surprise as it was. I think there is a large going progressive part of the population (both on the US and abroad) that doesn't get picked up in the polling. If true, Sanders could be a lot closer to Clinton than these numbers suggest.


NotTimothyGeithner, July 10, 2015 at 9:06 am

Pollsters know this, but there are three kinds: the national subscription polls who just want to be relevant, paid polls, and the local reputation polls. Because of the distance to the election, there won't be good responses, and cell phone users have grown reliant on texting and are less likely to respond. The pollsters know this. Needless to say, the Quinnipiac poll should be disconcerting for the Clinton camp and the Democrats who thought Hillary would shower them with cash and appearances. That result means they see enough to make this claim even though they aren't quite on the ground the way a Roanoke College poll is in Virginia. The local reputation poll has a sense of the electorate because they've polled every local election while CNN was trying to interview Nessie.

There is dissatisfaction within Team Blue that Hillary Clinton can't bridge. There is a myth about Bill's magical campaign touch Democrats have internalized despite a lack of evidence, and I think Team Blue elites feel Obama failed them and want to bring Hillary in as a savior. Obviously, they weren't around in '94.


pat b, July 10, 2015 at 8:15 pm

Bill and Al ran a magical campaign in 92, but that was a long time ago, and they spent two decades
triangulating against the Base. Bill signed NAFTA and HRC spent 23 years defending it.

In 92 the clinton's were selling the dream of the 90's. Now, they are selling Windows 98.

Nick, July 10, 2015 at 10:26 am

Too bad young people have a horrible track record actually voting. Clinton knows the game well enough.

NotTimothyGeithner, July 10, 2015 at 11:11 am

Hillary is 8 years older, so are her core nostalgia supporters. Without a message for the now under 45 crowd, Hillary has lost 8 years worth of supporters to relative infirmity or death.

She didn't rally the crowds for Grimes, Landrieu, or Hagan. Shaheen was the incumbent she saved, but she was running against an unremarkable Massachusetts carpet bagger. I'm not certain the Democrats have ever left the Spring of '94.

vidimi, July 10, 2015 at 11:33 am

don't underestimate the number of young, white females voting clinton. it will be somewhere near all of them.

mn, July 10, 2015 at 11:43 am

What about college debt and the fact that there are no jobs. Gender seems to be a selling point, like race the last time. Not all younger females will be that stupid again.

NotTimothyGeithner, July 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Actually, Obama won younger females. Credit where credit is due. Gender may have affected older voters who come from an obviously more repressive era, but I suspect brand loyalty and legitimacy (it's her turn messaging), racism, and nostalgia played a hand in Clinton's 2008 support more than gender. If a 25 year old woman in 2008 didn't vote for Hillary, what has Hillary done to change her mind or attract the 17 year old from 2008? In many ways, Hillary has to replace 8 years of death to her base.

mn, July 10, 2015 at 1:01 pm

At that time people were saying to vote for Hillary because she would prop up destroyed 401ks (to me the mindless young voter). I fell for the hope and change b.s., I won't do that again. Long time Bernie fan.

As for my friends they are voting for Hillary because they don't think Bernie can win, others that hate her are sitting out. Yes, many females really do not like her. Love Ann Richards! RIP.

pat b, July 10, 2015 at 8:34 pm

The Silent Generation anchored Reagan and was much more conservative and risk averse then the Boomers of which Hillary is one. However, the issue isn't Hillary vs the GOP's aging angry silent generation types, it's more Hillary's aging Boomer female base vs the millenials who think the Boomers shafted them. It was the Boomers who benefited from cheap college tuition then voted in Reagan to cut taxes and dump these costs onto Gen X, GenY and the Millenials.

Paul Tioxon, July 10, 2015 at 11:14 pm

My point is that of the passing of an era. And not only in terms of voters,the army of the silent majority which saw the blue collar conservatives, the hard hats, the cops, leave the democrats en mass and the democrats having little to replace them. The defection of the dixiecrats from the dems to the republicans, as witnessed in the complete turnover of Texas to the republicans amalgamated what was a coalition into a choke hold from 1968 until 2008, with only 12 years dems in the WH only 2 dem presidents over 40 years. And of course, Clinton may as well have been George Bush for all that it mattered for domestic policies.

So Hillary and the dems do not have the army of voters against them that they used to have plus what ever momentarily disaffected Millenials seeking payback or another group to reinforce numbers making the republicans a majority party. They are not.
The point is that as your opposition declines in numbers as far as the ballot box goes, and your likely supporters increase, the odds favor your party as a majority.

http://www.people-press.org/2015/04/07/a-deep-dive-into-party-affiliation/

Millenials, according to Pew Polls, the 18-33 year olds, are 51% democrat/ leaning democrat vs 35% republican/leaning republican. Even though independent is now the largest of the 3 categories, leaning is the place to go when there is no alternative choice, apparently.

I am not sure the younger group is following the republican strategist wedge issue that the old people are stealing from the young with college debt, social security, Medicare being blamed for the diminished prosperity of the young. Trying to turn their grandparents who are retired after a lifetime of hard work into the new welfare queens is not getting the traction you would think. Apparently holding onto ritual Thanksgiving Day dinners and baking cookies around the holidays is more of a social bond than fabricated grievances by political consultants can even rend asunder. And of course, blood is thicker than water. Don't expect granny and pop pop to pushed off on an iceberg anytime soon because of college debt.

Praedor, July 10, 2015 at 11:07 am

What I see in this is the potential for a low turnout election. POTENTIAL. Those enthusiastic young voters, or the previously disgusted sideline sitters who have come out anew for Sanders (or previously for Warren) are NOT likely to shrug their shoulders and vote for Hillary if she ends up pulling in the pre-anointed crown. It's hard to get all fired up and enthusiastic about candidate A only to be stuck with candidate B who you weren't interested in before. This has the potential to really change things or gut the process of any participants except the true believer core of the Democrats.

Uahsenaa, July 10, 2015 at 8:51 am

I found this sentence to be rather curious: "Mrs. Clinton's advisers, meanwhile, have deep experience pulling off upsets and comeback political victories, and Mrs. Clinton often performs best when she is under pressure from rivals." The first part is unsubstantiated vaguery, but the second part is demonstrably untrue. Or, if not "untrue," then it implies that Sec. Clinton's "best" is still "loses." Also there's the earlier bit about Sanders being "untested" nationally, yet, when you parse that, you realize Ms. Clinton's "testedness" amounts to "lost to an insurgent candidate who had been in national politics for all of a few minutes."

Since I'm still somewhat skeptical of what a Sanders candidacy means, I am quite happy to see how, along with Bernie, others in various facets of government seem to be emboldened to fight back. TPA may have been a loss in the short term, but the administration was clearly taken aback by having to fight resistance at all. My hope is the Sanders campaign, at a bare minimum, will demonstrate how popular fighting back really is and stiffen the spines of those in government who want to do something but fear genuine reprisal.

NotTimothyGeithner, July 10, 2015 at 9:12 am

http://articles.latimes.com/1994-11-02/news/mn-57804_1_democratic-senate

Did you see the date? This article could be about 2014. There is a dangerous myth about the Clinton touch.

Uahsenaa, July 10, 2015 at 9:53 am

It's been surprising to me how willing Sec. Clinton has been to alienate core constituencies of the Democratic party. When O'Malley and Sanders came to Iowa City, they both reached out to local unions for support/attendance/whatever, but when Clinton came here on Tuesday, I found out about it when I showed up with my daughter for reading time at the library.

I hear again and again about the Clintons' political savvy, yet in practice I just don't see it.

They may be ruthless, but ruthless only gets you so far. She cannot take Democratic stalwarts for granted this election cycle, especially when the AFL-CIO went into open war with the administration over TPA.

Who does she think shows up for the polls in primary elections?

redleg, July 10, 2015 at 10:16 am

Hubris. I don't think the Clinton herders care who actually votes, only who funds.

DolleyMadison, July 10, 2015 at 11:22 am

EXACTLY.

flora, July 10, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Bill and Hill's speaking fees give a whole new meaning to "the Clinton touch."

TheCatSaid, July 10, 2015 at 2:09 pm

"Who does she think shows up for the polls in primary elections?"

This seems like the key question.

It's one thing to motivate people to vote for a presidential election, but motivating people to turnout for a primary might be different entirely. For example, do as many young voters and minority voters turn out for a primary? If not, what would it take to change this?

If Hillary feels she can control primary voters through local Democratic party machines, that might explain her standpoint.

Lambert Strether, July 10, 2015 at 2:24 pm

I wonder how effective the local Democratic party machines are, or whether Obama's reverse Midas touch destroyed them. (Certainly my own local machine is ineffectual, and the state party is corrupt (landfills)).

I wonder if there's a comparison to be made between ObamaCare signups and GOTV (I mean a literal one, in that the same apparatchiks would get walking around money for both, and the data might even be/have been dual-purposed). My first impulse is to say, if so, "Good luck, and let me know how that works out!" but I don't know how directly the metrics translate.

Jeremy Grimm, July 10, 2015 at 9:22 pm

For the last few years I have been a lowly member of the local Democratic Party machine, a volunteer co-precinct leader (though hardly similar to what a precinct leader used to be). The local party leadership and membership is old, late boomer, steadfast and immobile. Republican party opposition in this area is virtually non-existent so I have no idea how effective our local organization is as opposed to how skewed the demographics of my area. With little or no efforts, we consistently turn out a substantial Democratic vote. I believe the corruption of politics in my state, New Jersey, is justly famous. I have no idea what corruption might exist in my local township, though I am starting to wonder. As for President Obama's reverse Midas touch I live near the headquarters of several big pharmaceutical corporations. I am sure they have wide-open purses for both parties.

As of late last year, our organization has had few meetings and poor attendance at the one meeting I showed up for. I learned at that meeting, about a month ago, that several of the other precinct leads have resigned, though I don't know why. I am moving away and will also resign as of the end of this month.

I suspect our local organization will come out strongly in favor of Hillary Clinton though provide little in the way of support. When I raised concern about the TPA and TPP at the last meeting I attended and urged the other members of this supposedly political organization to call or write to our Representative … few of the members knew what I was talking about. The chair tried to rule my concern out of order though all other business was done and our Democratic Mayor, who is a member of the organization, suggested we should each hear views from both sides before deciding our individual stance on the TPA or TPP since there were arguments for both sides (even though the TPA was coming up for a vote in a few days). I should add a little context … this meeting consisted of the eleven or so people who showed up. In my experience this close watch over all dissent from local, state or national party line typified our organization. All questions other than very specific procedural questions and discussions were NOT welcome.

I can only speak of my own alienation from the Democratic Party, local, state and national. I voted for Obama with enthusiasm in 2008 but with disgust in 2012. I have been a Democrat since Adlai Stevenson II (though I was too young to vote for him). I will continue to register as a Democrat but I doubt many Democrats will receive my vote and certainly no Republicans. I have no plans to further participate in Party politics. I will vote for candidates I like but never again vote for the "lesser of two evils." I cannot gauge the extent to which my alienation typifies other Democrats since political discussions are generally considered impolite except among close friends.

Pissed Younger baby boomer, July 11, 2015 at 2:59 am

I am too disillusioned with the democratic party .where i live in Oregon ,my congressman is a blue dog dem. i called his a least five times to voice my opposition to TPP. A few months ago I signed up for phone town hall meeting .i never received an e-mail invitation .YES talking about suppressing dissent.i am considering switch to the greens or a socialist party. My fear i hope we do not become fascist country and three out of four congressmen vote for TPA and senator Wyden voted for it too.I also lost faith in the phony liberal media.

NotTimothyGeithner, July 11, 2015 at 9:33 am

The GOP organizes through churches and other outfits. Ted aren't as noticeable wherever one is, but the GOP isn't interested in turnout as much as making sure their people vote. They have minders who phish for potential voters. Why do women ever vote Republican? Because they have a club that demands it. Your area may be skewed but half of Dean's 50 state strategy was lifted from GOP election approaches.

Uahsenaa, July 10, 2015 at 4:30 pm

With the exception of Illinois, because Chicago, the state democratic parties in most midwestern states are in shambles, so the likelihood of the "machine" squeaking out a win is quite low. In the absence of that, what you have left are the institutions traditionally loyal to the D party who have been thrown under the bus so many times over the past 8 years, it's bewildering. I mentioned the AFL-CIO break with the administration over "trade," (scare quotes don't quite seem big enough) precisely because it seems to indicate a willingness to break from tradition, if an opportunity presents itself.

Now, I have no idea what things are like in the South, and those states plus NY/IL/CA might be enough to push Hillary through to the nomination. However, if she continues the way she has so far, the apparatus in a large number of states is not going to be enough to buttress her against popular grumbling.

John Zelnicker, July 10, 2015 at 8:45 pm

In Alabama the Democratic Party apparatus is a total mess and completely ineffectual. The party "leaders" spend most of their time protecting their little fiefdoms and fighting efforts to expand and diversify the membership of the statewide committees and local affiliates. In fact, it has gotten so bad that some activists are trying to set up independent Party committees to recruit candidates for local and state elections and run GOTV efforts.

C. dentata, July 10, 2015 at 10:49 am

I think it may not be pro-Clinton as much as anti-Sanders bias. The corporate media are certainly happy to ridiculously hype any of the nonstories about Hillary that Trey Gowdy feeds them.

anonymous123, July 10, 2015 at 11:07 am

It was really nice to see someone deconstruct this article. When I read it the other day I had the same thoughts go through my head about the overt messaging going on.

vidimi, July 10, 2015 at 11:29 am

pro-trade reminds me of pro-russian rebels. seems very likely that the chamber of commerce or state department or somesuch approached all editors and ordered them to use these two terms for their respective designees. classic propaganda tactic.

Vatch, July 10, 2015 at 12:14 pm

I expect to vote for Sanders in the primary, and for an as yet unknown third party candidate in the election. Obama and Bill Clinton have taught me that main stream Democratic politicians only differ from Republican politicians on a few social issues; on everything else they are the same. I refuse to knowingly vote for a voluntary agent of the oligarchs, which is what Hillary Clinton is.


flora , July 10, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Yes. Both the GOP and the DLC Dems agree on all major economic issues. The electioneering so far has been personality oriented. Jeb!, The Donald, Hillary!, etc.

Except for Sanders, who isn't running a personality campaign. He's talking about important economic issues in a way the others won't.

In the late '70s conventional wisdom solidified around the idea that economic stagnation was due to organized labor having too much economic power (true or not, my point isn't to re-argue that case). The 'Reagan revolution' promised to re-balance and right the economy by reining in organized labor.

Now organized money has too much economic power. It's harming the whole economy. Bernie is talking about reining in organized money. How do the other candidates deal with this without bursting their ideological bubble for the audience? The NYTimes article is a case in point.

Cano Doncha Know, July 11, 2015 at 5:31 am

HRC is the biggest threat to the Democrats winning the White House. She is so far to the right on almost every issue, she is the most unelectable of them all. I basically view her campaign as a front for Jeb!

cm, July 10, 2015 at 12:38 pm
Some laughable NY Times articles about their inability to write articles without relying on anonymous sources, despite their own (ignored) policies:

http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/18/the-times-used-25-unnamed-sources-in-7-days-a-reuters-critic-says/?_r=0

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/opinion/sunday/the-public-editor-the-disconnect-on-anonymous-sources.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/22/opinion/22pubed.html

Anarcissie, July 10, 2015 at 1:36 pm
If Sanders wins a few primaries, I would expect a moderate-bot to be trundled in. The Webb, for instance, has already been turned on and is humming, ready to go. (The O'Malley seems to have already burned through its batteries.)
NotTimothyGeithner, July 10, 2015 at 2:00 pm
The Webb? No, no, no, no, no. As a Webb primary voter, I can assure you the man has 0 personality and isn't a big campaigner. If the young Hillary supporters in NYC found Hillary uninspiring, they might collapse into a blob and just stop after listening to Webb. I just assumed he is running because he likes Iowa.

O'Malley has already attacked Sanders and doesn't pick up the Hillary experience narrative as well as having to roll out during the Baltimore protests.


Bob Richard, July 10, 2015 at 5:55 pm

Nothing GP is says about the Times article or reporting in general is wrong. But the MSM, including the Times reporter, is completely missing the real story of the Sanders campaign.

I will take at face value the statement that Sanders' personal views are a threat to the capitalists who control both major parties. But his strategy is not. In spite of his best intentions, he will end up being the sheepdog that makes sure the progressive movement stays in the Democratic Party (for the term "sheepdog" and supporting analysis see http://www.blackagendareport.com/bernie-sanders-sheepdog-4-hillary).

Like Ralph Nader before him, Sanders has a completely wrong approach to political parties. Nader understood that he needed to work outside the major party framework but did not understand that social movements don't just need popular candidates. They also need enduring organizations, which are called political parties. For most of his career, Sanders has been able work both sides of this fence, helping to create a state-level organization (the Progressive Party) in Vermont but also running with Democratic Party endorsements. This spring was a moment of truth for him. He has (or until now had) the stature to create a new political party, perhaps from scratch or perhaps by joining and helping build the Green Party. He chose to turn his back on the left.

The left needs a political party. Yes, I know, we have a two party system. But that is the problem. Believing that the two party system is an immutable law of nature is not part of any solution.

RPY, July 10, 2015 at 6:06 pm

Bernie I believe because of his message, is attracting people from both sides of the aisle. Everyday people who are tired of partisan politics and are just glad to hear someone willing to speak the truth of how screwed things are. From the corruption of wall street to the corruption of Washington, DC politics.

Lambert Strether, July 10, 2015 at 7:50 pm

Some of us on the left would rather deal with a straightforward reactionary who's honest about their intentions than backstabbing "Join the conversation" Democrats. I wonder if there's a similar dynamic on the right: They'd rather deal with an honest-to-gawd Socialist than McConnnell and Boehner (Exhibit A: TPP).

RPY, July 10, 2015 at 6:06 pm

Bernie I believe because of his message, is attracting people from both sides of the aisle. Everyday people who are tired of partisan politics and are just glad to hear someone willing to speak the truth of how screwed things are. From the corruption of wall street to the corruption of Washington, DC politics.

Lambert Strether, July 10, 2015 at 7:50 pm

Some of us on the left would rather deal with a straightforward reactionary who's honest about their intentions than backstabbing "Join the conversation" Democrats. I wonder if there's a similar dynamic on the right: They'd rather deal with an honest-to-gawd Socialist than McConnnell and Boehner (Exhibit A: TPP).

oho, July 11, 2015 at 2:36 pm

*** First, when you expose yourself to any of the "liberal" U.S. outlets (as opposed to, say, The Guardian) be aware that because they are owned by establishment corporations they're already pro-Clinton. ***

While the Guardian is nominally independent, it ain't much better at being "liberal" that the NYT.

Guardian editors like access to Westminster, their fellow Oxbridge alums and invites to cocktail parties in Kensington too.

[Jul 11, 2015] Neocon Kagan: Hillary Clinton Is One Of Us

"...In fact, HRC may be a better prospect for neocons, because they can distract the Dem base with how cool it is for a "strong woman" to send men into battle. Anyone opposed must be a misogynist/sexist pig. By contrast Jeb would be too obvious."
Jun 16, 2014 | moonofalabama.org

Here is the reason why Hillary Clinton should never ever become President of the United States.

A (sympathetic) New York Times profile of neocon Robert Kagan has this on Clinton II:

But Exhibit A for what Robert Kagan describes as his "mainstream" view of American force is his relationship with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who remains the vessel into which many interventionists are pouring their hopes. Mr. Kagan pointed out that he had recently attended a dinner of foreign-policy experts at which Mrs. Clinton was the guest of honor, and that he had served on her bipartisan group of foreign-policy heavy hitters at the State Department, where his wife worked as her spokeswoman.

"I feel comfortable with her on foreign policy," Mr. Kagan said, adding that the next step after Mr. Obama's more realist approach "could theoretically be whatever Hillary brings to the table" if elected president. "If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue," he added, "it's something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else."

Want more wars with terrible outcomes and no winner at all? Vote the neocon's vessel, Hillary Clinton.

Clinton, by the way, is also a coward, unprincipled and greedy. Her achievements as Secretary of State were about zero. Why would anyone vote for her?

Posted by b on June 16, 2014 at 09:09 AM | Permalink

Lysander | Jun 16, 2014 9:44:15 AM | 4

I'm afraid you focus too much on elections that have no meaning. It seems we may be cornered into choosing between HR Clinton and Jeb Bush. The latter, I'm sure, would earn equal praise from the Kagan clan. There is no prospect of a non-interventionist president. There is no prospect of a president that is not a Zionist stooge.

In fact, HRC may be a better prospect for neocons, because they can distract the Dem base with how cool it is for a "strong woman" to send men into battle. Anyone opposed must be a misogynist/sexist pig. By contrast Jeb would be too obvious.

dahoit | Jun 16, 2014 9:54:05 AM | 6

Personally, I don't think she is anyone to worry about gaining the office. Too much hatred of her by most Americans, from her serial lying to her terrible foreign policy, to her standing by bent dick, in her lust for power. She will be backed by feminazis,homonazis and zionazis(Kagan).

Not enough devil worshippers in America,at least not yet,and I believe Americans,from current events that our traitor MSM will be unable to counter with their usual BS,that we are down the rabbit hole of idiotic intervention,and we will end this nonsense,and return to worrying about America,not foreign malevolent monsters like Israel.
Well,I can at least hope,it springs eternal.

Earwig | Jun 16, 2014 9:58:14 AM | 7

"There is no prospect of a non-interventionist president."

Exactly. Obama has certainly proved this to be true, for those who might've thought otherwise. And since it is true, if one is going to vote anyway, then the decision won't be made on the basis of not "wanting more wars with terrible outcomes." There will have to be another, different, deciding factor, since that factor would rule out Ms. Clinton AND every other candidate.

JSorrentine | Jun 16, 2014 10:01:53 AM | 8

Yes, I have to second Lysander's view. People - both in and outside the US - must first disabuse themselves of ANY notion that the US is a democratic state, that "changes" in leadership will actually bring about ANY difference in foreign/domestic policy and that the American war criminal ship can be righted by the people utilizing the "democratic" mechanisms at their disposal.

I understand that some speak to how corrupt our institutions are but there always seems to be a "feel-goodiness" - i.e., we can still fix it all, boys and girls, if you all just clap your hands LOUDER!! - implicit in their analyses/prescriptions when there should be nothing but anger, fear and revulsion towards the fascist war criminal state that we live within.

Furthermore, after the Obama debacle and his utter betrayal etc of his supporters if anyone thinks someone in the American Establishment is looking out for their peon asses why then they probably also believe that the US was "surprised/caught off guard" - yet again - by ISIS et al in Iraq.

Fucking nonsense.

Massinissa | Jun 16, 2014 11:35:30 AM | 11

The best option is always either third party or stay home.

It doesnt even matter what third party.

Its probably better to vote third party, if one is better than the other: Half the USA is already not voting and the electionss are still considered legitimate.

Only 10% or something of Haiti votes and the vote is still considered legitimate.

But its a personal opinion.

But please, please, for the love of GOD, no more lesser evil voting!!!

Massinissa | Jun 16, 2014 11:40:18 AM | 13

"There is no chance of a non-interventionist president"

I wish Rand Paul had his fathers balls, but he doesnt. Ron was a Libertarian pretending to be a Republican, while Rand is a Republican pretending to be a Libertarian... Rand would be no different than any other Republican or Democratic establishment schmuck.

I never did like Ron Pauls economic policy, being left leaning, and I'm doubtful whether he would have actually accomplished anything useful as President, but his NonInterventionism was admirable and I was happy to put his name in in the Rethug primary in 2012 for that reason alone.

Mike Maloney | Jun 16, 2014 12:01:20 PM | 15

Great post, b. I saw the article and felt the same thing. While commentators are right to say that the foreign policy of the U.S. remains largely untouched regardless of which candidate or party wins the White House (which the NYT piece does a fine job illustrating), I do think Hillary is the worst the Democrats have to offer.

What I found amazing about the story is how neocons are now preening about as if they have been vindicated:

Mr. Kristol said he, too, sensed "more willingness to rethink" neoconservatism, which he called "vindicated to some degree" by the fruits of Mr. Obama's detached approach to Syria and Eastern Europe. Mr. Kagan, he said, gives historical heft to arguments "that are very consistent with the arguments I made, and he made, 20 years ago, 10 years ago."
After all the slaughter these people feel like crowing. They are clearly, as JSorrentine often reminds us, pyschopath butchers.

Incidentally, where is the outrage from Samantha Powers about the ISIS massacre in Tikrit?

Dubhaltach | Jun 16, 2014 12:07:31 PM | 16

Want more wars with terrible outcomes and no winner at all? Vote the neocon's vessel, Hillary Clinton.

That's what they've been voting for generations — why change the habit of a lifetime?

Clinton, by the way, is also a coward, unprincipled and greedy. Her achievements as Secretary of State were about zero. Why would anyone vote for her?

Well at the risk of being a smartass her achievements were negative, the American hegemony is in worse condition because of her.

Dubhaltach

JSorrentine | Jun 16, 2014 12:10:24 PM | 17

OT:

Well, I guess the world just can't talk about how the amazingly rapid rise of ISIS/L and fall of Iraq completely continues the plans of the apartheid genocidal state of Israel's - and their traitorous Zionist partners in the American Establishment - as set out in the Yinon Plan and Clean Break strategies because - HOW FORTUITOUS...I mean, terribly sad and unexpected, sorry - some unlucky Israeli teenagers just happened to be "kidnapped" by "Hamas" just as the ISIS show was kicking off or so that's what the apartheid genocidal state of Israel is telling the world.

Yeah, I bet the apartheid genocidal state of Israel probably has just NO IDEA about what's going on in Iraq what with their harrowing search - read: collective punishment for the residents of the illegally occupied territories - for the 3 missing boys who haven't been ransomed or claimed to have been taken by anyone.

Wait a second...what if it was ISIS/L and NOT Hamas that "kidnapped" the boys!!!Holy tie-in, Bat-Man!!!!

Then there would be NO WAY that what we're witnessing is the furthering of the Yinon Plan because the apartheid genocidal Israelis would never instigate false flag terror to further/distract from their own ends/agenda, would they? Nah.

Wait a second...they ALREADY DID (supposedly):

A Qaeda-inspired group calling itself the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — Palestine, West Bank claimed responsibility for the kidnappings, saying it wanted to avenge Israel's killing of three of its group in the Hebron area late last year and to try to free prisoners from Israeli jails. The credibility of the claim was not immediately clear.

But clear enough for the Zionist mouthpiece of the NYT to print it, right?

Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 16, 2014 12:18:00 PM | 18

Shrillary wouldn't be where she is today if she wasn't criminally insane. I want her to become President. She'll redefine the meaning of Eerily Inept (a label coined by Gore Vidal and attached to G Dubya Bush). Her greatest moment was when Lavrov called her out on her RESET button and pointed out, with a chuckle, "You got it wrong. It doesn't say RESET it says SHORT CIRCUIT."
Then he laughed. At her, not with her.
She's a sick, intellectually lazy, dumb, joke.
America deserves her.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Jun 16, 2014 12:41:43 PM | 20

Here's Killary quoted in the NYT yesterday:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who argued in favor of arming Syrian rebels, said last week at an event in New York hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, "this is not just a Syrian problem anymore. I never thought it was just a Syrian problem. I thought it was a regional problem. I could not have predicted, however, the extent to which ISIS could be effective in seizing cities in Iraq and trying to erase boundaries to create an Islamic state."

Why, even HILLARY is just SOOOO SURPRISED about people trying to erase boundaries, huh? Funny, she should have read further into yesterday's times where it seems that the Zionist mouthpiece of record was desperately trying to get "out in front" of anyone mentioning that the fracturing of Iraq and the ME was all part of long-time Israeli strategy:

Here's from another NYT piece yesterday:

In 2006, it was Ralph Peters, the retired lieutenant colonel turned columnist, who sketched a map that subdivided Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and envisioned Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite republics emerging from a no-longer-united Iraq. Two years later, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg imagined similar partings-of-the-ways, with new microstates -- an Alawite Republic, an Islamic Emirate of Gaza -- taking shape and Afghanistan splitting up as well. Last year, it was Robin Wright's turn in this newspaper, in a map that (keeping up with events) subdivided Libya as well.

Peters's map, which ran in Armed Forces Journal, inspired conspiracy theories about how this was America's real plan for remaking the Middle East. But the reality is entirely different: One reason these maps have remained strictly hypothetical, even amid regional turmoil, is that the United States has a powerful interest in preserving the Sykes-Picot status quo.

This is not because the existing borders are in any way ideal. Indeed, there's a very good chance that a Middle East that was more politically segregated by ethnicity and faith might become a more stable and harmonious region in the long run.

My favorite part of the above column is that it references a previous column from the Zionist NYT from last year in which a war criminal even drew up the new map of the ME!!

Oh, but that war criminal thought SYRIA was going to be the trigger that allowed for the culmination of the Yinon Plan. Oops!

And then ALSO YESTERDAY in the NYT everyone's favorite little war Establishment mouthpiece Nicholas Kristoff had this to say:

The crucial step, and the one we should apply diplomatic pressure to try to achieve, is for Maliki to step back and share power with Sunnis while accepting decentralization of government.

If Maliki does all that, it may still be possible to save Iraq. Without that, airstrikes would be a further waste in a land in which we've already squandered far, far too much.

DECENTRALIZATION, huh? Why, Nicky, that sounds like what Putin has suggested for Ukraine, huh? Shhhhhhhh

And of course Mr. Fuckhead Tom Friedman weighs in ALSO YESTERDAY in the NYT with this:

THE disintegration of Iraq and Syria is upending an order that has defined the Middle East for a century. It is a huge event, and we as a country need to think very carefully about how to respond. Having just returned from Iraq two weeks ago, my own thinking is guided by five principles, and the first is that, in Iraq today, my enemy's enemy is my enemy. Other than the Kurds, we have no friends in this fight. Neither Sunni nor Shiite leaders spearheading the war in Iraq today share our values.

The ME is going to be split up inevitably: check

The US/Israel are JUST NOWHERE to be found: check

Thanks, Tom, you fucking war criminal scum!!!

To review:

Everyone in the Establishment - fake left, right, center, dove, hawk, blah blah - says that it's just inevitable now that Iraq and the ME will probably be broken up.

Everyone in the Establishment also agrees that NO ONE could see this whole ISIS etc shitpile coming, right?

Anyone else get the feeling that this is a coordinated continuation of the Zionist Plan for the Middle East?

Naahh. Nothing to see here, fuckers!!! Move along!!!!

Posted by: Penny | Jun 16, 2014 12:45:13 PM | 21

I am thirding Lysanders comment

Hillary is perfect for '(p)resident'

She ties right in with the whole pink power agenda. She is the woMAN version and can also be useful for the women=victims, but, no way for the women/whore

women/victim/whore is quintessentially Pussy Riot

And if you criticize HC you are just a woman hater!
(you know like antisemitic)
Same as Obama- criticize him, you are just a racist
Shuts the complaints right off!

As president she's da bomb!

Eureka Springs | Jun 16, 2014 1:48:59 PM | 22

These people aren't just measuring the drapes... they're counting corpses she's sure to order.

A most barbaric woman/human being, a terrible person, a terrible Governors wife, First Lady, Senator, SOS.... Obviously will be a perfect President.

She's a shoe-in. Hopefully it will be a presidency that once and for all sends the Demo party the way of the Whigs.

Posted by: Andoheb | Jun 16, 2014 2:38:11 PM | 24

Hillary is a loathsome war mongering bitch. She almost had a public orgasm when Libyan leader Quadaffi was tortured and murdered by US supported Libyan rebels. The muder of Chris Stevens was a case of what goes around comes around.

Posted by: Andoheb | Jun 16, 2014 2:47:02 PM | 25

A point which nobody else has made as far as I know. To wit there is a big overlap between the banking and Israel lobbies since wealthy Jews account for a hugely disproportionate number of top financial movers and shakers. Anything that helps the financial industry also helps the war mongering Israel and neo con lobbies. The heavily Jewish Fed is another enabler of all that is wrong with America today.

Posted by: ben | Jun 16, 2014 2:55:41 PM | 26

lysander @ 4: "There is no prospect of a president that is not a Zionist stooge."

I, also agree, with the possible exception of replacing the word "Zionist", with the word "Corporatist", although both can be rightly used. We'll still get the person the 1%ers want us to have. Ain't Oligarchies grand?

Posted by: Knut | Jun 16, 2014 3:27:22 PM | 31

Hillary's election depends on two things still unknown: her health and whether the Republicans can manage to choose someone sufficiently batshit crazy to make her the best of abysmal alternatives. I think her health is the critical variable, as the PTB are going to make sure that the Republican candidate will come out strongly for privatization of social security and reversing the 19th amendment. Vote-rigging and gerrymandering will maintain a sufficiently close election to preserve the simulacrum of a free election.

@18 You live in a dream world.

chip nikh | Jun 16, 2014 4:30:18 PM | 34

HRH is a Neo Liberal of Arianne 'Sniff Sniff' Huffington's type, the 'Third Way Up Your
Ass' of Globalist NAFTA/TPP Free Trade Neonazi destruction of labor and environmental
protections, and in your face with NOOOOO apologies.

That she is a totally-disjointed Royal is clear in her 'dead broke' claim. That she is a famous Hectorian, constantly checking which way public opinion is flowing, then crafting
her confabulated dialogue as screed to her real intents, is well known. Der Prevaricator.

What should be equally well known, if news got around, Hillary (and UKs Milliband) grifted
Hamid Karzai $5 BILLION of Americans' last life savings, stolen from US Humanitarian Aid
to Afghanistan, then made five trips to Kabul for no apparent purpose, before announcing
that her $-35 MILLION 'dead broke' presidential campaign had been paid off by 'anonymous
donors'. This is all public record; in the 2009 International Conference on Afghanistan in
London, right in the conference speeches, framed as 'Karzai's demand', but in fact, that
speech of Karzai's was written by US State Department. I read the drafts. 'Bicycling'.

Hillary soon had to fly back one more time and grift Karzai an emergency $3.5 BILLION
theft, after he lost Americans' $5 BILLION while speculating in Dubai R/E by looting
his Bank of Kabul. Her 'injection of capital' saved the bank from being audited, and
no doubt saved all the Kaganites from an embarrassing and public episiotomy.

In the end, Hillary retired with a fortune of $50 MILLION, again announced publicly, which
together with the $-35 MILLION campaign payoff in violation of all US election regulations,
is exactly 1% of the $8.5 BILLION she grifted to Karzai. She's in the 'One Percent Club'.
"It's a Great Big Club, ...and you ain't in it!" George 'The Man' Carlin

But who cares? I'll tell you. The Russian know about this grift, certainly the Israelis
know about this grift, the Millibandits know, the London Karzais know, and if G-d forbid,
Hillary became HRHOTUS, Americans will be blackmailed down to their underdrawers.

That's the Levant Way.

lysias | Jun 16, 2014 4:36:24 PM | 36

And Victoria Nuland indicates that she agrees with her husband Robert Kagan's criticism of Obama's foreign policy.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jun 16, 2014 7:40:23 PM | 44

Would it be safe to say Hillary's White Trash?

And to think, she was once a Goldwater Girl. So many faces, so many more to come.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 16, 2014 7:51:25 PM | 45

Posted by: scalawag | Jun 16, 2014 5:54:41 PM | 38

There are some really nice photographs of Hillary being very friendly with bearded famous Libyan Islamists (Gaddafi was still alive then). In combination with Benghazi - I think you probably can connect the people greeting Hillary with what happened there (and today's Iraq) I would not think she has a chance to convince with foreign policy.

Female voters are not stupid.

People do not vote on foreign policy. As US household incomes are decreasing there should be a lot of economic policy to vote on.

Posted by: truthbetold | Jun 16, 2014 7:51:40 PM | 46

"Well at the risk of being a smartass her achievements were negative, the American hegemony is in worse condition because of her."
Because of her and it.

Dubhaltach gets it right, and as applied to events inclusive of and after 9-11-2001. The purported masterful seamless garment of conspiracy,
yet it weakened the US and helped get Israel whacked good by Hezbollah.
As for the unmentioned Saudi, it is of course impossible that Saudi could outplay longterm both the US and Israel longterm.

Just as it was impossible Chalabi could outplay the neocons and help win Iran the Iraq War. Who is playing catch up and who is
playing masterfully cohesive and unbeatable conspiracy?

Dubhaltach gets it right, the US will be pushed out of the Mideast and Israel is longterm DOOMED.

Posted by: truthbetold | Jun 16, 2014 8:45:57 PM | 50

http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/06/16/resisting-the-stupid-shit/

Here is Obama in the very recent Remnick interview

"Obama said:
'You have a schism between Sunni and Shia throughout the region that is profound.
Some of it is directed or abetted by states who are in contests for power there.'"

Now, if only he had mentioned the states included and featured the (United) States and Israel.
Obama...usually a day late and a dollar short and leading or retreating from behind.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17, 2014 5:06:26 AM | 71

Posted by: HnH | Jun 17, 2014 4:30:40 AM | 64

I would rank Obama as the most cynical one. He is doing the dark colonial art. You can berate Bush for bombing Iraq (Obama did that with Libya, just as bad), but he did sink American manpower and treasure for all this futile nation building stuff, ie he tried to repair it.

The withdrawal from Iraq was negotiated by Bush. It was an election campaign deceit to pretend Obama's foreign policy was any different.

Obama tried to double down on the nation building stuff in Afghanistan, even copying the "surge". He is still not out of Afghanistan.

He then tried to continue Bush's policy on the cheap, scrapping the nation building stuff and concentrating on shock and awe in Libya. When Russia put a stop to that in Syria he doubled down on the subversion supporting guerilla groups. He is now back in Iraq with allies supporting a "Sunni" insurrection by proxy. After a "color revolution" in Ukraine.

He just "sold" US foreign policy in a different target group, Hillary will sell it to her target group, Jeb Bush to his.
The substance never changes and is cooked by the Council of Foreign Relations.

Posted by: T2015 | Jun 17, 2014 5:45:44 AM | 72

It is not "US foreign policy" but the policy of the british empire. If he was running a US foreign policy, he would at least sometimes do something positive for Americans, by accident if nothing more.

Posted by: Massinissa | Jun 17, 2014 11:53:21 AM | 84

@45

Economic policy to vote on? Are you joking? Whichever party we elect we get Neoliberalism anyway.

Posted by: Crone | Jun 18, 2014 12:23:56 AM | 97

"That smile and her gloating about his death made me feel she was some sort of sociopath."

Massinissa, you meant psychopath, didn't you?

the following is an excerpt from essay written by James at Winter Patriot:

"... Psychopaths are people without a conscience; without compassion for others; without a sense of shame or guilt. The majority of people carry within them the concern for others that evolution has instilled in us to allow us to survive as groups. This is the evolutionary basis of the quality of compassion. Compassion is not just a matter of virtue; it is a matter of survival. Psychopaths do not have this concern for others and so are a danger to the survival of the rest of us.

Psychopaths, as a homogeneous group, would not survive one or two generations by themselves. They are motivated only by self interest and would exploit each other till they ended up killing each other. Which gives one pause for thought! They are parasites and need the rest of us to survive. In doing so they compromise the survival of the whole species.

Psychopaths represent approximately between 1% and 20% of the population in western countries depending on whose research you go by and also depending on how broad a definition of the condition you adopt. It is generally held, though, that there is a hard core of between 4-6% or so and maybe another 10 -15% of the population that is functionally psychopathic in that they will exploit their fellow human being without hesitation.

The hard core are untreatable. They see nothing wrong with who or what they are. The other 10-15% group may be persuaded to act differently in a different environment or a different society. The second group act out of a misguided strategy of survival. I'll concentrate on the hard core 5% and the singular fact that must be borne in mind with them is that they are incapable of change for the better. They cannot reform or be reformed. And you can take that to the bank in every case! They must never be trusted.

Documented liars like those that populate the current Kiev regime can be confidently assumed to be psychopaths from their behaviour and so will never negotiate in good faith and will always renege on any deals they make. The same can be said for the governments of the US and UK who back them. Historically, they have never made a treaty that they did not subsequently break."

James' essay is extremely informative wrt group psychopathy... some of you may want to give it a read:

http://winterpatriot.com/node/894

psst... imho TPTB are psychopaths as are the puppets whose strings they pull.

@97

My bad... Im not even sure what the difference between the two is.

Posted by: Massinissa | Jun 18, 2014 1:29:31 PM | 98

Posted by: crone | Jun 18, 2014 4:47:48 PM | 99

sociopath: a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.

see also http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201305/how-spot-sociopath

psychopath: a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior.
an unstable and aggressive person. "schoolyard psychopaths will gather around a fight to encourage the combatants"

see also http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mindmelding/201301/what-is-psychopath-0

Mina, now that I've looked up these links for you, I am confused myself! Since a sociopath is less of a danger to the rest of us, I prefer to call TPTB and their puppets psychopaths. Not your bad at all, apparently the two are so similar as to there being difficulty telling them apart.

btw, I always enjoy your posts ~ not only do I get new info, but often new sources... which is great. Thanks!

[Jul 11, 2015] Jeb Bush's Neo-Fascist PNAC Connection

December 13, 2014 | larouchepac.com

Jeb Bush's signature on the founding documents of the Project for a New American Century will defeat any effort by him to separate his putative presidential candidacy from his family's historical support of overt Nazi and fascist policies, including the revelations of torture detailed in the Senate's report of this week.

PNAC developed and sold the blueprint for the new Anglo-American imperialism which has turned the United States internally into a garrison police-state and an imperial force internationally deployed against any nation deemed unfriendly to British or American financial interests. Its primary target was China, which it describes as the potential great power competitor of the United States, although it is most famous for selling the war in Iraq.

Bush was joined as a PNAC founding signatory in 1997 by Dick Cheney, Elliot Abrams, Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, Midge Dector, Norman Podhoretz, Paul Wolfowitz, Frank Gaffney, Fred Ikle, and Robert Kagan (husband of Victoria Nuland). Its leadership included William Kristol, Kagan's father Donald Kagan, and Gary Schmitt. The devotion of many of these people to neo-fascist philosopher Leo Strauss is detailed in "Children of Satan."

Robert Kagan and William Kristol introduced PNAC in a 1997 Foreign Affairs article by attacking John Quincy Adams.

"John Quincy Adams said that America 'should not go forth in search of monsters to destroy', but why not? ... A policy of sitting on a hill and leading by example is a practice of cowardice and dishonor."

America needs to be the benevolent hegemon to the world, the sole superpower, and shape events in its own interest.

PNAC called for unilateral preemptive wars, including a first-strike nuclear capability; fought publicly in 1998 for a war on Iraq based on Saddam's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction; and in 2000 produced a tome entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses," much of which was incorporated into George Bush's 2002 national security plan.

In that document PNAC called for consolidating the victory of the Cold War in Europe by creating a Europe "whole and free from the Baltic to the Black Sea" (the same policy we see now in Ukraine), re-positioning U.S. forces around China to prevent a new Chinese century, and the "Clean Break" reshaping of the entire Middle East.

It advocated future weapons such as biological weapons which could target specific human genomes. Written one year before September 11, 2001, the authors noted that these changes in military posture could only occur rapidly if there were a catastrophic event, like a new Pearl Harbor.

As you read the torture report and think about the state of mind producing such behaviors in Americans, remember what was documented in the "Children of Satan." Leo Strauss and his mentor, Nazi crown jurist Carl Schmitt, believe that men are inherently evil, that Hobbes was right when he described the world as a war of each against all, a natural world of purgative violence.

The Bush dynasty is the legacy of fascism inside the United States, and today represent the ideological outlook of Nazi crown jurist Carl Schmitt that man can only be unified against other men.

Strauss to Schmitt, 1932:

"The ultimate foundation of right is the principle of the natural evil of man, because man is by nature evil, he therefore needs dominion. But dominion can be established, that is, men can be unified, only in unity against other men."

Schmitt attacked the Treaty of Westphalia as extinct because of World War I and replaced it with "concrete order thinking" as the basis for Nazi law — a kind of Nietzscheian situational ethics in which right exists in the hands of the conqueror. According to Strauss, the elite rule justifiably through the myths of laws, morals, and religion sold to a stupid populace. In their benevolent dictatorship, the elite rule through noble lies.

In a 2005 justification for the failed Iraq war, PNAC argued that Bush's decision was moral, based on Suddam's intentions and capabilities, both existing and potential and grounded in his prior behavior, not because of abstract legal norms—to wit, the concrete order thinking of Schmitt. It elsewhere argued that the war was necessary as a demonstration of American resolve and power in the world. Like the Carl Schmitt academic fad in universities throughout the U.S., PNAC's primary funding came from the Bradley and Scaife foundations. It went out of formal existence in 2006, stating that it had achieved its goals.

[Jul 10, 2015] Hillary Clinton emails reveal Cherie Blair acted as go-between for leading Qatari and the-then US Secretary of State

Jul 10, 2015 | independent.co.uk

The wife of the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, lobbied Mrs Clinton, then US Secretary of State, for a "woman-to-woman" meeting in the American capital with Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned.

Sheikha Mozah's son is the current ruling emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani.

Using the close relationship that her husband and Bill Clinton built up during their respective years in Downing Street and the White House, Mrs Blair exchanged a series of 19 emails in 2009 asking Mrs Clinton to help Sheikha Moser improve Qatar's relationship with the US.

Although the meeting was aimed primarily on the Qatari royal's charitable interests, Mrs Blair admitted to the US Secretary of State that "I am sure the conversation would not be confined to these interests [disability charities] but would be about the US/Qatar relationship generally."

When Mrs Clinton finally agreed to meet with Middle East royal, who Mrs Blair referred to as "My friend from Q", she replied to the green light, stating: "Great… when I see what a difference you are making it reminds me why politics is too important to be left to bad people."

[Jul 10, 2015] Bernie Sanders solidifies appeal to retirees with social security pitch

Jul 09, 2015 | The Guardian

Democratic presidential hopeful renews calls for expansion of benefits and warns that Republicans will try to undermine Medicare and pensions


Sandra Bowen -> urgonnatrip 10 Jul 2015 00:07

I lived in Vermont for years when he was the 1 state rep -- never a scandal, always clean cut -- doesn't change w/ the wind, stands for what he says


fflambeau 9 Jul 2015 23:30

Poll after poll has shown that the social security program is the most popular one EVER in the USA. Even most conservatives support it (and receive benefits from it). It is NOT a welfare program; it is a retirement, pension system that people have paid into.

Obama came to power being funded by Goldman Sachs Bank and he actually made speeches as a Senator advocating cuts in social security benefits (something the bank favors).

It is nice that Bernie is not only talking about shoring up Social Security but EXPANDING benefits.

talenttruth 9 Jul 2015 23:30

Well, now we have Pope Francis TELLING THE TRUTH, about virtually everything, and Bernie Sanders doing the same. Jimmy Carter's done it too recently, when he fired the bigoted Southern Baptist Convention. This wave of HONESTY is refreshing.

And re: Social Security, others (below) are right on. Today's seniors worked for DECADES and paid into Social Security, only to watch Republi-saurs STEAL from the fund, and then try to dismantle Social Security because it had "grown insolvent."

That is but one example of rich "conservatives" being destroyers (not "conservers") , as well as manipulative, lying sacks of s_____. The Koch Brothers (and their soulless ilk, aren't "satisfied" JUST to have stolen billions and wrecked the environment, now they seek to maximally impoverish everyone else, for the sole purpose of making themselves feel "even bigger." That is called being Sociopaths. so GO BERNIE. And go Pope Francis – keep on calling out such psychopaths for being the criminals that they are.


songwright -> Whitt 9 Jul 2015 23:02

Spot On!

In 1975 the top 1% took home 9% of our national Income. In 2014 they took home 23%. Just that extra 14% = $2Trillion . . . out of a total national income of $15Trillion.

That $2Trillion extra they have stuffed in their already quite full 1% pockets is precisely responsible for shrinking the middle class and locking the bottom 50% of Americans into either daily subsistence or grinding poverty.

Whitt proudlyafricanguy 9 Jul 2015 22:25

As an American myself, I can tell you that the vast overwhelming majority of Americans wouldn't know a "Marxist" if Karl Marx himself rose from the grave and bit them in the ass. The same applies to "socialist" and "socialism". Most of the people who fling these words about, here in the US anyway, haven't got a bloody clue as to their actual meaning.


songwright anncoulter 9 Jul 2015 22:20

Gee, Ann. At 67 I am in great health, still working, and could work for many years yet. However, I have a desk job, so my job isn't very strenuous. Do you propose that all the roofers, and landscapers, and carpenters . . and workers in all the other jobs that require daily physical exertion, need to work until they are 75?

And, are you aware that everyone doesn't age the same, and many people at 60+ are already physically unable to do physically demanding jobs that they excelled at when they were younger? Many of my friends my age, and younger, are becoming increasingly infirm and suffering from serious long-term medical issues. So your solution is for them to remain employed at retail stores and groceries at minimum wage jobs when they get too old to do their old jobs . . . or perhaps they've been replaced because their boss can hire 1½ younger and more productive employees for what they are being paid . . . until they are 75, regardless of their health concerns?

It is truly amazing how blindly irrational and heartless people can become when they allow their ideological 'values' to determine their beliefs instead of common sense and human compassion.


gwpriester 9 Jul 2015 21:02

Social Security is not a welfare program nor is it an entitlement. It is a program that is funded by money deducted from each worker's paycheck and invested for each retirment. If the government had not "borrowed" such vast amounts from the Social Security pension fund, money it never intended to pay back, Social Security would be well funded and solvent for generations to come.


Attu de Bubbalot 9 Jul 2015 20:31

Dear Guardian,

You are mistaken when you identify Medicare and Social Security as "welfare programs". To the contrary, they are Earned Benefit programs where beneficiaries are required to pay into the programs through mandatory deductions from their pay checks for the duration of their working lives. Please, please, please get this right!


macktan894 grossprophet 9 Jul 2015 20:10

What the heck are you talking about? Your social security benefit is based on pre-retirement earnings. No one is talking about limiting benefits--those who make over $125K a year don't pay into social security, but they are still entitled to a hefty benefit when they retire, as well as Medicare.

Given the trend of corporations and govt cutting private pensions, everyone should be fighting for the social security program. During this Criminal Bank Recession, privately invested pensions declined sharply, making that social security benefit the one thing that enabled many retired people to hang on to their homes and buy some groceries.

In this world, you never know what's going to change drastically from one day to the next.


Cayce Jones 9 Jul 2015 19:57

Bernie's proposal to lift the cap has been advanced by other Democrats. Most of what he and others have been putting forward would go to protect younger people.
Republican positions have been to decrease benefits in the future for those who are still working. That way, they won't upset a big portion of their voter base who are on Social Security and Medicare.

Younger people also have been told that SS is going broke and they won't get anything. So they're not so upset by just having to work longer in order to get a little less.


Stormthetower grossprophet 9 Jul 2015 19:26

You seem to be unaware that people are required to work a certain number of years before they qualify for S.S. and that their benefits are based on how much they earned during those years. Or, are you talking about taking the S.S. benefits away from the disabled?


Stormthetower 9 Jul 2015 19:24

By following Bernie's suggestion and lifting the cap so that the wealthy don't get that tax break we can ensure that S.S. pays full benefits for the next forty years.


2426brown 9 Jul 2015 18:27

Social security and Medicare are not "welfare programs." Workers pay into the system and typically receive them later in life, usually upon retirement or reaching the age of 65. Right-wing ideologues are portraying these social insurance programs as "entitlements" with the aim of having seen as handouts. Guardian reporters may not realize "welfare" is a dirty word in the U.S. unlike in much of western Europe. Anything that smacks of a safety net in the U.S. is derided by the oligarchs and their bought and paid-for government hacks that run the country. Bernie Sanders is the people's only hope and I can only hope the people come to their senses and vote for him.


[Jul 10, 2015] Trump'd

"...This is bordering on hero worship with this guy and, frankly, I think that's dangerous. That's exactly how the Ds ended up shoving Obama down everyone's throat and look how lousy that turned out."
"...With that kind of experience, we should make him president of Puerto Rico."

Zero Hedge

1st choice 2nd choice
Dnald Trump

15%

12%

Jeb Bush 11% 7%
Rand Paul 11% 7%

Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty

The natives are pissed! Long pitch forks / short rich man's laws

HonkyShogun

Hopey McChange v2.0, The Great White Hope.

We all know the dickhead that gets installed will sell his ass to the jew bankers on day 1.

Paveway IV

Threat level orange-red! Someone sent us up the bomb.

Activate: Jesse Ventura GO! For greater justice...

In the interview,, he says of the two major parties: "They've turned the whole business of elections into panhandling and bribery," and "These two parties now have America $9 trillion in debt." Ventura says people who work their entire lives to leave something for their children are actually just leaving an inheritance that will be seized by government to service the national debt.

One remedy Ventura sees for crushing the "two-party dictatorship" is the inclusion of None of the Above as an electoral option at all levels. Ventura says he believes NOTA would win many races across the country.

He also said a "wasted vote" is when you don't vote your heart or vote your conscience. Ventura mentioned a Larry King poll that said 88% of respondents, of which there were more than 15,000, said Jesse Ventura should be running for president.

0b1knob

Bernie Sanders will wipe that smile off Hillary's face real soon.

The popularity of Sanders and Trump is based on their status as spoilers. Anybody but another Bush or Clinton.

NoDebt

Trump has been for years a HUGE contributor to the Democrat party. Just saying -- he plays both sides. He's a statist and he loves his government buddies as much as any large businessman. Yeah, he says truthy-sounding things, but I haven't met a politician yet who didn't know how to do that when they needed to, though rarely with his sharp tongue. The comment above about his first words in any situation being "I'll sue!" is spot-on as well.

This is bordering on hero worship with this guy and, frankly, I think that's dangerous. That's exactly how the Ds ended up shoving Obama down everyone's throat and look how lousy that turned out.

Waylon Bits

Who cares who becomes president now? All they are is glorified talking heads themselves now. I'm sure once they're elected they're dragged to a dark room and given a good "talking to" about what happens when you step out of line.

MonetaryApostate

I for one will be glad when "We The People" say, "You now what? FUCK THIS CIRCUS SHOW", but if you have to express your "Right" to act like your opinion or vote matters enough to start an argument with someone over which wolf you want to rule over the cowardly sheep who have obviously lost their gnads, then by all means, make a fool of yourselves...

If however you don't want to be relegated to mere scraps from the wealthy bags who obviously don't give a damn about you, your family, or your country one way or another, then please have a good read and wake the hell up already...
http://galeinnes.blogspot.com/2015/07/a-license-to-steal.html

But, if you think any of these wealthy bags will do anything other than what they have been doing for the many centuries, then you are obviously on the wrong forums all together. For those who lack an education, have a good watch here, it will tell you the real deal..

These are the people who call the shots, clearly...
https://youtu.be/J9DFZGQbw2A

So if your ass ain't blue blooded, your ass ain't getting elected, and yes Obummer is related to good ole Georgey the Slave Owner Washington...

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&...

THE 4th Quadrant

Hey so when asked what he thinks about the new negro class in America, Trump said "OH yea I love them, I almost got my daughter to marry one but she got the next best thing, a jew".

bob_stl

Anybody with two cents in their head can say the right shit. Trump is too much of an ego maniac to have that kind of power.

nmewn

Me too, 12-15% of republican voters are idiots, thats what the chart says.

Sooo, anyways...

nmewn

Trump filed for bankruptcy protection in 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009. I have zero interest in putting him in charge of anything remotely connected to my prosperity or posterity.

But I will say this, with Hillary! the current frontrunner, fully 98% of democrats are insane ;-)

Paveway IV

With that kind of experience, we should make him president of Puerto Rico.

[Jul 10, 2015] You mean George Bush sends our soldiers into combat, they are severely wounded, and then he wants $120,000 to make a boring speech to them?

Warren, July 9, 2015 at 4:47 pm

You mean George Bush sends our soldiers into combat, they are severely wounded, and then he wants $120,000 to make a boring speech to them?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2015

[Jul 09, 2015] Hillary Clinton lied about not receiving email subpoena, Benghazi chair claims US news

Jul 09, 2015 | The Guardian

In a statement on Wednesday, Republican congressman Trey Gowdy accused the former secretary of state of making an "inaccurate claim" during an interview on Tuesday. Responding to a question about the controversy surrounding her email server while at the US state department, Clinton had told CNN: "I've never had a subpoena."

But Gowdy said: "The committee has issued several subpoenas, but I have not sought to make them public. I would not make this one public now, but after Secretary Clinton falsely claimed the committee did not subpoena her, I have no choice in order to correct the inaccuracy."

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill told the Guardian that Gowdy's accusation itself was inaccurate, insisting that the congressman had not issued a subpoena until March.

"She was asked about her decision to not to retain her personal emails after providing all those that were work-related, and the suggestion was made that a subpoena was pending at that time. That was not accurate," Merrill wrote in an email.

Gowdy also posted a copy of the subpoena on the Benghazi committee's website.

According to Gowdy, "the committee immediately subpoenaed Clinton personally after learning the full extent of her unusual email arrangement with herself, and would have done so earlier if the State Department or Clinton had been forthcoming that State did not maintain custody of her records and only Secretary Clinton herself had her records when Congress first requested them."


Lester Smithson 9 Jul 2015 16:00

Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi

The Republicans chant while Rome burns.

How about Iraq, Iraq, Iraq, Iraq....


kattw 9 Jul 2015 12:41

Gotta love when people say they have no choice but to do something absurd, then choose to do something absurd rather than not.

Did Clinton say she's never had a subpoena? Yes. Did a subpoena get issued? Yes. Was the whole interview at that point discussing a point in time months before the subpoena got issued? Yes.

Yes, Mr. Legislator: you DID subpoena Clinton. Several months AFTER she did the thing in question, which the interviewer wanted to know why she did in light of subpoenas. And really, what was she thinking? After all, a subpoena had already been issued, ummm, 3 months into the future! Why was she not psychic? Why did she not alter her actions based on something that congress would do eventually? How DARE she not know what the fates had decried!

Mr. Legislator, you were given the opportunity to not spin this as a political issue, and to be honest about the committee's actions. You chose to do otherwise. Nobody forced you to do so. You had plenty of choices - you made one. Don't try to shift that onto a lie Clinton never told. She's got plenty of lies in her closet, many stupidly obvious - calling one of her truths a lie just shows how much of an ideological buffoon you really are.


ExcaliburDefender -> Dan Wipper 8 Jul 2015 23:47

Whatever. Dick Cheney should have been tried in the Hague and incarcerated for 50 lifetimes. Most voters have decided to vote party lines, the next 16 months is for the 10% undecided and a few that can be swayed.

Karl Rove has so often said that it is who DOES NOT vote that determines the outcome, and now we have the Tea Party.

Plenty of time for outrage, faux or real. We haven't had a single debate yet. Still get to hear from Chafee on the metric system and whether evolution is real or not from the GOP.

Jill Stein for President <-------|) Paid for by David Koch and Friends


Herr_Settembrini 8 Jul 2015 23:25

Quite frankly, I've long since passed the point of caring about Benghazi, and the reason why is extremely simple: this has been a nakedly partisan investigation, stretching on for years now, that has tried to manufacture a scandal and fake outrage in order to deny Obama re-election in 2012, and now (since that didn't work) to deny Clinton the election in 2016.

The GOP doesn't have one shred of credibility left about this issue-- to the point that if they were able to produce photographs of Obama and Clinton personally storming the embassy, America would collectively shrug (except of course for the AM talk radio crowd, who are perpetually angry anyway, so nobody would notice).


TET68HUE StevePrimus 8 Jul 2015 23:08

The Clintons ARE very close personal family friends with the entire Bush clan. When the TV cameras are off and the reporters are gone, they are a very tight group who see the world thru like greedy eyes. Check this out.

JEB BUSH V. HILLARY CLINTON: THE PERFECTLY ILLUSTRATIVE ELECTION
BY GLENN GREENWALD

@ggreenwald
12/17/2014

Jeb Bush yesterday strongly suggested he was running for President in 2016. If he wins the GOP nomination, it is highly likely that his opponent for the presidency would be Hillary Clinton.Having someone who is the brother of one former president and the son of another run against the wife of still another former president would be sweetly illustrative of all sorts of degraded and illusory aspects of American life, from meritocracy to class mobility. That one of those two families exploited its vast wealth to obtain political power, while the other exploited its political power to obtain vast wealth, makes it more illustrative still: of the virtually complete merger between political and economic power, of the fundamentally oligarchical framework that drives American political life.

Then there are their similar constituencies: what Politico termed "money men" instantly celebrated Jeb Bush's likely candidacy, while the same publication noted just last month how Wall Street has long been unable to contain its collective glee over a likely Hillary Clinton presidency. The two ruling families have, unsurprisingly, developed a movingly warm relationship befitting their position: the matriarch of the Bush family (former First Lady Barbara) has described the Clinton patriarch (former President Bill) as a virtual family member, noting that her son, George W., affectionately calls his predecessor "my brother by another mother."

If this happens, the 2016 election would vividly underscore how the American political class functions: by dynasty, plutocracy, fundamental alignment of interests masquerading as deep ideological divisions, and political power translating into vast private wealth and back again. The educative value would be undeniable: somewhat like how the torture report did, it would rub everyone's noses in exactly those truths they are most eager to avoid acknowledge. Email the author: glenn.greenwald@theintercept.com

StevePrimus 8 Jul 2015 22:33

Clinton's nomination as a democratic candidate for president is a fait accompli, as is Bush's nomination on the GOP card. The amusing side show with Rubio, Trump, Sanders, Paul, Walker, Perry, Cruz, et al can be entertaining, but note that Clinton and Bush seem much closer aligned with each other than either sueems to be to Sanders on the left and Graham on the right.


MtnClimber CitizenCarrier 8 Jul 2015 20:41

Read some history books and learn.

Most of our presidents were horn dogs. Their wives know about it in many cases, but they knew that it was part of the package. The only difference was that before Clinton, the press would never think of reporting about sexual dalliances.

Among those that cheated are:

Washington
Jefferson
Lincoln
Harding
FDR
Eisenhower
JFK
LBJ
Clinton

Not bad company, but they all cheated. It seems like greater sexual drive is part of the package for people that choose to be president.


RossBest 8 Jul 2015 20:24

There is an obvious possible explanation here. She was talking about things in the past and ineptly shifted in effect into the "historical present" or "dramatic present" and didn't realize she was creating an ambiguity.

That is, she was talking about the times when she set up the email system and used it and later deleted personal emails and she intended to deny having received any relevant subpoenas AT THOSE TIMES.

I'm not a Clinton supporter but this seems plausible. But inept.

zchabj6 8 Jul 2015 20:10

The state of US politics...

Clinton is not materially different to many GOP candidates outside the loons.


CitizenCarrier Carambaman 8 Jul 2015 17:54

My personal favorite was when as 1st Lady during a trip to New Zealand she told reporters she'd been named in honor of Sir Edmund Hillary.

She was born before he climbed Everest. He was at that time an obscure chicken farmer.


BorninUkraine duncandunnit 8 Jul 2015 17:44

You mean, she lies, like Bill? But as snakes go, she is a lot more dangerous than him.


BorninUkraine Barry_Seal 8 Jul 2015 17:40

She has stiff competition: Madeleine Albright, Samantha Power, Carly Fiorina, etc. She might win the title, though.


Dennis Myers 8 Jul 2015 16:30

This sort of thing is exactly why anything they throw at her won't stick. Like the boy who cried wolf, when the wolf actually came, no one was listening anymore. So after years of trying to turn Benghazi into a scandal, the email thing is mostly meaningless to Democrats. So congratulations Republicans, you blew your chance.

[Jul 09, 2015] The Answer to Everything Tax Cuts At the Top by Ed Kilgore

"..."Indeed, Jeb's 'work harder' prescription provides harrowing look at the level of derp that can be produced when you take a guy who isn't all that bright and push him to the head of the national leadership line without ever having put in an honest day's work or support himself in his life.""

Jul 09, 2015 | The Washington Monthly
I reported at Lunch Buffet Matt Yglesias' suggestion that Jeb Bush didn't seem to have any specific ideas on how to generate either the longer working hours or the levels of economic growth he talked in his gaffe-tastic New Hampshire comments. But Greg Sargent argues the opposite: we know exactly what his basic prescription for the economy is, because it's the same one Republicans have been promoting for such a long time:
[W]hat's really important here is Bush's apparent overall economic diagnosis: the grand answer is lowering taxes — including at the top — which will trigger runaway growth that will solve those problems, including the gap between productivity and wages.
Indeed, later in the [NH] interview, Bush said that to accomplish this, we must dramatically simplify the tax code, which includes "lowering rates." Bush then went on at length about how cutting taxes and "reducing the size of government" and "shifting power away from Washington" are the economic cure we need. The follow-up question for Bush is: Does this mean one of your solutions for American workers is lowering the tax burden for those at the top?

Yes, of course it is. Otherwise we might have to conclude Bush doesn't care about regular American workers at all, and that wouldn't be fair, would it?

Ed Kilgore edits the Political Animal blog and is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for the Democratic Strategist, a weekly columnist at Talking Points Memo, and the author of Election 2014: Why Republicans Swept the Midterms, recently published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Ed Kilgore edits the Political Animal blog and is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for the Democratic Strategist, a weekly columnist at Talking Points Memo, and the author of Election 2014: Why Republicans Swept the Midterms, recently published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Celui > howard77

Or: How's this working out in Wisconsin? or in Kansas? or in many of the RTW states? How much of Grover's BS can the nation be expected to swallow before it realizes that this is all a shell game, but one in which the shrinking middle class will now pay for everything.

Because of MO's recent tax revenue rejections, the state will now lose about 50% of its Federal Highway tax dollars, will have at least 5 years of ZERO road and bridge improvements or repairs, NO Medicaid expansion which is key to so many of the state's residents who, for some unknown reason, continue to vote in the idiots, and this state will continue on its rapid descent to eternal flyover status.

howard77 > t6c

i had an acquaintance for a while who was an extreme right-winger and he was saying something moronic about cutting taxes and growth and revenues (he was a true believer, in other words, to your point) and i said to him "ok, why not cut taxes to .000001%? revenues should explode!"

and he quite literally responded (this was via email) that he had never thought about that.

in short, he was entirely expressing a religious belief in the efficacy of tax cuts, he couldn't even be bothered to think his basic premise through.

smartalek > t6c

I fear you give them too much credit.

I am absolutely sure that at least some of them believe the most effective tax rate (for The Makers, not for us peons, of course) would be less than zero.

Do not Makers -- the Job Creators who make the very wheels of our society turn -- deserve our greatest support, including financial? Anything less would constitute punishing success, hobbling the engines of our growth, and giving in to the worst leftist impulses to redistribute wealth downwards to the unproductive.

PDXWriter > smartalek

Well, yes. Exactly. If we would just cut tax rates for the Bush clan, the Romneys, the Kochs and so forth to zero and THEN give them ginormous refundable credits as well, everything would be great. Because, you know, JOB CREATORS.

tigersharktoo

If only a reporter would ask "How does cutting taxes on the Walton family (Sam's, not John Boys) increase sales at Wal-Mart? Or how does it increase wages of Wal-Mart workers?

ComradeAnon

The day that Art Laffer showed Cheney and Rumsfeld the curve back in the Ford Administration, was the beginning of the end of fiscal responsibility in this country.

exlibra > ComradeAnon

It's because the Laffer curve follows GOP's natural inclination; if one were to tighten it a wee bit more, one would get the head-up-my-ass position, so prevalent there.

Partial Mitch

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." -Einstein

evave2

I always wonder how low the tax code must be for the magical explosion of growth. They never tell us. They just keep saying "lower."

zandru

Josh Marshall on Talking Points Memo puts it best:

"Indeed, Jeb's 'work harder' prescription provides harrowing look at the level of derp that can be produced when you take a guy who isn't all that bright and push him to the head of the national leadership line without ever having put in an honest day's work or support himself in his life."


[Jul 09, 2015] Greek debt crisis: 'Of all the damage, healthcare has been hit the worst'

Jul 09, 2015 | The Guardian

steady2 -> AnonForNowThanks 9 Jul 2015 20:43

That post was not supposed to be put here. I accidentally posted twice and asked the G to remove this particular post but instead they removed the other one from the Latvian-related article.

You are quite right about the gross 19th century exploitation in Western Europe including Britain, now that socialism is apparently discredited and all or most social democratic parties have sold out there is no need for the ruling class to continue paying health, housing, education and social security for the workers. Prepare for more cutbacks as profits skyrocket.

steady2 -> moongibbon 9 Jul 2015 20:39

There is no excuse for selling a nation down the drain for a false fear. It is the European bankers exploiting the Latvians not the Russians. It sounds that for a measly 5% GDP they are willing to sell themselves - not the Greeks, yet.

brituser 9 Jul 2015 19:30

Of all the damage done during the last five years, healthcare has been hit the worst.

And yet Greece still has the highest consumption per capita of cigarettes in the world. #1. And some of the cheapest cigarettes in the EU.

Couldn't Greece tax these to other EU country levels and reduce consumption down to the rest of EU levels? It would certainly raise some of the taxes Greece needs.
And given the huge effects on health, that really would make a difference to people's health in the long term.

i.e Greece 2996 cigarettes per capita, UK 750 per capita, Sweden 715 per capita.

Bosula 9 Jul 2015 18:56

Thus is a direct copy of post by another poster from a day ago. It is worth considering this information when thinking about healthcare in Greece and who gets bailed out - not the sick and needy for sure.

'The amounts that banks have been bailed out by the tax payers.

Citigroup - $2.513 trillion
Morgan Stanley — $2.041 trillion
Merrill Lynch - $1.949 trillion
Bank of America — $1.344 trillion
Barclays PLC - $868 billion
Bear Stearns - $853 billion
Goldman Sachs - $814 billion
Royal Bank of Scotland - $541 billion
JP Morgan Chase - $391 billion
Deutsche Bank - $354 billion
UBS - $287 billion
Credit Suisse - $262 billion
Lehman Brothers - $183 billion
Bank of Scotland - $181 billion
BNP Paribas - $175 billion
Wells Fargo - $159 billion
Dexia - $159 billion
Wachovia - $142 billion
Dresdner Bank - $135 billion'

Bosula -> NYbill13 9 Jul 2015 18:48

There was a recent Guardian article that stated large amounts of German Borrowed Euros went to bye German military equipment - until a decade ago Greece had the largest defence budget in the EU. Article was about a week ago - easy to find.


ElenaSR -> NYbill13 9 Jul 2015 18:39

Greece has received $284 billion in bailout funds since 2010. 92% went to Greek and European financial institutions (mainly debt repayment) and only 8% reached the people of Greece...

Now you have an answer for all the 9 or 90-year-olds that might ask...

AnonForNowThanks -> steady2 9 Jul 2015 18:37

Thanks for that.

It's always the same story.

Not only that, but in 19th century Britain, women and children worked in the coal mines half-naked. No Zola, either.

AnonForNowThanks 9 Jul 2015 18:35

Of course.

Under capitalism, it is very important not to create incentives for being sick. Do that, and people will be getting sick left and right. And living to some god-awful old age, too.

Enough is enough.

NYbill13 9 Jul 2015 17:55

Greece seems to have 'rundown state hospitals.'

So that's one place all that Euro-loan money did NOT go.

Anyone know where all those billions DID go?

Just asking in case, you know, some 9-year-old student asks me that entirely obvious question, the one absolutely no grownups seem to be asking.

shatnersrug -> bluebearbicycle 9 Jul 2015 16:21

The guardian really needs to stop telling pork pies to the gullible English

http://radicalbuzz.com/an-excellent-example-of-mainstream-media-being-used-for-propaganda-through-lies-the-guardian-lying-about-greece/

bally38 9 Jul 2015 15:56

Would it be too much to ask for some numbers, rather than just interviews with tired, harassed front-line workers? They're great people. I salute their dedication. But numbers still matter.

Here's what I know:

Healthcare expenditure in Greece was rising by an average 7% a year from 2001, taking it from a low-cost, low public satisfaction service to a medium-cost, low public satisfaction one. There were attempts at reform in 2001 by the Simitis administration, firmly resisted by both doctors and the healthcare funds.

Fiscally, the biggest change has been to pharmaceutical purchasing by the central healthcare fund (EOPYY). Greece was spending, in 2009, 2.6% of its GDP on pharmaceuticals. (For comparison: Norway has 0.6%, the OECD average was 1.5%). In absolute terms, pharmaceutical expenditure dropped from €4.36bn in 2010 to €2bn in 2014.

This was, outside cuts in pensions, the biggest cut in public expenditure achieved in the Troika program. It was mostly just doing things that were pretty standard in other countries.

1. Centralised purchasing allowed the country to get far better prices from the pharma companies. It also sharply reduced the scope for corruption amongst senior healthcare workers.

2. Forcing targets for use of generic drugs onto doctors. Forcing prescription based on active ingredient, rather than drug name.

3. Creation of centralised lists of approved (and negative list of non-reimbursable) medicines.

This isn't rocket science. And guess what, the healthcare organisations fought this one every step of the way.

Source on all this: THE GREEK HEALTHCARE REFORM AFTER TROIKA: THE POTENTIAL IMPACT ON GLOBAL PRICING AND ACCESS STRATEGY

elaine layabout -> grossprophet 9 Jul 2015 18:11

Wrong.

Endless wars, the robber barons of Wall Street, and oligarch-centric trade deals robbed the middle class.

And, FYI, Social Security and Medicare are not "welfare." They are insurance programs into which Americans pay every time they get a paycheck. And without them, we would never be able to retire, never be able to afford health care in our dotage, and go hungry and homeless. And as a middle class person, my neighbors losing their homes and not being able to afford to buy food in local markets damages the value of my home, damages local businesses, and leaves us all footing the bill when our elderly citizens end up in public care.

alamac 9 Jul 2015 18:22

"Though some analysts have questioned whether this uncompromising approach will limit Sanders' recent surge in the polls when it comes to appealing to less liberal Democrat voters..."

Enough with the lying corporatist "some analysts" already. (You give yourself away with the "Democrat" slur.) It is typical of corporatist media that they have to throw in an opinion by some highly-paid corporatist whore to show how hopeless it is to support Bernie, even though all factual indications are otherwise.

The fact that the old--who traditionally overwhelmingly support Repiglicans--are listening seriously to Bernie gives the lie to the idea he cannot win. In fact, my 87-year-old Republican-precinct-chairman mother is thinking of voting for him--and that tells you a lot for someone who never voted Democratic in her life. But at some point the awful economic reality starts to overcome the lying propaganda the corporatist media spew out 24/7, and we are definitely getting to that point.

Vote your hopes, not your fears. BERNIE IN '16

DCin_Texasout -> JSfromtheStates 9 Jul 2015 18:11

"That money—was suppose to be invested by the government to be returned with interest to the people when they retire."

False! Social Security is not an investment program like an IRA or 401(k). Money collected in Social Security taxes goes out immediately to pay existing recipients. When you collect Social Security it's not your invested money. It's money collected as taxes from the existing workforce.

[Jul 05, 2015] Clinton defends progressive record as campaigns hit Independence Day  by

"...When did condoning drone strikes and protecting torturers become a progressive position?"
.
"...her "centrism" is the same as her husband's – centrally located in the maze of corporate and rich people's political fund-providing, and far too long a denizen of that Never-Never-Land called the Washington Beltway."
Jul 05, 2015  |  The Guardian

Sanders has been gaining on Clinton. On Thursday, a Quinnipiac University poll found Clinton at 52% in Iowa while Sanders had climbed to 33%. On 7 May, Clinton led the same poll by 60% to 15%. The latest CNN poll shows Clinton only eight points ahead of Sanders in New Hampshire, although national surveys remain more clearly in Clinton's favor.

peter nelson TheWholeNineYards 4 Jul 2015 23:08

Experience is a plus for her as a senator and Secy of State.

How is it a plus when she made so many bad judgements in those roles? That's like Carly Fiorina running on her experience as head of Hewlett Packard - her time there was a shipwreck.

I keep hearing HRC's supporters citing her "experience" in the Senate and at State but they fail to mention what she DID in those offices that they think is so great. I can think of lots and lots of bad things she did in those roles.

MonotonousLanguor consumerx 4 Jul 2015 23:07

Clinton signed NAFTA into law on December 8, 1993; the agreement went into effect on January 1, 1994. The U.S. goods trade deficit with Mexico in 2014 was $53,825,400,000, we have not had a trade surplus with Mexico since 1994. According to the Economic Policy Institute, some 700,000 jobs were lost as production was shifted to Mexico.

MonotonousLanguor 4 Jul 2015 22:58

March 24, 2008 - The Clinton campaign says Senator Hillary Clinton may have "misspoke" recently when she said she had to evade sniper fire when she was visiting Bosnia in 1996 as first lady.


peter nelson NormDP 4 Jul 2015 22:37

When did condoning drone strikes and protecting torturers become a progressive position?

Well, you have to admit she progressed. She progressed from invading Iraq to the surge in Afghanistan, to bombing Libya thus turning the most prosperous nation in Africa into a Disneyland for warlords and new base of operations for Isis. Who knows where she'll progress the American military to if she becomes Commander in Chief.


shininhstars122 4 Jul 2015 22:35

Spoken like a true plutocrat.

"Supposed I don't want to redeem myself? Why should I fight to uphold the system that cast me out? I shall take pleasure in seeing it smashed."
― Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

Only in a neoliberal's dream.

Go Bernie!!!


peter nelson 4 Jul 2015 22:29

I wish one of Hillary's supporters would tell us what makes them think she's so smart of qualified. Her track record in public office is terrible - she's made a whole series of bad decisions, both in policy matters (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Bahrain, etc) and administrative matters (security at Benghazi, emails).

And then after public life she continued to screw up - look at all the unreported foreign donations to her foundation. Even if we charitably assume these were honest oversights and not a deliberate attempt at malfeasance, they show her to be a terrible executive - not what you want in the Executive Office.

And where is her moral courage? What great issues has she ever gone to the mat or taken any real political risks to fight for? Why does she refuse to state her views on TPP?

Hillary Clinton is just plain not qualified.


peter nelson mabcalif 4 Jul 2015 22:19

of course she is! she's been first lady, senator and secretary of state.

The only public-policy effort she was involved with as First Lady was a ridiculous and unpalatable health-care plan which went nowhere. As Senator and Secretary of state she supported disastrous policies that caused great pain and suffering for huge numbers of people.

So how do you see these things as "qualifications"? To me they prove that she's distinctly UN-qualified. Hillary running on her track record in the Senate and State is like Carly Fiorina running on her record at Hewlett-Packard - a complete shipwreck.


redbanana33 TyroneBHorneigh 4 Jul 2015 21:32

Sanders is no spoiler. He's the real deal. That sounds cliche, but there is no one remotely like him. At first I sort of thought Hillary was a shoo-in, but that was before Bernie, and also we all remember how she faded fast in 2008. She just doesn't capture the imagination.

Ralph says a lot of the people that voted for him were so disillusioned with the choices at the time, that they probably would have just stayed at home and not voted, otherwise. Needless to say, he scoffs at being blamed for Gore's failure to inspire.


colacj 4 Jul 2015 21:14

NO MORE clinton or bush---been there, done that


DrJack37 4 Jul 2015 20:57

This woman's hypocrisy is already legend, let's not give her even a chance for more. She's talking about Iran's "aggressiveness"---gee, Miss America, looked in the mirror lately? "That's why I'm doing a lot of meetings and discussions about specific issues," she said, "because I want to hear from people and I also want to connect them to the campaign." Gee, all of a sudden Shillary wants to "hear from" you! And you can help her with all her dreams! UGH.

zolotoy anm834 4 Jul 2015 20:51

And exactly what did she accomplish as Secretary of State besides the destruction of Libya? She was an utter failure...except for the disaster capitalists.


foggy2 Donna Marie 4 Jul 2015 20:34

Especially via that Clinton Foundation with a 75% overhead rate and a value of over $2 billion dollars for which very little good can be found other than it's a place to give high paying jobs with great perks to her "intimate friends."


talenttruth 4 Jul 2015 19:46

The fact that Madam-Secretary Clinton HAS TO "defend" her progressive credentials is EXACTLY the point. She is (or has sounded) progressive on a number of issues in the past. But her "centrism" is the same as her husband's – centrally located in the maze of corporate and rich people's political fund-providing, and far too long a denizen of that Never-Never-Land called the Washington Beltway.

If she ever actually knew what it was like to be a regular working person, she has long since forgotten the actual experience and ramifications of it. You can't breathe in the D.C. "ozone" of hideous wealth and corrupt, boughten power – and remain either a normal person OR progressive.

So when people rightly point out Ms. Clinton's rich and deep experience (especially in foreign policy) I have to counter with her LOSS of real connection with the needs and concerns of REAL Americans – all of us who have watched our wealth pour in a TSUNAMI over to the top 1-percent – who have so skillfully rigged all political and economic decks. And that is the group with whom Hillary hob-nobs with all the time. She's in with the in-crowd, and that crowd AIN'T the rest of us.

So she can "defend" her Progressiveness, until the cows come home. I don't trust that any PR-campaign of principles (being forced on her by Susan Warren and Bernie Saunders), is real, nor that it will have ten minutes of staying power, in an actual Clinton presidency.

Bernie Saunders is the real thing. And he CAN be nominated and win, if only we IDIOT Democrats stop saying really stupid shit like: "He'd be the best president but of course he can't win." Look at yourselves in the mirror, Progressives, and stop hitting yourselves on the head with the Hammer Of Stupid Inevitability. (Or, is that too much to ASK of Democrats?)

retiredsandman 4 Jul 2015 19:35

Somehow, "I haven't been indicted for a felony (yet)!" doesn't impress me as a strong qualification for the presidency.

With knowledge of Hillary's past actions, destroying some official emails and editing whole paragraphs in ones she does turn into the state department (i.e., spoliation of evidence), that Hillary would be taken seriously as a candidate for any public office reflects very negatively on the american people.


palindrom 1iJack 4 Jul 2015 18:51

The other thing is that Sanders is deeply serious, deeply informed, and completely committed to making things better for the little guy. He connects extremely well.

But on the other hand, a secular Jew from New York, and a self-described Socialist, can easily be painted as the scary other! for much of the country. I predict that the right-wing ratfking machine will go into overdrive if Sanders starts to gain much traction.


ID9492736 MtnClimber 4 Jul 2015 18:50

Nothing like a moron with her finger on the nuclear trigger.

You have just described Hillary Clinton.


palindrom TyroneBHorneigh 4 Jul 2015 18:48

I'm reading a lot of commentary suggesting that, 'the worst Democrat [Hillary] is still better than the best Republican'. That may sound reasonable, but it's NOT.

When it comes to the general election, you better believe I'm going to vote for the Democrat, even if it's Oscar the Grouch, because the Republicans are insane reactionaries. The election of 2000 holds an important lesson -- I still blame Ralph Effing Nader, may he rot, for Bush. If he had simply pulled the plug a day or two before, and instructed his acolytes to vote for Gore, the first decade of the 21st Century might not have been the unmitigated disaster that it was.


TyroneBHorneigh 4 Jul 2015 18:38

A few of my friends are Hillary supporters. They, almost to a person, believe in the inevitability of her candidacy. I challenge them thus: if you're so cocksure of her triumphant candidacy, then where's the harm in voting for an authentic progressive in our state's Presidential Primary--they can always always vote for the corporatist, in the general, I remind them if her candidacy is as predestined as they seem so assured.

Arizona, our state, outside of pockets of Democrats here and there, is solid red. Even an overwhelming showing in the Arizona primary is NOT going to be enough to put her over the top no matter what happens elsewhere.

I don't think they will because secretly they're not as optimistic as their current bravado suggests. Bernie is the ONLY Presidential candidate that is not SCHMOOZING it up with the leisure/investing mega-donor class, begging for money. Senator Sanders' average donation is $33.00. Over 99% of his donations are less than $250.00. Unlike Hillary, Sanders does NOT have a SUPERPAC shaking down billionaires for money.

I'm reading a lot of commentary suggesting that, 'the worst Democrat [Hillary] is still better than the best Republican'. That may sound reasonable, but it's NOT. REMEMBER, those very generous campaign donations MUST be paid back with interest after the election. Those big money donors aren't giving the presumptive Democrat nominee all those millions without expecting some, A LOT, of payback.

Bernie won't need to pay back the billionaires, he's working for ALL the people, NOT all the plutocrats.
Exercise your Democrat vote in the Primary for Bernie.


palindrom 4 Jul 2015 18:34

I don't think HRC is all that corrupt, any more than anyone else in politics (though Sanders is indeed pure as the driven snow, having enjoyed the luxury of standing for election in a tiny state with a minuscule media market).

Perceptions of HRC have been shaped by the vast right-wing noise machine for too long. She and Bill were the focus of one ratfker after another; Benghazi BENGHAZI BENGHAZI!! is just the latest chapter in this sorry affair.

Now that she's running, and no longer tied to the eternally-triangulating Bill, I think she's letting her progressive instincts show, and I tend to take her on her word.

As a Vermonter, I do tend to prefer Bernie, who is genuinely different and exciting. But I'll take HRC over any of the Republicans, who are basically all insane reactionaries. And, yes, it does matter -- imagine where the country would be today if 10,000 disputed votes in Florida in 2000 had not been handed to Bush.


Lee Junn 4 Jul 2015 18:00

Dear Hillary,

It's not progressive to:

1.) Take the vast majority of your campaign funds from Wall St and banks.
2.) Wait for over 20 years to claim you're for marriage equality after everyone else has already done so.
3.) delete all of your work related emails off of a server in your own home.
4.) Claim you're broke, when you are anything but.
5.) be for women's rights and take money for your foundation from the most female repressive countries on the planet.

You're progressive? You're owned by Wall St, the banks, and big millionaire donors that have paid for your "influence." That's not a progressive, that's an everyday pawn for the duopoly.


livingstonfc 4 Jul 2015 18:00

Killary is a war-mongering, corrupt fraud...vote Sanders! the only option


funnynought 4 Jul 2015 17:57

Democrats can choose between the people and the power elite. Hillary Clinton talks in vagaries which obfuscate the enormous control of the super-rich, and the elected officials beholden to their money. She talks the sweeping language of big politics. Bernie Sanders talks in specifics which start to demystify that language. Notice how often in his career he has cited statistics and made arguments to put them together. Sanders wants you to see the numbers and see his reasoning. Clinton prefers broad pronouncements.


peter nelson Jimmy Rose 4 Jul 2015 17:51

Much of the support `for Bernie Sanders is simply a "NO" vote for Hillary

I don't think so. Bernie Sanders is one of the few politicians out there with any real principles and I agree with more of his positions than any other announced candidate.

But he doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning and the way his naive supporters can't see this is so adorably cute that someone ought to put them up on Daily Squee with all the other little kittens and puppies and baby rabbits.


Lester Smithson 4 Jul 2015 17:35

Clinton's problem, as I see it, is she isn't now, nor has she ever been a progressive. She has leaned very far to right most of her career. Her love of Israel, and failure to fault Netanyahu when he indiscriminately pummeled Gaza (yes we can criticize our friends) was cynical and revealing. Her lifelong association with investment bankers is emblematic. And, her attempts to hand billions to insurance companies renders her singularly disqualified as a 'progressive' candidate. Even her stance on same sex marriage has been backwards until recently.

A President Clinton will: lead us into another Israeli war, probably with Iran; facilitate a further erosion of personal liberties; and allow us to be controlled by the 1%, with whom she exclusively associates; Clinton will never stand up for a progressive agenda. Ever.

I'll vote Sanders.

aethelraed 4 Jul 2015 17:32

NAFTA did not arise from progressive values, nor does the TPP, about which she is being so coy. War mongering is not a progressive value, nor is half arsed health care reform instead of single payer. She can ride in the front seat of fancy cars with all her corporate friends, but she still has a rather dicey progressive record, at least on economic matters. Gay marriage (and I say this as a gay man) is just not as important as making sure working citizens can support themselves. Progressive on social issues and a Neanderthal on economics won't do Hilary. She play up the historical breakthrough of having a woman as president would be; it's all she has to offer. Though come to think of it, having our first socialist President would be an even more significant breakthrough.


peter nelson eileen1 4 Jul 2015 17:25

Bernie Sanders is not George McGovern.

Not yet he isn't. Wait until 2016. He might win Massachusetts and Vermont but there's no state in the South the midwest or the west that will vote for him in a general election.

The US is a conservative country and the GOP will make mincemeat out of anyone who's an avowed socialist. They'll also go after his age. Not to mention that there's no way he can raise the big bucks you need to mount a nationwide campaign.

Bernie Sanders' supporters are cute and quaint and adorably naive.


peter nelson TheWholeNineYards 4 Jul 2015 17:17

No. Some progressives may reluctantly vote for her as a lesser-of-two-evils but none of them will turn out to volunteer for her campaign - she'll have no energy or enthusiasm to support her.

Meanwhile, to the right, she's the Great Satan; they've been itching for a shot at her since Bill was in the White House. So they will turn out in droves to defeat her. And in the end the GOP will put up a plausible governor like Walker or Bush so they can hit her with executive experience, which she doesn't have. Plus she's a terrible debater so she'll lose there, too. And then they'll bring up all the scandals like the emails and the donations to her foundation and she'll be toast.

JAD207 4 Jul 2015 17:07

She is pro Monsanto, voted for the Iraq war, was pro NAFTA, and rakes in the big bribe bucks from everyone from too big to jail banks to corporate internationals... Bernie Sanders_ none of those. She doesn't take a back seat, she's not even in the same vehicle on the same highway.


peter nelson MiltonWiltmellow 4 Jul 2015 17:04

One of the reasons America is so dysfunctional is media coverage like this

Don't blame the media - they go where the markets are. Celebrity drama is what most Americans want so the media provide it. If there was a big market in America for detail and statistics and charts and graphs then CNN and Fox would look like The Economist or an LSE lecture.

I live in America and I don't watch TV news. We have access to everything in the world via the internet so American voters are perfectly capable of being richly informed - if they want to be. They don't. Get over it.


elaine layabout 7cowlicks 4 Jul 2015 16:19

A classically evasive Clinton response.

She is failing to draw crowds because, no matter how many times her campaign describes itself as "grassroots," it is focused almost exclusively on raising funds from and listening to wealthy donors.

But Bernie Sanders has been listening to and advocating for the unheard-from majority for 30 years. And that is why, when/if the debates come, he will shred Hillary Clinton. No question avoidance required.


Haigin88 4 Jul 2015 15:36

"....."I take a backseat to no one when you look at my record in standing up and fighting for progressive values,"......".

From the 'L' to the 'O' to the 'L'. Then why allow your hatchet man, or hatchet woman, Claire McCaskill to go onto 'Morning Joe' last Friday to badmouth Bernie Sanders and, incidentally, to make a terrible job of it too? Search for the video. Every time I hear about Sanders, I hear that he's a socialist but, according to McCaskill, no one knows so she kept dropping it in, essentially in words of 'people don't know that he's a socialist'. Yes they do, Claire, because they understand the English language.

McCaskill - with a (D) after her name, remember - accused Sanders of being "too liberal". Mark Halperin broke the habit of a lifetime and asked an excellent question: "So what policy areas of Bernie Sanders are too liberal? Name three.". McCaskill foundered badly, tried to backpedal and say that she was no here to comment on her "colleague" Bernie Sanders but about Hillary Clinton but Halperin quite rightly pressed her on it. She mentioned that Sanders wants to expand medicare for all, as if that was a bad thing, and Halperin said: "That's one, two others?" before that slimy, pompous, no-mark, Joe Scarborough rode to her rescue and called off the excellent Halperin.

It was a crystallization of the idea of there being an establishment party: the Republicrats. Sanders is a thorny problem for the Clinton people. They can't use Sanders age against him because that leaves the door open for the Republicans to use that unfair argument against her and they can't use any of Sanders' positions against him because: he doesn't deviate so there's no hypocrisy there; it's his positions that are leading to him drawing such big crowds and enthusiasm; and, even if people are independents or self-identify as Republicans, Sanders comes across as truthful, as a straight-shooter, as someone who never indulges in flim-flam. This could all get very interesting.


gunnison MiltonWiltmellow 4 Jul 2015 15:16

One of the reasons America is so dysfunctional is media coverage like this -- as if politics is a race or a sporting match

Yes, and that's a feature not a bug.

The more an electoral contest can be portrayed as a close race, with strong feelings on all sides possibly boiling over into high drama, the more money will be sluiced into political advertizing as one or another candidate's campaign seeks to open up some kind of decisive lead.

So it's in the interests of media conglomerates to focus on the drama rather than the actual issues at stake, and also in their interests to promote confusion and uncertainty to keep the drama levels high, rather than combating them with well-researched articles which introduce clarity and context.

This is another extremely toxic byproduct of the way our elections are funded, and it's a feature not solvable without reversing Citizen's United. The electoral space is the very quintessence of public space, and if the term "democratic republic" is to have any substantive meaning at all, elections must be 100% publicly funded.

As it is, I fear we're headed for an election season which sets new records yet again for transparent venality.


ExcaliburDefender 4 Jul 2015 14:59

Unfortunately we have redefined "progressive" in relationship to Tea Party politics, and Reagan policies would look progressive today.

Don't know who the democratic nominee with be, but they have my vote.

No more Tea Party and do not want to imagine all the appointments if we have a Walker/Rubio win. Chief Justice Santorum and Secretary of State McCain.

#allvotesmatter


MiltonWiltmellow 4 Jul 2015 14:57

"I take a backseat to no one when you look at my record in standing up and fighting for progressive values," Clinton told an audience in Hanover, New Hampshire, on Friday.

Yet not one single policy word in the entire article.

Lots on polls but nothing about policy.

One of the reasons America is so dysfunctional is media coverage like this -- as if politics is a race or a sporting match and celebrities (with name recognition) deserve the attention they get.

When media start explain policies and including candidates' statements and records, American voters will make more informed decisions. Instead, like this article, we get mentions of leading candidates as if they're ice cream flavors.

Hillary Clinton does not support progressive values. She offers herself as an alternative to an oligarchical austerity preached mean spirited Republican.


TheWholeNineYards 4 Jul 2015 14:42

Sanders will get the far left of the Dem party, Clinton will get most of the rest. In a general election Clinton by far garners more votes than Sanders. Sanders and Warren have the effect of pulling Clinton to the left which will only make her nomination more assured. In the general no one on the other side matches up, no one on the other side has Bubba getting out the vote. Bubba did more for Obama in his Dem convention speech than anyone, he is the top as a campaigner.

Falanx

56

Clinton means "progressive placebos" — as for instance her long standing standing up for children's issues.

This is a long-standing trick of the DNC "liberal" establishment: appearing to be politically and economically progressive by espousing some charitable or socio-cultural cause.

There is nothing wrong with "children's rights" or "women's rights" or "gay rights" or "black rights." Nor is there anything wrong (IMO) with fighting for more nutritionally balanced school lunches or better labeling on cosmetics. But this cornucopia of worthy issues falls into the category of symptoms rather than causes.

They provide a cheap and easy way for ambitious sell-outs like Clinton to appear to be fighting the good fight for "ordinary" people. They are cop-outs.

History. The fundamental problem with the United States is that it is, at its core, a Calvinist nation which deeply and pervasively ascribes to the notion that "God helps those who help themselves" and thus that those who have helped themselves to the most are blessed and those who have not are not.

If you are poor; it's your damn fault.

Around the middle of the 19th century, some "liberal" (i.e. latitudinarian) Calvinists began to make softening exceptions for the "deserving poor" — those poor who had done nothing to bring misfortune upon themselves and whom we, "the more fortunate" (i.e. "blessed"), might excuse for their victimization. It was OK to help those.

Mind you; they were not talking about government help but about the "proper focus" of private charity. This "liberal" attitude was pithly stated by Justice McRenolds back in 1937 when the Supreme Court invalidated Social Security,

"I readily and, I trust, feelingly acknowledge the duty incumbent on us all as men and citizens, and as among the highest and holiest of our duties, to provide for those who, in the mysterious order of Providence, are subject to want and to disease of body or mind; but I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for making the Federal Government the great almoner of public charity throughout the United States

Eventually Roosevelt extracted an admission from the Court that Government could, in some worthy cases, be the "great almoner" of the nation. But the whole conceptual construct was still Calvinistic and has since given rise to the parade of "innocent victims" (and weepy rhetoric) that are trucked out to "justify" some form of charitable government intervention.

The systematic and institutionalized allocation of wealth upwards is never questioned.

It is this skewed construct which allows Hillary Clinton to claim the mantel of "liberalism" — not even by advocating any significant trickle-down — but by running around the country "embracing" victims and "listening" to their concerns.

It's all simply Calvinist Vaudeville.


stunted George Juarez 4 Jul 2015 14:19

David Petraeus, head of the CIA at the time, is the one responsible for the safety of the CIA annex which would have known nothing about the Ambassador's movements or safety precautions that were his responsibility. There was no embassy outpost in Benghazi, there was an information office and a CIA annex a mile away that was facilitating the transfer of weapons gathered in Libya in the aftermath of Gaddafi's fall to rebels in Syria fighting Assad which included ISIS. If you wish to pursue the pastime of being irate because people working for government agencies, civilian or military, die overseas in the chaos that the government has unleashed in pursuing ill-advised regime change, at least direct the ire at those responsible.

It's clear you don't like Hillary; made-up bullshit to justify that dislike is dumb. Because someone in government employ dies in a war zone does not make them great, it just makes them dead.


Joe Smith 4 Jul 2015 13:59

Electing a democratic President gives you only about 25% chance of passing any sensible policies. Electing majority in Senate increases the chances to 51% (SC Justices!). To have some democratic platform actually being implemented one needs 60 Senators and the House.

So hold your horses people, supporting Sanders to win nomination will not guarantee anything. I love sen. Sanders and think his campaign is EXTREMELY important because it forces many issues to be talked about.....


roundthings 4 Jul 2015 13:44

I don't think Sanders has a hope in hell of winning the primary. But it is almost a pity. As with Corbyn in the UK, people wake up when they hear Sanders, because they suddenly recognize the real but all too uncommon article: a politician with some actual ideals. Clinton, like most of us, probably had them once; but politics is a strong solvent of such things, and most politicians are washed so clean of them by the time they achieve any power that some of them forget even what ideals are like.

Clinton remains the only realistic alternative to the nut-house line up on the other side of the trenches. Indeed one is tempted to say it really doesn't matter whether a machine-like professional like Clinton gets up, or Sanders, with his freshness and honesty; because Priority Number One, and in fact considerably further down the list as well, is to make certain sure none of those weirdo right-wing fruitcakes gets a sniff of the Oval Office. Let's avoid utter disaster first, then worry about how comfortable the furniture is later.


Hunca Munca 4 Jul 2015 13:33

Hillary may have once been progressive, but she sacrificed most of her principles long ago to the interests of corporate America. For her, there is no other way to attain power. As far as I can tell, Bernie has an uninterrupted record of progressive policies. He's only grown more fervent with age.


macktan894 4 Jul 2015 13:13

"I take a backseat to no one when you look at my record in standing up and fighting for progressive values," Clinton told an audience in Hanover, New Hampshire, on Friday.

Just what is that record of fighting for progressive issues? Is she referring to her tenure as attorney at Rose Law Firm, as Arkansas governor's first lady? Her active support of Bill's NAFTA bill? His Zero Tolerance bill that helped incarcerate hundreds of thousands of black people for petty drug crimes? She and Bill found Progressives and union leaders so annoying that they drove them out of the Democratic Party into the Green Party and refashioned Democrats as Republikrats.

Did she or Bill support Occupy? Fight for income equality? Dark money out of politics?

What's so progressive about running a private and top secret email server because transparency was just too inconvenient for her job? Or taking millions of dollars from foreign governments that don't know what the heck progressive is?

Name some specifics.

ID9492736

1819

Clinton? Progressive poliies? What Clinton "progressive policies"????

THE WOMAN NEVER MET A NEOLIBERAL, NEOCONERVATIVE BANKER, HUMANITARIAN BOMBING, ANTI-ENVIRONMENT CORPORATIST, 1% ELITIST OLD BOYS' FRAT CLUB, OR SAUDI WOMAN-HATING HEADCUTTER SHE DIDN'T LIKE!!! TO NOW SELL US HERSELF AS A "PROGRESSIVE" MUST BE THE PINNACLE OF THE CLINTON SWINDLERISM AND BAMBOOZLERY.

American people would probably be better off voting EVEN for an idiot like Sarah Palin than for this noxious and nefarious piece of incompetent and manipulative polyvinyl.

[Jul 04, 2015] Sanders, O'Malley race to be the Clinton alternative

Will the establishment of the Democratic Party play "Howard Dean" trick with Sanders ? Could Webb's sudden entrance into the race now have been a strategy by the Clintons to detract. It is obvious that Hillary is very worried about Sanders.
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"..."The greed of the billionaire class and corporate America is destroying this great country," Sanders said Friday night, offering one of a few dozen lines that produced sustained applause from a crowd that included many Nebraskans from across the river."
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"...Scores of interviews suggest Sanders has clearly tapped into the anxieties of recession-weary voters, many of whom feel completely alienated from Washington."
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"...It was clear from the outset of the race that there would be a bloc of non-Clinton voters, and polling suggests that Sanders — at least for now — has managed to corral most of them. That includes Democrats who were pining to see Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a darling of the left, get into the race. She has suggested recently that she might campaign for Sanders."
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"...The MSM labels him as "left" or "ultra-liberal". That means nothing to the average voter who hears what he has to say. Bernie speaks to those who are disappointed and angry that the promises of the Obama presidency have been fulfilled in some measure but not nearly enough. Those voters see Hillary as just Obama 2.0 with a woman in charge who is even more a too-typical smart politician than Obama. Those voters see the growing gap in American society that requires some serious remedies that Sanders is proposing, and they know that Bernie is not going to shift his priorities because of some corporate, Wall Street advisor or from lobbyist pressure. And they know he's not a flashy personality but what you see is what you get."
Jul 04, 2015 | The Washington Post

During his swing, Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont, drew more than 2,500 people to a convention center here — a record-size crowd for Iowa to this point. Supporters leapt to their feet and screamed as he decried the "grotesque level" of income inequality in the country and the outsized influence of the "billionaire class" on its politics.

... ... ...

Presidential politics are replete with candidates who get hot during the summer only to fizzle in the fall. But the early rise of Sanders — a self-described democratic socialist — underscores how hungry the progressive base of the Democratic Party is for a truly authentic alternative to Clinton.

... ... ...

As his crowds have swelled in recent weeks, Sanders's poll numbers have jumped in both Iowa and New Hampshire. O'Malley and the other more mainstream Democratic hopefuls, meanwhile, have stalled in the low single digits. Former senator Jim Webb of Virginia, who formally jumped in the race Thursday, and former Rhode Island senator and governor Lincoln Chafee, have also stepped forward to challenge Clinton.

Scores of interviews suggest Sanders has clearly tapped into the anxieties of recession-weary voters, many of whom feel completely alienated from Washington.

... ... ...

Much of Sanders's hour-long stump speech focuses on issues that could affect the wallets of workers like Pinegar. Sanders wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. He wants to guarantee family leave, sick time and vacation time — Americans are working too long, he says. He wants to make college free. And he promises as president he would make corporations and the wealthy pay more in taxes while trying to cut them for those in lower brackets.

"The greed of the billionaire class and corporate America is destroying this great country," Sanders said Friday night, offering one of a few dozen lines that produced sustained applause from a crowd that included many Nebraskans from across the river.

Building on momentum

Some of Sanders's largest audiences lately have been in states without early nominating contests, including in Madison, Wis., where he attracted 10,000 people Wednesday.

It was clear from the outset of the race that there would be a bloc of non-Clinton voters, and polling suggests that Sanders — at least for now — has managed to corral most of them. That includes Democrats who were pining to see Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a darling of the left, get into the race. She has suggested recently that she might campaign for Sanders.

A Quinnipiac University poll released last week showed Clinton drawing 52 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa, with Sanders at 33 percent. O'Malley lagged with 3 percent, followed by Webb and Chafee, with 1 percent each.

Sanders's numbers have been higher in New Hampshire, where voters are more familiar with him, given his representation of neighboring Vermont. A recent poll from the Granite State showed Sanders trailing Clinton by only eight percentage points.

... ... ...

"If you're going to run a campaign based on 'I'm further to the left of the establishment,' there's a ready-made audience," said Trippi, who ran the 2004 presidential campaign of former Vermont governor Howard Dean.

Dean surged in that race based on anti-Iraq war sentiment only to collapse as voting began, and then Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), a candidate with more establishment support, emerged as the Democratic nominee. Trippi said part of the reason Dean lost support is people began to question whether he was the strongest candidate to beat George W. Bush in the general election.

... ... ...

"People feel like big money has subsumed, taken over, their politics, and they're frustrated by it," O'Malley said. "People feel like their voices don't matter. People feel like they're not being heard, and right now, they want to protest about that. I'm not running for protest candidate, I'm running for president of the United States."

Eugene6, 3:32 PM EDT

All the Democrats so far are serious and constructive. It's going to be a good series of debates, while the GOP will have a circus trying to tame Donald Trump, and everyone else being harmed by the Donald's presence. Bernie has been steadily hitting these issues for years. It should be a great race, but I wouldn't be surprised if Bernie can pull this off because he appeals to a broad range of voters.

The MSM labels him as "left" or "ultra-liberal". That means nothing to the average voter who hears what he has to say. Bernie speaks to those who are disappointed and angry that the promises of the Obama presidency have been fulfilled in some measure but not nearly enough. Those voters see Hillary as just Obama 2.0 with a woman in charge who is even more a too-typical smart politician than Obama. Those voters see the growing gap in American society that requires some serious remedies that Sanders is proposing, and they know that Bernie is not going to shift his priorities because of some corporate, Wall Street advisor or from lobbyist pressure. And they know he's not a flashy personality but what you see is what you get.

[Jul 03, 2015] Grassroots movement working: Bernie Sanders gains on the Clinton machine

"...Hillary represents the same dynastic political elite that has sold the US population down the river over the last 30 years. Alongside many others in Congress her pockets are bulging with "donations" in particular from the insurance biz. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, makes a lot of sense, speaks the truth and is not bought and paid for by corporate interests..."
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"...Last year, Bernie Sanders and his wife made $200,000, $174,000 of which was Bernie's hard-earned Senate salary. The balance was their combined, hard-earned Social Security benefits."
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"...Sanders has the ability to draw Libertarian and Republican voters, his policies are that appealing. Hillary is unelectable for several reasons: the right loathe her, many Democrats see through her and dislike her, she voted for the Iraq invasion, she's beholden to her rich backers. She's a disaster waiting to happen for the Dems."
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"...Wait for the propaganda onslaught that'll try to throw people off from the only candidate who is worth a damn; the only candidate who doesn't try to bullshit the people: Bernie Sanders. That should be his campaign slogan: Bernie Sanders: I don't bullshit."
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"... Harry Truman said, "Anyone who gets rich in politics is a God Damned crook." That is applicable to Hillary and Bush"
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"...First, I'm sure Bernie is a "nice fella," but that's not my reason for voting for him. In fact, I find your suggestion mildly insulting. His niceness is a nice bonus trait, but it's his position on a Wall Street tax on derivative trades, income inequality, health care, education, the environment, and the fact that his positions haven't changed in 40 years that resonate with me. Not his niceness.
Second, I'm also not going to vote merely for a pair of ovaries. Like you, I eagerly await our first woman president, but having the right person in office is so much more important than what parts the person sports in their pants. Hillary is false, is subject to vote where the winds blow, is for sale to the highest paying interest group, and is not a good choice for our nation's first woman president. "
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"...On Wednesday, Clinton's campaign announced that she has raised an estimated $45m since declaring her candidacy in April. "Many people doubted whether we could build an organization powered by so many grassroots supporters," Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in a note to supporters on Wednesday. "Today's announcement proves them wrong." No, it proves that Hillary Clinton will take whatever money she can get. Or as Donald Trump might say with his usual oblivious, foot-in-mouth bigot-charm: "She's a whore.""
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"...I've never considered Hilary Clinton to be some feminist icon anyway. She's achieved so much of her success from being Bill Clinton's wife and not on her own. Would she have been a NY senator without being First Lady? No. She's not Elizabeth Warren or any of the other female politicians that have made it on their own merit."
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"...As usual, the Clintons are sleeping with the enemy (corporate campaign cash and all its strings) so soundly that they become difficult to distinguish from the enemy."
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"...Neither the GOP nor the DEMs have a credible, electable candidate as yet. His Royal Jebness and Queen Hillary both have the same problem; more people will vote against them than for them. "
Jul 03, 2015  |  The Guardian

Richard Gross 3 Jul 2015 11:50

If history is indeed cyclical, it is 1972 in the U.S., Bernie Sanders is George McGovern and any Republican opponent is Richard Nixon (all with the similarly tainted moral standing but absent the foreign policy expertise). Corporate money owns America as surely as class owns England. Bernie probably can't win a general election in a country that votes for style over substance, but derailing Clinton - leading the polls simply because she is a she - and keeping the Philanderer out of another bacchanal in The White House will be enough for me. Go Bernie!

Nicko Thime  -> Vilnius Blekaitis 3 Jul 2015 11:49

The elder Bush was the ex head of the CIA. He is the capo of the Bush crime family.


elaine layabout  -> numapepi 3 Jul 2015 11:48

You have NO CLUE what you are talking about.

Last year, Bernie Sanders and his wife made $200,000, $174,000 of which was Bernie's hard-earned Senate salary. The balance was their combined, hard-earned Social Security benefits.

sammy3110 3 Jul 2015 11:47

Those worried about Sanders' age might remember that HRC is no spring chicken herself.

Anthony Yarnall  -> Lester Smithson 3 Jul 2015 11:44

Define dead, Lester. Our current governing system, funded by bankers and venture capitalists and run by broken, sellout politicians surely makes a whole lot of down home American sense...if you're willing to bury your unfortunately named head in the sand.

raggedbandman  -> numapepi 3 Jul 2015 11:41

Bernie Sanders has a net worth of $450,000. Stop making shit up and start bothering to look shit up instead. There are lots of hypocritical liberals out there but Bernie isn't one of them.

galaicus  -> aethelraed 3 Jul 2015 11:35

I had problems with the "populist" word applied to Bernie. He'd be a center-left politician in any European country. In the USA he'll be cast as extreme left, but that tells more about the USA than about Bernie.


kerfuffler  -> Vilnius Blekaitis 3 Jul 2015 11:32

You mean the party bosses will sabotage him the way they sabotaged Howard Dean in 2004? That worked out well for them (and us) didn't it? another 4 years of Bush.
The party bosses should pay attention to the people, if they care.

Sanders has the ability to draw Libertarian and Republican voters, his policies are that appealing. Hillary is unelectable for several reasons: the right loathe her, many Democrats see through her and dislike her, she voted for the Iraq invasion, she's beholden to her rich backers. She's a disaster waiting to happen for the Dems.

Haigin88 3 Jul 2015 11:31

Wait for the propaganda onslaught that'll try to throw people off from the only candidate who is worth a damn; the only candidate who doesn't try to bullshit the people: Bernie Sanders. That should be his campaign slogan: Bernie Sanders: I don't bullshit.

Nicko Thime  -> Justlyjohn 3 Jul 2015 11:28

If you think Bernie is a marxist then you don't know Chico from Groucho.

mbidding  -> WillMorgan 3 Jul 2015 11:27

By running as a democrat, Bernie is ensuring his message is heard on a national stage ... He is a pragmatist and realist who is truly concerned about the future of this country and recognizes that third party candidates neither get the press coverage of their views/policies and have a snowball's chance in hell at winning in the general.

Win or lose the nomination, his participation in the two party system will ensure that progressive viewpoints will receive far more coverage and consideration than any third party candidate ever garners. And, he recognizes that even Republican light is preferable to the full fledged Tea Party/religious right extremism of today's GOP. Supreme Court majorities hang in the balance and he is unwilling to split the more liberal vote by running as third party - yet another sign of his principled approach for doing what's right for the country, not what's most ego boosting for him personally.

Sydney Chandler  -> alexandernevesky 3 Jul 2015 11:34

I wouldn't want to take the risk of Cruz even getting a chance to win! He is living proof that intellect and education do not counter ignorance. The last thing this country need is a TP president. Give Palin a Harvard education and a brain and you have Ted Cruz.

curiouswes  -> elaine layabout , 3 Jul 2015 11:13
Remember: The way that Clintonomics (AKA Republican economics) works is that the wealthy assume all profits and the working class assumes all the losses.

We agree regarding the crime that was committed. However we have a difference of opinion regarding who is ultimately responsible. I just bought a book. It's thicker than I imagined it would be when I heard about on the internet. It's gonna take a while to get through it.

If you want change, you're going to have to deal with the 800 lb gorilla in the room. Most posters on the guardian don't care about facts, but you do. Did you watch the movie the takedown of Glass Stegall?

Sydney Chandler  -> Carol Rogers, 3 Jul 2015 11:08
Bernie is not 'too' old and his ideas are spanking brand new compared to everyone else's. Have you not been keeping up with what the 14 GOP candidates are promoting? Have you ever (probably not) read the Republican Party Platform? If you HAVE read it and still want to vote Republican then you are the fool. Don't know how old you are but you obviously haven't been paying attention or you would not have posted such a ridiculous comment.

The GOP platform in the days of Eisenhower was the polar opposite of what they represent today. I think you need to do some research and soul searching. Unless you can come up with intelligent, thoughtful comments you should stop trolling liberal minded sites. It's rude at best.

Vilnius Blekaitis  -> Cam Davis, 3 Jul 2015 11:07
The elder Bush was a relatively moderate Northeast Republican compared to the rabid right wing nuts we have now. Like his son he had a speech impediment, but I like any Republican who had the guts to once call Reagan's economic policies "voodoo economics." And he meant it, though he recanted only so that he could secure the nomination as the vice president under Reagan.

His son, though misguided and manipulated by Cheney on foreign policy issues, practiced "compassionate conservatism." That meant bigger government. You won't see that with most of the new Republicans.

JAD207 3 Jul 2015 10:59

Most of those who dismiss Bernie Sanders as modern day Eugene McCarthy spoiler with limited support, fail to realize how disenfranchised and betrayed middle American voters feel about the political economic system that bailed out back stabbing banks but destroyed our jobs, and took away our homes in the process. You can't outsource Bernie Sanders campaign, like Hilliary's or Jeb's. The debates will prove interesting.

namora ->  Mauryan 3 Jul 2015 10:58

The last time she ran she lost to Obama and he turned out to be a corporate tool as well. She hasn't suddenly become the populist she is trying to sell us.

eminijunkie  -> davidmn 3 Jul 2015 10:57

Be careful about how you register in terms of party. If you live in an area predominantly gerrymandered to the benefit of one party, you might find that if you need an out of state ballot sent to you somewhere else that it won't come in time for the election unless you register with the majority party, whichever it is.

Such has been my experience.

gloriaha ->  Jim Philbrick 3 Jul 2015 10:57

First, I'm sure Bernie is a "nice fella," but that's not my reason for voting for him. In fact, I find your suggestion mildly insulting. His niceness is a nice bonus trait, but it's his position on a Wall Street tax on derivative trades, income inequality, health care, education, the environment, and the fact that his positions haven't changed in 40 years that resonate with me. Not his niceness.

Second, I'm also not going to vote merely for a pair of ovaries. Like you, I eagerly await our first woman president, but having the right person in office is so much more important than what parts the person sports in their pants. Hillary is false, is subject to vote where the winds blow, is for sale to the highest paying interest group, and is not a good choice for our nation's first woman president.

Point being, please for the love of god vote on views rather than externals like gender ;)

davidmn 3 Jul 2015 10:52

I am 17 years old and am voting in my first election in 2016. I can't wait to vote for Bernie Sanders. I really hope that people see through Hillary. Hillary says she wants to reduce the influence of money in politics, yet her campaign hopes to eventually raise $2 billion! Bernie doesn't have a Super-Pac and doesn't accept billionaires' money, while Hillary does. Hillary voted for the Iraq War; Bernie voted against it. Bernie wants to regulate the banks. Hillary accepted $250,000 a speech to speak at Goldman Sachs. Hillary makes more money off of one speech than the average American makes in a year. Yeah, she knows about the struggles of the middle class. Sure. Right. Bernie supported marriage equality 40 years ago, when it was an unpopular political move. Hillary just started supporting marriage equality in the last few years when it helped her politically to do so. Bernie opposed the TPP and other bad trade deals. Hillary initially supported the TPP and then refused to take a firm position. Hillary is pro-war and pro-surveillance. Bernie prefers diplomacy and less intrusive surveillance. Other aspects of Bernie's platform: raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, overturn Citizens United to reduce the influence of money in politics, free tuition at public colleges, universal health care, police reform, reduce income inequality, close tax loopholes exploited by billionaires and corporations, strong action on climate change, equal pay for women, common sense gun reforms, expand social security, reduce interest rates on student loans.

Bernie is my top choice for 2016. What more could people want in a candidate? He gives me hope for America's future and I can't wait to vote for him in 2016 (and 2020) !

elaine layabout -> curiouswes 3 Jul 2015 10:48

If you are thinking that Hillary is being funded by charity cases, guess again. For one, Citigroup pulled in revenues of $19.7 Billion for the First Quarter of 2015, after having a banner year in 2014.

Remember: The way that Clintonomics (AKA Republican economics) works is that the wealthy assume all profits and the working class assumes all the losses.

L0ki86 -> gilstra 3 Jul 2015 10:45

Sorry but as someone from the US i really appreciate the guardians coverage. They cover the important things the American mm doesn't wanna report on. Not because it isn't news worthy, it's not ratings worthy. I actually find it sad that i have to read a European based news agency to learn about the important things going on in my country. Also in the browser do you go to the Uk page or US page? Sometimes the homepages are the same yes, but not always

VonHuman -> Mauryan 3 Jul 2015 10:43

"I'd love to see Hillary as a President for two reasons - the first woman President and the better of the two evils"

Both reasons are fallacies, and many are saying exactly the same as you.

To choose a president based on gender is a kind of disguised chauvinism, because instead of looking for the qualities she has, the only criterion is gender. I would like to vote for someone, whether a woman or a man with a sense of reality combined with intelligence and ethics. Voting for "the less of two evils" is accepting the status quo, instead of fighting for what is good.


HobbesianWorld  -> njglea 3 Jul 2015 10:43

Plain and simple, Hillary is a corporatist. Her five top donors are:

Citigroup Inc: $782,327
Goldman Sachs: $711,490
DLA Piper: $628,030
JPMorgan Chase & Co: $620,919
EMILY's List: $605,174

Except for Emily's list, which I like, the rest know exactly how much bang they will get for their buck with Hillary. Sander's Wall Street donations: -0-. He is being supported by individuals like me (monthly donation) and unions (the workers).

And, BTW, Sanders is running as a Democrat. If we can get him nominated--difficult as that will be--the progressives will be behind him and the liberals, well, just might grow a spine and back him as well.

If we want REAL justice to take root, then we need to get Sanders nominated and vote for progressives for Congress to back him up.


Dan Heins Herr_Settembrini 3 Jul 2015 10:27

If Sanders wins the democratic nomination, he will lose to Jeb? That is horse hockey! To democrats H= yawn & S= wow. To republicans J= yawn & {0}= wow. Therefore: (yawn vs yawn) it's any bodies guess. But (yawn vs wow) wow wins.

bucktoaster 3 Jul 2015 10:27

Hillary represents the same dynastic political elite that has sold the US population down the river over the last 30 years. Alongside many others in Congress her pockets are bulging with "donations" in particular from the insurance biz.

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, makes a lot of sense, speaks the truth and is not bought and paid for by corporate interests.

And that's why, unfortunately, he won't win.........

Roger Dafremen 3 Jul 2015 10:20

On Wednesday, Clinton's campaign announced that she has raised an estimated $45m since declaring her candidacy in April.

"Many people doubted whether we could build an organization powered by so many grassroots supporters," Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said in a note to supporters on Wednesday. "Today's announcement proves them wrong."

No, it proves that Hillary Clinton will take whatever money she can get. Or as Donald Trump might say with his usual oblivious, foot-in-mouth bigot-charm: "She's a whore."

Boosam 3 Jul 2015 10:05

Never say never....stranger things have happened. The people in the US are sick and tired of the status quo in Washington because it is working against most of them. Lather, rinse, repeat. Will they band together to support a long-shot? Maybe, maybe not. One thing for certain, Bernie Sanders will help make the dialog more interesting. Hillary running uncontested would just be extremely boring. The Republicans can't have all the fun in their primary...


ID736503 ->  Jim Philbrick 3 Jul 2015 09:55

I've never considered Hilary Clinton to be some feminist icon anyway. She's achieved so much of her success from being Bill Clinton's wife and not on her own. Would she have been a NY senator without being First Lady? No. She's not Elizabeth Warren or any of the other female politicians that have made it on their own merit. She's just another Jeb or George Bush or one of the Kennedy's, nepotism in U.S. Politics has to end whether it's male or female!

Creek Chris  -> Iversen 3 Jul 2015 09:30

Thanks to the Guardian for giving some relatively good coverage of Sanders' grassroot movement which is stronger than Obama's was. However the biggest obstacle to bringing people into the movement is overcoming the ubiquitous media washing telling them not to follow their own enthusiasm about Sanders and the common sense he presents because, for example, it's just a "summer fling", (or people won't vote for a socialist, or he's not connected enough to moneyed power brokers etc etc). I would ask The Guardian to be more careful about boosting specious talking points such as "summer fling" without making a case for their legitimacy. They add to the corporate-influenced media's message that people should abandon their instincts when a candidate rings true to them, and just go with the one that the wealthy and their lackeys have ordained as the candidate that can win.

bcarey 3 Jul 2015 09:03

Could Webb's sudden entrance into the race now have been a strategy by the Clintons to detract. It is obvious that Hillarious is very worried about Sanders.

We all know that Webb is not a real candidate. (Kinda like the Republican clown car candidates who are there to run interference for Jebbie.) So, Webb runs and is promised a cabinet post in return if Hillary wins, perhaps?

atlga  -> CaptainWillard 3 Jul 2015 08:39

Unfortunately, you are going to be proven wrong. As far as Republicans are concerned, they are going to clobber each other. Jeb will have to radically change his positions of education (core curriculum is non-starter), immigration position, etc., which staunch republicans are 100% against. The game that he is married to hispanic (Mexican) getting hispanic votes is a pipe dream. Also realize the fact, most cubans in Miami are mostly republicans anyway.

Other than that, hispanic votes are not monolithic. Besides, Republican debates are going to be very interesting with Trump, Cruz, Rand, Rubio and Christie, et. al. If I was running the Republican party, I would sell tickets to raise money.

Justthefactsman 3 Jul 2015 08:32

Interesting to see how the writers of the article label Sen. Sanders as a "rabble rousing Senator" and his supporters as a "rabid fan base".
Such labeling can be expected to stick and it will certainly appeal to the Clinton machine.
Can we have a little more actual reporting rather than opinionated pieces ?

CaptainWillard 3 Jul 2015 08:06

Neither the GOP nor the DEMs have a credible, electable candidate as yet. His Royal Jebness and Queen Hillary both have the same problem; more people will vote against them than for them.

So both parties are hostage at the moment to people a majority of Americans do want as President.
Bernie Sanders if nothing else, is a breath of fresh air on the Democrat side.
The air on the GOP side is stale at best, and unbreathable on most days.

spartacus41 3 Jul 2015 07:58

"Clinton will also get help from the Priorities USA Super PAC, which is backing her candidacy despite a pledge by the candidate to combat "uncontrolled money" in politics, and announced Thursday that it has raised $15.6m – bringing the coffers of her campaign and its allies beyond $60m so far".

This is another reason democrats should vote for Senator Sanders in the primaries. He will not tell voters one thing and then do something else. An honest and decent man. May he win!

capitalismsucks1 3 Jul 2015 07:41

As usual, the Clintons are sleeping with the enemy (corporate campaign cash and all its strings) so soundly that they become difficult to distinguish from the enemy. Sanders should win based on merit and integrity alone, but we all know that cash rules our corrupt system at this point, so the entire corporate world will be dumping tons and tons of it on their pre-selected sellout candidates: probably Bush and Clinton, the two puppets for the .001%.

[Jun 28, 2015] US Department of Imperial Expansion

Deeper down the rabbit hole of US-backed color revolutions.
by Tony Cartalucci

Believe it or not, the US State Department's mission statement actually says the following:

"Advance freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure, and prosperous world composed of well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty, and act responsibly within the international system."

A far and treasonous cry from the original purpose of the State Department - which was to maintain communications and formal relations with foreign countries - and a radical departure from historical norms that have defined foreign ministries throughout the world, it could just as well now be called the "Department of Imperial Expansion." Because indeed, that is its primary purpose now, the expansion of Anglo-American corporate hegemony worldwide under the guise of "democracy" and "human rights."

That a US government department should state its goal as to build a world of "well-governed states" within the "international system" betrays not only America's sovereignty but the sovereignty of all nations entangled by this offensive mission statement and its execution.

Image: While the US State Department's mission statement sounds benign or even progressive, when the term "international system" or "world order" is used, it is referring to a concept commonly referred to by the actual policy makers that hand politicians their talking points, that involves modern day empire. Kagan's quote came from a 1997 policy paper describing a policy to contain China with.

....


The illegitimacy of the current US State Department fits in well with the overall Constitution-circumventing empire that the American Republic has degenerated into. The current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, gives a daily affirmation of this illegitimacy every time she bellies up to the podium to make a statement.

Recently she issued a dangerously irresponsible "warning" to Venezuela and Bolivia regarding their stately relations with Iran. While America has the right to mediate its own associations with foreign nations, one is confounded trying to understand what gives America the right to dictate such associations to other sovereign nations. Of course, the self-declared imperial mandate the US State Department bestowed upon itself brings such "warnings" into perspective with the realization that the globalists view no nation as sovereign and all nations beholden to their unipolar "international system."

It's hard to deny the US State Department is not behind the
"color revolutions" sweeping the world when the Secretary of
State herself phones in during the youth movement confabs
her department sponsors on a yearly basis.

If only the US State Department's meddling was confined to hubris-filled statements given behind podiums attempting to fulfill outlandish mission statements, we could all rest easier. However, the US State Department actively bolsters its meddling rhetoric with very real measures. The centerpiece of this meddling is the vast and ever-expanding network being built to recruit, train, and support various "color revolutions" worldwide. While the corporate owned media attempts to portray the various revolutions consuming Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and now Northern Africa and the Middle East as indigenous, spontaneous, and organic, the reality is that these protesters represent what may be considered a "fifth-branch" of US power projection.

CANVAS: Freedom House, IRI, Soros funded Serbian color revolution
college behind the Orange, Rose, Tunisian, Burmese, and Egyptian protests
and has trained protesters from 50 other countries.


As with the army and CIA that fulfilled this role before, the US State Department's "fifth-branch" runs a recruiting and coordinating center known as the Alliance of Youth Movements (AYM). Hardly a secretive operation, its website, Movements.org proudly lists the details of its annual summits which began in 2008 and featured astro-turf cannon fodder from Venezuela to Iran, and even the April 6 Youth Movement from Egypt. The summits, activities, and coordination AYM provides is but a nexus. Other training arms include the US created and funded CANVAS of Serbia, which in turn trained color-coup leaders from the Ukraine and Georgia, to Tunisia and Egypt, including the previously mentioned April 6 Movement. There is also the Albert Einstein Institute which produced the very curriculum and techniques employed by CANVAS.

2008 New York City Summit (included Egypt's April 6 Youth Movement)
2009 Mexico City Summit
2010 London Summit

As previously noted, these organizations are now retroactively trying to obfuscate their connections to the State Department and the Fortune 500 corporations that use them to achieve their goals of expansion overseas. CANVAS has renamed and moved their list of supporters and partners while AYM has oafishly changed their "partnerships" to "past partnerships."

Before & After: Oafish attempts to downplay US State Department's extra-legal
meddling and subterfuge in foreign affairs. Other attempts are covered here.

Funding all of this is the tax payers' money funneled through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and Freedom House. George Soros' Open Society foundation also promotes various NGOs which in turn support the revolutionary rabble on the ground. In Egypt, after the State Department's youth brigades played their role, Soros and NED funded NGOs began work on drafting Egypt's new constitution.

It should be noted that while George Soros is portrayed as being "left," and the overall function of these pro-democracy, pro-human rights organizations appears to be "left-leaning," a vast number of notorious "Neo-Cons" also constitute the commanding ranks and determine the overall agenda of this color revolution army.

Then there are legislative acts of Congress that overtly fund the subversive objectives of the US State Department. In support of regime change in Iran, the Iran Freedom and Support Act was passed in 2006. More recently in 2011, to see the US-staged color revolution in Egypt through to the end, money was appropriated to "support" favored Egyptian opposition groups ahead of national elections.

Then of course there is the State Department's propaganda machines. While organizations like NED and Freedom House produce volumes of talking points in support for their various on-going operations, the specific outlets currently used by the State Department fall under the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). They include Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, Alhurra, and Radio Sawa. Interestingly enough, the current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sits on the board of governors herself, along side a shameful collection of representatives from the Fortune 500, the corporate owned media, and various agencies within the US government.

Hillary Clinton: color revolutionary field marshal & propagandist,
two current roles that defy her duties as Secretary of State in any
rational sense or interpretation.


Judging from Radio Free Europe's latest headlines, such as "Lieberman: The West's Policy Toward Belarus Has 'Failed Miserably' " and "Azerbaijani Youth Activist 'Jailed For One Month,'" it appears that hope is still pinned on inciting color revolutions in Belarus and Azerbaijan to continue on with NATO's creep and the encirclement of Russia. Belarus in particular was recently one of the subjects covered at the Globsec 2011 conference, where it was considered a threat to both the EU and NATO, having turned down NATO in favor of closer ties with Moscow.

Getting back to Hillary Clinton's illegitimate threat regarding Venezuela's associations with Iran, no one should be surprised to find out an extensive effort to foment a color revolution to oust Hugo Chavez has been long underway by AYM, Freedom House, NED, and the rest of this "fifth-branch" of globalist power projection. In fact, Hugo Chavez had already weathered an attempted military coup overtly orchestrated by the United States under Bush in 2002.

Upon digging into the characters behind Chavez' ousting in 2002, it
appears that this documentary sorely understates US involvement.

The same forces of corporatism, privatization, and free-trade that led the 2002 coup against Chavez are trying to gain ground once again. Under the leadership of Harvard trained globalist minion Leopoldo Lopez, witless youth are taking the place of 2002's generals and tank columns in an attempt to match globalist minion Mohamed ElBaradei's success in Egypt.

Unsurprisingly, the US State Department's AYM is pro-Venezuelan opposition, and describes in great detail their campaign to "educate" the youth and get them politically active. Dismayed by Chavez' moves to consolidate his power and strangely repulsed by his "rule by decree," -something that Washington itself has set the standard for- AYM laments over the difficulties their meddling "civil society" faces.

Chavez' government recognized the US State Department's meddling recently in regards to a student hunger strike and the US's insistence that the Inter-American Human Rights Commission be allowed to "inspect" alleged violations under the Chavez government. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro even went as far as saying, "It looks like they (U.S.) want to start a virtual Egypt."

The "Fifth-Branch" Invasion: Click for larger image.


Understanding this "fifth-branch" invasion of astro-turf cannon fodder and the role it is playing in overturning foreign governments and despoiling nation sovereignty on a global scale is an essential step in ceasing the Anglo-American imperial machine. And of course, as always, boycotting and replacing the corporations behind the creation and expansion of these color-revolutions hinders not only the spread of their empire overseas, but releases the stranglehold of dominion they possess at home in the United States. Perhaps then the US State Department can once again go back to representing the American Republic and its people to the rest of the world as a responsible nation that respects real human rights and sovereignty both at home and abroad.

Editor's Note: This article has been edited and updated October 26, 2012.

[Jun 27, 2015] Warmongering vs Economic Progress

Jun 25, 2015 | Biblicism Institute
C H U R C H   R E F O R M    S E R I E S

By Biblicism Institute

"And you, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? Then cause her to know all her abominations." Ezekiel 22:2

All Empires throughout history have their foundation in war and blood.

The American Empire is no different.

With more than 1,000 military bases and installations spanning the globe and a foreign policy that causes almost every nation on earth to cower to its will, the United States of America is the most powerful Empire the world has ever known. But instead of being an Empire of benevolence and peace, the US has been at perpetual war and expansion since its creation.

Unfortunately for the imperial citizenry, warmongering and economic progress are anathema to each other. If economic progress leads to empire-building, sooner or later empire-building leads to economic catastrophe and bankruptcy; said woes are usually the upshot of foreign entanglements and unholy alliances that lead to unsustainable expansions and wars.

However, in the absence of such imperialistic formula, the opposite usually takes place.

When WW2 caused the irrevocable dissolution of the Japanese and German Empires, the then emerging American hegemon quickly shackled these defeated countries with the trammel that paralyzed (and eliminated) their military machines which had facilitated their expansions. The happy result was that Japan became the economic power of Asia and Germany that of Europe.

Today these two countries have more robust economies than that of the US. Both are major centers of technological achievements, years ahead of their American jailer.

Even China managed to surpass the US by becoming the No 1 economy in the world. That's because China is not (yet) building an Empire. Its focus is on profit, not war.

As the 21st century dawned, America thought it wise and necessary to embark upon war after war by aiming to destroy the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.

The deluded Promised Land of the Israelis

The delusional Promised Land of the Israelis

"… we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran," revealed Gen. Wesley Clark in 2007 referring to America's war plans drawn before the invasion of Iraq.

But why wage war on all these Arab and Muslim countries that wished and caused no harm to the US Empire? To benefit Israel and its plan of conquest (i.e., the delusional Greater Israel or Promised Land). See Israel is the Problem

In order to eliminate all opposition to Israel's Machiavellian design to steal more Arab lands, the more powerful and influential Arab and Muslim countries of the region (not firmly in the US orbit) had to be weakened to the point of exhaustion through war and the so-called Arab Spring's color revolutions (orchestrated by the Jewish neocons in Washington, DC).

Given that the Israelis could not start such an ambitious project by themselves, let alone bring it to fruition in its entirety, the only solution was to wag the American dog to implement most of it. After all, the dog couldn't possibly decline since AIPAC has it by the groin. So far, all these conflicts have drained trillions upon trillions of dollars from the US Treasury, hatched an economic depression, and resulted in over 5 Million refugees and 2 Million dead including Christians. See The War on Christianity

As if that were not enough, the American Eagle swooped down into the Russian Bear's cave and ensnared it into a whole new conflict. Now why did the Eagle that's less than a mouthful to a Bear risk such a move?

When the Imperial tsunami was about to hit Syria's shores, Syria called on its Russian patron for help. Russia of course intervened and halted the American war on Syria which was planned by AIPAC for the benefit of Israel. The end result is the current tug-of-war in Ukraine as payback (and more). See The Truth about the Conflict with Russia. This contrived dispute with Russia, if it were to get out of hand, could start WW3.

So while the American Empire is warmongering overseas, thereby wasting valuable resources that could have been directed toward its depressed and flailing economy, China has been steadily encroaching on and even surpassing America as the world economic hegemon while siphoning every industry that used to call America home.

For such a catastrophe, Americans only have Israel and its whorish minions in Congress to thank.

"Woe to the bloody city!" Ezekiel 24:9

[Jun 27, 2015]Trump for President

"...In the current issue of Trends Journal, Gerald Celente describes the eight candidates (at the time he went to press) for the US presidential nomination as "Liars, cowards, freaks & fools.""
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"...In actual fact, Trump might be our best candidate to date. By all accounts, he is very rich. Thus, he doesn't need the office in order to become rich by selling out America to interest groups."
.
"...Trump's ego might even be strong enough for him to stand up to the Israel Lobby, something my former colleague, Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said publicly that no American President was capable of doing."
.
"...Money, lots of it, has one great virtue. Money in sufficient amounts conveys INDEPENDENCE. Trump, if press reports are correct, has money. This means, if correct, that Trump, unlike every other candidate, has independence from the ruling handful of private interest groups. "
.
"...If Trump is our best choice, imagine how deplorable our situation is."
June 20, 2015 | PaulCraigRoberts.org

Perhaps it has occurred to you as it has to me that the United States is no longer capable of producing political leadership. In the current issue of Trends Journal, Gerald Celente describes the eight candidates (at the time he went to press) for the US presidential nomination as "Liars, cowards, freaks & fools."

Celente put it well. If you look at the sorry collection that aspires to be the CEO of what continues to be described as the "exceptional, indispensable, most important country with the largest economy and military, the world's only Superpower, the Uni-power," you see a collection of nobodies. America is like the last days of Rome when contenting factions fought to put their puppet on the throne.

There is no known politician in America who measures up to Vladimir Putin's ankle, or to the knee of China's leaders, or to the waist of Ecuador's, Bolivia's, Venezuela's, Argentina's, Brazil's, or to the chests of India's and South Africa's.

In Europe, the UK, Australia, and Canada, the natural leaders are also frozen out of the corrupt system.

In the US, "leadership" positions depend on financial support from the ruling economic interests. American presidents and politicians represent about six powerful private interest groups and no one else.

After Celente went to press, Donald Trump announced to much mirth. A "con man" they say, but what else is the President of the United States? Do you think you weren't conned by Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama? What universe do you live in?

In actual fact, Trump might be our best candidate to date. By all accounts, he is very rich. Thus, he doesn't need the office in order to become rich by selling out America to interest groups.

By all accounts, Trump has a healthy ego. Thus, he could be capable of standing up to the powerful interest groups that generally determine the governance of the American serfs.

Trump's ego might even be strong enough for him to stand up to the Israel Lobby, something my former colleague, Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said publicly that no American President was capable of doing.

As Celente makes clear in the current Trends Journal, all politicians are con men or con women. We are going to have them regardless, so why not try a rich one who might decide to break with tradition and serve the interests of the citizenry. This would be a unique accomplishment, affording Trump the elevation in history books that would satisfy his ego. When a person reaches Trump's state, does he need another couple of billion dollars or is historical recognition as the savior, however temporary, more valuable?

This is not my endorsement of Trump for President. It is merely my speculations on how we might think of how large egos might be brought into our service. When we put the Clintons in office, they decided to make money so that they could outdo Hollywood and show their arrival with the $3 million they spent on their daughter's wedding.

For Trump, $3 million is pocket change.

The rich are everywhere demonized, but no action follows. So, let's consider voting for Trump. Some of the better Roman emperors were rich. Their riches allowed them to maintain the stability of the state and to think about its long-run survival. They could outbid the private interests that wished to overthrow them for their own purposes of immediate and highly selective gain.

It would take a lot of money to outbid Trump, although if he neglects the Secret Service and the CIA, he could go the way of John F. and Bobby Kennedy. He would have to make certain he was well protected if he cuts the budget of the military/security complex.

Money, lots of it, has one great virtue. Money in sufficient amounts conveys INDEPENDENCE. Trump, if press reports are correct, has money. This means, if correct, that Trump, unlike every other candidate, has independence from the ruling handful of private interest groups.

If Trump can assemble independent thinkers as his advisers, thus keeping himself out of the hands of the usual interest groups, should he be able to get elected, his administration could succeed in taking America in a more promising direction.

An important question is: can a really rich person find and be comfortable with peers who are not themselves really rich? If not, then Trump is not our man. But if Trump wants to save our country, he has the money and the ego, and he can find enough people to help him.

This opportunity doesn't mean that it will be seized or that it would pan out. If Trump is our best choice, imagine how deplorable our situation is.

[Jun 25, 2015] Bernie Sanders Gains on Hillary Clinton in Bloomberg Early-State Polling

In the USA polls are powerful method of influencing the voters. Independent political polling is a myth. In reality in all countries, but especially in the USA polls are used as an important opinion making instrument, not so much as opinion measurement tools. Among methods used are tricks with the selection of respondents, force-feeding of respondents with opinions masked as questions, slanting the wording of questions to get the necessary response, and so on and so forth. 
"...In Iowa, Clinton leads Sanders 50 percent to 24 percent, and in New Hampshire, 56 percent to 24 percent. That's a six- to eight-point increase in his support since those states were polled by Bloomberg Politics and partners in May."
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"...In both states, he gets higher marks than Clinton on authenticity and willingness to take on Wall Street and financial elites."
Jun 25, 2015 | Bloomberg Politics
Bernie Sanders is gaining on Hillary Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire, with an appeal as an issue-oriented protest vehicle potentially capable of slowing any coronation of the popular front-runner.

In simultaneous surveys, the U.S. senator from Vermont received nearly a quarter of support from likely Democratic caucus and primary voters in the states that host the first presidential nomination balloting early next year, cutting sharply into Clinton's still-huge lead.

The polls suggest substantive and symbolic support for the socialist, as well as a craving among some Democrats for a Clinton rival to rise.

"I want to try to get him along as far as I can," said Democratic poll participant John Murphy, 74, a retired railroad worker in West Des Moines, Iowa. "He's going to bring up some issues that she may not want to talk about."

The surveys were commissioned to test sources of strength for Sanders, who has seen audiences at his campaign events swell in recent weeks. The polls were conducted June 19-22 by West Des Moines-based Selzer & Co. in Iowa and Washington-area Purple Strategies in New Hampshire, the latter done in cooperation with Saint Anselm College. The margin of error on the full samples—401 in Iowa, 400 in New Hampshire—is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

... ... ...

In Iowa, Clinton leads Sanders 50 percent to 24 percent, and in New Hampshire, 56 percent to 24 percent. That's a six- to eight-point increase in his support since those states were polled by Bloomberg Politics and partners in May.

With nearly identical support in Iowa and New Hampshire, the polls suggest Sanders' rise isn't just because he enjoys New England neighbor-state status. In both states, he gets higher marks than Clinton on authenticity and willingness to take on Wall Street and financial elites.

[Jun 22, 2015] The Inmates Are Running the Asylum

"...Rubio is just about as crazy as Donald Trump – and what a delight it is to hear that he will be running again for President – leading to a question as to whether there are any sane political figures left in the United States. Rubio is a weathervane, pointing in whatever direction he believes will get him the most votes"
Fern , June 22, 2015 at 2:20 pm
The crazies are on the loose again in Washington – flushed with the success of sanctions against Russia, they now itching to take a pop at the Big One, China:-

The US government must impose economic sanctions on China at this week's inter-government meeting in retaliation for China's alleged role in the giant data hack of federal employees, Senator Marco Rubio said in a letter to President Barack Obama on Monday……..

Rubio demanded that Obama impose real world consequences on China for its actions around the world and demanded Beijing take steps to reduce tensions in the South China Sea region.

http://sputniknews.com/us/20150622/1023714729.html

marknesop , June 22, 2015 at 2:31 pm
Rubio is just about as crazy as Donald Trump – and what a delight it is to hear that he will be running again for President – leading to a question as to whether there are any sane political figures left in the United States. Rubio is a weathervane, pointing in whatever direction he believes will get him the most votes – a strategy with which it is hard to disagree, since the object is to win, but the contest has devolved into a win-at-any-cost goal.

I can't believe Rubio actually believes now would be a good time to take on China as well, since China only has to call in its debt to make the USA either default or collapse. Or maybe it's just all out of choices, and it's now because it has to be now.

Northern Star, June 22, 2015 at 2:58 pm
This clown has ZERO credentials w.r.t international political dynamics….If by chance he WERE-God forbid-to become POTUS.. it would be one foreign policy clusterF-up after another….probably leading to a nuke holocaust….

[Jun 21, 2015] Why Bernie Sanders is a Dead End

Problems with "lesser evil" policies in the context of the current sold out to Wall Street Democrooks.

Jun 03, 2015 | CounterPunch

'Tis the season once again. You should know it well by now: a "progressive" Democrat running in the primaries for president of the United States. We've seen it all before, from Jesse Jackson to Dennis Kucinich, left-leaning voters have time-and-again been asked to support candidates that are working to transform the corrupt and war-hungry Democratic Party from within. And each and every time this strategy has failed — not only to elect a progressive Democrat into the White House, but to alter the party that offer themselves up as a lighter shade of neo-con.

...in order to radically alter the system in favor of workers, the Democrats must be abandoned altogether — for it's their neoliberal policies, from Bill Clinton on down, that exacerbated the sell-out of the American workforce.

...Bernie doesn't oppose U.S. power, nor does his campaign do a single thing to build independent politics in the country, perhaps the last chance to salvage any democracy we may have left. In the end, Bernie Sanders will play the lesser-evil card and plea for us all to hold our noses and vote for Hillary Clinton, who guarantees a future of more war and economic inequality.

[Jun 21, 2015] Americans need President Trump. He is their spirit animal of extremes

"...Indeed, he distills so many qualities of the modern Republican party that I briefly wondered if he is actually an elaborate satire"
"...The only problem I have with Trump is that he makes Hillary Clinton look almost good."
"...Jon Stewart described Trump this week as "America's id". I'd describe him more as America's spirit animal, the feral creature that exemplifies the country's extremes."
"...Trump may be a complete joke with no chance in hell of getting the Republican nomination but, as the article states, there's actually very little that he says that hasn't been vocalized in some form by the rest of the field."
"...she has detected in the behaviors and statements of this charlatan, so typical of the upper echelons of today as empire."
The Guardian

The property billionaire has announced his candidacy but needs endorsements. Here is mine: Trump! The worst of America!

hen I was a kid, growing up in New York in the late 80s, Donald Trump just seemed part of the deal if you lived in the city, like bed bugs or head lice. All that hair, all that wealth and the obligatory trophy wife – he seemed like a natural part of the landscape of 80s Manhattan. So it is one of the weirder phenomena of my life that, 30 years on, Trump is still, somehow, a presence when other figures from that era have long since faded away: junk bond king Michael Milken, say; or former Salomon Brothers boss John Gutfreund, whose wife, Susan, once allegedly shut down a whole street to lift a giant Christmas tree by crane into their apartment.

... ... ...

I hate to see a man looking lonely so I'd like to add my own very strong endorsement to Trump's campaign "to make America great again" – the US equivalent of Britain's "hard-working families", a phrase now apparently obligatory for all campaigning politicians to mention. Oh sure, some people might bring up the many, many, personal issues that come with this man. But in Trump we have the perfect presidential candidate. Indeed, he distills so many qualities of the modern Republican party that I briefly wondered if he is actually an elaborate satire, like Al Murray was of Ukip in Britain's last general election. It does seem the logical explanation for a man who on Tuesday listed his qualifications for being president as: "I'm in competition with Isis – they just built a hotel in Syria!" and "I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China."

Jon Stewart described Trump this week as "America's id". I'd describe him more as America's spirit animal, the feral creature that exemplifies the country's extremes.

jisames 18 Jun 2015 14:19

Oh c'mon, think of the laughs we'll all have if he's pressy!!

Talking of laughs, could he have Palin as his running mate? She deserves another go-round fer-sure.


Barong 18 Jun 2015 11:01

Brilliant. The only problem I have with Trump is that he makes Hillary Clinton look almost good.
Bernie Sanders for President.


Jimmyfagan1991 18 Jun 2015 10:39

Trump may be a complete joke with no chance in hell of getting the Republican nomination but, as the article states, there's actually very little that he says that hasn't been vocalized in some form by the rest of the field. His slurs against Mexico were just less tactful way of saying what most of the other candidates believe, even the Hispanic ones like Cruz and Rubio.

Listening to Trump say that he's going to defeat ISIS by finding the "new Patton" really goes to show how the Republicans are no longer a serious political party in any meaningful sense. Unfortunately the Democratic side doesn't look any more uplifting with Queen Hillary looking like she's going to gain the nomination that's her "birth right" despite being a vacuous politician without ever having a sincere political conviction in her life.

paulwalter -> paulwalter 18 Jun 2015 09:55

No, it's actually a good article.. she is like Alice in Wonderland, mouth open wide at these hirthoe inconceivable and jarring contradictions she has detected in the behaviors and statements of this charlatan, so typical of the upper echelons of today as empire.

This is the product of billions of years of evolution, the crowning moment of achievement for creation, and precisely the sort of individual that draws scorn from feminists, or any thinking folk for that matter. Hadley has put up an irrefutable case this time and who would I be to cavil when I can be grateful for such a delicate surgery.


AQuietNight 18 Jun 2015 08:13

I still recall all the wonderment over Barack Obama, a most smooth and polished guy.

[Jun 21, 2015] Meet the new Bush, same as the old Bush

"... If you consider the fact that Bush recently stated that "I love my father and my brother...but I am my own man," perhaps having a foreign policy team in which 19 of the 21 members are from the three former Bush administrations is not the best way to demonstrate that. "

http://stopimperialism.org/meet-the-new-bush-same-as-the-old-bush/

Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City and the founder of StopImperialism.com.

...By March 2015, a full three months before he even announced his candidacy officially, Jeb Bush was already a superstar of the fundraising circuit, with projections reaching $100 million for the first quarter of 2015 alone. A close examination of some of the key donors reveals that Jeb, like his brother George W. and father George H.W., is a willing recipient of massive contributions from Wall Street, major corporations and foreign interests.

As The Intercept reported, Bush's Super PAC, known as Right to Rise, has received significant contributions from a number of key donors including lobbyists for Saudi Arabia, as well as those for Wal-Mart, ExxonMobil and other major corporations. In addition, a major contributor has been Glenn Youngkin, managing director of the Carlyle Group, the firm which owns Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the world's top defense contractors.

The Carlyle Group, a secretive investment group comprised of many powerful political and financial elites, has a longstanding relationship with the Bush family. As The Economist noted in 2003: "The Carlyle Group [is] a private equity firm that manages billions of dollars, including, at the time, some Bin Laden family wealth. It also employs Messrs [former President George H.W.] Bush and [former Bush administration Secretary of State James] Baker."

So it seems that all the usual players are involved in bankrolling Jeb, including longtime Bush political machine apparatchiks from a variety of fields. Not to be forgotten are the Wall Street hedge fund titans, including Lewis Eisenberg and Henry Kravis, who hosted a posh fundraiser in New York where the Bush machine had previously held $100,000 per plate fundraisers. The Bush camp has also received major financial backing from influential tech world figures in Silicon Valley and other important corporate donors.

Taken in total then, far from being the one to transform the "club of pampered elites" in Washington, Jeb Bush is, in fact, catering to those very same elites, the ones who finance both sides of the presidential elections. For it should come as no surprise that Hillary Clinton is raising serious money from many of these same interests, with only slight differences of names and figures. So, anyone believing the rhetoric flowing like expensive wine at the Jeb celebrations must simply not be paying attention.

But corruption and corporate greed aside, a potential Bush presidency poses extreme dangers for the US, and indeed the world. Bush's foreign policy, predicated on aggressiveness and "strength," is likely to exacerbate already complex and tense situations around the world.

Bush's foreign policy: the Usual Suspects

...When one looks at the roster of powerful and influential figures on Bush's foreign policy team, so many of the names are eerily and painfully familiar: Wolfowitz, Negroponte, Chertoff, Hadley, Baker, Shultz, Zoellick, Hayden, Dobriansky, and many others.

... If you consider the fact that Bush recently stated that "I love my father and my brother...but I am my own man," perhaps having a foreign policy team in which 19 of the 21 members are from the three former Bush administrations is not the best way to demonstrate that.

And of course that raises very serious questions about how Jeb Bush would act in regard to some of the major challenges in the world today. His recent comments during his European trip certainly do not bode well. His assertion that "Putin is a bully" demonstrates yet again that he and his neocon ilk still have not grasped the fundamental point that US aggression is not going to solve any of the issues in Eastern Europe: the conflict in Ukraine, the continued aggressive expansion of NATO, the escalation of military materiel and forces in the region, US missiles being pointed at Russia, and many other issues.

The Russian position has always been and remains today that it would like to address any issues through dialogue, but only in a climate in which the interested parties sit at the table as equals, not one in which Washington dictates to other countries as if they were subordinates. This sort of arrogance and hubris is precisely the rhetoric that tinges nearly every public pronouncement about foreign policy from Jeb Bush and his team.

Speaking to reporters in Europe, Jeb Bush recently explained that: "There are things that we could do given the scale of our military to send a strong signal that we're on the side of Poland, the Baltics and the countries that truly feel threatened by the 'little green men,' this new cyber warfare and these other tactics that Russia now is using... I think we ought to consider putting troops there for sure."

... ... ...

[Jun 20, 2015]Jeb Bush - Profile

"...No Republican will enjoy credibility as a deficit hawk unless he or she acknowledges that George W. Bush squandered the budget surplus he inherited. "
.
"...The National Review piece went on: "Adelson sent word to Bush's camp in Miami: Bush, he said, should tell Baker to cancel the speech. When Bush refused, a source describes Adelson as "rips***"; another says Adelson sent word that the move cost the Florida governor 'a lot of money.'" (At around the same time the rupture with Adelson was reported, Bush publicly disavowed Baker, saying that he would not be a part of his foreign policy team.)"
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"...In March 2014, Bush and several other potential candidates were also received by Adelson at a Republican Jewish Coalition gathering at a Las Vegas hangar owned by Adelson's Sands Corporation, which papers dubbed the "Adelson primary." According to attendees, Bush gave a speech largely focused on domestic issues but also criticized the Obama administration's foreign policy—a key issue for Adelson, who is fiercely "pro-Israel." In his foreign policy remarks, Bush warned about the dangers of "American passivity" and, according to Time, "cautioned the Republican party against 'neo-isolationism' … a line universally understood as a shot at [libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand] Paul. Bush also pushed back on Democratic attacks that whenever a Republican calls for a more activist foreign policy that they are 'warmongering.'"
Jun 20, 2015 | Right Web - Institute for Policy Studies
Foreign Policy Views and Clues

Although he rarely comments on foreign policy, Bush has appeared to embrace neoconservatives who supported his brother's administration, inviting them to serve as his advisers, parroting their complaints about the Obama administration, promoting their current policy objectives, and defending many of their past debacles, like the Iraq War.

He has said that he does not think that "the military option should ever be taken off the table" with respect to Iran and that Obama administration policies on Iran had "empower[ed] bad behavior in Tehran."[8]

Bush has repeatedly defended the decision to invade Iraq. He told CNN in March 2013: "A lot of things in history change over time. I think people will respect the resolve that my brother showed, both in defending the country and the war in Iraq."[9]

More recently, in May 2015, when asked by Fox News pundit Megyn Kelly if he would have authorized the Iraq War "knowing what we know now," Bush replied: "I would have [authorized the invasion], and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got."[10] This statement spurred widespread criticism, including among conservatives. Radio host Laura Ingram, arguing that Bush's weakness on this issue could be exploited by an election opponent, quipped: "We can't stay in this re-litigating the Bush years again. You have to have someone who says look I'm a Republican, but I'm not stupid." She added: "You can't still think that going into Iraq, now, as a sane human being, was the right thing to do. If you do, there has to be something wrong with you," she added.[11]

Many writers have argued that Bush's national ambitions will inevitably suffer from his association with his brother, whom Jeb has pointedly refused to criticize. Saying he didn't believe "there's any Bush baggage at all," Jeb Bush predicted in March 2013 that "history will be kind to George W. Bush." This led The Daily Beast's Peter Beinart to quip, "Unfortunately for Jeb, history is written by historians," who have generally given the Bush administration poor reviews. "That's why Jeb Bush will never seriously challenge for the presidency," Beinart concluded, "because to seriously challenge for the presidency, a Republican will have to pointedly distance himself from Jeb's older brother. No Republican will enjoy credibility as a deficit hawk unless he or she acknowledges that George W. Bush squandered the budget surplus he inherited. No Republican will be able to promise foreign-policy competence unless he or she acknowledges the Bush administration's disastrous mismanagement in Afghanistan and Iraq. … Jeb Bush would find that excruciatingly hard even if he wanted to."[12]

Bush has made several explicit gestures indicating his commitment to continue his brother's track record, particularly on foreign policy. In February 2015, his campaign announced 21 foreign policy experts who will guide him on foreign policy issues. The vast majority were veterans of the George W. Bush administration, like Paul Wolfowitz, Stephen Hadley, Michael Chertoff, John Negroponte, Otto Reich, and [13] George W. Bush Deputy National Security Adviser Meghan O'Sullivan has been mentioned as a possible "top foreign-policy aide."[14]

"Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush … is seeking to distinguish his views on foreign policy from those of his father and brother, two former presidents," reported the Washington Post, "but he's getting most of his ideas from nearly two dozen people, most of whom previously worked for George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush."[15]

Many observers have surmised that Bush's emphatic support for his brother is the result of him attempting to win the support of Sheldon Adelson. Bush is believed to have received the ire of Adelson after he included in his list of foreign policy advisers former Secretary of State James Baker, a realist who has been critical of Israel on several occasions.

"The bad blood between Bush and Adelson is relatively recent," wrote the conservative National Review in May 2015, "and it deepened with the news that former secretary of state James Baker, a member of Bush's foreign-policy advisory team, was set to address J Street, a left-wing pro-Israel organization founded to serve as the antithesis to the hawkish American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)."[16]

The National Review piece went on: "Adelson sent word to Bush's camp in Miami: Bush, he said, should tell Baker to cancel the speech. When Bush refused, a source describes Adelson as "rips***"; another says Adelson sent word that the move cost the Florida governor 'a lot of money.'"[17] (At around the same time the rupture with Adelson was reported, Bush publicly disavowed Baker, saying that he would not be a part of his foreign policy team.[18])

During the April 2015 Republican Jewish Coalition-hosted "Adelson primary" in Las Vegas, Salon reported, Adelson "devoted a night to honoring Bush's brother George W. for all he'd done for Israel and the Middle East." Salon added: "The Las Vegas mogul and Israel hawk thus took Bush's biggest political problem—his brother—and made him an asset."[19]

In May 2015, at a meeting with wealthy investors hosted by "pro-Israel" billionaire Paul Singer, Bush unequivocally expressed his attention to follow his brother's advice on issues related to Israel and the Middle East. "If you want to know who I listen to for advice, it's him," Bush said at the event.[20]

In March 2014, Bush and several other potential candidates were also received by Adelson at a Republican Jewish Coalition gathering at a Las Vegas hangar owned by Adelson's Sands Corporation, which papers dubbed the "Adelson primary." According to attendees, Bush gave a speech largely focused on domestic issues but also criticized the Obama administration's foreign policy—a key issue for Adelson, who is fiercely "pro-Israel." In his foreign policy remarks, Bush warned about the dangers of "American passivity" and, according to Time, "cautioned the Republican party against 'neo-isolationism' … a line universally understood as a shot at [libertarian-leaning Sen. Rand] Paul. Bush also pushed back on Democratic attacks that whenever a Republican calls for a more activist foreign policy that they are 'warmongering.'"[21]

The remarks—which the Washington Post described as "muscular if generic"[22]—appeared to be well received by the attendees and seemed to demonstrate that Bush identified more with the party's interventionist wing than with its rising libertarian faction on foreign policy.[23]

At one point in the late 1990s, Bush seemed to have been considered a potentially more influential political ally than his brother by the neoconservatives who founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Commenting on the signatories to PNAC's 1997 founding statement of principles, Jim Lobe and Michael Flynn wrote: "Ironically, virtually the only signatory who has not played a leading role since the letter was released has been Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who in 1997 apparently looked to [William] Kristol and [Robert] Kagan more presidential than his brother George."[24]

[Jun 19, 2015]Inside the mind of Bernie Sanders: unbowed, unchanged, and unafraid of a good fight

"...The McMega-Media here in the USA seems determined to promote the coronation of Hillary Clinton. This article does prove Sanders views have been long term and he has the courage of his convictions. The Real Left in America has been sidelined or sidetracked and some were deluded by "Folks" Obama and his phony Hope and Change.

Sanders vocalizes the issues of income equality, and stacked deck in favor of multi-national corporations that export our jobs. Sanders correctly reveals the fact you can have first class health care in America or you can go college if and only if you can afford it.

Sanders would demolish any Republican or Hillary in a debate."

Jun 19, 2015 | The Guardian

gwpriester 19 Jun 2015 12:05


If only... Bernie is the only candidate on either party who is more or less for the people. And probably more than less.


Scuppie bcarey 19 Jun 2015 12:04


He's running as a Democrat so he won't be a "spoiler" as Nader was. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

OurPlanet 19 Jun 2015 11:39

Bernie Sanders The only really authentic non corruptable candidate on the Democrat ticket. Probably the last of his kind. Obama was and is a corporate good corporate mouthpeace ,this time with a Black face who hoodwinked many and still does with his silver tongue. We all know the the totally corrupted Clinton. She is facing a crypto fascist carpet bagger opposition. Should be an easy election for her, with the corporate money behind her.


Christopher Weakley Falanx 19 Jun 2015 11:32


As someone born and raised in Vermont, where decency still counts for something, I've come to the same conclusion. Voting for Sanders is the only decent thing to do.


MonotonousLanguor 19 Jun 2015 11:30

The McMega-Media here in the USA seems determined to promote the coronation of Hillary Clinton. This article does prove Sanders views have been long term and he has the courage of his convictions. The Real Left in America has been sidelined or sidetracked and some were deluded by "Folks" Obama and his phony Hope and Change.

Sanders vocalizes the issues of income equality, and stacked deck in favor of multi-national corporations that export our jobs. Sanders correctly reveals the fact you can have first class health care in America or you can go college if and only if you can afford it.

Sanders would demolish any Republican or Hillary in a debate.


Falanx 19 Jun 2015 11:21


Sanders is not a true socialist but rather a Gotha Socialist more commonly known as a social democrat. He believes in regulating capitalism so as to enhance trickle-down, providing socio-economic benefits and security to working people.

It is indicative of how far right the United States has moved that a New Deal Democrat (1933) would be styled a "socialist."

Of course a difference in degree can produce a difference in kind. At some point regulation of production and distribution of wealth can tip over into effective public control over the economy. But nothing Sanders proposes comes close to that tipping point.

In my view, Sanders' policies will fail because they are not radical enough. The two encyclicals by Pope Francis are actually far more radical in scope and depth than anything Sanders espouses.

Sanders's campaign will fail because the system is designed to snuff out democratic impulses. That was the entire point of the Federalist (aka conservative) coup d'etat of 1789. Any democratic initiative which survives the system's structural deadlock will be vetoed by the Supreme Court in one fashion or another.

Sander's counter-weight will not be able to pull Hillary Clinton to the "left" because a blob cannot be pulled. Again, degrees. LBJ was ambitious but truly held core beliefs. Clinton is simply craven. She will appear to adopt any policy which she calculates will serve to "put a woman (herself) in the White House." But only parse her puff an you will see that it says nothing of substance on anything of importance.

For all that I support Sanders. Why? Because it's the only decent thing to do. It's as simple as that.


ckramer2 Mckim 19 Jun 2015 11:21

I've got my grimy bag of money held in case a "decent" politician happened to come along. I'm sort of hanging onto it to keep Sanders going when he is in a dead heat against the super PAC politicians (all others).

There are also progressive coalitions that were snubbed by Hillary-the-Wall-Street-Goldman-Sachs Clinton, that will probably back Bernie, too. I don't know why the average citizen would waste their money on politicians who are having their campaigns and careers paid for by super PACs, and who will obey their needs on command. It's just wasted money.


ckramer2 Mckim 19 Jun 2015 11:21


I've got my grimy bag of money held in case a "decent" politician happened to come along. I'm sort of hanging onto it to keep Sanders going when he is in a dead heat against the super PAC politicians (all others).

There are also progressive coalitions that were snubbed by Hillary-the-Wall-Street-Goldman-Sachs Clinton, that will probably back Bernie, too. I don't know why the average citizen would waste their money on politicians who are having their campaigns and careers paid for by super PACs, and who will obey their needs on command. It's just wasted money.


ckramer2 elaine layabout 19 Jun 2015 11:02

Hillary also supported Nixon. She is more hawkish than any Republican. She proudly follows the Communist-hating tradition of her family: Get those Commies. She's got some definite unhealthy issues/baggage. We don't need paranoid Hillary with hate issues for our president.


ataylorusa RiotGrrlUSA 19 Jun 2015 10:36

@RiotGrrlUSA: You are exactly right, just to add that public ownership of utilities went much further back than the 1970's; rural electrification allowed for electricity to be provided (at an actually reasonable rate) to rural communities throughout the US as early as the 1930's and 40's. I grew up on the high plains of ND, our electricity was provided by the Rural Electric Association (REA); to all of us, it was a given that (government) provided a necessary assist to everyone where needed, it was part of what we believed society was about - people working together to help everyone. I also grew up with the recognition that there were opposing opinions and ideas, but they were all part of the greater goal, or greater good - you argued, but you respected other arguments. How terrible to see how much we have lost, and I am just over 65 years old, such a short time to fall so far. Mr. Sanders is a shining light.

[Jun 17, 2015] Jeb Bush hires two new foreign policy advisers

The National Interest
Jun 17, 2015 | The Washington Post

Bush has tapped Robert S. Karem and John Noonan to join his growing policy shop, according to aides familiar with the hires.

Most recently, Karem was a top policy adviser to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). He also worked for former vice president Dick Cheney as a researcher on his memoir and as a member of his national security staff.

Noonan is leaving his role as spokesman for the House Armed Services Committee, and once advised Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign on defense policy.

... ... ...

One of the most sensitive tasks Karem and Noonan are expected to tackle is facilitating conversations with Bush's 21-member advisory team of veteran GOP foreign policy experts.

The team, which he unveiled in February,, reflects a broad cross-section of GOP thinking, including two former secretaries of state, George Shultz and James Baker; two former CIA directors, Porter Goss and Michael Hayden; former attorney general Michael Mukasey and Paul Wolfowitz, a former deputy defense secretary and lead architect of the Iraq war.

[Jun 17, 2015] Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush Foreign Policy Adviser, Plays Up Reagan Influence

Feb 22, 2015 | Bloomberg Politics

Paul Wolfowitz, who is advising former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as a foreign-policy expert, is seeking to deflect criticism that Bush is overly influenced by figures from his father and brother's administrations by pointing out many Bush advisers' ties to former President Ronald Reagan.

In an interview airing Sunday on CNN's State of the Union, host Gloria Borger asked Wolfowitz how Bush could "be seen as his own man when the people who are advising him promoted a foreign policy that in retrospect has largely been regarded as flawed and unpopular."

"You're painting [with] an awfully broad brush there," said Wolfowitz, who served as deputy defense secretary under George W. Bush and also worked under the senior Bush and Reagan. "A lot of people in that group, and actually including myself, who participated in the Reagan administration, which I think was a very successful foreign policy: Secretary [George] Shultz, Secretary [James] Baker—there's a pretty wide range of views there but in any case he is his own man."

... ... ...

Five of his foreign-policy advisers worked with Reagan, six worked with his father, and 17 worked with his brother, according to the Post. The lone fresh face: Former Florida Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart.

[Jun 16, 2015] The Gordon Gekko Effect The Role of Culture in the Financial Industry

Jun 16, 2015 | Economist's View '
Andrew Lo:
The Gordon Gekko Effect: The Role of Culture in the Financial Industry, NBER Working Paper No. 21267 Issued in June 2015: Culture is a potent force in shaping individual and group behavior, yet it has received scant attention in the context of financial risk management and the recent financial crisis. I present a brief overview of the role of culture according to psychologists, sociologists, and economists, and then present a specific framework for analyzing culture in the context of financial practices and institutions in which three questions are answered: (1) What is culture?; (2) Does it matter?; and (3) Can it be changed? I illustrate the utility of this framework by applying it to five concrete situations—Long Term Capital Management; AIG Financial Products; Lehman Brothers and Repo 105; Société Générale's rogue trader; and the SEC and the Madoff Ponzi scheme—and conclude with a proposal to change culture via "behavioral risk management."
anne said...

http://www.colorado.edu/studentgroups/libertarians/issues/friedman-soc-resp-business.html

September 13, 1970

The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits
By Milton Friedman - New York Times

When I hear businessmen speak eloquently about the "social responsibilities of business in a free-enterprise system," I am reminded of the wonderful line about the Frenchman who discovered at the age of 70 that he had been speaking prose all his life. The businessmen believe that they are defending free en­terprise when they declaim that business is not concerned "merely" with profit but also with promoting desirable "social" ends; that business has a "social conscience" and takes seriously its responsibilities for providing em­ployment, eliminating discrimination, avoid­ing pollution and whatever else may be the catchwords of the contemporary crop of re­formers. In fact they are–or would be if they or anyone else took them seriously–preach­ing pure and unadulterated socialism. Busi­nessmen who talk this way are unwitting pup­pets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades.

The discussions of the "social responsibili­ties of business" are notable for their analytical looseness and lack of rigor. What does it mean to say that "business" has responsibilities? Only people can have responsibilities. A corporation is an artificial person and in this sense may have artificial responsibilities, but "business" as a whole cannot be said to have responsibilities, even in this vague sense. The first step toward clarity in examining the doctrine of the social responsibility of business is to ask precisely what it implies for whom.

Presumably, the individuals who are to be responsible are businessmen, which means in­dividual proprietors or corporate executives. Most of the discussion of social responsibility is directed at corporations, so in what follows I shall mostly neglect the individual proprietors and speak of corporate executives.

In a free-enterprise, private-property sys­tem, a corporate executive is an employee of the owners of the business. He has direct re­sponsibility to his employers. That responsi­bility is to conduct the business in accordance with their desires, which generally will be to make as much money as possible while con­forming to the basic rules of the society, both those embodied in law and those embodied in ethical custom. Of course, in some cases his employers may have a different objective. A group of persons might establish a corporation for an eleemosynary purpose–for exam­ple, a hospital or a school. The manager of such a corporation will not have money profit as his objective but the rendering of certain services.

In either case, the key point is that, in his capacity as a corporate executive, the manager is the agent of the individuals who own the corporation or establish the eleemosynary institution, and his primary responsibility is to them.

Needless to say, this does not mean that it is easy to judge how well he is performing his task. But at least the criterion of performance is straightforward, and the persons among whom a voluntary contractual arrangement exists are clearly defined.

Of course, the corporate executive is also a person in his own right. As a person, he may have many other responsibilities that he rec­ognizes or assumes voluntarily–to his family, his conscience, his feelings of charity, his church, his clubs, his city, his country. He may feel impelled by these responsibilities to de­vote part of his income to causes he regards as worthy, to refuse to work for particular corpo­rations, even to leave his job, for example, to join his country's armed forces. If we wish, we may refer to some of these responsibilities as "social responsibilities." But in these respects he is acting as a principal, not an agent; he is spending his own money or time or energy, not the money of his employers or the time or energy he has contracted to devote to their purposes. If these are "social responsibili­ties," they are the social responsibilities of in­dividuals, not of business.

What does it mean to say that the corpo­rate executive has a "social responsibility" in his capacity as businessman? If this statement is not pure rhetoric, it must mean that he is to act in some way that is not in the interest of his employers. For example, that he is to refrain from increasing the price of the product in order to contribute to the social objective of preventing inflation, even though a price in crease would be in the best interests of the corporation. Or that he is to make expendi­tures on reducing pollution beyond the amount that is in the best interests of the cor­poration or that is required by law in order to contribute to the social objective of improving the environment. Or that, at the expense of corporate profits, he is to hire "hardcore" un­employed instead of better qualified available workmen to contribute to the social objective of reducing poverty.

In each of these cases, the corporate exec­utive would be spending someone else's money for a general social interest. Insofar as his actions in accord with his "social responsi­bility" reduce returns to stockholders, he is spending their money. Insofar as his actions raise the price to customers, he is spending the customers' money. Insofar as his actions lower the wages of some employees, he is spending their money....

anne said in reply to anne...

Milton Friedman understood just how important "culture" is in the business community and in 1970 wrote an essay designed to dictate a business culture that was far removed from the New Deal vision of a Franklin Roosevelt or a John Kenneth Galbraith.

anne said in reply to anne...

http://truth-out.org/archive/component/k2/item/73007:naomi-klein--the-shock-doctrine

September 9, 2007

The Shock Doctrine
By Naomi Klein - Guardian

One of those who saw opportunity in the floodwaters of New Orleans was the late Milton Friedman, grand guru of unfettered capitalism and credited with writing the rulebook for the contemporary, hyper-mobile global economy. Ninety-three years old and in failing health, "Uncle Miltie", as he was known to his followers, found the strength to write an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal three months after the levees broke. "Most New Orleans schools are in ruins," Friedman observed, "as are the homes of the children who have attended them. The children are now scattered all over the country. This is a tragedy. It is also an opportunity."

Friedman's radical idea was that instead of spending a portion of the billions of dollars in reconstruction money on rebuilding and improving New Orleans' existing public school system, the government should provide families with vouchers, which they could spend at private institutions.

In sharp contrast to the glacial pace with which the levees were repaired and the electricity grid brought back online, the auctioning-off of New Orleans' school system took place with military speed and precision. Within 19 months, with most of the city's poor residents still in exile, New Orleans' public school system had been almost completely replaced by privately run charter schools.

The Friedmanite American Enterprise Institute enthused that "Katrina accomplished in a day ... what Louisiana school reformers couldn't do after years of trying". Public school teachers, meanwhile, were calling Friedman's plan "an educational land grab". I call these orchestrated raids on the public sphere in the wake of catastrophic events, combined with the treatment of disasters as exciting market opportunities, "disaster capitalism".

Privatising the school system of a mid-size American city may seem a modest preoccupation for the man hailed as the most influential economist of the past half century. Yet his determination to exploit the crisis in New Orleans to advance a fundamentalist version of capitalism was also an oddly fitting farewell. For more than three decades, Friedman and his powerful followers had been perfecting this very strategy: waiting for a major crisis, then selling off pieces of the state to private players while citizens were still reeling from the shock.

In one of his most influential essays, * Friedman articulated contemporary capitalism's core tactical nostrum, what I have come to understand as "the shock doctrine". He observed that "only a crisis - actual or perceived - produces real change". When that crisis occurs, the actions taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. Some people stockpile canned goods and water in preparation for major disasters; Friedmanites stockpile free-market ideas. And once a crisis has struck, the University of Chicago professor was convinced that it was crucial to act swiftly, to impose rapid and irreversible change before the crisis-racked society slipped back into the "tyranny of the status quo". A variation on Machiavelli's advice that "injuries" should be inflicted "all at once", this is one of Friedman's most lasting legacies.

Friedman first learned how to exploit a shock or crisis in the mid-70s, when he advised the dictator General Augusto Pinochet. Not only were Chileans in a state of shock after Pinochet's violent coup, but the country was also traumatised by hyperinflation. Friedman advised Pinochet to impose a rapid-fire transformation of the economy - tax cuts, free trade, privatised services, cuts to social spending and deregulation.

It was the most extreme capitalist makeover ever attempted anywhere, and it became known as a "Chicago School" revolution, as so many of Pinochet's economists had studied under Friedman there. Friedman coined a phrase for this painful tactic: economic "shock treatment". In the decades since, whenever governments have imposed sweeping free-market programs, the all-at-once shock treatment, or "shock therapy", has been the method of choice....

* http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Milton_Friedman

pgl said in reply to anne...

OK - we get it. You hate Milton Friedman. Your reasoning is tiresome as it is dishonest.

likbez said in reply to pgl...

It does not matter whether you love or hate Milton Friedman, but the fact is that he served as a "agent of influence" of financial oligarchy and a tool for enforcing neoliberal model on the society. This conjecture is provable with facts.

His "Capitalism and Freedom" was/is essentially a manifest of neoliberalism the way "Communist manifesto" was for Marxism.

Seth Edenbaum

Call it econocentric logic. It makes as much sense to name it after Gordon Gekko as it would be to name it after Brad Delong

Assuming self-interest reinforces self-interested behavior; measuring to the mean puts downward pressure on the mean. Democracy is a virtue ethic. "Value-free" science, especially social science, is a dangerous fantasy.

"Liberalism is amenable to fans of science since it can claim reasonably or not to be without priors. Republicanism is a virtue ethic and priors are explicit: burdens precede freedoms, making hypocrisy more difficult to hide, from yourself at least.

Liberal objectivity: If her interests have the same value as his, then my interests must have the same value as yours.

The opposite of virtue."

Gordon Gekko begins there.

[Jun 16, 2015] Hillary Clinton's Campaign Rollout Speech

June 14, 2015 | nakedcapitalism.com

...here's the text of Clinton's speech (as delivered).

As we might expect from the speech's location on Roosevelt Island, Clinton explicitly claims FDR's mantle. From the introductory portion of her remarks:

[CLINTON: It is wonderful[1]]To be here in this beautiful park dedicated to Franklin Roosevelt's[2] enduring vision of America, the nation we want to be.

Moreover, she not only claims FDR's mantle, she claims Roosevelt's Four Freedoms (history; text):

You know, President Roosevelt's Four Freedoms are a testament to our nation's unmatched aspirations and a reminder of our unfinished work at home and abroad. His legacy lifted up a nation and inspired presidents who followed.

And quoting directly from FDR's Four Freedom's speech:

CLINTON: President Roosevelt called on every American to do his or her part, and every American answered. He said there's no mystery about what it takes to build a strong and prosperous America: "Equality of opportunity… Jobs for those who can work… Security for those who need it… The ending of special privilege for the few…(cheers, applause.) The preservation of civil liberties for all… (cheers, applause) a wider and constantly rising standard of living."

(Interestingly, Clinton's quotes are not the actual Freedoms; we'll get to that in a moment.) After some buildup, she then goes on to structure her speech around four policy areas (which I've to say is refreshing, although not refreshing enough, as we shall see). Here they are, organized into a single list instead of being scattered through the speech:

CLINTON: If you'll give me the chance, I'll wage and win Four Fights for you.

  1. The first is to make the economy work for everyday Americans, not just those at the top.
  2. Now, the second fight[3] is to strengthen America's families, because when our families are strong, America is strong.
  3. So we have a third fight: to harness all of America's power, smarts, and values to maintain our leadership for peace, security, and prosperity.
  4. That's why we have to win the fourth fight – reforming our government and revitalizing our democracy so that it works for everyday Americans.

Before l take a look at the talking points that Clinton places under these four heads, let me quote Roosevelt's Four Freedoms, so we can compare and contrast them to Clinton's. The context is different; Clinton's is a campaign speech, and Roosevelt is addressing Congress, as a re-elected President, in his State of the Union speech, in 1941, before our entrance into World War II (hence the references to "everywhere in the world," and "translated into world terms"). Here's FDR:

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of[4] speech and expression–everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way–everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want–which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants-everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear–which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor–anywhere in the world.

Notice the extreme specificity and material basis of FDR's language: Freedom from want; freedom from fear. You know, today, in your very own life, whether you are in want or in fear. You don't have to ask anybody else, and it doesn't take some sort of credential plus a processing fee to figure it out. Now contrast Clinton: "[M]ake the economy work for everyday Americans." What the heck does that even mean? Certainly nobody knows what "everyday Americans" means. This is focus-grouped bafflegab emitted by Democratic consultants who are slumming it on the Chinese bus instead of the Acela because optics. Could we be in fear or in want after the economy "works"? Who knows? And if Clinton believes we won't be, why not say that?

With that, let me poke holes in some of the policies under Clinton's Four… Four… Well, Four Whatever-the-Heck-They-Are, since FDR's "Freedom of" and "Freedom from" construct seems to have been disappeared from Clinton's reversioning of FDR's material. I understand that the Clinton campaign, in a White House-style policy shop operation, will be rolling out more concrete material in the next 513 days, so I'll focus only on major gaps and contradictions. (The talking points won't necessarily be in speech order, though the headines will be.)

"Make the economy work for everyday Americans, not just those at the top"

CLINTON: "I will rewrite the tax code so it rewards hard work and investments here at home, not quick trades or stashing profits overseas. (Cheers, applause.)"

You will? Really? Article 1, Section 8 says differently.

CLINTON: "We will unleash a new generation of entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing tax relief, cutting red tape, and making it easier to get a small business loan."

First, I suppose it's OK to appropriate Republican rhetoric, Third Way fashion — "tax relief," "red tape" — but it sure seems odd to do so after claiming Roosevelt's mantle. Second, we've got entire industries (Uber; AirBnB) whose business model is to gain market share by breaking the law, and I'd like to know what Clinton thinks about ignoring "red tape" entirely. And that's not just a theoretical concern for small business, since the so-called "sharing economy" — Yves calls it the "shafting economy" — threatens them as well. (What does it mean for local restaurants and Farmer's Markets that food plus a recipe can now be delivered via an app?)

CLINTON: "To make the middle class mean something again, with rising incomes and broader horizons. And to give the poor a chance to work their way into it."

First, note the shift from "everyday Americans" (whatever that means) to "middle class" (whatever that means) and "the poor" (I think we know what that means). Because Clinton cannot really define who her programs target, it's not possible to determine who will actually benefit from them; hence, "mean something" is vacuous. People can project, of course, but 2008 should have taught us the danger of doing that. Second, there are well-known policies that provide concrete material benefits to wage workers, and which it would be easy for Clinton to support, if she in fact does so. The first is raising the minimum wage, not to Obama's pissant $10.10, but to the $15 that so many on the ground are pushing for. Silence. More radically, we have programs like the Basic Income Guarantee or the Jobs Guarantee (or both). Programs like this would be of great benefit especially to those who have been cast out from our permanently shrunken workforce, and will in all likelihood never work again. These programs target millions, and so who benefits is easy to see. Silence.

CLINTON: "There are leaders of finance who want less short-term trading and more long-term investing."

There are leaders in finance who are walking the street but who should be in jail. It's hard to see how "confidence" can be restored for "everyday Americans" until elite criminals no longer have impunity. Of course, taking a stand like that would make life hard for Clinton with the Rubinite faction of the Democratic Party, along with many Wall Street donors, and many contributors to the Clinton Foundation, but corruption isn't my problem. It's Clinton's. So, again, silence.

"Strengthen America's families"

CLINTON: "I believe you should look forward to retirement with confidence, not anxiety."

First, note again how abstract Clinton's words are. Where FDR says "freedom from fear," Clinton says "not anxiety." Where FDR says "freedom from want," Clinton (with Wall Street) says "confidence." Second, and as usual, what do Clinton's words even mean? Let me revise them: "I believe Social Security benefits should be raised, not lowered, and that benefits should be age-neutral. It's unconscionable that the younger you are, the worse off you will be when you're old. I also believe that Social Security benefits should begin at age 60, so more can retire from the workforce, and more young people enter." This is not hard. It doesn't take a think tank to work out.

CLINTON: "[I believe] that you should have the peace of mind that your health care will be there when you need it, without breaking the bank."

What does that mean? Well, we know what it means. It means tinkering round the edges of ObamaCare, keeping the sucking mandibles of the health insurance companies firmly embedded in the body politic, and not bringing our health care system up to world standards.

CLINTON: "I believe you should have the right to earn paid sick days. (Cheers, applause.)"

Given the above, we're in school uniform territory now.

"Maintain our leadership for peace, security, and prosperity"

CLINTON: "I've stood up to adversaries like Putin and reinforced allies like Israel. I was in the Situation Room on the day we got bin Laden."

'Nuff said. (On Bin Laden, "got" is nice. And see here, here, here, and — for grins — here.) SMH, but maybe somebody should ask Clinton, just for an opener, if she supports a grotesquely expensive fighter aircraft with buggy software that randomly catches on fire, and if she doesn't, what she'd do with the money.

"Reforming our government and revitalizing our democracy"

CLINTON: "We have to stop the endless flow of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political process, and drowning out the voices of our people. (Cheers, applause.)"

So wouldn't it be very appropriate Clinton I to stop influence-peddling giving paid speeches right now, instead of hedging his bets, and saying he'll stop only under a Clinton II administration? To be fair, this is good:

CLINTON: "If necessary, I will support a constitutional amendment to undo the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United. (Cheers, applause.)"

However, the shout-out to a specific policy advocated by Move to Amend might make one reflect on the curious lack of specificity so prevalent elsewhere in the speech.

CLINTON: "I want to make it easier for every citizen to vote. That's why I've proposed universal, automatic registration and expanded early voting. (Cheers, applause.)"

This is good, but bizarre. Trivially, the Democrats are at least a decade late on this, the sign of a sclerotic party that can't defend its putative constituents on even the most basic level. Critically, Clinton is defending people's right to vote without defending their right to have their vote counted. This is especially weird after after Jebbie tried to steal Florida 2000 for Bush II — although 308,000 Florida Democrats voting for Bush and not Gore swung the election — and after all that weird stuff that happened in Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 2004. Why not bring America up to world standards at the ballot box, too, and prevent election theft? Silence.

Conclusion

There's plenty to like in Clinton's speech at the talking point level. (For example, on immigration, she does support "a path to citizenship," though curiously not an end to mass incarceration, or reforms to policing.) But over-all, I think any grand vision disappears in a welter of bullet points, vague language, and a resolute unwillingness to present policies that would visibly benefit all Americans, instead being tailored to the narrow constituencies of the sliced up version of America so beloved by the political class.

Here's a random factoid you can use to frame whatever policy options a candidate presents. I keep track of #BlackLivesMatter shootings on my Twitter feed, and most of them come with pictures of the scene. The pictures come from all across the country, as we might expect, and I have started looked at the backgrounds: Invariably, there are signs of a second- or third-world level of infrastructural decay and destruction: Cracked sidewalks, potholed roads, sagging powerlines, weed-choked lots, empty storefronts, dreary utilitarian architecture just as soul-sucking as anything the Soviets could have produced.

... ... ...

ekstase, June 14, 2015 at 3:57 pm

"To make the middle class mean something again, with rising incomes and broader horizons. And to give the poor a chance to work their way into it."

Why are the middle class and the poor always invited to "have a chance"? Or to "work their way into it"? It is supposed to be a fair system, not one in which some people have been crippled by cheaters, and therefore need to work their way out of the unfair position they have been put in. The logic seems off.

tongorad, June 14, 2015 at 4:06 pm
Why are the middle class and the poor always invited to "have a chance"? Or to "work their way into it"?

"Have a chance:" The old "skin in the game" routine. Everyone deserves the chance to risk their skin. Nice, eh? "Work their way into it:" Divide and conquer. The deserving poor and middle class vs undeserving.

jrs, June 14, 2015 at 11:53 pm
one also has a chance to win the lottery if one plays it. Well one does … not a good chance but a chance.
Lexington, June 15, 2015 at 1:26 am
Why are the middle class and the poor always invited to "have a chance"? Or to "work their way into it"? Because in America some win and some lose, but the losers deserved it because they lack ability, persistence, a strong work ethic, or otherwise have some serious character flaw that prevents them from succeeding. In American everyone who deserves success gets it. Or in the shorthand of American political discourse, it's about equalizing "opportunity", not "outcome".

Hillary isn't promising that under her presidency everyone in America will have economic security and some basic allotment of human dignity – that would have after all be defiling the altar of "meritocracy" at which America's elite worships – but those who deserve it will.

As for the others, well America will always need fast food workers, convenience store clerks and Walmart greeters. In any case those sorts of people have no right to aspire to a station in life higher than the one for which one providence suited them.


craazyboy, June 14, 2015 at 4:49 pm

Might be interesting to compare it to Senator Obama speeches. Many parts seem hauntingly familiar, but 8 years and 500 plus days does overly tax my memory. Then maybe compare it to a Reagan speech. Maybe it's my long term memory kicking in.

But that may be more work than it's worth.

Oh geez. Today is gym day. The Fox News TV is there. I can smell the fumes bubbling up from the swamp pit already. Hillary Clinton has embraced FDR and gone bungee cord jumping completely off the far, far, left cliff. Gawd help us.

Bernie, don't let Hillary sit in your lap. Let's try and keep this believable.


OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL, June 14, 2015 at 6:45 pm

We have 1400 billionaires in this country (up from 700 when the "Crisis" began) and we can't find one, NOT ONE, with a functioning moral compass who is willing to do the least little thing for the actual *people* in this country by supporting a real alternative candidate to Fascist War Monger 1 (Hilary) or Fascist War Monger 2 (Jeb).

Forget Grandpa Buffet and his homely homilies while he steals off with insider deals on Goldman preferred, or BillG, who does some good things but then goes and leads the Better Than Cash Alliance (an attempt to get everyone in the developing world to run up debts on a MasterCard). Mark, Elon, Peter…don't you have even one remaining moral bone left that will make you save us from these charlatans?

David, June 14, 2015 at 6:49 pm

"…hatchet-faced austerity enforcer.."

In the links this morning, you castigated someone for making sexist comments about Hillary. You said,

"..it's dumb, because emphasizes the personal characteristics of candidates as opposed to their political ones."

Other than that, I enjoyed the article.


Blue Guy Red State, June 15, 2015 at 4:24 pm

Bernie Sanders resonating with some very Tea Party friendly members of my extended family, along with various traditional lefties like me (aging Boomer and former Independent who move right to join Democratic Party in 1980s) and Millenial offspring. Summer family camping trip might get interesting!

Sen. Sanders is making more sense to more people because we've tried trickle-down, tax-cutting Reaganomics for 35 years, and it's been a disaster across the board unless you're filthy rich. (And the filthy rich live on the same planet as the rest of us, breathe the same air and drink the same water too.)

People are ready for REAL hope and REAL change; this will give Sen. Sanders a lot more traction than the MSM and both GOP and Democratic bigwigs expect. Good.

Synoia, June 14, 2015 at 8:25 pm

S.S. Clinton, the beginning of a Titanic voyage.

I cannot perceive of anything concrete coming form a second Clinton presidency, except more and more constituents thrown under the bus, the space already crowded with groups so discarded by President Obama.

I'm for Bernie.

craazyman. June 14, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Now that Hillary is officially running for President, it's time to ask the tough questions. The tough questions separate a vanity candidate who just want media attention from the hardened policy field marshall who has to make the tough decisions in the face of strenuous opposition. If Hillary is for real, she might get elected, so its not too early to think of the Top 10 Questions for President H.R. Clinton at her first press conference.

... ... ...

Question #6: This is a multiple choice question!

How many hedge funds does it take to destroy society?
a) less than 100
b) just one
c) they can't take you anyway, you don't already know how to go
d) what kind of question is that?

Question #5: Are Republlcans completely crazy or do they just seem like it?

... ... ..

drum roll please . . . .

Is Bruce Jenner still a roll model for America's athletic youth and if not, why not?

^ ^ ^
Holy smokes those are tough questions for any body, much less a US president. but they need to be clever if they're the President don't they!

Ed Walker, June 14, 2015 at 10:10 pm

Fun factoid. Sunday Paper has different headline than current article up on web. Here's the headline from the paper:

Sounding Populist Themes, Clinton Pledges to Close Gap in Wealth.

And here's the headline from the web right now:

Hillary Clinton, in Roosevelt Island Speech, Pledges to Close Income Gap

And note the title in the URL:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/14/us/hillary-clinton-attacks-republican-economic-policies-in-roosevelt-island-speech.html

Just can't quite make up their minds about what happened.


timbers, June 15, 2015 at 12:27 am

Hillary is Sarah Palin but with better grammar. Just like Obama is Sarah Palin but with better grammar. Read this and say I'm lying:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/14/us-drug-companies-that-_n_7581818.html

"Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said drug companies that would benefit from a Pacific trade pact should sell their products to the U.S. government at a discount in her strongest comments yet on an issue that has divided her party."

"Clinton's comments amount to an implicit rebuke of President Barack Obama's efforts to secure the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a nod toward liberal critics of the deal as she campaigns to win the Democratic nomination for the November 2016 presidential election."

"I have held my peace because I thought it was important for the Congress to have a full debate without thrusting presidential politics and candidates into it," she said at a campaign stop in Burlington, Iowa. "But now I think the president and his team could have the chance to drive a harder bargain."

"Clinton did not say whether she would support or reject the deal. But she criticized several aspects of the agreement…"

"Our drug companies, if they are going to get what they want, they should give more to America,"

Sanctuary, June 15, 2015 at 1:51 am

I was in Cuyahoga County in 2004 and I can tell you unequivocally, they (the Republicans) played every dirty trick in the book and stole that election. They were calling people up and telling them that Democrats vote the next day, Republicans vote on that day and/or calling people up and "informing" them of the incorrect polling location to go to, closing down polling locations or not starting them for several hours past the mandated time.

The 2000 morass I blame on Gore, since by no stretch of the imagination should that election have even been close enough that a few million votes undercounted or prevented would have swung the election. That he chose to buy into the Republican memes about Clinton, act guilty, and run away from him, was his own bad judgment.

When you act guilty in the US, you ARE guilty. Doesn't matter if it's true or not. Say what you want about the Clinton's, that is one lesson they always understood.


Jerry Denim, June 15, 2015 at 2:55 am

"There's plenty to like in Clinton's speech at the talking point level."

Seriously?

"We need more from Clinton — more from all candidates. Much, much more. "

Really?

I know Hillary once again is the front runner, the presumed nominee and the only Democratic candidate for "serious" respectable grown-ups and as such must receive her share of the horse race coverage. I also know the tone of this post was basically critical and skeptic.

That said, I find such an earnest micro-parsing of Clinton's utterly meaningless, consequence-free campaign rhetoric by a respected, important and principled site such as this does Clinton an undeserved service by lending her legitimacy at a time when she should be shouted down and shamed for being the lying, compromised, money-grubbing, scruple-less corporate sock puppet that she is.

If the political elites learned anything from Obama (a.k.a. Bush 3.0) it's that you can lie through your teeth on a daily basis and along with some help from our red vs. blue propaganda machine media still convince gullible voters who identify with team blue's brand to continue to support a team blue Prez, and vote for him/her even if he/she betrays regular Americans and kicks them on a daily basis as long as he/she smiles and says he/she is committed to popular and happy things on camera. Hillary can say whatever the hell she wants right now and it doesn't mean a thing. She doesn't hold elected or appointed office.

She can make socialist, FDR type promises till the cows come home while still raking in billions in corporate money, foreign money, and libertarian billionaire asshole money because they know just like Obama she will break every populist campaign promise before she's even sworn in as President. A President Hillary and her entourage would continue business as usual because they has a proven track record of being pro-establishment, pro-Wall Street, Washington-consensus, Neo-con hawks. Believing anything else is utter madness.

Save your analysis and commentary for a Socialist with a better track record like Bernie Sanders or some other long-shot, third party candidate. Carefully parsing the words of a lying pol like Clinton is about as sane and as useful as trying to divine meaning in a pile of dogshit and then claiming you have a legal and binding contract with your bank. We don't need more from Clinton we need less. Way less. We need her to shut up and go away, we know who and what she really is. Since Clinton doesn't look like she plans on shutting up or going away anytime soon I think she should either be – a.) Ignored, or (b.) Shouted down and shamed. Just like Obama I can't take a single word she speaks seriously with her track record.


TedWa, June 15, 2015 at 7:45 pm
I just wish posters here would stop thinking about and posting about Bernie Sanders as if he's a 3rd party candidate. I'm old enough to remember when progressive democrats like Bernie ran things. He's more of a traditional democrat than Hillary can even dream about being. There is no throwing the race to the Republicans by voting for and supporting Bernie – he's running as a democrat and running as a challenger to neo-liberal Hillary and neo-liberal politics and only 1 of them can make it to the final democratic nomination. Get it? Only one of them. This is not going to be a 3rd party race! I know wrapping your head around Bernie as a democrat is hard for some of the younger among us that don't remember a time when neo-liberalism didn't rule the roost, but that is what he is and that is how he's running. There is no 3rd party candidate
Thank you for your time.
Blurtman

How does Hillary's level playing field rhetoric work in her own life? Let's look at how her daughter has fared in her own struggles to live a middle class life.

Lord Butler of Brockwell, the Master of University College, said: "Her (Chelsea's) record at Stanford shows that she is a very well-qualified and able student. The college is also pleased to extend its link with the Clinton family."

In 2003, Clinton joined the consulting firm McKinsey & Company in New York City.

In the fall of 2006, she went to work for Avenue Capital Group, a global investment firm focusing on distressed securities and private equity.

In 2010, she became Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation.

In November 2011, NBC announced that they hired Clinton as a special correspondent, paying her $600,000 per year. Clinton memorably interviewed the Geico Gecko in April 2013.

Since 2011, she has also taken a dominant role at the family's Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, and has had a seat on its board.

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

Yep, just your average citizen who received no breaks or hands up in her slog through the trials and tribulations of making it in the USA.

FunknJunk

Just thought I'd add a link to Professor Harvey Kaye talking to Bill Moyers about FDR's Four Freedoms. http://billmoyers.com/episode/fighting-for-the-four-freedoms/ So inspiring. The opposite of HRC. I appreciated this article very much … I don't see how anyone who watched or read the HRC text and has a passing familiarity to the Four Freedoms speech can see any relationship between the two whatsoever except at the most superficial level, meaning HRC used the word "Four".


[Jun 16, 2015]The Strongest Deal Possible

"...My comment there: If that is truly how Clinton feels, then I think we have our answer. It's the corporatist version of the dog whistle. Whistling to the money lords. Such an answer is what one would expect from a DLC/New Dem who is trying to convince the citizens she is for them. It should have been a non-acceptable answer to the host. Still not getting that people are more awake today than when she ran last time. 2 Dem candidates presenting themselves as progressive, populist, liberal and yet no real fight from them for the 99%... She's pedaling truthiness. Does she really think the people are not going to be fully awake by 11/16?"
.
"...One thing I strongly disagree with that many liberal Dems say about Clinton is that she's running to give her husband a third term. I think she's running because she wants to be the first woman president. And I don't think she feels wedded to any particular policy of her husband's. She's made a big effort to make that clear, and I believe her. The criticism of her that I believe is spot-on is that she mainly supports policy positions only after it becomes clear that that's the way the wind is blowing. The exceptions are policy positions on the standard women's issues."
Jun 14, 2015 | Angry Bear

"The president should listen to and work with his allies in Congress, starting with Nancy Pelosi, who have expressed their concerns about the impact that a weak [Trans-Pacific Partnership] agreement would have on our workers to make sure we get the best, strongest deal possible. And if we don't get it, there should be no deal.

– Hillary Clinton, speaking today in Des Moines, Iowa

I have to confess that I've been somewhat sympathetic to Clinton in her decision, until today, to avoid speaking about the TPP, mainly because she plays no role in the decisionmaking process. Unlike Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Clinton isn't a member of Congress. And she wasn't likely to persuade any Democratic members of Congress one way or another simply by weighing in publicly on it. And by the time the new president is sworn in in January 2017, Congress will have long earlier decided the issue.

Had she taken a public stand against it before last week's vote, it would have been simply a gratuitously political act.

Now that that vote is over, it's fine for her to discuss it. But not tautologically. Obama says the current deal is the strongest deal possible. That is, he says that the counterparties would not agree to any of the changes and additions that the pact's US critics (most prominently Warren, Sanders and Joseph Stiglitz) say are necessary to make the agreement a benefit rather than a detriment to the American workforce and others who would be effected (by the patent provisions that would pertain to pharmaceuticals, for example).

What does she mean when she says that Obama should listen to and work with his allies in Congress who have expressed their concerns about the impact that a weak agreement would have on our workers to make sure we get the best, strongest deal possible? And that if we don't get it, there should be no deal? Does she mean that unless the pact's terms are what Pelosi and the other congressional critics of it say is necessary, there should be no pact?

Presumably so. The other alternative is that she means that Congress should approve the fast-track process once they're convinced that the terms negotiated are the best possible ones that the other parties will accept, but she negates that possibility when she says, "And if we don't get it, there should be no deal." But then, why didn't she just say it, outright?

She's so consumed by her strategy of never saying anything actually specific about anything that her statements come off as some combination of a Rubik's Cube and a Rorschach test for the listener. I wish she'd start speaking in straightforward sentences and paragraphs—sentences and paragraphs that lead somewhere other than a cul-de-sac.

Daniel Becker, June 14, 2015 9:31 pm

I disagree with you on whether she should have said anything prior to the vote. She's in an election and we are trying to asses what she would do if elected. The TPP was a test and she failed it in her usual way. She waited to see how the wind blew.

Now, if she had no competition who was very clear as to what they would do and why they would do it thus not waiting for the wind to blow but instead realizing that the position in contest can actually make the wind blow….

And, it still might past muster if not for this noted at C & L today:

In a separate interview, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook rejected the suggestion that his boss has been on the sidelines of the trade issue. [...]

Mook argued that it's not a problem that Clinton hasn't taken a stance since the administration hasn't made the text of the TPP deal public, and called the current dispute between Congress and the administration "about procedures and parliamentary this and that."

My comment there: If that is truly how Clinton feels, then I think we have our answer. It's the corporatist version of the dog whistle. Whistling to the money lords. Such an answer is what one would expect from a DLC/New Dem who is trying to convince the citizens she is for them.

It should have been a non-acceptable answer to the host.

Still not getting that people are more awake today than when she ran last time. 2 Dem presidents presenting themselves as progressive, populist, liberal and yet no real fight from them for the 99%. There is 1/5 years to go.

She's pedaling truthiness. Does she really think the people are not going to be fully awake by 11/16?

Beverly Mann, June 14, 2015 9:44 pm

Well, if Clinton doesn't understand that a key problem was precisely that this vote on fast-track was taking place before the text of the deal was made available to Congress, and if she really thinks the issue of fact-track approval is unimportant—"about procedures and parliamentary this and that"—then she's seriously stupid. That's a different issue than the ones I was talking about.

Beverly Mann, June 15, 2015 5:46 pm

I read a week or two ago that Hillary Clinton actually voiced serious doubts about the wisdom of NAFTA when it was under debate within the Clinton Administration, Amateur Socialist. And there's no way to know what positions she took on various parts of the TPP as Sec'y of State.

One thing I strongly disagree with that many liberal Dems say about Clinton is that she's running to give her husband a third term. I think she's running because she wants to be the first woman president. And I don't think she feels wedded to any particular policy of her husband's. She's made a big effort to make that clear, and I believe her. The criticism of her that I believe is spot-on is that she mainly supports policy positions only after it becomes clear that that's the way the wind is blowing. The exceptions are policy positions on the standard women's issues.

My post, like two or three earlier ones in recent weeks and months, was intended mainly to highlight (yet again) Clinton's strange and harmful tendency to make statements using a cliché-like phrase or analogy or comparison that actually is either wrong or misleading or irrelevant or incoherent or patently silly.

Jack, June 16, 2015 8:39 am

"….highlight (yet again) Clinton's strange and harmful tendency to make statements using a cliché-like phrase or analogy or comparison that actually is either wrong or misleading or irrelevant or incoherent or patently silly."

Maybe Hillary has noticed how well that tactic has been working for the Republicans. They're in control of both houses of Congress and the leadership, McConnell, Boehner, Ryan, etc. can't seem to utter a word in public that is based on the realities of any issue.

Daniel Becker, June 16, 2015 8:47 am

". I think she's running because she wants to be the first woman president. And I don't think she feels wedded to any particular policy of her husband's

I agree with this. If there is any policy she is wedded to any degree it is because it is the party line in general which is believed to be based on the current wind direction and strength. Unfortunately, the weather report the party most relies on is the ITB broad cast, "inside the beltway".

[Jun 16, 2015]Bubble!

"...somehow the "peace dividend" attributable to the Soviet collapse, the tech boom, even the Republican Congress! were all Clinton's doing. "
.
"...I listened to the Jeb Bush speech & I could begin to sketch the GOP campaign communications strategy. They will make job creation and small business creation the top goals for the GOP. This will form the foundation for higher family incomes return the economy to higher growth rates & I suspect that they will throw in broadly shared. Of course they will not reveal how they will stimulate small business creation or how they will create livable incomes but bankers will be involved."
.
"...One does not have to be of old age to recognize the same patterns in the endless US election cycles. Candidates will promise the heavens if necessary - remember the times of "hope and change"? - only to align themselves with the interest of wealth after being elected."
.
"...Clinton -like all other candidates - will pretend to be the next champion of working Americans up to the moment in which she enters the White House.
Our election system is design so that anyone whose elected could not and would not forget where their campaign money came from."
.
"...Most Americans no longer rely exclusively on, nor trust, the corporate media for their political news. The republican (and democratic) base is getting smarter. I think republicans will see right through Jeb's "Florida miracle" if he trots it out on the campaign trail and call him on it. His Florida "leadership" will come back to haunt him. "
.
"...Yes, it's a big joke all right, but how many people are going to get it? After all, what he said was absolutely correct, but sadly there is the real story behind the numbers and that is lost on the electorate. The Right just keeps pushing their rhetoric full blast and it sounds so good to those who have an appetite for what they are saying. It doesn't matter if they are lying are manipulating the truth, just keep promoting the story and repeat, repeat, repeat. It's all about winning votes, and the truth gets lost in the muddle."
.
"...Try and find a Republican that doesn't live in Voodoo Fantasy-land- Jeb is just preaching to his fellow True Believers. They think of themselves as "people of faith", by which they simultaneously assert moral superiority and ignore or deny any factual evidence contrary to their preexisting beliefs. It's magical thinking similar to that of a medieval theologian. Ridicule is sometimes effective dealing with them; facts they just ignore or mouth some talking point. "
.
"...Even David Stockman has all but admitted it and he helped sell it. So I wouldn't put too much faith in voters realizing that Jeb is just selling snake oil when it comes to his record. Yes, I am a cynic about the how much of a role intelligence plays in how people vote but I think I have good reason."
.
"...Your numbers reflect the result of the economic disaster in 2008 caused by Bush and, yes, Clinton financial deregulation and opportunistic and criminal bank behavior."
Jun 16, 2015 | NYTimes.com

It's tempting! to ridicule! Jeb Bush! over his ludicrous campaign logo! But it would be wrong. He should, instead, be ridiculed over his ludicrous, self-aggrandizing economic claims.

Incredibly, Jeb! is running on his economic record as governor of Florida, on the claim that he knows how to create growth — 4 percent growth, no less — because of the way Florida prospered during his term in office:

We made Florida number one in job creation and number one in small business creation. 1.3 million new jobs, 4.4 percent growth, higher family income, eight balanced budgets, and tax cuts eight years in a row that saved our people and businesses 19 billion dollars.

During those years, of course, Florida experienced the mother of all housing bubbles — and when the bubble burst (luckily for Jeb! just after he left office) it promptly wiped out 900,000 of those 1.3 million jobs:

Photo

Credit

... ... ...


Tom Silver

Funny! But perhaps some day Prof. Krugman will stop using the phrase "during the Clinton years" when he looks back on that golden economic era, not too subtly inferring that Clinton deserves the credit - but without actually coming out and saying it. He knows better. Why not attribute the 1980s conquest of inflation, the huge economic growth rates and laying the groundwork for the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union - to none other than Ronald Reagan? After all, these wonders happened on his watch. Forget the negatives of Reagan's term - my example is limited to the positives. The Professor will explain in excruciating detail why Reagan was "lucky", and deserves none of the credit upon close examination. But somehow the "peace dividend" attributable to the Soviet collapse, the tech boom, even the Republican Congress! were all Clinton's doing.

Conclusion: When it's a Republican claiming credit for economic successes under his or her administration, analyze it away. When it's a Democrat, just marvel at all the great things that happened "during his [or her] years". No analysis necessary.


James Jordan, Falls Church

Dr. K,

I listened to the Jeb Bush speech & I could begin to sketch the GOP campaign communications strategy. They will make job creation and small business creation the top goals for the GOP. This will form the foundation for higher family incomes return the economy to higher growth rates & I suspect that they will throw in broadly shared. Of course they will not reveal how they will stimulate small business creation or how they will create livable incomes but bankers will be involved.

It would be wise for very serious economists (VSEs) to scope alternatives for creating broadly shared income growth that will address job creation.

... ... ...

R. Law, is a trusted commenter Texas

Jeb! would have the same problem any other GOP'er would have - the same problem of Bush 41 and 43 - the rest of the party will wag them around; the party is only looking for a new face to put on their same ol' same ol' bankrupt economic and foreign policies, attempting a(nother) sales job.

As Grover Norquist reminded one and all in 2012 at CPAC when he said all GOP'ers need is someone in the White House with enough working digits to sign what's prepared - GOP'ers aren't looking for a leader:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/13/grover-norquist-speech-...

Nothing has changed about the party since those 2012 remarks.


JD, Columbia, SC

I believe there could possibly be another housing bubble in Florida. Perhaps the consequences of it bursting isn't as bad this time, since there's a lot of cash-only deals that have happened. But one of my friends who's been a residential real estate agent not in Miami, but good ol' Jacksonville, made around $600,000 in gross commission in 2014. This person's gross commission has grown rapidly each year since 2008. I see the 1099 every year.

This year this person expects to make around $800-$900 thousand in 2015. Again... Jacksonville residential real estate. We'll see what happens I guess.

Inverness, New York 12 hours ago

Professor Krugman is correct to point out to the fantasy/lies that the next Bush in line is spreading starting of his campaign. Though it would be exceedingly naive of Professor Krugman to take the next Clinton seriously.

One does not have to be of old age to recognize the same patterns in the endless US election cycles. Candidates will promise the heavens if necessary - remember the times of "hope and change"? - only to align themselves with the interest of wealth after being elected.

President Obama once elected created his new-old economical team made from Wall Street favorites who served under Clinton the firsts' administration and used the revolving doors of Citibank. The group of 'Rubin Boys' who pushed against regulation were brought back to clean the economic disaster they caused.

It was best put by Romney's top campaign adviser, as reported by Times magazine at the time: "You hit a reset button for the fall campaign," adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said, when asked how a campaign changes its tactics from primary season to a general election. "Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again."

Clinton -like all other candidates - will pretend to be the next champion of working Americans up to the moment in which she enters the White House.
Our election system is design so that anyone whose elected could not and would not forget where their campaign money came from.


Vince Cate, Anguilla

"And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble." - Paul Krugman

Paul, are you sure you can do anything more than blow another bubble?

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/krugman-in-02-greenspan-needs-to-create-a...

Lew Fournier, Kitchener, Ont.

Re: Vince Cate

Oh, for pity sake.

Economist Arnold Kling commented:

"He was not cheerfully advocating a housing bubble, but instead he was glumly saying that the only way he could see to get out of the recession would be for such a bubble to occur."

Some people are just great at pulling quotes out of context. Republicans seem particularly good at it.

lynn, california

It is hard to believe that someone running for president today would have a platform built on the economic "gains" they made during the run up to the largest economic fiasco this country has seen since the Great Depression. How stupid does Jeb think his republican base is?

He can attract the 1% with his "Florida miracle" malarkey because they see through it and only care about their tax cuts and the government deregulation they know he will provide.

I think it is trickier, however, to run a national campaign today on the assumption that the majority of republicans will happily ignore reality and recent history and believe Jeb's schtick. Most Americans no longer rely exclusively on, nor trust, the corporate media for their political news. The republican (and democratic) base is getting smarter. I think republicans will see right through Jeb's "Florida miracle" if he trots it out on the campaign trail and call him on it. His Florida "leadership" will come back to haunt him.

Jim Kay, is a trusted commenter Taipei, Taiwan

However stupid Jeb thinks his Republican base is, they are far more stupid!

Widgetmaker, Orange, CA

Yes, it's a big joke all right, but how many people are going to get it? After all, what he said was absolutely correct, but sadly there is the real story behind the numbers and that is lost on the electorate. The Right just keeps pushing their rhetoric full blast and it sounds so good to those who have an appetite for what they are saying. It doesn't matter if they are lying are manipulating the truth, just keep promoting the story and repeat, repeat, repeat. It's all about winning votes, and the truth gets lost in the muddle.

Woof!, is a trusted commenter NY

Why blame poor Jeb ?

From the NY Times (2002)

Paul Krugman:

The basic point is that the recession of 2001 wasn't a typical postwar slump, brought on when an inflation-fighting Fed raises interest rates and easily ended by a snapback in housing and consumer spending when the Fed brings rates back down again. This was a prewar-style recession, a morning after brought on by irrational exuberance. To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment.

And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble."

And so he did.

If you are a Nobel Prize Winner, people take what you later claim to be merely an observations for advice.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/02/opinion/dubya-s-double-dip.html

Reality Based, Flyover Country

"Jeb is living in a world of pure fantasy, in which supply side policies produce economic miracles despite abundant evidence that they do no such thing."

Try and find a Republican that doesn't live in Voodoo Fantasy-land- Jeb is just preaching to his fellow True Believers. They think of themselves as "people of faith", by which they simultaneously assert moral superiority and ignore or deny any factual evidence contrary to their preexisting beliefs. It's magical thinking similar to that of a medieval theologian. Ridicule is sometimes effective dealing with them; facts they just ignore or mouth some talking point.


Dan H, Denver, CO 14 hours ago

The problem is getting the average voter to realize that Jeb's economic castle is built on sand. As Dr. Krugman has pointed out before, most voters are too busy trying to earn a living and survive to pay any attention to politics and the various players.

How many realize Chris Christie is nothing but a vindictive blow-hard and a bully who would come close to matching George W. Bush's incompetence if he were elected president. Ask most voters and they only remember the Ronald Reagan was supposed to be the president who brought morning to America. They don't understand that his disastrous policies set the stage many of the country's struggles today such as the ever increasing inequity in this country.

Even David Stockman has all but admitted it and he helped sell it. So I wouldn't put too much faith in voters realizing that Jeb is just selling snake oil when it comes to his record. Yes, I am a cynic about the how much of a role intelligence plays in how people vote but I think I have good reason.

Defector, Mountain View 10 hours ago

None of that is true. Your numbers reflect the result of the economic disaster in 2008 caused by Bush and, yes, Clinton financial deregulation and opportunistic and criminal bank behavior. Since then we have not only regained lost ground but have continued to grow both labor participation and manufacturing.

True, we should have and could have done better, but we'd have done far worse had Romney or McCain won respective 2012 and 2008 elections. Of that there is no doubt.

[Jun 16, 2015]Hillary Clinton ducks questions on trade deals during New Hampshire visit

"..."But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the Decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!""
.
"...She was part of the Obama/Biden administration that expanded Afghanistan war, attacked Libya, intervened in Syria and Yemen, relaunched the Iraq war, used Ukraine to provoke Russia and is being provocative with China by interfering in South China Sea."
.
"...Let's face it. Wall Street and the military industrial complex control BOTH parties, and are especially bonded with and beholding to Hillary Clinton."
Jun 15, 2015 | The Guardian

FugitiveColors 15 Jun 2015 23:52

She can talk til her pantsuit turns blue.
I have already decided that my ballot will have Bernie Sanders on it one way or another.
I don't believe her. I don't like her, and I damn sure won't vote for her.
She is a blue corporate stooge and not much different than a red corporate stooge.
Bernie is honest and after all of those years in politics, he is not rich.
You can't say that about a single other candidate.


libbyliberal -> Timothy Everton 15 Jun 2015 23:47

Yo, Timothy, Paul Street recently reminded his readers of part of Colbert's speech at the Correspondents' Dinner way back in 2006 (time flies while we're sinking into fascism):

"But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the Decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!"

Timothy Everton -> enlightenedgirl 15 Jun 2015 22:36

Sorry Not-so-enlightenedgirl. WE don't elect government officials, and we don't pay them for "not putting the screws to us". They get elected, paid, and influenced by lobbyists for the wealthy one percent, and by the corporations, who both fund their campaigns for future favors rendered. Those with the most funding for the prettiest and most abundant campaign ads are those elected. And yes, they DO put the screws to us, the American public. This woman is more a puppet for those interests than some Republicans.

Timothy Everton -> libbyliberal 15 Jun 2015 22:11

"The media is still a bunch of stenographers for the WH and even now the WH candidates."

Sorry libby, I don't see them crowding around Bernie Sanders, the only viable candidate FOR the AVERAGE American. In fact, I believe he had more "press time" before he became a candidate.

That is the way it goes here though. Get an honest candidate who speaks her/his mind, and you get no press coverage - way too dangerous for those who actually control our government through lobbyists.


libbyliberal 15 Jun 2015 21:42

What is this business about Hillary NOT "taking the bait" of a reporter's questions? Hillary needs to be challenged and not be the one in control with her gobsmackingly well-funded pr info-mercial steamrolling her presidential challenge.

The media is still a bunch of stenographers for the WH and even now the WH candidates. This is what THEY say their policy is and will be. Not critical thinking of the journalist, no connecting of the dots, to be applied?

Their talk sure is cheap and seductive. Obama gave us major lessons in that in 2008 and again in 2012. More nicey-nice sounding bull-sh*t that is vague or downright mendacious to the realpolitik agenda.

Hillary wants to talk about what is convenient and safe for her. Identity politics. Generalized populist feel-good rhetoric. Nothing substantial with the globalized and corporatized trade deals OR the massive violent US-sponsored or direct militarism around the globe.

Hillary's NYC Four Freedoms Park speech: lack of mention of foreign policy except for some threats on China, Russia, N. Korea and Iran. No mention of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Afghanistan. No mention of drone warfare. No mention of NSA surveillance. No mention of police violence.

She was part of the Obama/Biden administration that expanded Afghanistan war, attacked Libya, intervened in Syria and Yemen, relaunched the Iraq war, used Ukraine to provoke Russia and is being provocative with China by interfering in South China Sea.

Hillary skipped addressing the inconvenient and the media and her fan base had no problem with such gobsmacking omissions. Hillary decides that the US citizenry doesn't want to focus on foreign policy and she ramps up vague populist rhetoric like Obama did back in 2008 to convince the citizenry she is their champion even though she personally has amassed over $100 million from her financial elite cronies over the decades and if you think that fortune has no influence on who she is championing there's a bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn you should look into buying.

Let's face it. Wall Street and the military industrial complex control BOTH parties, and are especially bonded with and beholding to Hillary Clinton.


Vladimir Makarenko -> enlightenedgirl 15 Jun 2015 19:19

"diplomacy so badly needed after the disastrous term of Bush and Cheney and their destruction of the Middle East." If anything she extended B & Ch policies by destroying Libya and turning it in a murderous breeding ground for Islamic ultras. She was at helm of arming Syrian "opposition" better known today as ISIS.

Her record as a Secretary is dismal - line by line no achievements, no solved problems but disaster by disaster.

talenttruth 15 Jun 2015 18:34

If the Democratic party nominates the "inevitable" Hillary Clinton, rather than someone real who ACTUALLY represents the middle class, tells the truth and is NOT part of the "corporately bought-and-sold" insider group, then it will be heads-or-tails whether she wins or one of the totally insane, whack-job Republi-saur candidates wins.

If she keeps on doing what she's been doing, she will LOOK just like those arrogant "insiders" the Republicans claim her to be (despite the fact that they are FAR FAR FAR worse, but much better at lying about that than any Democrat). Hillary is a VERY VERY WEAK candidate, because the huge "middle" of decent Americans is looking for real change, and not -- as well -- a Republican change WAY for the worse.

This Election is the Democratic Party's to LOSE. Hillary could make that happen (no matter how much worse ANY Republican victor will likely be). What a choice.

sour_mash -> goatrider 15 Jun 2015 18:09

"...why doesn't the disgusting American media ask the Republicans who support it to explain themselves too. Why are they so eager to join Obama in destroying the American middle class?"

After +6 years of the then Republican Party, now known as the Christian Jihad Party or CJP, making Obama a one term president it smells to high heaven that they now agree on this single issue.

Yes, where are the questions.

Whitt 15 Jun 2015 18:03

Because they're not "destroying the American middle class". You have to remember that to the financial elites who are backing Republicans - and Obama - "middle class" means anyone who's in the top 5% of the economic pyramid but hasn't made it into the top 1% because they're too damned lazy.

[Jun 16, 2015]Jeb Bush's campaign debut: protester showdown met with chants of 'USA'

"..."are you really suggesting we forget this piece of history simply because bush won by corruption nd connivance?""
.
"...Most Americans are addicted , with help from the media, to those who like to drag them to wars and fuck their economy for the sake of the rich and powerful. And the sad truth is that there is not much difference between Democrats such as Clinton and the GOP bunch that have announced their presidential intentions. There is no hope as long as big money is involved in choosing leadership for a country that boasts about democracy and democratic values while it's institutions are under assault by corrupt rich and powerful."
.
"...All candidates are promising change and yet are funded by those who don't want change.
All candidates are promising defeat of ISIS and yet voted for or presided over or agreed with military aggression in the ME and tactics that helped create the instability in Iraq that led to ISIS. All candidates are promising to strengthen the middle classes and yet support tax cuts (benefiting the rich), trade agreements (benefiting the rich), deregulation (benefiting the rich), and are funded by industries that impoverish the working and middle classes and keep wages stagnant. "

.
"...Bush may speak Spanish and come across as Latino friendly, but the reality is that he's the son of one of the most powerful families in the US. As a conservative Republican, his first priority is to the powerful elite."
Jun 15, 2015 | The Guardian

eileen1 -> mabcalif 15 Jun 2015 23:48

Neither a Bush nor a Clinton. They're both poisonous in different ways.

eileen1 -> WMDMIA 15 Jun 2015 23:47

There is no difference between Bush and Obama, except Obama is smarter and more devious.

redbanana33 -> mabcalif 15 Jun 2015 23:27

"are you really suggesting we forget this piece of history simply because bush won by corruption and connivance?"

No, I never said I believed there was corruption and connivance. Those are your words. Your personal opinion. MY words were that if more voters had wanted Gore as their president, he would have won. As it was, he couldn't even carry his home state. Sometimes the truth is hard to face and so we make excuses for what we perceive as injustice, when, in reality, more people just didn't think like you did in that election. But blame the court (bet you can't even clearly state what the case points they were asked to consider, without googling it) and blame the Clintons and even blame poor Ralph for your guy's lack of popularity. If it makes you feel better, go for it. It won't change the past.

And, speaking of presidents winning by a hair's breadth, shall we talk about how Joe Kennedy bribed his way to electing his son? Hmmmm? Except that even the crook Nixon had enough class to concede rather than drag the country through months of misery like your hero did.

mabcalif -> redbanana33 15 Jun 2015 22:50

there have been more than one excellent president who's won that office only by a hair's breadth.

are you really suggesting we forget this piece of history simply because bush won by corruption and connivance? particularly when the outcome was so disastrous for the country and the world?

it wasn't a question of being more popular, it's a question of being overwhelmed by the clinton scandal, a brother governor willing to throw the state's votes and by a supreme court that was arrayed against him (sandra o'connor is actually on record saying that she would do anything to get bush elected.) not to mention a quixotic exercise in third party politics with a manifestly inadequate candidate that had no foreign policy experience

Otuocha11 -> redbanana33 15 Jun 2015 22:43

Yes some people need to be reminded, especially about the falsification/lies completing the 2009 voter-registration form.

bishoppeter4 15 Jun 2015 22:39

Jeb and his father and brother ought to be in jail !

Otuocha11 -> redbanana33 15 Jun 2015 22:38

His point is that "No more president with the name BUSH" in the White House. He can change his name to something like Moron or Terrone. Let him drop that name because Americans have NOT and will NOT recover from the regime of the last Bush.

redbanana33 -> Con Mc Cusker 15 Jun 2015 22:30

Then (respectfully) the rest of the world needs to grow some balls, get up off their asses, define their vision, and strike out on their own as controllers of their own destinies.

After that, you'll have the right to criticize my country. Right now you don't have that right. Get off the wagon and help pull it.

ponderwell -> Peter Ciurczak 15 Jun 2015 22:25

Politics is about maneuvering to get your own way. In Jebya speak it means whatever will
lead to power. Hillary sounds trite and poorly staged.

Jeez, now Trump wants more attention...a big yawn.

WMDMIA 15 Jun 2015 22:24

His brother should be in prison for war crimes and crimes against Humanity. Jeb violated election laws to put his brother in office so he is also responsible for turning this nation into a terrorist country.

ExcaliburDefender -> Zenit2 15 Jun 2015 22:03

No $hit $herlock, he met his wife when they were both 17, in MEXICO. Jeb has a degree in Latin Studies too.

Just vote, the Tea Party always does.

:<)

ExcaliburDefender 15 Jun 2015 22:01

Jeb may very well be the most qualified of the GOP, and he can speak intelligently on immigration, if his campaign/RNC would allow it.

Too bad we don't have other GOPers like Huntsman and even Steve Forbes, yes I enjoyed Forbes being part of the debates in 96, even voted for him in the primary. And not because I thought he would win, but I wanted him to be heard.

Debates will be interesting, Trump is jumping in for the 4th time.

#allvotesmatter

fflambeau 15 Jun 2015 22:00

The USA presidential campaign looks very much like a world wrestling match (one of those fake ones). Only the wrestlers are more intelligent.

MisterMeaner 15 Jun 2015 21:59

Jebya. Whoopty Goddam Doo.

ponderwell 15 Jun 2015 21:52

Jebby exclaimed: 'The country is going in the wrong direction'. Omitting the direction W Bush sent the U.S. into with false info. and willful intention to bomb Iraq for the sake of an egotistical purpose.

And, the insane numerous disasters W sponsored. The incorrigible Bush Clan !

benluk 15 Jun 2015 21:49

Jeb Bush, "In this country of ours, most improbable things can happen," Jeb Bush

But not as improbable as letting another war mongering Bush in the White House.

gilbertratchet -> BehrHunter 15 Jun 2015 21:42

Indeed, and it seems that Bush III thinks it's a virtue not a problem:

"In this country of ours, most improbable things can happen," began Bush. "And that's from the guy who met his first president on the day he was born and his second on the day he was brought home from the hospital..."

No Jeb, that would be improbable for me. For you it was a normal childhood day. But it's strange you're pushing the "born to rule" angle. I guess it's those highly paid consultants who tell you that you have to own the issue before it defines you.

Guess what... No amount of spin will change your last name.

gorianin 15 Jun 2015 21:35

Jeb Bush already fixed one election. Now he's looking to "fix" the country.

seasonedsenior 15 Jun 2015 21:29

Stop calling him Jeb. Sounds folksy and everyman like. His name is John E. Bush. And he's from a family of billionaires. Don't let him pull a what's-her-name in Spokane. He was a rich baby, child, young man, Governor ...on and on and is completely out of touch with the common man.

He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and his sensibilities are built of money gained off the backs of the workers of this country. He is big oil to his core.

Caesar Ol 15 Jun 2015 21:27

Jeb is the dumbest of all the Bushes. Therefore the most dangerous as someone will manipulate him the way that Cheney did with Bush.

ChelsieGreen 15 Jun 2015 21:27

Interesting thing is that Bush is old school Republican, spend big, be the power to the world.

Since his brother/father left office the party moved on, Tea Party may have faded slightly but they are not big spenders, they are small government. Jeb will have trouble making a mark in the early states to be the nominee, he is considered center-right.

The right wing of the party thinks where they slipped up was not nominating someone right-wing enough, they will portray him as weak on immigration and chew him up.


Brookstone1 15 Jun 2015 21:11

America has been wounded badly by the reckless and stupidity of the Republicans under the leadership of G. W. Bush. And now it would be a DEADLY MISTAKE to even ponder about voting Republican again, let alone voting for another Bush! The Bush family has nothing in common with ordinary Americans!

NO MORE BUSH!!!

nubwaxer 15 Jun 2015 21:03

i heard his punchlines about "fixing" america to get us back to free enterprise and freedom. dear jeb, we know what you mean and free enterprise is code for corporatism run wild and repeal of regulations. similarly when you say freedom you mean that for rich white males and right to work laws, union busting, repeal of minimum wage laws, no paid vacation or maternity leave and especially the freedom to go bankrupt, suffer, and die for lack of health care insurance. more like freedumb.

Xoxarle -> sitarlun 15 Jun 2015 20:33

All candidates are promising change and yet are funded by those who don't want change.

All candidates are promising defeat of ISIS and yet voted for or presided over or agreed with military aggression in the ME and tactics that helped create the instability in Iraq that led to ISIS.

All candidates are promising to strengthen the middle classes and yet support tax cuts (benefiting the rich), trade agreements (benefiting the rich), deregulation (benefiting the rich), and are funded by industries that impoverish the working and middle classes and keep wages stagnant.

All candidates are promising bipartisanship and yet are part of the dysfunction in DC, pandering to special interests or extreme factions that reject compromise.

ID6995146 15 Jun 2015 20:33

Another Saudi hand-holder and arse licker.


OlavVI -> catch18 15 Jun 2015 20:24

And he's already got Wolfowitz, one of the worst war mongers (ala Cheney) in US history as an adviser. Probably dreaming up several wars for Halliburton, et al., to rake up billions of $$$$ from the poor (the rich pretty much get off in the US).

concious 15 Jun 2015 20:20

USA chant is Nationalism, not Patriotism. Is this John Ellis Bush really going to get votes?

sitarlun 15 Jun 2015 20:02

Most Americans are addicted , with help from the media, to those who like to drag them to wars and fuck their economy for the sake of the rich and powerful.

And the sad truth is that there is not much difference between Democrats such as Clinton and the GOP bunch that have announced their presidential intentions.

There is no hope as long as big money is involved in choosing leadership for a country that boasts about democracy and democratic values while it's institutions are under assault by corrupt rich and powerful.

OurPlanet -> briteblonde1 15 Jun 2015 19:34

He's a great "fixer" Him and his tribe in Florida certainly fixed those chads for his brother's election success in 2000. A truly rich family of oilmen . What could be better? Possibly facing if inaugerated as the GOP nominee to face the possibly successful Democrat nominee Clinton. So the choice of 2016 menu for American election year is 2 Fish that stink. Welcome to the American Plutocracy.

Sam Ahmed 15 Jun 2015 19:23

I wonder if the state of Florida will try "Fix" the vote count for Jeb as they did for Georgie. I wonder if the Republicans can "Fix" their own party. You know what, I don't want the Republican party to think I'm bashing them, so I'll request a major tune up for Hillary Clinton too. Smiles all around! =)

Cyan Eyed 15 Jun 2015 18:48

A family linked to weapons manufacturers through Harriman.
A family linked to weapons dealing through Carlyle.
A family linked to the formation of terrorist networks (including Al Qaeda).
A family linked to an attempted coup on America.
The right-wing is incredibly stupid if Bush is their nominee.

davshev 15 Jun 2015 18:43

Bush may speak Spanish and come across as Latino friendly, but the reality is that he's the son of one of the most powerful families in the US. As a conservative Republican, his first priority is to the powerful elite.

[Jun 15, 2015]How Corporations Control Politics

"...conservatives are leading a revolution, in which national governments are being usurped by the big government of the international corporate oligopoly."
June 7, 2015 | crookedtimber.org
In my Salon column today, I look at new research examining how corporations influence politics.
Money talks. But how?

From "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" to Citizens United, the story goes like this: The wealthy corrupt and control democracy by purchasing politicians, scripting speech and writing laws. Corporations and rich people make donations to candidates, pay for campaign ads and create PACs. They, or their lobbyists, take members of Congress out to dinner, organize junkets for senators and tell the government what to do. They insinuate money where it doesn't belong. They don't build democracy; they buy it.

But that, says Alex Hertel-Fernandez, a PhD student in Harvard's government department, may not be the only or even the best way to think about the power of money. That power extends far beyond the dollars deposited in a politician's pocket. It reaches for the votes and voices of workers who the wealthy employ. Money talks loudest where money gets made: in the workplace.

Among Hertel-Fernandez's findings:
1. Nearly 50% of the top executives and managers surveyed admit that they mobilize their workers politically.

2. Firms believe that mobilizing their workers is more effective than donating money to a candidate, buying campaign ads, or investing in large corporate lobbies like the Chamber of Commerce.

3. The most important factor in determining whether a firm engages in partisan mobilization of its workers—and thinks that that mobilization is effective—is the degree of control it has over its workers. Firms that always engage in surveillance of their employees' online activities are 50 percent more likely to mobilize their workers than firms that never do.

4. Of the workers who say they have been mobilized by their employers, 20% say that they received threats if they didn't.

My conclusion:
When we think of corruption, we think of something getting debased, becoming impure, by the introduction of a foreign material. Money worms its way into the body politic, which rots from within. The antidote to corruption, then, is to keep unlike things apart. Take the big money out of politics or limit its role. That's what our campaign finance reformers tell us.

But the problem isn't corruption. It's…

Phil 06.07.15 at 3:43 pm

That's a disgusting state of affairs, and one which I hope is confined to the US. I've never seen anything remotely like that – never had a hint that my boss wanted to influence my vote – at any of the places I've worked, including the ones with no pension scheme and no union recognition.
.2

Metatone 06.07.15 at 3:44 pm

I think in terms of campaigning (letter writing) etc. these abuses have clear effects.

I'd argue though that in terms of the overall discourse, "the bosses" have won without even resorting to anything so crude.

At least here in the UK it's palpable that people soak up attitudes about economics and trade policy from work. And those policy preferences aren't designed around their prosperity…

They aren't being threatened, it's simply a matter of culture – of lionising the "private sector" and bashing the "public sector" and those out of work. The identity comes out of water cooler moments and the lunch break. It takes a strong outside-work identity not to want the halo of "private sector wealth creator" and thus disdain a union, or a strike or a dole recipient…

Josh Jasper 06.07.15 at 4:38 pm

cassander : Seems to me that coal miners and coal mine owners have a lot of interests in common.

You might want to mention that to someone who's worked for Massey energy at the Upper Big Branch Mine. Suggest to him that he really ought to be giving his wages to the PACs if Massey tells them to.

I suggest having your dentist on speed dial.

For that matter, it's evident that the lot of interests Murray and his labor force have in common exclude worker safety as well

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elliott-negin/coal-baron-digs-a-deeper_b_4714139.html

But hey, it's not him getting black lung or dying in a mine collapse. It's his workers. The ones he's been fined repeated times for ignoring safety regulations to save a buck here and there.

Does mobilization to vote Republican affect coal workers? Yes. It makes it very likely that the industry will get away with ignoring safety regulations to save money, because destroying mining safety regulations for major donors is a Republican party practice.

Sasha Clarkson 06.07.15 at 6:45 pm

Much conservative rhetoric, especially in the US, is caught up in an anachronistic big-government/small-government debate. But real government is not where the nominal authority lies, but who has the real power!

Like it or not, conservatives are leading a revolution, in which national governments are being usurped by the big government of the international corporate oligopoly. This of course is barely accountable for its actions, nor subject to democratic oversight, and hence can ride roughshod over the broad mass of humanity. Of course, like the Star Wars Trade Federation, the oligopoly also subverts/coerces the loyalties of employees from the wider community to itself.

I suspect that the trend is that national governments will be important only in that they will provide the armies to enforce the will of the corporate elite. Eventually even this may become unimportant as other means are found to suppress us!

http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/…/images/6/68/TF-DCS-ST.jpg

Bruce Wilder 06.07.15 at 7:08 pm

. . . the problem isn't corruption. It's capitalism.

So simple, then. So obvious.

More than a century of organizing work in hierarchy was all just a big mistake, but no worries, we'll just exchange it for "economic democracy" at the service desk at Best Buy.

Ronan(rf) 06.07.15 at 8:11 pm
Not to display a put on world weary cynicism , but I'm surprised people are surprised by this. It isn't "capitalism" , it's politics. People have always been pressured into how they vote, whether by domineering individuals in their family, notable families in their community , factions in their village, political machines in their towns and cities , so on and so forth. In workplaces of all sizes, from small shops to local factories, individuals have been coerced, whether implicitly (through peer pressure) or explicitly (threats of dismissal) into supporting political positions a dominant faction wants them to. (Is this not part of what trade unions do, or have done?)
It is a fallacy of WEIRD thinking to imagine away such pressures historically. Obviously this situation in the OP isn't ideal, but it is politics , as it has existed since time immemorial. (Or at least a date I can't place)
Alex Hertel-Fernandez 06.07.15 at 8:24 pm
Cassander: I've looked at workers' self-reports of whether employer messages changed their behaviors. About half of all workers who have been contacted by their bosses report a change in at least one of their political behaviors or attitudes, and 15% report that employer messages affected their vote choice. Is this a lot or a little? I think the answer depends on whether you think it is an appropriate role for managers to play in the political lives of their employees.

You're definitely right that the economic interests of workers and managers are often aligned on things like trade and regulation. But many times they are not — as in the cases of working conditions (e.g. minimum wage) or redistributive policies. And independent of the content of employers' political messages, we might be worried about the power that managers have over their workers. For instance, I find that about 28% of contacted workers reported that their employers' messages either made them uncomfortable or included threats of economic retaliation. I think whether you are troubled by these statistics or not depends on whether you are concerned about power differentials between employers and their employees.

Barry Freed: Many of these employer tactics used to be illegal, for the most part, before Citizens United. And some states have taken action to curb the most coercive practices (NJ and OR). But most states haven't.

hix 06.07.15 at 8:40 pm
Well, I associate such behaviour with defect democracy – which is how id think of most historical democracies. So for me it is shocking to see this kind of mechanism in a modern long established rich democracy (ok not that shocking, considering all the other fingerpointers towards that direction with regards to the US).
gianni 06.07.15 at 8:46 pm
Not to mention the ways in which American corporations especially have worked to diminish the employee's time for political activity. Some workers are terribly underpaid, forcing them to work extra hours/job; some are subject to capricious scheduling, and irregular hours; others in prestige jobs intentionally overworked, makes for easier conditioning. All around the 40hr/week standard persists despite massive productivity gains. At least the French get August off to take a proper trip to the beach.

Added to this our antiquated infrastructure and sprawling residential geography make the simple fact of getting to work a huge time investment. While in your car you are more likely to be fed the political opinions of well-funded media figures than to those of your peers. Don't forget that this is in the country that invented the internet – how many of those people could just be telecommuting anyway?

Ronan(rf) 06.07.15 at 8:55 pm
@13 – I don't know if I'd see the US as an institutionally mature democracy akin to what exists in Northern Europe, more as a hybrid of areas that are economically and politically developed, and others that are more comparable to weak states or emerging democracies (at best the European 'periphery', Spain, Greece, Italy, Ireland- perhaps in the 80s more than now) You can see this in the weak state capacity, corrupt militia like police forces and late agrarian style of politics.
Also, perhaps I'm wrong.
Bruce Wilder 06.07.15 at 9:44 pm
Rich Puchalsky @ 11:

I appreciate that when you're going against an established story, you have to emphasize that what's really going on is a whole different story.

That's what I'd take "the problem isn't corruption. It's capitalism." to be.

But really I'd assume that it's both.

[Jun 14, 2015] Bush and Hawkish Magical Thinking

"...t's usually not clear what hawks think would have discouraged Russian interference and intervention in Ukraine under the circumstances, but they seem to think that if only the U.S. had somehow been more assertive and more meddlesome there or in some other part of the world that the conflict would not have occurred or would not be as severe as it is."
Jun 14, 2015 | The American Conservative
Jeb Bush made a familiar assertion during his visit to Poland:

Bush seemed to suggest he would endorse a more muscular foreign policy, saying the perception of American retreat from the global stage in recent years had emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin to commit aggression in Ukraine.

"When there's doubt, when there's uncertainty, when we pull back, it creates less chance of a more peaceful world," Bush told reporters. "You're seeing the impact of that in Ukraine right now."

Bush's remarks are what we expect from hawks, but they are useful in showing how they indulge in a sort of magical thinking when it comes to the U.S. role in the world. They take for granted that an activist and meddlesome U.S. foreign policy is stabilizing and contributes to peace and security, and so whenever there is conflict or upheaval somewhere it is attributed to insufficient U.S. meddling or to so-called "retreat." According to this view, the conflict in Ukraine didn't happen because the Ukrainian government was overthrown in an uprising and Russia then illegally seized territory in response, but because the U.S. was perceived to be "retreating" and this "emboldened" Russia. It's usually not clear what hawks think would have discouraged Russian interference and intervention in Ukraine under the circumstances, but they seem to think that if only the U.S. had somehow been more assertive and more meddlesome there or in some other part of the world that the conflict would not have occurred or would not be as severe as it is.

This both greatly overrates the power and influence that the U.S. has over the events in other parts of the world, and it tries to reduce every foreign crisis or conflict to how it relates to others' perceptions of U.S. "leadership." Hawks always dismiss claims that other states are responding to past and present U.S. actions, but they are absolutely certain that other states' actions are invited by U.S. "inaction" or "retreat," even when the evidence for said "retreat" is completely lacking. The possibility that assertive U.S. actions may have made a conflict more likely or worse than it would otherwise be is simply never admitted. The idea that the U.S. role in the world had little or nothing to do with a conflict seems to be almost inconceivable to them.

One of the many flaws with this way of looking at the world is that it holds the U.S. most responsible for conflicts that it did not magically prevent while refusing to accept any responsibility for the consequences of things that the U.S. has actually done. Viewing the world this way inevitably fails to take local conditions into account, it ignores the agency of the local actors, and it imagines that the U.S. possesses a degree of control over the rest of the world that it doesn't and can't have. Unsurprisingly, this distorted view of the world reliably produces very poor policy choices.

[Jun 14, 2015] An Inconvenient Truth The Bush Administration Was a Disaster

Jun 14, 2015 | The American Conservative

Most Americans remember the Bush years as a period of expanding government, ruinous war, and economic collapse. They voted for Obama the first time as a repudiation of those developments. Many did so a second time because most Republicans continue to pretend that they never happened.

[Jun 14, 2015]The Hillary Promise

Zero Hedge

Following Hillary's first official campaign speech yesterday, promising everything to everyone (apart from those dastardly Wall Street types that keep donating to her campaign and Foundation) so that "everybody will have a better time," we thought it worth reminding 'voters' of another promise...

NoWayJose

The Clinton's and Obama may not know how to run a country - but you have to admit that they are masters at deflating scandals and at running Presidential campaigns. With all these scandals, I am shocked that Hillary is not only still in this, but is running ahead! Are Americans really this stupid?

Caleb Abell

More than 300 million people in the US, and the best two candidates the country can come up with is a choice that will probably be between a treasonous neocon warmonger (bush) and a corrupt warmongering grifter (clinton).

I wonder if Roman citizens put with stupid shit like this when their republic was collapsing.

sunkeye

Hey c'mon now. Hil's just a good ol' gal tryin' to make things better for y'all. She's running for 1600 Pennsylvania Ave for "you people." This aren't about her no way. An insanely maniacal grab for power aren't got nothin' to do with it. (Insert Slick Willy wink here.)

[Jun 13, 2015] What Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Really All About?

June 4, 2015 | The Baseline Scenario

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and 11 other countries. It is comprised of two main parts: reductions in tariffs (and related non-tariff barriers), of the kind typically seen in trade agreements; and new rules for foreign direct investment and intellectual property rights, which have not previously been prominent in FTAs.

The new rules part has become controversial. The case for introducing an investor-state dispute settlement seems less than compelling – this would favor foreign investors over domestic investors, not an idea that sits well with the standard idea of equality before the law (going back at least 800 years) and a direct contradiction to the usual principles of FTAs (emphasizing non-discrimination across types of investors). As currently formulated, it would also be open to considerable abuse. And the precise rules under consideration for patent protection appear likely to reduce access to affordable medicines in both our trading partners and potentially also in the United States.

As a result, advocates of TPP are now emphasizing the benefits of tariff reductions in terms of boosting US exports. But the administration's claims in this regard are greatly exaggerated and the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is unfortunately refusing to fully discuss the broader trade impact, including the precise impact of higher imports into the United States.

[Jun 13, 2015]The Index Of Evil Whos The Bad Guy Now

"...Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Lindsey Graham come to mind, along with John McCain, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, and all the other clownish warmongers."
Zero Hedge
Let us finish our series, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." We've been looking at how, when everybody's a lawbreaker, it's hard to spot the real criminals. (To catch up, here's Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV.)

You'll recall that we imagined a conversation between two German soldiers on the Eastern Front in 1943. "Klaus, are we the bad guys here?" one might have asked the other.

Yesterday, we mentioned a few "bad guys." It was no trouble to find them. Just check the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.

But today we move on – beyond the two-bit bullies, chiselers, and zombies – to the really ugly guys. Who are the evil ones?

It's easy to see evil in dead people. Stalin... Hitler... Pol Pot... people who tortured and killed just to feel good. The jaws of Hell must open especially wide to let them in.

But who should go to the devil today?

Counting the Bodies

It is not for us to say. But we can make some recommendations:

Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Lindsey Graham come to mind, along with John McCain, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, and all the other clownish warmongers.

Of course, we want to be fair and respectful. Each should definitely get an impartial hearing… and then his own lamppost.

... ... ...

[Jun 13, 2015] Former secretary of state officially launches presidential campaign, says shell fight for all Americans

"......She made one reference to Vladimir Putin, saying she "stood up to" the Russian leader when she worked to pass a treaty to limit Russian nuclear warheads. But she noticeably avoided any talk of her stance on trade -- an issue that has dominated recent headlines because of congressional Democrats' internal strife on fast-track trade legislation."
.
"...Hillary diplomatic accomplishments consist of drone strikes, gunboat diplomacy, wire taps of friends, sucking up with enemies and assassination teams."
.
"...It's funny how all you yahoos think that "the people" decide who is president. If the people really decided that, there wouldn't be just two candidates to vote for. Live on in your political fantasy world."
Jun 13, 2015 | CBS News

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton officially launched her 2016 campaign in New York Saturday, laying out a populist policy agenda that she said would fight "for all Americans."

"I'm running to make our economy work for you and for every American," Clinton told supporters at a midday rally on New York's Roosevelt Island. "I'm not running for some Americans, but for all Americans."

Standing atop a stage shaped in the likeness of her campaign logo -- a large "H" with an arrow pointing right -- Clinton cited "America's basic bargain" as a guiding principle of her campaign and her personal life: "If you do your part, you ought to be able to get ahead."

...Clinton also addressed issues with entering the presidential race at 67 years old.

...She made one reference to Vladimir Putin, saying she "stood up to" the Russian leader when she worked to pass a treaty to limit Russian nuclear warheads. But she noticeably avoided any talk of her stance on trade -- an issue that has dominated recent headlines because of congressional Democrats' internal strife on fast-track trade legislation.

Carltests

Hillary's message is one of being stuck in the past. Her mother lived through the Great Depression, and evidently had a hard time. Well, most people who lived through the Great Depression had hard times. Living under the impression that life is the way it was now almost 100 years ago is not indicative of anyone I can support.

She is really hung up women's issues. I know a lot of professional women who are doing quite well and don't seem to carry that sort of baggage. They tend to be good at their career choices and have understood that they only needed empower themselves to succeed, and therefore, they have succeeded. They weren't dependent upon the men in their lives, although they have them, nor were they dependent on the Government to have their success. Among them was one of the best supervisors I ever had, and she never had the hangups Hillary does, plus she was much more competent than Hillary has proved to be.

Perhaps Hillary's hangups are the result of her philandering, likely abusive husband, Slick Willy. You know, he was always that way. She could have left him at any time and stood on her own. Yet, she stayed in that almost certainly sick relationship. Now she claims she will save all women. Well, I think her actions and her choices in her life demonstrate that she won't.

puckingpup842

More Clinton crap of greed corruption is all we would get, and with her ignorance and a finger on the button WWIII as she thinks she is pushing a reset button.

..trout.

I am not a Hillary supporter. But if I have to choose between her and the motley lineup of Republicans, guess she gets my vote by default.

puckingpup842

Hillary diplomatic accomplishments consist of drone strikes, gunboat diplomacy, wire taps of friends, sucking up with enemies and assassination teams.

Buttercup

@puckingpup842

Which should make her right at home in the GOP.

eightsigma

@puckingpup842 In other words, normal foreign policy leadership.

WildStarre

It's funny how all you yahoos think that "the people" decide who is president. If the people really decided that, there wouldn't be just two candidates to vote for. Live on in your political fantasy world.

WildStarre

@eightsigma @WildStarre

They never have. The banks decide who the two candidates will be. And both candidates are in their pocket.

rykatspop

And from the far corner of the old GOP, Newt has a plan . . . a contract with America. They can bring that disaster out again.

Walker and Gingrich. There's a ticket. Neo conservatives and tea baggers unite.

eightsigma

GOP Presidential campaign platform:

"If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

eightsigma

@jgg0000012 @eightsigma You must have missed the "freeloader" narrative.

Slammy Davis, Jr.

@eightsigma @jgg0000012

Dayum right on that one! I saw Jon Stewart tear them apart on that one! Epic!

HiTor15

We saw a president come in here with all the hoopla and promise of "CHANGE"...what did he do instead? Well he MADE THE ELITE A WHOLE LOT MORE ELITE...the POOR A WHOLE LOT MORE POOR...and HE HAS BROUGHT US ONE SHOT FROM WORLD WAR THREE! That was not a whole lotta change of the kind most people were expecting.....as for hillary? well first she becomes SENATOR OF NEW YORK....then...when she loses her bid for the presidency..she decides she can join the MAN OF CHANGE and become SECRETARY OF STATE..and what did she do there????? ....well I can leave that answer to YOU!

Its time for a REAL CHANGE....or the only change we're going to get is to die in a NUCLEAR WAR! which will be charged to our credit bill.....before hand...... Just an opinion.....

KansasCowboy
The Clinton's have been for sale every since their early days in Arkansas. Put a t-shirt on Bill or Hillary with the sleeves cut out and a pack of smokes on their shoulder and they are right back in the hills..

eightsigma

@KansasCowboy Yeah - those Rhodes scholars. There goes the neighborhood
KansasCowboy

Elitist hypocrite on steroids... The Lyle Alzado of politics!

FlMed

The argument for Clinton in 2016 is that she is the candidate of the only major American political party not run by lunatics.

There is only one choice for voters who want a president who accepts climate science and rejects voodoo economics, and whose domestic platform would not engineer the largest upward redistribution of resources in American history.

Even if the relatively sober Jeb Bush wins the nomination, he will have to accommodate himself to his party's barking-mad consensus.

She is non-crazy America's choice by default. And it is not necessarily an exciting choice for some, but it is an easy one, and a proposition behind which she will command a majority

californiadreaming
That's a laugh. Her family is about one of the most dysfunctional families in the public spotlight today!

Sorry, but she's just borrowing a line from Obama's playbook - tell the voters anything and everything to get their votes, and then ignore them when you get elected.Yes, it might be time for a female president, but Hillary Clinton is not the person to fill those shoes. She has less experience than Obama had. And no - you can't count the 8 years being married to the president as experience!

The overall problem in 2016 is that no candidate has stepped up that would really fit the role of president - for either party. I've seen the administration of 11 presidents in my lifetimes, and I've never seen such slim pickings as we have in 2016. They are all unknown entities or they are total froot loops. The Republicans have so many candidates that even if they had a viable one, there are too many to choose from.

skeezix06
Obama's cabinet selection of CEOs and their assistant water carriers makes Hillary's claim of populism pretty thin. I might have believed it in 2010 but not at this point. I might add that I've given up on my current democratic senator due to an apparent inability to tell Obama "no". That person won'tbe getting my vote next election.

Everything considered, democrats did nothing to reverse Dumbya's bad policies and little or nothing that looks like actual democratic policies. I'm totally disgusted with the democratic party. Republicans have been forced so far into la-la land by the tea party/libertarians that they aren't an option. The only person running who looks interesting so far is Bernie.

rzarc101
@xlucky7x

Bush Jr. was CEO of one or two small companies that went belly up. Fiorina almost took out HP, a huge company. Romney was a very successful cEO. Running a company and running a government are two different animals. They share some things but not many.
wfw3536
Hillary talks about how she is the candidate of today, and how she is fighting for children, and regular folks. Maybe she should tell us how Bill and Hillary could make 130 million dollars in less than six years after being broke in 2008. She tells us she wants to help our economy, well she could help our economy by just giving us her secret of how to make 130 million dollars, or how to play the "pay to play" games and win big. Her comments of fighting against the rich is almost as big a lie as her whopper of being shot at by rebels in Kosovo that Obama exposed in the 2008 campaign. She claims to be a candidate of today, but the truth is if you listen to her speech it is the same old, same old Hillary who is getting very tired to a majority of folks who do not believe she is neither honest of trustworthy.

erasmus

@scottpatrick1234

Give your freakin' head a shake. Every single Republican candidate will have the same or more skeletons in their closet. I've never seen so many corrupt politicians. In fact, your whole political system is corrupt.

From what I can see, Obama is the only one without skeletons.. Good luck with finding another. This one was a fluke.




Anyways, GO HILLARY!!!
RJ.Incognito1974
@Buttercup @RJ.Incognito1974 You are damned right I'm afraid of a pathological liar and a Federal criminal as POTUS.

She is also likely to be an agent for the Communist Chinese now too.

Now that we can assume that the Chinese also have EVERY single email that Hillary Clinton had saved on the hard drive of her private server in her private home during her 4 years as Sec of State and for 2 more years afterward, she is totally compromised. The Chinese can blackmail her into doing ANYTHING they want her to do by threatening to expose her incriminating emails, and you can be sure there are MANY. She deleted 30,000 of them and then had her hard drive scrubbed in the attempt to prevent them from EVER being retrieved. Surprise, surprise, the Chinese have read ALL of them. The Chinese OWN Hillary Clinton's fat A$$.

wdrousell

If you don't like Hillary because she is too close to WallSt, then it is obvious you would never vote for a republican.

eightsigma

@scottpatrick1234 "Yesterday" means "greed is good".
Clinton has the moral high ground.

PlsMKSns

@scottpatrick1234 Oh. OK. You don't get it?

Yesterday - segregated army barracks, segregated society, can't vote, can't marry a different race, can't this can't that...you get it yet?
xlucky7x
Hillary equals more hate and racism and divisiveness and misogyny and impoverishment and dependency and crime.

Hillary offers nothing except that will be good for Hillary. She cares about nothing but herself!

FlMed
Here are some startling facts:

In 2012 the final Electoral College results were 332 for Obama and 206 for Romney. If that Mormon had won the battleground states of Florida (29 votes), Ohio (18 votes), and Virginia (13 votes), Obama would still have been reelected but by acloser margin of 272 to 266.

Now, just because Obama won well over 300 electoral votes does not mean Hillary will repeat that achievement but her chances of doing so look quite good. . The path to 270 is much easier for any Democrat candidate given current and future demographic growth and established voting patterns.

Hillary may in fact win by an electoral landslide not seen since Reagan's win in 1984 which in todays numbers would be 97% of the electoral college.

MickeyOne65
To paraphrase Bill Clinton, "I want to say one thing to the American people - I will not vote for this woman."

[Jun 11, 2015]Clinton might not have the intellectual capacity to discern critically important distinctions

Looks like Hillary is just another puppet.
.
"...My own antenna always goes up when I hear a politician assert as fact a generic statement that is intended to imply what I know is a falsity or that patently makes no sense. In this instance, it was both, and, stunningly, was intended to imply a false fact that supports a key line in the Republican playbook: that federal regulation is keeping middle-class folks from starting or expanding a small business."
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"...Elsewhere in her LinkedIn letter she says that it takes longer to complete small-business federal tax forms than it is to complete multi-national corporations' federal tax forms. Maybe so, but is that because the multi-nationals keep PricewaterhouseCoopers or Deloitte on retainer and the owners of the Thai food restaurant down the road probably don't? She doesn't say. She thinks the ultimate in clever political rhetoric is to make some dramatic comparison; the accuracy and even the coherence of the comparison doesn't matter to her."
.
"...Vanden Heuvel's column, titled "A new definition of freedom in America," argues that the term "freedom" has had different meanings in different political eras, and that it's imperative now that the Democratic presidential nominee, presumably Clinton, move aggressively away from the Conservative Movement definition of freedom as economic laisse faire, and reinstitute and expand upon FDR's famous Four Freedoms."
June 10, 2015 | Angry Bear
What Worries Me Most About Clinton: That she may not have the intellectual capacity to discern even critically important distinctions. Including glaring ones.

"It should not take longer to start a business in America than it does in Canada or France. But that is the fact."

— Hillary Clinton, during a small business discussion, Cedar Falls, Iowa, May 19, 2015

Our antenna always goes up when a politician asserts a "fact." Clinton made this remark in the midst of a discussion about the "perfect storm of crisis" that she said small businesses face in the United States.

She made a similar point in an article she posted on LinkedIn on May 21, but with an additional country added: "It should not take longer to start a business in the U.S. than it does in Canada, Korea, or France."

Clinton's claim that it takes longer to start a business in the U.S. than in Canada or France, Glenn Kessler, Washington Post, May 22

My own antenna always goes up when I hear a politician assert as fact a generic statement that is intended to imply what I know is a falsity or that patently makes no sense. In this instance, it was both, and, stunningly, was intended to imply a false fact that supports a key line in the Republican playbook: that federal regulation is keeping middle-class folks from starting or expanding a small business.

Marco Rubio claimed something similar in April—to which Martin O'Malley famously responded, when asked about it in an interview, "It is not true that regulation holds poor people down or regulation keeps the middle class from advancing. That's kind of patently bulls—." And Jeb Bush hinted at it a couple of months earlier.

When I read about Clinton's statements before I read Kessler's post (I didn't see the post until about a week after it was posted), I was absolutely dumbfounded. As Kessler notes, Clinton complains about "red tape" in starting small businesses and says that the length of time in starting a business, caused by red tape, keeps people from starting businesses. The claim startled me; most red tape in starting businesses is state and local red tape, not federal, and the amount and type of red tape depends almost entirely upon the type of business and factors such as whether it requires a trade license of some sort (e.g., beautician), or a liquor license, and whether a permit of some sort must be obtained. Opening a restaurant, for example, requires local health department permits and adherence to health department rules. It also requires procuring a physical space in which to have the restaurant, and usually also means obtaining a business loan. Starting a home-based web-design business requires none of those things. The incorporation process involves filing a short filled-out form with the state Secretary of State's office and paying a fee.

Clinton doesn't know these things?

So the generic breadth of her statement was stupefying. She holds a law degree from Yale, was a partner in a corporate law firm, an active First Lady of a state and then of the country. Did she really not know that most red tape in starting a business does not touch upon anything that the federal government regulates? Or did she have something accurate and specific in mind, but rather than identifying it, indulged her penchant for talking in incoherencies apparently in order to avoid ever saying anything specific about, well, anything?

Kessler's post answered that question. She did indeed have something specific in question: average statistics for businesses that employ between 10 and 50 people within one month, having five owners, using start-up capital equivalent to 10 times income per capita and being engaged in industrial or commercial activities and owning no real estate. In Los Angeles, where it takes an average of eight days to start such a business. Whereas in Paris it takes only 4.5 days and in Toronto five days. In New York City, though, it takes only four days.

Clinton lives near New York City and represented New York state as a senator. She knows that New York City is in this country.

This information was taken from the World Bank website, which, Kessler says, provides statistics that "lets you compare the individual cities to countries, so New York ends up tied for 6th place — with Belgium, Iceland, South Korea, the Netherlands and Sao Tome." Los Angeles, he says, is in 15th place, tied with Cyprus, Egypt, Madagascar and the Kyrgyz Republic, among others. Oh, dear. But he points to another World Bank report that notes that "the differences are so large because, in the United States, 'company law is under state jurisdiction and there are measurable differences between the California and New York company law.'"

I knew that! I should run for president in the Democratic primary. Every small-business owner and aspiring small-business owner knows that, so I'd have a natural constituency. And I have the advantage of actually recognizing problems that do affect many small businesses and that the federal government can address, by regulation. Including ones that recent Democratic congresses, together with a Democratic president, actually enacted.

Kessler comments, "So what does data about starting a business in the largest city have to do with small businesses in Iowa? Beats us." It surely also beats small-business owners and people who are seriously considering becoming one. Including those who are fairly recent immigrants to this country and who don't hold a law degree from Yale.

Kessler notes that even if Clinton were accurate in her claim that it takes longer, on average, throughout this country than in the other countries she mentioned to start small businesses generally, the difference would be a matter of a day or two. He writes:

The World Bank's database lists 189 countries in terms of the time required to start a business. For 2014, in first place is New Zealand, with one day. In France and Canada, along with eight other countries, it takes five days. (South Korea, along with six other countries, is listed as four days.) The United States, with 12 other countries, is listed as six days.

First of all, one extra day does not seem like much of a hindrance — so much so that, as Clinton asserted in the LinkedIn article, the fact signified the "red tape that holds back small businesses and entrepreneurs."

This is crazy. What, pray tell, is her point? To show that she's too dumb to recognize distinctions between state and federal regulation, and between one type of small business and another? If y