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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 Donald Trump Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention 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 Libertarian Philosophy 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 Ethno-lingustic Nationalism Corporatism National Security State Neocons
Neoliberalism Media-Military-Industrial Complex "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place US Presidential Elections of 2012 Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Mayberry Machiavellians 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

I subscribe to Kantian idea of the dignity in human, the idea that everyone is entitles to survival as well as thriving beyond survival. But does everybody is entitled to equal participation in ruling of the state ?  Or  election of state leaders? Which is what democracy means.

But at the same time the struggle for political equality which is often associative with the word "democracy" is a vital human struggle even if democracy itself is an unachievable and unrealistic ideal (see The Iron Law of Oligarchy).  In some sense too much talk about Democracy is very suspect and just characterize the speaker as a hypocrite with probably evil intentions, who probably is trying to mask some pretty insidious plans with "democracy promotion" smokescreen. That is especially true for "export of democracy" efforts. See color revolutions for details. 

Under neoliberalism we now face a regime completely opposite to democracy: we have complete, forceful atomization of public, acute suppression of any countervailing political forces (not unlike it was the case in the USSR) including  labor unions and other forms of self-organization for the lower 80% or even 99% of population.  Neoliberalism tries to present any individual as a market actor within some abstract market (everything is the market under neoliberalism). Instead of fight for political  and economic equality neoliberalism provides a slick slogan of "wealth maximization" which is in essence a "bait and switch" for wealth maximization for the top 1% (redistribution of wealth up - which is the stated goal of neoliberalism). It was working in tandem with "shareholder value" mantra which is a disguise of looting of the corporations to enrich its top brass via outsize bonuses (IBM is a nice example where such an approach leads) and sending thousands of white color workers to the street. Previously it was mainly blue-color workers that were affected. Times changed. 

Everything should be organized like corporation under neoliberalism, including government, medicine, education, even military. And everybody is not a citizen but a shareholder  (or more correctly stakeholder), so any conflict should be resolved via discussion of the main stakeholders. Naturally lower 99% are not among them.

In any democracy, how can voters make an important decision unless they are well informed?  But what percentage of US votes can be considered well informed?  And taking into account popularity of Fox News what percentage is brainwashed or do not what to think about the issues involved and operate based on emotions and prejudices? And when serious discussion of issues that nation faces are deliberately and systematically replaced by "infotainment" voters became just pawns in the game of factions of elite, which sometimes leaks information to sway public opinion, but do it very selectively. All MSM represent the views of large corporations which own them. No exception are allowed. Important information is suppressed or swiped under the carpet to fifth page in NYT to prevent any meaningful discussion. For example, ask several of your friends if they ever heard about Damascus, AR.

The great propaganda mantra of neoliberal governance, "wealth maximization" for society as a whole in reality is applied very selectively and never to the bottom 60% or 80%, or eve 99% of population.  In essence, it means a form of welfare economics for financial oligarchy while at the same time a useful smokescreen for keeping debt-slaves obedient by removing any remnants of job security mechanisms that were instituted during the New Deal. As the great American jurist and Supreme Court associate justice Louis Brandeis once said: “We can have huge wealth in the hands of a relatively few people or we can have a democracy. But we can’t have both.” As under neoliberalism extreme wealth is the goal of the social system, there can be no democracy under neoliberalism. And this mean that pretentions of the USA elite that the USA is a bastion of democracy is plain vanilla British ruling elite style hypocrisy.  Brutal suppression of any move to challenge dominance of financial oligarchy (even such feeble as Occupy movement)  shows that all too well.

Politically neoliberalism. like Marxism in the past, operates with the same two classes: entrepreneurs (modern name for capitalists and financial oligarchy) and debt slaves (proletarians under Marxism) who work for them. Under neoliberalism only former considered first class citizens ("one dollar -- one vote"). Debt slaves are second class of citizens and are prevented from self-organization, which by-and-large deprives them of any form of political participation. In best Roman tradition it is substituted with the participation in political shows (see Empire of Illusion The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle by Chris Hedges) which decide nothing but helps to provide legitimacy for the ruling elite. 

The two party system invented by the elite of Great Britain proved to be perfect for neoliberal regimes, which practice what Sheldon Wolin called inverted totalitarism. The latter is the regime in which all political power belongs to the financial oligarchy which rules via the deep state mechanisms, and where traditional political institutions including POTUS are downgraded to instruments of providing political legitimacy of the ruling elite. Population is discouraged from political activity. "Go shopping" as famously recommended Bush II to US citizens after 9/11.

The difference between democrats and republicans as (at least partially) the difference in the level of authoritarism

Although politics at the US elite has been polarized since Reagan, when Republican drifted right and Democrats were bought by Wall Street. But still those parties reflect two different strata of the US population, which according to Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler book Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics in the level of authoritarianism (for example, as measured by F-scale.). Many Republican politicians can be classified as Double High Authoritarians

If we assume that this is true, the the large part of "verge issues" that so skillfully played in each election, and which allow the elite to avoid addressing any fundamental issues facing the nation, duch as race, gay marriage, illegal immigration, and the use of force to resolve security problems -- reflect differences in individuals' levels of authoritarianism. This makes authoritarianism an especially compelling explanation of contemporary American politics. Events and strategic political decisions have conspired to make all these considerations more salient. While the authors acknowledge that authoritarianism is not the only factor determining how people vote, it does offer a an important perspective on the issue which goes a long way toward explaining the current election campaign: a lerge part (at least white Americans) flock to the particular party based on proximity to their own level authoritarism and correspoding worldview of the party.  In other words  the percentage of authoritarian/non-authoritarian personality in the population allow to predict, at least in part, the US "white block" public voting behavior.

Here are several Amazon reviews that illuminate some idea of the book (you should not blindly apply this distinction, authors are actually pretty nuaced):

a Midwest reviewer, February 28, 2016

 An eye-opening book in so many ways

This book's a total eye-opener in so many different ways. I spend time with people from a wide range of political and religious and work backgrounds, and find the Myers-Briggs personality characteristics of Judging vs Perceiving seems to explain a lot about how people react differently to the same situations. I often wondered what results you would get if someone measured how much the two political parties and different religious groups and denominations draw more people with either judging or perceiving personality types (Republicans/Democrats, evangelical Christians, Catholics, mainline Protestants, and unaffiliated/secular types, etc). If you're not familiar with Myers-Briggs personality types, judging types tend to reach decisions more quickly and see things in more black-and-white terms, while perceiving types are more likely to take time to make decisions, gather more evidence first, and aren't troubled by complexity and uncertainty. The best I could find when I tried an online search last year was some paper written by an undergrad who hardly looked at the judging/perceiving dimension of Myers-Briggs.

Yet even though I was primed to agree with their conclusions, I was blown away by just how strongly authoritarian/non-authoritarian personality types explain voting behavior.

I tend to view "trust" first and foremost in terms of honesty, accuracy, and telling the truth. So it baffled me how some candidates for the nomination in 2016 who score the very worst on PolitiFact fact checks would receive far more votes or consistently do better in polls than their opponents. My built-in assumption was that Americans will trust candidates who makes mostly accurate statements and distrust candidates who tell them lots of big whoppers. nytimes.com/2015/12/13/opinion/campaign-stops/all-politicians-lie-some-lie-more-than-others.
Hetherington and Weiler explain my assumption is a logical one: IF you're coming from the standpoint of people who rank as strongly NON-authoritarian on their scale. However about half of Americans lean towards the authoritarian end of their scale and when they perceive any kind of threat to "us" or "our team," these Americans first and foremost trust someone who shares their worldview and their personality type, rather than basing their trust on the accuracy of their individual statements. (see p. 44-46 hardcover ed, "Accuracy motivation")

My biggest criticism of a lot of political writing is that it makes assertions without convincing evidence. Anyone can select some anecdotes, examples and numbers to support their argument. Not this book. The evidence they present is amazing. The other reviewers are correct, the statistics make some parts of the book pretty dry reading. At the same time, it's the rigorous and careful statistics work that leaves me absolutely convinced their arguments are correct. Using data from sources like National Election Survey, they use statistical methods to demonstrate, for instance, that if you take an evangelical Christian who ranks high on the four authoritarian questions and compare them with an otherwise identical evangelical Christian who ranks low authoritarian, you find vast differences in responses to questions. And some of these authoritarian/non-authoritarian differences may be even larger than if you look at political party identification or labels like liberal or conservative. So rather than just reinforcing sweeping stereotypes about Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, and evangelicals and Catholics and secular non-believers, the authors demonstrate they have identified a personality characteristic that sometimes has an even bigger impact on political opinions and voting than these groups and labels. They've convinced me that this authoritarianism personality trait explains even more than I ever imagined.

And while this book probably has way too much nuance for most authoritarians, the authors say it's also too simplistic to simply label people as unchanging authoritarians or non-authoritarians. They argue that when Americans perceive a threat, moderate authoritarians are more likely to vote and behave like authoritarians, and some (not all) non-authoritarians are more likely to vote and behave like moderate authoritarians. So while authoritarians feel consistently threatened by difference and change and shades of gray most all the time, if Americans can be made to feel fearful and threatened and insecure, non-authoritarians will begin to vote more like authoritarians. And they say this means that understanding what causes changes in voting and attitudes of non-authoritarians may be even more important to understand than the more unchanging authoritarians.

Their views on immigration are another eye-opener. The authors argue that as a perfectly logical approach to win each coming election, the Republican party has positioning itself more and more to appeal to authoritarians since the 1970s, and that President Ford (not elected) was the last Republican president who did not fit this mold. The authors cover issues like national security, crime, race, gay marriage, civil rights, and terrorism and show how this was largely the result of intentional top-down decisions by Republican political elites to focus on "wedge" issues which encourage the more authoritarian to feel threatened and vote with their gut.

Many Republican elites did not want the party to be anti-immigration, feeling it was against their long-run interests to alienate the Latino vote. The authors argue that because these other wedge issues all had the unified effect of attracting authoritarian personality types away from the Democratic party to the Republican party, Republican party elites (such as Bush) who tried to pursue immigration reform found themselves blocked by a strong grassroots opposition on immigration.

Some have said America's two political parties today both have evolved a politically-convenient constellation of opinions which are ideologically inconsistent. In "The True and Only Heaven: Progress and Its Critics" Christopher Lasch does a marvelous job of showing just how much the notion of "conservative" made a complete reversal in some ways between 1940 and the 1980s. Hetherington and Weiler point out that while they may not seem intellectually or ideologically consistent from the standpoint of New Deal era political issues, today's Republican and Democratic parties are growing more and more consistently centered around authoritarian vs non-authoritarian personality types. So while the constellation of party positions today may seem highly inconsistent from the intellectual standpoint of a libertarian or a fiscal conservative, Republican elites cannot now pick and choose which issues they want to champion at random. Republican positions are growing more and more consistent when you view the party from a gut-level emotional and personality perspective.

And by no means are the eye-openers only about the Republican party. The authors dedicate a chapter to showing how in 2008 Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama may have taken very similar policy positions on the issues, yet Democratic voters were deeply divided between them based on more authoritarian vs less authoritarian personalities in the Democratic Party. How interesting that you can understand so little about the dynamics of that nomination fight based on policy positions, however you can suddenly explain a great deal if you know the answer to four questions about preferences in child-rearing.

And it probably goes without saying, but this book written in 2010 offers a spot-on explanation for why someone like Donald Trump can get more votes from evangelical Christians and conservatives in South Carolina than a candidate like Ted Cruz - a candidate who thought he was positioned correctly on all the issues to be the favorite of these voting blocs. The bottom line is, most American voters care a lot less about issues than either the Republican party or the Democratic party think.

Ideally you'd want to have some background in statistics to fully appreciate this book. However if you don't, their succinct political history of the past 40-50 years makes this book highly worth the read all by itself. I'm impressed that Hetherington and Weiler do put in explanations of things like regressions for people who don't remember Stats 101. Most books either leave out the statistics altogether, or else don't bother to explain them for the non-statisticians, so the authors are trying very hard to make the book accessible to a wider audience without throwing out their strong evidence in the process.

Eric John, March 2, 2016

Overgeneralized uses of data, over-simplified findings and assumptions

The authors’ analysis assumes to a degree that non-authoritarians will lean Democratic, and authoritarians will lean Republican. On p. 141, they recognize that, despite African-Americans being the most authoritarian racial group, they are consistently tied to the Democratic Party, so they remove blacks from their model. Is this problematic to simply remove an entire – and substantial – racial group from an analysis because it doesn’t fit your analytical definitions? Should there be more discussion of why blacks are more authoritarian (predominantly lower incomes, historically underprivileged, lower education rates, etc.)?

The authors, after setting up their measure of authoritarianism (child rearing preferences), go on to refer to authoritarianism as an inherent or “natural” disposition within individuals. They state that authoritarian people simply: a) have fewer cognitive tools, and b) feel more threat from ambiguity. They link less authoritarianism to greater education, but do not explore the roots of authoritarianism, but rather take it for granted as just “how some people are”. Can the link between privilege, education, and lack of threats in one’s life to non-authoritarianism explain why, many “authoritarian” populations are generally in impoverished regions?

In the analysis of chapter 9, which found that less authoritarian Democrats chose Obama over Hillary, how would factoring in the black vote change their findings? Would the roughly 9-to-1 margin of blacks (who are “predominantly more authoritarian”) who voted for Obama over Hillary spoil their conclusion?

Kenneth Buck, June 25, 2013

Worth the read

Hetherington and Weiler focus on a subject that is central to the divide we see in the U.S. and around the world today. The book is, I think, one of the better discussions on the two primary worldviews confronting each other today, authoritarianism and non-authoritarianism. It is not only an elaboration and expansion on ideas developed by Adorno in 1950 (The Authoritarian Personality) and Altemeyer in 2006 (The Authoritarians), but I think establishes new ground in the understanding of these two worldviews.

The focus on threat as the driving force behind authoritarianism and the polarization that occurs as a result of the variance in preceived threat is well documented in this book. The point that we all move further up the scale of authoritarianism the more we preceive a threat is an important point that is also well documented in this book. Hetherington and Weiler provide ample documentation to support their presentation and their bibliography is a wonderful source of further reading for those so inclined.

Lew Mills, April 1, 2013

 Great fruit about authoritarianism, but still on the vine of statistics

Authoritarianism is an important construct, and I'm glad the authors have brought it out of the shadows. But this was not the broad conceptual analysis I was hoping for. It is really an academic piece, laying the foundation for broader discussion of the concepts. They do a great job establishing that authoritarianism is a growing force in the polarization of American politics. But past that, I had difficulty seeing where they were going with it. I hope others will build on this.

I suppose that this is also a strength of the book. There was no hint of a political agenda behind the research. It really serves one basic purpose--to establish that authoritarianism is a real phenomenon, that it influences the world view of citizens, and that it is having an increasing impact on polarization in the United States.

In the face of what's on TV from FOX or MSNBC -- demonstrating florid polarization every day -- this was a pretty dry read, with an abundance of statistical explanations. I suspect that the authors felt it was overreaching to also try to draw broad conclusions about the ultimate meaning of authoritarianism and polarization in our political climate. To give it more context, my syllabus would include two other books on the same basic themes: "Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think" by George Lakoff (2002), and "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion", by Jonathan Haidt (2012).

The Ancient Simplicity, November 4, 2012

 Since the 1960's a big sort has been going on in American politics. Hetherington and Weiler (H&W) argue that the left and the right have become sorted not merely on the basis of issues or even on the basis of ideology but on something deeper. That something deeper is personality.

What do H&W mean by personality? In the book they specify there are large numbers of people who feel at an instinctive level the need to question authority while, in direct contrast, there is another large group who feel the need for order.

After WW II a vast literature was developed on what is now known as the authoritarian disposition. Those who score high in authoritarianism tend to have a greater need for order and to protect the existing norms of society than those who score low; they more easily perceive threats to order and norms and behave aggressively toward those groups perceived as threats. Those who score high also tend to see the world in concrete, black and white terms while those who score low see shades of grey and look for the complexity of things.

H&W are of the view that the personality disposition of authoritarianism is now the fundamental demarcation between Republicans and Democrats. As an example one can see this disposition at work on the issue of how to deal with terrorist threats and what civil liberties can be violated to sustain order. The different positions taken on this issue argue H&W are in large measure a function of one's level of authoritarianism. To a perilous degree each side has little or no empathy for the other's position, they not only talk past each other but fail to understand or even to accept the other's position as legitimate.

These are dangerous waters, as the example of France in the time of Dreyfus and its aftermath well demonstrates.

Civitas, February 14, 2010

An important explanation of how political differences arise and persist

I can say for myself why this book is so important, but I will just quote form Nicholas Kristoff's recent column about the book:

The book establishes "a fascinating framework of the role of personality types in politics, explored in a recent book, "Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics," by two political scientists, Marc J. Hetherington of Vanderbilt University and Jonathan D. Weiler of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They start by exploring data showing a remarkably strong correlation between state attitudes toward spanking children and voting patterns. Essentially, spanking states go Republican, while those with more timeouts go Democratic.

Professors Hetherington and Weiler contend that the differences stem from profound differences in cognitive styles. Spankers tend to see the world in stark, black-and-white terms, perceive the social order as vulnerable or under attack, tend to make strong distinctions between "us" and "them," and emphasize order and muscular responses to threats. Parents favoring timeouts feel more comfortable with ambiguities, sense less threat, embrace minority groups -- and are less prone to disgust when they see a man eating worms."

So we have worldviews about many things, which means that how we raise our children maps on to our political views. This is a very important explanation about the differences between red and blue states.

Dr. Fontaine Moore, March 30, 2010

Insightful take on authoritarianism and politics

Because I'm working on a book in the area of personality and politics, one of the criteria on which I based my selection of this book came from one of its reviews indicating it addressed personality dimensions in relation to political orientation. It doesn't. While the book does center around the construct of authoritarianism, the authors emphasize that they are addressing authoritarianism as a worldview and attitude--not a dimension of personality. Perhaps the reviewer missed that distinction, although it can be an important one, depending on one's motivation for selecting this book. This is not to criticize the perspective the authors have chosen to take (they are political scientists and not psychologists), but to clarify how they approach authoritarianism. (In terms of dimensions of personality, you may want to do a little research on "The Big Five." These are probably the most "popular" personality dimensions within the psychology community. Some of these dimensions may be alluded to in the book, but only by inference. Wikipedia has a decent summary of them.)

Another useful attribute of the book for potential readers is its tone. While academic in nature, it hardly requires a PhD to understand the authors premises. But it also does not have the popular appeal of say Twenge and Campbell's "The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement." Assertions are invariably referenced which may be a drag for some readers but a boon for others.

Given the political climate in which we (Americans) currently live, this book provides a useful framework (authoritarianism) for understanding what's going on--at least from a social if not an individual level. Then again, the lack of impact of personality characteristics and how those are generated and relate to political behavior is what is motivating me to write my book.

Since I haven't yet finished "Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics," I can't say how or whether the authors address the problems they uncover. But I hope I've read enough to provide some useful decision-making information for prospective readers.

Mark E. Poynter on January 17, 2016

Must read for politics as well as interpersonal relationships

For people wondering about the popularity of Trump and Cruz, I point them to this book and "The Authoritarians" by Altemeyer which is available free online. For anyone else, I also believe that they should read these books.

The largest empire, whose military alone produces 5% of global emissions, is nominally at least still a democracy. A conversation about American politics without understanding authoritarianism is unlikely to be productive.

"Deep State" and American democracy

The term “Deep State” was coined in Turkey and means existence of  an interconnected network 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.

The neoliberal transformation of state, which proceeded in parallel with the conversion of system of governance to "deep state" (which started during Truman presidency) was virtually complete at the time of Reagan left his post.  And this fact alone essentially makes elections optional, but they still continue to exist in an emasculated "two parties system" form to provide legitimacy to the ruling elite.

That legitimizing  role actually includes the US Presidential elections. The selection of two candidates who face each other in elections is made somewhere else at the top echelons of Republican and Democratic Parties. There can be surprises like Trump and Sanders in 2015 cycle, but they are exceptions that confirm the rule. Also after triumph of neoliberalism in 80th we saw the phenomenon of "puppet" or "pcket" Presidents" (Clinton-Bush II-Obama) which definitely looked by being controlled by outside of White house forces. That is especially ture about Bush Ii and Obama. Clinton was just a willing sellout to Wall Street interests himself. Any of them have very little of no influence on the direction of the country (aka "change we can believe in"). Amazing consistany of the USA foreign policy during this period (which ideologically charged members of Bush administrating promoted under Obama administration as was the case with Victoria Nuland) is strong confirmation of this hypothesis.  

In other words deep state 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 for 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 (KGB and military in the USSR were a nice example of "deep state" which controlled  levels of power, while formaly not being in power), Turkey, China and many other countries.

In other words the current political system in the USA actually consists of 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.

 

Hiding the rule of oligarchy

In a very deep sense the 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 faction of the same party 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

Hiding the rule of oligarchy 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.

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.”

Quotes

"You've Got to Cozy Up" More Politicians Admitting That Money Controls Politics

Three weeks ago I posted a collection of quotes from politicians acknowledging the obvious reality that money has a huge impact on what they do, and asked anyone with more examples to send them to me .

You really came through. Here are 15 more great examples, with credit to the people who suggested them.

Please keep them coming; I'm looking specifically for working politicians who describe a tight linkage between money and political outcomes. And I'd still love to speak directly to current or former politicians who have an opinion about this.

I'll continue to add all of them to the original post , so you can bookmark that for the complete collection.

• "I gave to many people, before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. And that's a broken system." - Donald Trump in 2015.

• "This is what's wrong. [Donald Trump] buys and sells politicians of all stripes. … He's used to buying politicians." - Sen. Rand Paul , R-Ky., in 2015.

• "The millionaire class and the billionaire class increasingly own the political process, and they own the politicians that go to them for money. … We are moving very, very quickly from a democratic society, one person, one vote, to an oligarchic form of society, where billionaires would be determining who the elected officials of this country are." - Sen. Bernie Sanders , I-Vt., in 2015. (Thanks to Robert Wilson in comments .)

Sanders has also said many similar things, including : "I think many people have the mistaken impression that Congress regulates Wall Street. … The real truth is that Wall Street regulates the Congress." (Thanks to ND, via email.)

• "Today's whole political game, run by an absurdist's nightmare of moneyed elites, is ridiculous - a game in which corporations are people and money is magically empowered to speak; candidates trek to the corporate suites and secret retreats of the rich, shamelessly selling their political souls." - Jim Hightower , former Democratic agricultural commissioner of Texas, 2015. (Thanks to CS, via email.)

• "People tell me all the time that our politics in Washington are broken and that multimillionaires, billionaires and big corporations are calling all the shots. … It's hard not to agree." - Russ Feingold , three-term Democratic senator from Wisconsin, in 2015 announcing he's running for the Senate again. (Thanks to CS, via email.)

• "I can legally accept gifts from lobbyists unlimited in number and in value … As you might guess, what results is a corruption of the institution of Missouri government, a corruption driven by big money in politics." - Missouri state Sen. Rob Schaaf , 2015. (Thanks to DK, via email.)

• "When some think tank comes up with the legislation and tells you not to fool with it, why are you even a legislator anymore? You just sit there and take votes and you're kind of a feudal serf for folks with a lot of money." - Dale Schultz , 32-year Republican state legislator in Wisconsin and former state Senate Majority Leader, in 2013 before retiring rather than face a primary challenger backed by Americans for Prosperity.

Several months later Schultz said : "I firmly believe that we are beginning in this country to look like a Russian-style oligarchy where a couple of dozen billionaires have basically bought the government."

• "I was directly told, 'You want to be chairman of House Administration, you want to continue to be chairman.' They would actually put in writing that you have to raise $150,000. They still do that - Democrats and Republicans. If you want to be on this committee, it can cost you $50,000 or $100,000 - you have to raise that money in most cases." - Bob Ney , five-term Republican congressman from Ohio who pleaded guilty to corruption charges connected to the Jack Abramoff scandal, in 2013. (Thanks to ratpatrol in comments .)

• "American democracy has been hacked. … The United States Congress … is now incapable of passing laws without permission from the corporate lobbies and other special interests that control their campaign finances." - Al Gore , former vice president, in his 2013 book The Future. (Thanks to anon in comments .)

• "I will begin by stating the sadly obvious: Our electoral system is a mess. Powerful financial interests, free to throw money about with little transparency, have corrupted the basic principles underlying our representative democracy." - Chris Dodd , five-term Democratic senator from Connecticut, in 2010 farewell speech. (Thanks to RO, via email.)

"Across the spectrum, money changed votes. Money certainly drove policy at the White House during the Clinton administration, and I'm sure it has in every other administration too." - Joe Scarborough , four-term Republican congressman from Florida and now co-host of "Morning Joe," in the 1990s. (Thanks to rrheard in comments .)

• "We are the only people in the world required by law to take large amounts of money from strangers and then act as if it has no effect on our behavior." - Barney Frank , 16-term Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, in the 1990s. (Thanks to RO, via email.)

• "Money plays a much more important role in what is done in Washington than we believe. … You've got to cozy up, as an incumbent, to all the special interest groups who can go out and raise money for you from their members, and that kind of a relationship has an influence on the way you're gonna vote. … I think we have to become much more vigilant on seeing the impact of money. … I think it's wrong and we've got to change it." - Mitt Romney , then the Republican candidate running against Ted Kennedy for Senate, in 1994. (Thanks to LA, via email.)

• "I had a nice talk with Jack Morgan [i.e., banker J.P. Morgan, Jr.] the other day and he seemed more worried about [Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Rexford] Tugwell's speech than about anything else, especially when Tugwell said, 'From now on property rights and financial rights will be subordinated to human rights.' … The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson. … The country is going through a repetition of Jackson's fight with the Bank of the United States - only on a far bigger and broader basis." - Franklin D. Roosevelt in a 1933 letter to Edward M. House. (Thanks to LH, via email.)

• "Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government, owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day." - 1912 platform of the Progressive Party, founded by former president Theodore Roosevelt. (Thanks to LH, via email.)

 

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[Jun 29, 2016] http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/36603-why-the-sanders-revolution-must-take-on-the-permanent-war-state

Notable quotes:
"... For more original Truthout election coverage, check out our election section, "Beyond the Sound Bites: Election 2016." ..."
"... Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare ..."
www.truth-out.org

The People's Summit in Chicago June 17-19 dramatically displayed both the strengths and the vulnerabilities of what has emerged in 2016 as one of the most potentially powerful movements for fundamental change in the United States in many decades. The event, which brought together 3,000 committed movement activists to rally in support of the "political revolution" given impetus by Bernie Sanders' campaign, was an opportunity to ensure that the movement will not dissipate in the wake of Hillary Clinton's clinching the Democratic nomination.

The leaders of the movement sought to use the summit to reconcile conflicting activist views on the relationship between movement organizations and electoral politics. The summit may have succeeded in keeping the coalition of those who privilege electoral politics and those who see it as a distraction from their local struggles from splitting up. But despite the political sophistication and pragmatism of the organizers, the gathering failed to deal seriously with the problem of the "permanent war state" -- the central power bloc in the US government that looms menacingly over everything the movement hopes to accomplish.

The permanent war state is the 800-pound gorilla in US society and political life. As the old joke goes, the answer to the question, "Where does an 800-pound gorilla eat?" is, "Anywhere he likes." As long as the organs of "national security" continue to retain the extraordinary power to appropriate budgetary resources and to involve the United States in foreign conflicts without real accountability, US politics will be grotesquely distorted to the profound disadvantage of the movement for fundamental change. The Pentagon, the CIA and the National Security Agency will continue to control most of the $1.1 trillion federal discretionary spending budget, crowding out programs that would benefit people. And beyond wielding that obvious financial power, by maintaining the premise that the United States must continue to make war indefinitely, they will also wield an ideological weapon that helps the economic elite maintain the status quo.

For more original Truthout election coverage, check out our election section, "Beyond the Sound Bites: Election 2016."

But that fundamental obstacle to change was not even mentioned by any of the speakers who introduced the main themes of the conference on the first night. On the second day, US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) strongly denounced moves by powerful interests for a new war for regime change in Syria, but she did not address the underlying system of institutional interests and power that keeps the United States at permanent war. There was one breakout session entitled "Healthcare Not Warfare," which highlighted what people already know -- that spending for war and preparation for war robs the people of resources needed to build a more prosperous and equitable society. But it was evidently an afterthought for conference organizers, and did not interest many of the attendees, drawing perhaps 30 people.

The permanent war state is the 800-pound gorilla in US society and political life.

The Sanders campaign never explicitly raised the issue of the permanent war state during the primary election contest, either. He did present a sharp contrast to Hillary Clinton when they debated foreign policy, effectively demolishing her position urging a more militarily aggressive policy in Syria. He called for a policy that "destroys ISIS" but "does not get us involved in perpetual warfare in the quagmire of the Middle East."But he never talked about ending the unprecedented power that national security institutions have seized over the resources and security of the American people.

It is not difficult to see why Sanders did not take on that larger issue. The power of the military-industrial-congressional complex that has morphed into a permanent war state has long been the real "third rail" in US politics, which anyone aspiring to national office touches only at the risk of being branded "anti-American." News media coverage constantly reinforces the idea that US global military presence and aggressiveness are legitimate responses to foreign threats. So, for politicians, explaining why the power of that combination of institutions is a danger not only to people's economic interests, but also to their physical security is seen as extremely difficult and fraught with political risk. Sanders, who had no problem opposing specific wars, undoubtedly feared that an effort to deal with the interests and power behind the wars that most Americans oppose would force him to respond to attacks from the Clinton camp and the corporate media, and thus interfere with his populist message.

The permanent war state also appears to be outside the political comfort zone of National Nurses United, the single most influential organization in planning and funding the People's Summit. As a senior official of National Nurses United explained, the organization is able to talk about corporate control of the health care system because nurses constantly see the consequences in their own work, but most have no such personal experiences enabling them to talk about the war system.

But despite these understandable reasons for taking a pass on the issue, the leadership of the movement inspired by the Sanders campaign is making a big mistake by failing to take on the problem of the permanent war state. The popular organizations represented in Chicago understand this, but they have hesitated to go up against the most powerful combination bureaucratic interests the world has ever known, in part because they have not had any clear idea about how those interests could be defeated. What has been not been tried, however, is a strategy that attacks the war system where it is most vulnerable -- the fact that the war system bureaucrats have systematically pursued their own personal and institutional interests at the expense of the American people.

The publicly available records of US intervention and war, especially since the beginning of the Cold War, reveal an endless succession of policies and programs that were utterly useless and provoked reactions from states and from non-state actors that threatened the safety of the American people. But the policy makers preferred those policies, because they gave them and their organizations more power, more budgetary resources, more people under their command, more new technology, more foreign bases and perquisites, and more lucrative jobs and contracts when they leave the government for private companies.

All the services were looking for a boost in military appropriations when they pushed Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson to intervene militarily in Vietnam. The US Air Force sold its "shock and awe" strategy for regime change in Iraq to then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in order to capture a larger share of the military budget. The CIA got control over a major new mission when it convinced President George W. Bush to launch a drone war in Pakistan.

But the American people suffered the direct and indirect consequences of these wars in each case.

The fundamental conflict between the national interest and the personal and bureaucratic interests of the policy makers of the permanent war state explains why the system has continued to produce uniformly disastrous policies decade after decade.

So the strategy of the movement that the Sanders campaign has mobilized must include a broadly concerted campaign that explains to young people, disaffected working-class people and others how the permanent war state produces winners and losers. The winners are the national security organs themselves, as well as those who make careers and fortunes from the permanent state of war. The losers are those who must suffer the socioeconomic and other consequences of such reckless policies. Such a campaign should aim at nothing less than taking away the flow of money and the legal authority that the permanent war state has seized on the pretext of "threats" that are largely of its own making.

Even though the permanent war state seems to be at the peak of its power, like all essentially hollow institutions, it has a serious political vulnerability. Millions of Americans know that the wars the war-state agencies have wrought over the past half century -- from the Vietnam War to the war in Afghanistan -- were worse than useless. So the legitimacy of the permanent war state is extremely tenuous. A determined campaign to challenge that legitimacy, carried out with sufficient resources over a few years with the participation of a broad coalition, could shake it to its roots. Such a campaign must be included in the work to open up new political spaces and propel the movement for change. Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission .

Gareth Porter

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian writing on US national security policy. His latest book, Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare , was published in February of 2014. Follow him on Twitter: @GarethPorter .

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[Jun 28, 2016] What the American revolution can teach us about Brexit

www.theguardian.com
by James Nevius

gettinggolder , 2016-06-28 16:40:56
You know the American Revolution was not in any way I can see equivalent to machinations with the EU. Plenty is written belowon the history, and the fourth with all the fireworks is approaching.

The idea that the colonies revolted to avoid immigration is nothing short of absurd. To this day one of the largest ethnic groups are Germans descended from mercenary solders who stayed and farmed on what they saw as widely available farmland.

Obelisk1 , 2016-06-28 16:23:38
The Brexit motivations have quite a lot in common with those that drove US independence.

The most important thing for Americans to realize, when trying to understand the EU/UK relationship is that the citizens of the UK never gave the functionaries permission to make the citizens subject to law made overseas. The entire EU is built on a very shaky platform that has no democratic underpinnings.

svann21 , 2016-06-28 16:16:01
As was said in Dune, no matter who owns Arrakis "the spice must flow".

Bob999 , 2016-06-28 16:08:04
Another lesson to take from the UK-US relationship supports the view that the UK-EU economic relationship has a future.

American independence did not sever economic ties between the two countries, at least after 1815, when the second US-UK war (the war of 1812) was concluded.

For example, the Louisiana Purchase, which added more than half of what is now the contiguous US west of the Mississippi, was financed by London banks. The US bought the land from Napoleon, who was trying to finance his wars against Britain and others, and British bankers must have concluded that the US was going to get the money someone (it was the property deal of the century), so it might as well be them.

Throughout the 19th century, much of the investment that turned the US into the world's largest economy came from London financial markets. The cowboy period of the Old West was about rounding up herds of feral cattle that roamed the Western plains. Great Britain was a primary market for that cattle (canned meat), and British financing was key. So when you see Hollywood cowboy movies, remember that those roundups were often financed by British firms. Britain was a dominant source of finance in the US throughout the 19th century. Wall Street didn't catch up to the City of London as a financial center until World War I.

Just as the American revolution did not end the economic relationship between the US and the UK, there is no reason to believe Brexit will end the economic relationship between the UK and Europe. Economic ties rarely stay broken.

Alfreda Weiss , 2016-06-28 15:55:31
At the time of the US revolution Britain was a great colonial/pirate power controlling India where they took great wealth off the backs of the locals. Same for what became America where the British took wealth away from the natives and taxed the colonies to pay for their wars of choice. Now manufacturing has been off-shored to "Third World" cheap labor/slave places. In the empty areas of both the UK and US there is little ability to live beyond a backyard garden and small amounts of money for old people. Youth are ignored. Brexit was a beginning of the end for the West. The rest of the world will try to rise in what may be a dark time in history. The West needs to return to some respect for humanity and not giving total power to the 1%.
inyermush , 2016-06-28 15:53:15
What arrant nonsense. The Declaration of Independence specifically enumerates the reasons for leaving the empire and none of those reasons is xenophobia. For the benefit of the great Guardian uneducated, i share the exact text with you here:

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Part II

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury: For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences: For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Scott Anderson , 2016-06-28 14:59:22
The EU has lost respect by failing to address high unemployment and has only itself to blame for continual losses when real people vote. Germany's unilateral decision to allow for unfettered immigration made things worse. The British exit has nothing to do with the American Revolutionary War. Likewise, Donald Trump has nothing to do with it as well. Trump's negative poll numbers reflect that he is not going to be the next President of the United States despite running against a relatively weak Hillary Clinton.

I think Cameron has been lame as the British PM. He should have insisted on all four regions having to vote yes to the British exit. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted no. So this vote has created divisions that may lead to the breakup of the UK.

emphisTigerFan89 , 2016-06-28 14:31:01
"Those in the UK who voted to leave the EU may think they've won a small victory in tightening Britain's borders, but if America's history is a model, there's little that can actually be done to slow immigration."

That is absolutely not true! But the will to stem the tide of unlimited immigration has to be accepted by politicians of both parties. The borders can be enforced if there is the political will to do so.

Americans have shown repeatedly that they accept immigrants who come here lawfully. We are a nation of LAWS, not of lawbreakers! Granted, there are issues with the new comers in every generation (see the treatment of the Irish in the early 1900's), but after those waves of immigration, they gradually assimilated into American culture.

The biggest issue of the current wave of immigration is there has been no pause since 1965. Wave after wave of immigrants from all over the world without a pause for assimilation is a recipe for disaster, as shown by the rise in strong Anti-American sentiments within the borders of the US, from not only majority Hispanic communities, but also Syrian, Somali, Iraqi, and other countries around the world.

Once upon a time, immigrants came to the US to be part of a greater nation. Today, immigrants come to the US, but want to recreate the country they left behind within the borders of the US.

DylanJohn , 2016-06-28 14:25:22
I don't know when it was first used, but Margaret Roberts used "make Great Britain great again" in the 1950 general election. Source: http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/100858
Sandya Narayanswami DylanJohn , 2016-06-28 14:32:23
The term Great Britain originated as a means of differentiating it from Brittany, La Petite Bretagne v La Grande Bretagne. Both Britain and Brittany are "Bretagne", in French. The term has nothing to do with greatness per se.
ConBrio , 2016-06-28 14:12:06
The political spiel at the end of the article only highlights the rhetorical mendacity permeating the article.

Couching the American Revolution in terms of racism or religion is dishonest. While there may have been elements of religious bias from person to person, the fact remains that the Constitution created a secular government which protects religious liberty, and in fact prohibits any "religious test" for holding office.

Indeed, the delegates at the Constitutional Convention even attended a Mass en mass, one Sunday.

While attitudes may change in response to immediate dangers, the millions of people who have been welcomed to this country since the Founding put the lie to the rhetorical deceit that ethnic or religious bias have played a significant role in our national agenda.

[Jun 15, 2016] Sanders: "We have to replace the current Democratic National Committee leadership

Notable quotes:
"... shouldn't ..."
"... Liberals, unsurprisingly like conservatives, are neoliberals. The left is not. One of the nicer clarifications of the 2016 election so far as been the emergence of this distinction, which the Democrat Establishment will doubtless to haze over. Dayen's attending the Phoenix meeting, and writes: ..."
"... A lot of liberals are not even aware that they are neolioberals-so effective the morphing has been: ..."
"... Yes, this is astonishing to me. I threw away my Obama T-shirt years ago but I didn't recognize that there is a Corporate Psy-Ops underway to install Hillary Clinton until this year. I was aware of Neo-Cons back in 2003. But, I wasn't aware of the neo-liberal campaign to crucify the disenfranchised from Greece to mid-America. Deregulation, privatization, free movement of people and capital plus non-stop wars and the resulting chaos are their tools of subjugation and pillaging. ..."
"... If corporate media wins and the Neo's stay in control, this will become violent. ..."
"... Agree PP. If and when the "party platform" becomes the litmus test for EVERY party member, then it will serve a unifying purpose. As it stands right now, the REAL party platform is neo-liberalism all day, every day. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

naked capitalism

The Trail

"Hillary ushers her guest to the door. 'We're going to be a great girl squad,' she says, squeezing Warren's hand. 'It will be so easy to beat this airhead. I bet he doesn't even know what Cafta is. Sorry to cut this short. I need to call Tim Kaine. But I will dictate a nice tweet about you'" [MoDo, New York TImes (Carolinian)]. This is very funny. Dowd seems to have returned to form, however temporarily.

"Clinton, Sanders Hold 'Positive' Meeting After DC Primary" [Talking Points Memo]. "The Clinton statement said that the two talked about 'unifying the party,' but the Sanders statement did not, as NBC News noted." The results of that meeting - attendees Clinton, Podesta, Mook, Sanders, Jane Sanders, Devine - seem to be quite closely held; no leaks that I've encountered as of this writing. Readers? Oh, and it's crossed my mind that "positive" corresponds to "a full and frank exchange of views" in diplospeak. Clever of Sanders to, in essence, give the Clinton campaign a hard deadline by scheduling a video speech for his supporters tomorrow; Sanders will deliver the speech from Vermont, and there are no travel advisories for reporters (here's the tweet for an RSVP, which sadly requires a mobile phone).

"Bernie Sanders's Democratic Party reforms focus on things that would've helped Bernie Sanders win" [Philip Bump, WaPo]. Oh! Oh! Sanders wants to win! Oh my goodness! This from the guy who thought he had a scoop and a gotcha when the Sanders average contribution jumped from $27 to $29. A good politician wants to win. Sanders is a pretty good politician, considering that he started from zero money and zero name recognition. There seems to be a general assumption in the Beltway that the left shouldn't have any operational skill, shouldn't hire professional staff, shouldn't have any money. Not that they don't; they shouldn't. Hopefully, the Sanders campaign has changed that.

"Will Hillary Clinton sacrifice Wasserman Schultz to appease Bernie Sanders?" [Orlando Sun-Sentinel]. Depends on what DWS has on Clinton, I guess. Sanders: "We have to replace the current Democratic National Committee leadership. We need a person at the leadership of the DNC who is vigorously supporting and out working to bring people into the political process. Yeah, I know political parties need money. But it is more important that we have energy, that we have young people, that we have working lass [sic (!!)] people who are going to participate in the political process and fight for their kids and for their parents."

"As the sun set over the capital city, which had the unpleasant distinction of voting after every other state and territory in the country, it was easy to forget how close the 2016 presidential contest came to going sideways for Democratic Party elders" [NBC]. " They had so carefully cleared the way for Clinton to be their next leader. But if a few votes had gone differently in Iowa's exceptionally tight caucus, or if Bernie Sanders had run a more effective campaign in Nevada, the insurgent could have given Clinton a real run for her money." As it were.

"Will Bernie Sanders Win the Platform?" [David Dayen, The New Republic (GF)]. "Because of the unusually high stakes-and scrutiny-that's come with Sanders's focus on the platform, the hearings that continue this week in Phoenix (with St. Louis and Orlando to follow) have become a kind of public trial on the party's future. If the first week's hearings were any indication, stakeholders are signaling to Clinton that the party's sins of the past will no longer be tolerated." Dayen, unfortunately, confused liberals with the left. Liberals, unsurprisingly like conservatives, are neoliberals. The left is not. One of the nicer clarifications of the 2016 election so far as been the emergence of this distinction, which the Democrat Establishment will doubtless to haze over. Dayen's attending the Phoenix meeting, and writes:

Listening to the first two days of testimony, I was struck by the witnesses' desire to wake up the political establishment to realities outside the Beltway. Multiple experts and ordinary people testified that the U.S. economy simply isn't working for most of its citizens. And they pointed to some interesting root causes. For example, Sabrina Shrader, Vice President of West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families, blamed oligopolistic electricity companies in her state for high heating costs. "One runs the northern part and another runs the southern part," she said.

If only the Czar knew? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

"Bernie Sanders's Down-Ballot Effect" [The Atlantic]. On Lucy Flores. We'll see!

"Millennials Rage Against the Machine (and Lose)" [Roll Call].

  1. Brindle

    So true. A lot of liberals are not even aware that they are neolioberals-so effective the morphing has been:

    "Liberals, unsurprisingly like conservatives, are neoliberals. The left is not. One of the nicer clarifications of the 2016 election so far as been the emergence of this distinction,"

    Reply
    1. VietnamVet

      Yes, this is astonishing to me. I threw away my Obama T-shirt years ago but I didn't recognize that there is a Corporate Psy-Ops underway to install Hillary Clinton until this year. I was aware of Neo-Cons back in 2003. But, I wasn't aware of the neo-liberal campaign to crucify the disenfranchised from Greece to mid-America. Deregulation, privatization, free movement of people and capital plus non-stop wars and the resulting chaos are their tools of subjugation and pillaging.

      An electoral civil war being waged right now. If corporate media wins and the Neo's stay in control, this will become violent.

    1. YankeeFrank

      Well that was quick. The "Vichy Left" is already plotting to co-opt our revolution and make it palatable to the corrupt DNC leadership and its oligarchic backers.

      1. YankeeFrank

        Huge irony of course being the conceit that the 20-something Millennials who backed Bernie's medicare-for-all, $15/hr min wage, etc., etc., are somehow the mid-90's retreads here and not Clinton and the decrepit and corrupt DNC.

      1. cwaltz

        The pro and con of this particular generation is their cynicism. I wish the DNC lots of luck convincing them to join and stay simply by putting something in their platform like they've done with my generation(and yes I suspect it took me considerably longer than it will probably take my kids to quit the Democratic party.)

        I'm sure the Bernie supporters are going to get graphics, I'm almost as sure that the pretty words will mean fairly little.

    1. grayslady

      The guy who wrote this is a member of a think tank called New America. David Brooks is a member of the Board of Directors. Can we just stop linking to anything from the NYT? The Grey Lady doesn't have a shred of credibility left.

          1. Archie

            Agree PP. If and when the "party platform" becomes the litmus test for EVERY party member, then it will serve a unifying purpose. As it stands right now, the REAL party platform is neo-liberalism all day, every day. (As one of the clever commenters here put it: Eat shit and like it! Or go to bed hungry.)

            It has been the case,since at least the 60s, that politicians regard average citizens as just not smart enough to understand all the nuances of government. Therefore, we should just let the politicians do what they know is "right" and go on about our daily lives. I have been pissed off at this condescending attitude my entire adult life. All of us 90% ers (at least) have been in an abusive relationship with our national and state governments for as long as I care to remember. Every time I have made a contribution to Bernie's campaign, I have sent a personal message that indeed, I do not see this election to be about "Bernie", but for the first time in way, way too long, Bernie has called out the bullshit in that relationship and that is why I support him.

            Hopefully enough others have urged him on for similar reasons and he feels the Bern in all of us. Maybe I'm setting myself up for another Charlie Brown moment, but all I'm looking for at this point is for Bernie to do the right thing. He has spoken much truth to power in this primary cycle, and he has experienced both the brute force of the establishment and the love and sincerity of his supporters. I am only a couple of years younger than Bernie and if it were me, I'd take the f##kers down. This is a defining moment in history and I sense that Bernie knows that. Senate committee chairmanships, etc., are meaningless in the face of the neo-liberal assault that is TPP and TTIP. This is the real end game, imho.

            Reply
  1. Vatch

    The party has failed half of the people who typically vote Democratic. And those are the people who are supporting Bernie.

    Actually, the party has also failed a significant fraction of the people who voted for Hillary Clinton. They should have voted for Sanders, but they didn't know eanough about him (because of the media blackout), or they just continued on auto-pilot and voted for a familiar name. A few might have been voluntarily ignorant (sports, Dancing with the Stars, etc.), but those people usually don't vote in primaries.

[Jun 12, 2016] M of A - U.S. Election Thread 2016-03 - Yves Smith On Not Hillary!

Notable quotes:
"... Naked Capitalism ..."
"... Trump isn't even far right, he's just a populist. He's nationalist, but not national socialist. He's for diplomacy, not for invading every country the MIC identifies as "terrorist" (the new, politically-correct n-word for people we can kill with impunity). ..."
"... Trump just represents people who want their jobs and their country back, and for you to malign these followers as far right is nothing short of elitism. ..."
"... Trump will do an 'Alexander' on the US's Gordian knot of a political system. At least that's the hope of the many frustrated and disillusioned. And like Obama, Day-2 in the White House will business-as-usual according to the MIC-Wall St script. ..."
"... Unfortunately, lesser of evils at voting time has not resulted in lesser of evils Presidents. Every time I keep thinking that the new guy can't possibly be as bad as the last, he proves that he can be. ..."
"... Trump appears to be an outsider until you meet his foreign policy team or his economic advisers or watch his virtual oath of fealty to AIPAC to etc. Loose cannons can backfire. The only Never-Hillary alternative beyond Trump is Sanders. ..."
"... Unemployment & underemployment are destroying the lives of US Citizens. Life expectancy of US Citizens is going down. Trump's plan to decrease the number of non-citizens in the US is highly popular among US Citizen voters. ..."
"... Today I read an example. Millions of Americans are scrapping by and rely on so-called payday loans. The Administration tightened regulations on those loans, Republicans oppose, Hillary promises to defend them. Bernie proposed a postal bank as exists in most countries which would eliminate most cases where such loans could start. Sanders plan is realistic, simple to understand and much more effective, and would hurt so called "pay day loan industry" much more, and this is too much for "bleeding liver liberals". ..."
"... Although the legal issues are complicated, what we know for sure is that Clinton played fast and loose with National Security because she deemed that it was more important to secure HER OWN communications. This was NOT a 'judgment call' on a policy issue but a deliberate choice to ignore some of the most grave obligations of her office so as to advantage herself. ..."
"... To any reasonable person, this simple fact is further evidence of Hillary's corrupt elitism and unquestionably disqualifies her for the Presidency. ..."
"... This misconception is still alive and kicking. Killary wasnt the mastermind behind Libya's invasion, she was just a frontwoman for "color revolution" plans which were well under way before she come into power, and will continue when she fades into obscurity. ..."
"... Another misconception is Obama's "peace-loving" nature, its just an illusion he and his PR people are pushing. "Obama is good, its these others who want war", and people still fall for that? :)) The only difference between Bush jr and Obama is that one likes to fight wars directly (US cant afford that anymore), and another through proxy terrorists and drones, its cheaper this way, and even more destructive. ..."
"... As far as I can see, Trump's the only person calling for diplomacy & a de-escalation of tensions with the Chinese & the Russians. His obsession with capitalism, making money & deal-making may paradoxically prove to be his best feature; if you blow up the world, no more deals! ..."
"... Taking formerly unified & regionally powerful countries resistant to USA domination & turning them into defenseless mini-statelets is "strategically pointless"? It amazes me how progressives can look the strategy straight in the eye... and then deny it. ..."
"... Iraq was hostile to Iran before the invasion and Saddam was easy to deal with. Syria used to be stable and sell oil. Now Iraq is aligned with Iran and Syria is a disaster and has given Russia an opportunity to demonstrate loyalty to allies and the effectiveness of the Russian military and weapons. ..."
"... About Obama being an organizer. He seems to have frontend for the FIRE sector: ..."
"... Breaking States is essential and specifically mentioned in the Oded Yinon Plan for Greater Israel. The PNAC Plan for Full Spectrum Dominance with the Global War on Terror further reinforces and justifies the Yinon Plan. ..."
"... Don't miss the event ... all signs are pointing towards the inevitable! ..."
"... "Hillary's experience is one of failure." ..."
"... HRC is a shill politician supporting Israel in the Middle East . Her vote for the Iraq war, her run as senator for NY with the backing of Rupert Murdoch and her abominable policy as Secretary of State versus Libya and Syria. She used the worst of advisors at State to run her affairs. The buck stop at Obama's desk, he is ultimately responsible for the decisions made. ..."
"... Early take on Hillary's foreign policy speech: pot shots at Trump (easy), interspersed with scare-mongering, chest-thumping and neocon talking points like: "we never ever stop trying to make our country a better place" (how exceptional!). ..."
"... Seems Neocons loved HRC's Trump bashing speech as this recap details, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/campaigns-elections/hillary-clinton-anti-trump-speech/ ..."
"... I have to agree with @1 that it is not at all clear that Trump is "far right". He's a populist, sure, he is. Maybe he even fits the definition of a demagogue. But that doesn't place him on the "far right", it just places him "outside the system". ..."
"... Trump appears to be all in favour of replacing a foreign policy that relies upon a robust military with one that is based upon active diplomacy i.e. that jaw-jaw is better than war-war. ..."
"... Actually, for Germany, Sanders is very much "middle". Hillary would be "right wing" minus the classism and racism. Trump is close to classical National Socialism with a very special US American "businessman" flavor (there is a traditional disdain for business in Germany) ..."
"... So, I guess you could sum up the conclusion to all these comments that there is absolutely no one worth voting for because the electoral system is irrevocably broken due to psychopathic or ponerological "infection". You can thrash out the debate as to who is the greater or lesser of evils chosen for the parade this time around but it's a waste of energy since the foundations upon which elections are built have long been rotten to the core. ..."
"... So, voting for such theatre is surely perpetuating the scenario. The president is already chosen. Period. ..."
"... What must be understood and highlighted is who the political class works for- the savage capitalists. The US government is merely the front for the ruling class. It merely carries out the policies of the over-civilized, well-manicured capitalist thugs. ..."
"... Voting is a ritual that reinforces obedience to state authority. It creates the illusion that "the people" control the state, thereby masking elite rule. That illusion makes rebellion against the state less likely because it is seen as a legitimate institution and as an instrument of popular rule rather than the oligarchy it really is. Embedded within all electoral campaigns is the myth that "the people" control the state through voting. ..."
"... "Who wins the election in the capitalist system makes no difference because all politicians in this system must do what the ruling class want. Elections are a scam whose function is to neutralize resistance movements and dupe ordinary citizens into thinking they have a say in matters of the state." ..."
www.moonofalabama.org

Not Hillary!

Yves Smith of the Naked Capitalism explains why many of her progressive acquaintances will either not vote, or vote for Trump in the upcoming U.S. election. I recommend to read this in full.

For starters two excerpts:

Hillary's experience is one of failure. And she did not learn from it.

Hillary has a résumé of glittering titles with disasters or at best thin accomplishments under each. Her vaunted co-presidency with Bill? After her first major project, health care reform, turned into such a debacle that it was impossible to broach the topic for a generation, she retreated into a more traditional first lady role. As New York senator, she accomplished less with a bigger name and from a more powerful state than Sanders did. As secretary of state, she participated and encouraged strategically pointless nation-breaking in Iraq and Syria. She bureaucratically outmaneuvered Obama, leading to U.S. intervention in Libya, which he has called the worst decision of his administration. And her plan to fob her domestic economic duties off on Bill comes off as an admission that she can't handle being president on her own.

And the conclusion:

The Sanders voters in Naked Capitalism 's active commentariat also explicitly reject lesser-evilism, the cudgel that has previously kept true lefties somewhat in line. They are willing to gamble, given that outsider presidents like Jimmy Carter and celebrity governors like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura didn't get much done, that a Trump presidency represents an acceptable cost of inflicting punishment on the Democratic Party for 20 years of selling out ordinary Americans.

The Clintons, like the Bourbons before the French Revolution, have ensconced themselves in such a bubble of operative and media sycophancy that they've mistakenly viewed escalating distress and legitimate demands from citizens as mere noise.
...
If my readers are representative, Clinton and the Democratic Party are about to have a long-overdue day of reckoning.

To vote for the far right because the former center (left) has lost its bearing is a somewhat dangerous gamble. The U.S. has a relative stable, inertial system with lots of checks and balances that make this move less risky than similar moves underway in Poland, Germany or France. But unless the center left/right politicians recognize that they have lost their former majority there is no chance they will shun the neoliberal globalization nonsense they impose on their constituency.

Voting for a stronger movement towards a genuine left is be a better strategy than voting for the far right. But notorious lack of unity within the left, center-right control over the media and the absence of a successful current archetype will keep a majority away from taking that step.

I agree that the day of reckoning is a long-overdue day. But it may not bring the reckoning we want.

Cahaba | Jun 2, 2016 6:36:54 AM | 2
Trump isn't even far right, he's just a populist. He's nationalist, but not national socialist. He's for diplomacy, not for invading every country the MIC identifies as "terrorist" (the new, politically-correct n-word for people we can kill with impunity).

Trump just represents people who want their jobs and their country back, and for you to malign these followers as far right is nothing short of elitism.

x | Jun 2, 2016 7:33:38 AM | 4
Trump will do an 'Alexander' on the US's Gordian knot of a political system. At least that's the hope of the many frustrated and disillusioned. And like Obama, Day-2 in the White House will business-as-usual according to the MIC-Wall St script.
lysias | Jun 2, 2016 7:44:43 AM | 5
The way to refute the argument that third party votes are wasted votes is for more and more people to vote third party. If Hillary is nominated, I intend to vote for Jill Stein (whom there seems to be a media conspiracy to ignore -- even when they're discussing what Sanders supporters might do, they never mention her).
curtis | Jun 2, 2016 8:09:46 AM | 6
"nation-breaking." I'll have to remember that. That is a very descriptive term for US middle-east policy in recent decades. Brzezinski and Kissinger may not admit as much but it's true; look at the results.

Unfortunately, lesser of evils at voting time has not resulted in lesser of evils Presidents. Every time I keep thinking that the new guy can't possibly be as bad as the last, he proves that he can be.

Trump appears to be an outsider until you meet his foreign policy team or his economic advisers or watch his virtual oath of fealty to AIPAC to etc. Loose cannons can backfire. The only Never-Hillary alternative beyond Trump is Sanders. Would Sanders truly reign in the mid-east wars or continue R2P destruction? Can he stand up to Wall Street? I don't know.

Formerly T-Bear | Jun 2, 2016 8:13:44 AM | 7
@ U.S. Election Thread 2016-03 - Yves Smith …

Do you realise just what you're asking? To even click on that site I'd rather 'do' dishes; doing the "Black Plague" is preferable to doing dishes and root canal is just above that.

The only way to regain control of this political system is: Never vote Republican AND Never vote incumBENT Democrat. Why no one realises 95+ % of the problem comes from having 95+ % incumBENTs returned election after election. Stop that and the problem soon becomes manageable. Throwing your vote after unelectables just throws your vote away - to no discernible effect and is downright foolishness.

Anonymous 1 | Jun 2, 2016 8:56:55 AM | 8
Unemployment & underemployment are destroying the lives of US Citizens. Life expectancy of US Citizens is going down. Trump's plan to decrease the number of non-citizens in the US is highly popular among US Citizen voters.

Voting for Goldman Sachs' sock puppet Hillary Clinton is a vote for immediate self destruction.

Piotr Berman | Jun 2, 2016 9:12:38 AM | 9
I do not think that Clinton's chief problem is with people who would rather vote for Jill Stein. Her problem is in the "middle", who are often "culturally" sympathetic to GOP but responding to a concrete populist message.

Today I read an example. Millions of Americans are scrapping by and rely on so-called payday loans. The Administration tightened regulations on those loans, Republicans oppose, Hillary promises to defend them. Bernie proposed a postal bank as exists in most countries which would eliminate most cases where such loans could start. Sanders plan is realistic, simple to understand and much more effective, and would hurt so called "pay day loan industry" much more, and this is too much for "bleeding liver liberals".

Trump has a realistic chance of winning in Ohio and Florida against Hillary, and thus becoming a president, and this is not because of wide awareness of how wrong Hillary was on Libya (her failed work on health care reform is known more widely, I presume). Actually, both cases are an indictment not of Hillary but of the liberal establishment in general. On Libya, Hillary basically followed the herd (from liberal think tanks). On health care reform, the methodology was liberal: improve the lot of the consumer without affecting the "industries" too much and concocting a "child that only mother could love", plus the particular child mothered by Hillary was torned to pieces by fellow liberals (certain Moynihan comes to my mind). "Single payer", like it or not, is something that somewhat clueless "centrist voters" can understand, and again, it works even as close to USA as Canada.

jeffroby | Jun 2, 2016 9:38:00 AM | 10
As I have written, There Are No Safe Choices and arguing over greater or lesser evils is an exercise in futility at best. The question is, how do we build our own forces of resistance? To vote for Hillary is to commit an act of unilateral disarmament. A massive write-in for Sanders would not be wasted, although the votes would not even be counted until weeks after the election.

A vote for Stein will immediately register. I am not a great fan of the Green Party, but a Stein vote gives us a tactic to organize our own resistance while we dig in and build something new.

Jackrabbit | Jun 2, 2016 9:46:23 AM | 11
Yves is lobbying Super-delegates on behalf of Sanders. That's why she doesn't mention Jill Stein or the Green Party.

The problem with Sanders is that he choose Party over principle. That's why he doesn't attack Hillary on her emails or Obama wrt black issues (Hillary gets the black vote largely because Obama supports her) .

Although the legal issues are complicated, what we know for sure is that Clinton played fast and loose with National Security because she deemed that it was more important to secure HER OWN communications. This was NOT a 'judgment call' on a policy issue but a deliberate choice to ignore some of the most grave obligations of her office so as to advantage herself.

To any reasonable person, this simple fact is further evidence of Hillary's corrupt elitism and unquestionably disqualifies her for the Presidency.

But Sanders remains quiet about the emails DESPITE THE STATE DEPT INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT which showed that she has been dishonest and deceptive about her email server.

To better understand the legal issues, see: Do I really need to worry about Hillary's emails? Yes, she will be indicted .

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Is it sufficient for Bernie to sit back and let Trump attack Hillary on the emails? Does it help him to 'unify the party' later? On both counts I would argue: NO!!!

1) The Democratic Party establishment is anti-Sanders. They like things the way they are. If Hillary is disqualified, they will find someone else to take her place. There are already serious rumors about Biden (Biden-Warren ticket?).

What the establishment really cares about is that Hillary beats Sanders in delegates and votes cast so that Hillary can be a King-maker if she can't be a candidate.

2) Bernie's silence:

> contributes to the view that the email server is just a partisan football;

> contributes to the view that it is just a question of judgement;

> undermines his 'man of principle' positioning;

> undermines his argument that Clinton is a flawed candidate;

> undermines his claim to have better judgement than Hillary (as explained above - her decision to operate a private email server is disqualifying);

Bernie's silence doesn't help him to win or to win over the Party. By pulling punches (once again!) Bernie is choosing Party over Principle. This seems to confirm that he is indeed just a sheepdog for the DNC as described by Black Agenda Report and Talking Points Memo .

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

One can only hope that this election season Progressives will finally WAKE UP and understand that the Democratic Party establishment is too corrupt and too entrenched for reform.

Bernie supporters and left-leaning independents should join/vote GREEN PARTY.

jo6pac | Jun 2, 2016 9:46:26 AM | 12
I'll be voting Green Party and were there aren't any Greens I'll vote against incumbent Demodogs.
JohnH | Jun 2, 2016 9:52:42 AM | 13
I recommend voting third party...any third party. In most states, the outcome is already known, because most states are reliably either Democratic or Republican.

In all but a handful of battleground states, voters are free to vote their conscience. Only in battleground states need they consider voting for the lesser of the evils.

Voting third party is important--it conveys a message of disgust with the establishment duopoly. OTOH NOT voting only conveys complacence and apathy, which the duopoly is totally OK with.

Harry | Jun 2, 2016 10:06:53 AM | 14
She bureaucratically outmaneuvered Obama, leading to U.S. intervention in Libya, which he has called the worst decision of his administration.

This misconception is still alive and kicking. Killary wasnt the mastermind behind Libya's invasion, she was just a frontwoman for "color revolution" plans which were well under way before she come into power, and will continue when she fades into obscurity.

Another misconception is Obama's "peace-loving" nature, its just an illusion he and his PR people are pushing. "Obama is good, its these others who want war", and people still fall for that? :)) The only difference between Bush jr and Obama is that one likes to fight wars directly (US cant afford that anymore), and another through proxy terrorists and drones, its cheaper this way, and even more destructive.

Jackrabbit | Jun 2, 2016 10:48:38 AM | 15
Harry @13

Thank you!

The assumption of Obama's progressivism has been found to be misguided time and time again. It is a con. It is a lubricant.

Black?

He is ethnically half-white and culturally about 90% white.

Community organizer?

Wall Street bailouts and faux mortgage relief. 11-dimensional chess excuses for inaction (he had majorities in both houses of Congress when he was elected)

Bush tax cuts made permanent - poor get austerity.

Solution for inequality? More low-paying jobs.

Constitutional lawyer?

War on Whistle-blowers; assault on civil liberties; IRS scandal; etc.

Constitution-shredding, anti-democracy trade deals.

War without Congressional approval.

Nobel peace-prize?

Awarded for simply being NOT-Bush. Approved everything the neocons wanted and asserted the neocon mantra of American exceptionalism.

The faux conflict between Netanyahu and Obama over Iran is just for show. Sanctions weren't working and the Syrian conflict has dragged out longer than expected (they are not yet ready to take on Iran).

Note: The above list only scratches the surface of the deceitfulness.

dahoit | Jun 2, 2016 11:10:22 AM | 16

Trump far right? That's Obomba, Clinton, the shrub and HRC, the worst rightists in American history.

Trump is left-right and in the middle, a non ideologue, who will bring back American prosperity, get US out of this wacko world domination idiocy and protect our borders,all nationalist endeavors ,and as right as rain. The moron bubblehead says Trumps foreign policy aims will upset the world order. My God,shes a retard. Never in the history of this planet has such an empty vessel ever sought such a high office.

Mark | Jun 2, 2016 12:08:39 PM | 17
Trump is far-right? It seems obvious that when it comes to foreign policy he's to the left of everyone; Clinton has already promised to "totally obliterate" Iran, lusts after confrontation with Russia & is clearly willing to hit the button. For his part, Sanders says "The Saudis (ISIS) should play a bigger role in the Middle East," and says the military option is on the table vis a vis Russia (which of course means nuclear weapons, since USA could obviously never win a conventional war with Russia - it can't even defeat a few thousand lightly armed Taliban). As far as I can see, Trump's the only person calling for diplomacy & a de-escalation of tensions with the Chinese & the Russians. His obsession with capitalism, making money & deal-making may paradoxically prove to be his best feature; if you blow up the world, no more deals!
strategically pointless nation-breaking in Iraq and Syria

Taking formerly unified & regionally powerful countries resistant to USA domination & turning them into defenseless mini-statelets is "strategically pointless"? It amazes me how progressives can look the strategy straight in the eye... and then deny it.

Noirette | Jun 2, 2016 12:30:15 PM | 18
Naked C. Article is 'factual' within the US landscape from a certain pov..

Always said that:

1) Killary cannot win. Already a one time loser, not enough 'base', her and hubby's past, corruption etc. etc.

2) that the PTB (deep state, military ind. complex, big corps, Finance..) could accomodate to a Sanders presidency but not a Trump one.

What Dem alternatives remain? If Killary is indicted for the homey-cellar-e-mail boondoggle, plus the fact she could not win (say, most likely, as article hints at) against Trump, the Dems need to put forward another candidate, Biden? Ensuring that the Dems lose the election but the overall system is maintained. (Keeping the lid on Sanders supporters, switching from Bernie to X (other candidate) will be a disaster.)

On the Repub. side the picture is the same. They can't support Killary openly and to prevent Trump from triumphing they need to launch a candidate that splits Repubs. + conservatives votes, some X 'respectable' candidate getting some 6 better 9-10 or .. % of the vote, enough to throw the election to the Dem candidate. So that the Repubs. lose the election but the system is maintained (bis).

The prez. race has turned into vaudeville where different parties are fighting to lose while conserving their advantages within the status quo.

:) :)

All wll be done to keep the 2-party system alive and put a lid on ALL opposition.

Jackrabbit | Jun 2, 2016 12:56:44 PM | 19
Mark @16

Great comment, especially wrt:

strategically pointless nation-breaking in Iraq and Syria
I have found that the US "Left" is generally anti-Empire and simply see any discussion of foreign affairs as mere details. They easily fall for the 'chaos' simplification/cloaking.

I have made the case that oligarchs and fundamentalism are global problems and that they reinforce each other across national and social divides. It's a complex dance that is destructive and anti-human. The details matter because opening people eyes requires examples.

tony | Jun 2, 2016 1:05:38 PM | 20
@Mark

Iraq was hostile to Iran before the invasion and Saddam was easy to deal with. Syria used to be stable and sell oil. Now Iraq is aligned with Iran and Syria is a disaster and has given Russia an opportunity to demonstrate loyalty to allies and the effectiveness of the Russian military and weapons.

About Obama being an organizer. He seems to have frontend for the FIRE sector:
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/05/exclusive-how-obamas-early-career-succes-was-built-on-fronting-for-chicago-real-estate-and-finance.html

fastfreddy | Jun 2, 2016 1:27:45 PM | 23
Mark 16 "strategically pointless nation-breaking in Iraq and Syria"

Taking formerly unified & regionally powerful countries resistant to USA domination & turning them into defenseless mini-statelets is "strategically pointless"? It amazes me how progressives can look the strategy straight in the eye... and then deny it.

Not strategically pointless by any measure! Complete Bullshit. Breaking States is essential and specifically mentioned in the Oded Yinon Plan for Greater Israel. The PNAC Plan for Full Spectrum Dominance with the Global War on Terror further reinforces and justifies the Yinon Plan.

NATO and The US acting as Aggressor (pre-emptive war & war for regime change) is illegal and Criminal - War Crimes as spelled out clearly in NATO Manifesto.

Oui | Jun 2, 2016 1:35:34 PM | 24
Don't miss the event ... all signs are pointing towards the inevitable!

The Next Revolution: War On Inequality

Shh | Jun 2, 2016 2:13:24 PM | 27
Part of the problem is that what you refer to as centrist is actually extreme conservatism bordering on fundamentalism in exactly the same vein as Wahhabism, only in the name of Christ.

I'm one who would certainly vote for Trump over Clinton explicitly to punish the faux left for perpetrating and perpetuating Obama's treasonous betrayal of every last vestige of progressive idealism.

As one of the many, many people who don't self identify with political terms like left, right, democrat and republican, it's not a matter of which camp wins, it's a matter of establishing a pattern of public policy that over the long term balances out the needs of varying constituencies in a manner that results in the greatest long-term benefit to the common weal.

Sanders clearly represents a needed swing back to sound investment in infrastructure and establishing necessary limits on a global oligarchy with no nationalist interests.

Unless a miracle happens and he gets past the concerted effort to defeat him, then Trump represents the best opportunity to diminish the effectiveness of the current cabal. There should be no illusions that Trump won't fall into line immediately though.

The reaction against Clinton is purely punitive. We don't need more status quo. Either way, there will be massive amounts of pain for all as we go through the death of the current paradigm - and it's coming regardless of who desecrates democracy and the Office of the President.

Oui | Jun 2, 2016 3:11:45 PM | 36
@Yonathan

"Hillary's experience is one of failure."

This statement is very true ... HRC is a shill politician supporting Israel in the Middle East . Her vote for the Iraq war, her run as senator for NY with the backing of Rupert Murdoch and her abominable policy as Secretary of State versus Libya and Syria. She used the worst of advisors at State to run her affairs. The buck stop at Obama's desk, he is ultimately responsible for the decisions made.

Secr. Clinton's Embrace of Erdogan, Muslim Brothers and Chaos

Mark | Jun 2, 2016 3:17:45 PM | 38
@tony

Iraq was hostile to Iran before the invasion and Saddam was easy to deal with. Syria used to be stable and sell oil. Now Iraq is aligned with Iran and Syria is a disaster and has given Russia an opportunity to demonstrate loyalty to allies and the effectiveness of the Russian military and weapons.

I agree with your first point - a strengthened Iran was certainly one of the few *truly* unintended consequences of the invasion/destruction of Iraq - which Bush recognized/sought to address in his 2006 "redirection" plan - but I don't know to what extent the current govt in Iraq is "aligned with Iran." My understanding (admittedly limited) is that al-Abadi is mostly powerless to resist US dictates; for instance, after Russia intervened in Syria, he made some fuss about potentially requesting RU assistance against ISIS, but then ultimately backed down. The destabilization of Syria has enabled NATO to simply steal the country's oil via ISIS - a major win for USA.

Jack Smith | Jun 2, 2016 3:26:30 PM | 40
@Oui | Jun 2, 2016 2:56:48 PM | 30

My sincere apology learned fren, dun mean to sound mean. To me the endless killing must end, Israel continue to mass killing including Palestinians teenagers and if the US cannot, unable or unwilling to do it.

It's the voters faults continue to votes for the Democratic party and Repug.

Jackrabbit | Jun 2, 2016 3:32:27 PM | 41
Early take on Hillary's foreign policy speech: pot shots at Trump (easy), interspersed with scare-mongering, chest-thumping and neocon talking points like: "we never ever stop trying to make our country a better place" (how exceptional!).

Trump's response will be . . . entertaining.

Jackrabbit | Jun 2, 2016 3:45:24 PM | 42
Clinton just demonstrated that she has no clue why people are upset with the establishment.

She seems to think all the fuss come from Trump's populist skills and his overblown ego.

Penelope | Jun 2, 2016 5:39:03 PM | 50
C'est posible that Bernie has been the intended candidate all along. Could all the vote-stealing from Bernie, balanced by the threat of a Clinton indictment have been a distraction? With no interference and an accurate vote-count Bernie would have long-since emerged as the candidate. In which case-- the microscope would have been on policy & the policies that we WANT. There might even have been a little attention left over to witness the continued subjugation of South America.

As it is, the US presidential campaign has been greatly side-tracked towards personality, and the illusion of a horse race. I daresay Bernie's controllable and he's it.

Hillary can go right on coveting Presidential power (of which there is precious little).

Anonymous 1 | Jun 2, 2016 6:41:50 PM | 54
Breaking down the 2 party system is tricky, but long term possible. States with initative processes need to enact preference voting (aka instant runoff) so that somewhat similar candidates do not wind up splitting the vote as they do with the first-past-the-post system.

After 4-6 parties regularly elect officials at the state and local level, there be enough infrastructure to flow up to the national level.

Top down pushes will collapse back to 2 parties. Hopefully, the TRUMP run will push all the 'gag' neocon/neolibs into the Democratic party of multicultural globalism. Lindsey Graham and John McCain would make wonderful Democrats. This would buy America some time, but is not a stable end state.

jfl | Jun 2, 2016 7:12:02 PM | 55
The Bigger Nuclear Risk: Trump or Clinton?

I can't tell Tweedle-dum from Tweedle-dee

... The Tweedle brothers never contradict each other, even when one of them, according to the rhyme, "agrees to have a battle". Rather, they complement each other's words. ...

Girl with Daisy and Atomic Bomb Explosion (1964) - Lyndon B. Johnson Campaign Ad

Write-in the name of someone you'd actually want to be President/Senator/Congressional representative on November 8. The stakes are too high for you to stay home.

Let 2016 be the beginning. First time, everytime, write-in your candidate, work with your neighbors toward convergence. 2016, 2018, 2020, 2022, 2024, 2026, 2028 ... if we'd set out in 2004 we'd be home by now.

karlof1 | Jun 2, 2016 7:33:43 PM | 57

Seems Neocons loved HRC's Trump bashing speech as this recap details, https://www.commentarymagazine.com/politics-ideas/campaigns-elections/hillary-clinton-anti-trump-speech/
ProPeace | Jun 2, 2016 7:52:21 PM | 59
Some Internet gossip that should not be readily dismissed, many facts do check out:
...an elite team of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) assassins controlled by President Obama have gunned down the husband of a US prosecutor who was preparing to charge former President William (Bill) Clinton with crimes relating to his having had sex with an underage girl child kept as a sex slave by his close personal billionaire friend Jeffery Epstein...

In the "exact/near similar" location this CIA "hit squad" had been operating in ... and shortly after their departure from the Atlanta region, local police officers were called and discovered the body of Shahriar Zolfaghari who was the husband of Georgia's statewide prosecutor for human trafficking Camila Wright-and whom Atlanta Police Major Adam Lee III reported had been shot twice in the chest at close range and said: "It's a mystery as to why someone would harm him"...

the "possible/supposed" reason for Zolfaghari's killing was a "death message" to his wife Camila to stop her from charging former President Clinton with child sex crimes and to cease her sex trafficking investigation all together.

As to Prosecutor Wright's exact criminal case against President Clinton, ... it involves the "contracting/deal making" with a number of underage female girls living in the Atlanta region by New York-British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, Sarah Kellen and Nada Marcinkova-all three of whom were tasked by convicted pedophile, and billionaire, Jeffery Epstein to procure underage sex slaves for his private Caribbean island compound known as "Pedophile Island" that catered to the world's rich and famous, including President Clinton and Prince Andrew.

Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been labeled as "Epstein's pimp mama", ... was the main "dealmaker/contractor" for the underage Atlanta female sex slaves preferred by her close friend President Clinton during his visits to "Pedophile Island"-and which recently discovered flight log reports have shown him visiting numerous times, and many without his Secret Service detail.

to whom President Putin ordered this single Hillary Clinton email released to, it doesn't appear to be that hard to figure out as one hour later the international, non-profit, journalistic organization Wikileaks, that publishes secret information, news leak and classified media from anonymous sources, sent out a Twitter message containing this email under the headline Is
this email the FBI's star exhibit against Hillary Clinton ("H")?

?

The grave implications to Hillary Clinton in regards to this email... is that it provides conclusive proof that she personally ordered top secret and other type classifications to be stripped from emails sent to her private unsecured computer server in violation of US law-and, also, directly contradicts what it says on her presidential campaign website: "Clinton only used her account for unclassified email. No information in Clinton's emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them."

... another Hillary Clinton statement on her campaign website that says: "Was it allowed? Yes. The laws, regulations, and State Department policy in place during her tenure permitted her to use a non-government email for work", has, likewise, been exposed as being untrue by the US State Department's Inspector General who last week said that not only wasn't this allowed, he detailed how Jonathan Scott Gration, the former US Ambassador to Kenya, who ignored instructions in July 2011 not to use commercial email for government businesses, was forced to resign, in mid-2012, when then Secretary Clinton herself initiated disciplinary action against him, while at the same time she was doing the exact same thing, but keeping it secret.

...many US media news sites ... agreeing that the most serious US laws violated by her were Executive Order 13526-Classified National Security Information and 18 U.S.C Sec. 793(f)-Gathering, Transmitting or Losing Defense Information of the federal code that make it unlawful to send or store classified information on personal email.

Also AangIrfan has been doing great reporting exposing the dirt on that sleaze-bag Trump:
ISRAELI TERRORISM; NETANYAHU; 9 11; TRUMP; MAFIA

Yet Trump, clearly a puppet of some powerful faction of the global deep state (most probably involving Rocefellers who are e.g. abandoning oil and want to legalize drug business, basically come out of this current war with clean hands on the victorious side), has been sending many confusing signals. Could it be that the goal of masters is too fool not the regular, 'good' people, but the enemies of the humanity (CIA, MI6, Rothshilde, Clinton, Bush, Petreaus, Romney, Koch, Adelson, Erdogan, Saudi, Netanyahoo, Kolomoiski cabal centered in the City of London living off the illegal drug trade since the opium wars)?

Mind you that we've already seen the "bifurcation" in the USG action in the Me, most recently when the Pentagon/Obama rebels been fighting the CIA "rebels".

Jack Smith | Jun 2, 2016 8:37:16 PM | 63
@Inkan1969 | Jun 2, 2016 6:39:02 PM | 52

Unfair hitting below the belt. What makes you think, getting rid of politicians shedding so much bloods here, Libya, Syria, Afghan... and blames others "so eager to spill other humans' blood on the street?"

You believe protecting motherfuckers (excuse me Hmmmm..) Liars, murderers, warmongers so no more blood on the streets? Understands, Enuff, is Enuff, the killing, lying, fake videos must end. This is not my view, majority Americans feel the same both sides of the fences, Dem or Repug. We are not the minority but the majority. The differences how to get rid these motherfuckers!!

To be clear, I'm a passive pacifist, believe in the rule of laws.

Asked many Blacks, you know what going on in Ukraine, Crimea, Syria or Greece? Most were clueless. Never heard of Ukraine etc. Otherwise - Its Putin Faults, Assad the regime must go, Its Repug faults, Congress faults but Never Obomo! More than 80% voted for Obama twice base on racial line. Now don't call me a racist. A Cop almost shot me after questioning him in public.....

Jack Smith | Jun 2, 2016 9:30:32 PM | 66
@raga the logo | June 2, 2016 6:15:07 PM | 51

" buy a pitchfork and hit the streets. Anything less is a cop-out and playing the game."

Dunno if you followed Kazzura, Anna News, Liveleak before and after Feb 2014 Maiden uprising they awakened the Separatists. Igor Strelkov, the shooter was fighting Kiev Regime, forced to leave Sloviansk with a handful fighter moved to Donbass. Farmers, doctors, mother, lawyers, grandfather and children with pitchforks and antique weapons guarding building, road blocks and checkpoints with burning tires tried to stopped advancing Kiev troops in Donetsk and Lugansk Obasts.

However, in Odessa, well-dress school children, women and men sitting calmly on the sidewalks, filling Molotov cocktails to massacre separatist holed up in the Union bldg.

Ask Neoliberal, the lesser of evils and apologists who were the blood thirsty killers?

dh | Jun 2, 2016 10:00:53 PM | 68
@63 "BTW what happened to the Repubs wanting to STOP Trump from being nominated AT ALL COST theme?

That was so last week. Ryan just endorsed Trump... "I feel confident he would help us turn the ideas in this agenda into laws to help improve people's lives. That's why I'll be voting for him this fall," Ryan wrote.

Jackrabbit | Jun 2, 2016 11:24:24 PM | 70
Reaction to Yves Politico article:

At politico.com
Pro-Hillary commenters have been harshly critical. Many say that potential Trump voters are NOT progressive and/or are comfortable elites that won't lose anything.

At nakedcapitalism.com
A large number of commenters have said that instead of Trump, they would support the GREEN PARTY!

At MoA
There has been concerns raised about 1) Sanders reluctance to attack Hillary and 2) the naivete of Yves': "strategically pointless nation-breaking in Iraq and Syria" .

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Note: Yves has explained that she initially tried to make the article into one that describes Sanders supporters anti-Hillary feelings. She says that editor(s) at politico guided the story to Sanders supporters that would vote Trump as it seemed to be a more dramatic story.

Jack Smith | Jun 3, 2016 1:09:28 AM | 71
Holy cow, no one will believe me - Bernie advertises in RT!! First time ever, sneaking pass Ghostly blocker - reaching out to RT viewers.

The message... College should be free, tax Walls street pay for college education. Bernie you lying shit!! I'll never vote for you even if force to eat cat food.

This what John Pliger wrote in SOTT, 27 May of Bernie...

Stunning silence in America as it prepares to vote for one side of the same coin

"Sanders, the hope of many young Americans, is not very different from Clinton in his proprietorial view of the world beyond the United States. He backed Bill Clinton's illegal bombing of Serbia. He supports Obama's terrorism by drone, the provocation of Russia and the return of special forces (death squads) to Iraq. He has nothing to say on the drumbeat of threats to China and the accelerating risk of nuclear war. He agrees that Edward Snowden should stand trial and he calls Hugo Chavez - like him, a social democrat - "a dead communist dictator". He promises to support Clinton if she is nominated...."

Penelope | Jun 3, 2016 1:13:50 AM | 72
Dahoit @ 15,

Trump:

""I didn't come here tonight to pander to you about Israel. That's what politicians do: all talk, no action… My number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran… We have rewarded the world's leading state sponsor of terror with $150 billion and we received absolutely nothing in return… Iran is a problem in Iraq, a problem in Syria, a problem in Lebanon, a problem in Yemen, and will be a very major problem for Saudi Arabia. Literally every day, Iran provides more and better weapons to their puppet states… We will totally dismantle Iran's global terror network. Iran has seeded terror groups all over the world. During the last five years, Iran has perpetrated terror attacks in 25 different countries on five continents. They've got terror cells everywhere, including in the western hemisphere very close to home. Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism around the world and we will work to dismantle that reach. . . . When I become President, the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on Day One."

Yeah, Right | Jun 3, 2016 1:22:52 AM | 73
I have to agree with @1 that it is not at all clear that Trump is "far right". He's a populist, sure, he is. Maybe he even fits the definition of a demagogue. But that doesn't place him on the "far right", it just places him "outside the system".

Trump appears to be all in favour of replacing a foreign policy that relies upon a robust military with one that is based upon active diplomacy i.e. that jaw-jaw is better than war-war.

Which certainly places him way, way to the left of many Democrats (certainly to the left of Hillary) and almost all Republicans.

He also appears to be all in favour of weighing up Trade Deals based upon what effect they have on the working and middle class of American society, rather than how much those deals enrich the 1%.

Again, that places him way, way, way to the left of most mainstream politicians in either party.

Sure, his "immigration" policies appear to be racist, and he doesn't appear to have thought thru many of his *ahem* policies.

But it is very clear to me that the major reason why he blew away a far-right crowd that contained repulsive Neanderthals as Rubio and Cruz is because he made a deliberate decision to run to the left of them. And I have no doubt that he'll seek to win the Presidency by running to the left of Hillary.

Not that it would be hard for anyone to run to the left of Hillary, but, still......

Jack Smith | Jun 3, 2016 1:28:16 AM | 74
Up Date - RT Live 7/24

Chris Hedges will be on RT On Contact soon.

Penelope | Jun 3, 2016 1:29:08 AM | 75
ProPeace @ 64, You ask "Who are the oligarchs?"
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-federal-reserve-cartel-the-eight-families/25080?print=1
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-four-horsemen-behind-america-s-oil-wars/24507
Penelope | Jun 3, 2016 1:54:34 AM | 76
Oh, nuts! I just realized. I didn't follow the Egypt plane crash at all. Are they going to frame LIBYA & use it as a pretext to attack? I'm only just starting to look at it. Is this possible?
MRW | Jun 3, 2016 2:10:36 AM | 77
@56, so Commentary Magazine, the cooking magazine for the neocon set, think HRC's Trump bashing speech was the cat's meow.

Colonel Lang asked this question on his site tonight:

Am I correct in saying that HC's speech in San Diego was not made to some existing group but rather was an event arranged by her campaign staff in a hired venue with an audience created by them from her supporters in the area? pl
Someone in the comments said it was closed to the public, and another said it was attended by 200 donors.
Krollchem | Jun 3, 2016 2:52:02 AM | 78
@Calathai

What do you think of Gary Johnson as an alternative to the Repubicrat choices? He is antiwar and supports many of the same social issues that Jill Stein supports. He is also a proven manager, having served as a popular two time governor of New Mexico.

I share your opinion of the Green Party after what they did to Ralph Nader. There is also the fact that Green Parties in Europe are filled warmongers, especially in Germany.

somebody | Jun 3, 2016 3:43:11 AM | 79
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jun 2, 2016 9:12:38 AM | 9

The "middle" has been decimated enonomically. That's why traditional politics don't work anymore.

Actually, for Germany, Sanders is very much "middle". Hillary would be "right wing" minus the classism and racism. Trump is close to classical National Socialism with a very special US American "businessman" flavor (there is a traditional disdain for business in Germany).

How he could prevail with US demography, economy/business interests, and mentality, apart from winning an election where everyone stays home out of disgust, I just can't see. But a large part of German Jews (and Social Democrats and Trade Unionists - they said let it blow over it will pass) did not see it coming in 1933.

So if I was "left" in the US - or just a normal citizen - I would vote Hillary and organize for my interests to prevail in Congress, in the Senate and finally in 2020 plus refuse to be separated on lifestyle choice. My impression is that the Sandernistas will be doing just that.

M.K. Styllinski | Jun 3, 2016 7:11:12 AM | 80
So, I guess you could sum up the conclusion to all these comments that there is absolutely no one worth voting for because the electoral system is irrevocably broken due to psychopathic or ponerological "infection". You can thrash out the debate as to who is the greater or lesser of evils chosen for the parade this time around but it's a waste of energy since the foundations upon which elections are built have long been rotten to the core.

So, voting for such theatre is surely perpetuating the scenario. The president is already chosen. Period. Maybe there's a bit of infighting between Establishment factions but I think it's a done deal. Similarly, any attempt to grow something truly creative and which actually lasts inside the toxicity of Western culture will inevitably fail for the same reason: psychopathy and lesser forms of pathology define our social systems at this stage and it's on an interminable loop that needs to be reset. (And I suspect Mother nature will have a hand in that fairly soon). Time to start building community outside of the state and realise just how much creative power we have away from authoritarian rule in all its guises.

jfl | Jun 3, 2016 8:18:19 AM | 81
@79 somebody.

Some folks would make exactly your argument against the rise of Hillary.

@80 MKS

Agree completely. Culture is larger than the politics, politics is part of culture and, as you point out, culture is a sum over all its parts. It's from beneath the larger, cultural arch that we can simply takeover politics, from the outside. My suggestion is write-in voting, a de facto implementation of open elections . There's much too much harm being done now by the broken political machine, we need to get it under control.

john | Jun 3, 2016 8:31:46 AM | 82
M.K. Styllinski

yes, presumably among our inalienable rights is the right not to vote, as the electoral process, in its present manifestation, can only impede our collective creativity.

The Tale That Might Be Told

Allen | Jun 3, 2016 8:41:59 AM | 83
What must be understood and highlighted is who the political class works for- the savage capitalists. The US government is merely the front for the ruling class. It merely carries out the policies of the over-civilized, well-manicured capitalist thugs.

Anyone who thinks that simply "voting the bums out" (no matter how much Bern they been feeling lately) is a viable action in such a profoundly corrupt system is in deep denial as to the scope of our problems.

The system is not broken- it is working exactly as designed- by and for those who designed it.

In a bourgeoisie democracy the power of the electorate is a legal fiction.

Wasting energy on electoral kabuki Sanders-Style falls into that category belonging to all strategies based on "trying to push the Dems to the left." It can never happen. The Dems are officially sanctioned precisely because the business plutocracy is 100% confident that the Party can't be "pushed to the Left," even if the proverbial Apocalypse threatens. The Dem Party's essential political function is pretending to sound sympathetic to ordinary citizens, while actually doing the bidding of the financial elite.

In America, the ovens will not be disguised as showers; they will be marked "Voting Booth".

Guk Tahdar | Jun 3, 2016 8:53:39 AM | 84

Reagan was a failed Governor and fake WW2 fighter pilot who embraced the early PNAC after his first term Super Recession, then got elected by a landslide. Same with Bush2. So policy failures or weak leadership has nothing whatsoever with electability, and you can vote red, blue or purple, the Clinton Cash Machine will still dominate the Selections in November.
Jackrabbit | Jun 3, 2016 9:27:28 AM | 85
@MKS, @Allen

Wringing hands because there is "no democracy" or the duopoly candidates are so bad is a cop-out.

You have choices.

Personally, I would vote third-party instead of staying at home or write-in.

Also consider:

1) there are grass-roots organizations that are very effective - join one!

2) Hillary was supposed to be coronated. Her downfall (via email scandal) shows that things are not as hopeless/inevitable as some claim - don't lose heart!

3) A door has been opened. People see and talk about the 'rigged' political and economic system like never before.

4) You have to be a smart voter. TPTB rely on voter apathy and ignorance. Educate those around you! (carefully! a 'know it all' attitude or partisanship is counterproductive)

In USA only half of eligible voters actually vote. If everyone that gave up on voting were to vote third-party we would have a viable alternative.

Notably, the only Party that supports preference voting (which makes third-parties viable and greatly diminishes 'lesser-evil' voting) is the GREEN PARTY.

dahoit | Jun 3, 2016 9:58:48 AM | 87
72;Ah Iran.Yes,Trump for some reason(Neocon votes?)has it in for Iran, but Iran is not central to American prosperity, far away and being a Muslim nation makes it a little inviting for American pol bashing, but hey, hopefully he'll stop this on election.

And yeah, he is trying to get the monsters on his side, or at least to stop the daily demonization campaign against him, which anyone can see, if they are honest.

He will win based on the economy(66,000 jobs in May,the worst in 6 years btw) and the feelings of patriotic Americans sick of being Zio boy toys,and sick of furriners coming here and rioting against American citizens.That got him a few more million votes.

America first, a winning hand, but anathema to the Zionists, our mortal enemy.

dumbass | Jun 3, 2016 10:05:27 AM | 88
>> given that outsider presidents like Jimmy Carter
>> and celebrity governors like Arnold Schwarzenegger
>> and Jesse Ventura didn't get much done,

Says who? They got us through 4+ years without heaping a ton of sh** on us. Reagan, Clinton, Obama, and Bush did a lot of damage, such that we wish they would've done less.

dahoit | Jun 3, 2016 10:07:18 AM | 89
77; I read that her speech was before the US Pacific Fleet, a bunch of military morons. She is going full bore dominatrix. She said Trump coddles dictators;Sheesh,you mean like Mubarak,Sissi,Saudis,Bahrain,Dubai and all points east and west thugs of Clinton favor? A moron, with hypocrisy enough to name a wing of a museum of political liars after her evil self.

Penelope; Yes, if Trump turns out to be a liar re his plans, the pushback will be the next election cycle, with an actual clone of Hitler as candidate. We've had enough of these monsters, who use US and abuse US daily.

Jack Smith | Jun 3, 2016 10:13:42 AM | 93
@ M.K. Styllinski | Jun 3, 2016 7:11:12 AM | 80

....there is absolutely no one worth voting for because the electoral system is irrevocably broken due to psychopathic or ponerological "infection". You can thrash out the debate as to who is the greater or lesser of evils....

Ahaaa, Not so, you have another choices. Votes for the MOST ABHORRENT CANDIDATE POSSIBLE, Erdogan or Avigdor Lieberman if they are in the running or Hillary or Thump.

Allen | Jun 3, 2016 10:23:40 AM | 94
@jackrabbit #85

Better to place this action in an institutional context. The forces placed on the elected person by the state machinery and pressures from big business dictate the outcome. In the current system your vote is meaningless. You can argue all you want that "We need to keep up the pressure to demand Politician______ needs to listen to ordinary citizens, not to business" and you will rot on the vine as your words disappear into the indifferent air.

There is a difference between the state and government. The state is the permanent collection of institutions that have entrenched power structures and interests. The government is made up of various politicians. It is the institutions that have power in the state due to their permanence, not the representatives who come and go. We cannot expect different politicians to act in different ways to the same pressures. However, this is all ignored by the voting political consumer who wishes Politician______ was more a socialist, green, populist etc. and could ignore the demands of the dominant class in society while in charge of one part of its protector and creature, the state.

Who wins the election in the capitalist system makes no difference because all politicians in this system must do what the ruling class want. Elections are a scam whose function is to neutralize resistance movements and dupe ordinary citizens into thinking they have a say in matters of the state.

Elections in the capitalist system do not secure popular control over the state, they do help secure state control over the populace. Voting is a ritual that reinforces obedience to state authority. It creates the illusion that "the people" control the state, thereby masking elite rule. That illusion makes rebellion against the state less likely because it is seen as a legitimate institution and as an instrument of popular rule rather than the oligarchy it really is. Embedded within all electoral campaigns is the myth that "the people" control the state through voting.

dumbass | Jun 3, 2016 10:26:36 AM | 95
>> Had Sanders run as an independent he would be getting literally no coverage and likely achieving very little success. ... If he ran as an independent this wouldn't be the case.

Not crazy. But, I disagree.

Implicit in your reasoning is this assumption: In an alternate timeline in which Clinton was *not* primaried, DNC primary voters would've been unaware of or overlooked her horrible record. But, that assumption is undermined by the record in the current timeline:

ben | Jun 3, 2016 11:32:16 AM | 100
Allen @ 94 said:

"Who wins the election in the capitalist system makes no difference because all politicians in this system must do what the ruling class want. Elections are a scam whose function is to neutralize resistance movements and dupe ordinary citizens into thinking they have a say in matters of the state."

Well said Allen, and, I believe, true. I will however, vote, because I've always voted. The therapy is beneficial. So, in closing, vote people vote. Keeping in mind the subtle reminder below.
http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=14545

[Jun 12, 2016] Is Trump the lessee evil ? So-called progressive groups have sold out in siding with Clinton

Is Hillary doomed? Probably considerably mor e Hillary "No passaran" progressives will vote for Trump...than Nevertrumpers republicans will vote for Hillary...
Notable quotes:
"... I think the entire point of this article is the absolute truth. In a Trump vs. Clinton race, their is no progressive candidate. ..."
"... Clinton has pretty much shown herself to be against the masses and for the plutocrats. She lives in a bubble of the super-wealthy and has a disgusting political record of lying, corruption and scandal. She and Bill use political power for whatever idiotic purpose they see fit. They buy the black vote outright through welfare programs that actually keep the black population in the gutter instead of real reforms. ..."
"... For HRC, the world of politics is merely a world where she can attain her ideal amount of control and power over others. Trump may be a narcissistic asshole, but he doesn't reach this level of sociopathic tendency. He is also completely clueless in politics, which is actually a good thing. ..."
"... Mark, Politico IS part of corporate media - if you believe otherwise, I've got some lovely swampland in Florida to sell you. ..."
"... Arthur, if the Green Party gets 5% of the vote, they get federal funding and automatic ballot access - it's a far more attractive option than voting for one evil to stop another form of evil. Using the scary Republican boogeyman didn't work for John Kerry, and it won't work for $Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... I'll vote for Trump over Clinton (if Bernie doesn't get the nomination). More important than even those points above (and 20 others I've researched) I can sum it up so: Trump = maybe war Clinton = war for sure ..."
"... Clinton wants more ME war. Syria for sure. Maybe Iran. ..."
"... Trump is vacuous policy free blowhard. Clinton is a war-mongering, duplicitious, corrupt sociopath. Which is worse? Given that choice, she is not the lesser of two evils. ..."
"... So this is what our political system has given us. The Republican who is involved in fraud litigation on both coasts, and is perhaps involved in up to 3,500 civil cases. Then there is Clinton. Do I believe that she used a private e-mail server to avoid transparency and FOIA? Yes. Do I believe that there was/is a "pay to play" relationship between wealthy corporations, governments and the Clinton Foundation? The circumstantial evidence to me is pretty compelling. Do I think that her foreign policy in places like Honduras, Haiti, and Libya (among others) is misguided? Yes. Do I think that she is too cozy with the big banks? Yes. Do I think that she changes a policy position based on political expediency? Again, yes. ..."
"... Sanders supporters are already starting to move onto the next step with brandnewcongress.org in an effort to elect more progressives into the legislature. ..."
"... The biggest chunk of Sanders voters that will go to Trump are the less ideological voters who may agree with Trump on trade and little else, but who despise Clinton and see her as another dishonest, globalist politician, and who more than anything want to shake up both parties in Washington. ..."
"... HRC is a horrible, self-enriching, dishonest, pandering power hungry politician who is going to lose in November due to an unlikely coalition of Americans who are just fed up with the status quo. ..."
"... Clinton is an islamophobic racist and viciously anti-Palestinian. She's also a vehement Russophobe. She has no problems with unleashing mass slaughters of innocents so that her friends in big business can increase their already bloated profits. Vote for her by all means. But don't pretend to be a progressive or to speak for progressives. You are not. ..."
"... Yves Smith sums it up perfectly and we are witnessing this political process in many Western nations, a process whereby much of the electorate is sick and tired of 'neoliberalism' and the greed it sponsers and espouses. For us Brit's, we feel much the same about the Blair's as many in the USA think about the Clinton clan, that is they are greedy buggers more concerned with the depth of their own pockets than their own citizens. Oh, and then we have to add the social justice warrior BS to everything. ..."
"... As for foreign policy, we'll at least Trump has no blood on his hands and you Clinton suppoters cannot say that of Shrillary I'm afraid to say, who'd welcome WWIII if it meant more coin for her and the elite! ..."
"... The question remains: why should we progressives accept a Democratic Party that has sold its soul to the 1%? And if we don't accept this, then how does a corrupt party get fixed or replaced? In other words, where is the party to represent the 99%? ..."
"... So as a lifelong active progressive my question remains - and its not whether Trump supporters are morons - its what alternative do we have to build a corruption-free political movement for the 99% if Sanders is not elected? We should at least separate out the symptoms from the root causes. Perhaps that is too radical of a notion for you, but that will help us figure out where to go next. ..."
"... Arthur C. Hurwitz LOL. I actually have been working in the trenches for many decades. While that doesn't give me a pipeline to the truth, I at least know an armchair progressive when i see one. I could easily say to you that you have swallowed the Kool aid of "anyone but Trump." But that goes nowhere. ..."
"... Voting for Trump is an insult to Bernie and all he stands for. It makes no sense at all to vote for Trump to send a message that the Dems are corrupt; it sends the message that the Dems are not corrupt enough! ..."
"... Why the hell did this article leave out the Green Party as an option??? The Green Party is as Progressive as Bernie. If your conscience won't allow you to vote for Hillary, make your vote count and vote Green. Don't give the GOP a mandate! ..."
www.politico.com
Dianne McCarthy . Jun 1, 2016 4:30pm
So-called progressive groups have sold out in siding with Clinton. Many of these groups have received donations from the Clintons and others are simply too afraid of the DNC's power. Still others like Barney Frank are as corrupt as Clinton is. Lastly, are the ignorant pragmatists who believed the tripe of Bernie's inelectability. With all the cheating going on, Bernie is very close, despite the best efforts of the corporate media, the DNC and Clinton's other attack dogs. My bottom line against her, is that she is a pathological liar, just like Ftrump, so how can anyone believe a word she says?

Pairc Chuil · Jun 2, 2016 6:06am Works at MassGen

I won't be voting Trump but won't be voting Clinton either. I've just recently left the Democratic party after having served on committees, volunteered, donated, and canvassed for Democratic candidates my entire voting life. But oligarchy is a bridge too far for me. And yes, I'm highly educated and will vote for Bernie or Green in the GE.

Brooke Doris ,

No smart progressive in their right mind would ever vote for Trump. That would mean abandoning all their principles. Pure drivel.

Gail Newman

Not true. Trump is more liberal than Hillary in very important areas.

Dianne McCarthy · Works at Currently Underemployed

Anyone voting for #ChickenTrump is NOT progressive...really stupid article. "Smart" people understand that #SleazyTrump is just as corrupt as # NeverClinton . He has bragged about buying politicians and has lied and flip-flopped just as much as she has. His racist, sexist and xenophobic comments are deplorable, whether he really believes them or is just pandering to the yokels. His foreign policy naivete and warmongering comments allude to his being, just as bad as #NeverHillary on continuing war. His ignorance of climate change is ridiculous and his comments on it, totally irresponsible. Finally, anyone who votes for a lesser of evils is still voting for evil, to paraphrase Jerry Garcia. Pragmatism is not necessarily intelligence. I'll vote my conscience which is either Bernie or Jill.

Brian Jennings · Metropolis, Illinois

Arthur C. Hurwitz , Fracking? War? Workers organizing? Labeling food? Etc...Hillary is not a progressive , she is a Republican.
I do not want her or Trump picking SCOTUS judges.......

I think the entire point of this article is the absolute truth. In a Trump vs. Clinton race, their is no progressive candidate.

Arthur C. Hurwitz

The problem here is that as much as they might be dissatisfied with the status quo, even justifiably, they lack the awareness that everything could be much worse. Sanders betrayed the most important ideal from his Brooklyn Socialist Jewish background and that is that Fascism is the greatest threat to humanity....

David Jan West · Northwestern University

America today is absolutely nothing like Germany post WWI. Please read some history. Comparing Trump to Hitler is like comparing an Orange to Hitler. Our society is not nearly as racist. Our society is thousands of times more diverse than Germany. And, our nationalistic pride is pretty much nowhere these days. I find that more Americans hate America, as in the Government and the corporate culture, than they do a single race. We are not reeling from a disatrous war in which we lost a 3rd of our population and lost a generation of men (and on that point, Obama is the most militaristic president America has ever seen in terms of expanding military budgets and powers, and length of warfare).

Clinton has pretty much shown herself to be against the masses and for the plutocrats. She lives in a bubble of the super-wealthy and has a disgusting political record of lying, corruption and scandal. She and Bill use political power for whatever idiotic purpose they see fit. They buy the black vote outright through welfare programs that actually keep the black population in the gutter instead of real reforms. They used presidential pardons to get Fillipino votes in New York when Hillary was running for Senate in New York. They have amassed an insane amount of money that should be impossible for a strictly politics couple, have been caught in inside trading schemes, gifting schemes, etc.

For HRC, the world of politics is merely a world where she can attain her ideal amount of control and power over others. Trump may be a narcissistic asshole, but he doesn't reach this level of sociopathic tendency. He is also completely clueless in politics, which is actually a good thing. Because, the worst people in history are not the idiots, they are those who are smart, ambitious, but have a twisted morality.

Hitler was not stupid in any way. He nearly managed to pull off eradicating the Jewish and other minority populations in Europe and successfully defeated and invaded the surrounding countries. Stalin was similarly quite astute and dangerously successful. He held Soviet Russia and a good half of Europe in a vicelike grip for 30 years and killed millions in the process. Trump can barely manage to keep his head combed over. I think America will manage just fine.

Kristin Marie

More like many progressives will vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party - god forbid another progressive option be mentioned in corporate media.

Kristin Marie

Mark, Politico IS part of corporate media - if you believe otherwise, I've got some lovely swampland in Florida to sell you.

Arthur, if the Green Party gets 5% of the vote, they get federal funding and automatic ballot access - it's a far more attractive option than voting for one evil to stop another form of evil. Using the scary Republican boogeyman didn't work for John Kerry, and it won't work for $Hillary Clinton.

Gail Newman

America is a feudal country calling itself a democracy. We evicted feudalism when the nations united in a treaty called the Articles of Confederation. We reinforced that decision after the Constitution, when voter enfranchisement exploded. We were returned to feudalism in 1819 when the Supreme Court through out our Constitutional Republic and replaced it with a Common Law government with itself at the head, serving as dictator (sharing a throne) as well as the nation's God (decider of morality). We don't know that because in America, students in public schools are taught provable lies about our history.

Bernie is about ending feudalism. Hillary serves the feudal lords and aristocrats. #NeverHillary. If Bernie doesn't get the nomination, I'll vote Jill Stein because my state doesn't allow write-ins that would threaten the status quo. If I lived in a blue or swing state, I would vote Trump.

Jack Albrecht · Lamar University

I'm an early 50's (I) ex-pat living in Austria. I own 3 flats and have my own company. I've got mine. We've already got democratic socialism here. My son starts university next year. It will cost me nothing additional (just one example).

I'll vote for Trump over Clinton (if Bernie doesn't get the nomination). More important than even those points above (and 20 others I've researched) I can sum it up so:
Trump = maybe war
Clinton = war for sure

Last year Austria had 85k asylum applications. That is 1% of the population. In. One. Year.

Clinton wants more ME war. Syria for sure. Maybe Iran. Europe's governments are being destabilized because the people don't when the flood of refugees will end. With Clinton, it is sure to increase. She'd destablize the entire EU, the US's biggest trading partner, just to satisfy her blood lust. Watch the video of "We came, we saw, he died" as Clinton laughs about Ghaddafi's lynching. Disgusting.

Trump is vacuous policy free blowhard. Clinton is a war-mongering, duplicitious, corrupt sociopath. Which is worse? Given that choice, she is not the lesser of two evils.

Nadeem Ahmed · Works at Salesforce

This is one of the dumbest things ever written in the history of man. Every single issue that was written about ignores reality. Obamacare for one - it passed with 1 vote - 1 vote. If they had done single payer it was a snowball in hell. Neither President Obama or President Clinton were dicatators - they needed congress and the senate to get thigs done. If Sanders were somehow to become Presidnet - how in the name of all that is holy will he get single payer through congress and the Senate? At this point the author is dilusional. Significant progress was made under both presidencies. The long arch of history has bended towards justice. The idea that progress is not incremental ignores, common sense, reality and truth. To beleive otherwise is just a way to rationalize you mysogony.

Fiasco Linguini · Junior Assistant Flunky / Peon at The Galactic Empire

You make some fair points until you assert that true Progressives who are fed up with our corrupt system are all mysogynists. That's stupider than the article we both dislike. You undermine yourself when you say stupid shit like that.

Regan Farr Gonzalez · Gig Harbor, Washington

Insightful article; thank you. The knee-jerk talking points and highly aggressive pushback by Clinton supporters here is a startlingly clear example of how this interesting phenomenon affects our ability to choose: http://billmoyers.com/story/voting-with-their-stone-age-brains/

Mike Wood · Trout Lake, Washington

As a 59 year old male with a graduate degree, five grandkids and a professional career, I cannot and will not vote for Hillary Clinton for all the reasons listed in the article. The Bern movement is the wake up call. So wake up. The only obstacle to a more fair and just economy is the Dems who won't get on board. Trump is not the enemy. He is a sideshow. Clinton and all she stands for is the real enemy of meaningful change.

Bill Bartlett · Indiana University

On the political spectrum I consider myself a Progressive. Am I one of the "smartest?" I don't know. Yves' blog "Naked Capitalism" is on my daily reading list. There is an important point being overlooked in all of this. It's not just Donald Trump that's part of this election, it's the rest of the Republican party. Here's my take on what a Trump presidency may be like. Like most of his business ventures, the Trump presidency will be merely a brand applied to the broader Republican agenda. Reporting is that Trump is looking for someone to do the parts of the job that he doesn't want to do. Like public policy. He'll rely on the likes of Newt Gingrich (who the author cited earlier) to advise him. Grover Norquist famously said "We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. ... We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don't need someone to think it up or design it." Trump will be such a president. A puppet like GW Bush was.

A Trump election will also mean that the House would definitely remain in GOP hands, and possibly the Senate. If that is true, it's "game over." McConnell would not hesitate to abolish the filibuster. And we'll get every horrible policy that they push now. The ACA (Obamacare) while imperfect, does manage to get more Americans into healthcare. Absent the ACA the worst abuses of the health insurers will return. Policy rescission, denial of coverage, double digit rate increases year after year. Will the Republicans offer an alternative? Not likely. Will Attorney General Chris Christie pursue action against "bathroom laws?" Will he take up voting rights cases? Will Secretary of State Jeff Sessions or John Bolton work for peace? What will happen with the Paris climate accord? Although inadequate IMO, it has at least united the world to start taking action. What will happen with the Iran nuclear agreement? The US may withdraw, but the others will not, isolating us with Israeli warmongers. Despite his public pronouncements, Trump will rubber stamp free trade deals. He will be persuaded by his GOP cohorts that these are actually good for average Americans. And then there is the Supreme Court. The court is effectively nine robed kings and queens whose word is law and they cannot be challenged. Trump has promised more Scalias. The next two vacancies could easily be the liberals Ginsberg and Breyer. Do we want Scalias, young Scalias, in those chairs?

So this is what our political system has given us. The Republican who is involved in fraud litigation on both coasts, and is perhaps involved in up to 3,500 civil cases. Then there is Clinton. Do I believe that she used a private e-mail server to avoid transparency and FOIA? Yes. Do I believe that there was/is a "pay to play" relationship between wealthy corporations, governments and the Clinton Foundation? The circumstantial evidence to me is pretty compelling. Do I think that her foreign policy in places like Honduras, Haiti, and Libya (among others) is misguided? Yes. Do I think that she is too cozy with the big banks? Yes. Do I think that she changes a policy position based on political expediency? Again, yes.

But the answer to those issues is not to hand the reins of government to a dangerous, unbalanced, narcissist like Trump and the ghouls in the Republican party. I'd rather that Sanders, and his supporters mobilize with other progressives in Congress (Warren, Franken, Brown, Ellison just to name a few) and keep her on a more progressive path. Sanders supporters are already starting to move onto the next step with brandnewcongress.org in an effort to elect more progressives into the legislature.

In the meantime we need to stay strong and vote against trade agreements that harm Americans. Withhold support for cabinet members that come from corporate boardrooms.

Vote against changes/cuts to programs like Social Security and Medicare. Propose legislation to accomplish the goals that will benefit the majority of Americans. Constantly, consistently, and relentlessly push the President to do the right thing. Will we win all of these battles, no. But at least they will be the right battles and we will win some of them.

Peter Meyer

I disagree with the premise that true liberals will vote for Trump in large numbers. The biggest chunk of Sanders voters that will go to Trump are the less ideological voters who may agree with Trump on trade and little else, but who despise Clinton and see her as another dishonest, globalist politician, and who more than anything want to shake up both parties in Washington.

About 1/3 of Bernie voters will vote for Trump, 1/3 for HRC and 1/3 won't vote at all. HRC is a horrible, self-enriching, dishonest, pandering power hungry politician who is going to lose in November due to an unlikely coalition of Americans who are just fed up with the status quo.

Alexander Sebastian Ruiz · Austin, Texas

Doug Von This author claims that most of their followers would either sit out or vote for Trump over Hillary during this election because they are both just as bad. Racism exists among all races. But Trump has made it clear that his racism does not extend towards two very specific categories: White and Christian. Therefore those with the least to lose by him winning an election during this season are people who fall under both of those banners. Not all Whites are racists and I believe this person is exaggerating about their following, but their argument leads me to the conclusion that they are White. I know several people of different races who are just as unimpressed by Clinton, some outright hating her, but, and this is unfortunate for the way this election has played out, they will vote for Clinton because its become a matter of how their basic rights could be curtailed under a Trump Presidency, not just our coutry's very problematic financial systems.

John Giles

Clinton is an islamophobic racist and viciously anti-Palestinian. She's also a vehement Russophobe. She has no problems with unleashing mass slaughters of innocents so that her friends in big business can increase their already bloated profits. Vote for her by all means. But don't pretend to be a progressive or to speak for progressives. You are not.

Chris Rogers · "The Boss" at My Own Business Institute

There seem to be some seriously deluded Clinton nutters posting on this story, but fact remains Yves Smith sums it up perfectly and we are witnessing this political process in many Western nations, a process whereby much of the electorate is sick and tired of 'neoliberalism' and the greed it sponsers and espouses. For us Brit's, we feel much the same about the Blair's as many in the USA think about the Clinton clan, that is they are greedy buggers more concerned with the depth of their own pockets than their own citizens. Oh, and then we have to add the social justice warrior BS to everything.

I'm proud I worked for a Jeremy Corbyn election victory within the UK's Labour Party last year - a honest man like Sanders, both of whom represent a threat to the status quo, and as such, much maligned by neoliberals and the media. Still, the revolution will come and business as usual is now not an option, unless you want your homes three feet under water due to global warming, that's if you are lucky to have a roof over your head. As for foreign policy, we'll at least Trump has no blood on his hands and you Clinton suppoters cannot say that of Shrillary I'm afraid to say, who'd welcome WWIII if it meant more coin for her and the elite!

Mark Anderlik · Union organizer at Union

Arthur C. Hurwitz The question remains: why should we progressives accept a Democratic Party that has sold its soul to the 1%? And if we don't accept this, then how does a corrupt party get fixed or replaced? In other words, where is the party to represent the 99%?

Arthur C. Hurwitz

Mark Anderlik It isn't about what you accept or don't accept. It is what there is and the actually to be realized potential outcomes. If the Democratic Party "sold its soul" or not. It still is far more progressive on many issue than Trump and the Republican Party will ever be. Moreover, a President Trump will be a disaster for our country and for many of its citizens, and of course, the world. If you can't see that, you obviously don't know anything about the rise of Fascism in Europe during the 1930's.

Mark Anderlik · Union organizer at Union

Arthur C. Hurwitz You need to reread this article. Seriously. It is not a call for progressives to vote for Trump. And Yves is no "nutjob," far from it. I am a daily reader of her blog and I learn way more about finance, economics and politics from a progressive perspective that from many "progressive" news shows on MSNBC and the like.

The point is it is precisely because of corrupt politicians like Clinton, and many parts of the Democratic Party, that fascist politicians like Trump have and will emerge. I am a Sanders supporter and will never vote for Trump. But if you can't see Trump's emergence as a true fascist candidate has at its root the corruption and hypocrisy of the "progressive" parties, then you are not seeing what is before your eyes. Read a little Chomsky if you want to open your eyes. We are now witnessing today a re-emergengce of fascism - one also almost won in Austria, and others are also emerging in the "advanced" countries.

And it is, in the end, what you and I, and millions of others, do and don't accept. That is the very core of real progressive politics - that a better world can be made for all people (and other living things) through conscious, intentional, and collective human action.

So as a lifelong active progressive my question remains - and its not whether Trump supporters are morons - its what alternative do we have to build a corruption-free political movement for the 99% if Sanders is not elected? We should at least separate out the symptoms from the root causes. Perhaps that is too radical of a notion for you, but that will help us figure out where to go next.

Mark Anderlik · Union organizer at Union

Arthur C. Hurwitz LOL. I actually have been working in the trenches for many decades. While that doesn't give me a pipeline to the truth, I at least know an armchair progressive when i see one. I could easily say to you that you have swallowed the Kool aid of "anyone but Trump." But that goes nowhere.

I also know what vision I have for a better society is supremely relevant for how I decide to act in this crazy time. Yes, not only do I believe in the vision of "by the people and for the people" I also believe that it is the only effective way of creating a better world for the 99%. I find it difficult to see what you would fight for, besides the right to post smarmy commentary to avoid fascism. Prove me wrong. Tell us your vision of how we get to a political party that is corruption-free that serves the interests of the 99%.

Fiasco Linguini · Junior Assistant Flunky / Peon at The Galactic Empire

Voting for Trump is an insult to Bernie and all he stands for. It makes no sense at all to vote for Trump to send a message that the Dems are corrupt; it sends the message that the Dems are not corrupt enough!

And withholding your vote is not defiance, it's surrender!

Why the hell did this article leave out the Green Party as an option??? The Green Party is as Progressive as Bernie. If your conscience won't allow you to vote for Hillary, make your vote count and vote Green. Don't give the GOP a mandate!

Julian Castor

Bernie and Trump coming up in 2016 is no coincidence.

Their unexpected political success is simply a result of the appallingly -- and consistently -- egregious performance by both major parties and their ruling elites.

Yancey Tobias · University of Delaware

Excellent perspective from the consistently clear eyed Smith------i have been saying the same thing since the campaign started. There is no way any progressive should vote for Clinton---she simply is not progressive nor morally credible.

[Jun 11, 2016] Gaius Publius Puerto Rico Democratic Party Reduced Primary Votes to 8% of What Was Expected

This is not a Democratic Party. Far from that. This is party of neoliberal bottom feeders
naked capitalism
By Gaius Publius , a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States and frequent contributor to DownWithTyranny, digby, Truthout, and Naked Capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius , Tumblr and Facebook . Originally published at at Down With Tyranny . GP article here

Just three facts and a video. You can add them up as easily as I can.

1. Puerto Rican officials expected 700,000 people to vote in the 2016 Democratic primary. Think Progress, from a much longer article :

[A]n estimated 700,000 Puerto Ricans will vote this Sunday[.]

That's a lot of voters.

The Democratic Party cut the number of polling places by two-thirds, from more than 1500 to less than 500. In addition, because there were two simultaneous elections - one for local officials and one for the presidential race - voters had to go to two separate locations if they wanted to cast both ballots. Then the Party cut the voting hours, the window of time during which any voting could be done.

A longer clip from the same Think Progress article (my emphasis):

In early May, Puerto Rico's Democratic Party announced that more than 1,500 polling places would be available for the island's June 5 Democratic primary. A few weeks later, they slashed that number to just over 430 - a reduction of more than two thirds.

In 2008, the island's last competitive Democratic primary, there were more than 2,300 polling places.

Some are warning of long lines and voters left unable to access the ballot box, as an estimated 700,000 Puerto Ricans will vote this Sunday, and polling places will only be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m . .

Worse, many voters will have to visit two separate locations to cast ballots in the presidential primary and the local primaries held the same day. Voter turnout and engagement has for years been much higher on the island than in the 50 U.S. states, but these changes may present too heavy a burden for low-income residents who lack transportation options or who need to work.

Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are up in arms about the polling place reductions, calling it a "fix" and drawing parallels to Arizona's disastrous primary . Arizona's most populous county closed two-thirds of its polling locations ahead of its April primary, forcing some voters to wait in line more than six hours to cast a ballot.

They got the result they wanted….

3. The number of votes actually cast in the Democratic presidential primary totaled just over 60,000 . If my math is correct, that about 8% of the expected total, or a voter suppression rate of 92%. Again, the Puerto Rico Democratic Party, all good loyal Democrats I'm sure, suppressed 92% of their own vote, by reducing voting locations and hours.

Why? You decide. My answer? Too much democracy for the "Democratic" Party.

... ... ...

How corrupt is the current leadership, top to bottom, of many of the arms of the Democratic Party? Looks like "very" to me. The willingness to corrupt the process seems to exist at many of the state and county committees as well. (It's not a conspiracy if you don't have to tell the county committeewoman what to do, if she already knows, in other words, when and where to stick in the knife.)

How determined is the Democratic Party to commit seppuku on a national electoral stage? Same answer. Flying high on hubris usually lead to a crash landing. Pride and a fall.

For more on the situation in Puerto Rico, check out this short video, made just before the election.

Looks like the Clinton-led Democratic Party isn't even trying to hide this stuff any more. Looks like they don't think they need to.


flora , June 8, 2016 at 10:06 am

Clinton practiced her ground game in Haiti and Ukraine.

Jim Haygood , June 8, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Jeb! offered some helpful tips too, from his successful Florida effort in 2000.

All in the family!

marym , June 8, 2016 at 10:20 am

Final vote count still not reported for Puerto Rico. CBS and CNN showing the same vote counts, CBS calling it 59% reporting, CNN 69%

TheCatSaid , June 8, 2016 at 10:29 am

I learned a lot from this short clip linked by NC reader Bev.

I learned more from the full video at trustvote.org The RICO lawsuit filed by Bob Fitrakis and Cliff Arnebeck deserves attention. They are highly experienced election lawyers. Their evidence and legal strategy is explained in the video.

The new report "Fraction Magic" at blackboxvoting.org has more bombshells.
And the recent Greg Palast revelations about the issues with the NPP ballots in CA.

AND–short video clips from many of the top experts in US election fraud are at lawyer Bob Fitrakis' website . These are all people with lengthy experience documenting election irregularities of many kinds, including but not limited to the tactics for voter disenfranchisement used in Puerto Rico.

And guess what–the election consultant hired by Trump was a key player in past election irregularities.

Since the late 1990s in many (most?) places we have not had true elections, we've had competitions in vote rigging by multiple parties and interests, using a wide range of tactics and technology.

Bev , June 8, 2016 at 2:05 pm

To TheCatSaid from TheDogHowled-Bev, so true. And, Bev Harris has more bomshells: I am going there now, but to let you know some of your links do not work. It's time to get back our democracy from the criminals rigging our elections.

Wasn't the last protest at a Trump rally, which usually promotes violence against protesters, this time instead had protesters turning violent against Trump backers, found out later to be Clinton's people? Isn't that correct? There is your preview of how these anti-democracy, authoritarian leaders intend to win as TheCatSaid, by rigging the vote in many ways, accusing each other of rigging and violence, and by beating the crap out of each other, a la brown shirts. NO.

To all sports fans, the following will change our future for the better by rescuing our democracy and our kids.

With some few edits, via: http://www.forums.mlb.com/discussions/Chicago_Cubs/General/ml-cubs/1?tsn=77&tid=443191&redirCnt=1&nav=messages
The GOP's new plan for voter suppression

via: https://richardcharnin.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/democratic-primaries-is-clinton-leading-by-3-million-votes/
Democratic Primaries: Is Clinton leading by 3 million votes?
Richard Charnin

BREAKING NEWS: Election Attorney Cliff Arnebeck filed a major RICO racketeering lawsuit June 6, 2016 against the voting machine companies whose code that fractionalized votes and so delegate distribution was found by Bev Harris ( http://blackboxvoting.org/fraction-magic-1/
Fraction Magic – Part 1: Votes are being counted as fractions instead of as whole numbers ), and against the media that was complicit in covering up the crime of election theft by adjusting the exit polls to match the fraudulent voting machine counts which was found by Richard Charnin and Beth Clarkson ( http://showmethevotes.org/ ).

This is a Very Strong RICO lawsuit involving State and Federal Courts, involving current and past election crimes, that importantly involves ALL THE STATES, that means Illinois, Cub fans, for the collection of evidence to determine the correct vote counts, and delegate counts.

Arnebeck says that by the time of the Republican Convention which is before the Democratic Convention, that this RICO racketeering lawsuit will have changed history, and the minds of politicians and the public so that the true winner, Bernie Sanders, will be demanded. What a great legacy.

See the short video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IAJ5fAm3Cs
http://trustvote.org/

PROTECTING OUR ELECTIONS
Bob Fitrakis, Cliff Arnebeck and Lori Grace
………..

NYT, Ap and other media are reporting that Hillary has "clinched" the nomination. They, having jumped the shark, want to tell you how she did it. Now they can tell a judge how they did it because the media have been RICOed.

Attorney Cliff Arnebeck says it does not matter what the media says or Hillary Clinton says, the law, this RICO case will prevail. This will save our Democracy.

Today is a great day. Today is the beginning of getting our democracy back.

Thanks to all election integrity people who so trust regular people to create a better future for us all, that you fight for a democracy. What a great day.

snip

Please spread this important RICO event all around everywhere. Because, I think the media will have a hard time reporting that they have been sued for racketeering. We will have to report widely.

RUKidding , June 8, 2016 at 10:33 am

We're supposed to feel victorious that Maggie Thatcher, uh, Hillary Clinton allegedly "won" the D Primary all fair and square. To suggest that shenanigans happened means that I'm a putative Bernie Bro who is clearly clueless, stupid, worthless and should STFU.

Oh well. C'est la vie. Hillary was certainly bound to be inevitable this time around… by hook or by CROOK.

IMO, the PTB were much more worried about Bernie Sanders than Trump. Clinton? Eh, Hillary's their fair haired girl. The rightwing noise machine may vent and spew about Clinton, but pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. Clinton's the poodle of Wall St, the Hedgies, the MIC. CHA CHING!!

The masses can content themselves with the glass ceiling allegedly having been broken. Whoopee.

different clue , June 9, 2016 at 12:18 am

The TIFFANY glass ceiling. The Tiffany Glass Ceiling that Upper Class feminists of privilege want the rest of us to care about even though we are dealing with Cinder Block Ceilings of our own.

Pepe Aguglia , June 8, 2016 at 10:46 am

Although Bernie never had a chance of getting the nomination (not because he couldn't win enough votes but because the party would have never nominated him even if he had won every single state primary), he has performed a great public service by exposing what a sordid farce the Democratic party is. For this, I am eternally grateful to the Bernster. It is now clear for all to see, if there was any doubt previously, that We the People will never be able to overthrow the plutocracy until we drive a stake through the Democratic Party's heart and stick a fork in its bloated carcass.

YankeeFrank , June 8, 2016 at 11:07 am

Yes, the greatest betrayer of a cause is all too frequently the guy right next to you. The one who says he is on your side. The "liberals" were always going to be the revolution's most dangerous foes.

I visited that extremely mixed bag of a blog "lawyersgunsandmoney" yesterday just to see how they'd been covering the Dem primary and was not let down at all. They attempted to skewer Yves' politico piece with glib and snide inline comments that fell completely flat, but I think my favorite comment was when the author of the piece used Obama's recent words on expanding social security as proof that the Dem establishment is becoming more progressive. I mean, there is room for argument about tactics for moving the Dems to the left, but if we are going to pretend that Obama hasn't spent the past 7 years trying to gut social security in order to "save" it, and that his recent empty words signify anything more than a pathetic 11th hour attempt to get in front of the revolution and call it his parade, then our worldviews are just fundamentally irreconcilable.

jhallc , June 8, 2016 at 12:03 pm

I saw that yesterday and having never been to that site before and given the site's name, I had a very different expectation about it's leanings. I immediately realized they were shilling for Hillary. Wonder how Warren Zevon would feel about his lyrics being used for neoliberal propoganda.

YankeeFrank , June 8, 2016 at 2:27 pm

The site is definitely mixed tho, not all bad. What confuses me the most is their hostility to those who see incrementalism as a fraud, but I guess thats because they truly think its the only thing that works (history be damned). I remember I lost patience with them when they started celebrating Janet Yellen's appointment over Larry Summers. I pointed out that while she is better than him she is still a complete neoliberal tool and wont change anything. They couldn't handle that apparently. Honestly, when it comes to econ they don't know what they don't know. Its a major blind spot for them esp. given Obama's major betrayals have been economic.

Still, Erik Loomis' posts on labor history are very interesting.

NotoriousJ , June 8, 2016 at 11:23 pm

Zevon would not have been amused. However, he may have given permission to use his lesser known classic "my shit's fucked up" – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHDdqubE7zQ

Carla , June 8, 2016 at 11:48 am

"he has performed a great public service by exposing what a sordid farce the Democratic party is. For this, I am eternally grateful to the Bernster."

Not to take anything away from Bernie, but Obama has been doing this for the last seven and a half years!

Punxsutawney , June 8, 2016 at 12:32 pm

Indeed, the over the top TPP/TTIP shilling makes me want to puke.

Steve C , June 8, 2016 at 1:26 pm

But he's so smooth. And he's such a great husband and father. And he's friends with JayZee and Beyoncé. How could such a nice young man be lying to us about the TPP?

polecat , June 8, 2016 at 5:06 pm

nothing 'nice' about him, save his smooth, conniving words !

jfleni , June 8, 2016 at 4:07 pm

Although it's early yet, after the right, royal, hosing Bernie has gotten since he started, he should realize that Doctor Stein is progressing well on getting Greens on all state ballots, and consider carefully her offer to run with them.

A presidential election has much less room for the slimy tricks we have seen so much of, and the turd Democrats will be flushed down the toilet of history, as Bernie puts his program into action.

AnEducatedFool , June 8, 2016 at 11:03 am

I am still numb. My anger will come back later today but there is no effective outlet in this part of the country other than the internet.

Morning Joe was comparing Sanders to RFK especially after seeing the crowds in Puerto Rico then California. Instead of assassinating Sanders they simply stole the election. I think Sanders will pull a move similar to Jerry Brown in 1992.

It also looks like Warren will get the nod for VP so the Democrats can have two former Republicans running for President and the Libertarians will have two former Republicans and the Republicans will have a former Democrat running on their ticket.

I do not think that people realize that Elizabeth Warren is hated by dedicated Bernie supporters. Only a fraction of the 25% that say they will not vote for Clinton will change their mind based on Warren. Many others will vote for Stein, Johnson and in competitive states they may vote for Trump just to keep her out of office.

And the media, the fucking media, they are going to point to that absurd "foreign policy" speech as the turning point for Clinton.

pretzelattack , June 8, 2016 at 11:24 am

so if we want the closest thing to a democrat we have to vote republican? i'm so confused. i'm looking for somebody that didn't support reagan, the iraq war or the trade treaties.

Carla , June 8, 2016 at 11:50 am

Vote for Jill Stein.

pretzelattack , June 8, 2016 at 12:22 pm

she is the closest to me politically, but right now i'm thinking what is the most effective way to pry off the suckers of the vampire squid, and some of the criticisms of the green party i've read on nc make me wonder–long term we have to have another party, agreed. put me in the "8 more years of this neoliberal bullshit is a disaster" camp.

Optic , June 8, 2016 at 12:46 pm

I just started following this site a couple of days ago. I'm curious to hear what are some of the criticisms of the green party that have been voiced here.

redleg , June 8, 2016 at 12:55 pm

Very little downticket ground game, for starters.

flora , June 8, 2016 at 1:01 pm

In my state the Green Party isn't on the presidential ballot.
My state's recognized presidential parties are the Democratic Party, Libertarian Party, and Republican Party.

In my state the rules are:
"To obtain official recognition in[my state], party organizers must submit a petition that contains signatures of voters registered in the state and abides by the petition regulations outlined in [my state's] law. The total number of valid signatures required for a successful petition is equal to 2 percent of the total votes cast for all candidates for governor in the most recent general election for governor. …
"There are two requirements for recognized political parties to maintain their official status with the state. At each general election for national and state offices, parties must: (a) nominate a candidate for at least one office that is elected statewide (e.g., governor, commissioner of insurance or state treasurer), and (b) at least one such candidate of the party must receive at least 1 percent of the total votes cast in the election for that office…."

Voting for Stein as a write-in won't have any effect on the Green Party's viability as competitive party. There's a lot of dogged groundwork that would need to be done, that hasn't been done, and from what I see isn't being done in my state. Other states may have done that work and I'd love to see a Green elected to congress from one of those states, or elected to state office in one of those states.

Unorthodoxmarxist , June 8, 2016 at 1:29 pm

As a longtime Green, former candidate and professional campaign manager, I have to say that developing a "ground game" for downticket races is extremely difficult when you are not running as a Democrat/Republican and have little support from the professional orgs that usually provide cash or people (PACs/Labor). We've often done well with what we have, but until there's a serious break from the Dems and those people who have wasted their time for decades trying to reform that party come over to us in a serious way, the left will continue to spin its wheels.

bob , June 8, 2016 at 11:41 pm

The history of the greens is a good start for any reform minded individual. It shows just how much work is required, and where.

Hint- It ain't twitter.

Steve C , June 8, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Passage of instant runoff voting in Maine in November would be a sea change for the Greens and other third parties. Unless there is something wrong with this particular referendum, this is something NCers should follow and support.

jrs , June 8, 2016 at 3:03 pm

yes

lyman alpha blob , June 8, 2016 at 1:41 pm

Worked with the Greens in my state until I discovered that they were unorganized and corrupt. That last one was the deal-breaker for any further involvement from me. They'd cooperate with the right wing to stick it to the Dems which is a very stupid strategy if you're looking for more progressive outcomes. Stealing clean election funds to run unviable candidates didn't sit well with me either.

Carla , June 8, 2016 at 1:40 pm

Vote third parties to help them maintain ballot access. We're going to need them.

washunate , June 8, 2016 at 12:24 pm

The foreign policy speech is an interesting marker in another way, though. Through the primary season, there was some effort to downplay Clinton's hawkishness, to distance her from the neoconservatives, to ridicule Sanders on trying to make foreign policy distinctions.

That speech put that effort to rest. She openly embraced the war on terror specifically and the whole neoconservative interventionist mindset more generally.

Teejay , June 8, 2016 at 9:56 pm

I'm a "dedicated Bernie supporter" and I don't "hate" Warren. She's fandamtastic and it would be a colossal waste of her talent to have her VP.
She has far more power in the Senate than she would have as VP. Heh may be the abbreviation really stand for veal pen.

ladycurmudgeon , June 8, 2016 at 10:20 pm

I don't dislike Warren. I thought the reason they might pick her as VP candidate is to neutralize her. She is active in the Sen. VP goes to funerals.

different clue , June 9, 2016 at 12:23 am

I must not be a DEDicated Bernie supporter because Warren is not hated by me. I hope she stays in the Senate and keeps doing her focused work against certain FIRE sector perpetrators and cover-lending regulators.

It would be a shame if she accepted the VP nomination with Clinton. The SS Clinton is a ship I would rather see Warren NOT go down with.

Otis B Driftwood , June 9, 2016 at 8:53 am

I respect and admire Warren, but adding her to the ticket won't make a difference for me in November. Indeed, quite the opposite as she is/would be more effective as a senator than veep. #NeverTrump #NeverHIllary #NoneOfTheAbove

TheCatSaid (aka "TheCatSquid") , June 8, 2016 at 11:12 am

OMG, OMG, OMG. I've just watched this short video clip of Bev Harris explaining what was discovered in just recent months.

I've never heard the story in this way and seen the time line. It started by looking at local elections, and uncovered something HUGE in the last few months.

This affects thousands of voting jurisdictions in the USA. (And outside the USA, too–wherever this popular vote tabulating software is used, by a range of voting machine companies.)

And now we'll have to listen to political analysts trying to figure out why X candidate did so well or so poorly in location ABC. If you watch this video (and the other videos at the Fitrakis link above, too) you'll see that our election results do not necessarily have any relation to actual votes.

No matter how much I thought I knew about election irregularities, this is shocking . It is widespread . We should be talking about election fraud–and doing something about it–instead of wasting our time trying to understand what are fictionalized election results.

Edward Qubain , June 8, 2016 at 2:52 pm

After watching that disgusting video I feel like everyone should just publicly declare their votes and compare a public tally with the electronic voting results.

hunkerdown , June 8, 2016 at 4:40 pm

Blockchains are good for something.

TheCatSaid , June 8, 2016 at 8:43 pm

Preserving voter anonymity is important for a host of reasons. It's one of the reasons electronic voting is maybe impossible to do well.

What works well is hand-counting paper ballots in public (with multiple observers who are concerned citizens–not election staff) in the precinct location where they were cast. It's also really fast!

Another solution is to scan all the actual ballots at the voting precinct and make them available to the public online so anyone who wants to can count & check the results for themselves.

Receipts are worse than nothing–potential for selling your vote, and doesn't guarantee your vote was counted the same way it was cast. Any solution has to enable observers to monitor ALL the ballots, not just their own.

Lambert Strether , June 8, 2016 at 10:49 pm

All very true. The additional nice thing about hand counting paper ballots in public is that it's an opportunity for civic conviviality, at least afterward. I remember the Quebec referendum - 6 million population, votes counted in an evening, and some chicanery promptly exposed. Very much unlike this country!

Edward Qubain , June 8, 2016 at 10:58 pm

Ordinarily voting should be anonymous. I am thinking here about what citizens can do when they think their vote has been stolen and the crooked government will not investigate the problem. Where I live the voting is electronic and there is no paper ballot as far as I can tell. If, say, there was a precinct where there was evidence of cheating and the public wanted to do something they could attempt to compile a public tally of how people voted and compare it with the electronic results. Even an incomplete list could reveal a problem.

Edward Qubain , June 8, 2016 at 11:32 am

It is not obvious to me why fewer voting locations translates into a Clinton win. The locations would need to be chosen to favor Clinton voters over Sanders voters. More details are needed.

At the rate this sorry campaign is going, only millionaires and T.V. pundits will be able to vote.

Tertium Squid , June 8, 2016 at 11:47 am

This isn't Clinton v. Sanders anymore. This is about the sort of participation the party wants from American citizens.

flora , June 8, 2016 at 11:50 am

Clinton wins the early mail-in votes. Suppress the day-of votes to make sure the mail-in votes count the most. And if that still doesn't work stop the counting and have the MSM declare her the winnah!

flora , June 8, 2016 at 11:51 am

adding: first time voters almost never do mail-in voting.

TheCatSaid , June 8, 2016 at 12:38 pm

Also, mail-in / absentee ballots are one of the easiest ways to perpetrate fraud.

If you look at the Bev Harris clip, where she reads out the specifications of the coding job, they include attaching a unique bar code for every specific voter. (Strictly illegal but there you go.) The code allowing for weighting each race (and each voter, or each demographic–as specific as you like) makes it possible to weight multiple races across multiple districts in seconds .

The code in question is in use in the tabulating computers (the ones that accumulate the results from various machines and jurisdictions) all over the country.

Edward Qubain , June 8, 2016 at 1:19 pm

"…attaching a unique bar code for every specific voter"

Wow– so much for having an anonymous ballot.

Edward Qubain , June 8, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Hi flora,

That makes sense but is it enough to explain such a lopsided Clinton vote?

Arizona Slim , June 8, 2016 at 12:26 pm

That is what happened here in AZ. The Hillster won the mail-in votes and then there was massive suppression on primary day.

hunkerdown , June 8, 2016 at 3:07 pm

"Disqualify, defeat, put the Party back together later" - didn't think she meant us, did we?

TheCatSaid , June 8, 2016 at 8:49 pm

"It is not obvious to me why fewer voting locations translates into a Clinton win. The locations would need to be chosen to favor Clinton voters over Sanders voters."

Yes, that's exactly what happened. When voting machine numbers are reduced, it is done in carefully chosen locations to achieve a specific goal.

Ironically, the first time I tried to vote, as a university student, there were long lines and after more than an hour I had to leave because I had something that I could not miss. At the time I had no idea this kind of thing could have happened deliberately.

In the current primary, my mother showed up to vote and found out the voting location had changed, but she hadn't been notified. It was too late in the day for her to find out and get to the new location. It never occurred to her that this kind of thing could have been deliberate.

This kind of thing can be devastatingly effective. Puerto Rico is an exaggerated version of a tactic that's been used by both parties for 16 years or more.

TheCatSaid , June 8, 2016 at 8:54 pm

I should have clarified better. By reducing the machines most acutely in the poorest, most crowded areas Sanders' share of the vote was impacted more than Clinton's. I saw a video talking about this some days before the actual primary. The reduction in poll opening hours also impact the poorest voters the most, the implication being that those were the voters trending towards Sanders.

Lambert Strether , June 8, 2016 at 10:42 pm

"I saw a video." Oh.

different clue , June 9, 2016 at 12:30 am

For charges this severe about a problem this serious, we need to be able to demonstrate that the video you saw is a "real" video rather than an "O'keefe" video.

dc , June 8, 2016 at 1:23 pm

The Vulture Vote

NYPaul , June 8, 2016 at 3:20 pm

Not meant to be absurd or perfectly analogous,

but,

just as the National Socialist German Worker's Party couldn't be reformed

neither can

The Democrats or Republicans.

Walk away, start anew

Lambert Strether , June 8, 2016 at 3:43 pm

700,000 vs. 60,000?

Let it never be said the Democrat Party is not effective!

cassandra , June 8, 2016 at 4:04 pm

Although TheCatSaid mentioned him above, unsung but deserving investigative reporter Greg Palast , deserves mention on his own. In addition to the CA shenanigans, he has been documenting election fraud on a continuing basis for over a decade. Don't be put off by his sensationalist style. Many of his revelations are truly unique; see, for example, his comparison of BP's operations in the Caspian in Ajerbaijan with the Gulf of Mexico fiasco.

TheCatSaid , June 8, 2016 at 8:36 pm

You're right. Palast has done amazing investigative work on many crucial issues.
* His revelations about the fracking accidents in the Caspian that preceded the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf were damning (in order to get the license to drill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP had lied on its application by stating that they had not had any accidents)
* His uncovering of the deliberate negligence and economic interests that led to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina
* His detailed work on vote purging in Florida and elsewhere

His saucy style belies the devastating amount of detail he routinely uncovers.
And he is absolutely fearless.

Teejay , June 8, 2016 at 10:14 pm

I am put off my his sensationalistic style. It hurts his credibility. He covers important issues which I applaud him for. Sometimes I feel like I'm watching a Nick Danger sketch.

digi_owl , June 8, 2016 at 6:29 pm

The banana republic has come home to roost…

ballard , June 9, 2016 at 2:41 am

"What some people don't understand is that the privatization of the surveillance state, the collection of all your information like phone calls, emails, Tweets, comments online, communication in your car, communication in your home, Facebook turning on the mic on your phone so they can listen to you throughout the day… all this information is USED by someone.

One way they may use it, could be to figure out how you are going to vote. And that may determine whether or not your name is "mistakenly" left off a voter role when you go to cast your vote."

More from Scott Creighton on the California election fraud:

https://willyloman.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/california-election-fraud/

Luis E. Pacheco , June 9, 2016 at 5:59 pm

Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States. We cannot vote for the president. We have no vote in Congress, supposedly only 'voice'. So the very notion of participating in the primaries for people for whom we are not allowed to actually vote, is the height of hypocrisy.

[Jun 10, 2016] Lets make make the Democratic party pay for their neoliberal orientation, luxuriant insularity and hubris

Notable quotes:
"... If they focused on party building efforts that would result in actual political power - such as winning effective state legislative blocs outside their safety demographics (who don't show up for them as it is), or running a strong gubernatorial campaign in a state like, say, Oregon that garnered lots of attention from potential supporters, they'd be in a much stronger position to begin building more than a mixed medley of long-time dedicatees, but to attract (as Sanders has) progressive Democrats, Independents, and others to the prospect of a national party with something to show for itself. ..."
"... On the other hand, the threat of voting for Trump over Clinton, or simply not voting for Clinton, does send a very strong message that, if they fail to take it seriously, will instill the 'fear of God' in the party (as well as further seriously piss them off). ..."
"... Sitting still for corporate malfeasance is exactly the "bad faith" by which people are rejecting the Establishment candidates. ..."
"... I would suggest, as hunkerdown did, that Sanders should realize there's no honor among thieves. As per usual, the establishment often leverages a person's "integrity" for their own aims. ..."
"... Hillary is a murderer (by proxy of course), a liar, a receiver of bribes - the so-called "Queen of Chaos". That's not the sort of person you ever, in good conscience, support. ..."
"... Clinton is a predator and her operation exists to assimilate progressives like Sanders and his supporters by using their good intentions and faith in humanity against them. Installing his lieutenants on party platform committees or paying lip service to a $15 minimum wage is all in a day's work considering Clintonistas have no intention of following through on any ideological construct outside the ever increasing accumulation of wealth and power. ..."
"... If Sanders fights Trump and "supports" Hillary by raising his own money for downticket Dems like Canova, and in addition does stuff like stumping against fracking and for single payer in Colorado, that might not be so bad. ..."
"... I think that Yves also made a superb point in her essay - those of us who have been reading NC have developed a far more sophisticated (I would even say 'principled') opposition to the kind of neoliberal incrementalism that Clinton personifies. ..."
"... "Incrementalism" -> "excrementalism." Fixed it for ya. ..."
"... Yeah Obama pretty much laid the once potent "but… the Supreme Court ZMOG!!!" argument to rest for good when he nominated a Republican. I mean what's even the point of voting Democrat at this juncture? ..."
"... A Clinton candidacy would be toxic for Dem. candidates down the whole ballot. Hillary is trying to win over scared/disgusted republicans to vote for a corporatist anti-Trump, despite their years of anti-Clinton conditioning. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com
DaGraDix
Relax, you're not being attacked, you don't need to accuse Yves of hypocrisy just because she disagrees with you over reasons she provided.

Initially, back in 2014, when Bernie began publicly floating the idea of a presidential run, my thought was that it would be more beneficial for progressive issues if he remained in the Senate. His campaign has radically altered that opinion.

However, compare what Sanders has accomplished with the prospect of a Green party alternative. What Yves is proposing is building precisely the kind of foundation that Sanders has, that has allowed him to build a threateningly effective campaign. Sanders has a long and strong record of legislative achievements, and it showcases his moral compass and political acumen. The Green party has no national legislative record, they have no major state-level achievements (the environmentalist movement does), and they don't have a national party organization.

It is politically very possible for the Green party to win 1 or 2 seats in the Senate, in places that favor them (northwest, northeast). If the Green party dedicated themselves to electoral victories that put party members on the national stage, and if they took a page from Bernie's legislative playbook, getting workable legislation in as amendments to larger bills, then they would have a basis for persuading voters that they are an actual alternative. If they focused on party building efforts that would result in actual political power - such as winning effective state legislative blocs outside their safety demographics (who don't show up for them as it is), or running a strong gubernatorial campaign in a state like, say, Oregon that garnered lots of attention from potential supporters, they'd be in a much stronger position to begin building more than a mixed medley of long-time dedicatees, but to attract (as Sanders has) progressive Democrats, Independents, and others to the prospect of a national party with something to show for itself.

This isn't selling out to the status quo, nor is separate from building out of Bernie's campaign a resilient and persisting political bloc. It can be a very important part of that. I don't read Yves' critique as perpetuating a self-fulfilling prophecy of defeatism, but as pointing out what the Green party should do to begin to change the status quo. Isn't it defeatist to just vote for a party that can't possibly win in the state it currently exists in? On the other hand, the threat of voting for Trump over Clinton, or simply not voting for Clinton, does send a very strong message that, if they fail to take it seriously, will instill the 'fear of God' in the party (as well as further seriously piss them off).

I live in California. I am voting for Bernie next week. I will not vote for Hillary if she's the nominee in the General. I'll vote for Jill Stein, but I know that that will be little more than a symbolic protest vote. I disagree with the Rumsfeldian framed argument that it is a less risky bet to support the putatively unknown unknown and make the Democratic party pay for their luxuriant insularity and hubris. However - as that is the way Politico edited the message of Yves' article - I understand and respect the argument.

You don't need to accept "lesser evilism" in order to put forward a sensible critique and proposal for a party that doesn't have a real chance at this point.

hunkerdown

Sitting still for corporate malfeasance is exactly the "bad faith" by which people are rejecting the Establishment candidates. I'd suggest taking account of the bad faith of the Democratic National Committee and other Party organs in dealing with him, no more than a token of satisfice, and going his own way to defeat Trump without providing aid or comfort to Hillary.

openvista, June 3, 2016 at 11:35 am

I would suggest, as hunkerdown did, that Sanders should realize there's no honor among thieves. As per usual, the establishment often leverages a person's "integrity" for their own aims.

Hillary is a murderer (by proxy of course), a liar, a receiver of bribes - the so-called "Queen of Chaos". That's not the sort of person you ever, in good conscience, support.

That's not to say Trump is preferable. If the binary choice is lose-lose, isn't it possible to have more than one enemy in a given Presidential election?

openvista, June 5, 2016 at 10:36 am

I agree that Sanders is the rarest of forms, a sincere politician. I don't see ambition or graft behind any motivation of his to support Clinton, assuming that's the outcome. At worst, it would be naivety.

If we take him at his word, he thinks of Clinton as a decent public servant with differing ideas. Perhaps, he's less sincere than we think. But, assuming that is his take on her, he has greatly under-estimated his adversary and that can only end badly for him at least as far as the nomination is concerned.

Clinton is a predator and her operation exists to assimilate progressives like Sanders and his supporters by using their good intentions and faith in humanity against them. Installing his lieutenants on party platform committees or paying lip service to a $15 minimum wage is all in a day's work considering Clintonistas have no intention of following through on any ideological construct outside the ever increasing accumulation of wealth and power.


Lambert Strether, June 3, 2016 at 10:51 pm

If Sanders fights Trump and "supports" Hillary by raising his own money for downticket Dems like Canova, and in addition does stuff like stumping against fracking and for single payer in Colorado, that might not be so bad.

I can see scenarios where Clinton, from her corrupt perspective, will rue the day that Sanders "supported" her. And if they try to muzzle him, that won't work out real well.


Steeeve, June 2, 2016 at 11:59 am

I will continue to support and hopefully vote for Bernie Sanders. In the event he's not the nominee I will happily vote for Jill Stein as I did in 2012 – she has the strongest platform – similar to Sanders but including what I consider to be a fundamental requirement to win my vote: "End the wars and drone attacks, cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases that are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire." I was initially reluctant to support Sanders for the lack of inclusion of a plank along these lines. Ending quagmires is at least a step in the right direction. But a conversation about economic injustice is severely lacking without a strong statement on the MIC such as Stein's.


Liz Buiocchi, June 2, 2016 at 11:55 am

The only way that gridlock will end is with Sanders in the White House, at least one branch of Congress in Democratic hands, and members of the other house sufficiently scared of voters that they try to represent the interests of the 99%–in other words, a revolution. I don't know how that happens with the media so complicit in the "Hillary is the nominee" narrative, but I can hope.

I'm another 50-something white life-long liberal who has come to the conclusion that voting for Trump is the lesser of some great evils. I'm somewhat relieved to know that I'm not the only one–it feels like it goes against everything I stand for, but I just can't vote for Clinton, nor will I refuse to vote in protest.

HotFlash, June 2, 2016 at 3:26 pm

A-yup. Trump at least says (or said on at least one occasion) that we should get out of the Middle East. Which makes him better than Hillary. And he has not *to date* committed any war crimes (I have standards, and one of them is that I will not vote for a war criminal).

But I still don't understand why it has to come down to Trump or Hillary. Can't we just have Bernie?

DWBartoo, June 3, 2016 at 9:30 am

One wonders, Watt4Bob, should Trump emerge triumphant as President-elect, just how long it would take for the Clintons and other neoliberal Democrats to suck up to him? Hillary would have us believe that she considers Trump evil incarnate even as Clinton's daughter and Trump's daughter are friends … who, very likely, do not see the others parent(s) as any sort or kind of meaningful threat or existential danger.

One is certain that the Clinton team, if Trump wins, will find the means and the "intestinal fortitude" to "work"with him for the bettterment of incrementalism everywhere.

Frankly, a Trump presidency would offer the Democratic party a most wonderful opportunity to reveal "where" the party really, and actually "stands" … and what they really are willing to "stand" and fight for … somehow I doubt that genuine humanity and actual reason would stand much of a chance against continuing, perpetual war and continued "security dominance", as foreign and domestic policy preference.

The essential purpose of "public service", in the United States of Depravity, today, is to enrich oneself and protect the Divine Right of Money.

DW

willnadauld, June 2, 2016 at 8:55 pm

White working class, almost college educated here. Reading almost exclusively Yves for eight years. I feel I owe Yves,Lambert and the regular posters here a giant thank you for giving me a viable perspective from which to judge the actions of politicians, and the complicit media in destroying democracy completely. I inhabit the bubble of truth that you folks create, and I am greatly disturbed by the comments at politico. I understand generalized stupidity, and laziness, but the complete disconnect from reality I encounter whenever I venture from my truth bubble still amazes me. People have forgotten how to read, and how to think. I like Bernie. I will vote Trump over Biden in November. Elizabeth would never sell us all that far down the river. Shes kind of like team blues Paul Ryan that way. What the hell, maybe Michelle should run.

Roger Smith, June 2, 2016 at 11:41 pm

Seconded, one of the reasons. I've always scoffed at the "we're going downhill" or general end times mentality, favoring instead that it was just moving laterally and depressingly, but this season and the environment this site provides has helped me see the frailty of this society. It is fragile, we are approaching a point of no return, and people still won't read the damn signs.


Pat, June 2, 2016 at 10:54 am

One of the reasons con games are successful beyond the greed of humans is that people do not like to admit they have been fooled/taken in/played. Denial is deeply ingrained in humans.

My own personal observation is that her most zealous of supporters are either the newest converts or the ones desperately trying to avoid their growing realization that they have been a patsy. I really do believe we are seeing a whole lot of the latter among the reactions to ideas like this article or questions like 'where is your evidence that Trump is more evil than Clinton? I can list the following things that are actual actions by Clinton along with HER ever shifting rhetoric, you can list what?'

Vatch, June 2, 2016 at 11:22 am

Obama fooled me in 2008, so I voted Green in 2012. I will not let either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump fool me in 2016, and although I still hope that somehow Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic nominee, I expect to vote Green again in 2016.

readerOfTeaLeaves, June 2, 2016 at 1:10 pm

I didn't read the comments, but you may want to consider that a good portion of them may very well be from paid commenters. I think that Yves and Lambert look dimly on such practices.

I think that Yves also made a superb point in her essay - those of us who have been reading NC have developed a far more sophisticated (I would even say 'principled') opposition to the kind of neoliberal incrementalism that Clinton personifies.

Hence, the Politico commenters don't grasp the economic fraud and bogus theories that are driving a lot of public policy disasters. On the upside, even my electrician and manufacturing relatives have started asking some very probing questions about economics in the US.

Lambert Strether, June 2, 2016 at 2:41 pm

"Incrementalism" -> "excrementalism." Fixed it for ya.

Phil, June 6, 2016 at 5:56 am

Since the IMF's "Neoliberalism Oversold" a few weeks ago I've been watching google trends for neoliberalism some increase, which is good. Also amusing that VT is the state that searches that the most. http://www.google.com/trends/explore?hl=en-US&q=/m/0n29_&geo=US&cmpt=q&tz=Etc/GMT%2B5&tz=Etc/GMT%2B5&content=1

Kurt Sperry, June 2, 2016 at 5:05 pm

Yeah Obama pretty much laid the once potent "but… the Supreme Court ZMOG!!!" argument to rest for good when he nominated a Republican. I mean what's even the point of voting Democrat at this juncture? They hate their base, and swoon over billionaires and Republicans. I'd probably be cheering on the Republican to humiliate Clinton on if it weren't Trump, and even as much as I despise Trump I hardly care whether he or Hillary wins. That's how horrible the Democrats are now.

Skip Intro, June 3, 2016 at 3:49 am

You are not alone. A Clinton candidacy would be toxic for Dem. candidates down the whole ballot. Hillary is trying to win over scared/disgusted republicans to vote for a corporatist anti-Trump, despite their years of anti-Clinton conditioning. Meanwhile the democrats stay home and progressive independents stay home and a new generation of Americans learn powerlessness.

[Jun 09, 2016] The Guardian

Notable quotes:
"... "Defiant leftwinger" is a bit rich. "Defiant leftwinger" only in relation to an artificially skewed spectrum represented by Fox News, Casino Trump, and a corporate funded neoliberal nominee toeing a rightwing foreign policy line. ..."
"... Bernie Sanders is a social democrat in the tradition of FDR whose policies are centrist in relation to other industrialised nations. ..."
"... He has focused on four planks he wants in the Democratic Party platform: the creation of an economy that works for all citizens, breaking up the five "too-big-to-fail" banks, a carbon tax to address climate change, and a single-payer healthcare system. ..."
"... Of course Bernie needs to stay. Hillary is under FBI investigation. If she ends up in an orange pantsuit in the big house Bernie will look very stupid and basically has thrown out over 200 mio. dollars which is the amount he has spent on his campaign so far. Given to him by his supporters. It is his duty to them to stay in. ..."
"... " the Guardian are stuck in the old, failed new Labour/Lib Dem politics and do everything to undermine him.( Corbyn )" ..."
"... The Clinton camp is attempting to pressure Sanders to force him out before the convention to make sure that doesn't happen. The Sanders camp is just following the rules and playing fairly. ..."
"... Britain began its retreat from this post WWII social democracy in 1979, 37 years ago when Thatcher took over. The essentially neo-liberal agenda has been actively pursued by every government since then - Thatcher-Major-Blair-Brown - and indeed has accelerated under Cameron. ..."
"... There is nothing to indicate that the average american will be worse off with Trump in office as opposed to Clinton. That's how far to the right her actual policies are. Not the crap she claims, but the stuff she has been doing for the past 20 years. Spare us the scaremongering. If you wanted to vote for a republican, why would you do so under the "Democratic party" banner? ..."
"... People wonder why there is such animosity towards Americans. You support a woman for president whilst disregarding her most vile traits as a joke? Clinton is a real danger towards the Middle East and that is partly because of her warmongering and absolute support for Israel, wrong or right. There are girls in Sirte, Libya currently being used as sex slaves by ISIS who may think your not so funny. ..."
"... "He tapped into deeply held sentiments about a rigged economy and a broken political system, and built a mass movement of people who believe we can do better and demand solutions that match the scale of the crises." Corbyn has the same agenda in the UK and given the internecine struggle in the Tory Party has an even better chance of winning in 2020. Pity that progressive newspapers like the Guardian are stuck in the old, failed new Labour/Lib Dem politics and do everything to undermine him. ..."
"... And, who knows, elsewhere could possibly prove better - your guess is as good as mine. Clinton is neo-liberal establishment through-and-through. The darling of the global capitalist corporations. ..."
"... Yes, what is wrong with the idiots? Why don't they just lie on their backs and surrender to the neo-liberalist elite? ..."
"... Just a few years ago Americans prised themselves from an unelected monster, G. W. Bush - he and his monster crowd being the key architects/facilitators of the current economic woes and mayhem in the middle east. That's pretty well indisputable. People can try to dispute it but they are flat out wrong and they know it. So given that, why would America now want to place another monster in power? ..."
"... Funny, cancer works this way on the human organism confusing the immune system so much that the body thinks a tumour is okay, a genuine part of the body. Until it's too late. ..."
"... So the American presidential race is down to a contest between the supporter of Oligarchy (Clinton) and the Oligarch (Trump). Of course this would never lead you to believe that American politics serves only the Oligarchy and funds only their candidates. ..."
"... Dems are only about 29% of registered voters, btw, so that is 6% of 29% of voters backing her right now. Yep. Trump has a good chance of winning against that - a write-in campaign for a soggy loaf of bread has a good chance of winning against that. ..."
"... You really don't get what created Trump's opportunity do you, its the same that has seen a new options becoming a political force throughout Europe, its ever & constant growth of disenchantment with the Clinton's, Cameron's & the rest of the political establishment.......sadly the US people need Sanders far more than he needs them of so it would seem. ..."
"... It is no longer "God Bless America". It's "God Help America". With the choice of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Bill (Mr. Zippy) Clinton is already interviewing the interns and glad that he can now get Cuban cigars. From President to "First Man". Remember " I did not have sexual relations with this woman." Just a Blow Job. ..."
"... However they must take a leaf out of the Tea Party's book and start getting their candidates elected as State and congress candidates. There is no point in having a radical president and a reactionary congress. ..."
"... No, those who propped up the corrupt Hitlery, knowing full-well that the system is rigged and the super delegates are bought and paid for, are to blame. ..."
"... Republicans have more of a spine than the Hitlery voters, because they voted for who they actually wanted, not who they were told to. ..."
"... Bernie is an Independent, he should run as one. F*ck Clinton and f*ck the DNC. ..."
"... The 67-year-old Democratic front-runner has been "frequently plagued" by "blinding headaches" and a series of strokes over the course of the campaign which have left her second-guessing her chances of winning in 2016, says the upcoming book "Unlikeable - The Problem with Hillary." ..."
"... The Democrat Party is controlled by the Right and the the representatives at [almost] all levels appear untouchable. The key to the future, not just for Sanders but for the Left he has mobilised, will be in opening up the Party to democracy and accountability. ..."
"... It is truly depressing that the democrats had the chance to put a decent trustworthy person in the White House but instead opted for Clinton, who represents the interests of Wall Street and the Party of Perpetual War. By opting for her they have handed the keys to the repulsive Trump. ..."
"... For decades tens of millions of Americans who are left politically on major issues (whether they identify as "left-wing" or not) have voted for politicians who have carried water for Wall Street, the Pentagon, and the national security apparatus--often more effectively than the Republicans they depict themselves as the progressive alternative to. Every four years we're told "yes, X Democrat is a corporate-backed, warmongering stooge, but look at how horrible Y Republican is! If you don't vote for the Democrat you're voting for the Republican!" It's the same scare tactics year after year after year--and year after year the political center of gravity shifts further to the right. This is the anatomy of our demise. Finally, millions that have for years dutifully voted for the corporate, warmongering pseudo-progressive stooge with the (D) next to his name are waking up and saying to the Democrats: Try to win without out us you corporate scum! ..."
"... Money buys power - always has; always will. Read 'Clinton Ca$h'. Or just read something besides MSM. ..."
"... I'm not saying that there are not people who fully support her (and Obama's) IMF/World Bank/USAID/Clinton Foundation approach to international development and international trade, her center aisle approach to use of armed force, her (and Obama's) preference for private insurance based health reform, her approach to Haiti ..."
"... Remember!, it wasn't all sweetness and light under warmonger Hillary. C. ..."
"... "save America" - if Clinton or Trump gets into the White House, NOTHING will save America! ..."
"... "In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA" ..."
"... ISIS was not reversed in Syria until Russia became involved, and they were in full decline within a month. Years of Obama's war against them and they expanded to holding 80% of Syria , and beyond. ..."
www.theguardian.com


greven -> truebluetah 9 Jun 2016 04:53

There is a difference isn't it? The Clintons are career politicians who have amassed a bigger fortune than Trump (and they are not the only ones that's become wealthy representing corporations) Bernie has amassed a few hundred thousand from a life in politics representing the voters.


gottliebvera 9 Jun 2016 04:53

Keep going, Bernie...keep tweaking at their conscience. Besides, it isn't over until the fat lady has sung.


Celtiberico 9 Jun 2016 04:52

Well, if they can reshape US politics, the world will owe them a lot.


SoxmisUK -> Shelfunit 9 Jun 2016 04:50

Compared to all the vile insults, conspiracy theory wailing and holy-than-thou posts by Sanders supporters over the last few months it's nothing

Let me amend that for you: "Compared to all the vile insults, conspiracy theory wailing and holy-than-thou posts by Clinton's supporters over the last few months it's nothing.."

There. Fixed.

Not true in either case, as one has been as bad as the other, but good to see you sticking your British oar in where it's clearly not wanted. You shit-stir enough for the Tories here in the UK.


WhigInterpretation 9 Jun 2016 04:50

"Defiant leftwinger" is a bit rich. "Defiant leftwinger" only in relation to an artificially skewed spectrum represented by Fox News, Casino Trump, and a corporate funded neoliberal nominee toeing a rightwing foreign policy line.

Bernie Sanders is a social democrat in the tradition of FDR whose policies are centrist in relation to other industrialised nations.

He has focused on four planks he wants in the Democratic Party platform: the creation of an economy that works for all citizens, breaking up the five "too-big-to-fail" banks, a carbon tax to address climate change, and a single-payer healthcare system.


Victorious1 -> Herr_Settembrini 9 Jun 2016 04:50

Sorry, but you cannot compare Ron Paul to Sanders and say they have little to show. One ran for many years and despite his sincerity and common sense came nowhere being nominated at any point in time and the other started a political revolution in his first run as nominee, drawing tens of thousands in crowds, more individual contributions than ever before and incredibly nearly won the nomination and probably would have done if he wasn't largely ignored by the media and the superdelegates weren't a bunch of establishment corrupt cronies.


ungruntled -> killedbydrones 9 Jun 2016 04:47

The election isnt over until the Party congress.
In politics people often lie
A bunch of folk have said they will vote one way........but they may vote another(they may have been lying, or they may just change their minds.)
When the dust settles, and a few more wobbly polls are applied, it may transpire Clinton has no chance against Trump.
In which case Clinton could easily be shown the VP's seat
or...........
Seeing as there is little difference between Dems and Repubs, they might put the top heads of each party together in a room and dream up some other staretegy to screw over the American people.
Clinton might get arrested
The possibilities are pretty endless
But the next POTUS is yet to be chosen
And Bernie is fighting on, just because he can. He isnt playing the stupid "I will bow out gracefully to keep the party together" bollocks because the party needs to be blown apart. Democracy in the USA is a joke.
Its all about who can buy the power, and Clinton and Trump are living proof of that fact.
Sanders sees that as corrupt and unnaceptable to the American people, (so do I) and anything he can do to upset the apple cart/gravy train, is fine with me


Ummmmm -> Suckspencil 9 Jun 2016 04:41

I agree with a fair amount of what you're saying, but with all due respect, you're missing the point, which is that what Sanders is proposing is eminently affordable for any developed nation. The Czech Republic, Greece, Norway, Sweden and Estonia, among others, do, I believe, provide free higher education. If Estonia, why not the US?

As things stand, most of Europe still has a healthcare system free at the point of delivery. Europe has more stringent climate legislation than the US. That's one of the reasons that TTIP poses such a threat.

And you'll find that the Callaghan government was ahead of the Thatcher government that followed it in retreating from post WWII social democracy: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/cabinetpapers/themes/sterling-devalued-imf-loan.htm


fedback 9 Jun 2016 04:37

Of course Bernie needs to stay. Hillary is under FBI investigation. If she ends up in an orange pantsuit in the big house Bernie will look very stupid and basically has thrown out over 200 mio. dollars which is the amount he has spent on his campaign so far. Given to him by his supporters. It is his duty to them to stay in.

ID6512838 -> Herr_Settembrini 9 Jun 2016 04:35

corporations will just do business elsewhere (especially in emergent markets like India and China). The result will be a relative decline in living standards for the lower and middle classes in the U.S. (good bye cheap kitchen appliances, cellular phones, and big screen tvs) and a further erosion in jobs.

Corporations do business where the consumers. The USA is going to be a consumer society for many more years - they have been trained over many years to consume more and more.


HNS1684 9 Jun 2016 04:30

As I said before: the very fact that Clinton has only "won" VERY NARROWLY in New Mexico,Nevada, South Dakota, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts and probably other states as well, the fact Bernie got nearly half the votes in these states, means that there is STILL at least some hope left for Bernie Sanders.


ArchibaldLeach 9 Jun 2016 04:30

Sanders campaign did a lot to move Hilary to the left but it's not enough. He needs to start moving from his campaign to building a grassroots liberal activist movement. (Not just supporting people who endorsed him). My hope is that the next Democratic nominee will be more liberal. Sanders showed us that liberalism is alive and well and he brought crucial issues to the debate that were being ignored.


snakeatzoes kirby1 9 Jun 2016 04:30

" the Guardian are stuck in the old, failed new Labour/Lib Dem politics and do everything to undermine him.( Corbyn )"

The latest, yesterday, in the middle of the Euro debate, was an astonishing attack by Blair, who clearly is about to" have his collar felt " over Iraq .


aaronpeacock 9 Jun 2016 04:30

what a load... it's a bitter pill and no one wants to eat it.

Clinton supporters have done little to nothing in the way of policy/platform inclusion, and the general election means she will pivot to the right shortly, where she always lived anyway.

It's going to take yet another cycle of right-wing idiocy, it seems, before the Democrats will realize that pushing a strong left/liberal candidate is what's required for electoral success. Get ready for a President Trump.


Lagasse 9 Jun 2016 04:29

Right now the delegate count stands at 2,178 to 1,810. Neither can get enough in the final primary to clinch the nomination. It has to go to the convention for a decision, therefore. Either candidate could be given the nomination at the convention, per DNC rules.

The Clinton camp is attempting to pressure Sanders to force him out before the convention to make sure that doesn't happen. The Sanders camp is just following the rules and playing fairly.


SoxmisUK -> Deborah Holloway 9 Jun 2016 04:27

That's twice you've posted that. Trolling for some reason? The only reason Bernie lost was that Clinton got a massive head start from the DLC as part of the institution and she was married to a former president.

If Sanders had another 3 months (Possibly much less..) he'd have wiped the floor with her and re-written politics in the USA. You can crow all you wish now, but the truth is come the next time around there will be a popular vote that stands firmly on the foundations Sanders has (Quite remarkably..) built.


ianiles -> kirby1 9 Jun 2016 04:26

The Guardian has become increasingly less progressive ever since the Scott Trust became the Scott Trust Limited


Suckspencil Ummmmm 9 Jun 2016 04:26

what Sanders proposes is no more than bog-standard, post WWII social democracy - the sort of infrastructure that most of the rest of the developed world has enjoyed for the past seven decades

Britain began its retreat from this post WWII social democracy in 1979, 37 years ago when Thatcher took over. The essentially neo-liberal agenda has been actively pursued by every government since then - Thatcher-Major-Blair-Brown - and indeed has accelerated under Cameron.

These are the issues which Sanders has campaigned on:

getting big money out of politics, his plan to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, combating climate change and ensuring universal healthcare,"

I wonder if Ummmmm could remind me which of those we still have in the UK. The struggle must continue here as well, I think. I wouldn't mind a bit of Sanders' "crazed pipe dream".

Ziontrain -> anemag 9 Jun 2016 04:24

There is nothing to indicate that the average american will be worse off with Trump in office as opposed to Clinton. That's how far to the right her actual policies are. Not the crap she claims, but the stuff she has been doing for the past 20 years.

Spare us the scaremongering. If you wanted to vote for a republican, why would you do so under the "Democratic party" banner?

p0winc -> Ummmmm 9 Jun 2016 04:22

Completely agree. What he wants to implement is what the rest of us take as ordinary and for granted. 643,000 People in the states went bankrupt from Medical bills last year. He has however started something unique in the states, showing it's possible to fund and at times out fund the political establishment from individual small donations and not have to compromise on policies.

Bookseeker -> snakeatzoes 9 Jun 2016 04:22

'La Lucha Continua' was also a slogan used by the CNT on its 100th anniversary.

JayJ66 -> R. Ben Madison 9 Jun 2016 04:21

People wonder why there is such animosity towards Americans. You support a woman for president whilst disregarding her most vile traits as a joke? Clinton is a real danger towards the Middle East and that is partly because of her warmongering and absolute support for Israel, wrong or right. There are girls in Sirte, Libya currently being used as sex slaves by ISIS who may think your not so funny.

kirby1 9 Jun 2016 04:20

"He tapped into deeply held sentiments about a rigged economy and a broken political system, and built a mass movement of people who believe we can do better and demand solutions that match the scale of the crises." Corbyn has the same agenda in the UK and given the internecine struggle in the Tory Party has an even better chance of winning in 2020. Pity that progressive newspapers like the Guardian are stuck in the old, failed new Labour/Lib Dem politics and do everything to undermine him.

chrisdix15 9 Jun 2016 04:18

Trump and Clinton are a double headed coin. I would hope Sanders keeps himself away from either but ensures his supporters vote for neither - don't join the Corrupters Bernie, but stay where you are and keep the struggle going within Congress to show that both Trump and Clinton mean and do the same things. Only doing this will ensure people see a real alternative to the strait-jacket the Democrat/Republican parties stand for. The struggle has only just begun.


ryanpatrick9192 -> fedback 9 Jun 2016 04:39

If Hillary is indicted then that does not make Bernie the nominee by default. The superdelegates can still back Clinton and let her pick a replacement they approve of. Why would they choose Bernie? He doesnt have enouh support to win a general election. Trunp got more votes in the primary than Bernie for crying out loud.


Suckspencil -> Shotcricket 9 Jun 2016 04:35

How could you, even in jest, suggest such a thing possible? We in the West, are blessed to be led by fearless god-fearing moderates who believe in justice, peace, equality and the rule of law. Shame on you!

Suckspencil -> Cleggatemyhamster 9 Jun 2016 04:31

And, who knows, elsewhere could possibly prove better - your guess is as good as mine. Clinton is neo-liberal establishment through-and-through. The darling of the global capitalist corporations.


Suckspencil -> twiglette 9 Jun 2016 04:30

Yes, what is wrong with the idiots? Why don't they just lie on their backs and surrender to the neo-liberalist elite?


BruceRobbie 9 Jun 2016 04:15

Despite this dreadful situation one thing remains, Sanders and Trump supporters simply do not TRUST Clinton to deliver on her promises and she needs them to trust her if she is to get people go out and to vote for her. Voting requires effort for many people, and if they don't believe, they will simply stay at home on Election Day. In which case Clinton will lose, because a majority of Americans actually don't like her.

She is also perceived by a large numbers of Americans as little more than a Manager of the American nation; the leaders, the CEOs of America, sit in board rooms of corporate America waiting for their "manager" to deliver on their investment in her campaign.

Due to her untrustworthiness and serpentine character, Sanders has wisely shifted his efforts to Congress and the Senate, so that Clinton if elected, is held to account for electoral promises, Clinton is adept at avoiding difficult situation, emails and Goldman Speeches, and will try to wriggle out of any commitment if her leaders deem it necessary. She and the DNC have fought a disgraceful, campaign of deceit, corrupt electoral practise and voter suppression. So when she spouts her Democratic rhetoric in the coming months, her words will ring hollow as a drum. Good luck America, I fear you're going to need it as your choice of leader this time around truly is the lesser of two evils.


LouisianaAlba 9 Jun 2016 04:13

The story foisted upon us so far in this electoral cycle is a reasonably but not very complicated narrative - a few players strutting, ranting and pouting about the country in a predictable plot. In keeping with this predictability let's keep any analysis simple - fairytale level. Let's talk about monsters.

Just a few years ago Americans prised themselves from an unelected monster, G. W. Bush - he and his monster crowd being the key architects/facilitators of the current economic woes and mayhem in the middle east. That's pretty well indisputable. People can try to dispute it but they are flat out wrong and they know it.

So given that, why would America now want to place another monster in power?

Another age of the political monster is looming. Two loom over the world in the coming battle, with a third in the wings by marriage who wants another shot at power as well, the man who signed away the last threads of Glass Steagall's legal powers.

What is it with Americans and their love affair with these political monsters? Can't Americans choose a good and decent human being who cares for the people and the country. A person who doesn't treat the country and the world as fools.

Even on the money front, it can be so simple, as economists often say - a confident happy people can lead to economic prosperity. It won't guarantee it I concede and I won't trade arguments on government or no government intervention, but a happy people is a better bet for a good economy than the opposite. Keeping it all at the fairytale level of course. Treating people well leads them to be disposed, motivated towards treating others well. Most times. Okay then there is psychopathology and the narrative gets complicated.

But the simple truth is - the simple story has been hijacked because a simple story is too easily managed and a country easily managed is not so easily fooled. And if you can't fool a country and the world, it is not so easy to get away with complicated crimes. Which is the usual way a monster gets away with them or gets to be rich, complicating things so much we aren't aware fast enough to stop any of it. Then after we know we are so beaten down and weakened we're simply not strong or ready enough to fix blame where it belongs.

Funny, cancer works this way on the human organism confusing the immune system so much that the body thinks a tumour is okay, a genuine part of the body. Until it's too late.


NickDaGeek
9 Jun 2016 04:13

So the American presidential race is down to a contest between the supporter of Oligarchy (Clinton) and the Oligarch (Trump). Of course this would never lead you to believe that American politics serves only the Oligarchy and funds only their candidates.

God help us if Trump wins and the idiots in Whitehall sign up to TTIP. If that happens Brexit will swap Brussels for Washington and we will still be a vassal state of a huge power block run by tax avoiding globalist monopoly capitalists.

Lagasse -> MrBrownley 9 Jun 2016 04:13

the large majority who didn't vote for him

Where did that happen? Democratic primary turnout has been around 11%. So far she's got about 6% of Dem voters, meaning that around 94% of registered Dems that could have voted for her, didn't.

Dems are only about 29% of registered voters, btw, so that is 6% of 29% of voters backing her right now. Yep. Trump has a good chance of winning against that - a write-in campaign for a soggy loaf of bread has a good chance of winning against that.

She polls terribly with the largest group of registered voters: Independent (however Sanders does quite well).

Meanwhile, the GOP has had higher primary turnouts. More votes were cast in their primaries even though there are fewer registered Rep voters.

GOP voters are fired up while Dem voters aren't fired up to vote for an unpopular, DNC-annointed candidate - that's a recipe for losing, ask Martha Coakley.

Clinton and her supporters better up their games and quick.


Shotcricket -> pucksfriend 9 Jun 2016 04:10

You really don't get what created Trump's opportunity do you, its the same that has seen a new options becoming a political force throughout Europe, its ever & constant growth of disenchantment with the Clinton's, Cameron's & the rest of the political establishment.......sadly the US people need Sanders far more than he needs them of so it would seem.

Clinton is the old way, Sanders is the new way...the irony of that should not be lost on anyone.


SonOfFredTheBadman 9 Jun 2016 04:10

It is no longer "God Bless America". It's "God Help America". With the choice of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Bill (Mr. Zippy) Clinton is already interviewing the interns and glad that he can now get Cuban cigars. From President to "First Man". Remember " I did not have sexual relations with this woman." Just a Blow Job.


ga gamba 9 Jun 2016 04:09

Shrewd move by Sanders, I think. Many believe that Clinton will veer sharply to the right when she nominated and campaigns for the general election. Withholding an endorsement until late October keeps her honest; if she backtracks on her "progressive" promises made during the primaries Sanders can endorse Jill Stein. In a sense, Sanders is the conscience Clinton doesn't possess.

He said it was a revolution, so Clinton and her supporters shouldn't be surprised that he's using revolutionary tactics.


Oudeis1 -> fahkingobserving 9 Jun 2016 04:09

I thank you -primarily for you actually typing-out your rationale. Mere 'carping' is the more common response to my posts, thanks again - for processing and expounding.
And yes, I know enough of American Football to appreciate your analogy.

On the Green invitation to Sanders: I have been aware of this for some time. I'm sure that it is sincere, I'm also certain that it was a little too soon.
Sanders does indeed know much about US Politics, and his conduct throughout this contest has been consistent enough for most observers to discern a clear pattern:
-His ideas are more important to him that his personal success.
-His 'read' on the electoral niceties, possibilities, probabilities and 'desirabilities' is sagacious.
-His initiation of his campaign by way of the Democrat Party is entirely logical.
-A firm commitment from the DNC & HRC on some of his more important policy-planks would allow him to conclude that his job was (well) done. And to then advise his supporters to get behind the renewed and revitalized HRC ticket.

Personally, inline with my own take on these things, Senator Sanders will not concede without (firm & meaningful) concessions. Should no such concessions be forthcoming...
He may then - if this is how things pan out, turn to his supporters for their opinion, or 'knowing' full well there likely response, turn directly to the Greens and add Jill Stein to his then Independent ticket, and run as a third option.
These last two options represent at least as much chance of the defeat of Trump, and very likely more chance of doing that, than his caving-in (selling his soul) to the DNC.
-Yes, I am aware that Sanders has firmly denied that he has any wish at all to run as a third option - this stance is both inline with his desire to see the Democrat Party turn away from the neoliberal/Republican-lite present and his overall objective of getting his policies promoted in November.
However: Nobody can promote the fundamentals of US Democracy and then deny them.

MajorRoadRage -> abdul maulud 9 Jun 2016 04:05

I would rather see Trump in office and see Hillary's supporters endure the same punishment as if we had all voted for her to begin with. Hillary is in it for herself and her corporate sponsors. So if I'm gonna be screwed, so will Hillary supporters, even with mountains of evidence available that she is NOT the candidate to run for presidency people still smile and nod their heads with complacency. Wake up and smell the corruption.

Bitty31985 -> powellscribe 9 Jun 2016 04:08

As I said; if you want some one to blame , blame the media and the DNC. I am never wasting my vote on the lesser of two evils ever again. You WILL never ever convince me to do otherwise. I vote for who I BELIEVE IN. Good luck trying to guilt people into supporting that sociopath.


wiseowler 9 Jun 2016 04:06

If Sanders can get people who support his core radical progressive changes onto key Democratic committees and positions of power, plus get support at the convention for these policies then he may be bale to set in train a transformation of the Democratic Party and the possibility of a real change candidate winning the next election.

However they must take a leaf out of the Tea Party's book and start getting their candidates elected as State and congress candidates. There is no point in having a radical president and a reactionary congress.

If he can achieve this then maybe his momentum can help transform the Clinton campaign - which is in sore need of some radical and youthful energy if she is to defeat Trump

artvandalay316 -> abdul maulud 9 Jun 2016 04:01

No, those who propped up the corrupt Hitlery, knowing full-well that the system is rigged and the super delegates are bought and paid for, are to blame. Spineless cowards who would rather tow the establishment line and never see any real change than vote for something a bit different for once. The most amusing thing is, the Republicans have more of a spine than the Hitlery voters, because they voted for who they actually wanted, not who they were told to.

Shotcricket 9 Jun 2016 03:57

"Sanders will discuss a wide range of issues, including getting big money out of politics, his plan to make public colleges and universities tuition-free, combating climate change and ensuring universal healthcare"

Almost The Guardian mantra of many a year

And yet The Guardian has been pro Clinton throughout the nomination campaign.....& very negative toward Sanders, just what does The Guardian believe in, other than the longevity of the political establishment ?


SilverTui 9 Jun 2016 03:45

L.A. County Supervisors Demand Answers Day After CBS2 Investigation Uncovers Deceased Voters Casting Ballots

so this is how Clinton won California - zombies

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2016/05/24/l-a-county-board-of-supervisors-demand-answers-day-after-cbs2-investigation-uncovers-deceased-voters-casting-ballots/


Virginia Fast -> gaiayceleste 9 Jun 2016 03:29

How can people believe their vote counts when it is opposed by endless money, lies and manipulation ? For example, how could the media make free tuition, last signed into law, by Abe Lincoln and existing in California until a couple of decades ago, seem strange ? And it's normal in all other countries as a matter of course. I cannot believe you can have that debt at such a young age and manage. It seems the last economic conflict exploited by capitalism is conflict--which should not be--is between old people and young people. Young people more and more are excluded from that American economic leveler, education.


blackerdog -> StephenChin 9 Jun 2016 03:20

The super delegates are all full paid up members of the establishment that's why Clinton get their vote.
She won't win against Tump, she has blood on her hands legal problems and can't control her own house never mind the lives of hundreds of millions.
Trump is a buffoon but he hasn't been bought. Middle America won't vote for her.


Flugler -> Virginia Fast 9 Jun 2016 03:18

Bill Clinton stripped the social security fund dry and used it to balance the budgets. Americans retiring in the near future are screwed. Cheers bill.


Virginia Fast -> Flugler 9 Jun 2016 03:14

With Clinton putting Hubby in charge of financial affairs, better get ready to bail out the banks and lose whatever you managed to keep last time. If only the fools who voted for them suffered !

It's a nightmare of endless war and homeless filling th streets. More of the same forever and ever.......the future as igtmare


Mynameistoocommon -> turn1eft 9 Jun 2016 02:50

If this were true the FBI should get the hell on with it and not play political games. It is certainly not any of their concern whether Clinton could be pardoned by Obama (which would surely kill her campaign in any event). Since she is innocent until proven guilty, the suspicion that the investigation places over her is itself damaging. If it could ever be proven that the FBI had deliberately taken their time in order to prolong the doubt, before clearing her, that would be a very serious allegation. I can't really see why they would bother though.


JK1875 9 Jun 2016 02:50

Bernie is an Independent, he should run as one. F*ck Clinton and f*ck the DNC.


robinvp11 -> Highgatecemetry 9 Jun 2016 02:47

I lived in the US for twelve years. Bernie Sanders is not a 'socialist;' in the UK, he'd be a Tory - not entirely sure where. Maybe liberal Tory but on a lot of things, he'd be to the right ie his views on guns (yes, he's pro-limited control but he buys into the NRA idea that it's 'mental health' issue).


trow 9 Jun 2016 02:46

Clinton was not elected she was appointed by so called super delegates .The election process was exposed as a farce .


turn1eft 9 Jun 2016 02:44

Sanders is only hanging on because the FBI have said they will prosecute Hillary on treason and racketeering.

Which sound strange to our ears. But racketeering was revived during the 1920s and treason during the Cold War.

Clintons email server didnt just include top secret documents illegally it also included information about illegal donations from foreign backers.

I think the FBI are undecided whether to press charges now - with a high chance Obama will pardon her - or press charges after the election in November when she will be spending the rest of her life dealing with this case.


ShaneFromMelbourne saddam 9 Jun 2016 02:43

Under Obama's watch:
Too big to fail banks....they're even BIGGER
1.5 Quadrillion dollar derivatives market that scares the shit out of even the hedge funds.
Dodd-Frank Act that has loopholes you could drive a truck through.
Unemployment still out of the park (as if anyone believes the BS statistic of 4.9%)
The US economy is still so shit the the Fed can't increase interest rates (that's right, there will be no interest rate hike this year or the next)
8 years hasn't improved much.....


qelt17 -> Aquarius9 9 Jun 2016 02:38

The 67-year-old Democratic front-runner has been "frequently plagued" by "blinding headaches" and a series of strokes over the course of the campaign which have left her second-guessing her chances of winning in 2016, says the upcoming book "Unlikeable - The Problem with Hillary."
http://nypost.com/2015/09/22/hillary-is-dealing-with-mounting-health-issues-new-book-claims/


FrankLeeSpeaking -> Mea Mea 9 Jun 2016 02:26

You must be a Killkary feminist. Sanders has deep rooted integrity and a fire to make the US a better place, unlike Killary ready to make the next killing, physically and financially speaking.


SilverTui 9 Jun 2016 02:15

A well funded and organised exit poll, which included mail in ballots, had a deficit of 16 percent from the reported results in California.

A deficit of 2 percent is sufficient to trigger an official investigation in Denmark.

Just saying.

https://public.tableau.com/profile/paulmitche11#!/vizhome/CapitolWeeklyDemPresidentialPrimaryAVExitPoll/USDEMPRIM

Also millions of California independents were given "placebo" affidavit ballots, that are not counted.


passtherockplease -> davidlen 9 Jun 2016 02:14

I believe we are already there. I think it will be very close but Trump will win -- republican tend to vote for their 'side' no matter whom it is. Those of us on the left seem to like purity, more than getting power to get things done. It is why These people only come out at Presidential elections forgetting there are three branches to governing in the US, Check out off year voting patterns GOP vote numbers stay firm. Democrats less so it is why there is no Democratic control senate and house and the house, well that is lost at least until the next census.

Go look at things like Young Turks and the like. They really think Clinton is worse than Trump.


gwynnechris -> Dennis25 9 Jun 2016 02:13

Lessor 'evilism' argument don't work. Trump may have different style, but politically/economically he's similar to Clinton. (Technically he's not a Fascist. He does not have bullyboys physically attacking left-wing/Trade Union meetings. eg Germany 1930's). I guess many people in USA want something different to Corporate dominance; which I believe will require a Labour Party formed from the Trade Unions. So Trump gets elected. Big deal. People will soon see their mistake and change. Politics has moved beyond the illusionary middle-ground as the election of Jeremy Corbyn indicates.


queequeg7 9 Jun 2016 01:52

The Democrat Party is controlled by the Right and the the representatives at [almost] all levels appear untouchable. The key to the future, not just for Sanders but for the Left he has mobilised, will be in opening up the Party to democracy and accountability.

In much the same way as Corbyn's election must make Labour MPs and Councillors more accountable to the Party membership, so Sanders' campaign must now find a way of challenging both the individuals and the process.


eastbayradical 9 Jun 2016 01:51

Here some wondrous policies and initiative enacted or supported by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama during their presidencies, almost all of which Hillary Clinton supports:

--Deregulation of telecom and finance
--The Omnibus Crime Bill
--The sanctions regime against Iraq (which killed 500,000 Iraqi children)
--NAFTA
--CAFTA
--TPP
--Fracking
--The objectively-racist death penalty
--Don't Ask, Don't Tell
--The Defense of Marriage Act
--Historic levels of repression against whistle-blowers
--Preservation of Bush-era tax cuts on the rich
--Expansion of NSA spying
--Years of foot-dragging on climate change
--Support for Israeli atrocities
--Support for the right-wing coup in Honduras
--Support for fraudulent election in Haiti
--Support for the Saudi dictatorship
--Support for a 31 cents/hour minimum wage (and against attempts to raise it)
--Arctic Drilling
--$1 trillion 20 year modernization of nuclear weapons arsenal
--Historically high numbers of deportations
--Drone missile strikes that kill large numbers of civilian an inflame anti-US hatred
--Health care reform that fortifies the power of the insurance cartel
--The bail-out of Wall Street


eastbayradical -> MikaelRogers 9 Jun 2016 01:48

Mikael supports the candidate that has backed the destruction of welfare, the private prison industry, the objectively-racist death penalty, fortification of the police state, deregulation of investment banks, NAFTA, the Iraq War, the bombing of Libya, the right-wing coup in Honduras, Israel's starvation blockade and blitzkrieg of Gaza, and the fight against raising the minimum wage in Haiti from 30 cents/hour to 60 cents/hour--all policies from which non-white people hav disproportionately suffered--yet every chance she gets, Mikael accuses the Sanders' campaign and supporters of being the racists.


Nietzschestache 9 Jun 2016 01:37

It is truly depressing that the democrats had the chance to put a decent trustworthy person in the White House but instead opted for Clinton, who represents the interests of Wall Street and the Party of Perpetual War. By opting for her they have handed the keys to the repulsive Trump.


Guest Oo -> saddam 9 Jun 2016 01:30

If Bernie took in all the BIG MONEY like the corrupt politicians, he would accomplished a lot more for the oligarchy and corporations and forget the people. He would also be a multi-millionaire by now.

Bernie chose the route to have a government for the PEOPLE and that does not work anymore. Majority of the corrupt Democrat voters chose a GOVERNMENT FOR THE CORPORATIONS by voting for Hillary.


johnnyhacket NigelRG 9 Jun 2016 01:29

The lesser of two evils is an argument that holds no water.
Read this for a different perspective I do not agree with it all but it will make a change from all the Trump is evil you must vote HRC stuff that is coming our way .
http:// https://off-guardian.org/2016/06/06/the-myth-of-the-spoiler-why-the-machine-elites-fear-democracy/www .


eastbayradical HilltopRide 9 Jun 2016 01:25

For decades tens of millions of Americans who are left politically on major issues (whether they identify as "left-wing" or not) have voted for politicians who have carried water for Wall Street, the Pentagon, and the national security apparatus--often more effectively than the Republicans they depict themselves as the progressive alternative to.

Every four years we're told "yes, X Democrat is a corporate-backed, warmongering stooge, but look at how horrible Y Republican is! If you don't vote for the Democrat you're voting for the Republican!" It's the same scare tactics year after year after year--and year after year the political center of gravity shifts further to the right. This is the anatomy of our demise.

Finally, millions that have for years dutifully voted for the corporate, warmongering pseudo-progressive stooge with the (D) next to his name are waking up and saying to the Democrats: Try to win without out us you corporate scum!


joeblow9999 -> saddam 9 Jun 2016 01:16

Hilly's accomplishments?

Iraq War
Setting the stage for ISIS
Kicking off the next Cold War

She is a sham.


Jill McLean 9 Jun 2016 01:15

What I don't get is everyone's surprise. Just one example: A $29 billion deal with Saudi Arabia goes down, and the Clinton Foundation gets a $10 mil contribution. What kind of payback could Bernie get for petitioning for 'equal rights'? Come one, people. Money buys power - always has; always will. Read 'Clinton Ca$h'. Or just read something besides MSM.


duncandunnit 9 Jun 2016 01:03

Hillary Clinton is a warmongering she devil, that will only ever work with problems rather than solutions. She will be very happy for the usa to continue selling billions of dollars of weapons to wasabi jihadists at saudi instruction (which caused the European refugee crisis), she will continue the usa track record of the usa sticking in puppet presidentas into countries denying them democracy. She will continue the usa using propaganda as a weapon.


sammy3110 9 Jun 2016 00:48

After Hillary's coronation, I'll change my registration from D to I, and I hope others will consider doing the same. I'm not leaving the D Party, the D Party has left me.


ynnej1964 -> garth25 9 Jun 2016 00:42

I have to wonder. Among my pro-Clinton friends the dominant arguments were a) her 'qualification' b) it's time for a woman c) Bernie is less qualified, and so to chose him over hillary might indicate unconscious sexism.

I'm not saying that there are not people who fully support her (and Obama's) IMF/World Bank/USAID/Clinton Foundation approach to international development and international trade, her center aisle approach to use of armed force, her (and Obama's) preference for private insurance based health reform, her approach to Haiti , but I don't think that is why my clinton friends supported her. I can't speak for all. But i'd say these are more things they would forgive her for, rather than their first choice on policy.


daWOID -> eastbayradical 9 Jun 2016 00:36

Sorry, friend, I happen to know a good deal about voter fraud in New York State, where I worked for a few decades as Inspector of Elections. Don't know much about California. So here's what I can contribute:

a) In New York State at least, provisional ballots are exactly the joke you describe. All it takes is a poll worker who doesn't like your looks and they'll pretend they can't find you on the rolls and why don't you simply fill out a provisional ballot?

b) And of course the provisional ballots never get counted, because to have your ballot counted you would have to go before a judge to determine whether or not you were rightly denied your vote.

c) The amount of voter fraud and voter suppression perpetrated in the Democratic Primary this year has surpassed anything I've ever seen in my lifetime, excepting my work during the Civil Rights Era, where it was just as bad but considerably less sophisticated. So is it likely that the same applied in California? Well, duh...


macktan894 9 Jun 2016 00:32

These are crucial issues that most people have repeatedly bitched about over the years in these forums. It makes no sense to plunge kids into bankruptcy and lifelong debt with outrageous fees and interest rates who are tying to get an education. We have seniors whose social security checks are being garnished because they still owe on college loans. We have people who are afraid to see a doctor or go to an emergency room, even though they pay yearly escalating premiums, because they fear the debt it will trigger. Yet Elected Officials seem only able to act when it comes to Endless Wars and surveillance; no problem spending trillions on defense, just don't ask them to spend it on the American people lest they feel entitled.

I'm hardly surprised that the Status Quo wants Bernie to just shut up and disappear. Who's lauding him for running a campaign financed by people who voted for him, not by corporations and billionaires? And I'll continue to donate to him because he is the people's lobbyist. Go, Bernie!


GigabitG 9 Jun 2016 00:31

So is the Guardian arguing that Clinton fought a fair campaign? Really? Try a little harder please, you know full well that Clinton hobbled Sanders at every step. Throughout this campaign the Guardian has chosen to ignore all the reports of widespread disenfranchisement and polling irregularities that prevented millions of Sanders supporters from voting and instead lazily point to the inevitability of Clinton. Depressing news from a complicit Guardian.


RogersRoy ChrisD58 9 Jun 2016 00:29

Sad to see Sanders ego and self delusion providing even more opportunity for the monster that is Trump

Remember!, it wasn't all sweetness and light under warmonger Hillary. C.

The Republican & Democrat DNA is within 1% of each other. These parties have loads of Corporate corrupt White House monsters.

When our governments; the White House and their British Parliamentary lackeys use our taxes to pay their terrorists to overthrow legitimate sovereign countries and their elected leaders and organise assassinations then I say; it's high time this incompetent maverick nonsense stopped!!.

I Refuse To Pay These Illegal Bills.


eastbayradical 9 Jun 2016 00:07

Both my wife and I registered as Democrats in California in the last month.

My wife received a ballot in the mail but she was still listed as a Green. When she went to the precinct to vote she was given a provisional ballot that allowed her to vote in the Democratic primary. I just asked her if her name was on the voter rolls and she said she doesn't know, that the precinct workers "didn't know what they were doing, they just gave me a provisional ballot."

Unlike my wife I did receive confirmation that I had been registered as a Democrat and I received a ballot with the Democratic primary choices on it. Despite getting the ballot in the mail I wanted to vote at the precinct. I found when I got to the precinct that my name wasn't listed on voter rolls. The precinct worker recommended that I vote by provisional ballot, which I didn't like the idea of. I decided to fill out my ballot at the precinct and I was told to put it into a blue bag with a slot on the top. The precinct worker assured me that my ballot would be counted.

Journalist Greg Palast reports that provisional ballots, like the one my wife voted with, are essentially "placebo ballots"--that a very large percentage of them are never counted. He additionally reports that there are hundreds of thousands of provisional ballots in California that have yet to be counted. There is every reason to believe that provisional ballots, since they're given to newly-registered voters, were disproportionately given to Sanders' voters like my wife. Palast also reports that very large numbers of voters found that there names were not on voting rolls when they went to vote. It would seem that this would also disproportionately affect newly-registered voters.

On top of all this, there are many thousands of ballots that were sent on Monday and Tuesday that have yet to be counted.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this matter? Is Greg Palast wrong about provisional ballots? Are all the votes going to be counted? I'm happy to hear the thoughts of people who think that Palast is full of shit, so long as they're actually engaging in thinking.


Janosik53 -> sandi78 8 Jun 2016 23:55

Published May 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton for months has downplayed the FBI investigation into her private email server and practices as a mere "security inquiry."

But when asked Wednesday about Clinton's characterization of the bureau's probe, FBI Director James Comey said he doesn't know what "security inquiry" means -- adding, "We're conducting an investigation. … That's what we do."

Hillary Clinton is a pathological liar.


iammaynard -> drpage1 8 Jun 2016 23:38

Your leaders, Clinton and Obama created ISIS

I wish I had the middle east figured out as well as you got it. If you understand the causes so clearly, when will you be bringing your solutions? Those must obviously as clear to you, yes?


Carenshare -> Annie Rainier 8 Jun 2016 23:31

Re: Your points.....

"bags" - Both Clintons drag around more baggage than American Airlines
"old man" - Sanders isn't much older than Clinton
"God" - There is no God
"save America" - if Clinton or Trump gets into the White House, NOTHING will save America!

But 'Good Luck' anyways!


Girl 8 Jun 2016 23:27

Super delegates don't count until the convention... The Guardian has aided the fruad and been a champion for the DNC...Hillary is goin' down, either the e mails, the clinton foundation, or Trump, she is done...


drpage1 -> nevesone 8 Jun 2016 23:19

Your leaders, Clinton and Obama created ISIS. Here is a clue:

http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-cia-pentagon-isis-20160327-story.html

"In Syria, militias armed by the Pentagon fight those armed by the CIA"

"...a string of embarrassing setbacks which included recruits being ambushed and handing over much of their U.S.-issued ammunition and trucks to an Al Qaeda affiliate."

ISIS was not reversed in Syria until Russia became involved, and they were in full decline within a month. Years of Obama's war against them and they expanded to holding 80% of Syria , and beyond.


DesertPear -> Jared Hall 8 Jun 2016 23:06

The US Military-Industrial Complex is possibly the largest user of fossil fuels in the world and the information is not transparent nor available. We absolutely must turn away from war as a solution if we are to slow climate change! And the only way to change the military is to get money out of politics.


mbidding -> notmurdoch 8 Jun 2016 21:34

Student financial aid is not extremely generous in the US and generally does not cover the full cost of tuition at modestly priced state schools, let alone books. Loans, of course, are available, but financial aid is nothing like it was before Reagan gutted federal financial aid in the eighties and the states started divesting from their public universities at the same time.

[Jun 07, 2016] Symbolic End To Farcical Democratic Primary Anonymous Super-Delegates Declare Winner Through Media Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... "Any night that you have a primary or caucus, and the media lumps the superdelegates in-that they basically polled by calling them up and saying who are you supporting -- they don't vote until the convention. And so, they shouldn't be included in any count." ..."
"... Yet the AP and other media continued to do so. Why? It's just blatant bias from the ostensibly neutral mainstream media for the status quo candidate Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... This is a paper that's supposed to represent and inform Californians. There's only one word that comes to mind: disgusting . Particularly so when you see the polling numbers for independents in California: ..."
"... Superdelegates exist solely to manipulate voters through the media. Something that has happened consistently throughout the primary. ..."
www.zerohedge.com
Jun 7, 2016 4:25 PM Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

I bet this poll had a lot to do with the decision to call democratic race for Hillary. They're scared. #VoteBernie pic.twitter.com/lSFP7ZG1T8

- Christie Sparrow (@sparrows1981) June 7, 2016

Last night, Associated Press – on a day when nobody voted – surprised everyone by abruptly declaring the Democratic Party primary over and Hillary Clinton the victor. The decree, issued the night before the California primary in which polls show Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a very close race, was based on the media organization's survey of "superdelegates": the Democratic Party's 720 insiders, corporate donors and officials whose votes for the presidential nominee count the same as the actually elected delegates. AP claims that superdelegates who had not previously announced their intentions privately told AP reporters that they intend to vote for Clinton, bringing her over the threshold. AP is concealing the identity of the decisive superdelegates who said this.

This is the perfect symbolic ending to the Democratic Party primary: The nomination is consecrated by a media organization, on a day when nobody voted, based on secret discussions with anonymous establishment insiders and donors whose identities the media organization – incredibly – conceals. The decisive edifice of superdelegates is itself anti-democratic and inherently corrupt: designed to prevent actual voters from making choices that the party establishment dislikes. But for a party run by insiders and funded by corporate interests, it's only fitting that their nomination process ends with such an ignominious, awkward and undemocratic sputter.

That the Democratic Party nominating process is declared to be over in such an uninspiring, secretive, and elite-driven manner is perfectly symbolic of what the party, and its likely nominee, actually is. The one positive aspect, though significant, is symbolic, while the actual substance – rallying behind a Wall-Street-funded, status-quo-perpetuating, multi-millionaire militarist – is grim in the extreme. The Democratic Party got exactly the ending it deserved.

– Glenn Greenwald, writing at The Intercept

Last night, the American public witnessed the most egregious example of mainstream media malpractice of my lifetime. By declaring Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee based on the pledges of superdelegates who have not voted, and will not vote until the convention on July 25th, the Associated Press performed a huge disservice to American democracy on the eve of a major primary day, in which voters from the most populous state in the union (amongst others) head to the polls. If you are a U.S. citizen and you aren't outraged by this, there's something seriously wrong with you.

In this post, I have three objectives. First, I will set the stage by explaining how incredibly sleazy the move by the AP was. Second, I will outline the preposterous and unjustifiable nature of having superdelegates in the first place. Third, I will attempt to convince all true Bernie Sanders supporters to commit themselves to never supporting Hillary Clinton. Let's get started.

1. Journalistic Malpractice

Let's start with the Associated Press , which I have lost every single ounce of respect for. The "news" organization is now the most discredited entity in journalism as an result of what it did. Some are excusing its public betrayed as merely "trying to get a scoop" and call the race over before the other networks on Tuesday night. Personally, I think that's only a small factor in what happened.

I've noticed for months now, that the AP from the very beginning was including super delegates in a way that was intentionally misleading. For example, this is how the graphics to their "delegate tracker" appear:

Notice that the big, bold numbers to the left representing the total, includes superdelegates who have not yet voted. There can be absolutely no doubt that the AP is being intentionally misleading by doing this, and is committing journalistic malpractice. How can I be so sure? Let's take a look at this video clip from CNN aired earlier this year.

As you saw, Luis Miranda, the Communications Director at the Democratic National Committee, specifically told Jake Tapper that it is wrong to include superdelegates in the tally total for the Democratic primary. There can be no other interpretation. He said:

"Any night that you have a primary or caucus, and the media lumps the superdelegates in-that they basically polled by calling them up and saying who are you supporting -- they don't vote until the convention. And so, they shouldn't be included in any count."

Yet the AP and other media continued to do so. Why? It's just blatant bias from the ostensibly neutral mainstream media for the status quo candidate Hillary Clinton.

That should be enough to turn the U.S. population away from these organizations forever. Yet there's more. In calling the nomination for Hillary, the Associated Press had to get commitments from a few more super delegates. They achieved that feat yesterday evening (mind you, they still haven't actually voted), and they kept the names anonymous. Yes, you read that right.

Of course, it wasn't just the AP , it was virtually all mainstream media proclaiming the same thing in a unified chorus. Indeed, they seemed to relish in it. Particularly inexcusable was reporting from the LA Times. As Wall Street on Parade noted :

Particularly outrageous was the unethical conduct of the largest newspapers in California, where 1.5 million new voters have registered since January 1. California is an open primary, meaning Independents can vote. That fact, together with the massive new voter registrations and the tens of thousands who have turned out for Sanders' rallies, was signaling a potential upset for Clinton in the state. That would not only be embarrassing but could lead to defections among the superdelegates prior to the Convention in July.

The Los Angeles Times, which calls itself "the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 1.4 million," was one of the most egregious in their reporting. After running the headline "Hillary Clinton Clinches Nomination in a Historic First," it then ran an article that asked in the headline: "After AP calls nomination for Clinton, will voters still turn out Tuesday?"

This is a paper that's supposed to represent and inform Californians. There's only one word that comes to mind: disgusting . Particularly so when you see the polling numbers for independents in California:

So let's recap. The Associated Press and virtually all other mainstream media declared Hillary Clinton the winner of the Democratic primary on the eve of a huge voting day with 694 pledged delegates at stake. They declared her the winner on a day in which no American primaries or caucuses were held, and via word of mouth from a handful of anonymous superdelegates. I don't know what to call that, but it's certainly not journalism.

2. Superdelegates as a Concept is Preposterous

I've read all the arguments and spin and there's simply no reasonable justification for having superdelegates other than to manipulate the voting public via "delegate tracker" graphics such as what is used by the AP in order to always show Hillary Clinton with a big lead irrespective what's actually happening on the ground. While Clinton has certainly won more pledged delegates thus far, the voting public has been intentionally manipulated from day one via the use of superdelegates.

As the Sanders campaign pointed out last night:

Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination. She will be dependent on superdelegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then. They include more than 400 superdelegates, who endorsed Secretary Clinton 10 months before the first caucuses and primaries and long before any other candidate was in the race.

Think about that for a second. 400 superdelegates pledged their loyalty to Hillary 10 months before any voters had a chance to make their opinions heard. These superdelegates have not switched based on the desires of the voters in their states, and their early loyalty oaths allowed the media to manipulate the public from day one by including these lopsided figures.

How lopsided are they? With a vast majority of the primaries completed, here's the math.

Pledged delegates

Clinton: 1,812
Sanders: 1,521

Superdelegates

Clinton: 571
Sanders: 48

Anyone else see a problem with that? While Clinton still has a comfortable lead in pledged delegates, she is slaughtering him in superdelegates. We can draw two important conclusions from this reality.

  1. Superdelegates do not proportionately represent the will of the voters.
  2. Superdelegates exist solely to manipulate voters through the media. Something that has happened consistently throughout the primary.

The fact that superdelegates exist solely to manipulate voters should be perfectly clear at this point. Perfect proof of this can be seen in the incomprehensible answer DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz gave to why they exists:

[Jun 03, 2016] The Wall Street Journal had an article yesterday saying that Hillary might not be the nominee

Notable quotes:
"... The Wall Street Journal had an article yesterday saying that Hillary might not be the nominee, ..."
"... For damn sure parachuting someone in ahead of him in line would be the death of the Democratic party, and good riddance. And good riddance to Al Gore, who wouldn't even fight his own election battle. He's as fake a standard bearer as Elizabeth Warren. ..."
"... Plus Bernie supporters don't support Bernie because he's a Democrat, they support him because of what he is campaigning about. A replacement head bolted onto the decapitated Clinton campaign would never in a zillion years be for anything Sanders is for, and… we're not stupid enough to believe it would be. ..."
"... This is surely the year the skull beneath the skin of both political parties gets revealed. ..."
"... Several months ago I was having a political discussion with my youngest brother and he asked me what my best and worst case scenarios were. I told him that the best case scenario was the implosion of both legacy parties. The worst case scenario was some sort of constitutional crisis emerging. I had negligently never considered the possibility that both could occur. ..."
"... This is about jobs. The DNC employs a whole slew of Beltway careerists, both directly and indirectly, who will be out of a job if Sanders becomes President. These careerists believe that they are entitled to the jobs they hold, and that someone like Sanders should never be allowed to take their jobs away. There is a great debate going on right now about how the American people can be lied to, and told that it's not about these jobs, but is rather "for the good of the country". But do not be fooled. It is about these jobs. ..."
"... Now THOSE are the sort of entitlements that I'd like to see done away with !! Let the careerists live on the street …… in appliance boxes, for all I care ……it would serve them right ! ..."
"... The idea that the Dems think they are still a force to reckon with when less than one-third of the voters self-identify as a Dem is ludicrous. ..."
"... less than one-third of the voters self-identify as a Dem ..."
"... Yes, and something else. Half the country doesn't vote, which means the Democrats comprise about one-sixth of eligible voters, with Republicans even fewer. Which means that one-third of the population controls the only two viable political vehicles in the country. ..."
"... Our political duopoly represents just a tiny slice of the spectrum. This is an ultra-conservative system designed to ensure stability in a well-functioning democratic republic that is responsive to the people. But we now live in an oligarchy and our hijacked, corrupted political duoploly only serves the oligarchs. ..."
"... I see much of American politics since the mid-20th as a struggle between two philosophies (or extremes) of the ruling and wealthy elite. One advocates a "squeeze the proles until they bleed to death" approach, while the other is smart enough to realize, "we need them happy enough to prevent violent revolution, or they'll try to kill us all, which is bad for business". And the former approach has gained too much ground, so we're seeing the public heating towards their boiling point. ..."
"... With the ruling classes' reluctance to yield any of their ever-growing, ever-concentrated wealth to the masses, I worry that they'll try war as a distraction next. The War on Terror has mostly flopped by this point, but it can be used as stage setting for what comes next. Either a "real" war against China and/or Russia, or an orders of magnitude upswing in domestic terrorism and strife. (I wonder who would be good for getting such violence started, without tarnishing the reputation of the ruling class even further…) ..."
"... Trump's problem are his negatives, which are so extreme that only Hillary Clinton could compete on that field, and secondly the likely ephemerallity of the outsider status his whole persona is marketed on. As he is embraced by the GOP establishment, his outsider appeal will become smothered by its embrace. ..."
"... Meanwhile, there's someone for whom millions of people have actually cast a ballot, and those people are going to lose their sh!t if Debbie Wasserman Schultz tries to pull off a coup and toss Sanders on the trash heap. ..."
"... Her pardoning herself is the only real protection she can count on. Obama has a legacy as such as it is. He can't handle blanket pardons, and the House will be GOP regardless (here's to DWS and Pelosi). They will investigate the Clintons regardless of who the next President is. ..."
"... It may be that the FBI has a digital image of that boil from the backup copy of the server that Platte River (seems to have) accidentally put in the cloud. ..."
"... Don't miss "Brexit: The Movie" Should be mandatory watching for every politician around the globe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYqzcqDtL3k ..."
"... Short vid of Jill Stein making way to much sense. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NjkCfjU-FY&feature=youtu.be ..."
"... In fact, I had to show them polls of Bernie beating Trump by a way wider margin than Hillary to convince them otherwise. That just goes to show you how successful the Clinton PR machine (not to mention a complicit media) has been at pushing her narrative. Even if people want Bernie to win and strongly dislike her, the general feeling seems to be that she is inevitable. ..."
"... That assumes the AG declined to prosecute, or otherwise blocked the charges. That doesn't clear HRC, so no double jeopardy. What's to stop a Republican House and Senate from conducting their own investigation (starting with evidence leaked by the FBI) and impeaching her? ..."
"... Beware, he speaks with forked tongue!! He never says what he means, nor means what he says. ..."
"... Look, Bernie sees the problem and offers solutions. Trump just sees the problem. Hillary denies that a problem even exists. ..."
"... Well, on Diane Reem today (NPR) was a discussion on why fascist parties are growing in Europe. Both Cohen and the clowns on NPR missed the forest for the trees. The reason Trump and Sanders are doing well in the US while fascists are doing well in Europe is the same reason: neoliberalism has gutted, or is in the process of gutting, societies. ..."
"... The US and NATO destabilize countries with the intent of stealing their resources and protecting their markets, cause massive refugee flows which strain social structures in Europe (which falls right into the hands of the gutters and cutters of neoliberalism). Of course the people will lean fascist. ..."
"... In the US we don't have the refugees, but the neoliberalism is further along and more damaging. There's no mystery here or in Europe, just the natural effects of governments failing to represent real people in favor of useless eater rich. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com
Elliot , June 1, 2016 at 4:32 pm

The Wall Street Journal had an article yesterday saying that Hillary might not be the nominee, and while DNC faithful want us all to assume that if that happened, it would not be Sanders, that's emphatically not what the rest of the US will assume, nor, I think, stand for.

For damn sure parachuting someone in ahead of him in line would be the death of the Democratic party, and good riddance. And good riddance to Al Gore, who wouldn't even fight his own election battle. He's as fake a standard bearer as Elizabeth Warren.

Plus Bernie supporters don't support Bernie because he's a Democrat, they support him because of what he is campaigning about. A replacement head bolted onto the decapitated Clinton campaign would never in a zillion years be for anything Sanders is for, and… we're not stupid enough to believe it would be.

~~~~

Trump's been involved in some 3.5K lawsuits, he only wrote his check to the Veterans' charity the day the reporter grilled him about stiffing them, his TrumpYours University taught cheating and scorched earth sales tactics, he wants to sell off the public lands, privatize Social Security, etc etc ad infinitum. He is emphatically not what Bernie supporters are looking for, either.

This is surely the year the skull beneath the skin of both political parties gets revealed.

Archie , June 1, 2016 at 5:32 pm

I agree with you 1000% Elliot. Several months ago I was having a political discussion with my youngest brother and he asked me what my best and worst case scenarios were. I told him that the best case scenario was the implosion of both legacy parties. The worst case scenario was some sort of constitutional crisis emerging. I had negligently never considered the possibility that both could occur.

Peter Bernhardt , June 1, 2016 at 10:13 pm

Hear hear!

Benedict@Large , June 1, 2016 at 4:27 pm

This is about jobs. The DNC employs a whole slew of Beltway careerists, both directly and indirectly, who will be out of a job if Sanders becomes President. These careerists believe that they are entitled to the jobs they hold, and that someone like Sanders should never be allowed to take their jobs away. There is a great debate going on right now about how the American people can be lied to, and told that it's not about these jobs, but is rather "for the good of the country". But do not be fooled. It is about these jobs.

At the end of the day, there may be some scraps left over, and should they fall from the table, the quick among us will certainly be allowed to have them. Thank you very much for voting. See you again in four years.

tegnost , June 1, 2016 at 7:24 pm

On the bright side, they'll be eligible for food stamps and medicaid

polecat , June 1, 2016 at 10:11 pm

Now THOSE are the sort of entitlements that I'd like to see done away with !! Let the careerists live on the street …… in appliance boxes, for all I care ……it would serve them right !

grayslady , June 1, 2016 at 7:57 pm

I'm with you, Katiebird. If there's one thing this campaign year has shown, it's that "we the people" are as powerful as we choose to be. There really is no one else in D.C. who is as decent as Bernie. No one. I've maintained for some time that the Democrats are already dead as a party; they've just been refusing to recognize it.

The Repubs have been clearly shown to be a dead party–first through the Tea Party, and now through this election. The question is whether or not the Dems want to survive as a party.

If they do, Bernie is their only hope. They are in denial now–they think Bernie voters are Dems. They aren't. It all depends on how forcefully Bernie delegates and voters are willing to make their case that it's Bernie or Bust. The idea that the Dems think they are still a force to reckon with when less than one-third of the voters self-identify as a Dem is ludicrous.

wbgonne , June 1, 2016 at 8:38 pm

less than one-third of the voters self-identify as a Dem

Yes, and something else. Half the country doesn't vote, which means the Democrats comprise about one-sixth of eligible voters, with Republicans even fewer. Which means that one-third of the population controls the only two viable political vehicles in the country.

Our political duopoly represents just a tiny slice of the spectrum. This is an ultra-conservative system designed to ensure stability in a well-functioning democratic republic that is responsive to the people. But we now live in an oligarchy and our hijacked, corrupted political duoploly only serves the oligarchs.

Ranger Rick , June 1, 2016 at 3:21 pm

That Cohen quote is choice, in more ways than one. "I am afraid of my fellow Americans."

You know, I'm used to hyperbole during an election year ("my opponent is literally Satan Himself!") but this is genuinely alarming. I'm reminded of a (paraphrased) quote from an online discussion:

"When the revolution for the people, by the people comes, 'the people' are not going to be your people. They are the homeless, the jobless, the uneducated, the rural. They are the butt of your redneck jokes and elided in your 'urban youth' euphemisms. And they hate you, no matter how much you claim to be on their side, because you have not suffered as they have."

Jason , June 1, 2016 at 4:02 pm

I see much of American politics since the mid-20th as a struggle between two philosophies (or extremes) of the ruling and wealthy elite. One advocates a "squeeze the proles until they bleed to death" approach, while the other is smart enough to realize, "we need them happy enough to prevent violent revolution, or they'll try to kill us all, which is bad for business". And the former approach has gained too much ground, so we're seeing the public heating towards their boiling point.

(I personally think Trump is nothing but a con-man trying to ride the resentment as a shortcut to putting himself in the big chair, but I can empathize with those so desperate they see no better alternative to bloody revolution.)

With the ruling classes' reluctance to yield any of their ever-growing, ever-concentrated wealth to the masses, I worry that they'll try war as a distraction next. The War on Terror has mostly flopped by this point, but it can be used as stage setting for what comes next. Either a "real" war against China and/or Russia, or an orders of magnitude upswing in domestic terrorism and strife. (I wonder who would be good for getting such violence started, without tarnishing the reputation of the ruling class even further…)

Once the Next War has begun (domestic or foreign doesn't matter, as long as its bigger and scarier to everyone) it will be blamed for all sorts of ills and used to justify excesses of the worst sort for the better part of a generation. (I doubt it has ever occurred to Our Dear Rulers that the public might not go along with their Next War, or that it may not play out according to their plans.)

Praedor , June 1, 2016 at 4:13 pm

Would THIS war do the trick?

http://johnhelmer.net/?p=15751

JerseyJeffersonian , June 1, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Yeah, nobody is listening at all to President Putin and the wider Russian policy and military establishments as they warn, attempt diplomacy, and give the clearest possible indication by the actions of their military that they feel themselves seriously – very seriously – threatened by the aggressive actions on their borders by the US and the NATO pink poodles.

Probably, The Moustache of Understanding, Thomas Friedman, would consider this to be no problem for him, his family, and the US. So what if Romanians, Poles, whatever, die? The conflict would remain contained to Central Europe, right? Think of the propaganda opportunities. They're just dizzying. Get Vicky, Samantha, Michele on the job, stat!

But you know what? If those harridans set foot in Central Europe, they would be in serious danger of being lynched by the terrified peoples of those nations with whose lives they so casually dice, and rightly so. Playing with matches in a dynamite factory is to be discouraged, and that is all that these fools seem capable of.

Some people seem mystified by why the Russians have pulled some of their air assets out of Syria while the outcomes of the war are still in doubt. Well, they're being redeployed back to Russia against the need to throw them into combat against the US and the NATO pink poodles (who seem to love to sidle up to Russia and lift their legs to piss on their President and their national security; talk about your stoopid dogs). So, no, there is no mystery here at all. Things have gotten dead serious now that these missiles are actually being deployed, and no longer being dissimulated as being directed against possible lunatic Iranian aggression; their true target, always known for anyone with two neurons to spark against one another, is Russia. As opposed to past invasions from the west, when their nation is threatened by hypersonic missiles, there is no strategic depth provided by the landmass of Russia. The Russians know this all too well, and they are not blowing smoke here. Finally, President Putin has learned that he has no "partners", one of his favorite phrases in the past when referring to the west, with whom to have a serious dialogue. Instead, he has only that callow jackass Obama and the compliant dwarves of Europe leering at him, and ipso facto, no one with whom dialogue is possible.

As they say here in Southern New Jersey when the Pine Barrens are dry as tinder, we have a Red Flag Warning, and a forest fire is an imminent danger. The consequences of such a localized event are as nothing compared to the dire danger into which our western fools are blithely tripping.

God save us all.

Kurt Sperry , June 1, 2016 at 5:59 pm

Trump's problem are his negatives, which are so extreme that only Hillary Clinton could compete on that field, and secondly the likely ephemerallity of the outsider status his whole persona is marketed on. As he is embraced by the GOP establishment, his outsider appeal will become smothered by its embrace. He will get endorsements from mainstream partisans that will actually be counterproductive, he will need to regularly produce more outrageous statements to retain an outsider cred and each will alienate off another chunk of his support. The *only* possible way Trump wins is vs. a damaged Hillary, I don't see him even beating a barely legitimate Plan B like Biden.

Anne , June 1, 2016 at 3:48 pm

Sometimes I think that people are forgetting that these are people who have never, ever given up; Hillary Clinton is an eyelash away from being nominated for the highest office in the land, she's survived countless investigations, scandals, humiliations. She's withstood everything from hearings to vile sexist and misogynist taunts and labels. She swallowed her pride and sold what was left of her soul for a promise she could move into the White House in January, 2017.

And you think she's possibly going to step down now?

No. That doesn't happen unless she has a real medical issue she can't hide (she'd have to collapse in a very public venue – otherwise, I think whatever medical issues she has remain hidden), there is some sort of family tragedy, or the pus-filled boil that is the nexus between her public office and the Clinton Foundation gets popped in an undeniably damning way before the convention.

And then what? The only people who want Biden are the insiders; if there was that much love for Biden out among the electorate, he would not have been stashed where his mouth could do the least amount of damage. Meanwhile, there's someone for whom millions of people have actually cast a ballot, and those people are going to lose their sh!t if Debbie Wasserman Schultz tries to pull off a coup and toss Sanders on the trash heap.

I think the only fair/decent/small-d Democratic way to do this is to release delegates from their pledges and hold as many votes as it takes to get a nominee. If that's Sanders on the first ballot or the second or the tenth, fine. If it's Gore or Biden or Kerry on the 15th ballot at 5:30 in the morning, well, maybe that's okay, too. As long as it's a participatory process and not an end-run, back-door wheel-and-deal, complete with threats and "incentives" operation, the voters might go along with it and not take to the streets with the torches and pitchforks.

But here's the thing: can't speak for anyone else, but I have seen nothing so far in this election season that gives me any confidence that such an event would be conducted in an ethical, moral manner. And if they decide to substitute their own corrupt judgment for what should be allowed to be the will of the people, they will have only themselves to blame for it being Trump's porcine fingers on the bible come inauguration day.

NotTimothyGeithner , June 1, 2016 at 3:56 pm

Her pardoning herself is the only real protection she can count on. Obama has a legacy as such as it is. He can't handle blanket pardons, and the House will be GOP regardless (here's to DWS and Pelosi). They will investigate the Clintons regardless of who the next President is.

ambrit , June 1, 2016 at 4:02 pm

Something to look forward to! Porcine Maquillage, Trump style! Some of the recent pictures suggest that someone is already putting lipstick on.

PlutoniumKun , June 1, 2016 at 4:58 pm

You are certainly right that she would fight tooth and nail against it, but I think if it is put as an issue of 'you are likely going to prison, but take the noble option and you get a pardon' (while passing over the whiskey and revolver), could do the trick. Even the Clintons could not stand up against a delegation of the party saying 'its this or massive public humiliation'. The classic example was of Margaret Thatcher, who only released her grip on power when one by one each senior cabinet member went in to her and said 'its over'.

Interestingly, I've been looking at some betting sites – they only give odds for three Dems for president – Hilary, Bernie and Biden (at a surprising 33/1).

Lambert Strether Post author , June 1, 2016 at 10:23 pm

> the pus-filled boil that is the nexus between her public office and the Clinton Foundation

It may be that the FBI has a digital image of that boil from the backup copy of the server that Platte River (seems to have) accidentally put in the cloud.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , June 1, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Don't miss "Brexit: The Movie" Should be mandatory watching for every politician around the globe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYqzcqDtL3k

jo6pac , June 1, 2016 at 3:56 pm

Short vid of Jill Stein making way to much sense. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NjkCfjU-FY&feature=youtu.be

Kurt Sperry , June 1, 2016 at 6:24 pm

If Bernie isn't on my ballot, Jill Stein is who I'll be voting for. Again.

She's excellent, much better than Clinton or obviously Trump, I agree with her on 90% of her positions. If voting *for* someone rather than *against* someone is how democracy should work (and I would argue so) then it would be a waste of my vote to spend it on anyone else. Conservatives should consider Gary Anderson for the same reasons. These minor parties need to reach the 5% threshold to get ballot access and matching funding, I think it's an excellent cause to support just to have a greater diversity in the US political system. Shame on the people who are trying to scare you into voting for someone you don't believe in instead of voting your actual beliefs, it's not right to do.

Nickname , June 1, 2016 at 4:17 pm

I can't help but find it extremely wise of Bernie never to take the bait on that email question because it would inevitably only be used against him and the narrative would then be that he was "backtracking" on when he said that he didn't want to discuss them.

And anyhow, he probably knows that he doesn't need to join the chorus for that story to stay hot. Though I hope and presume that this is a focal talking point if and when he courts superdelegates.

On another note, I live in Sweden and the topic of the election came up with some friends tonight and my friends – all of whom would like to see Bernie be president – all seemed to think that Clinton was a stronger candidate (as in more people favored her) against Trump. In fact, I had to show them polls of Bernie beating Trump by a way wider margin than Hillary to convince them otherwise. That just goes to show you how successful the Clinton PR machine (not to mention a complicit media) has been at pushing her narrative. Even if people want Bernie to win and strongly dislike her, the general feeling seems to be that she is inevitable.

diptherio , June 1, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Somebody mentioned Trump piñatas the other day. Here ya go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3a5JBxZICas

Trump is the new best-seller, replacing El Chapo.

Lambert Strether Post author , June 1, 2016 at 10:25 pm

I wonder if the piñatas are made in China, like the Trump masks.

EGrise , June 1, 2016 at 4:29 pm

Re: tarhairbabyball – what if Clinton manages to drag things out long enough to get not just the nomination, but the White House?

That assumes the AG declined to prosecute, or otherwise blocked the charges. That doesn't clear HRC, so no double jeopardy. What's to stop a Republican House and Senate from conducting their own investigation (starting with evidence leaked by the FBI) and impeaching her? Nothing that I can see: pardoning herself on her first day in office would mean exactly nothing to the GOP. And if there's evidence of revealing the identities of agents or protecting the backers of the Benghazi plot, an impeachment will have a lot more public support than one over an extra-marital affair.

But further down that road, what if there was some question of negligence or malfeasance by her boss, the president? What would stop congress from going after ex-president Obama? "What did the (ex-)president know and when did he know it?" Talk about tarnishing a legacy.

So am I barking up the wrong tree here, or is the above part of the Dem/BHO decision calculus?

tegnost , June 1, 2016 at 5:04 pm

investigations could provide a smokescreen for all of their darker designs…..

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , June 1, 2016 at 6:10 pm

A few exceptional people thrive under investigation. No mere mortals can come even close that kind of omnipotence.

Lambert Strether Post author , June 1, 2016 at 10:41 pm

The Republicans could certainly impeach her, and I bet some of them are champing at the bit to do so (even the ones not enthusiastic about Trump).

However, they tried that once with Bill Clinton and failed (very much because of their personal defects, but also because of their defects as a party). I would bet on their failing again, simply because the Benghazi hearings were such a cluster, at least so far as constructing a coherent narrative.

Bob , June 1, 2016 at 4:39 pm

Thousands of voters in limbo after Kansas demands proof they're American
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-votingrights-kansas-insight-idUSKCN0YN4AQ

marym , June 1, 2016 at 4:54 pm

President Obama Proposes Expanding Social Security Benefits

Speaking at a high school in Elkhart, Indiana, Obama noted there are some Americans who don't have retirement savings and those who might not be able to save money because they are unable to pay the bills.

"…. not only do we need to strengthen its long term health, it's time we finally made Social Security more generous and increased its benefits so today's retirees and future generations get the dignified retirement that they have earned."

Apparently he was just keeping his powder dry….

tegnost , June 1, 2016 at 5:07 pm

chained cpi, actions speak louder than words….could be considered proof that he's concerned about his legacy?

Amateur Socialist , June 1, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Has anybody asked Madame Secretary what she thinks of this proposal?

Archie , June 1, 2016 at 5:41 pm

Beware, he speaks with forked tongue!! He never says what he means, nor means what he says.

Left in Wisconsin , June 1, 2016 at 6:41 pm

That is about the funniest/saddest thing I have read this year.

Mo's Bike Shop , June 1, 2016 at 7:36 pm

"strengthen its long term health"

A rise in payroll taxes. I'll leave the rest for others who want to play.

marym , June 1, 2016 at 8:27 pm

Sanders Applauds Obama Support for Expanding Social Security

PALO ALTO, Calif. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday applauded President Barack Obama's support for expanding Social Security by asking the "wealthiest Americans to contribute a little bit more."

Sanders urged Hillary Clinton to back legislation endorsed by leading Democrats and seniors' advocates to strengthen the retirement program.

"I applaud President Obama for making it clear that it is time to expand Social Security benefits," Sanders said. "Millions of seniors, disabled veterans and people with disabilities are falling further and further behind on $10,000 or $11,000 a year Social Security," he added.

Amateur Socialist , June 1, 2016 at 5:01 pm

Is Elizabeth Holmes broke?

sd , June 2, 2016 at 4:42 am

Ouch. That's gotta be leaving skid marks.

edmondo , June 1, 2016 at 5:03 pm

"Trump has taught me to fear my fellow Americans" [Richard Cohen, WaPo]. " I always knew who Trump was. It's the American people who have come as a surprise."

I guess he thought they would never fight back?

Look, Bernie sees the problem and offers solutions. Trump just sees the problem. Hillary denies that a problem even exists.

If you are treading water economically just trying to get by and are hoping for someone, anyone to pin your hopes on, why the hell would it be Hillary? November is going to be very interesting and not in a good way.

aliteralmind , June 2, 2016 at 8:15 am

Insightful candidate summaries.

optimader , June 1, 2016 at 5:10 pm

This will be a good summer read for the election season
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/review/the-romanovs

Praedor , June 1, 2016 at 5:37 pm

So Richard Cohen now fears American voters because of Trump.

Well, on Diane Reem today (NPR) was a discussion on why fascist parties are growing in Europe. Both Cohen and the clowns on NPR missed the forest for the trees. The reason Trump and Sanders are doing well in the US while fascists are doing well in Europe is the same reason: neoliberalism has gutted, or is in the process of gutting, societies.

Workers and other formerly "safe" white collar workers are seeing their job security, income security, retirement security all go up in smoke. Neoliberals are trying to snip and cut labor protections, healthcare, environmental regulations all for corporate profit. In Europe this is all in addition to a massive refugee crisis itself brought on by neoliberalism (neocon foreign policy is required for neoliberal social policy, they go hand-in-hand). The US and NATO destabilize countries with the intent of stealing their resources and protecting their markets, cause massive refugee flows which strain social structures in Europe (which falls right into the hands of the gutters and cutters of neoliberalism). Of course the people will lean fascist.

In the US we don't have the refugees, but the neoliberalism is further along and more damaging. There's no mystery here or in Europe, just the natural effects of governments failing to represent real people in favor of useless eater rich.

Make the people into commodities, endanger their washes and job security, impose austerity, and tale in floods of refugees. Of COURSE Europeans stay leaning fascist.

readerOfTeaLeaves , June 1, 2016 at 5:42 pm

Lambert, for the good of the order, something from out of an old bookmarked file, Bernie Sanders filibustering Obama's tax cuts in Dec 2010. Watching this, what Bernie is doing is totally consistent with his economic analyses going back years:

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

Incredible.
Truly amazing to watch today.

Back in 2010, he was pointing out to the US Senate that one single tax cut for the Walton family would pay for money for disabled Vets and Seniors. Just incredible.

Lambert Strether Post author , June 1, 2016 at 10:44 pm

But Federal taxes don't pay for Federal spending, so Sanders boxed himself in.

John k , June 2, 2016 at 3:42 am

It is not possible for any politician to push that concept, the electorate expects taxes to pay for spending no matter how important the spending is. So all of his proposals are pay as you go, otherwise he presents the neoliberals with an easy target.
Even if by some miracle he gets the bully pulpit he will have to be circumspect. Change out the fed, get Mmt types appointed, let them take the lead in educating the public. This would be a long tarm campaign.
Meanwhile he is boxed in by the 98% of the public that think they know how our economy works.

EGrise , June 1, 2016 at 7:48 pm

Just remembered an interview at the end of April with Seymour Hersh ( This is Hell! podcast ) where the interviewer asks how much HRC influenced BHO in the Libyan bombing campaign and what that might say about a Hillary Clinton administration. Here's what Sy said in response (transcript mine):

"You don't need me to answer that question. I can tell you, I'm not done reporting about that. There's a lot more to that than meets the eye. But, uh…I'm in to something. So I don't want to be coy with you. But there's no question that, just based on the emails that have been released […] she was much more aggressive about it."

Listening to it, one gets the impression that he just did not want to talk about HRC. Would love to know what Hersh knows, and what he's up to now.

Lambert Strether Post author , June 1, 2016 at 10:45 pm

I love the "This is Hell" podcast, and I remember the Hersh interview specifically; Hersh is very, very funny.

Yves Smith , June 2, 2016 at 12:39 am

The NYT Sunday Magazine cover story, Top Gun, gives chapter, book and verse of how Hillary outmaneuvered Obama on Libya.

Pat , June 1, 2016 at 8:26 pm

So a financial analyst whose expertise is the Middle East has told CNBC who Saudi Arabia wants to be President. Three guesses and the first two don't count…

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/01/heres-who-saudi-arabia-want-as-the-next-us-president-oil-analyst.html

Pat , June 1, 2016 at 8:29 pm

More from CNBC: Trump will be President. The author's last mistake: not guessing how bad Hillary Clinton's campaign would be.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/01/i-was-wrong-trump-will-be-the-next-president-commentary.html

Cry Shop , June 1, 2016 at 9:09 pm

http://nautil.us/blog/alienation-is-killing-americans-and-japanese

Tends to fit in with my experience as an expat in both nations that they are both insular cultures and generally hostile to new comers, though at least the young generations in both countries seem to be breaking away from this behavior.

Synoia , June 1, 2016 at 9:12 pm

but economists face a fundamental challenge with respect to innovation

I read the article. Not a mention of Chaos theory.

This is the best they can do: Economy Is a Highly Dynamic System That Can Go Far From Equilibrium and Become Trapped in Sub optimal States. (Sub Optimal for Who one could ask/)

The Economy is a Chaotic System where Equlibria are Unpredictable, both in time and position.

Jim Haygood , June 1, 2016 at 10:16 pm

Bryan Pagliano to take the Fifth in Judicial Watch deposition next week.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/bryan-pagliano-fifth-amendment-223796

What immunity was he granted already? It's a secret.

Unfortunately, young Bryan's refusal to cooperate only bolsters the justification for compelling testimony from the 'beest herself.

What are Californians and New Jerseyans to make of this? Assume the worst, comrades. And you'll still be underestimating how bad it is.

Cleaning out the Augean stables was child's play compared to decontaminating the Clintons' noisome racketeering empire.

Lambert Strether Post author , June 1, 2016 at 10:47 pm

Is it typical for Federal prosecutors to grant immunity without a grand jury having been empaneled?

Waldenpond , June 1, 2016 at 10:27 pm

Recent polling has Sanders within 2 in CA but it could get glitchy as CA news was reporting the State has 85% of indies not requesting a D ballot. If you are registered undeclared, you must request a D ballot or you automatically receive one without the Presidential candidates. The number of already returned undeclared ballots was not listed which would have been useful.

Voting takes persistence. A regular voter had to make two requests to be switched to D. Still did not receive a D ballot and had to contact again for another ballot. I think people just give up.

Jim Haygood , June 1, 2016 at 10:37 pm

"if you are registered undeclared, you must request a D ballot or you automatically receive one without the Presidential candidates"

Kinda like joining a craft beer club, and receiving a shipment of O'Doul's because you failed to declare a preference between IPA and porter.

Gotcha … [suckah]

Lambert Strether Post author , June 1, 2016 at 10:49 pm

Why, it's almost as if they're trying the suppress voters!

sd , June 2, 2016 at 3:59 am

NPP voters may bring their Vote By Mail ballot to their polling place and exchange it for a Democratic Party primary ballot. If they do not have their Vote by Mail ballot, and have not used their Vote by Mail ballot, they may still vote on a provisional ballot.

If they are just registered as NPP and do not use Vote by Mail, they just simply request the Democratic Party ballot at their polling place.

And yes, it has been extremely confusing and not well publicized.

aab , June 2, 2016 at 4:46 am

Actually, it's a little more complicated than that. I got trained this week as a Los Angeles County poll worker. NPP people get separate crossover ballots for each of the three parties they can crossover to. So you don't exchange it for a Democratic party ballot, you exchange it for (or simply receive upon first request) an NPP Crossover Democratic ballot. It's got a separate little design on top and everything.

Also, if you are brand new voter, you have to bring your ID with you to the polling place, or you may be forced to use a provisional ballot - I couldn't tell whether that was a Los Angeles county thing, or a state thing.

Oh, and rumors are flying that a) Hillary people are going around claiming to be Bernie volunteers, gathering up completed Vote By Mail ballots from people at home and then presumably dumping them (as was done in Oregon); and b) that the state did not print enough NPP Crossover Democratic ballots, and will run out, possibly before election day. Given that our Secretary of State is known to be corrupt and a Clinton backer, these both seem like plausible tactics, in a huge state where county registrars have a lot of autonomy and almost 75% of the votes will be Vote By Mail. But I have no idea whether there is evidence for either. Given how the election theft and media propaganda on Clinton's behalf has been systematic and blatant, people's paranoia rachets up daily, as their trust in institutions sinks. Nice work, Clintonland. That won't be a problem going forward at all.

On the bright side, we were told that the LA registrar will count every valid provisional ballot, no matter what the percentages are. Again, I don't know if that's true in other counties. But I've had numerous interactions with the registrar staff, and they seem genuinely committed to doing the right thing and helping people vote, regardless of whom they're voting for.

The problems with people accidentally registering as American Independent Party (a far right party, and you can't crossover from that to Dem, only from NPP to AIP or Dem) and people mistakenly thinking they can write Bernie in on NPP ballots (nope) instead of exchanging gives me heartburn. But then, CNN, MSNBC et al. will announce she's clinched the nomination (again, not possible) right when most people get off work and head to the polls, so there are just SO MANY WAYS to screw with people.

JCC , June 1, 2016 at 10:28 pm

On Gracie Slick and "White Rabbit'; the Rolling Stones did it earlier with "Mother's Little Helper", I think. Not quite the same message, but it definitely addressed parents'drug use vs what they expected out of their children.

"Things are different today,"
I hear ev'ry mother say
Cooking fresh food for a husband's just a drag
So she buys an instant cake and she burns her frozen steak
And goes running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
And two help her on her way, get her through her busy day
Doctor please, some more of these
Outside the door, she took four more
What a drag it is getting old

(My mother hated that song)

Jim Haygood , June 1, 2016 at 10:49 pm

One Californian to another:

Well she's not the prettiest girl in the world
I know she's not the smartest one too
But she's always there and I know she cares
And I know that her heart is true

Well ain't it amazin', Gracie
How much I love you
I been all over the world but no other girl
Ever thrilled me the way that you do

- Buck from Bakersfield

cripes , June 2, 2016 at 1:28 am

The Lame Duck In Chief supports increasing Social Security…

In other news, Obama Library's volunteer board hires subcontractor that employs minimum-wage undocumented workers without benefits to polish presidential bust Made in China.

Have we mentioned lately what an a**hole Obama is?

Lambert Strether Post author , June 2, 2016 at 11:52 am

Can't find the link. Got one?

[Jun 03, 2016] 2016 Election Why Some of the Smartest Progressives I Know Will Vote for Trump over Hillary

Notable quotes:
"... Finally, there is the stench of corruption, dating back to Hillary's impossible-by any legitimate means-trick of parlaying $1,000 into $100,000 in a series of commodities trades in 1978. The Clintons and their backers seriously expect the rubes to believe that large financial firms happily forked over their hefty speaking fees purely out of interest in what they had to say, or that Middle Eastern and Taiwanese moneybags gave big bucks to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was secretary of state out of their deep belief in the foundation's lofty goals. Why has Hillary refused to release the transcripts of her Goldman speeches, wiped her server and foot-dragged on releasing allegedly personal emails? ..."
"... If my readers are representative, Clinton and the Democratic Party are about to have a long-overdue day of reckoning. ..."
June 01, 2016 | POLITICO Magazine
hy do progressives reject Hillary Clinton? The highly educated, high-income, finance-literate readers of my website, Naked Capitalism , don't just overwhelmingly favor Bernie Sanders. They also say "Hell no!" to Hillary Clinton to the degree that many say they would even vote for Donald Trump over her.

And they don't come by these views casually. Their conclusions are the result of careful study of her record and her policy proposals. They believe the country can no longer endure the status quo that Clinton represents-one of crushing inequality, and an economy that is literally killing off the less fortunate-and any change will be better. One reader writes :

Story Continued Below

"If Clinton is the nominee 9 out of 10 friends I polled will [do one of three things]:

A. Not vote for president in November.
B. Vote for Trump.
C. Write in Bernie as a protest vote.

"We are all fifty-somethings with money and college educations. Oh, and we are all registered Democrats."

Or as another reader puts it :

"I don't want to vote for Trump. I want to vote for Bernie. But I have reached the point where I feel like voting for Trump against Clinton would be doing my patriotic duty. … If the only way to escape a trap is to gnaw off my leg, I'd like to think I'd have the guts to do it."

To be sure, not all of my Sanders-supporting readers would vote for Trump. But only a minority would ever vote for Clinton, and I'd guess that a lot of them would just stay home if she were the nominee. Many of my readers tend to be very progressive, and they have been driven even further in that direction by their sophisticated understanding of the inequities of Wall Street, especially in the run-up to and the aftermath of the financial crisis, when no senior executives went to jail, the biggest banks got bigger, and Hillary paid homage to Goldman Sachs. True progressives, as opposed to the Vichy Left, recognize that the Clintons only helped these inequities along. They recognize that, both in the 1990s and now, the Clintons do not and have never represented them. They believe the most powerful move they can take to foster change is to withhold their support.

Some of them also have very reasoned arguments for Trump. Hillary is a known evil. Trump is unknown. They'd rather bet on the unknown, since it will also send a big message to Team Dem that they can no longer abuse progressives. I personally know women in the demographic that is viewed as being solidly behind Hillary-older, professional women who live in major cities-who regard Trump as an acceptable cost of getting rid of the Clintons.

Who does Naked Capitalism represent? The site, which I describe as "fearless commentary on finance, economics, politics and power," receives 1.3 million to 1.5 million page views a month and has amassed approximately 80 million readers since its launch in 2006. Its readership is disproportionately graduate school-educated, older, male and high income. Despite the overall predominance of male readers, many of the fiercest critics of Clinton in the commentariat are women, with handles like HotFlash, Katniss Everdeen, Martha r, Portia, Bev and Pat.

What they also object to is that the larger bloc of Sanders voters has been treated with abuse and contempt by the Clinton camp, despite the fact that their positions-such as strengthening Social Security and Medicare, stronger educational funding and higher minimum wages-have for decades polled by solid majorities or, at worst, ample pluralities in the electorate at large.

By contrast, the Democratic Party in the Clinton and Obama administrations has consistently embraced and implemented policies that strip workers of economic and legal rights to benefit investors and the elite professionals that serve them. Over time, the "neoliberal" economic order-which sees only good, never bad, in the relentless untrammeling of capital and the deregulation of markets-has created an unacceptable level of economic insecurity and distress for those outside the 1 percent and the elite professionals who serve them.

The result is that the U.S. economy is becoming lethal to the less fortunate, according to the New York Times , which reported this week that U.S. death rates have risen for the first time in a decade. The increase in death rates among less educated whites since 2001 is roughly the size of the AIDS epidemic. One cause, the opioid epidemic, resulted from Purdue Pharma overselling the effectiveness of reformulated OxyContin, then recommending higher dosages when it failed to work properly, which experts deemed a prescription for creating addicts, according to a number of lawsuits. This was permitted by the U.S. government, leading to thousands of unnecessary deaths. Despite President Barack Obama's Panglossian claim that the economy is doing well, the spike in suicides to levels over those during the financial crisis belies that .

Yet the Clinton campaign is in such denial about this that it has become vitriolic in its verbal and tactical attacks on Sanders and his supporters-rather than recognizing that the stunning success of his campaign is proof of their abject policy failures. The message is clear: The Clintons believe, as Bill himself put it, that the true progressives have nowhere to go.

But in fact, they've been leaving. The Clinton and Obama administrations presided over the worst losses in congressional and state races in modern history in 1994, 2010 and 2012. And voter preferences were clear. Under Obama, it was the Blue Dog, Third Way Democrats who were turfed out, while candidates with strong stances on economic justice kept their seats. Similarly, as political scientist Tom Ferguson pointed out in a Roosevelt Institute paper , Obama's loss of a Senate majority when Republican Scott Brown won in Massachusetts was the result of his focus on bailing out banks rather than aiding distressed homeowners (or forcing mortgage services to give modifications to borrowers who still had adequate income, as banks had done historically). The level of votes for Brown was strongly correlated with the amount of foreclosures in those particular districts.

True progressives know that the Clinton and Obama presidencies have brought inequality to Gilded Era, banana-republic levels. They know that Obama's policies, which the Clintons embrace, have had all of the post-crisis income gains accrue to the top 1 percent . In addition, corporate profits have risen to nearly double the ratio to GDP that Warren Buffett deemed unsustainably high in the early 2000s. Unlike China, they've also ushered in an era of high unemployment and underemployment, as reflected in unheard-of low levels of labor force participation and unemployment among the young in a nominal expansion.

The Clintons' dismal record, which Hillary cannot run away from, speaks for itself. And this is what makes many progressives I know unable to support her, even if she wins the nomination. Consider the reasons why they feel this way:

Social Security . Bill Clinton made a deal with Newt Gingrich to privatize Social Security, but Monica Lewinsky derailed his plans . Sanders has promised to strengthen Social Security. By contrast, Clinton wants to "preserve" it, which includes means-testing. That would put Social Security on a path to being a welfare program, not a universal safety net, making it vulnerable in the long run. Bill Clinton's ending of welfare is an illustration of the regular pattern, dating back to England's Poor Law of 1834, of gutting safety nets for the poor.

Climate change . Sanders calls for a full-bore, Marshall-Plan level commitment to reducing carbon output. Hillary talks about climate change but pushed for fracking in Europe while secretary of state. The Clintons remain firmly committed to fracking, which ruins water supplies and releases large amounts of methane.

Minimum wage. Inflation-adjusted minimum wage increases under Clinton were negligible-virtually identical to those under George H.W. Bush. Obama promised a minimum wage increase to $9.50 an hour and failed to act in the first four years of his presidency. Sanders wants to raise minimum wages to $15 an hour, while Clinton stands pat with the administration plan to increase wages to $12 an hour by 2020.

Trade deals . Bill Clinton ushered in NAFTA, which was touted as positive for growth and employment, and is now widely acknowledged to have cost nearly a million jobs. Even one of its chief promoters, former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich, now deems it to have been a failure for American workers. Hillary consistently backed the Trans-Pacific Partnership until Sanders made an issue of it, and she's recently returned to supporting it. The potential growth and income gains from this agreement and its European sister, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, are only marginally positive, while the loss of national sovereignty would be enormous. These agreements would enable foreign investors to challenge laws for labor, environmental and consumer protection, for threatening future profits.

Health care . Sanders wants single-payer, government-provided health care. Around the world, single payer has uncontestably demonstrated that it delivers better results overall at vastly lower cost. Obamacare took single payer off the table, instead rearranging the current costly, clumsy system while guaranteeing profits for health insurers and Big Pharma. Clinton at most has offered patches, but the pressure from Sanders has compelled her to suggest an early buy-in for Medicare.

That's before we get to the Clintons' loyalty to the Robert Rubin and neoliberal fetish of balanced budgets, which most economists say are not necessary. The recent European experience with austerity shows how disastrous that approach is, particularly in the wake of a financial crisis. Hillary's hawkishness means an even greater commitment to military spending, so voters are assured to get more guns and less butter were she to become president.

The Sanders supporters I interact with also reject Hillary's trickle-down feminism as a substitute for economic and social justice. Clinton is correct when she points out that there is a glass-ceiling issue for women. There are fewer female CEOs, billionaires and senators. Women in the elite don't have it as good as men. But pray tell, what is having more women, or Hispanics or blacks, in top roles going to do for nurses and hospital orderlies, or the minority group members disproportionately represented in low-wage jobs like part-time fast food workers? Class mobility has become close to nonexistent in America. If you are born in one of the lower-income cohorts, you are almost certain to stay there.

As a woman who broke through an important glass ceiling on Wall Street-Christina Mohr, the first woman to become partner in mergers and acquisitions at Lazard-told a shocked group at Radcliffe seeking better career opportunities for women many years ago: "Nothing will change until women own the means of production." And that sort of change comes from the bottom up.

Then there are questions of competence. Hillary has a résumé of glittering titles with disasters or at best thin accomplishments under each. Her vaunted co-presidency with Bill? After her first major project, health care reform, turned into such a debacle that it was impossible to broach the topic for a generation, she retreated into a more traditional first lady role. As New York senator, she accomplished less with a bigger name and from a more powerful state than Sanders did . As secretary of state, she participated and encouraged strategically pointless nation-breaking in Iraq and Syria. She bureaucratically outmaneuvered Obama, leading to U.S. intervention in Libya, which he has called the worst decision of his administration. And her plan to fob her domestic economic duties off on Bill comes off as an admission that she can't handle being president on her own.

Mind you, these issues are all topics in the current debates. But what is as important, but not as obvious, is the way that most citizens have been stripped of legal and economic protections. As economist Michael Hudson put it, "Most inequality does not reflect differing levels of productivity, but distortions resulting from property rights or other special privileges." The Clinton era brought in weaker anti-trust enforcement, which allowed companies to accumulate more market share and with it, more ability to extract rents. Binding arbitration, which strips employees and consumers of their right to a day in court, has become widespread. Pensions, which used to be sacrosanct (and still are if you are a CEO), are regularly renegotiated. Banks got away with predatory servicing and wrongful foreclosures. Not only was the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement a "get out of liability almost free" card so large that it was tantamount to a second bailout, but banks were not required to fix their faulty servicing platforms, assuring that they'd revert to foreclosure abuses again when delinquencies rise. And let us not forget that senior bankers are a protected class, exempt from prosecution.

Finally, there is the stench of corruption, dating back to Hillary's impossible-by any legitimate means-trick of parlaying $1,000 into $100,000 in a series of commodities trades in 1978. The Clintons and their backers seriously expect the rubes to believe that large financial firms happily forked over their hefty speaking fees purely out of interest in what they had to say, or that Middle Eastern and Taiwanese moneybags gave big bucks to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was
secretary of state out of their deep belief in the foundation's lofty goals. Why has Hillary refused to release the transcripts of her Goldman speeches, wiped her server and foot-dragged on releasing allegedly personal emails?

The Sanders voters in Naked Capitalism 's active commentariat also explicitly reject lesser-evilism, the cudgel that has previously kept true lefties somewhat in line. They are willing to gamble, given that outsider presidents like Jimmy Carter and celebrity governors like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura didn't get much done, that a Trump presidency represents an acceptable cost of inflicting punishment on the Democratic Party for 20 years of selling out ordinary Americans.

The Clintons, like the Bourbons before the French Revolution, have ensconced themselves in such a bubble of operative and media sycophancy that they've mistakenly viewed escalating distress and legitimate demands from citizens as mere noise. Sanders voters are taking their cue from Talleyrand, the statesman who navigated the Revolution and the turbulent 50 years that followed with remarkable success: "I have never abandoned a party before it abandoned itself."

If my readers are representative, Clinton and the Democratic Party are about to have a long-overdue day of reckoning.

[Jun 02, 2016] The reason Trump and Sanders are doing well in the US while

Notable quotes:
"... The reason Trump and Sanders are doing well in the US while fascists are doing well in Europe is the same reason: neoliberalism has gutted, or is in the process of gutting, societies. Workers and other formerly "safe" white collar workers are seeing their job security, income security, retirement security all go up in smoke. ..."
"... "the road commissioner said last night that their budget allows for resurfacing all the roads on a 200 year basis" … while the fedgov spends north of 5 percent of GDP on global military dominance. We're the Soviets now, comrades: shiny weapons, rotting infrastructure. ..."
"... This Trump support seems like a form of political vandalism with Trump as the spray paint. People generally feel frustrated with government, utterly powerless and totally left out as the ranks of the precariat continue to grow. Trump appeals to the nihilistic tendencies of some people who, like frustrated teens, have decided to just smashed things up for the hell of it. ..."
"... They think a presidency mix of Caligula with Earl Scheib would be a funny hoot. You also have the more gullible fundis who have actually deluded themselves into thinking the man who is ultimate symbol of hedonism will deliver them from secularism because he says he will. Authoritarians who seek solutions through strong leaders are usually the easiest to con because they desperately want to believe in their eminent deliverance by a human deus ex machina. ..."
"... The Society of the Spectacle ..."
"... Time to frighten the elites. Trump will have to deliver something to all those supporters if he becomes President, but what that could, or might be, who could possibly say. That will be his problem. If he fails Blake's ' fearful symmetry ' could be very fearful indeed. ..."
"... Someone at American Conservative, when trying to get at why it's pointless to tell people Trump will wreck the place, described him as a "hand grenade" lobbed into the heart of government. You can't scare people with his crass-ness and destructive tendencies, because that's precisely what his voters are counting on when/if he gets into government. ..."
"... yea it's a start but something really needs to be done about either jobs or incomes, it's far more central to people lives. I know sanders has some ideas but it was never given enough emphasis. Or keep wondering why trump still appeals to people – they are misguided of course, but nonetheless, he does promise a lot that he can never deliver that may appeal to people – like bringing back jobs. ..."
"... Obama and Holder, allowing the banks to be above the law have them demi-gods, many of whom are psychopaths and kleptocrats, and with their newly granted status, they are now re-shaping the world in their own image. Prosecute these demi-gods and restore sanity. Don't and their greed for our things will never end until nothings left. ..."
"... This is why hillary is so much more dangerous than trump, because she and the demi gods are all on the same page. The TPP is their holy grail so I expect heaven and earth to be moved, especially if it looks like some trade traitors are going to get knocked off in the election, scoundrels like patty murray (dino, WA) will push to get it through then line up at the feed trough to gorge on k street dough. I plan to vote stein if it's not bernie, but am reserving commitment until I see what kind of betrayals the dems have for me, if it's bad enough I'll go with the trump hand grenade. ..."
"... In the U.S., nearly all of the Republican politicians fit into this category, and a substantial number of Democrats, too. Here's a list of some of the more prominent Democrats: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/democrats-who-voted-for-fast-track Not all of the Senators are up for re-election, of course. You can also find more Democrats in this category by looking for Hillary Clinton supporters among the super delegates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Democratic_Party_superdelegates,_2016 ..."
"... If you read "Barbarians at the Gate" what was most striking is that companies that get destroyed are PROFITABLE – but it is MORE profitable for a few to strip mine them. In the religion of economics, God has forgotten them… We use certain metrics that says this increases GDP, and therefore it MUST be done – like the character in Harry Potter whose name can never be uttered, we can never, ever speak of the distribution of the vaunted GDP. As I've said many times, inequality is a political choice. I fear our system has been so thoroughly infiltrated by the self absorbed that it is now impossible for any meaningful reform. ..."
"... Re Methland, we live in rural US and we got a not-very-well hidden population of homeless children. I don't mean homeless families with children, I mean homeless children. Sleeping in parks in good weather, couch-surfing with friends, etc. I think related. ..."
www.nakedcapitalism.com

naked capitalism

The reason Trump and Sanders are doing well in the US while fascists are doing well in Europe is the same reason: neoliberalism has gutted, or is in the process of gutting, societies. Workers and other formerly "safe" white collar workers are seeing their job security, income security, retirement security all go up in smoke.

Neoliberals are trying to snip and cut labor protections, healthcare, environmental regulations all for corporate profit. In Europe this is all in addition to a massive refugee crisis itself brought on by neoliberalism (neocon foreign policy is required for neoliberal social policy, they go hand-in-hand).

The US and NATO destabilize countries with the intent of stealing their resources and protecting their markets, cause massive refugee flows which strain social structures in Europe (which falls right into the hands of the gutters and cutters of neoliberalism). Of course the people will lean fascist. /

DJG , June 2, 2016 at 9:53 am

ChiGal: Agreed. Here in Edgewater, the houses are suddenly going for unheard-of prices. We locals joke that it has to be drug money: Who else can afford to turn a two-flat into a single-family palazzo with six bedrooms?

Yet every morning, as I head out for the daily cup of coffee, the main streets (Clark) are covered in a layer of trash. Infrastructure is decaying–obviously so, as the streets flood after each rain.

On my forays downtown, I notice trash everywhere. (Much of it the detritus of the upper-middle-class in the form of restaurant clamshells, Starbucks paper cups, bottles from micro-breweries, and so on.)

Conversely, a walk along Clark in Rogers Park is an entry into economic devastation, dozens of empty stores.

And then the sixty shootings over the holiday weekend. A city in decline, but addled by its own boosterism and by the weird local idea that the corruption is somehow appealing and quaint.

Jim Haygood , June 2, 2016 at 12:08 pm

"the road commissioner said last night that their budget allows for resurfacing all the roads on a 200 year basis" … while the fedgov spends north of 5 percent of GDP on global military dominance. We're the Soviets now, comrades: shiny weapons, rotting infrastructure.

Today in San Diego, the Hildabeest will deliver a vigorous defense of this decadent, dying system.

Mary Wehrheim , June 2, 2016 at 8:32 am

This Trump support seems like a form of political vandalism with Trump as the spray paint. People generally feel frustrated with government, utterly powerless and totally left out as the ranks of the precariat continue to grow. Trump appeals to the nihilistic tendencies of some people who, like frustrated teens, have decided to just smashed things up for the hell of it.

They think a presidency mix of Caligula with Earl Scheib would be a funny hoot. You also have the more gullible fundis who have actually deluded themselves into thinking the man who is ultimate symbol of hedonism will deliver them from secularism because he says he will. Authoritarians who seek solutions through strong leaders are usually the easiest to con because they desperately want to believe in their eminent deliverance by a human deus ex machina.

Plus he is ostentatiously rich in a comfortably tacky way and a TV celebrity…beats a Harvard law degree. And why not the thinking goes …the highly vaunted elite college Acela crowd has pretty much made a pig's breakfast out of things. So much for meritocracy. Professor Harold Hill is going to give River City a boys band.

abynormal , June 2, 2016 at 8:50 am

The spectacle's externality with respect to the acting subject is demonstrated by the fact that the individual's own gestures are no longer his own but rather those of someone else who represents them to him. The spectator feels at home nowhere, for the spectacle is everywhere.
Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle

templar555510 , June 2, 2016 at 9:09 am

Time to frighten the elites. Trump will have to deliver something to all those supporters if he becomes President, but what that could, or might be, who could possibly say. That will be his problem. If he fails Blake's ' fearful symmetry ' could be very fearful indeed.

uahsenaa , June 2, 2016 at 9:58 am

Someone at American Conservative, when trying to get at why it's pointless to tell people Trump will wreck the place, described him as a "hand grenade" lobbed into the heart of government. You can't scare people with his crass-ness and destructive tendencies, because that's precisely what his voters are counting on when/if he gets into government.

In other words, the MSM's fear is the clearest sign to these voters that their political revolution is working. Since TPTB decided peaceful change (i.e. Sanders) was a non-starter, then they get to reap the whirlwind.

Robert Coutinho , June 2, 2016 at 9:10 am

Some of those who have commented here need to explain, in detail, with well-thought-out and backed-up plans, just how they would change the system that we currently have in place. I believe it needs to change. I have read quite a few ideas (some of them probably fairly good) on what to change and how to change it. However, it is very easy to complain about a problem. It is fairly easy to destroy things in the name of disliking the problem. It is, however, often quite difficult to fix the problem.

flora , June 2, 2016 at 9:30 am

What are your ideas?

JEHR , June 2, 2016 at 9:38 am

It's funny, but as an outsider it seems to me you already have the beginnings of a solution (which you may not recognize) in the role that Bernie Sanders is playing in your politics right at this moment. Getting money out of politics, free public university, single-payer health care and taking care of the bankers comprise some of Sanders' platform which would go a long way in changing the system. There will be fireworks, though, when it happens.

DJG , June 2, 2016 at 10:00 am

JEHR: Well, you must not be too much of an outsider, in that you give the correct diagnosis. The U S of A should start with some better policies and with less of the celebrity politics that has gotten us into this swamp.

Also: Progressive taxation. How revolutionary! Make the liberal elites and the rightwing elites pay taxes. Likewise, penalize companies for maintaining offshort accounts–as in revoking their corporate status, which can be done.

jrs , June 2, 2016 at 12:06 pm

yea it's a start but something really needs to be done about either jobs or incomes, it's far more central to people lives. I know sanders has some ideas but it was never given enough emphasis. Or keep wondering why trump still appeals to people – they are misguided of course, but nonetheless, he does promise a lot that he can never deliver that may appeal to people – like bringing back jobs.

Bud in PA , June 2, 2016 at 9:40 am

Well said

Rhondda , June 2, 2016 at 9:49 am

Lambert has a dozen ideas posted over at Corrente. Good, practical stuff. Take a look.

Vatch , June 2, 2016 at 10:44 am

http://www.correntewire.com/the_12_point_platform_0

The only thing that really needs to be added to this very good list is a concerted effort to encourage effective family planning. There are far too many people on Earth, and this is very dangerous.

Dave , June 2, 2016 at 11:04 am

There are all good ideas. However, population growth undermines almost all of them. Population growth in America is immigrant based. Reverse immigration influxes and you are at least doing something to reduce population growth.

How to "reverse immigration influxes"?

I too am a lifetime registered Democrat and I will vote for Trump if Clinton gets the crown. If the Democrats want my vote, my continuing party registration and my until recently sizeable donations in local, state and national races, they will nominate Bernie. If not, then I'm an Independent forevermore. They will just become the Demowhig Party.

Jack Heape , June 2, 2016 at 10:00 am

Here's a start…

1. Campaign Finance Reform: If you can't walk into a voting booth you cannot contribute, or make all elections financed solely by government funds and make private contributions of any kind to any politician illegal.
2. Re-institute Glass-Steagall but even more so. Limit the number of states a bank can operate in. Make the Fed publicly owned, not privately owned by banks.
3. Completely revise corporate law, doing away with the legal person hood of corporations and limit of liability for corporate officers and shareholders.
4. Single payer health care for everyone. Allow private health plans but do away with health insurance as a deductible for business. Remove the AMA's hold on licensing of medical schools which restricts the number of doctors.
5. Do away with the cap on Social Security wages and make all income, wages, capital gains, interest, and dividends subject to taxation.
6. Impose tariffs to compensate for lower labor costs overseas and revise industry.
7. Cut the Defense budget by 50% and use that money for intensive infrastructure development.
8. Raise the national minimum wage to $15 and hour.
9. Severely curtail the revolving door from government to private industry with a 10 year restriction on working for an industry you dealt with in any way as a government official.
10. Free public education including college (4 year degree).

DJG , June 2, 2016 at 10:01 am

Yes to all ten points. Thanks.

Jessica , June 2, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Some additional ideas:
1) High tax levels on natural monopolies or treat them as utilities or nationalize them. This means, for example, Microsoft Windows and Office, Facebook.
2) Require that all platforms for work be non-profit worker co-ops with capped management salaries. This means, for example, Uber, Lyft, perhaps AirBnB, and the like.
Also, if we cut the defense budget by 50% (which would be an excellent idea), it is important to provide genuine alternative opportunities for current and would-have-been soldiers and defense workers. That includes training too. This point could be pivotal for gaining and retaining the support of the kinds of folks who often don't vote or vote Republicans while progressives wonder why, the "what ever happened to Kansas" working class vote.

Jessica , June 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm

On a more general level, we need to
1) Find a way to reward intellectual work but also turn the information loose for further use. (Rather than using copyrights/patents to cripple usage of the information or leaving intellectual work unpaid for and crippling motivation.)
2) Restore integrity to the top 20%.
One thing that would help is to create a strong social consensus that respects those who profit from genuine creativity but despise those who profit by gaming the system or taking advantage of others. For example, Apple's creation of the iPod or iPad should be rewarded. Apple's profiting from super low wages at plants in China (the ones with the nets to catch would-be suicides), should punished and looked at the way we look at child molesters.

TedWa , June 2, 2016 at 10:01 am

Prosecute the banksters and restore the rule of law and everything else will fall into place is one great idea. Lawlessness is how neoliberalism is taking over

TedWa , June 2, 2016 at 10:11 am

It's become a free for all to steal from citizens around the world, blessed by central banks and bought governments.It's become such a game for "them" that they reward with huge bonuses those that get away with stealing the most. Neoliberalism is no rich crooks ever going to jail. Poor Madoff, should have been a politician with get a out of jail free card. He didn't play it the neoliberal way so he was punished.

tegnost , June 2, 2016 at 11:44 am

+1, when I'm accused of hating corporations or presented with TINA I simply point out that policy got us here and policy can get us out. This, along with all the effort the parties have put into the concept of the "unitary executive" and you can see why they're petrified of bernie.

sharonsj , June 2, 2016 at 10:23 am

Ideas are nice. We all know what they are. But nothing will happen unless people get off their duffs and take to the streets. I have read that the elites only change their behavior when frightened by very, very large crowds, preferably carrying pitchforks.

TedWa , June 2, 2016 at 10:56 am

Obama and Holder, allowing the banks to be above the law have them demi-gods, many of whom are psychopaths and kleptocrats, and with their newly granted status, they are now re-shaping the world in their own image. Prosecute these demi-gods and restore sanity. Don't and their greed for our things will never end until nothings left.

tegnost , June 2, 2016 at 11:56 am

This is why hillary is so much more dangerous than trump, because she and the demi gods are all on the same page. The TPP is their holy grail so I expect heaven and earth to be moved, especially if it looks like some trade traitors are going to get knocked off in the election, scoundrels like patty murray (dino, WA) will push to get it through then line up at the feed trough to gorge on k street dough. I plan to vote stein if it's not bernie, but am reserving commitment until I see what kind of betrayals the dems have for me, if it's bad enough I'll go with the trump hand grenade.

TedWa , June 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Totally agree tegnost, no more democratic neoliberals ! Patty Murray (up for re-election) and Cantwell are both trade traitors and got fast track passed.

Sluggeaux , June 2, 2016 at 9:13 am

Two things are driving our troubles: over-population and globalization. The plutocrats and kleptocrats have all the leverage over the rest of us laborers when the population of human beings has increased seven-fold in the last 70 years, from a little over a billion to seven billions (and growing) today. They are happy to let us freeze to death behind gas stations in order for them to compete with other oligarchs in excess consumption.

This deserves a longer and more thoughtful comment, but I don't have the time this morning. I have to fight commute traffic, because the population of my home state of California has doubled from 19M in 1970 to an estimated 43M today (if you count the Latin American refugees and H1B's).

Vatch , June 2, 2016 at 11:04 am

Thank you for mentioning the third rail of overpopulation. Too often, this giant category of problems is ignored, because it makes people uncomfortable. The planet is finite, resources on the planet are finite, yet the number of people keeps growing. We need to strive for a higher quality of life, not a higher quantity of people.

Enquiring Mind , June 2, 2016 at 9:14 am

Name names. Who are the current neoliberals that are up for election, or are standing for re-election? Or is the list just too long or obvious?

Rhondda , June 2, 2016 at 9:52 am

I think it's more like who aren't neoliberals/neocons.

Vatch , June 2, 2016 at 11:09 am

In the U.S., nearly all of the Republican politicians fit into this category, and a substantial number of Democrats, too. Here's a list of some of the more prominent Democrats: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/democrats-who-voted-for-fast-track Not all of the Senators are up for re-election, of course. You can also find more Democrats in this category by looking for Hillary Clinton supporters among the super delegates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Democratic_Party_superdelegates,_2016

Many of them are not elected officials, and not all of the elected officials are up for re-election. But House members are always up for re-election, unless they retire or lose in a primary.

paul whalen , June 2, 2016 at 9:19 am

America has always been a country where a majority of the population has been poor. With the exception of a fifty five year(1950-2005) year period where access to large quantities of consumer debt by households was deployed to first to provide a wealth illusion to keep socialism at bay, followed by a mortgage debt boom to both keep the system afloat and strip the accumulated capital of the working class, i.e. home equity, the history of the US has been one of poverty for the masses. Further debt was foisted on the working class in the form of military Keynesianism, generating massive fiscal deficits which are to be paid for via austerity in a neo-feudal economy.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/28/the-myth-of-the-middle-class-have-most-americans-always-been-poor/

jrs , June 2, 2016 at 12:14 pm

I think that is closer to the truth, U.S. style capitalism produces poverty, always has, always will, actually capitalism does pretty much. But some small section of the population – the college educated, and the white union members, did have it better and are angry at what they lost.

fresno dan , June 2, 2016 at 9:56 am

"Those mill jobs were well paid and the workers could buy houses, cars, and had pensions. One of my brothers works for a paper mill that should have been world competitive through his retirement, but it's been wrecked by a series of private equity owners, starting with Cerberus, and in now in bankruptcy."

========================

If you read "Barbarians at the Gate" what was most striking is that companies that get destroyed are PROFITABLE – but it is MORE profitable for a few to strip mine them. In the religion of economics, God has forgotten them… We use certain metrics that says this increases GDP, and therefore it MUST be done – like the character in Harry Potter whose name can never be uttered, we can never, ever speak of the distribution of the vaunted GDP. As I've said many times, inequality is a political choice. I fear our system has been so thoroughly infiltrated by the self absorbed that it is now impossible for any meaningful reform.

TedWa , June 2, 2016 at 11:03 am

Above the law demi-god banksters (I call them financial terrorists) are re-creating the world in their own image. Thank Obama and Holder for placing them above the law.

jrs , June 2, 2016 at 12:26 pm

Why were they well paid though? Just because of a tight labor market or because of unions? If it's the latter sooner or later even all those Trump supporters are going to have to admit that only leftist movements like the labor movement actually work.

Dave , June 2, 2016 at 10:21 am

Americans cannot begin to reasonably demand a living wage, benefits and job security when there is an unending human ant-line of illegals and legal immigrants willing to under bid them.

Only when there is a parity or shortage of workers can wage demands succeed, along with other factors.

From 1925 to 1965 this country accepted hardly any immigrants, legal or illegal. We had the bracero program where Mexican males were brought in to pick crops and were then sent home to collect paychecks in Mexico. American blacks were hired from the deep south to work defense plants in the north and west.

Is it any coincidence that the 1965 Great Society program, initiated by Ted Kennedy to primarily benefit the Irish immigrants, then co-opted by LBJ to include practically everyone, started this process of Middle Class destruction?

1973 was the peak year of American Society as measured by energy use per capita, expansion of jobs and unionization and other factors, such as an environment not yet destroyed, nicely measured by the The Real Progress Indicator.

Solution? Stop importing uneducated people. That's real "immigration reform".

Now explain to me why voters shouldn't favor Trump's radical immigration stands?

RUKidding , June 2, 2016 at 11:06 am

Maybe, but OTOH, who is it, exactly, who is recruiting, importing, hiring and training undocumented workers to downgrade pay scales??

Do some homework, please. If businesses didn't actively go to Central and South America to recruit, pay to bring here, hire and employ undocumented workers, then the things you discuss would be great.

When ICE comes a-knocking at some meat processing plant or mega-chicken farm, what happens? The undocumented workers get shipped back to wherever, but the big business owner doesn't even get a tap on the wrist. The undocumented worker – hired to work in unregulated unsafe unhealthy conditions – often goes without their last paycheck.

It's the business owners who manage and support this system of undocumented workers because it's CHEAP, and they don't get busted for it.

Come back when the USA actually enforces the laws that are on the books today and goes after big and small business owners who knowingly recruit, import, hire, train and employee undocumented workers… you know, like Donald Trump has all across his career.

tegnost , June 2, 2016 at 12:24 pm

This is the mechanism by which the gov't has assisted biz in destroying the worker, competition for thee, but none for me. For instance I can't go work in canada or mexico, they don't allow it. Policy made it, policy can change it, go bernie. While I favor immigration, in it's current form it is primarily conducted on these lines of destroying workers (H1b etc and illegals combined) Lucky for the mexicans they can see the american dream is bs and can go home. I wonder who the latinos that have gained citizenship will vote for. Unlikely it'll be trump, but they can be pretty conservative, and the people they work for are pretty conservative so no guarantee there, hillary is in san diego at the tony balboa park where her supporters will feel comfortable, not a huge venue I think they must be hoping for a crowd, and if she can't get one in san diego while giving a "if we don't rule the world someone else will" speech, she can't get one anywhere. Defense contractors and military advisors and globalist biotech (who needs free money more than biotech? they are desperate for hillary) are thick in san diego.

RUKidding , June 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm

I live part-time in San Diego. It is very conservative. The military, who are constantly screwed by the GOP, always vote Republican. They make up a big cohort of San Diego county.

Hillary may not get a big crowd at the speech, but that, in itself, doesn't mean that much to me. There is a segment of San Diego that is somewhat more progressive-ish, but it's a pretty conservative county with parts of eastern SD county having had active John Birch Society members until recently… or maybe even ongoing.

There's a big push in the Latino community to GOTV, and it's mostly not for Trump. It's possible this cohort, esp the younger Latino/as, will vote for Sanders in the primary, but if Clinton gets the nomination, they'll likely vote for her (v. Trump).

I was unlucky enough to be stuck for an hour in a commuter train last Friday after Trump's rally there. Hate to sound rude, but Trump's fans were everything we've seen. Loud, rude, discourteous and an incessant litany of rightwing talking points (same old, same old). All pretty ignorant. Saying how Trump will "make us great again." I don't bother asking how. A lot of ugly comments about Obama and how Obama has been "so racially divisive and polarizing." Well, No. No, Obama has not been or done that, but the rightwing noise machine has sure ginned up your hatreds, angers and fears. It was most unpleasant. The only instructive thing about it was confirming my worst fears about this group. Sorry to say but pretty loutish and very uninformed. Sigh.

Bob Haugen , June 2, 2016 at 10:35 am

Re Methland, we live in rural US and we got a not-very-well hidden population of homeless children. I don't mean homeless families with children, I mean homeless children. Sleeping in parks in good weather, couch-surfing with friends, etc. I think related.

[May 30, 2016] A fractured Democratic Party threatens Clinton's chances against Trump

naked capitalism

UPDATE "A fractured Democratic Party threatens Clinton's chances against Trump" [WaPo].

Sanders himself has made harder-to-argue cases [as opposed to election fraud] against the Democratic primaries. The truncated debate schedule struck supporters of both candidates as unfair, something the party seemed to acknowledge by tacking on more of them in March and April. Although Clinton is on track to win a majority of pledged delegates, Sanders has suggested that early support for Clinton among superdelegates, the party leaders and elected officials who get an automatic convention vote but are not bound by their state's popular vote created a barrier no candidate could scale.

This reminds me of Albert O. Hirschman's "Exit, Voice, and Loyalty" formulation. The Democrats have given Sanders supporters zero to no reason for loyalty, so the remaining options are voice and exit. Can the Clinton camp craft a deal that will allow Sanders voters a voice within the party? I think they neither wish to, nor can (vague noises about platform wording are to "voice" as watching a meeting is to chairing a meeting). Hence, exit. Here, the classic Democratic response has been "They have no place to go." However, Sanders has funding independent of the Democratic Party, and he also has his "list" (assuming the Democrat insiders using NGP VAN haven't stolen it). So for the first time, there's a real chance of creating a place for the left to go. The new situation Sanders created has impaled the Democrat establishment on the horns of a big dilemma: Craft a deal with a party faction they despise (a deal which, more to the point, will break some important rice bowls if it's any kind of deal at all), or craft no deal and go for moderate Republican votes; I argue the Iron Law of Institutions - not to mention neoliberal ideological compatibility and class interest - will impel the Democrat Establishment to do the latter; hence, exit for Sanders. Nevertheless, the Establishment's dilemma causes them genuine pain, and hence the sudden spittle-flecked explosion of Acela-riding, loyalist rage, none of which takes account of the realpolitik, or resolves the situation in any way.

UPDATE "Does Bernie Sanders want to be the Ralph Nader of 2016?" [Dana Milbank, WaPo]. The insurgent Sanders couldn't, even if he wanted to be. The insurgent Nader commanded what, 4% of the vote? Sanders commands 45%, after a process skewed against him, whose views point to a possible future for the Democrat Party. Incidentally, there's a message in an order-of-magnitude growth in support for Democrat insurgents, if the party Establishment would open its ears. (And don't talk to me about Florida: 306,000 Florida Democrats voted for Bush. Democrats lost election 2000, and nobody else.)

"After winning more than 60 percent of the pledged delegates through March 1st, Clinton is now likely to lose the majority of pledged delegates awarded between March 2nd and June 14th - a two and a half month period that makes up roughly the final two-thirds of the Democratic nominating process" [HuffPo]. Why those favorability ratings are important…

[May 23, 2016] Sanders draws blood in war with Democratic leaders

Notable quotes:
"... Bernie Sanders secured his first concession from the Democratic establishment on Monday when the Democratic National Committee agreed to grant his supporters greater representation on its convention platform committee. ..."
"... Sanders is rapidly revealing that his nomination battle against Hillary Clinton represents just one front in his wider-reaching war on the Democratic Party's entrenched leadership ..."
www.politico.com

POLITICO

Bernie Sanders secured his first concession from the Democratic establishment on Monday when the Democratic National Committee agreed to grant his supporters greater representation on its convention platform committee.

... ... ...

Sanders is rapidly revealing that his nomination battle against Hillary Clinton represents just one front in his wider-reaching war on the Democratic Party's entrenched leadership, and that the other fights - from Washington, D.C. to Nevada, to Wyoming - are about to get far more attention.

...But the Vermont senator - long perceived by many of his Democratic colleagues as a gadfly - is stepping up his assault on the party's way of doing business.

... ... ...

[May 12, 2016] Screw The Next Generation Anonymous Congressman Admits To Blithely Mortgaging The Future With A Wink A Nod

Notable quotes:
"... "Most of my colleagues are dishonest career politicians who revel in the power and special-interest money that's lavished upon them." ..."
"... "My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything." ..."
"... "Fundraising is so time consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on. Like many of my colleagues, I don't know how the legislation will be implemented, or what it'll cost." ..."
"... " Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works." ..."
"... "It's far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification." ..."
"... "We spend money we don't have and blithely mortgage the future with a wink and a nod. Screw the next generation." ..."
"... Best line in the God Father. "Their Saps, They fight for other people". Sounds like pop talking. God damn right that's Pop talking. Come here you. ..."
"... The only function of a bureaucracy is to perpetuate the bureaucracy. ..."
"... Trump is getting so much attention because the citizenry doesn't know how the govt was designed to work, and is looking for a "leader" to fix things up. ..."
"... The power lies in Congress, by design, appropriately so, as it most closely represents the will of the People. And therein lies the eleventh-hour problem. ..."
"... This book will be exposed as a hoax. It is doubtless a compilation of quotes from multiple Congrees-critters over the years. I doubt any of these assholes would risk exposure in this manner. They don't have the guts. ..."
May 12, 2016 | Zero Hedge

A shockingly frank new book from an anonymous Democratic congressman turns yet another set of conspiracy theories into consirpacy facts as he spills the beans on the ugly reality behind the scenes in Washington. While little will surprise any regular readers, the selected quotes offered by "The Confessions Of Congressman X" book cover sheet read like they were ripped from the script of House of Cards... and yet are oh so believable...

A devastating inside look at the dark side of Congress as revealed by one of its own! No wonder Congressman X wants to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. His admissions are deeply disturbing...

"Most of my colleagues are dishonest career politicians who revel in the power and special-interest money that's lavished upon them."

"My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything."

"Fundraising is so time consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on. Like many of my colleagues, I don't know how the legislation will be implemented, or what it'll cost."

The book also takes shots at voters as disconnected idiots who let Congress abuse its power through sheer incompetence...

" Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works."

"It's far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification."

And, as The Daily Mail so elqouently notes, the take-away message is one of resigned depression about how Congress sacrifices America's future on the altar of its collective ego...

"We spend money we don't have and blithely mortgage the future with a wink and a nod. Screw the next generation."

"It's about getting credit now, lookin' good for the upcoming election."

Simply put, it's everything that is enraging Americans about their government's dysfunction and why Trump is getting so much attention.

10mm

Best line in the God Father. "Their Saps, They fight for other people". Sounds like pop talking. God damn right that's Pop talking. Come here you.

SidSays

"My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything."

The only function of a bureaucracy is to perpetuate the bureaucracy.

chunga

The shining city on a hill is chock full of assholes like this. They've run out of other people's money for this purpose so bad, generations to come are screwed. Unless of course they are all stamped away and their bullshit repudiated.

The scummiest scum of humans go into politics.

Cabreado

"and why Trump is getting so much attention."

No, that is perilously false.

Trump is getting so much attention because the citizenry doesn't know how the govt was designed to work, and is looking for a "leader" to fix things up.

I've been pecking away for years that the attention must be on Congress. No takers here at ZH either, for the most part.

Again... a finally corrupt and defunct Congress is what must be dealt with post haste, and a "Trump" or any other will not be the answer to changing the trajectory.

The power lies in Congress, by design, appropriately so, as it most closely represents the will of the People. And therein lies the eleventh-hour problem.

financialrealist

I've said it time and again. Just today I posted "our entire system is based on subjective financial asset valuations to support the needs of today with no consideration of tomorrow". Politicians and their money grubbing corporate assholes thought of future generations don't transcend beyond their own line of sight. We do not have a government or system for the people. We have a government who's sole purpose is to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else. Burn the fucker down

Captain Willard

This book will be exposed as a hoax. It is doubtless a compilation of quotes from multiple Congrees-critters over the years. I doubt any of these assholes would risk exposure in this manner. They don't have the guts.

[May 11, 2016] Bush Wrecked the GOP Long Before Trump Appeared

Notable quotes:
"... One of the remarkable things about this election is the sheer intensity of hostility to Trump from many of the same movement conservatives who shrugged at Bush's far more serious betrayals and failures. Many movement conservatives have been much more horrified by Trump's momentary political success over a few months than they were by the real, costly, staggering failures of governance under the Bush administration over a period of eight years. Bush certainly drove some conservatives and Republicans into vocal opposition, including those of us here at TAC, but there seem to be many, many more on the right that thought Bush could practically do no wrong but have been driven into fits by nothing more than Trump's nomination. ..."
"... People that now panic about incipient caudillismo and the dangers of a nationalist demagogue didn't care when Bush expanded the security state, trampled on the Constitution, or launched an unnecessary war of aggression, and people that yawned at the steady expansion of government and creation of new unfunded liabilities under Bush are now supposedly alarmed by Trump's lack of fidelity to the cause of limited government. They correctly identify many of Trump's flaws, but refuse to acknowledge the fact that the party was already killed (or at least severely wounded) years ago during the disastrous Bush era. It was that period of incompetence and ideologically-driven debacles that shattered the GOP, and for the last seven years the vast majority of die-hard Trump foes have refused to recognize that and have chosen to learn nothing from it. They lost to Trump, but the part they can't accept is that they deserved to lose because of their role in enabling the GOP's past failures. Now they're touting their abandonment of the wreckage they helped to create as if they deserve applause for running away from their own handiwork. If it weren't so serious, it would be quite comical. ..."
www.dailykos.com

Daily Kos

Blogger driftglass writes- The Well-Thumbed History and Plainsong Lore...of our Fucked Up Modern Age :
The cheapest laugh down here in the Liberal cheap seats continues to be the hilarious "evolution" of the indignation of Conservatives who are watching their monster run away with their party. Since no one listens to us and no one cares what we think, we here on the Left find ourselves oddly blessed with the greatest and most dangerous freedom of all: we are free to remember the past in country where almost everyone else-especially the wealthy and powerful-are expending enormous energies denying the past. Ten years ago it was an act of unalloyed heresy and disloyalty bordering on treason to even hint that George W. Bush was not the Greatest Fucking President in Modern History. Six years ago, it was sheer folly-whistling into a hurricane-to suggest that the Tea Party was not, in fact a sudden and spontaneous uprising of otherwise-politically-virginal patriots, but was instead a massive wingnut rebranding scam designed to get millions of bigots and meatheads off the hook for volubly supporting the Worst Fucking President in Modern History. But now, as America's Conservative brain wizards flail around looking for someone or something onto which they can lay off the blame for the rise of Donald McRonald, look what is suddenly no longer verboten. [...] And my oh my, look at what version of American history is no longer a heresy so disqualifying that the media dare not speak its name (from The American Conservative ):
Bush Wrecked the GOP Long Before Trump Appeared By DANIEL LARISON ... One of the remarkable things about this election is the sheer intensity of hostility to Trump from many of the same movement conservatives who shrugged at Bush's far more serious betrayals and failures. Many movement conservatives have been much more horrified by Trump's momentary political success over a few months than they were by the real, costly, staggering failures of governance under the Bush administration over a period of eight years. Bush certainly drove some conservatives and Republicans into vocal opposition, including those of us here at TAC, but there seem to be many, many more on the right that thought Bush could practically do no wrong but have been driven into fits by nothing more than Trump's nomination. People that now panic about incipient caudillismo and the dangers of a nationalist demagogue didn't care when Bush expanded the security state, trampled on the Constitution, or launched an unnecessary war of aggression, and people that yawned at the steady expansion of government and creation of new unfunded liabilities under Bush are now supposedly alarmed by Trump's lack of fidelity to the cause of limited government. They correctly identify many of Trump's flaws, but refuse to acknowledge the fact that the party was already killed (or at least severely wounded) years ago during the disastrous Bush era. It was that period of incompetence and ideologically-driven debacles that shattered the GOP, and for the last seven years the vast majority of die-hard Trump foes have refused to recognize that and have chosen to learn nothing from it. They lost to Trump, but the part they can't accept is that they deserved to lose because of their role in enabling the GOP's past failures. Now they're touting their abandonment of the wreckage they helped to create as if they deserve applause for running away from their own handiwork. If it weren't so serious, it would be quite comical.

If you are a Liberal living in America you are a pariah in your own land who has lived to see almost every one of your ostracizing blasphemies slowly, quietly become a widely accepted and largely uncontroversial fact of everyday life.

Every blasphemy except one-that the Left has been right about the Right all along. Because if Important People ever dared to start saying that out loud in Important Places, the entire system would implode.

[May 03, 2016] Gaius Publius Hillary Clinton Won New York, But Her Image Is Underwater

Notable quotes:
"... Much more comfortable [running against Clinton] and I think everyone that has analyzed this knows that Hillary Clinton is in the ditch. We don't know how far in the ditch she's going to go but she's not doing well. She's not even winning ..."
"... The DemParty would rather lose with Clinton than win with Sanders. Just as the RepParty would rather lose with Cruz than win with Trump. ..."
"... If she was a rationally thinking human being she would have taken the hint when she got beaten by Obama in '08. Actually she should never have run in '08. Her basic conundrum is: how can she claim to be an empowered strong woman when ALL of her power is derived from the fact she was married to a prez and stuck through him through all his problems with many "other women". ..."
"... I don't care if she sleeps with other women – the fact that she's in bed with Wall Street is way more troubling. ..."
"... And the sad part is with Hillary we're probably going to miss the O-bomber when he's gone. ..."
"... she's a devout Ayn Randian, carries a grudge, gets extremely angry, doesn't have any idea of what the difference between truth and lies is, and has a sense of self-entitlement as wide as the Atlantic Ocean. ..."
"... The Democratic machine hates Sanders even more than it hates Trump and the Republicans. They hate everything he stands for. ..."
"... They would rather see Trump win than Sanders. He asks too many inconvenient questions. Trump can be handled, like Reagan or Bush II. ..."
"... there's obvious downside to pissing off a well-connected major political and financial player with a long memory, as opposed to a candidate with few lucrative contacts whose second act after his big swing for the fences is a probably quiet retirement. ..."
"... As several people have pointed out, a win with Sanders is the second (or third) best outcome for the establishment. So far, the best-case scenario is still in the bag if they stick with her, and in jeopardy if they don't. It's delusional to think Sanders has a chance with them, even moreso than the Clinton supporters in 2008 who thought they could engineer an upset over Obama with convention procedures. ..."
"... So how did Hillary Clinton beat out the popular Senator Bernie Sanders in New York State where he was born and raised? Where he was drawing rallies of tens of thousands of supporters in the week before the primary? Where his ground game had the engaged support of thousands of members of the Working Families Party and Occupy Wall Street activists? The system was rigged to guarantee the outcome just as the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington guarantees that looting the little guy remains a lucrative business model on Wall Street. ..."
"... I confess to feeling despair for the survival of human civilization, of humanity and all complex life on Earth. The proximate reason for this is the theft of the New York Democratic primary by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. As for the fraud itself, it is a now familiar litany: Flipped registrations, machine switched votes, massive voter roll purges and much more. Consider just one illustrative example: Brooklyn. Brooklyn is run by the Kings County Democratic Party. A Chicago Mayor Dick Daley style political machine is in complete charge. Nothing happens there by accident. All "accidents" are carefully planned! And a lot of "accidents" occurred on primary election day there! Taken together these add up to election FRAUD. ..."
"... HRC and Bill are the Macbeths of US politics. They should have quit with their hundreds of millions while they were ahead. Hillary may win the election but she'll lose the war. They will have so many scandals to deal with they won't know what hit them. ..."
"... Bern in Hellary, Clintons! ..."
"... president who was a one term president ..."
naked capitalism

Those numbers have no influence on the state-by-state results but offer a window into both the success of Sanders in generating enthusiasm and Clinton's inability to capitalize on all her political advantages . Since October, when her candidacy began rising again after several months of controversy about her use of a private email server, she has been on a downward slide. Her lead over the senator from Vermont has dropped from what was then a 31-point advantage to the current two points .

Meanwhile, her negative ratings have been rising and now outweigh her positives by 24 points , according to the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll. That makes her seen no more favorably than Cruz is. Her only salvation is that Trump's net negative is minus 41. Sanders, meanwhile, has a net positive of nine points - although it's fair to say that one reason for that is that he has received far less in the way of attacks from Republicans or scrutiny from the media than Clinton has. [This last is standard Clinton camp spin; conventional explanation until shown otherwise]

Clinton's image is at or near record lows among major demographic groups. Among men, she is at minus 40. Among women, she is at minus nine. Among whites, she is at minus 39. Among white women, she is at minus 25. Among white men, she is at minus 72. Her favorability among whites at this point in the election cycle is worse than President Obama's ever has been, according to Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster who conducted the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll with Democratic pollster Peter Hart.

Minority voters have been the linchpin of Clinton's nomination strategy and were a key to her success in New York. Among African Americans nationally, the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll shows her with a net positive of 51 points. But that's down 13 points from her first-quarter average and is about at her lowest ever. Among Latinos, her net positive is just two points , down from plus 21 points during the first quarter.

Reince Priebus earlier described the Clinton candidacy as " in the ditch ":

"Much more comfortable [running against Clinton] and I think everyone that has analyzed this knows that Hillary Clinton is in the ditch. We don't know how far in the ditch she's going to go but she's not doing well. She's not even winning," Priebus said.

different clue , April 22, 2016 at 3:28 pm

The DemParty would rather lose with Clinton than win with Sanders. Just as the RepParty would rather lose with Cruz than win with Trump.

And since Trump is stronger against the RepParty than Sanders is against the DemParty, Trump will very likely be nominated while Sanders very likely won't. So in a situation of Trump vs. Clinton, many people will face an agonizing choice.

Now . . . if the ReParty nominates Cruz or someother branded establishment ReParty member, then Clinton will likely win.

EndOfTheWorld , April 22, 2016 at 7:12 am

If she was a rationally thinking human being she would have taken the hint when she got beaten by Obama in '08. Actually she should never have run in '08. Her basic conundrum is: how can she claim to be an empowered strong woman when ALL of her power is derived from the fact she was married to a prez and stuck through him through all his problems with many "other women". Plus, her personality, voice, cackle, even the mere sight of her is repulsive to many people. Another thing that will have to be dealt with during the general is: is she or is she not gay? Voters will certainly be curious about that.

edmondo , April 22, 2016 at 8:26 am

I don't care if she sleeps with other women – the fact that she's in bed with Wall Street is way more troubling.

ambrit ,April 22, 2016 at 9:58 am

+1

crittermom , April 22, 2016 at 10:49 am

+100

thoughtful person , April 22, 2016 at 1:23 pm

+1000

aliteralmind , April 22, 2016 at 4:19 pm

+100,000

Elizabeth , April 22, 2016 at 7:57 pm

+500,000

Steve , April 22, 2016 at 9:32 pm

+$675,000

Ensign Nemo , April 24, 2016 at 3:49 am

+$153,000,000

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/05/politics/hillary-clinton-bill-clinton-paid-speeches/

JoeK , April 22, 2016 at 12:41 pm

I think a lot about a person's character is revealed by their laugh; hers is mirthless and mean, perfectly consonant with her generally strident tone of voice. Obama may be as narcissistic and have run for the office as much for the sake of trophy-seeking, but at least his voice doesn't grate.

oh , April 22, 2016 at 4:04 pm

oh really?

jrs , April 22, 2016 at 6:55 pm

It grates on me, as does his condescending words, his face etc.. But that's because of who he is. See he might objectively be judged as a fairly good looking guy but, who can't even see that anymore given his evil. And the sad part is with Hillary we're probably going to miss the O-bomber when he's gone.

Josquin , April 22, 2016 at 6:47 pm

Clinton's quite rational. She's also smart, logical, and perceptive. On the other hand, she's a devout Ayn Randian, carries a grudge, gets extremely angry, doesn't have any idea of what the difference between truth and lies is, and has a sense of self-entitlement as wide as the Atlantic Ocean.

This is her election. She doesn't care if she brings down the entire corrupt edifice of her own party, as reconfigured under the administration of her husband, as long as she gets the nomination. And if that puts the Dems out in the wilderness long enough for them to realize they need to return to being the party of the unions, the minorities, the working classes? Great.

But my bet is that first, for however long it takes, if they lose they'll blame it on Sanders and all those groups they used to support, and now spit on.

Richard Smith , April 22, 2016 at 7:42 am

Gaius is right about the numbers and the trends. But even if Hillary's numbers plummet to catastrophic levels –to below Trump, which could happen if he cleans up his act as he is setting out to do right now - don't hold your breath for the DNC to nominate the only obvious potential winner, Bernie Sanders.

The Democratic machine hates Sanders even more than it hates Trump and the Republicans. They hate everything he stands for. He's a socialist (of a mild sort). The Dems and Repubs are all plutocrats. They would rather see Trump win than Sanders. He asks too many inconvenient questions. Trump can be handled, like Reagan or Bush II.

phil , April 22, 2016 at 11:18 am

It's also worth noting that comparisons between Clinton and Sanders say nothing about the matchup between Clinton and whatever emerges from the GOP swamp. Approval ratings are more relevant, but are still an unreliable proxy, and even they show her competitive once the GOP candidates wreck the curve.

Picking Clinton, IOW, has no serious downside if you're worried about beating a GOP Presidential candidate. However, there's obvious downside to pissing off a well-connected major political and financial player with a long memory, as opposed to a candidate with few lucrative contacts whose second act after his big swing for the fences is a probably quiet retirement.

As several people have pointed out, a win with Sanders is the second (or third) best outcome for the establishment. So far, the best-case scenario is still in the bag if they stick with her, and in jeopardy if they don't. It's delusional to think Sanders has a chance with them, even moreso than the Clinton supporters in 2008 who thought they could engineer an upset over Obama with convention procedures.

Bev , April 22, 2016 at 11:57 am

Americans know that our political system is completely rotten. Just two days ago, NBC News published the results of a new national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. It found the following: "Nearly seven-in-10 registered voters say they couldn't see themselves supporting Republican frontrunner Donald Trump; 61 percent say they couldn't back fellow Republican Ted Cruz; and 58 percent couldn't see themselves voting for Democratic favorite Hillary Clinton."

Above quote from: http://wallstreetonparade.com/2016/04/new-york-does-elections-like-it-does-wall-street-with-its-finger-on-the-scale/

New York Does Elections Like It Does Wall Street: With Its Finger on the Scale
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 20, 2016

Consistent with numerous other polls, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll also found that "just 19 percent of all respondents give Clinton high marks for being honest and trustworthy." So how did Hillary Clinton beat out the popular Senator Bernie Sanders in New York State where he was born and raised? Where he was drawing rallies of tens of thousands of supporters in the week before the primary? Where his ground game had the engaged support of thousands of members of the Working Families Party and Occupy Wall Street activists? The system was rigged to guarantee the outcome just as the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington guarantees that looting the little guy remains a lucrative business model on Wall Street.


…………

via Richard Charnin https://richardcharnin.wordpress.com

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1sGxtIofohrj3POpwq-85Id2_fYKgvgoWbPZacZw0XlY/edit?pref=2&pli=1#gid=1476097125

Those states marked in yellow on the spreadsheet indicate Fraud. There are a lot of states that were stolen.
………

Maybe Sanders is saving up all this brilliant evidence from Richard Charnin and others to use in any contested fight for the nomination. I think it could be powerful leverage that could undo the blatant theft of votes, theft of democracy by Party leaders. Perhaps…

https://richardcharnin.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/ny-democratic-primary-more-frustration/

NY Democratic Primary: More Frustration
Richard Charnin

As always, the final CNN exit poll was forced to match the recorded vote.

http://www.cnn.com/election/primaries/polls/NY/Dem

View the Early Exit Poll vs. Final (matched to recorded vote) vs. True Vote

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1sGxtIofohrj3POpwq-85Id2_fYKgvgoWbPZacZw0XlY/edit#gid=1433317684
snip

The UNADJUSTED exit poll indicated a close race. Hillary led by just 52-48%, an 11.8% discrepancy from the recorded vote. There were 1391 respondents and a 2.6% exit poll Margin of Error. Clinton led by a whopping 62-38% in the vote count with 33% of precincts reporting.

At 9:03 pm, there were 1307 exit poll respondents, Clinton led the actual count by 680-622 (52.0-47.6%). With just 84 additional respondents (1391 total), Clinton's lead increased to 802-589 (57.7-42.3%). She had 122 additional respondents and Sanders had 33 fewer.

How can Clinton gain 122 of 84 respondents? How can Sanders' total drop? They can't. It is mathematically impossible. Therefore the final vote has to be impossible as well. . The exit poll was forced to match the recorded vote with impossible adjustments.
snip

In 2014, NY voter registration was 49D-24R-27I. The split was 85D-15I in the exit poll, which (as always) was forced to match the 57.9-42.1% recorded vote.

Assuming primary voting was proportional to registration, the split would have been 65D-35I and the race would have been a tie. If Clinton had 58% of Democrats, Sanders won the election by 52.5-47.5%.
snip

Assuming that Sanders' 48% exit poll was accurate, he must have won the election due to thousands of suppressed votes. Sanders True Vote = 48% exit poll + suppressed vote.

Let's assume that 5% of registered voters (400,000) were disenfranchised and Sanders had 75%. Then he had 52.9% assuming his 48% exit poll share.
snip

Sanders' exit poll share declined in the recorded vote in 18 out of 19 primaries.
The probability: P=1-binomdist(17,19,.5,true) = 0.000038 = 1 in 26,000.
……….

This information needs updating. It shows that there is already a very big difference between those states which have Caucuses with open public evidence of head/hand counts or paper ballots hand counted vs those in Primaries using the abusive evidence-free/evidence-hidden e-voting/e-scanning machines:

Democratic Primaries (and Caucuses)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1sGxtIofohrj3POpwq-85Id2_fYKgvgoWbPZacZw0XlY/edit?pref=2&pli=1

Sanders Average Vote Shares: 66% in 12 Caucuses
(My note: with Real Public Evidence);
41% in 20 Primaries
(Evidence Hidden or Removed with those voting machines for the purpose of stealing democracy)

………….

We need to correct this now. Because it may be now or never.

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Bernie-or-Extinction-by-Michael-Byron-Bernie-Sanders_Bernie-Sanders-2016-Presidential-Candidate_Bernie-Sanders-Presidential-Campaign_Civilization-160421-594.html

Bernie or Extinction.
By Michael Byron

I confess to feeling despair for the survival of human civilization, of humanity and all complex life on Earth. The proximate reason for this is the theft of the New York Democratic primary by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. As for the fraud itself, it is a now familiar litany: Flipped registrations, machine switched votes, massive voter roll purges and much more. Consider just one illustrative example: Brooklyn. Brooklyn is run by the Kings County Democratic Party. A Chicago Mayor Dick Daley style political machine is in complete charge. Nothing happens there by accident. All "accidents" are carefully planned! And a lot of "accidents" occurred on primary election day there! Taken together these add up to election FRAUD.

Malcolm MacLeod, MD , April 22, 2016 at 10:31 pm

Bev: I didn't understand a lot of the numbers in your link, but I
certainly caught the drift, and appreciated your comment.

Bas , April 22, 2016 at 2:01 pm

Really.

a candidate with few lucrative contacts whose second act after his big swing for the fences is a probably quiet retirement.

don't think so, and Clinton v. GOP win depends on which party is more adept at election theft at this point.

susan the other , April 22, 2016 at 11:24 am

i also think there is an internal battle going on among the plutocrats… there are those who want single payer health care for instance. we know that's not hillary's faction, so it could be trump's pals. There must be a consensus among some of the uneasy rich that if they can't resuscitate social equality they are history because they need society in order to function – they all know everything is dysfunctional now. The worst dysfunction is our deprivation: no health care, only welfare for insurance & drug companies; failing educational system; bankrupt retirement funds; no jobs; etc. The people are putting up better resistance to the takeover of the world by the neoliberals in Europe but only because they have vetted socialist societies. What Hillary and her pals concocted is an almost unbelievable disaster. Their solution seems to be more deprivation, more war, with no solution in sight for inequality. And lastly, Hillary does not even recognize the situation – she pretends things are just fine – all we have to do is protect our "rights" – are you for real, Hill?

Left in Wisconsin , April 22, 2016 at 1:28 pm

There are lots of capitalist firms that would be better off with single payer, and lots of business people that would be happy to see McD's, Wal-mart, etc. finally pay some of the true cost of their low wages, and to see the vig for Big Pharma and Big Health (Un)Care shrink.

Malcolm MacLeod, MD , April 22, 2016 at 10:42 pm

Left: I've been preaching for years that single payer is the only option, plus
making medical education far less expensive. I went to school in the old
days before student loans and all that crap, and I wasn't forced to increase
my income to pay off debts. Europe has the correct idea.

ScottS , April 22, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Right on, Susan. I've long said single payer will come from Republicans. Only Nixon could go to China.

Plus, if they repeal Obamacare, what else but single payer would they replace it with?

jrs , April 22, 2016 at 7:04 pm

Yea but even if they would benefit from single payer and they might, it's hard to say they'll ever be on board for full employment. Slack in the labor market is how wages are kept low, you just keep the slack within a certain range that for us will guarantee there will be losers, and for them will guarantee there aren't enough of them for violent revolution. Then you blame the losers such a system necessarily creates for their fate.

So the interest of some oligarchs might sometimes coincide with ours, but don't count on it. And at a certain point I wonder how much good free healthcare will do if you bankrupt everyone with expensive rents or something instead (so many means of rent extraction, so little time!). Although it is a less inhumane way of keeping people enslaved than for their very healthcare.

Thor's Hammer , April 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm

Susan, I agree that not all plutocrats are mentally retarded ogres. And some may prefer a functioning social order over the immediate opportunity to suck the last blood out of the present one.

The Malignant Overlords- the Banksters, Frackers and War Party purveyors of weapons of Death- that have dominated US policy for decades have found the perfect candidate in Killary. She is a known commodity that will do their bidding instantly at the sound of a briefcase full of $100 dollar bills being opened. Many Overlords may have loyalty to the Republican party much as they do to the football team of their Alma Mater, but they can't help but understand the value of having a President like Obama or Killary who present themselves as a progressive man or woman of the people while delivering policies that benefit only them.

Why should they back a social misfit like Ted Cruz whom everybody he has ever worked with hates? Or an unpredictable wild card like Trump who occasionally says things that send chills up their spine? Withdraw from NATO? A Defense Department organized to defend America rather than enforce subservience to the Empire and maximize costs of new weaponry? Build things in the US instead of using much cheaper slave labor overseas? What a frightening idea.

Much better to support a Trojan Horse "Democrat." even if they have too many Jewish lawyers at their fund raising banquets.

Fiver , April 23, 2016 at 3:53 am

No question she was the ideal candidate, or they'd not, through the magic of DNC/Beltway 'consensus' have anointed her the first woman President in 2016 back in 2008 – no doubt some cruddy deal done at that time.

How the key power players managed to delude themselves into believing their own manufactured narrative vis a vis pretty much everything this century could totally fall apart without consequences is indeed amazing – so much so that half of me thinks this seeming outbreak of 'democracy' is itself scripted, that is, there was a conscious decision taken to allow Sanders and 'the people' to be 'given a hearing in the court of public opinion' justified by the easy collective assumption Clinton would make short work of Sanders' silly un-American ideas. That Clinton was an imperfect vehicle, a flawed instrument, obviously so to us, would surely have been evident to at least some people with considerable power, one of whom happens to hold a Go Directly To Jail card.

Set 'em up, Joe. Got a little story, you oughtta know….

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/04/22/backing-bernies-bold-vision-biden-knocks-hillarys-no-we-cant-mantra

nippersdad , April 22, 2016 at 7:59 am

Something not noted in the article but seems relevant here is that Bill cannot seem to keep his foot out of his mouth. Yesterday he blamed millennials for the lack of wage inflation in recent years. Keeping in mind that many of them weren't old enough to vote in the 2010 mid-terms even if they wanted to, the unbroken wage curve of the last thirty years puts this lie to rest alone.

He is not making any friends either.

ambrit , April 22, 2016 at 10:02 am

I'm wondering if he secretly wants her to lose.

perpetualWAR , April 22, 2016 at 10:59 am

Are you kidding? That predator wants to find another lonely intern in the Oval Office.

Waldenpond , April 22, 2016 at 1:59 pm

No, he's just that bitterly entitled. Do you not see how rich and powerful they are even out of office? How dare he be denied. They are the same… when the peasants are pleasant, they don't mind temporarily having to slum, but if they are even mildly questioned, their body language, voice, etc change. Watch their hands clench, jaws tighten, they both lean back. The strain to maintain and can never do it.

Pavel , April 22, 2016 at 8:04 am

If the DNC give the nomination to HRC (which of course is extremely likely despite the poll numbers above) then they are signing their own death warrant.

There is a small risk to them that Bernie would run 3rd party (he could cite all the obvious shenanigans of the DNC and HRC as justification, and he could raise the money).

If Trump is the Republican nominee, we know he isn't afraid to go after Hillary and Bill on their many scandals, and they can't easily go after him on financial or morality scandal reasons - and he has no political baggage like NAFTA or the anti-black crime bill to defend.

Most likely HRC would win (just) but she will be thoroughly tarnished and battered by the Trump campaign, and will be inaugurated as the least-liked, least-trusted President in recent history. The Sanders supporters will detest her and we know the Repubs hate her with a passion, and will pursue various investigations. (The Clinton Slush Foundation clearly has a few unexploded bombs waiting to be found.)

The country will be in political gridlock for another 4 years. The DNC will have lost all credibility and good will, and a third party will come about. And none too soon.

HRC and Bill are the Macbeths of US politics. They should have quit with their hundreds of millions while they were ahead. Hillary may win the election but she'll lose the war. They will have so many scandals to deal with they won't know what hit them.

ambrit , April 22, 2016 at 10:03 am

With a viable Third Candidate, the election could go to the House. Then, all bets are off.

redleg , April 23, 2016 at 1:54 pm

1998 Minnesota gubernatorial election might be relevant.
Two putrid major party candidates were nominated, and Jessie Ventura became governor. It wasn't just celebrity- he was a much better option compared to Skip Humphrey and Norm (f'n) Coleman.

Ian , April 22, 2016 at 10:13 am

I think that our sociopathic elite are looking to finalize the end of democracy by finishing off the TPP, TTIP and TiSA within her first term. Then all chance of a peaceful resolution are out the door and Supranational Government is established. Hillary is end game in this stage of society.

Mossack Fonseca , April 22, 2016 at 11:14 am

You may be onto something here. The wheels really do seem to be coming off. If the major systemic reactions to neoliberalism as embodied in Trump and Sanders do not produce a result that leads to some sort of acceptable homeostasis the current game is up. Something new has to emerge to control the forces at play. The long powerful illusions of American exceptionalism and ideological purity are failing–we just don't really have much of a shared ethos anymore. Without some major swing of the pendulum in the direction of reform, I don't see it holding up much longer. Even the average Joe is catching on.

AnEducatedFool , April 22, 2016 at 6:18 pm

I will be shocked if Warren is not offered the VP spot by Clinton. I do not know if she would take it but it is the perfect play by Clinton's team. She can pull over the Bernie supporters that are do not hold Ma against Warren.
Clinton will also have a great narrative in our identity politics driven world.
Convincing Warren to take on the VP position will also neuter her politically. Its a win win for Corporate Democrats.
I just hope that Warren has some backbone but something had to be promised her for Warren to not come out and endorse Sanders.

John Wright , April 22, 2016 at 9:02 am

In my view, Trump "trumps" Hillary in a Trump vs Hillary election.

After his treatment by the Republican Elite, Trump will not feel loyalty to the Republican party and will not be beholden to them for staffing and intellectual guidance as was George W. Bush.

He has a far more open mind regarding the need for overseas military operations than "Hawk Hillary" and perhaps will not see every foreign "deal" as requiring a military intervention..

He also might be more skeptical of the value of the financial industry to America's well-being than Hillary.

And with Trump disdainful of both the Democratic and Republican elite, he might actually help the great unwashed who are largely ignored by both party leaders except at election time.

He won't build the wall.

If Trump were truly interested in restricting the flow of low wage immigrants he would push to enforce E-verify and employer sanctions, which would raise the price of low wage labor and would actually bring money into the US Treasury while avoiding the expense of a wall,.

After all, Trump's properties are more profitable with cheaper labor.

But I'd much rather have Bernie, someone who has been in public service for many years and yet has profited so little from the experience he had credit card debt to help with his daughter's and niece's weddings.

ambrit , April 22, 2016 at 10:09 am

I look to who each candidate picks as 'advisors' for various subjects. No one can be a genius polymath politician; at least I've not spotted one. So, 'advisors' are needed to make the wheels go around. For example, when Lil' Barry chose the Neo Cabal for his advisors early on, I knew he was a crook.
As everyone here knows by now; watch what 'they' do, not what 'they' say.

marym , April 22, 2016 at 10:49 am

Important point. Trump's foreign policy advisors:
Boston Globe

[

Keith] Kellogg, a former Army lieutenant general, is an executive vice president at Virginia-based CACI International, a Virginia-based intelligence and information technology consulting firm with clients around the world. He has experience in national defense and homeland security issues and worked as chief operating officer for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad following the invasion of Iraq.

[Joe]Schmitz served as inspector general at the Department of Defense during the early years of George W. Bush's administration and has worked for Blackwater Worldwide.

Democracy Now!

JEREMY SCAHILL: Yeah, Joseph Schmitz was the Pentagon inspector general under Donald Rumsfeld, and he didn't really inspect much of anything. He was a big cheerleader, actually, for many of the most kind of excessive policies of Rumsfeld and the Pentagon in the post-9/11 world. And when Schmitz left the DOD, he became an executive at Blackwater. And Joseph Schmitz is a-you know, is a radical Christian supremacist. He is a member of the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta and really is sort of a-you know, has a neo-crusader worldview. And I'm choosing those words carefully. I mean, that's-he is definitely a radical Christian supremacist.
And he was an enthusiastic fan of Erik Prince and Blackwater, and he goes and he joins that company. And, you know, this is a guy, though, who-when I was researching him for the Blackwater book, he wrote a series of letters to the editor of conservative newspapers-Washington Times and others-in the '90s. He was a fanatical opponent of abortion.

American Conservative (!!)

[Walid] Phares is a former Romney adviser, and selecting him as an adviser reflects just as poorly on Trump as it did on Romney. Leon Hadar has described him in TAC as a neoconservative and "an academic who was involved with right-wing Christian militia groups during the Lebanese civil war," but that doesn't do full justice to Phares' record of bad judgment and alarmist rhetoric about foreign threats. As McKay Coppins reported shortly after Romney named Phares as an adviser, "Throughout his career as a pundit, he has warned that some Muslims are plotting a secret takeover of American institutions with the end goal of imposing Sharia."

knowbuddhau , April 22, 2016 at 11:50 am

Joseph Schmitz is also linked to anti-Indian and anti-Muslim efforts.

Trump Foreign Policy Advisor Tied to Montana Anti-Tribal Efforts
IREHR (Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights)
April 19, 2016

Trump Advisor Joseph Schmitz Promotes Anti-Indian and Anti-Muslim Bigotry, Calls for End to the Vote for People Receiving Public Assistance

Lawrence Kogan is closely allied with the anti-Indian Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA). CERA aims to terminate tribes and abrogate treaties between the United States and Indian Nations. Kogan hired longtime CERA leader Elaine Willman to assist with the case and has spoken at multiple events with the group's leaders. Kogan and Schmitz's brief in the anti-CSKT lawsuit gained infamy for alleging that the dam transfer could allow the Turkish government and terrorists to obtain nuclear materials and poses a threat to national security. Rejecting the lawsuit, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras referenced the brief's "somewhat perplexing arguments regarding the Turkish Government's involvement with Native Americans," concluding that "counsel for Plaintiffs conceded that no such evidence has been submitted relating to the Plaintiffs' alleged economic harm." (See American Lands Council and the Anti-Indian Movement). Kogan and Willman have continued to press the CSKT-Muslim terrorist conspiracy theory in 2016 (See Bigoted Nationalism and CERA-allied Attorney Tours).

Waldenpond , April 22, 2016 at 2:20 pm

Trump surrounds himself w/loons. I'm in CA so I get to vote for Stein but if I was in a swing state I would lean Trump. Four years of orange tinted embarrassing hell rather than 8 years of savvy entrenched hell.

With Clinton all of the deck chairs are assigned. With Trump, the chairs get scrambled and it will be an opportunity for the majority but I don't see anyone in the pipeline. Sanders candidacy advantage is he's on tape on issues for so many years.

Roger Smith , April 22, 2016 at 9:19 am

If Clinton v. Trump is the finality I think voting for Trump creates the best path for 3rd party emergence on the left. At that point (after a floozy democratic primary and all of their past injustices) the Democrats will need to be hammered down, humiliated, and put in their place. As they occupy so little of the left these days, weakening them creates an even greater "space" on the spectrum for others to occupy. The Republicans certainly are not going to move over.

Vote Trump, but keep the progressive revolution momentum alive and organized.

I really want a new progressive party with the finch as its mascot.

Roger Smith , April 22, 2016 at 9:19 am

If Clinton v. Trump is the finality I think voting for Trump creates the best path for 3rd party emergence on the left. At that point (after a floozy democratic primary and all of their past injustices) the Democrats will need to be hammered down, humiliated, and put in their place. As they occupy so little of the left these days, weakening them creates an even greater "space" on the spectrum for others to occupy. The Republicans certainly are not going to move over.

Vote Trump, but keep the progressive revolution momentum alive and organized.

I really want a new progressive party with the finch as its mascot.

Pavel , April 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Given that the USA (certainly) and possibly the world will go to hell if either HRC or Trump wins, I'd choose Trump if only for the novelty and to teach the frigging Clintons they can't buy and steal an election.

Trump will scare the shit out of the rest of the world but he seems a bit less likely to start more wars in Syria, the Ukraine, and elsewhere.

Barmitt O'Bamney , April 22, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Fair point. ROTW was over the Moon about Obama, and then look what happened. In looney bin moron colonies like The Guardian they're still aswoon over Bush in blackface. They would have a falling down fit over us electing Trump, but with no more real insight than they showed in 2008. I still can't see myself actually pulling the lever for Trump, or voting for any Republicans because Bern in Hellary, Clintons! I just want my third party option now, please, ready or not.

Alex morfesis , April 22, 2016 at 9:31 am

$hillary milhous Clinton (if she does not walk away from the nomination process) will be remembered as the "my turn" president who was a one term president and the last democratic party president…

Are the democratic party apparatchiks so blind they can not see they could lose wholesale in 2018 and never recover ?

Actually…maybe the theft of the nomination will be a good thing…will expose the democratic party and what it is today, helping push the door open for "other"(non-republican) opportunities…

NotTimothyGeithner , April 22, 2016 at 11:48 am

There are a few issues at play.

-The Clintonistas need Hillary. Who would hire Begala, Brazille, and Carville based on their career outside of being attached to the 1992 election? Any prominent Democrat from the last ten years has worn out their welcome. They need Hillary. Obama will be an ignored figure.
-Buyers remorse with Obama who ushered in the destruction of the Democratic congress and party at the local level.
-Clinton myths. The Clintons are brilliant politicians who won in an era of GOP dominationfor example ignoring the Democrats controlled Congress an much of the state and local governments before Clinton ran everything into the ground.
-I dont want to limit it to Clintonistas, but Sanders despite numerous Infrastructure and financial challenges has mounted a challenge Hillary Clinton. All the money spent on Democratic strategists was essentially wasted. If Sanders had a little more money at the beginning this could be a very different race, but Sanders didn't need David Brock or to pay Dick Morris $5 million. The whole kabuki theatre of politics is at risk. Sanders much like the 50 state strategy undermine the need for the "Democratic strategist."

optimader , April 22, 2016 at 2:03 pm

president who was a one term president
if she is elected , fwiw I don't think she'll last a complete term

david lamy , April 22, 2016 at 1:18 pm

A massive protest against Former First Lady Hillary R Clinton's nomination is a terrific idea!
However, remember the astonishingly low level of news coverage of the massive DC and NYC anti-invasion protests before our wonderful Iraq adventure.
However, if first you don't succeed, try, try again!
My thoughts are already turning to logistics: Can we get enough of us there that it becomes impossible to access the convention site?

grayslady , April 22, 2016 at 1:33 pm

The idea is not to get arrested by blocking access–at least not for the superdelegates, who we want to flip to Bernie, and the masses of Bernie's elected delegates! Imagine how satisfying it would be to hoist the superdelegates on their own petard!

I think if we start the idea now, vans and buses can be organized, places to stay, signed petitions for those who can't attend, etc. Bernie is truly a once-in-a-lifetime candidate (certainly for those of us who are older). I just can't see giving up without bringing all of our numbers to bear.

Gaylord , April 22, 2016 at 12:54 pm

I have to keep reminding people that Bernie is not The Savior and no one can save us now. Remember that Obama was thought to be that, but he turned into another messenger of the MIC. The TBTF Empire is doomed to dig its own grave and take the rest of the world with it. This ship is going down and there is not the slightest "hope" for "progressive" "change" to prevent it.

Waldenpond , April 22, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Yep. There is a huge irreparable tear in the hull and the ship is no longer listing, it's gone vertical. At this point it's a matter of trying to limit the predation of the sharks and trying to find the last bits of humanity to appreciate like a sunrise while clinging to the side of a raft boat.

Heliopause , April 22, 2016 at 4:41 pm

The chance that Bernie will be the nominee is about zero. Barring an unforeseen deus ex machina from the Justice Dept. it will be Clinton, and even given the unforeseen scenario the party brass would be as likely to draft Biden or something similar as let Bernie win.

tegnost , April 22, 2016 at 4:48 pm

This seems to be an unreasonably pessimistic viewpoint. I stand behind my long held belief that if dems want the presidency then they'd best get behind bernie because even the gods will be unable to propel his primary opponent to victory in the general.

Heliopause , April 22, 2016 at 6:14 pm

The question is, which do they want more, the White House or to keep the party in the hands of their country club pals? Since the vast majority of party operatives are in the same orbit as HRC I tend to think it's the latter. This is America after all and anyone even a smidgen to the left of Barack Obama is considered out of bounds.

Barring the unforeseen it will be Clinton. As bad as she is she would still beat Trump in the general and probably Cruz. The other wild card is if the GOP manages to nominate someone other than those two, in which case HRC and the Dem party will be in trouble.

tegnost , April 22, 2016 at 10:19 pm

I just want them to wake up one morning and say "I'm a republican, and it's ok.". One long term problem of lumping republicans into the evil camp has been a reluctance of some republicans to be able to come out and be themselves for fear of ostracism. One benefit of course would be a less harsh republican party. And are you sure she will beat trump in the general? She should be running against trump in the republican primary. And considering the track record of the foreseen (polls,etc…) , "barring the unforeseen" is about as likely as keeping the tide from going out. Bernie by a length in the last furlong.

Pat , April 22, 2016 at 11:26 pm

I'd love that too. Unfortunately the Democratic Party is now where former Republicans go to continue their career. While I may consider Lincoln Chaffee largely to the left of Clinton's real position, the fact is that neither that former Republican or Clinton and their positions are welcome in the Grand Old Party anymore. Hell they are eating people we considered to be far right even a decade ago for lunch. And the exiles don't seem to be willing to form the Reformed Republican Party as long as the Clintons/DLC/Third Way/New Dems welcome them so eagerly into the Democratic Party.

Heliopause , April 23, 2016 at 2:42 pm

Yes, Clinton will beat Trump in the general (barring the unforeseen). He's even more widely loathed than she is and current polling shows him with a yuuuuuge deficit to make up.

The unforeseen might include the GOP somehow nominating someone other than Trump. Cruz is also widely despised and would probably lose to Clinton, although he might stand a slightly better chance than Trump. A Romney/Kasich/Ryan/McCain type would be a solid favorite against her but first the GOP has to figure out how to finesse such an outcome.

The unforeseen might also include serious allegations stemming from the e-mail investigation. Obviously there is no way for us to know what might be in those thousands of e-mails so anything we say here is sheer speculation, but my best guess is that Clinton will not face serious consequences in regard to that. I wouldn't be wishing upon a star for that one if I were you, but you never know what might happen.

tegnost , April 23, 2016 at 7:08 pm

Where did you get your crystal ball from? Give me some numbers why clinton will beat trump with certainty.? At best hillary has a chance to beat trump but it certainly does not fall into the category of likely.. Could the unforeseen be total abandonment by sanders supporters? Major hurricanes revealing weak support structure? Market crash? oil skyrocketing to $140/bbl? As I said the unforeseen of course will happen, and the hillary titanic will have zero maneuverability, even now they can't take criticism. The emails may not get her indicted, but what if it just disgusts people? Cruz/hillary_clinton. and we could get pres. stein, that would be unforeseen. You can lie, cheat, steal, and propagandize your way to a hillary nomination and she will face a great chance of losing, while sanders wins in almost any scenario if he can get past the upper crust of the democrat party.

Heliopause , April 23, 2016 at 9:19 pm

Look up the popular poll aggregators - RealClearPolitics or Huffpost-Pollster - and look up both the general election hypothetical matchups and favorability ratings of the candidates. Trump's got a yuuuuuge problem; almost everybody has already formed an opinion about him and it's overwhelmingly negative. Clinton's favorables are poor, too, but quite a bit better than Trump's, and she wins all the hypothetical matchups as well.

Most Sanders supporters will vote for Clinton. The number who will not is probably not terribly different from the number of Republicans who would rather vote for Clinton than Trump. Please keep in mind that as disliked as Clinton is, Trump is disliked even more.

When I speak of the unforeseen I'm trying to keep to the at least minimally plausible. It's possible that Clinton will treat Bernie so poorly at the convention that she will cause a major schism, but she's not that stupid and I don't consider it likely. It's possible that the e-mails contain something truly deplorable, but most politicians aren't stupid enough to put such things in writing, and even if she did she still has the firewall of Barack Obama and Loretta Lynch. The GOP might pull a fast one and nominate someone who could dispatch Clinton, but they have a potential civil war problem of their own if they try that. So any of those things could happen, but I try to keep my expectations realistic. That's just me.

"sanders wins in almost any scenario if he can get past the upper crust of the democrat party."

Yes, but one of my points all along is that the upper crust would rather lose an election than cede any power at all to someone as left as Bernie.

Bernie still has a chance, but it's tiny. The real progress is still down the road. The tide is turning but the interests are extremely entrenched and it's going to take some time.

Yves Smith Post author , April 23, 2016 at 10:31 pm

The sample at our large Sanders readership says your assumption is wrong: the overwhelming majority of Sanders voters will not vote for Clinton, particularly after the series of dirty election tricks, with New York as a particularly appalling spectacle. They will stay home, vote for Trump, write in Sanders, or vote for Jill Stein. And you discount the percentage that will vote Republican to punish the Democratic party. I know, for instance, of grad of a top school who is the son of Mexican farm workers who will vote for Trump if Sanders is not in the general. That is how deep the antipathy for Clinton is among Sanders voters.

I would never ever vote for Clinton.

Heliopause , April 24, 2016 at 4:51 pm

I don't know what my limit on links is here, but here's a good one to start with:
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2016/no_trump_no_show_for_33_of_gop_voters

Bottom line is, more GOP voters say they will not vote for Trump than Dem voters say they will not vote for Clinton. Other polling reveals basically the same thing.

I'm not sure why you are citing personal anecdotes and a blog comment section as evidence of anything, since obviously neither are remotely representative of a large voting population.

Yes, the Clinton's are opportunists and machiavellian political operators. We've known this for decades and so has the larger public. They're still going to vote for her over Trump, who is more despised than she is. That's just what the polling shows I'm afraid. She's not winning any elections here but a little blog is not the whole country.

As I've said from the start, there are still ways that it could slip away from her, but none of them appear to be high probability. And believe me when I tell you that I take zero pleasure in the thought of HRC as President. But one has to be realistic. I'll add, don't let what I'm saying dissuade anybody from voting in a primary if they have the opportunity and desire to do so, the game now would be to get as many delegates into the convention as possible as leverage on events there, not the tiny chance that Bernie can still outright win this thing. This is an intelligent, educated, and adult readership here that I think can handle the facts without discouragement.

Fiver , April 24, 2016 at 4:28 am

Have to agree with Yves – Dems are in for a mighty shock if they believe most current Sanders supporters will fall into line rather than sit it out:

For Sanders to even be where he is represents a major strategic error by senior Dems in not recognizing the political reality of the public mood and not moving to squash him early; or he is roughly where some other senior strategists wanted, perhaps unknown to Bernie i.e., Sanders provides a good show proving democracy still 'works', that progressives voices are heard, that the Party is open and change will come when it comes with Madame Clinton; or possibly a combo of both, with Sanders undertaking his part with a totally unexpected degree of relish that has infuriated Clinton. In other words, either fallibility is fully at play here, in which case a Sanders victory is not such an unimaginable stretch – or Sanders has some important support we don't know about.

To my mind, progressives should go for it now with as much focus, clarity of purpose and gusto as eclipses all prior efforts. However it got here, the chance has been presented, his name is on the ballot, and he articulates the priority of addressing 3 of the great issues of the day: peace versus war; working stiff versus Wall Street; re-vamped social safety net. Big change is possible when the people know what they want, and what they want is not remotely extravagant, greedy or anything – just a decent arrangement for all.

Waldenpond , April 22, 2016 at 10:58 pm

Sanders running as an independent.

Sawant's idea:

http://www.socialistalternative.org/2016/04/17/kshama-sawant-petitioning-bernie-run-independent/

[If electing a Republican is really Bernie's main concern, there is no reason he could not at least run in the 40+ states where it's absolutely clear the Democratic or Republican candidate will win, while not putting his name on the 5-10 closely contested "swing states." This could still allow for a historic campaign if linked to building a new party for the 99% and laying the foundation for an ongoing mass political movement to run hundreds of left candidates for all levels of government, independent of corporate cash.]

This would work. I don't care about the D party so someone else could list the drawbacks. It satisfies Sanders position of protecting Clinton but the movement continues. How does he turn it down?

teri , April 23, 2016 at 7:26 am

I wonder why the Sanders campaign doesn't bring up the fact that in '08, Obama lost NY to Hillary Clinton by a wider margin than Sanders just did. (Leaving aside the, ahem, "voting issues"). And that at this same point in the race, Obama had fewer delegates than Sanders does right now. Also, in the end, it was the super-delegates switching their votes at the convention that won Obama the nomination.

It's obvious why the media won't reminisce about the '08 election, but why won't Sanders bring it up?

TheCatSaid , April 23, 2016 at 10:20 pm

Sanders remains focused on the issues. Maybe he is right. Talking about the many election irregularity issues would immediately dissipate the focus, energy and educating functions of his key messages. The media blackout continues, so people are only learning more about him shortly before each primary/caucus. If the conversation were to shift to disputes about the tempting election irregularities–horrific as they are–the clarity of what he stands for would be lost.

At least Sanders is telling supporters he needs them to be observers at the polls. This recent interview with Harvey Wasserman touches on just a few of the kinds of problems.

[May 01, 2016] What is the Democratic Party Good For Absolutely Nothing

Notable quotes:
"... Reaganites showed the way. However, "Clintonites," the Clintons themselves and other "new" Democrats, put the Reaganite vision into practice. ..."
"... In America these days, Reaganites think of it, Clintonites do it. Rank and file Republicans, insofar as they think at all, believe in it; rank and file Democrats don't like it, but let it happen. ..."
"... Were the United States more of a (small-d) democracy, that would be the end of the story – and of the Clintons. But there is almost nothing democratic about American politics. It therefore looks like the neoliberal era will be hanging on for a while longer, an unloved encumbrance to human progress and wellbeing. ..."
"... And, as the global hegemon goes, so go the countries it dominates. For the time being, the change so many yearn for is not quite at hand. Even so, there are reasons to hope: American politics is changing – in ways that could, before long, cause the neoliberal world order to fall. ..."
"... Thanks to Trump, there is another wrinkle to add onto the Hegelian story: that Reason has a sense of humor. Hegel had men like Julius Caesar and Napoleon in mind. But the latest world historical figure, the Donald, is the very antithesis of figures like that: he is an over the top real estate tycoon, reality TV star, and all-around buffoon. ..."
"... Hegel thought that opposites are integrally related. Democrats and Republicans certainly are. It is hardly surprising, therefore that the Democratic Party may also be on the brink of becoming undone or, failing that, of changing beyond recognition. ..."
"... This might seem unlikely now that Hillary Clinton's victory over Bernie Sanders is practically assured. But the Sanders campaign, whatever becomes of it, introduced a destabilizing element into American politics. The Democratic Party may not yet be on the brink of destruction, but there is no telling what Reason has in store. ..."
"... It was enough for me that the twenty-first century versions of New Deal-Great Society liberalism that the two of them had in mind is better by far than anything we Americans, with our bought and paid for pro-business political parties and our servile corporate media, had any right to expect. My beef with Bernie was just that he was too Clinton-friendly. No doubt, Warren is as well. ..."
"... ANDREW LEVINE is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). ..."
April 29, 2016 | Conterpunch

Think of Republicans and despair for the human race. Even the ones who otherwise seem morally and intellectually sound champion political views straight out of Morons R'Us.

However, Democrats are worse - not morally or intellectually, of course; and neither are their views worse. But within the matrix of our semi-established two party system, Democrats do the most harm.

The Democratic Party is, by default, the political voice of organized labor and of social movements that fight for racial and gender equality, environmental sanity, and other worthy causes. Democrats can therefore do what Republicans cannot: integrate the victims of the status quo into a political consensus that serves and protects those who benefit most from it – the "one percent," the "billionaire class." They are good at this.

The generally accepted name for the socially atomizing, inequality-generating, environmentally reckless version of late capitalism practiced and promoted in developed countries over the past four decades is "neoliberalism." For most Americans, as for most people around the world, neoliberalism has become Enemy Number One.

Republicans support neoliberal policies and practices more fervently than Democrats do. But, for putting them into practice, Democrats leave Republicans standing in the dust.

The American version of neoliberal theory and practice was concocted by Republicans and others who flocked into the Reagan administration decades ago; call them "Reaganites."

The villainous old Gipper, Ronald Reagan, had little to do with it himself; he was never much of a thinker or visionary or policy wonk. But, in the United States, the name has stuck. It applies not only to neoliberals of the Reagan era, but to their successors as well.

Reaganites showed the way. However, "Clintonites," the Clintons themselves and other "new" Democrats, put the Reaganite vision into practice.

In America these days, Reaganites think of it, Clintonites do it. Rank and file Republicans, insofar as they think at all, believe in it; rank and file Democrats don't like it, but let it happen.

By now, though, nearly everyone who does not benefit egregiously from the neoliberal world order is fed up with its consequences. In public opinion, the Reaganite-Clintonite era has run its course.

Were the United States more of a (small-d) democracy, that would be the end of the story – and of the Clintons. But there is almost nothing democratic about American politics. It therefore looks like the neoliberal era will be hanging on for a while longer, an unloved encumbrance to human progress and wellbeing.

And, as the global hegemon goes, so go the countries it dominates. For the time being, the change so many yearn for is not quite at hand. Even so, there are reasons to hope: American politics is changing – in ways that could, before long, cause the neoliberal world order to fall.

The Republican Party is destroying itself. This has been in the works for a long time, but the Trump phenomenon has pushed the process along, and changed its nature.

A facetious later-day Hegelian might say of this that the Cunning of Reason is at work.

Hegel thought that History becomes increasingly rational and therefore intelligible through the deeds of world historical figures, great men (always men) acting out their passions and interests. He insisted, however, that this only becomes apparent in retrospect. In this case, Reason's cunning is on display even as events unfold.

Thanks to Trump, there is another wrinkle to add onto the Hegelian story: that Reason has a sense of humor. Hegel had men like Julius Caesar and Napoleon in mind. But the latest world historical figure, the Donald, is the very antithesis of figures like that: he is an over the top real estate tycoon, reality TV star, and all-around buffoon.

Hegel thought that opposites are integrally related. Democrats and Republicans certainly are. It is hardly surprising, therefore that the Democratic Party may also be on the brink of becoming undone or, failing that, of changing beyond recognition.

This might seem unlikely now that Hillary Clinton's victory over Bernie Sanders is practically assured. But the Sanders campaign, whatever becomes of it, introduced a destabilizing element into American politics. The Democratic Party may not yet be on the brink of destruction, but there is no telling what Reason has in store.

Were the Democratic Party to vanish from the face of the earth, it would certainly not be missed, except by deluded liberals who think, for example, that Hillary is one of the good guys, and that her "experience" – as an official wife, a feckless Senator, and the worst Secretary of State in modern times – has taught her how to get worthwhile things done.

Even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, there are people who believe that, alarmingly many of them. Democrats buy snake oil at Morons R'Us too.

Enter Bernie

At first, Elizabeth Warren was the Great Progressive Hope. She had one obvious advantage over Bernie: Team Hillary couldn't play the gender card against her. But she said she wouldn't run, and she meant it.

Sanders therefore came to occupy the space that might otherwise have been hers.

It was plain to progressives of nearly all stripes, from Day One, that, if nothing else, Sanders' candidacy would help reintroduce "socialism" - the word, if not the idea – back into the American lexicon. This couldn't hurt, and might actually do some good. A Warren candidacy would not have had the same effect.

Otherwise, between Warren and Sanders, it was, as far as anyone could tell, a wash.

One argument against Bernie was that his campaign would redound ultimately to the benefit of Hillary's because it would keep progressive voters on board long enough for them to be coopted into the Clintonized Democratic Party's mainstream. Another was that, on all but economic matters, his views were standard Democratic Party fare. The same arguments would likely have been deployed against Warren, had she decided to run.

I, for one, didn't much care. It was enough for me that the twenty-first century versions of New Deal-Great Society liberalism that the two of them had in mind is better by far than anything we Americans, with our bought and paid for pro-business political parties and our servile corporate media, had any right to expect. My beef with Bernie was just that he was too Clinton-friendly. No doubt, Warren is as well.

Nevertheless, I decided long ago that, if Bernie was still in the running by the time I had a chance to vote in the primaries, that I would vote for him – if only because a vote for Bernie would be a reasonably principled and effective way to protest the coronation of Clintonism's (neoliberalism's) reigning Queen.

Earlier this week, I made good on that decision. My state, Maryland, disgraced itself more fulsomely than the others voting that day - except Rhode Island. But even before last Tuesday, a Sanders victory was very nearly a mathematical impossibility.

For a few months, though, it did seem that a vote for Bernie could be more than just a protest vote; that he could win the nomination and therefore the presidency.

And it still seems that the "huge" crowds coming to Bernie's rallies and feeling the Bern are part of something a lot bigger. The differences from the Occupy movements of 201l are significant, but the vibe is much the same.

Oddly, leftists were less skeptical of Occupy Wall Street and its clones than of the Sanders campaign, especially at first. I certainly was.

This was odd because Occupy lacked a political focus – electoral or otherwise. One didn't have to be a committed Leninist to understand that this made it more than usually difficult for Occupy militants to figure out what to do next.

It was also plain that, without a more defined political orientation, the Occupy movements would be easily swept aside when the Forces of Order decided that the time to repress them had come, and when the campaign to reelect Barack Obama started sucking up all the air.

And so it was that Occupy burned out shortly after it got started.

Even so, it seemed, at the time, that Occupy's bottom up structure and disregard of electoral politics was its strength. Also, the movement awakened a long dormant spirit of resistance - in much the way that Black Lives Matter now does.

Therefore, it wasn't so strange, after all, that Occupy's flaws didn't seem quite as objectionable as the shortcomings of the Sanders campaign did in the days before it became clear that Bernie was on to something.

Unlike Occupy Wall Street, the Sanders campaign does have a focus and a structure; it is, and could only be, a top-down electoral campaign of the familiar kind. This is its weakness, of course. But it is also what has enabled it to reach more people and to change consciousness more profoundly than the Occupy movements ever could.

Much the same could be said for Sanders' decision to run as a Democrat. Technically, he had always been an Independent. He was, however, an Independent who caucused with the Democrats in the House and Senate, and who generally voted the way a Democrat would. His change in party affiliation was therefore of little substantive consequence.

However, it was consequential strategically. Had Bernie run as an Independent, he would not have been included in debates, and he would be even more ignored by corporate media than he has been. Also, he would have had to waste money, time and effort just gaining ballot access.

Running as an Independent, he would almost certainly end up doing even less well than Ralph Nader did, running on the Green Party ticket sixteen years ago. Nader won a whopping 2.74% of the popular vote.

On the down side, though, by running as a Democrat, Sanders is strengthening the Democratic Party. And were he actually to win the nomination, he would have no choice but to cede at least some power over his campaign to that wretched party's leaders. They would also demand a role in his administration.

Sanders' decision to run as a Democrat may not quite rise to the level of a Faustian bargain; he has not had to sell his soul – not yet, anyway. But it comes close.

At the same time, by running as a Democrat, Sanders has done a lot of good. He has shown that it is possible to finance a Presidential campaign without relying on "the billionaire class" or Super PACs, or nefarious lobbyists. And he has moved the center of gravity in the Democratic Party to the left.

Thanks to the Sanders campaign, even Hillary is now talking the talk. Of course, in her case, it is only talk; when there is no longer anything in it for her, she will revert back to form. But, in politics, even insincere and opportunistic words can have beneficial consequences in both the short and long term.

Pundits used to say that the Sanders campaign was doomed to fail; now that it has very nearly done so, they are saying it again. This seems right; the institutional Democratic Party and the corporate media that supports it defeated Sanders, just as everyone expected they would.

But failure was not inevitable. Were it not for New York State's election rules, which disenfranchised large numbers of potential Sanders voters, and for the Democratic Party machines that the Clintons concocted or took over during the past decade and a half, Sanders might have been able to sustain the momentum he brought into the New York primary by winning there. He would then have been well positioned to give the Clinton juggernaut a run for its money in the "Acela primaries" and in the others to come.

Hillary was never the inevitable nominee, just the most likely one. Unfortunately, this time, the facts bore the probabilities out.

In the end, though, her victory may be a blessing in disguise. For reasons I will mention presently, the Democratic nominee this year has always been sure to prevail against Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. But, barring a successful and profound "political revolution," he or she would then have as hard a time governing as Obama has had.

In Obama's case, racism made the problem worse. But Republican obstinacy will not go away just because the color of the Democrat in the White House next year will be white.

Republicans went after Obama mainly on domestic matters; they were fine with his drones and "targeted killings," his deportations, his war on whistle-blowers and his assaults on privacy rights.

We can expect Republicans to thwart Hillary at every turn too, except perhaps when she warmongers and otherwise promotes Obama-style murder and mayhem. Even more than was the case under Obama, we should be grateful that she will seldom get her way: being clueless and inept, she has a knack for making everything she works on worse.

Indeed, before long, even Obama will be looking good. Expect too that, as the consequences of Hillary's blundering unfold, many current Hillary supporters will wise up and turn on her in much the way that LBJ's supporters turned on him half a century ago.

We will never know for sure how a President Sanders would fare. On the one hand, the man is a straight shooter; even Republicans can respect him for that. But capitalists who feel their power and privileges threatened fight back viciously. Because they own almost the entire political class, a "democratic socialist" who means what he says would not be likely to be cut much slack.

Sanders is faulted for being an "idealist" and a "dreamer." This is nonsense; what he proposes – retrieving and then building upon progress made in the middle decades of the last century - is eminently doable, provided there is the political will. Countries less wealthy than ours do similar things all the time.

But finding the political will would not be easy. Republicans would be an obstacle, of course; but Democrats would be a problem too.

Even if his candidacy would generate enough excitement and voter turnout for Democrats to win control of the Senate and the House, as happened when Obama ran in 2008, Congress would still be in the hands of base and servile flunkies who toe the line for their corporate paymasters. The Democratic Congress Obama contended with during his first two years in office is a case in point.

Let Hillary deal with problems like that. Bernie can serve the people better in other ways.

Who's Afraid of Donald Trump?

High on the list of nonsensical things that foolish liberals believe is the idea that because Hillary is a "centrist," she is more electable than anyone further to her left.

This belief is like the old notion that after a heart attack or major surgery, patients should have complete bed rest as they recover. This seems commonsensical, but the idea is demonstrably false.

In this case, though, it is clear as can be that Hillary is going to shellac Trump (or Cruz) in November. Sanders would do the same – in all likelihood by a larger margin.

Even a people capable of venerating Ronald Reagan and reelecting George W. Bush in 2004, after it had become plain to anyone with half a brain how devastating his war against Iraq already was, would not put their country – and its nuclear weapons – in Trump's (tiny) hands. The Donald cannot win – no way.

To be sure, there is a fair chance that Trump is not nearly the racist, nativist and Islamophobe that he pretends to be. He played that part on TV, though; and he won't be able to live it down.

America is not yet a majority-minority nation - but it is getting there, demographically and in spirit. Therefore anyone nowadays whose public persona resembles that of, say, George Wallace circa 1971 cannot win an election that is not confined, as Republican primaries mostly are, to out of sorts white people.

Moreover, if Trump is the Republican nominee, he will not only have to contend with the Clintons and their hapless minions; he will have the Republican Party, what's left of it, against him as well.

The swords are already drawn. The Old Guard is mobilized against Trump because he threatens their hold over their Grand Old Party. Libertarians, theocrats and other self-described "conservatives" are against him too - because they realize that, despite his bluster, he is emphatically not one of them.

It is likely, in fact, that Trump would run to Hillary's left on most issues – trade, foreign affairs, infrastructure development, jobs programs, holding Wall Street banksters and other corporate criminals accountable, and so on.

Nevertheless, liberals say that, like her or not, Hillary is the lesser evil; and conclude, on that account, that she merits their support.

There is no point now in going back over the case against lesser evil voting, except to note that one of the timeworn arguments – that it is not always clear who the lesser evil is - is especially relevant in a Clinton vs. Trump matchup.

But, in this instance, lesser evil considerations are moot: Trump cannot win in November, period, full stop.

There is polling data that suggests that Bernie would have done a lot better than he did in recent primaries were voters more confident that a Democrat, any Democrat, would trounce Trump (or Cruz).

In the years to come, as the horror that is Hillary becomes apparent even to those who are now somehow able to enthuse over her candidacy, we will all have cause to regret that debilitating imperviousness to evidence that afflicts Republicans and Democrats alike.

Whither Bernie?

Jesse Jackson folded the Rainbow Coalition into the Democratic Party after the 1988 primary season. Because he wanted to be a player, he squandered an enormous opportunity.

If Bernie follows suit, it will nullify much of the good his campaign has done.

Sanders seems less cooptable than Jackson. Nevertheless, every indication so far is that he will follow Jackson's lead.

That it could come to this has been the great fear all along, and the main reason for faulting Sanders for running as a Democrat. Containing progressive uprisings is what Democrats do.

In principle, what got going under the aegis of the Sanders campaign could survive and even flourish without him. There is no denying, though, that, in the short run, it will help mightily if Bernie stays on board.

For that to happen, he will have to become more like Donald Trump. Liberal pundits and faux progressives are already busily telling one and all that this would not please them one bit. No surprise there!

When Republican grandees treat the Donald badly, as they have been doing relentlessly from the moment that it became clear that his campaign was more than just a joke, he has fought back with verbal retorts designed to cut them down - supplemented with barely concealed calls for violence.

Behind his words, however, there is, as everybody knows, the threat of exit. Trump could bolt, taking large swathes of the Republican base with him.

The institutional Democratic Party has treated Sanders badly too, notwithstanding their fear that, if they go too far, his supporters will also bolt, regardless what Sanders tells them or what he himself chooses to do.

They want to keep as many Sanders backers on board as they can, not because they are afraid that Trump will win in November - that isn't going to happen – but for the sake of down ticket Democrats. To have any chance of taking over the Senate, the House and vulnerable State Houses, they know that they will need to keep the people feeling the Bern active and enthused.

Their thoroughly justifiable fear is that, without Bernie, most of them will just sit the election out.

There is no obvious way to prevent this. With Hillary at the head of the ticket, the temptations of quiescence are too strong not to prevail.

But all is not lost; not by any means. It may be impossible now for Americans opposed to neoliberalism to elect a President who is not part of the problem; but, thanks to the Sanders campaign, there has never been a more propitious moment for doing something even more worthwhile – changing the face of American politics by building a genuinely leftwing political party.

This is why the first order of business now must be to convince Bernie to join with those of us who would swim through vomit before voting for any Clintonite, much less the exceptionally inept and very dangerous "Madam Secretary."

This won't be easy. Bernie is too nice. It doesn't help either that liberal pundits back the Democratic Party, as we know it, a thousand percent.

Even so, many Sanders supporters are sure to find their way to the Greens - voting, as I probably will yet again, for Jill Stein.

On economic matters and other domestic issues, Stein offers essentially what Sanders does; on foreign affairs, she offers a lot of what anti-imperialists don't like about Sanders' views.

With these considerations in mind – and with a Democratic victory in the Presidential contest assured – a vote for Stein ought to be a no brainer for the vast majority of Sandersnistas, especially those who live in the forty or so states whose electoral votes might as well have been assigned four years ago.

But the Greens have been going nowhere for as long as anyone can remember, and they are not even good for drawing protest votes. In 2012, when I would tell people, including some who follow election news closely, that I voted for Jill Stein, the response I would often get is: "Jill who?" This year is looking no different.

Nevertheless, thanks to decades of perseverance, the Greens do have ballot status in more states than any other "third party." It is theoretically possible for them to assemble enough Electoral College votes actually to elect a President.

But their candidates are frozen out of media coverage. The media's malign neglect of Sanders turned out to be not quite fatal, because, by challenging Clinton so successfully, his campaign was undeniably newsworthy; and because, running as a Democrat, he couldn't be entirely ignored. Stein can and will be ignored; diluting the value even of the protest votes she receives.

However, were she and Bernie to join together, neither would stand a chance of being elected President, but the Greens would become a force to be reckoned with. This idea is one of many being floated ( link: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/21/the-undemocratic-primary-why-we-need-a-new-party-of-the-99/ ). It is far from clear, though, that Bernie has the will, or that the Greens have the means, to make it happen.

Now is therefore a time to be thinking hard and fast about what is to be done.

It is also a time to be thinking about how a genuinely leftwing party could win over Democratic politicians whose hearts are in the right place, but who, for the time being, have no choice but to make common cause with Clintonites. There are only a few brave souls like that at the national level; at the state and local levels, there are many more.

Predictably, though, calls for party unity are already become deafening. They should be rebutted whenever possible, and otherwise ignored.

If the party the Clintons did so much to move to the right is harmed by defections, so much the better.

There are Democrats who do good work at the local and even the state level; at the national level, the good ones could probably all fit, as they say, in one taxi, with room left over for luggage.

Arguably, the rest do some good just by being there - keeping Republicans at bay. That consideration aside, today's Democratic Party is good for nothing at all - at the national level and, with a few exceptions, further down the line.

The GOP is a wreck. This is outstanding news. A similarly damaged Democratic Party would be an enormously salutary development too, an achievement of truly historic importance.

ANDREW LEVINE is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Apr 24, 2016] Why Democrats Are Becoming the Party of the 1 Percent

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic Party has not been a total slouch, offering policies friendly to health-care executives, entertainment moguls, and tech titans. In fact, financial support for Democrats among the 1 percent of the 1 percent has risen dramatically , more than trebling since 1980. ..."
"... It's not dispassionate analysis that causes Chuck Schumer to waffle on the carried-interest tax loophole, Hillary Clinton to argue for raising the cap on H-1B visas, or Maria Cantwell to rally support for the Export-Import Bank. The more rich people that a party attracts, the more that the party must do to stay attractive. ..."
"... In a world of Trumpism and Clintonism, Democrats would become the party of globalist-minded elites, both economic and cultural, ..."
"... Erstwhile neocons would go over to Democrats (as they are already promising to do), while doves and isolationists would stick with Republicans. Democrats would remain culturally liberal, while Republicans would remain culturally conservative. ..."
Vanity Fair
The Democratic Party has not been a total slouch, offering policies friendly to health-care executives, entertainment moguls, and tech titans. In fact, financial support for Democrats among the 1 percent of the 1 percent has risen dramatically, more than trebling since 1980. Traditionally, though, the Republican Party has been seen as the better friend to the wealthy, offering lower taxes, fewer business regulations, generous defense contracts, increased global trade, high immigration, and resistance to organized labor. It's been the buddy of homebuilders, oil barons, defense contractors, and other influential business leaders.

Trumpism changes the equation. If homebuilders face workplace crackdowns on illegal hiring, their costs go up. If defense contractors see a reduced U.S. military presence in Asia and Europe, their income goes down. If companies that rely on outsourcing or on intellectual property rights see their business model upended by discontinued trade agreements, they face a crisis. Sure, many rich people hate Obamacare, but how big a deal is it compared to other things they want: more immigration, sustained and expanding trade, continued defense commitments? Clintonism, by comparison, starts to look much more appealing.

All good, say some Democrats. The more people that Trumpism scares away, the broader and more powerful the liberal-left coalition will be. But nobody offers their support without expecting something in return. It's not dispassionate analysis that causes Chuck Schumer to waffle on the carried-interest tax loophole, Hillary Clinton to argue for raising the cap on H-1B visas, or Maria Cantwell to rally support for the Export-Import Bank. The more rich people that a party attracts, the more that the party must do to stay attractive.

In a world of Trumpism and Clintonism, Democrats would become the party of globalist-minded elites, both economic and cultural, while Republicans would become the party of the working class. Democrats would win backing from those who support expanded trade and immigration, while Republicans would win the support of those who prefer less of both. Erstwhile neocons would go over to Democrats (as they are already promising to do), while doves and isolationists would stick with Republicans. Democrats would remain culturally liberal, while Republicans would remain culturally conservative.

The combination of super-rich Democrats and poor Democrats would exacerbate internal party tensions, but the party would probably resort to forms of appeasement that are already in use. To their rich constituents, Democrats offer more trade, more immigration, and general globalism. To their non-rich constituents, they offer the promise of social justice, which critics might call identity politics. That's one reason why Democrats have devoted so much attention to issues such as transgender rights, sexual assault on campus, racial disparities in criminal justice, and immigration reform. The causes may be worthy-and they attract sincere advocates-but politically they're also useful. They don't bother rich people.

[Apr 19, 2016] Yahoo bastards attack Sanders

So Bernie is the poorest of all candidates, but Rick Newman stresses that his Tax rate is lower then the rest. But how you can compare 27 million with 200K in annual income. Those are different weight categories and it would be travesty of justice is Clinton paid less. In any case selling Demoicratic Party to Wall Street pays well. Much like in case of Judas Iscariot Bill Clinton got his thirty silver coins (aka millions in annual income) for betrayal of the Roosevelt's New Deal.
Notable quotes:
"... Hillary Clinton speeches: $10.5 million ..."
"... Bill Clinton speeches: $9.7 million ..."
"... Ted and Heidi Cruz are wealthy, though not in the neighborhood of the Trumps or Clintons. The couple earned $1.2 million in 2014, when Heidi Cruz was still working as a Goldman Sachs money manager. ..."
finance.yahoo.com

At least one presidential candidate pays a lower tax rate than the average American

Here are the 2014 income and tax numbers for four of the five presidential candidates (Donald Trump hasn't released his returns). All of these figures are for husband and wife filing jointly:

Source: Candidate web sites, IRS. Note: National averages are preliminary data for 2014.

Source: Candidate web sites, IRS. Note: National averages are preliminary data for 2014.

Here's a breakdown of the Clintons' gross income, not counting deductions, in 2014:

Various adjustments bring the Clintons' total AGI lower, and then there are nearly $5.2 million in itemized deductions. Those deductions include $2.8 million for state and local income taxes, $104,000 in real-estate taxes and $42,000 in mortgage interest – the amount of annual interest you might pay on a $1 million mortgage.

The couple also donated $3 million to the Clinton Foundation, which is a nonprofit, so the gift counts as a charitable donation. Because of a limit on the value of deductions they could claim, the Clintons' exemptions topped out just under $5.2 million.

... ... ...

Ted and Heidi Cruz are wealthy, though not in the neighborhood of the Trumps or Clintons. The couple earned $1.2 million in 2014, when Heidi Cruz was still working as a Goldman Sachs money manager. She took leave starting last year, while her husband was campaigning, so the family's income will probably be lower for 2015. The couple paid the highest effective tax rate of any presidential candidate, at 36.7%, because their amount of itemized deductions were relatively small. With only two pages from the return, it's hard to tell why there weren't more deductions.

[Apr 10, 2016] http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2008_06_01_archive.html

www.calculatedriskblog.com

Second, most of the complaints that Bernie has are that media, not the Clintons, are giving him a good going over. In a way, this is a compliment since six months ago they were ignoring him and they are now are treating him serious candidate who may become President in January. (Of course I wish they would give Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Paul Ryan the same treatment.)

PK's column was hard on Bernie and Bernie's campaign ("losing its ethical moorings"), but he was writing it as a political columnist who wants a Democrat elected President in November and was criticizing Bernie and his gang for recycling right memes against Clinton.

Finally, if Bernie does win upsets in the next few states, he is going to want Clinton supporters, particularly women and minorities to come out and vote for him. Calling a woman "unqualified to be President" and trashing President Obama's tenure in office as a "sell out" to the Banks and that the Affordable Care Act is as bad as the Republicans say it is. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2016/04/obamacare-embarrasses-right.html

Finally, the Green Lanternism of Jeffrey Sachs and all the other Bernie supporters is really astounding. Somehow electing just the right person as President will cause Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and the Koch Brothers to run up the white flag and say we will do whatever you ask. Gobsmacking.

Reply Friday, April 08, 2016 at 10:11 AM Peter said in reply to sherparick... "Somehow electing just the right person as President will cause Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and the Koch Brothers to run up the white flag and say we will do whatever you ask. Gobsmacking."

Nobody is saying that. Sanders's campaign is based on the idea that we need a political revolution.

Reply Friday, April 08, 2016 at 10:23 AM Reg said in reply to sherparick... "Somehow electing just the right person as President will cause Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and the Koch Brothers to run up the white flag and say we will do whatever you ask. Gobsmacking."

Actually that's Hillary's line. "Getting things done" because "experience." Sanders is very clear that electing a new face to the Oval Office isn't going to cut it. Thus his "political revolution" - which means that Democrats need to get off their duffs in ways we have yet to see. And that's after Obama's "social movement" strategy - which disappeared as an independent force once he made it safely into the White House. OFA was neutered and folded into the party establishment. And lost any steam it might have had while the Tea Party took over the "activist" space. Big mistake. Bernie won't let that happen to his network, even assuming he doesn't get the nomination. Sanders has a vision and a strategy, Hillary has a personal ambition.

Reply Friday, April 08, 2016 at 10:35 AM Jeff Fisher said in reply to Reg ... Is Sanders using his campaign machine to induce a political swing in offices below the presidency? Reply Friday, April 08, 2016 at 10:49 AM Peter said in reply to Jeff Fisher... He's trying to generate enthusiasm and draw more people into the political process which means a higher voter turnout.

When he began the campaign he was at 3 percent in the polls. At that time he should have been focused on inducing a political swing in offices below the presidency?

Reply Friday, April 08, 2016 at 10:53 AM Chris G said in reply to Peter... If he convinces people that they can run as New New Dealers that alone would make his candidacy a success.
We need to break the "Please, Republicans, don't hurt us." mindset. Conservatives and right wingers have been wrong about EVERYTHING for the past 50 years. Time to go on the offensive against them. Reply Friday, April 08, 2016 at 01:35 PM JF said in reply to Chris G ... Yes, wrong for quite a while. Economics too.

Loanable funds theories means we need to favor capital formation and protect it from markets using tax codes and other policies (like the funding of tax cuts with payroll tax increases).

Simply ignoring the fact that banks create credit/money (which means capital can form at the stroke of the banks' pens).

Ignoring the plain fact that trade has distributional effects that have social effects that are real.

Missing a concern about the concentration of wealth and control over income flows as you watch the national fisc transfer bonds to the already wealthy as you tear up the tax bills they alteady had. . .

Votes need to be cast!

Reply Saturday, April 09, 2016 at 05:19 AM Reg said in reply to Jeff Fisher... He's been very much part of the DSCC fundraising machinery - and been attacked for it by the Clinton camp as a hypocrite because a lot of "big money" donors show up for the kind of DSCC fundraising Sanders participates in. But he doesn't personally have the network the Clintons have among big donors and is focusing his current campaign's own efforts on the primary. Of course Hillary is able to distribute more, which likely drives a lot of the endorsement patterns - can't be too close to the Clintons if you are a traditional Dem pol. IMHO where we will see the difference is in how he uses this growing network to build organization for the future, having drawn in a lot of new energy. Reply Friday, April 08, 2016 at 11:56 AM Rune Lagman said in reply to Jeff Fisher... Bernie on top of the ticket will do way more, for down-ballot races, than any amount of Wall-Street money brought by Hillary.
Reply Friday, April 08, 2016 at 04:34 PM dd said in reply to sherparick... I guess that the single largest bailout, 467.2 billion to Citi just went down the memory hole.
Reply Friday, April 08, 2016 at 11:22 AM Rune Lagman said in reply to sherparick... "... will cause Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and the Koch Brothers to run up the white flag ..."

Absolutely not, Bernie's revolution will run rough-shod over them. Anyone believes that Hillary can talk sense to these guys is smoking something awful strong. They need to be defeated at the Polls; and Bernie can do that; Hillary can't.

Reply Friday, April 08, 2016 at 04:29 PM likbez said in reply to sherparick... For all practical purposes Hillary is a warmongering neocon. As such she in a Republican, not a Democrat.

Think about it.

Reply Friday, April 08, 2016 at 09:54 PM dd said... Yes, wall street was at the heart of the scams and that is the only reason for the bailouts or have we all forgotten Treasury Secretary and former Goldman CEO Paulson on bended knee?

[Apr 10, 2016] Senator Warren to Senate Republicans; If you do not like the choice of being shot or taking poison, then "Do Your Job"

April 9, 2016 | Angry Bear
A question to Senator Lindsey Graham by "The Daily Show's" Trevor Noah asking why he endorsed Cruz for the Republican Presidential candidate over Trump. Earlier, Noah ran a clip of Graham stating it was a choice between getting shot or being poisoned and the reasoning for the choice of Cruz was there may be "an antidote." What a lackluster answer and field of Republican candidates for the Presidency. The last seven years of this administration's congressional support has been rife with actions by Republicans to obstruct any action by this President. After all of the obstructionism, the electorate has had enough and has chosen some who may not be favored by the establishment.

Senator Elizabeth Warren delivered a message to her fellow Republican Senators as detailed in The Boston Globe, "Do Your Job." The Senator chastises the Republican members of the Senate for seven years of blocking anything to come before them as sponsored by President Obama (If you can not get into The Boston Globe to read her message, you may want to try Common Dreams.)

"through artificial debt ceiling crises, deliberate government shutdowns, and intentional confirmation blockades, Senate Republicans have acted as though the election and reelection of Obama relieved them of any responsibility to do their jobs. Senate Republicans embraced the idea that government shouldn't work at all unless it works only for themselves and their friends. The campaigns of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are the next logical outgrowth of the same attitude - if you can't get what you want, just ignore the obligations of governing, then divert attention and responsibility by wallowing in a toxic stew of attacks on Muslims, women, Latinos, and each other."

The most current crisis started in 2013 where the Republican Senate has stalled the process of judicial appointments to the higher courts enough so, it forced the then in majority Democrats to change the rules of filibuster in order to move along 3 appointments to the COA. Do not forget Senator McConnell's pledge to make Barack Obama a one term president and the meeting after President Obama's first election by key Republicans to block every move made by the then fledgling President. In 2015, the Republicans gained control of the Senate and judicial appointments have ground to a halt. And the same is occurring with Barack Obama's appointment of Merrick Garland.

But is Merrick the only one? "Amy Howe at Scotus Blog would say no.

A Summary by Amy Howe:

March 13, 1912, President William Taft (a Republican) nominated Mahlon Pitney to succeed John Marshall Harlan, who died on October 14, 1911.

President Woodrow Wilson (a Democrat) made two nominations during 1916; January 28, 1916 Wilson nominated Louis Brandeis to replace Joseph Rucker Lamar, who died on January 2, 1916; the Democratic-controlled Senate confirmed Brandeis on June 1, 1916 and John Clarke was confirmed 10 days after being nominated on July 14, 1916 after Charles Evans Hughes resigned from the Court to run (unsuccessfully) for president.

On January 4, 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt nominated Frank Murphy to replace Pierce Butler, who died on November 16, 1939.

On November 30, 1987, Republican President Ronald Reagan nominated Justice Anthony Kennedy to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Lewis Powell and was confirmed by a Democrat controlled Senate.

On September 7, 1956, Sherman Minton announced his intent to retire to President Dwight D. Eisenhower and he served until October 15, 1956. With the Senate already adjourned, Eisenhower made a recess appointment of William J. Brennan to the Court shortly thereafter; Brennan was formally nominated to the Court and confirmed in 1957.

It should not have to be a choice between a bullet or poison; but, the Republicans have spread so much of their conniving obstructionism with the sabotage of anything in Government today, it has left the people in anger, angry at a Congress which does not do the job to which it is elected. They will pick the poison over the gun shot to get things moving again.

[Apr 02, 2016] The Rebellion Will Not Go Away

www.zerohedge.com

Zero Hedge

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/31/2016 21:55 -0400

  • Bernie Sanders
  • Great Depression
  • Authored by Gaius Publius via DownWithTyranny.com,

    The Sanders- and Trump-led (for now) political rebellion is not going to go away. There are only two questions going forward:

  • Will it remain a political rebellion, one that expresses itself through the electoral process, or will it abandon the electoral process as useless after 2016?
  • Will it be led by humanitarian populism from the left, or authoritarian populism from the right?
  • Why is this rebellion permanent, at least until conditions improve ? Because life in the U.S. is getting worse in a way that can be felt by a critical mass of people, by enough people to disrupt the Establishment machine with their anger. And because that worsening is seen to be permanent.

    Bottom line, people are reaching the breaking point, and we're watching that play out in the 2016 electoral race.

    Yes, It Is a Rebellion

    There's no other way to see the Sanders and Trump surges except as a popular rebellion, a rebellion of the people against their "leaders." If one of them, Sanders or Trump, is on the ballot in November running against an Establishment alternative, Sanders or Trump, the anti-Establishment candidate, will win. That candidate will cannibalize votes from the Establishment side.

    That is, Sanders will attract a non-zero percentage of Trump-supporting voters if Cruz or Paul Ryan runs against him, and he will win. By the same token, Trump will attract a non-zero percentage Sanders-supporting voters (or they will stand down) if Clinton runs against him, and she will lose to him.

    (In fact, we have a good early indication of what percentage of Sanders supporters Clinton will lose - 20% of Sanders primary voters say they will sit out the general election if Clinton is the candidate, and 9% say they will vote for Trump over Clinton. By this measure, Clinton loses 30% of the votes that went to Sanders in the primary election.)

    If they run against each other, Sanders and Trump, Sanders will win. You don't have to take my word for it (or the word of any number of other writers ). You can click here and see what almost every head-to-head poll says. As I look at it today, the average of the last six head-to-head polls is Sanders by almost 18% over Trump. In electoral terms, that's a wipeout. For comparison, Obama beat McCain by 6% and Romney by 4% .

    Note that Sanders is still surging, winning some states with 80% of the vote (across all states he's won, he averages 67% of the vote), while Trump seems to have hit a ceiling below 50%, even in victory. The "socialist" tag is not only not sticking, it's seen positively by his supporters. And finally, just imagine a Trump-Sanders debate. Sanders' style is teflon to Trumps', and again, I'm not alone in noticing this.

    Whichever anti-Establishment candidate runs, he wins. If both anti-Establishment candidates face off, Sanders wins. The message seems pretty clear. Dear Establishment Democrats, you can lose to Sanders or lose to Trump. Those are your choices, and I'm more than happy to wait until November 9 to find out what you chose and how it turned out. Not pleased to wait, if you choose wrongly, but willing to wait, just so we're both aware of what happened.

    The Rebellion Is Not Going Away

    I won't be happy with you though, Establishment Democrats, if you choose badly. And I won't be alone. Because even if you succeed with Clinton, Establishment Democrats, or succeed in giving us Trump in preference to giving us Sanders, the rebellion is not going away.

    If you look at the Trump side , it's easy to see why. Are wages rising with profits? No, and Trump supporters have had enough. (They don't quite know who to blame, but they're done with things as they are.) Will they tolerate another bank bailout, the one that's inevitable the way the banks are continuing to operate? They haven't begun to tolerate the last one . They already know they were screwed by NAFTA. What will their reaction be to the next trade deal, or the next, or the next? (Yes, it's not just TPP; there are three queued up and ready to be unleashed.)

    Trump supporters, the core of them, are dying of drugs and despair , and they're not going to go quietly into that dark night. The Trump phenomenon is proof of that.

    On the Sanders side , the rebellion is even clearer. Sanders has energized a great many voters across the Democratic-independent spectrum with his call for a "political revolution." But it's among the young, the future of America, that the message is especially resonant. For the first time in a long time, the current generation of youth in America sees itself as sinking below the achievements of their parents.

    The Guardian :

    US millennials feel more working class than any other generation

    Social survey data reveals downshift in class identity among 18-35s, with only a third believing they are middle class

    Millennials in the US see themselves as less middle class and more working class than any other generation since records began three decades ago, the Guardian and Ipsos Mori have found.

    Analysing social survey data spanning 34 years reveals that only about a third of adults aged 18-35 think they are part of the US middle class. Meanwhile 56.5% of this age group describe themselves as working class.

    The number of millennials – who are also known as Generation Y and number about 80 million in the US – describing themselves as middle class has fallen in almost every survey conducted every other year, dropping from 45.6% in 2002 to a record low of 34.8% in 2014. In that year, 8% of millennials considered themselves to be lower class and less than 1% considered themselves to be upper class.

    Of course, that leads to this:

    The large downshift in class identity among young adults may have helped explain the surprisingly strong performance in Democratic primaries of the insurgent presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has promised to scrap college tuition fees and raise minimum wages.

    Will those voters, so many of them self-described "independents," return to the Democratic Party? Only if the Party offers them a choice they actually want. If the Party does not, there will be hell to pay on the Democratic side as well. America is making them poorer - Establishment Democratic policies are making them poorer - and they're done with it. The Sanders phenomenon is proof of that.

    Will the Very Very Rich Stand Down?

    The squeeze is on, and unless the rich who run the game for their benefit alone decide to stand down and let the rest of us catch our breath and a break, there will be no letting up on the reaction . What we're watching is just the beginning. Unless the rich and their Establishment enablers stand down, this won't be the end but a start, and just a start.

    I'll identify the three branches to this crossroad in another piece. It's not that hard to suss out those three paths, so long as you're willing to look a few years ahead, into the "middle distance" as it were. The ways this could play out are limited and kind of staring right at us.

    But let's just say for now, America faces its future in a way that hasn't happened since the Great Depression, another period in which the Constitution was rewritten in an orderly way (via the political process). Which means that for almost every living American, this is the most consequential electoral year of your life.

    I know. I'm not happy about that either.

    TeamDepends

    You folks in the big cities have about three months to GTFO.

    Casanova , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 21:58

    Rebellion? What rebellion? We are CURSED with a curse >> http://wp.me/p4OZ4v-3z

    wee-weed up , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:14

    Let's hope all those elites in power who are to blame for their selfish needs causing our great country going completely down the toilet will have a chance to finally meet their favorite lamppost with a little rope in a nice gentle breeze.

    Lurk Skywatcher , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:22

    they will fake an alien invasion or some such and put us all under lock and key. we will either willingly give them complete control over us or they will take it forcefully. they are playing for all the chips, while the vast majority of sheeple don't even realize they are in the game. i hope to hold my own and dont expect anything more of anyone else at this stage, let alone an organized rebellion that will deal to those most at fault for our collective hellhole.

    greenskeeper carl , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:30

    I kind of agree with this guy, in a round about sort of way. If an economic collapse brought on by socialism and central planning in inevitable, might as well have a socialist/central planner in charge. No better way to show people why that shit doesn't work. It would also be useful to point to the left and say "see, I fucking told you so. this shit doesn't work"

    Muh Raf , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:39

    Paraphrasing Crocodile Dundee "That's not a rebel, this is a rebel..." Robert Morrow interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNf6q-THvTE

    animalogic , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 23:48

    Hey Carl....What "socialism" ??

    What "central planning" ? Shit, there's a PLAN ?? Who would've guessed....beyond the obvious plan of the 1% to gorge on the flesh of all the rest...

    And as for your "the left", I'd sooner believe in fairy's living at the bottom of the garden... (Of course, you probably think all the PC wankers are a genuine "left" ....yer, lol).

    eatthebanksters , Fri, 04/01/2016 - 00:24

    Obozo pretends there is no problem as he recites fraudulent info from the Fed...meanwhile the people on Main Street see through the bullshit. The Obozo Administration is a propaganda sham...he just wants the Fed to hold it together for him until the elections.

    conscious being , Fri, 04/01/2016 - 01:13

    peddelin' fiction.

    doctor10 , Fri, 04/01/2016 - 01:13

    as paradoxical as its seems, Fed.gov's only real option is actually The Donald. He's the only one with potential to stay the rapid slide in Fed.gov's legitimacy and mandate to unite the states.

    any other president will get to preside over internal disintegration

    the harder they grasp, the faster the brass ring slides through their greedy fingers

    Reagan bought that crowd another 20 years; Trump can get them another 10-15 if they shut up and elect him

    Government need... , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 23:09

    Trump has shown nothing of the substance he would need philosophically/charasmatically to buy this USA another 20 years. Based on what I've seen, he's a relatively harmless blowhard narcissist. And relative to 1980, this USA is FAR, FAR, FAR more fractured across several critical dimensions. Further, this polarization has been happening since the late 70s, and I cant perceive the catalyst for an ideologic harmonization. We are past the event horizon, in a strange environment where the rule of law is largely suspended. The fundamental of free market economics ('risk-free rate of return') has also been fixed by .gov in an effort to support, nay increase price inflation. The Constitution as it relates to individual liberties has been eviscerated. There is no turning back. A lot of suffering lies ahead. We are walking into the valley of the shadow of death. When you are lost, a compass can help you find the way. But when you throw away the compass (rule of law, Consitutional liberties, focus on excellence of thoughts), THERE CAN BE NO RETURN.

    conscious being , Fri, 04/01/2016 - 01:11

    Trump sucks. Anybody saying otherwise is as dillusional as all those Obummer voters everyone, now, loves to goof on. Who has room for another serving of hope and change? Lucy pulls the football away again, but Charlie Brown never learns.

    Doctor10 hits the mark.

    PTR , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:51

    You folks in the big cities have about three months to GTFO.

    Paging Snake...Snake. Please pick up the red courtesy automatics.

    Hail Spode , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:51

    Good. But rebellion alone is not enough. Anger at a corrupt system is not enough. We must know what the goals are, what we are trying to change and why. What should this system be replaced with and why?

    What it should be replaced with: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B0GACAQ

    Why : http://www.amazon.com/Localism-Defended-between-Anarchy-Central/dp/0996239006/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid =

    PoasterToaster , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:10

    So that's the take from the disaffected Democrat voter, eh? It's nice they are being forced to confront reality in the same way the Republicans are, but to think that Trump voters are dying from drugs and despair while not acknowledging the same state of affairs in their own side is silly.

    Still not quite ready to lower themselves to the same level as the rest of us. Humanitarian Left indeed.

    Skiprrrdog , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:14

    Ted Cruise is the Zodiac Killer...

    Clowns on Acid , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:17

    What about the illegals...? 40MM of them? What about the muslims? Oh yeh...they will all become productive members of society...

    Ms. Erable , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:24

    They can most definitely help to increase productivity - the ones that don't self-deport can help fertilize the non-GMO crops.

    the.ghost.of.22wmr , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:37

    A wise man on ZH once said Europe would be *in flames* before America even farted.

    Well, Europe is *in flames* and it's not yet summer.

    TheEndIsNear , Fri, 04/01/2016 - 00:02

    You ain't seen nothing yet.

    STP , Fri, 04/01/2016 - 00:05

    Let me fix that "they are the reproductive members of our society..."

    Bill of Rights , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:18

    They've managed to turn the office of the President as well as the election process in this Country into nothing but douchebaggery fact is the whole circus bores the shit out of me at this stage....kill each other fighting for the ( 1 ) more food for me.

    monad , Fri, 04/01/2016 - 01:48

    Thats the psyop, son. DYOH.

    Change your domain. Don't buy in easy but do attend your local civic events. Adapt.

    the.ghost.of.22wmr , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:22

    As I have said before, I don't necessarily see Trump at the finish line.

    Trump's ass-kissing speech to the AIPAC Israhell crowd on 3/21 did not impress me or bode well for world peace!

    conscious being , Fri, 04/01/2016 - 00:46

    As of this point, two zionist ideologues have logged in to downvote your sacriledge. Golf clap for the zionists, responding true to form.

    Kirk2NCC1701 , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:29

    If Trump gets burned/stabbed by the GOP-E, his supporters have a moral duty to vote Anti-Establishment, by voting for Sanders.

    Because, by then, the curtain will gave been pulled back and everyone can stop pretending. At that point, only a hard reset will work, and the only person to bring it about sooner than later, is Sanders.

    "The enemy of my enemy is my Ally " -Kirk

    Freddie , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:52

    I actually think Bernie has a better chance at avoiding the steal then Trump has.

    The GOP-e and RNC plus Bushes/Romney are in full theft mode and will do anything to steal it or elect Hillary.

    Sir John Bagot Glubb , Thu, 03/31/2016 - 22:57

    Sanders is probably a nice man who means well but his entire philosophy is based on envy. He may be Anti-establishment now but if he were elected, he's too weak and lacking in depth not to give into the Establishment. Trump may be too. The pressure would be beyond unbearable for a normal human being.

    I would only vote for Sanders to accelerate the Great Reset as other bloggers on here have said. But an added feature of supporting naive Bernie is Democrats might finally get the blame for all the destruction that they have caused, not the least of which is destroying the greatest country that ever was and probably ever will be.

    [Mar 25, 2016] Tony Blair is right: without the Iraq war there would be no Islamic State

    www.theguardian.com

    16/3/2013
    Iraq war and its aftermath failed to stop the beginning of peak oil in 2005

    http://crudeoilpeak.info/iraq-war-and-its-aftermath-failed-to-stop-the-beginning-of-peak-oil-in-2005

    Uploaded 5/7/2007

    Government admits oil is the reason for war in Iraq

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7t_u641NyM

    [Mar 24, 2016] Why Republican Elites are Threatened

    Notable quotes:
    "... And the next GOP President will immediately give away those hard earned surpluses generated by President Clinton or Sanders to their plutocratic donors - just as W did. ..."
    "... The collapse and subsequent economic rape of the USSR region in 1991-1998 was a huge stimulus for the US economy. Something like 300 millions of new customers overnight for many products and huge expansion of the dollar zone, which partially compensates for the loss of EU to euro. ..."
    "... "Republicans have fooled people into thinking budget deficits can be reduced substantially by eliminating waste and fraud in government, cutting foreign aid, or that it is the fault of lazy, undeserving "others" who sponge off of government programs. ..." ..."
    "... I think you have identified the potential roots of a movement. The unwrapping and critical analysis of the demagoguery that has defined the lives of the baby boom generation. The quote below from Dan Baum's Harper's article, Legalize It All", seems particularly poignant: ..."
    "... Much Republican elites would love to raise sales taxes, payroll taxes, or any tax that the "little people" pay. This would allow them to cut taxes for rich people even more. This is their game. Take from the poor and give to the rich. DOOH NIBOR economics! ..."
    "... Excellent piece, but I would point out that the GOP would likely sacrifice their own mothers for upper class tax cuts. ..."
    "... Rachel Maddow pointed out last night that the GOP *leadership* is vehemently opposed to Trump, because he threatens their authority, but the rank-and-file seem to be pretty happy with him. ..."
    "... The idea seems to be that Trump, if elected, will obviously 'reconstitute' the GOP, re-making it totally, casting out old people, bringing in New Blood. ..."
    "... This would be 'yuuugely' more cataclysmic than what happened between Teddy Roosevelt and the anti-progressives of the GOP back in 1912. ..."
    "... [I am very happy that the Republican con is starting to come to light. Members of the working class who support Trump are beginning to see that the elites in the Republican Party do not have their best interests at heart.] ..."
    economistsview.typepad.com
    New Column:
    Why Republican Elites are Threatened, by Mark Thoma : ... Donald Trump's tax plan will result in a fall in revenue of 9.5 trillion dollars over the next ten years, yet somehow he will fulfill his promise to protect Social Security and Medicare and balance the budget? When push comes to shove (or worse – this is Trump after all), who do you think he will protect, social insurance programs the working class relies upon for economic security or his own and his party's wealthy interests? Ted Cruz has proposed an 8.6 trillion dollar tax cut. How, exactly, will that be financed without large cuts to social insurance programs or huge increases in the budget deficit?
    Republicans have fooled people into thinking budget deficits can be reduced substantially by eliminating waste and fraud in government, cutting foreign aid, or that it is the fault of lazy, undeserving "others" who sponge off of government programs. ...

    I am very happy that the Republican con is starting to come to light. Members of the working class who support Trump are beginning to see that the elites in the Republican Party do not have their best interests at heart. I am not pleased at all, however, that people are still being led to believe that there are simple answers to budget problems that do not require raising taxes, or, alternatively, reducing their hard-earned benefits from programs such as Social Security or Medicare. ...

    Posted by Mark Thoma on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 05:24 AM in Economics , Politics , Social Insurance | Permalink Comments (41)

    Peter K. :

    Bill Clinton balanced the budget via economic growth and the dotcom bubble. Unfortunately Bush squandered the surplus with tax cuts for the rich and military Keynesianism.

    A hopeful scenario is that the Fed doesn't kill the economy and HRC gets unforeseen surpluses which she can then plow back into the economy via government spending and investment; boosting automatic stabilizers and expanding the welfare state.

    It's possible!

    pgl -> Peter K....
    "HRC gets unforeseen surpluses which she can then plow back into the economy via government spending and investment; boosting automatic stabilizers and expanding the welfare state."

    Is is also possible that President Sanders will get these opportunities. California and New York have yet to be heard from.

    New Deal democrat -> pgl...
    And the next GOP President will immediately give away those hard earned surpluses generated by President Clinton or Sanders to their plutocratic donors - just as W did.

    Hence my support for a *countercyclical* Balanced Budget Amerndment.

    Peter K. -> New Deal democrat...
    My point was that Sanders or Clinton would be getting the surprise surpluses as W. did.

    My hope is that Clinton would do the right thing, but I wouldn't bet money on it. I could see her do tax cuts for corporations and finance. Summers recently had a piece arguing for tax cuts as incentives for private investment.

    sanjait -> Peter K....
    If we consider that there is probably some pent up business investment demand that could drive above average productivity growth for a few years ... then it plausibly is possible for the country to achieve late 90s style growth.
    likbez -> Peter K....
    The collapse and subsequent economic rape of the USSR region in 1991-1998 was a huge stimulus for the US economy. Something like 300 millions of new customers overnight for many products and huge expansion of the dollar zone, which partially compensates for the loss of EU to euro.

    Even if we count just the cash absorbed by the region, it will be a major economic stimulus. All-it-all it was Bernanke size if we add buying assets for pennies on the dollar.

    Actually, Bill Clinton put a solid fundament for subsequent deterioration relations with Russia. His semi-successful attempt to colonize Russia (under Yeltsin Russia was a semi-colony and definitely a vassal state of the USA) backfired.

    Now the teeth of dragon planted by Slick Bill (of Kosovo war fame) are visible in full glory. Russian elite no longer trusts the US elite and feels threatened.

    Series of female sociopath (or borderline personalities) in the role of Secretaries of State did not help either. The last one, "We came, we saw, he died" Hillary and her protégé Victoria Nuland (which actually was a close associate of Dick Cheney http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2005/11/president_cheney.html ) are actually replay of unforgettable Madeleine Albright with her famous a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" and Albright replied "we think the price is worth it."[

    pgl :
    All well said! The notion that Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump lie a lot is as established as the fact that the earth is not flat.
    Jerry Brown -> pgl...
    True that!
    Paul Mathis :
    "[T]here are simple answers to budget problems that do not require raising taxes, or, alternatively, reducing their hard-earned benefits from programs such as Social Security or Medicare."

    As every legitimate economist knows, stimulus spending to increase the GDP growth rate would raise tax revenues without raising tax rates. This phenomenon is well-known to Keynesians and has been demonstrated many times.

    Thanks to the disinformation campaign run by Republicans, however, stimulus spending has been taken off the table of economic choices except in China where minimum GDP growth is 6.5%. China is "killing us" economically because we are stupid.

    Jerry Brown -> Paul Mathis...
    Instead, the Trumps and Cruzes and Ryans believe in giant tax cuts for the very wealthy. This might provide a weak stimulus for the economy, but it is a very poor way to go about it. More likely in my mind is that it would lead to increased pressure to cut government spending on things that actually do help the economy.
    Paul Mathis -> Jerry Brown...
    Tax cuts for the wealthy do not increase demand. Trickle down is a false economic doctrine that exacerbates inequality and therefore reduces demand. Keynes established this principle decades ago but his wisdom has been ignored.
    pgl -> Paul Mathis...
    You'll love this bit of honesty from right wing Joe Scarborough:

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2016/03/08/joe-scarborough-admits-that-trickle-down-economics-is-a-total-republican-lie-video/

    But the 1981 tax cuts did increase shopping on Rodeo Drive.

    mulp -> pgl...
    Job losses began the month Reagan signed the tax cuts. Job creation began the month Reagan hiked taxes to pay workers to fix the roads and bridges. Reagan and his job killing tax cuts caused the recession, not the Fed and monetary policy. Monetary policy was steady from 1980 to 1983.

    Reagan's tax cuts struck fear into would be lenders. How much debt was the government going to need if it intentionally cuts it's incomes? On the other hand, if the government stops spending, that's millions of workers who will be forced to stop spending.

    For Nixon, the Fed monetized the smaller deficits from repealling the war tax surcharge that balanced the budget in 1969. Just as the Fed monetized all government debt once FDR and his bankers took over, especially Eccles at the Fed.

    But Volcker was not going to monetize the debt caused by Reagan's adoption of intentional deficit spending.

    But even Reagan eventually understood what FDR did: gdp growth requires workers getting paid more, and government can take the money from people who have it but won't spend it paying workers, but tax and spend, and create jobs.

    If only economists today understood it, and called for tax and spend to create jobs to grow gdp.

    anne :
    Really nice essay.
    Mr. Bill :
    "Republicans have fooled people into thinking budget deficits can be reduced substantially by eliminating waste and fraud in government, cutting foreign aid, or that it is the fault of lazy, undeserving "others" who sponge off of government programs. ..."

    I think you have identified the potential roots of a movement. The unwrapping and critical analysis of the demagoguery that has defined the lives of the baby boom generation. The quote below from Dan Baum's Harper's article, Legalize It All", seems particularly poignant:

    "At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. "You want to know what this was really all about?" he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."

    BobZ :
    I'm pretty sure that the Trumpists would be thrilled to raise taxes...on someone else. It's only the elites that are interested in lowering taxes on the rich. Trump's followers don't care.

    I'm also pretty sure that Trump will turn on the donor class rather than reduce anything for his own base - but I could be wrong.

    pgl -> BobZ ...
    Much Republican elites would love to raise sales taxes, payroll taxes, or any tax that the "little people" pay. This would allow them to cut taxes for rich people even more. This is their game. Take from the poor and give to the rich. DOOH NIBOR economics!
    pgl -> BobZ ...
    Krugman for almost 12 years ago:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/01/opinion/dooh-nibor-economics.html?_r=0

    JohnH :
    All this liberal hand wringing about Trump's tax plan. Yet when Bernie introduces a major tax plan, it doesn't get noticed!!! Not a single 'attaboy' from these supposedly liberal economists.

    "With the most progressive tax policy of any candidate, Sanders would dramatically increase taxes for the very wealthy and high-income earners (as well as moderate increases for the middle- and upper-middle classes) in order to pay for key planks of his social agenda including tuition-free public college, a Medicare for All healthcare program, massive infrastructure spending, and paid family leave for all workers."
    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/03/21/tax-plan-sanders-beats-both-clinton-and-trump-double-digits


    "Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders proposes significant increases in federal income, payroll, business, and estate taxes, and new excise taxes on financial transactions and carbon. New revenues would pay for universal health care, education, family leave, rebuilding the nation's infrastructure, and more. TPC estimates the tax proposals would raise $15.3 trillion over the next decade. All income groups would pay some additional tax, but most would come from high-income households, particularly those with the very highest income. His proposals would raise taxes on work, saving, and investment, in some cases to rates well beyond recent historical experience in the US."
    http://taxpolicycenter.org/UploadedPDF/2000639-an-analysis-of-senator-bernie-sanderss-tax-proposals.pdf

    As I've said many times, most 'liberal' economists simply to not want increased taxes to be put on the table as a viable alternative for funding stimulus. Else, why would they go silent when a major candidate makes such an economically significant proposal? Why is it that they are eager to promote ever more debt but refuse to support more taxes?

    pgl -> JohnH...
    You are pushing this which is fine. But

    "Yet when Bernie introduces a major tax plan, it doesn't get noticed!!"

    I noticed this a long time ago. And I applauded Bernie's proposal. I guess I have to resign as a "liberal economist".

    JohnH -> pgl...
    Now pgl claims to have supported Bernie's tax plan...when all he said did was to acknowledge that I cited a credible source!
    http://ctj.org/ctjreports/2016/02/bernie_sanders_health_care_tax_plan_would_raise_13_trillion_yet_increase_after-tax_incomes_for_all_i.php#.VvFotY-cHcs

    Question is, why are all those 'liberal' economists running from Bernie's progressive tax plan like the plague?

    pgl -> JohnH...
    I have supported tax increases on the rich many times. Pay attention. Also - read the latest column from Mark Thoma which is what this thread is supposed to be about. I guess Mark must not be a liberal economists either. DUH!
    Eric377 -> JohnH...
    Because they can always run back to something like it if a Democrat is elected, but not so if Trump or Cruz are and they have convinced themselves that supporting Sanders is a big risk of getting a Republican. And they are right about that.
    JohnH -> Eric377...
    LOL!!! Democrats will NOT endorse support anything like Bernie's tax pan EVER! Just like 'liberal" economists will never endorse it either...in fact, they have every opportunity to endorse it now but refuse to even talk about it, apparently hoping it will just go away.
    mulp -> JohnH...
    But the real benefit of high tax rates on people with lots of money is they will work really hard to not pay taxes by investing in new capital assets even if the bean counters think building more assets will only slash returns on capital.

    The result is no increase in tax revenue, but lots of jobs created if the tax dodges are designed to create jobs.

    The best example is a carbon tax. The correct carbon tax schedule of increases will raise virtually no tax revenue, but will result in trillions of dollars in labor costs building productive capital, which will ironically make the rich far wealthier.

    But if millions of people are employed for a lifetime and the burning of fossil fuels ends, only Bernie will be angry that those responsible end up worth hundreds of billions, or maybe become trillionaires. Their businesses will not be profitable, just like Amazon, Tesla, SpaceX are worth tens of billions but are unprofitable.

    pgl :
    GOP elite Peter Schiff babbling even worse lies than our excellent host has documented:

    http://realcrash2016.com/peter-schiff-social-security-could-implode-in-2016/?code=466832/&utm_source=taboola&utm_medium=referral

    pgl -> pgl...
    Schiff is saying Soc. Sec. will go bankrupt this year. He also predicted hyperinflation and gold at $5000 an ounce:

    http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2013/02/13/gold-at-5000-and-beyond-peter-schiff-sticks-to-his-call/

    Benedict@Large -> pgl...
    Every year Schiff predicts a recession. Once every 6-8 years, he's right. Schiff then claims he's predicted every recession for the last three dozen years. Everyone is amazed. "How does he do it?" the crowd gasps.

    Why does anyone even mention Schiff? He's a grifter with an angle to part rich people from their money. Nothing more.

    pgl :
    From the day job - filed under fun with Microsoft Excel. Math nerds will get this right away. I'm reading a report from some expert witness that claims some loan guarantee is worth only 22 basis points when my client has charged 55 basis points. Think of x = 1.005 and take the natural log. Yes, the right answer is 50 basis points. This clown uses Excel and types in log(x).

    OK - I hate Microsoft Excel as it took me a while. But the log function assumes base 10. The correct syntax is ln(x).

    Somehow I think the right wing elite will start doing similar things in their Soc. Sec. analyzes.

    William -> pgl...
    Somehow, I think the right wing elite don't know the difference between a basis point and a percentage point, let alone between a base 10 or a base e logarithm.
    pgl -> William...
    I know Stephen Moore certainly does not know the difference!
    DrDick :
    Excellent piece, but I would point out that the GOP would likely sacrifice their own mothers for upper class tax cuts.
    pgl :
    Politics down under (New Zealand). The Green Party is campaigning on transfer pricing enforcement in order to make the multinationals pay their fair share of taxes:

    https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-release/govt-warned-multinational-tax-rort-2013

    We need more of this in the US!

    Fred C. Dobbs :
    Rachel Maddow pointed out last night that the GOP *leadership* is vehemently opposed to Trump, because he threatens their authority, but the rank-and-file seem to be pretty happy with him.
    pgl -> Fred C. Dobbs...
    I was tired and fell asleep by 9PM missing Rachel's show. Thanks for filling me in. She's awesome!
    Fred C. Dobbs -> pgl...
    The idea seems to be that Trump, if elected, will obviously 'reconstitute' the GOP, re-making it totally, casting out old people, bringing in New Blood.

    This would be 'yuuugely' more cataclysmic than what happened between Teddy Roosevelt and the anti-progressives of the GOP back in 1912.

    eudaimonia :
    [I am very happy that the Republican con is starting to come to light. Members of the working class who support Trump are beginning to see that the elites in the Republican Party do not have their best interests at heart.]

    I disagree here. I don't see Trump as exposing the Republican economic agenda to be a fraud. Instead, Trump is exposing that the main driver in conservatism is not policy, but racism.

    The Republican base is not "waking up" per say, but Trump rather erased away the policy veneer and has shown the heart of the conservative base.

    For decades, the RW economic and social agenda was based off of racism and bigotry - fictional Cadillac mothers, how blacks just vote Democrat since they are lazy, increased voting restrictions for a non-problem, Willie Horton, opposing the CRA in the name of "freedom" and states' rights, etc.

    The argument now has simply shifted away from slashing taxes on white rich males since it creates an underclass of dependent minorities, to blaming Mexicans, immigrants, Muslims, etc.

    If you look at the heart of Trump supporters, they are high school dropouts who have also dropped out of the labor force since they were dependent on the old economy, live in mobile houses and have not moved around much, with a history of voting for segregationists.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/13/upshot/the-geography-of-trumpism.html?_r=0

    As their economy breaks down around them, like it has in various parts of the country, we are seeing the same social ills emerge - suicide, drug use, depression, rise of divorce, etc.

    What Trump has shown them is that it is not their fault. It is not the fault of policy. It is not the fault of globalization. It is not the fault of technological change. It is the fault of the Mexicans, immigrants, Muslims, etc.

    The core of conservatism is still there: racism, and Trump has simply shown this. Conservatism is not about policy, but an emotional reactionary ideology based on fear and ignorance that looks for minorities to be scapegoats.

    pgl :
    US Supreme Court splits 4-4 in Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-03-22/u-s-supreme-court-splits-4-4-for-first-time-since-scalia-death?cmpid=yhoo.headline

    Appeals Court had ruled in favor of the bank so the bank prevails. OK - we know Scalia would have voted in favor of the bank but now the standard is how would have Garland ruled. The Senate needs to act on his nomination.

    sanjait :
    Maybe the simplest way to dissect it is to note that the GOP has been running multiple overlapping cons.

    They tell the base that tax cuts will improve their lives, and then passes tax cuts that go mostly to the rich.

    They tell the base that regulations are killing jobs, and then block or remove any government protection or program that makes the country livable so some industrialist can avoid having to deal with externalities.

    They tell the base that "those people" are taking their stuff, and then shred the safety net that helps almost everyone except the rich.

    What Trump has done is expose how these cons don't really fit together logically, but he hasn't really gone strongly against any of them. He's been on both sides of the first two, and tripled down on the third.

    [Mar 23, 2016] The State of American Politics

    Notable quotes:
    "... We don't lock ourselves in an echo chamber, where we take comfort in the dogmas and opinions we already hold. ..."
    "... Republicans like to say that massive growth followed the Reagan tax cut. But average real GDP growth during Reagan's eight years in the White House was only slightly above the rate of the previous eight years: 3.4 percent per year vs. 2.9 percent. The average unemployment rate was actually higher under Reagan than it was during the previous eight years: 7.5 percent vs. 6.6 percent. ... ..."
    "... In his first economic text Greg Mankiw (pre Bush Kool Aid) laid this out nicely. Inward shift of the national savings schedule, higher real interest rates, and the crowding-out of investment. Which lowers long-term growth in the standard Solow model. QED! ..."
    "... Responding to the increasingly inane behavior of the two parties, Robert Reich envisions a third party win in 2020: http://robertreich.org/post/141437490885 ..."
    "... Bratton is the best police commissioner in the nation! My only regret is that the NYPD did not arrest Cruz and toss him in jail for a few days. ..."
    "... (i) It implies that high taxation was responsible for the stagnant economy. Therefore, reducing taxes would unleash growth. The early 80's recessions was not caused by high taxation and growth was just as strong before. ..."
    "... (ii) Reagan actually passed a significant tax increase in 1982; TERFA. Some have actually called it the largest peacetime tax increase in history. ..."
    "... (iii) Supply-siders completely ignore interest rates. The federal funds rate fell from 19% in July 1981 to 8.5% in February 1983. That looks like good ol' fashion Keynesianism at work. ..."
    economistsview.typepad.com
    Paul Ryan, in a speech on the state of American politics, says :
    We don't lock ourselves in an echo chamber, where we take comfort in the dogmas and opinions we already hold.

    Followed by:

    ... in 1981 the Kemp-Roth bill was signed into law, lowering tax rates, spurring growth, and putting millions of Americans back to work.

    Bruce Bartlett :

    ... I was the staff economist for Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.) in 1977, and it was my job to draft what came to be the Kemp-Roth tax bill, which Reagan endorsed in 1980 and enacted the following year. ...

    Republicans like to say that massive growth followed the Reagan tax cut. But average real GDP growth during Reagan's eight years in the White House was only slightly above the rate of the previous eight years: 3.4 percent per year vs. 2.9 percent. The average unemployment rate was actually higher under Reagan than it was during the previous eight years: 7.5 percent vs. 6.6 percent. ...

    PAUL MATHIS :
    Lyin' Ryan

    "In 1981 the Kemp-Roth bill was signed into law, lowering tax rates, spurring growth, and putting millions of Americans back to work."

    In 1981 real GDP increased 2.6%, but in 1982 it was NEGATIVE 1.9%.
    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/A191RL1A225NBEA

    In 1981 the unemployment rate was 7.6% but by 1982 it was 9.7%.
    https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/UNRATE

    So the tax cuts reduced growth and increased unemployment. Those are FACTS

    PAUL MATHIS -> pgl...

    The Question Was the Effect of the 1981 Tax Cuts

    Ryan says they were positive for growth and jobs. They were not based on the ensuing facts.

    Obviously many other things were happening but Ryan made a clear statement that was a lie and that needs to be called out.

    pgl -> PAUL MATHIS...
    In his first economic text Greg Mankiw (pre Bush Kool Aid) laid this out nicely. Inward shift of the national savings schedule, higher real interest rates, and the crowding-out of investment. Which lowers long-term growth in the standard Solow model. QED!

    JohnH :

    Responding to the increasingly inane behavior of the two parties, Robert Reich envisions a third party win in 2020: http://robertreich.org/post/141437490885

    "Politics abhors a vacuum. In 2019, the People's Party filled it.

    Its platform called for getting big money out of politics, ending "crony capitalism," abolishing corporate welfare, stopping the revolving door between government and the private sector, and busting up the big Wall Street banks and corporate monopolies.

    The People's Party also pledged to revoke the Trans Pacific Partnership, hike taxes on the rich to pay for a wage subsidy (a vastly expanded Earned Income Tax Credit) for everyone earning below the median, and raise taxes on corporations that outsource jobs abroad or pay their executives more than 100 times the pay of typical Americans.

    Americans rallied to the cause. Millions who called themselves conservatives and Tea Partiers joined with millions who called themselves liberals and progressives against a political establishment that had shown itself incapable of hearing what they had been demanding for years."

    Will Democrats and Republicans becoming out of touch with voters and illegitimate representatives of the will of the people, it's time to register your disgust--vote third party!
    [Not voting only communicates apathy, which is fine with the elites.]

    Ben Groves :

    Boomers were driving up the labor force, driving up unemployment.

    If you want to be clear, this happened to Jimmy Carter in the late 70's when that expansion was peaking.

    The bigger the growth rate of total population, the faster GDP must grow.........and vice versa. Why do you think the classical liberals hated Malthus so much?

    pgl :
    Bruce may be right here but this includes business cycle effects:

    "Republicans like to say that massive growth followed the Reagan tax cut. But average real GDP growth during Reagan's eight years in the White House was only slightly above the rate of the previous eight years: 3.4 percent per year vs. 2.9 percent."

    Using the typical measure of potential output, we can do this on the terms that supply-siders preach. Long-term growth. This growth was around 3.5% before 1981. It was also 3.5% after 1992. But during the Reagan-Bush41 years, it was only 3%. You see - this tax cut raised real interest rates and crowded out investment.

    Paul Ryan wants to pretend he's a smart guy. If he is - then he knows this. Which means he is lying to us.

    pgl :

    Oh goodie! Ted Cruz attacks my mayor!

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ted-cruz-slams-de-blasio-reaction-muslim-monitoring-idea-article-1.2574540

    Yesterday when Brussels was attacked – my police department went into action to insure my subway rides were safe. My mayor took a subway ride to Times Square which showed courage. So what does the slime ball Cruz do?

    'Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz swooped into Manhattan Wednesday and promptly hit Mayor de Blasio below the belt when he said cops who turned their backs on him were speaking for all Americans." When heroes of NYPD stood up and turned their backs on Mayor de Blasio, they spoke not just for the men and women of New York, but for Americans all across this nation," said Cruz at the GOP Party & Women's National Republican Club in Midtown.'

    There has been tension as our police have to patrol as we march against how the police that murdered Eric Garner got off from prosecution. And then the horror of two of them murdered in cold blood by some crazed person from Baltimore. A few cops did turn their backs as the mayor honored these two brave cops. Most of the NYPD, however, was appalled at this garbage. Had I known Cruz was coming here to insult my city – I would have been there protesting. But my mayor handled this the right way:

    'De Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton were two of the most vocal critics, with Bratton saying it was so out of line it showed why he'd never win the White House race. He doesn't know the hell what he is talking about, to be frank with you," Bratton said. "While he's running around here, he probably has some Muslim officers guarding him." Later, during an radio interview, Bratton went after the Texas senator again on the monitoring." He is maligning a whole population group. A religion. That's not the American way," Bratton said on "The John Gambling Show" on AM970. "Mr. Cruz showed his naivete of the police department. I don't recall Mr. Cruz in uniform at any time fighting for his country. This election campaign is painting everyone with the broad brush. We focus on people committing the crime…the disorder, not the population."'

    Bratton is the best police commissioner in the nation! My only regret is that the NYPD did not arrest Cruz and toss him in jail for a few days.

    eudaimonia :
    Except the tax cut story does not hold up for a couple of reason.

    (i) It implies that high taxation was responsible for the stagnant economy. Therefore, reducing taxes would unleash growth. The early 80's recessions was not caused by high taxation and growth was just as strong before.

    (ii) Reagan actually passed a significant tax increase in 1982; TERFA. Some have actually called it the largest peacetime tax increase in history.

    (iii) Supply-siders completely ignore interest rates. The federal funds rate fell from 19% in July 1981 to 8.5% in February 1983. That looks like good ol' fashion Keynesianism at work.

    It is simply a comfortable story that conservatives tell themselves in order to validate slashing taxes on the rich, cut discretionary non-military spending, and explode military spending and our deficits.

    However, like in an echo-chamber for 3-4 decades, they will not come to terms with this.

    [Mar 12, 2016] Former CIA Analyst Ray McGovern: Obama Is 'Afraid' Of The CIA And The NSA

    Notable quotes:
    "... Brennan apologized to Senate leaders in July 2014 after CIA agents hacked Senate computers during a congressional investigation of the CIA's use of torture, but neither the torturers nor the hackers would face any consequences for their actions. ..."
    "... He also criticized Obama's drone program, noting that "[t]he Fifth Amendment prohibits any president or anyone else from killing anyone without due process," and dismissed the administration's legal justifications for the killings as a "lawyerly diversion from the truth." ..."
    www.mintpressnews.com

    McGovern says he believes the president can't hold either agency accountable for their violations of the law and human rights because of the power they hold over him.

    MUNICH - A former CIA analyst believes the CIA and National Security Agency have become so powerful that the president is afraid to act against them when they break the law.

    Ray McGovern retired from the CIA in 1990, following nearly 30 years of service to the agency. He was awarded the Intelligence Commendation Medal, which is given to agents who offer "especially commendable service" to the agency.

    Outraged over the CIA's open use of torture, he returned the medal in 2006 and became an antiwar activist. He was arrested in 2011 for a silent protest against a speech by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    In an interview published Monday by acTVism Munich, an independent media outlet, McGovern warned that U.S. intelligence agencies are too powerful to be held accountable, even by President Barack Obama. He explained:

    "I will simply say that he is afraid of them. Now I would have never thought that I would hear myself saying that the president of the United States is afraid of the CIA. But he is. He's afraid of the NSA as well. How else to explain that the National Intelligence director, who lied under oath to his senate overseers on the 12th of March 2013, is still the director of National Intelligence?"

    Statements made under oath to Congress in 2013 by James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, in which he denied mass surveillance of Americans, were later revealed to be false by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. In 2014, some members of Congress, including California Rep. Darrell Issa , moved to have Clapper dismissed from his post, but their efforts were ultimately defeated.

    McGovern continued: "How else to explain that the head of CIA, John Brennan, who deliberately hacked the computers of the senate's intelligence community, that's supposed to be overseeing him, he's still in office?"

    Brennan apologized to Senate leaders in July 2014 after CIA agents hacked Senate computers during a congressional investigation of the CIA's use of torture, but neither the torturers nor the hackers would face any consequences for their actions. In January 2015, an internal CIA review board declared the hack had been a result of "miscommunication" and cleared all agents of wrongdoing.

    In the interview, McGovern lamented the fact that political leaders, including President George W. Bush and Obama, have given their approval to unconstitutional behavior by government officials:

    "Our bill of rights has been shredded. The Fourth Amendment specifically prohibits the kind of activities the NSA is involved in domestically."

    He also criticized Obama's drone program, noting that "[t]he Fifth Amendment prohibits any president or anyone else from killing anyone without due process," and dismissed the administration's legal justifications for the killings as a "lawyerly diversion from the truth."

    "Not even George Bush claimed the right to kill American citizens without due process," McGovern said.

    Activism is one way to drive positive change and resist the erosion of Americans' civil liberties, he said.

    "You do what you know is good, because it's good, and then you have a certain peace of mind, saying, you've been an activist in a constructive way," he concluded.

    Watch "Interview with former CIA-Analyst: Ray McGovern" on acTVism Munich

    [Mar 12, 2016] Nearly 10 percent of Democratic Party Superdelegates Are Lobbyists

    Notable quotes:
    "... On July 25, these superdelegates will cast votes at the Democratic National Convention for whomever they want, regardless of primary and caucus outcomes. Democrats like to describe superdelegates as mostly elected officials and prominent party members, including President Obama and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. ..."
    "... But this group, which consists of 21 governors, 40 senators and 193 representatives, only makes up about a third of the superdelegates. Many of the remaining 463 convention delegates are establishment insiders who get their status after years of donations and service to the party. Dozens of the 437 delegates in the DNC member category are registered federal and state lobbyists, according to an ABC News analysis. ..."
    "... In fact, when you remove elected officials from the superdelegate pool, at least one in seven of the rest are former or current lobbyists registered on the federal and state level, according to lobbying disclosure records. ..."
    "... New York Times ..."
    "... Americans of both parties fundamentally reject the regime of untrammeled money in elections made possible by the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and other court decisions and now favor a sweeping overhaul of how political campaigns are financed, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll. ..."
    "... The findings reveal deep support among Republicans and Democrats alike for new measures to restrict the influence of wealthy givers, including limiting the amount of money that can be spent by "super PACs" and forcing more public disclosure on organizations now permitted to intervene in elections without disclosing the names of their donors. ..."
    "... Hillary Clinton holds a substantial edge among a particular and little-noticed kind of delegate to the Democratic National Convention: Superdelegates. ..."
    "... On July 25, these superdelegates will cast votes at the Democratic National Convention for whomever they want, regardless of primary and caucus outcomes. Democrats like to describe superdelegates as mostly elected officials and prominent party members, including President Obama and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter . ..."
    "... But this group, which consists of 21 governors, 40 senators and 193 representatives, only makes up about a third of the superdelegates. Many of the remaining 463 convention delegates are establishment insiders who get their status after years of donations and service to the party. Dozens of the 437 delegates in the DNC member category are registered federal and state lobbyists, according to an ABC News analysis. ..."
    "... In fact, when you remove elected officials from the superdelegate pool, at least one in seven of the rest are former or current lobbyists registered on the federal and state level, according to lobbying disclosure records. ..."
    "... That's at least 67 lobbyists who will attend the convention as superdelegates. A majority of them have already committed to supporting Hillary Clinton for the nomination. ..."
    "... Superdelegates are unique to the Democratic nominating process. Of the 4,763 delegates who will attend the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, 717 will be superdelegates - almost a third of the total required to win the nomination. ..."
    arly%2010%25%20Of%20Democratic%20Party%20Superdelegates%20Are%20Lobbyist

    When it comes to presidential primaries, there isn't a whole lot of "democracy" in the Democratic Party.

    By Michael Krieger | Liberty Blitzkrieg | March 11, 2016

    On July 25, these superdelegates will cast votes at the Democratic National Convention for whomever they want, regardless of primary and caucus outcomes. Democrats like to describe superdelegates as mostly elected officials and prominent party members, including President Obama and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

    But this group, which consists of 21 governors, 40 senators and 193 representatives, only makes up about a third of the superdelegates. Many of the remaining 463 convention delegates are establishment insiders who get their status after years of donations and service to the party. Dozens of the 437 delegates in the DNC member category are registered federal and state lobbyists, according to an ABC News analysis.

    In fact, when you remove elected officials from the superdelegate pool, at least one in seven of the rest are former or current lobbyists registered on the federal and state level, according to lobbying disclosure records.

    – From the ABC News article: The Reason Why Dozens of Lobbyists Will Be Democratic Presidential Delegates

    When it comes to presidential primaries, there isn't a whole lot of "democracy" in the Democratic Party.

    Last year, The New York Times published an article examining the American attitude toward the question of money in politics. This is what it found:

    Americans of both parties fundamentally reject the regime of untrammeled money in elections made possible by the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and other court decisions and now favor a sweeping overhaul of how political campaigns are financed, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll.

    The findings reveal deep support among Republicans and Democrats alike for new measures to restrict the influence of wealthy givers, including limiting the amount of money that can be spent by "super PACs" and forcing more public disclosure on organizations now permitted to intervene in elections without disclosing the names of their donors.

    You might think the supposedly "liberal" Democratic Party would take this sort of thing to heart, but you'd be wrong. Not only is the super delegate system intentionally undemocratic, but a remarkable 9% of superdelegates are actually lobbyists.

    You just can't make this stuff up.

    From ABC News :

    Hillary Clinton holds a substantial edge among a particular and little-noticed kind of delegate to the Democratic National Convention: Superdelegates.

    On July 25, these superdelegates will cast votes at the Democratic National Convention for whomever they want, regardless of primary and caucus outcomes. Democrats like to describe superdelegates as mostly elected officials and prominent party members, including President Obama and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter .

    But this group, which consists of 21 governors, 40 senators and 193 representatives, only makes up about a third of the superdelegates. Many of the remaining 463 convention delegates are establishment insiders who get their status after years of donations and service to the party. Dozens of the 437 delegates in the DNC member category are registered federal and state lobbyists, according to an ABC News analysis.

    In fact, when you remove elected officials from the superdelegate pool, at least one in seven of the rest are former or current lobbyists registered on the federal and state level, according to lobbying disclosure records.

    That's at least 67 lobbyists who will attend the convention as superdelegates. A majority of them have already committed to supporting Hillary Clinton for the nomination.

    Of course they have.

    Superdelegates are unique to the Democratic nominating process. Of the 4,763 delegates who will attend the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, 717 will be superdelegates - almost a third of the total required to win the nomination.

    Meanwhile, former presidential candidate and current Democratic Party superdelegate, Howard Dean, shared his personal thoughts on democracy via Twitter the other day.

    [Mar 11, 2016] WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Angola, Grenada, Cuban Bay of Pigs, Libya, Syria, Yemen, that is what the Democrats have done

    Notable quotes:
    "... What wars are you citing? WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Angola, Grenada, Cuban Bay of Pigs, Libya, Syria, Yemen,....that is what the Democrats have done. ..."
    "... The Reps are no peackeniks but somehow Democrats are better able to initiate and conduct war because people like you build myths that Democrats are more peace loving. Sorry, history does not support your view. ..."
    "... Hillary is by far the most dangerous because she has both Administration and Senatorial experience and knows how to muster support for her war mongering ways with the likes of Neo-cons and AIPAC'ers. ..."
    "... The RTP doctrine was born with the Balkan war, driven by Clinton and Blair, the latter advocating a ground assault, and Blair's military intervention in Sierra Leone, rebirthing the whole idea of British expeditionary forces ..."
    "... The proportion of superdelegates has actually increased from 14% to 20% of the total delegate count over the years since this was introduced (in 1982). So the Democratic Party have been adding more slots for party cronies and making the results less and less democratic. ..."
    "... Slick Willy/Obama moderate centrists running Dem establishment, same sleaze bags that did the welfare and justice reforms of 90s and deregulated WS in the first place ..."
    discussion.theguardian.com

    Ussurisk chrisbrown, 10 Mar 2016 08:48

    What wars are you citing? WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Angola, Grenada, Cuban Bay of Pigs, Libya, Syria, Yemen,....that is what the Democrats have done.

    The Reps are no peackeniks but somehow Democrats are better able to initiate and conduct war because people like you build myths that Democrats are more peace loving. Sorry, history does not support your view.

    Trump is impetuous and dangerous but he would be a lame duck president like Jimmy Carter; unable to muster Congressional support to do much of anything.

    Hillary is by far the most dangerous because she has both Administration and Senatorial experience and knows how to muster support for her war mongering ways with the likes of Neo-cons and AIPAC'ers.

    FrankBnov14 -> ID8020624 ,

    Since the Oligarchy supposedly control the media, the corporations, the money, the congress, the bureaucracy, the states, the armed forces, etc, why on earth would one alleged Lefty in the White House be 'very dangerous' for them? Even assuming he really wanted to be a real threat to them (as distinct from merely saying the things that get him votes), he simply wouldn't have the power to do any more than a few minor things that marginally protect the interests of the 99.9% of us who are not so-called Oligarchs.
    ID8020624 -> twistsmom ,
    Did you watch the debate tonight? He brought up all the coups. He is a Social Democrat, so was Allende and Albeniz.
    Cruz is a political whore, I am a simple Dem Socialist Bernie supporter.
    Cruz is a phony Jesus freak (was Catholic), I am an Atheist, like all Dem Socialists.
    Cruz is a Canadian, I am an American.
    Cruz is a transgender, I am straight.
    Cruz is a racist teabagger, who made fame by opposing even the most conservative Obama policies. I have Dr. King's portrait in my office and a fierce enemy of social injustice.
    Cruz is a demagogue, I simply pointed some historical facts (bloody Coups) and some of our historical atrocities around the globe.

    Super delegates are almost completely with HRC, the WS call girl. Why...do you think it is so?

    Again, Bernie is very dangerous for the ruling few that run this Oligarchy. He used the term Oligarchy again in this debate. And he stated again that this is not a democracy.

    PearsonGooner -> Christopher3175 ,
    All US presidents are owned by corporations and bankers, not just Hillary, her and Bill have their own criminal enterprise.

    All US presidents are war criminals at worst and blatant liars at best.

    Bernie will get lead poisoning from as assassins bullet if, in the unlikely event he becomes POTUS

    PearsonGooner -> Mei P ,
    Hillary and Bill are murderers, rapists, thieves, fraudsters and drug dealers. A long history of criminal violence. Google "Mena Airport" and take it from there, you will be busy for days.

    The elite don't care about you, they only care about their own access to your tax dollar.

    Do not vote for Hillary, the world will be a better place when she and rapist Bill swing from the end of a rope

    subgeometer -> john7appleyard ,
    Pally with Clinton , then with Bush.

    The RTP doctrine was born with the Balkan war, driven by Clinton and Blair, the latter advocating a ground assault, and Blair's military intervention in Sierra Leone, rebirthing the whole idea of British expeditionary forces

    Kira Kinski ,
    This is a cause worth fighting for. America is crumbling under our feet, yet the Uniparty continues to point us towards a downward spiral. But, the People have awakened. They realize the game is rigged. Nothing illustrates this better than Big Media and the DNC that marginalize Sanders and his message every chance it gets. Why? They obviously support the official Uniparty pick, Clinton. America is fortunate that Sanders has stepped up to face the Clinton campaign machine. Sanders wants to do what is best for America. Not the elite. But the People. Sanders has fought for civil rights and equality his entire political career. Name anyone else who has done this over decades. We can use them on the good ship Reclaim America.

    Join the political revolution of the People, for the People, by the People. Vote for Bernie. He is the only candidate running who is for all of us, because he cares...

    >>> www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpm4rjejFgQ

    If nothing else, America, please stop voting for the same crowd, the Uniparty; they are literally sucking the life out of the People and have been for decades (going back to Bill Clinton and beyond)...

    >>> www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/09/04/opinion/04reich-graphic.html

    Let's fix America together. Now is a once in a lifetime chance for a reboot.

    Jerome Fryer -> DracoFerret ,
    The proportion of superdelegates has actually increased from 14% to 20% of the total delegate count over the years since this was introduced (in 1982). So the Democratic Party have been adding more slots for party cronies and making the results less and less democratic.
    ID8020624 ,
    Corporate media and Dem establishment campaign against Bernie's chances have completely backlashed. And the more he stays in the race, the more likely he will get the max number of pledged delegates or nomination.

    And the longer the race for nomination is, the more likely that the WS speeches, Sec of State emails, and bribes by foreign sleazy regimes to the Foundation will be exposed before nomination.

    Slick Willy/Obama moderate centrists running Dem establishment, same sleaze bags that did the welfare and justice reforms of 90s and deregulated WS in the first place, wanted Bernie out by last night;...thanks to Michigan...we will see them all in Philadelphia!

    The WS(Ruben, Summers, Geithner,...)/Clinton/Obama wing of the party will be buried by Uncle Bernie when all this is said and done, and with it the D-establishment media: msnbc athews, the executive Wolffe and te corporate-feminist Maddows!

    I am toasting over here,...Feeling the Bern!

    MaxBoson ,
    The truth is that before Tuesday's elections, Clinton was ahead of Sanders by 673 to 477 pledged delegates, and her lead is now 745 to 540-by no means insurmountable, as a recent NBC-Washington Post poll shows (the numbers don't sum to 100% because 'Other' and 'No opinion' replies were included): In December Clinton led Sanders 59% to 28%; in January 55% to 36%; in March 49% to 42%. These figures show that Hillary's lead is slowly but steadily evaporating.

    Anyone who believes that superdelegates can hand Clinton the nomination even if she loses the primary fight is betting the Democratic Party is willing to commit suicide: Sanders supporters already loathe Hillary Clinton, and if she is carried to the coronation throne on the backs of superdelegates, that loathing will multiply, and many of them will stay home or participate in a write-in campaign for Bernie, enough to cause Hillary to lose the general election. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her friends in the DNC will have achieved their goal: a woman will have been nominated, but at the price of making Donald Trump President, and having to find another name for their party-"Democratic Party" would hardly be fitting after such a betrayal.

    Martin Thompson -> smudge10 ,
    free trade is unfair trade it is like these subsidies on food where people pay tax and then farmers get money from govt to grow what they are told. Then there is free trade deal such as with europe where the american subsidised food too compete with the european subsidised food but there are differences in regulations so too compete fairly the europeans would have to reduce the regulations in a race to the bottom with the Americans who are already suffering from obesity.
    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/economy/2015/12/ttip-disaster-left-brexit-would-be-worse

    amacd2 ,
    Here's my comment finally allowed to be published in the NYT today 3/8 after Michigan

    Bernie is on the Bern across America --- and he hasn't even fired a 'shout heard round the world' yet.

    When Bernie fires a non-violent 'shout heard round the world' to further ignite his & our "Political Revolution against Empire" the Bern will burn through the rest of the primary states.

    Understand that Bernie will increase both the enthusiasm and the education of Americans in evolutionary ways of understanding the essential need for the "Political Revolution against Empire".

    Initially, Bernie can point to the flaws and failures of a 'foreign policy' that does not serve the interests of Americans nor peace in our world, any better than domestic economic tyranny at home, because our country is being pushed by the same corrupted politics to "act like a global Empire abroad".

    Even the most trusted elder anchorman and author of "Greatest Generation", Tom Brokaw, on "Meet the Press" shocked Chuck Toad and other young pundits at the 'Round Table' when he explained, "When Trump and Cruz are talking about three year old orphans and refugees [from Syria to Europe], what we're really talking about is three year old orphans and refugees, caused by
    American policy".

    Such truth telling by older and politically experienced people like Bernie, Tom, and the late Walter Cronkite is what has radically changed, even Revolutionized the political landscape as it did half a century ago when such truthful shocks caused LBJ not to run and admit, "If I've lost Cronkite, we've lost the war"

    Quartz001 ,
    Looks like the corporate media attempts to keep Bernie Sanders coverage down, and making any attention they do give him negative isn't totally working... what will they try next?

    Corporate Media to Begin Adding Fangs to Images of Bernie Sanders
    http://www.theniladmirari.com/2016/03/corporate-media-to-begin-adding-fangs-to-all-images-of-bernie-sanders-and-push-narrative-storyline-fantasy-secretary-hillary-clinton-inevitable-democratic-presidential-candidate.html

    antipodes -> jambin ,
    I just don't like the slaughter of half a million Syrians and Libyans and 10 million refugees facing devastation of their lives just so the USA and NATO can control oil supplies out of the Middle East. Its not a good look Hillary.
    I'm not all that happy about the splitting up of Syria just to isolate Iran and destroy the Russian economy while risking a nuclear war.
    illary needs to explain why we can't have world peace because the insecurity and armaments industry makes so much money for the 1%. In fact Hilary needs to prove she cares about the worlds ordinary people like the Palestinians living under the yoke of the cruel oppresive Israeli Gogernment. And she would need to demonstrate her concern with policies to help the people living on the streets of America before I would support her.
    Junnie Quorra Lee -> Junnie Quorra Lee ,
    (Can Hillary be trusted? Also See:)

    Reich Risked getting fired from Clinton Admin by slamming Corporate Welfare
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffmvPuGxmzA&feature=youtu.be

    (RECENT!) Hillary Clinton's Email About Gay Parents Should Seriously Trouble Her LGBT Supporters
    http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2015/10/01/hillary_clinton_on_gay_rights_a_new_email_is_troubling.html
    Looks like she hasn't really "evolved" on LGBT acceptance, but is simply taking on positions that she thinks is politically beneficial to her, as usual. Much of her campaign platform (specifically her sudden focus on social and civil issues) is pretty much copied over from Sander's after all.

    Bernie Sanders Was For Transgender Rights Before It Was A Thing
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0kCDFxODx4

    Hillary Paid Herself $250000 From Campaign Funds
    http://freebeacon.com/politics/hillary-paid-herself-250000-from-campaign-funds /

    Hillary Clinton says outsourcing jobs is good for America (top 1%)
    http://realprogress.online/2016/03/05/hillary-clinton-told-crowd-outsourcing-good-america /

    Her shock when he says he supports Bernie Sanders (the "socialist", rather than Hillary, on Fox News) is priceless!
    https://www.facebook.com/OccupyDemocrats/videos/1080899312003122/?pnref=story

    Why I Switched My Support From Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders
    https://www.thewrap.com/carole-mallory-bernie-sanders-hillary-clinton-swtich-support-president-guest-blog /

    Hillary Calls for Michigan Gov's Resignation an Hour After Her Spox Slammed Bernie for Same (This pretty much sums up her dis-ingenious campaign)
    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/hillary-calls-for-michigan-govs-resignation-an-hour-after-her-spox-slammed-bernie-for-same /

    ---

    Racism is still alive. Black lives DO matter, and the things BLM activists are doing may look excessive, but I find it necessary if they are EVER to be heard by the government. Things are desperate now, and the Clintons has a hand in the current sad sate of things for African Americans due to the policies that they have pushed. Bernie have repeatedly highlighted how Black people in America is oppressed. Just look at the % of black vs white jobless rate, and % of black vs white people being jailed for weed possession. Something needs to be done. "Enough is Enough" as Bernie says.

    Clinton confronted for calling black kids 'super predators'
    http://nypost.com/2016/03/01/clinton-confronted-for-calling-black-kids-super-predators /
    Activist Ashley Williams Confronts Hillary Clinton On Calling Black People Super Predators
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwFii9IYTIw&feature=youtu.be
    Prominent Black Activists Want to Set The Record Straight On Hillary Clinton!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pACLnwDe7Ms

    [Mar 03, 2016] President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden endorse Patrick Murphy for U.S. Senate

    Notable quotes:
    "... "These endorsements are a last-ditch effort by the DC Establishment to try to blunt our large and growing command of the race. It comes as no surprise that these moves are made just two days after Rep. Grayson became the first major statewide candidate in the country to endorse the anti-Establishment candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, for the Presidency.
    They come just one day after a new poll shows Rep. Grayson with a double-digit lead, winning among men and women, every age group, and whites, blacks and Hispanics. The anti-Democratic Party Establishment is desperate to drag Grayson's opponent, their do-nothing, errand boy for Wall Street, over the finish line. But Florida voters in both parties are fed up with egregious manipulation by outside forces to dictate our candidates.
    These arrogant Empire-Strikes-Back efforts by the Democratic politburo will be no more successful than the similar failed attempts by Republican party bosses. This is the year when the voters decide." ..."
    "... This simply shows that, like Charlie Crist, Murphy, the former Republican turned Democrat, cannot be trusted and will always pander to whatever group that will aid his ambition. ..."
    Florida Politics

    The endorsements bring the biggest possible names into the hotly-contested race for the Democratic nomination for Florida's U.S. Senate seat between Murphy, of Jupiter, and U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson or Orlando.

    In a news release issued by Murphy's campaign, Obama called Murphy a "tireless champion for middle-class families."

    "I am proud to endorse Congressman Patrick Murphy for the United States Senate. Patrick has been a tireless champion for middle-class families and a defender of the economic progress that American workers and businesses have made," Obama stated in the release. "In Congress, he's fought to strengthen Medicare and Social Security, reform our criminal justice system, and protect a woman's right to choose. Floridians can count on Patrick Murphy to stand up for them every day as their next Senator."

    Grayson's campaign responded calling the endorsements "the DC establishment" and noted they come one day after Grayson endorsed outsider Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton.

    For Murphy, the endorsements could not come any higher; he already has brought in dozens of Democratic endorsements. Grayson, meanwhile, has brought in a few of his own, mostly from people in the progressive wing of the party.

    "I am honored that President Obama and Vice President Biden are endorsing my campaign for Florida's middle-class families," Murphy stated in the release. "The president, the vice president and I share the same values and commitment - strengthening Social Security and Medicare for our seniors, protecting a woman's right to choose, and growing America's middle class.

    "Over the past seven years, President Obama and Vice President Biden have been champions for Democrats and hardworking families across our country, and I am humbled and proud to receive their endorsement and campaign shoulder-to-shoulder with them for what we believe in," he continued.

    "These endorsements are a last-ditch effort by the DC Establishment to try to blunt our large and growing command of the race. It comes as no surprise that these moves are made just two days after Rep. Grayson became the first major statewide candidate in the country to endorse the anti-Establishment candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, for the Presidency. They come just one day after a new poll shows Rep. Grayson with a double-digit lead, winning among men and women, every age group, and whites, blacks and Hispanics. The anti-Democratic Party Establishment is desperate to drag Grayson's opponent, their do-nothing, errand boy for Wall Street, over the finish line. But Florida voters in both parties are fed up with egregious manipulation by outside forces to dictate our candidates. These arrogant Empire-Strikes-Back efforts by the Democratic politburo will be no more successful than the similar failed attempts by Republican party bosses. This is the year when the voters decide."

    Here is a response from Brian Swensen, Campaign Manager for Carlos Lopez-Cantera for U.S. Senate:

    "Patrick Murphy continues on the path to become Charlie Crist 2.0 by moving further and further to the left for political expediency and gain. This simply shows that, like Charlie Crist, Murphy, the former Republican turned Democrat, cannot be trusted and will always pander to whatever group that will aid his ambition.

    By receiving Obama's endorsement Murphy has cast his allegiance to those who don't believe in American exceptionalism, those whose policies have severely hindered economic growth and those who refuse to stand with our most important ally, Israel."

    [Mar 03, 2016] Romney speech shows why Trump is winning

    Looks like neocons will attack Trump, fearing that he might expose their role in 9/11 and become an obstacle for their interventionalist foreign policy
    A civil war within Republican party officially stated. The party elite opens fight against the choice of rank-and-file members. Marco Rubio and Kasich are no longer running for president. They are running to keep Trump from being president.
    Notable quotes:
    Notable quotes:
    "... And it mirrored the broader slog of a Republican primary, where for months Jeb Bush, Rubio, Cruz, Kasich, Chris Christie and the rest tore each other apart to prevent one another from emerging as the chief Trump alternative. All believed they could beat Trump one-on-one. None has gotten the chance. ..."
    "... In failing to back a single Trump alternative, Romney essentially called for a Republican civil war to wage through this summer, a retrenchment for an irreparably divided GOP in hopes of outmaneuvering Trump at a contested convention where party elites still control some levers of power. ..."
    "... Romney's speech was certainly historic. Perhaps never before has the most recent party nominee for president so thoroughly rebuked the prohibitive front-runner for the nomination four years later. But, as Romney said in his speech, "The rules of political history have pretty much all been shredded during this campaign." ..."
    "... Romney did not stand alone. Moments after he finished speaking, Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee, seconded Romney's speech. "I share the concerns about Donald Trump that my friend and former Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, described," McCain said in a statement. ..."
    "... Trump went on the attack even before Romney took the stage in Salt Lake City, blasting Romney for having "begged" for his endorsement four years earlier. In February 2012, Romney traveled to one of Trump's hotels to accept the endorsement. "There are some things that you just can't imagine happening in your life," Romney said then. "This is one of them. Being in Donald Trump's magnificent hotel and having his endorsement is a delight." ..."
    "... Romney said he expected the blowback: "This may tell you what you need to know about his temperament, his stability, and his suitability to be president." As the old guard of the Republican Party cheered Romney's outspoken remarks on Thursday, there remained downside in having so prominent a party leader rip apart Trump, should he still become the nominee. ..."
    www.politico.com

    It was a stirring call to arms for a strategic-voting retreat.

    And it mirrored the broader slog of a Republican primary, where for months Jeb Bush, Rubio, Cruz, Kasich, Chris Christie and the rest tore each other apart to prevent one another from emerging as the chief Trump alternative. All believed they could beat Trump one-on-one. None has gotten the chance.

    Along the way, Trump has skated. In one remarkable statistic, Trump suffered less in attack ads through Super Tuesday than Romney's team hurled at Newt Gingrich in the final days in Florida alone in 2012. The Republican Party's top financiers are mobilizing now, with millions in anti-Trump ads expected in the next two weeks, but it may be too late to slow Trump after he has carried 10 of the first 15 contests, many of them by wide margins.

    In failing to back a single Trump alternative, Romney essentially called for a Republican civil war to wage through this summer, a retrenchment for an irreparably divided GOP in hopes of outmaneuvering Trump at a contested convention where party elites still control some levers of power. (Also, by not picking a single anti-Trump standard-bearer, Romney, who briefly considered running for president again in 2016, left slightly more open the door that might allow a contested convention to select him.)

    "He's playing the members of the American public for suckers," Romney said of Trump. "He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat."

    Romney's speech was certainly historic. Perhaps never before has the most recent party nominee for president so thoroughly rebuked the prohibitive front-runner for the nomination four years later. But, as Romney said in his speech, "The rules of political history have pretty much all been shredded during this campaign."

    Romney ripped about Trump's business background, ticking off bankruptcies and abandoned efforts. "What ever happened to Trump Airlines?" he said. "How about Trump University? And then there's Trump Magazine and Trump Vodka and Trump Steaks, and Trump Mortgage?" "A business genius he is not," Romney said. Of Trump's varied stances on issues, Romney added, "Dishonesty is Donald Trump's hallmark."

    Romney did not stand alone. Moments after he finished speaking, Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee, seconded Romney's speech. "I share the concerns about Donald Trump that my friend and former Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, described," McCain said in a statement.

    "Well said," tweeted Kasich.

    Trump went on the attack even before Romney took the stage in Salt Lake City, blasting Romney for having "begged" for his endorsement four years earlier. In February 2012, Romney traveled to one of Trump's hotels to accept the endorsement. "There are some things that you just can't imagine happening in your life," Romney said then. "This is one of them. Being in Donald Trump's magnificent hotel and having his endorsement is a delight."

    On Thursday, Trump hammered back on NBC's "Today" show: "Mitt Romney is a stiff."

    Romney said he expected the blowback: "This may tell you what you need to know about his temperament, his stability, and his suitability to be president." As the old guard of the Republican Party cheered Romney's outspoken remarks on Thursday, there remained downside in having so prominent a party leader rip apart Trump, should he still become the nominee.

    Said Justin Barasky, a spokesman for the super PAC dedicated to electing Hillary Clinton, understatedly, "Certainly, having a former Republican nominee go after him is not unhelpful."

    [Feb 28, 2016] Republicans wage all-out war as Rubio and Cruz seek to destroy Trump

    The crisis of Republican Party then establishment no longer can control rank-and-file members reflects not only the crisis of neoliberalism as a social system, but might also reflect the fact that with 300 million of people the county became too big and too diverse to be governed from a single center of political power in non authoritarian ways. a Hillary v Trump scenario will bee a difficult choice for most Americans. A jingoistic sociopathic woman, essentially a puppet of financial oligarchy, who is a front for the neoliberal forces hell-bent of destroying Russia vs. a narcissistic person with zero political experience and vague set of ideas (but at the same time with more realistic foreign policy ideas at least).
    Notable quotes:
    "... I'm afraid this strategy will have the exact opposite effect. To Trump, an attack from Rubio or Cruz is a badge of honor. ..."
    "... 80% of young people are for Sanders. If he gets unfairly dumped, they will never forgive the Democrapic party. Both parties are in danger of losing the duopoly. ..."
    "... We're a divided country, living separate cultures over four time zones (mainland alone). We're a big big country with big big problems. I don't know how it will shake out, especially when the bills come due. I only wish we had the problems of a small European country that you can drive across in four hours. That's a luxury. ..."
    "... Hillary and Trump make Nixon look like a stand up guy. There is only one authentic, principled and electable candidate in the race. Bernie Sanders, the only candidate with a positive national favorability rating. ..."
    "... Donald Trump is almost entirely a creation of the media. Most people don't realize it, but the media got addicted to him back in the early 1980, when he became one of the most flamboyant characters on the New York scene with a string of bimbos by his side, splashing around money, mostly not his, and creating the Trump brand, which he used to get into business with OPM (other people's money). ..."
    "... Sadly, this is exactly what America has become. Fox News, talk radio, lunatics and raving psychopaths, a cesspool of fear and hate. The candidates are what we have become. We're in a canoe headed for the waterfall and all we hear is "Paddle faster! Paddle faster!" What the American people will do in the end is anyone's guess. ..."
    "... Headline news says in Iran ... hardliners suffer defeat as reformists make gains ... And ... in the USA ...? hardliners on the rampage? O Tempora ... O Mores .... ..."
    "... I agree that the republican party is a despicable joke, but a look at the turnout suggests that they will very likely control the WH, senate, and increass their majority in the House. Its unfortunate, but that is definitely the way it looks right now! ..."
    "... "I believe that a first-rate con artist is on the verge of taking over the party of Reagan and Lincoln." Pretty funny comment. They are all con artists. And Hillary can match them con for con. ..."
    "... Yup it's a shitfest all-round, the Dems debate schedule was so openly biased towards Hillary that it was comical but at least they were talking about substantive issues. ..."
    "... "Struggling Americans"? Since when has Rubio's ultra-corporate free market ideology recognised their struggle? What the fuck does he have to offer except rich man's You're OK I'M OK preaching? ..."
    "... Fuck off, Rubio ! We are going to vote Trump. ..."
    "... Trump is not Mussolini, his political, economic and social thinking has very little, if anything, in common with that man. He may be dangerous, but that doesn't mean he is a Fascist. ..."
    "... Yep, MIC depends on bankster puppets like Rubio and Clinton following their orders. Oh and the power of money is so persuasive. Bill Clinton is a very bright guy and he still repealed Glass Steagall under orders...... ..."
    "... The problem is that Rubio and Cruz are just as bad -- or worse. They're a bit more polished politically but they have the same awful mindset and espouse the same awful policies. ..."
    "... Anyway, ganging up on Trump is likely to backfire. Unlike most politicians Trump makes absolutely no attempt to hide who he is and what he stands for. People respect that even as they ignore that what he stands for is corporatism -- he's not the reincarnation of Hitler (as those two MX has-been described him), he's Mussolini. ..."
    "... I think Rubio and Cruz's attempts to destroy Trump will backfire. He can just say he is the outside being ganged up on by the establishment and how he "wont be pushed around just like America wont be pushed around anymore! blah blah". ..."
    "... The establishment will do and say anything to get Trump out. They have total control over all the others but not Trump. Donald is the only candidate who will do what's right for the country and the people and make America great again. TRUMP 2016 ..."
    "... Rubio seems power-mad. Another reason why he is deeply unsuitable to wield ultimate power. ..."
    "... As a democrat I am terrified and so too should all democrats be. Turnout so far has been down about 26% compared to 2008. The republicans on the other hand have seen an increase of almost the smae amount compared to their 2012 numbers! Thats a disaster waiting to happen in November. Turnout in primaries is one of the best indicators, if not the best, of what will happen in a general election. ..."
    "... Indeed. If I was American, a Hillary v Trump scenario would be mindscrewingly difficult to choose between. An evil woman who is a front for all the neoliberal forces out there. Or an evil man who is a complete moron and will drive America to its knees. ..."
    "... "Donald Trump is a liberal Republican" In the crazy world of Republican politics 2016 you're not wrong. You then drift of into a fantasy world where Trump actually wins the presidency. More people hate him than love him, with barely anything in-between. Plus they've only just started digging for dirt. ..."
    "... Guardian sub-heading: "Rubio attacks 'con artist' as Cruz links Trump to mafia" I link all of them to oligarchy, patriarchy and Christian jihadism. Admittedly, there are some conceptual overlaps there. ..."
    "... OMG Cruz, Rubio or Trump vs Hilary Clinton. Jeez, America. I got kids to care about - is that IT? ..."
    "... Rubio isn't what he presents himself as. Look at his voting record- http://politicsthatwork.com/voting-record/Marco-Rubio-412491 Does that match up to the way he talks about his policies? I don't think so. ..."
    "... One "good" thing about Trump in this election is that he is clearly not a consultant-packaged candidate (like Rubio) or a fake (like Cruz), but Trump is a quintessentially amoral salesman. He pitches whatever the customers want to hear. Customers need to read the fine print before buying products from him. ..."
    "... Truth is both parties pander to the emotions -- the more frenzied the better it seems -- none of the candidates respect voters enough to discuss policy with anything even resembling depth. Politics is cotton candy in America, sprinkled with just enough cayenne to arouse burnt tongues. Oh what a tangled web we weave... ..."
    "... Unless she is indicted before the election. Then it might be problematic. Look up Spiro Agnew if you think investigations are all for show. ..."
    "... I can't stand Trump...but he seems to be better than Cruz & Rubio...the problem seems to be a politically bankrupt party disintegrating before our eyes... ..."
    "... Full blown panic mode now by the GOP establishment, as they belatedly realize they have a problem with no agreeable solution. ..."
    "... But let's notice one more time that all the discomfort about Trump as expressed by the GOP functionaries is centered around their suspicions that he may be a closet "liberal". They're worrying aloud about whether he'd support single-payer healthcare insurance, or refuse to vigorously oppose gay marriage or draconian positions on abortion. ..."
    "... Supporting war in Iraq was spectacularly I'll judged. ..."
    "... Trump's game seems to have been to use The Republican Party's machinery to boost himself, aware that his appeal to the populace is that he is counter the old guard, awaiting that old guard's attempt to ditch him and then becoming his own man with his own party. That would split the GOP's ranks; if, having only, say, half its voters so not winning this time, he will have sown the seed in his long game to win next time. ..."
    "... When Trump was still normal, he left The Reform Party because David Duke from the KKK had joined it. Now, he says doesn't know David Duke, not even the KKK!!!! ..."
    "... As Cruz desperately tries to salvage something before slithering under the exit door Rubio keeps insisting that he will keep receiving participation ribbons just for showing up and they will add up to victory. ..."
    "... Trump looks more and more like the mature actor in the room. From lunatic insider to the presumptive candidate for the republican party in about 6 months. Pretty impressive. The voters will flock to Trump, who in the end will do what all presidents do and screw the voters and support the rich. Both parties do it to the voters, but the voters never learn. ..."
    "... Hillary doesn't exist politically. It is a front for banks and foreign investments. A sham. ..."
    "... This is awesome, America is embarking on a long overdue conversation. The Republicans are now using tax returns to play the 1% card on Trump, yes they hate those richer than themselves as well as poorer. You wonder why they bother, and I'm sure some of them are. So hate it will be from the Republicans and 'love and kindness' from Hillary. It's mapping out. ..."
    The Guardian
    AnthonyFlack -> ryanpatrick9192, 2016-02-28 20:44:44
    Democratic party is not investing in voting drives this year because doing so would benefit Sanders, whereas a low voter turnout favors Clinton (who is increasingly unpopular and looks increasingly likely to lose the general).

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election/dem-voter-registration-leading-turnout-article-1.2545420

    samwisehere, 2016-02-28 20:44:25
    I'm afraid this strategy will have the exact opposite effect. To Trump, an attack from Rubio or Cruz is a badge of honor.
    Nedward Marbletoe -> olman132, 2016-02-28 20:44:04
    Sanders was nearly tied with Clinton in delegates before South Carolina. So it's very close right now.

    80% of young people are for Sanders. If he gets unfairly dumped, they will never forgive the Democrapic party. Both parties are in danger of losing the duopoly.

    Robert Hoover -> Nedward Marbletoe, 2016-02-28 20:42:23
    Sorry. boys. It's a case of "too little, too late." Hopefully the Dems will not underestimate Trump like the GOP did. http://moronmajority.com/are-democrats-underestimating-trump-like-the-gop/
    JRWirth, 2016-02-28 20:39:56
    What everyone is glossing over, is that the country is too big and the politics have become too small. You have a special problem with the presidency in that the person who occupies it should embody the basic American ethos from Boston to Honolulu and from Miami to Anchorage. No one exists who can do this.

    We're a divided country, living separate cultures over four time zones (mainland alone). We're a big big country with big big problems. I don't know how it will shake out, especially when the bills come due. I only wish we had the problems of a small European country that you can drive across in four hours. That's a luxury.

    dig4victory, 2016-02-28 20:38:52
    Hillary and Trump make Nixon look like a stand up guy. There is only one authentic, principled and electable candidate in the race. Bernie Sanders, the only candidate with a positive national favorability rating.
    WyntonK, 2016-02-28 20:37:08
    Donald Trump is almost entirely a creation of the media. Most people don't realize it, but the media got addicted to him back in the early 1980, when he became one of the most flamboyant characters on the New York scene with a string of bimbos by his side, splashing around money, mostly not his, and creating the Trump brand, which he used to get into business with OPM (other people's money).

    A lot of his revenues come from licensing out the Trump name out to various development ventures into which he doesn't contribute a penny, and which generate a large income that finances his extravagant lifestyle. He is basically a con man, always has been. The corporate media refrains from mentioning his four bankruptcies, despite inheriting a quarter of a billion dollars from his father. They media wants him to stay on the campaign scene till the end, because he is the largest entertainment story that have had in years, and covering his carnival act keeps generating great revenues for them.

    daniel1948 -> IMSpardagus, 2016-02-28 20:36:46
    Sadly, this is exactly what America has become. Fox News, talk radio, lunatics and raving psychopaths, a cesspool of fear and hate. The candidates are what we have become. We're in a canoe headed for the waterfall and all