AS CRUCIAL AS NEW YORK IS FOR SLICK HILLARY, WE ALL KNEW HER MEDIA HACKS WOULD GO ALL OUT TO DISCREDIT BERNIE SANDERS. WELL ITS BEGUN.
The New York Daily News (aka The Daily Planet–you know with the tabloid with the big globe in its lobby) had an interview with candidate Bernie Sanders. Actually, hatchet job would be a better description. The tack they took was a classic from the Republican playbook; they “Swiftboated” him.
In case you are too young to remember, back in 2004, nearly half the country was already soured on George W. Bush, the Vietnam Era playboy who had his Daddy pull strings to get himself into the Air National Guard to avoid going to Viet Fucking Nam. Running against draft dodge George was Senator John Kerry, a war hero who was awarded the Purple Heart five times–FIVE TIMES==but who was painted as a liar and a coward by GOP shills. Well, enough of the public bought that lie that King George II won re-election. So, the evil genius GOP hacks and their media lackeys took Kerry’s strong point and by repetitive lying and misrepresentation, turned that strong point into his weak point. That is, in essence, what the Hillary hacks at the NY Daily News have tried to do in their interview.
If anything, Bernie Sanders has gone into too much detail about what he will do when elected President. His critique of the Washington establishment is as deep as it is broad and by his avoiding large donors and super PAC money, he has walked the walk as well as talking the talk. He also has made no secret that he intends to rein in Wall Street at the earliest opportunity. This we all know.
So what does Hillary’s shill at the Daily Planet do? Why attack Bernie as being shallow and having no plan as to what he’s going to do, of course! In regard to how Bernie would break up the big banks, they badgered him to cite chapter and verse as to EXACTLY he would go about doing that, on the surface of it a perfectly moronic question.
As President, the POTUS does not give specifics as to how his policies are carried out: that’s what his cabinet and their departments are supposed to do. How do you go about going after the banksters who committed massive fraud and nearly destroyed the world economy? How do I prosecute thee? Let me count the ways.
There are dozens, possibly hundreds of ways to go about reining in the Banksters and their mega banks; but first you have to get elected. Then appoint Elizabeth Warren to your cabinet and I GUARANTEE she will find a way or three; or four, or more.
Another so called “Gotcha” by the Hillary shill was on Sanders notable lack of enthusiasm for Benjamin Netanyahu’s Neo-Fascist policies. Because Bernie, a NEW YORK JEW doesn’t go along with rubber stamping the failed policies of the extreme right wing parties in Israel and tacitly approves of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian problem (which EVERY previous US president has at least given lip service too) this is supposed to be a negative. Bernie Sanders grew up seeing the adults in his neighborhood with the concentration camp tattoos; he is pro-Israel, he is A JEW; but he does not support the failed policies of extreme right wing Israeli governments who have chosen to intervene in the internal politics of the United States big time.
That being said, it is true that foreign policy is not Bernie Sanders strong point. We must contrast that with Hillary Clinton’s VAST experience in foreign policy: such as approving a trade agreement with Panama to enable her billionaire friends to dodge taxes and launder money; voting for the Iraq War; pushing President Obama to intervene in Libya (Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi); and, of course, the sterling success of our intervention in Syria. And let us not forget the looming TPP deal, which will lose us millions more in trade deficits and jobs, but enrich her billionaire multi-national corporatist friends. So yes, Hillary is a foreign policy “expert” and Bernie is not. He just believes in fairness, justice and peace.
Well, mark my word. The New York Daily Planet hatchet job is just the opening salvo in the Hillary Media campaign to keep New York voters from finding out the truth about Brooklyn born Bernie and their carpet-bag former senator.
Clear your social calendar folks, on April 15–the day us little folks sweat over getting their tax returns in–venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, who you may know better for his “Uber for Jetliners” fame, will be hosting a humble little shindig for Goldwater Girl Hillary Clinton. While Shervin is hosting the soiree, the real celebrities raising money for Hillary Clinton’s campaign will be George and Amal Clooney, who are big supporters of the Hill.
It is one of those affairs where, if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it; but since everybody but EVERYBODY with a net worth over $10 Mill will be there, we will let you in on the ticket prices anyhow. For the top tier tickets, which includes sitting at the head table with former Walmart Board Member Hillary and Hollywood royalty, it is a mere $353,400 a ticket, and that includes Slick Willie as well as Slick Hillary, so you see it is a bargain indeed–why its like having your own Goldman Sachs speech event!
Now for the hoi polloi who can only come up with $100 grand per person, why they will let you into the “Host Reception” which still features the Clintons and the Clooneys. It is economy class but, what the hey, some of the glamour may yet rub off on you
But lest you think this is just for the One Percenters, the Clintons –always thinking of the little people,–will for a mere $30,000 cash in hand, will let you have your photo taken with Her Majesty Hillary. After which the bouncers will grab you by the scruff of the neck and eject you out the back door, and please don’t scuff the steps as you tumble down them.
Now, in all fairness, all this is perfectly legitimate and legal and both billionaire Pishevar and the Clooneys are no doubt sincere and dedicated in their support of Hillary Clinton. Unlike the vote rigging in Arizona, or the insider sabotage in Massachusetts, or the odd discrepancies in exit polls vs recorded vote in a number of Hillary’s wins, this is all on the up and up and legal.
But compare this with the Sanders fundraisers: $27 from a housewife here, $10 from a college graduate up to their ears in student loan debt, smaller change from a kid’s piggy bank. The populist and plebian nature of the Sanders campaign contrasts sharply with that of Hillary’s diligent courting of Wall Street and the Billionaire Class. Oh, by the way, Queen Hillary still won’t reveal the text of her speeches made before Bear Stearns and other Bankster Wall Street firms.
Now, interestingly, the money she is raising from all these well-heeled West Coast types does not go directly into her campaign coffers–she has plenty of special interest and PAC money for that. No, Ms. PAC Woman will be giving the largesse from this exclusive tea party to The Hillary Victory Fund, which will in turn dole out money to the DNC and assorted state party groups, ostensibly to help get a full slate of Dems elected to Congress this fall. This is indeed a worthy goal; but if you don’t think that all that money going to party stalwarts isn’t going to grease the palms of “Super Delegates” to assure they vote for Hillary, regardless of what their state’s voters want–well, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. And you won’t have to pay $353,400 for it.
As for the Bay Area party-goers, no doubt a few precious minutes with Bill and Hill may be worth the price of admission to some without any quid pro quo, but what do you want to bet that, having kissed the Godfather & Godmother’s rings, once they assume the throne in the White House, these millionaire and billionaire acolytes will be coming around for favors? Hey, Yo! I got an offer youse can’t refuse!
George and Amal Clooney have been sincere and dedicated supporters of human rights and more recently of the refugee rights of those who have been forced to flee the horrific war in Syria. This is not to question their honesty or sincerity: but are they aware that it was none other than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who goaded President Obama to directly intervene in Syria with the goal of regime change to start with? Or that her other hawkish interventionist policies as both Senator and Secretary have been equally disastrous? And we won’t even get into her covert support of murder squads in Central America. America and Obama are far better off with Kerry as Secretary of State, although the damage hawkish Hillary has done can’t be undone.
Much of the blame for the refugee crisis can be laid directly at the perfectly pedicured feet of Wall Street Hillary. Her blunders as Secretary of State have been carefully overlooked by the mainstream media, since she touts her foreign affairs expertise as her main claim to fame; yet her record in that sphere is awful, even without the GOP fabricating lies about it.
For more on this exclusive Billionaire Bonanza, read the Gawker article or see the Secular Talk spot on it.
“Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold”
It still remains to be seen whether the presidential candidacy of Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016 was just an outlier or the beginning of a major sea-change in American politics. Regardless, it would be good at this juncture to reflect on Socialism and its role in American history.
While the history of American Socialism is not exactly a deep secret, most Americans, even academics, have a very poor understanding of what it is and was. Whatever one may think of it as a political and economic movement, the chances are you are wrong in your assumptions, good or bad. At best, most know that Bernie Sanders is far from being the first socialist to appear on the American scene; but how far back does Socialist, much less Communist, economic behavior go?
—–Think it was members of the American Communist Party in the 1930’s? They were outspoken, militant and slavishly devoted to Joe Stalin, and most people during the Cold War associated them with disloyalty and treason; but no, they were hardly the first or only ones to advocate some kind of socialist solution.
—–How About the Socialists active during Gilded Age and the early 1900’s? Well, there were a bunch of folks active in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century; they were instrumental in the early labor movement and as mayors of cities and congressmen they had a spotless reputation for honesty and good government; but no they were not the first. But when Woodrow Wilson, pseudo-Progressive and friend of the second Klu Klux Klan lied us into World War, the Socialist opposed him and their political rights were brutally and unconstitutionally suppressed, Guess again.
—–How About the Civil War Era, were they the first? You’re getting warmer. There were a whole bunch of people who espoused some kind of Socialism and were active in Abolitionism as well. To a man they volunteered to fight for the Union and helped rescue our nation from disunion, disloyalty and slavery; but no, they weren’t the first, not by a longshot.
—–How About the Early decades of the Nineteenth Century, were there Socialists around during the Early Republic? Yes, there were and in addition to those espousing political ideas, many organized communes were established as bold social and intellectual experiments, reminiscent of the Hippie communes of the 1960’s. But no, sorry no brass ring; they weren’t the first.
OK. If you’re still with me, let me clue you in: not only is Socialism as American as apple pie and Thanksgiving Turkey, its origins in America go back to the very English first settlements–assuming, of course, we don’t include Native Americans, who lived successfully lived in communities without private property going back to the Mesolithic Era here. It was, in fact, the early settlers of New England who first practiced Socialism, folk whom you may know as the Pilgrims.
Actually, there were two groups of early settlers in New England, the ones we call Pilgrims (although they didn’t use that name) and the Puritans; the Plymouth Bay Colony and the Massachusetts Bay Colony respectively. According to my family’s genealogists we claim ancestors in both groups, although the lineage is a bit convoluted. Regardless, these early settlers are usually held up as models of the Protestant Work Ethic and cited as positive role models for the Capitalist Way, which is a popular lie you no doubt were told in grammar school.
Protestants they were, and pretty austere ones at that, but they also did something modern Bible thumpers rarely seem to do; they read all the passages of the Bible, not just the ones that were convenient or suited some media evangelist’s get rich quick gospel. If you get deeply into both the Old and New Testaments, you will find quite a bit there that does not jibe too well with modern notions of Capitalism and big business. The Bible has things like, oh, a progressive income tax (OT), or, say, passages where it tells you to give all your possessions to the poor and follow Jesus (NT); stuff like that.
Eventually, of course, Mammon won out over Jehovah with the Puritans and they became prosperous smugglers, merchants, manufacturers, whalers, transporters of slaves and assorted other activities that made one filthy rich but are not particularly good for the soul.
If you travel through New England, you will still find at least one vestige of the region’s socialist roots. Just about every little town or village has a “commons” and, of course, the Boston Commons is well known to residents of Beantown. Originally, every community’s land was held in “common” and distributed according to the town Elders’ dictates.
Across the state line in New York, the center of town is usually called the village “green” (as in “Tavern on the Green”) which is short for Bowling Green. Of course, the Dutch in New Amsterdam were fond of their bowling and would play Nine-Pins in the town square whenever weather allowed while quaffing the product of a nearby inn or tavern. In Puritan New England, such merriment was strictly forbidden; hard work and prayer substituted for singing, dancing and gaming, although alcohol was still allowed in moderation.
When the Pilgrims first arrived in 1620, they did not have an easy time of it. They did not arrive off the New England until November of that year, far too late for growing any crops and that first winter nearly half of the 102 colonists died. Of more interest for our concern was the fact that, at first, everything that the colony produced was pooled together and held in the “common storehouse” at one end of the Plymouth settlement. This system was in force for the first couple of years, partly out of necessity: the colony was facing starvation for first few seasons, and more indigent immigrants arrived by boat from England, but the extra mouths to feed were not accompanied by enough supplies to provide for them. The Plymouth colonists at one point were reduced to stealing parched corn from a local Indian tribe to avoid starving.
This communal system did not sit well with some of the more able bodied males in the colony, many of whom had migrated in hopes of making their fortune in the New World and not for religious reasons (they were called “the Strangers” by the more religious) and had no desire to provide for other men’s wives and children. Governor Bradford and the English backers of the enterprise abolished the system of the common storehouse in 1623 and land was divided among settlers to farm individually. However, the colony still retained communal title to the land even though it was farmed separately, and all the tools were still held in collectively and doled out as needed. Moreover, meadowlands for the grazing of livestock were still managed in common, plus fishing, hunting and fowling rights were held in common as well, so the concept of private property and ownership still remained a weak one for some years.
The story of the early days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, (begun by the Puritans, a different religious sect than the Congregationalist Pilgrims), was not dissimilar to that of the Plymouth colony, save that they were even more austere and, well, more puritanical. Moreover, the Puritan colony was planned from the start as a theocracy; in theory, not man, but God, ruled the Puritan communities. This Utopian society was intended to be an example to the world–as Governor Winthrop put it, “as a city upon a hill”–and it was to be organized along socialist–albeit Biblical socialist–lines. While initially centrally planned and organized by the Puritan leaders in England, as the colony grew, each new unit was set up as an individual community, semi-autonomous, and socialistic in its economic organization.
Each new township established by the Puritan elders had about six to ten square miles of land, effectively some 30 to 40 thousand acres, and each resident of a township had access to the community’s common pasturage. There was no particular ideology at work here, however, it was just the best way to organize a Godly community and, in many cases, they were simply continuing the traditional open field system they’d known in the Old Country, itself was a holdover from the middle ages. The main difference was that they were working the fields in common for their own benefit, not for some oppressive lord or noble.
As time went on, and austere virtue began giving way to unelightened self-interest and greed, regulating the fair and proper use of the common lands of the New England communities became more and more bothersome for beleaguered town elders having to discipline those who took more than their fair share.
In the end, the fact that most of the land in New England was ill suited to intensive farming probably had more influence in the breakdown of Puritan agrarian socialism than the economic superiority of “Capitalism” (which didn’t yet exist) or any other economic theory.
Many frugal Yankees found that building ships and transporting goods across the open seas was far more rewarding than the backbreaking work of being a Jabez Stone style farmer in a rock filled field. Moreover, it became a firm tenet of Puritan belief that material wealth was Jehovah’s way of rewarding the virtuous–and by the end of the seventeenth century, Yankee merchants had become very virtuous indeed.
But while greed ultimately triumphed over virtue in the Puritan heart, it should never be forgotten that the edifice of their later prosperity was firmly rooted in the solid foundations which Puritan Socialism laid. Indeed, the “City on a Hill” that is America owes farmore to early American Socialism in all its forms than most historians and popular pundits are still willing to concede.
It is apparently harder to rig caucus results than primaries, since they are based on people actually showing up and registering their views on the condidates. Hence Bernie Sanders Easter Saturday Sweep.
Washington and Alaska have gone solidly for Bernie Sanders, fulfilling expectations that, once the Dems got over canvassing the solid South, the weight of popular opinion would shift inexorably to the Sanders campaign.
Of course, as usual, the corporate media have done their best to downplay the results and keep emphasizing Hillary Clinton’s lead, but the truth is that without her political machine manufacturing false wins through electronic hacking, she would not now be the frontrunner, even with the deep South solidly behind her. Discrepancies between exit polls and electronic vote tallies in Massachusetts, Illinois, Missouri and now massive vote rigging in Arizona, have all put a cloud over the Democratic Party’s establishment and their stop-at-nothing to get Wall Street Hillary as their standard bearer.
Despite all the Republican bellyaching over Trump, the truth is that the other GOP candidates in the clown car are no better and when he takes the candidacy (or else) like good little clones all the party stalwarts and mindless voters will line up behind Umpa Lumpa Trumpa and vote for him. In contrast, the Democrats pin all their hopes on a record turn-out to overcome the Republicans vote suppression tactics. But while that strategy will work with Bernie Sanders at the helm, Hillary Clinton simply cannot generate the enthusiasm and idealism necessary to succeed.
The Democratic Party abandoned the rural states and abandoned the blue collar workers and let the Republicans savage Unions for decades; Gays got marriage equality thanks to the Ultra-Conservative Supreme Court (think about that one for a minute) and so they will not turn out in large numbers; there is no Black Hope running for the White House, so don’t expect the kind of turnout among them that we saw in 2008 and in the deep South, where Hillary did so well in the primaries, it is guaranteed that the GOP will keep as many Blacks from voting as possible.
Yes, Hillary will get the party stalwarts, some of them; she will get the aging 70’s women’s libbers who will vote for her because simply because of her gender and ignore her Wall Street connections and her support of Honduran murders squads. But millennial women and progressive females who seem to be paying close attention to what the candidates really stand for and will do, are going to vote for Sanders in large numbers but are unlikely to turn out for Goldwater Girl.
The Corporate Media wants us to believe it is a done deal with Wall Street Hillary (CNN’s parent company is one of her biggest contributors, surprise, surprise) but perhaps a higher power has different ideas about the 2016 Election, as witnessed at the Sanders Rally recently in Portland: Sanders Portland Rally. We shall see.
Since the Reagan Era, the Democratic Party, despite having once been the standard bearer of the basic values of the New Deal, has continually failed to live up to anything remotely resembling its responsibility to the American public. The reasons for this have been obvious for some time, yet the party establishment continues to turn a blind eye to its own fundamental flaws.
The fundamental changes began in the late sixties, in particular with the 1968 Democratic Convention. That event was a disaster for the New Deal Democrats in a number of ways. First off, the convention marked the last gasp of the Democratic Party Dixiecrats.
Ever since FDR there had been an uneasy coalition of Southern Democrats, who espoused white supremacy but remained with the party for the benefits that the New Deal conferred on the South: rural electrification, the TVA, Federal road programs and other perks of being part of party which promoted national recovery; all this outweighed its increasingly progressive stands regarding its tilt towards civil rights for Southern Democrats. Also, the Democratic Party wasn’t the hated party of Lincoln—in essence they continued to vote Democratic because they were legacy voters. But when the party began seating integrated delegations for certain Southern states, the Segregationist wing finally walked out of the Democratic Party—and walked straight into the Republican Party. Since that time GOP has continued to use “dog whistle” politics to rally racists to their party, without overtly espousing racism.
Once upon a time, the Republicans had also benefited from their own legacy voting block—African Americans. For generations, the GOP was still the party of Lincoln to African Americans, even though the party had sold them out in 1876 to Southern whites, promising to end Reconstruction in order to retain the presidency. Then, in 1927, a massive flood of the Mississippi River inundated large parts of the deep South: 27,000 square miles of land was inundated up to a depth of 30 feet. 200,000 Blacks were flooded out of their homes and lived in relief camps for long stretches of time. While Whites and Blacks alike were affected, Blacks were neglected by the white leadership of the South. The Republicans made promises to African Americans to help them recover from the widespread destruction of their homes and livelihood, but many of the promises made by President Herbert Hoover to Blacks were broken. This caused widespread disillusion among a core constituency of legacy voters of the GOP and Hoover lost to FDR in 1932. From 1932 onward, Blacks began voting Democratic—not initially because the Democrats were all that much better, but because the Republicans had abandoned them. As time went on, however, the Democratic Party sided more and more with African Americans needs and wants.
Today we see a Democratic Party which, like the GOP of the 1920’s, has neglected and abandoned not one, but several of its core constituencies. In the 1980’s blue collar workers began voting Republican—the so-called Reagan Democrats—not because the Republicans were doing all that much more for them, but because the Democrats had taken them for granted and were doing nothing to secure their loyalty with positive programs. Worse still, many Democrats, seeing the perceived ideological success of the Reagan presidency, decided to abandon the ideals of the New Deal and started cozying up to the big money of Wall Street and started promoting anti-labor, job killing programs such as NAFTA (thanks for nothing Bill Clinton). These so-called Neo Liberals retained the superficial trappings of the party: nominal support of civil rights, paying lip service to women’s rights, and the preservation of Social Security and Medicare, if half-heartedly. But more and more, Neo-Liberals have been anything but liberal and more and more the docile lap-dogs of Wall Street banks. In effect, they have turned the Democratic Party into what has been dubbed “Republican Light” and as more than one political pundit has observed, why should voters turn out for a watered down Republican agenda, when they can simply vote for the real thing?
Americans of African Descent turned out for Obama in 2008 and 2012 in record numbers, largely based on his race, but also for his promises of real economic change. In 2008 Obama promised all Americans a fundamental change in the way politics would be done in DC; the Republicans vowed to block him at every turn. Sadly, the Republicans have largely succeeded, while most of Obama’s promises have been broken.
Even when he had a majority in Congress, President Obama did next to nothing to pursue the Progressive promises he had made to the American people. His political opponents labeled him a “radical leftist” and socialist, but in truth, Obama proved to be yet another Neo-Liberal, yet another Wall Street Democrat. To be sure, he passed some healthcare reforms; but it was the program first proposed by the Conservative Heritage Foundation—basically Romney care writ large.
On other fronts, Obama proved himself even less progressive and less reformist: his appointee for Attorney General was a Wall Street lawyer who refused to prosecute any of the criminal actions of the banksters and corporate thieves who nearly brought about world fiscal collapse. His Secretary of Education, it also turns out, was a big promoter of privatization of public schools—something which enriches private corporations at public expense and leaves public education worse off than if nothing had been done.
With Obama no longer around to turn out the Black vote, unless the Dems can offer solid economic and political reasons for them to go to the polls, it is likely African Americans will sit out the 2016 elections. Hillary Clinton has the endorsement of many Black leaders, true; but her Neo-Liberal policies will do nothing to help African Americans and may well prove very harmful to them economically.
Democrats of this Neo-Liberal stink tank school put great faith in demographics; they look at the growing numbers of Hispanics and other minorities and assume that these ethnic groups will automatically vote Democratic in coming election cycles. This is a delusion; if you do not give them a reason to support your party they will not go out and vote. The Neo Liberals want to have their corporate cake and get to eat it as well. They are so very, very, wrong.
Just as Blacks deserted the Republicans because the party had abandoned them, the majority of middle class Americans, as well as all those minority demographic groups Neo Liberals assume will vote their way, are at the very least likely to stay home and allow the reactionaries of the newer, uglier GOP to continue to rule. Sadly, many adherents to the Tea Party who call themselves Conservative don’t understand that the party they serve is out to savage their own Social Security, Medicare and VA benefits; by the time they wake to their mistake, it may well prove too late to undo. So it is very important for some alternative to the reactionary right to be presented to voters, and so far the Democratic Party has failed dismally at that task. If all the Dems can offer is the same old Neo-Liberal lies such as Goldwater Girl Hillary offers, the party has only a marginal chance of winning the White House and no chance of taking back Congress to actually get things done.
The future of the Democratic Party—if there is one—lies with listening to the voices of insurgents such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. People of all backgrounds, races and age groups are flocking to Bernie Sanders’ banner, not because he is particularly charismatic or charming—he is not—but because of the policies and issues he espouses. Bernie Sanders policies are not radically new, far from it; they are a basic reaffirmation of the New Deal agenda and its Progressive predecessors, adapted for the modern day. This is what voters are responding too and will turn out in record numbers for; not the failed policies that have transferred the wealth of the middle class to the 1% who seek to turn our nation into an oligarchy.
So long as the Dems remain wedded to Wall Street and economic abominations such as the TPP, the party will fail. Eventually, if both parties continue to kowtow to the Wall Street oligarchs, the banksters, and the neo-fascist Koch suckers, new parties will arise to replace them. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all.