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Stolen primary in Arizona?: Questioning Hillary’s Tuesday Primary Win Amid Widespread Evidence of Voter Suppression in Phoenix

By Dave Lindorff

 

         It sure looks like there was some voter fraud committed in the Democratic primary in Arizona on Tuesday.

 

Focus: Hillary Clinton - Mar 23 , 2016


New emails highlight interaction between State, Clinton Foundation - TheHill


Judicial Watch: New internal State Department documents raise questions on Benghazi, Clinton Foundation - Judicial Watch


Judicial Watch submits proposed witness list, discovery plan to Federal Court in Clinton email matter - Breitbart


As Hillary bolstered Boeing, company returned the favor giving millions to Clinton Foundation and six-figure speeches to Bill - Seattle Times


Ex-Im Bank beneficiaries are heavy Clinton Foundation donors - The Daily Caller


ARCHIVE: Boeing Refuses to Disclose Any Boeing-State Department-Clinton Foundation Email Correspondence - nationalcenter.org


Clinton Foundation discloses $40 Million in Wall Street donations - Breitbart


ARCHIVE: Clinton Foundation donors got weapons deals from Hillary Clinton's State Department - ibtimes.com


Congresswoman Blackburn to ask FTC to investigate the Clinton Foundation’s charitable status - Breitbart


Hillary’s other email server scandal: Clinton Foundation and the unethical mixing of Mrs. Clinton’s public work and her personal fundraising/speech-giving/favor-doing - WSJ


ARCHIVE: Clinton Foundation received subpoena from State Department investigators - The Washington Post


HRC's final paid speech: $260K from the ACA, Why would a non-profit promoting summer camps spend 10 per cent of its annual budget on a Hillary Clinton speech? - dailykos.com


Clinton Foundation hires H-1B guest workers in place of American graduates - Breitbart


REPORT: Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation - discoverthenetworks.org


REPORT: Special report concerning latest amended disclosures of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation (attached) - Charles Ortel


Hillary Clinton campaign's foreign fundraisers under scrutiny - Examiner.com


WikiLeaks publishes searchable archive of Clinton emails - Washington Examiner


POLL: Trump, Clinton score historic unfavorable ratings - CNNPolitics.com

 

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Uproar over Hillary's role in Honduran coup grows as her campaign denies connection - Alternet


The Clinton-backed Honduran regime is picking off indigenous leaders - The Nation


Hillary Clinton needs to answer for her actions in Honduras and Haiti - The Washington Post


Hillary Clinton's response to Honduran coup was scrubbed from her paperback memoirs - huffingtonpost.com


High hopes for Hillary Clinton, then disappointment in Haiti - The New York Times


Haitians protest Hillary Clinton’s ‘destruction’ of country - freebeacon.com


7 articles to read uncovering Hillary Clinton’s Haiti record - The Haitian Times


The mysterious gap in Hillary Clinton’s Haiti emails - haiti-liberte.com


Clinton aide demanded to clear Department’s travel warnings and human rights report on Haiti, releases interfered with fundraiser benefitting the country - freebeacon.com


ARCHIVE: Gov’t memo said Clinton would steer State Department resources to donor’s Haiti Project, instead of building houses Claudio Osorio went to prison - freebeacon.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Donald Trump and the GOP Establishment - Mar 21, 2016

 

Trump: If GOP takes my nomination 'a lot of unhappy people', supporters won't vote in the general elections - newsmax.com


VIDEO: Donald Trump Interview at 'ABC This Week' - YouTube


RNC chair says GOP prepping for possible brokered convention - NY Daily News


VIDEO: RNC chair Reince Priebus: Nothing nefarious about an open convention - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Donald Trump, Reince Priebus, Denis McDonough, and Sen. Mitch McConnell on ‘ABC This Week'- ABC News


Republican leaders map a strategy to derail Donald Trump - The New York Times


Trump to huddle with influential Republicans in D.C. ahead of AIPAC speech - The Washington Post


Some RNC members weighs scrapping convention rule book to head off anti-Trump maneuvers - Washington Times


Conservatives call for anti-Trump unity, hint at a Cruz-Kasich ticket - POLITICO


Kasich responds to anti-Trump forces ‘split the map’ strategy - WTKR.com


Graham: Trump is a "demagogue of the greatest proportion” (VIDEO) - CBS News


PAC Club for Growth nets $4 million for fight against Trump - POLITICO


Anti-Trump super-PAC Our Principles raises $4.8 Million in February - Bloomberg Politics


Here's Everything the Republican party is doing to try to stop Donald Trump - People.com


Lifelong Republican: voting for Trump is 'the middle finger vote' to a good ole boy system that lines the pockets of elites in Washington while neglecting working men and women - time.com


Donald Trump's campaign threatens to steal tea party thunder - LA Times


Democrats beware: Donald Trump is finding success well outside the Republican fringe - LA Times


Donald Trump's type of voter found in big numbers in Pennsylvania, nearly 55,000 voters switched registration from Democrat to Republican this year - The Morning Call


VIDEO: Judge Jeanine Pirro pro-Trump opening statement: Donald Trump Vs the GOP establishment - YouTube


POLL: Trump still holds 15-point lead over Cruz nationally - Rasmussen Reports


Donald Trump Owes At Least $250 Million to Banks - WSJ

 

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Man charged with allegedly punching and kicking anti-Trump protester at rally - ABC News


VIDEO: Protester punched and kicked at Donald Trump rally - YouTube


New York anti-Trump protest draws thousands; some detained and pepper-sprayed after scuffle with cops (VIDEO) - NY Daily News


VIDEO: Violence and pepper spray at anti-Trump rally in New York - YouTube


Protesters block road to Trump rally In Arizona, supporters getting out of their cars and walking to the rally (VIDEO, PHOTOS) - Huffington Post


Trump campaign manager accused of another physical altercation, appears to have grabbed a protester by the collar - POLITICO


VIDEO: Here is Donald Trump's campaign manager in the Tucson crowd grabbing the collar of a protester - Jacqueline Alemany on Twitter


Anti-Trump protester April Foster charged with hitting police horse in Kansas City - Breitbart


Donald Trump's sister, son receive threatening letters demanding that the billionaire drop out of the presidential race - mashable.com

 

Donald Trump's campaign to add rally security amid violence - Bloomberg Politics


Donald Trump says protesters are violating his First Amendment rights - yahoo.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Why I won’t be voting for Hillary in November: A Neolib Posing as a Progressive vs. a Reality TV Star Posing as a Fascist

By Dave Lindorff

 

            I won’t be voting for Hillary Clinton if she wins the Democratic Party nomination for president, and I won’t heed Bernie Sanders if, as he has vowed to do, he calls on his supporters to “come together” after the convention, should he lose, to support Clinton and prevent Donald Trump or another Republican from becoming president.

 

Hillary Is A Neocon

http://hillaryisaneocon.com

She has the record and the vision

"For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be." —Robert Kagan

"I have a sense that she's one of the more competent members of the current administration and it would be interesting to speculate about how she might perform were she to be president." —Dick Cheney

"I've known her for many years now, and I respect her intellect. And she ran the State Department in the most effective way that I've ever seen." —Henry Kissinger

Nobody Beats This Record

  • She says President Obama was wrong not to launch missile strikes on Syria in 2013.
  • She pushed hard for the overthrow of Qadaffi in 2011.
  • She supported the coup government in Honduras in 2009.
  • She has backed escalation and prolongation of war in Afghanistan.
  • She voted for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
  • She skillfully promoted the White House justification for the war on Iraq.
  • She does not hesitate to back the use of drones for targeted killing.
  • She has consistently backed the military initiatives of Israel.
  • She was not ashamed to laugh at the killing of Qadaffi.
  • She has not hesitated to warn that she could obliterate Iran.
  • She is not afraid to antagonize Russia.
  • She helped facilitate a military coup in Ukraine.
  • She has the financial support of the arms makers and many of their foreign customers.
  • She waived restrictions at the State Department on selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar, all states wise enough to donate to the Clinton Foundation.
  • She supported President Bill Clinton's wars and the power of the president to make war without Congress.
  • She has advocated for arming fighters in Syria.
  • She supported a surge in Iraq even before President Bush did.

Further Reading

Videos

http://hillaryisaneocon.com/node/3

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/hillaryisaneocon

Twitter

https://twitter.com/Hillary_Neocon

Promote Democracy Without Bombs

Demand Democratic Superdelegates Represent Their Constituents at the National Convention.

Kick the War Habit

Pledge to Work to End War.

Know anybody who just doesn't get it? Forward this to them!

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What No One in the Media Has Asked the Candidates About War

If you can get presidential candidates in the Democratic or Republican parties to answer any of these, please let me know.

1. President Obama's 2017 budget proposal, according to the National Priorities Project, devotes 54% of discretionary spending (or $622.6 billion) to militarism. This figure does not include care for veterans or debt payments on past military spending. Is the percentage of discretionary spending now devoted to militarism, as compared to what you would propose for 2018,
_______too high,
_______too low,
_______just right.
Approximately what level would you propose? ______________________.

2. The United States budgets approximately $25 billion per year for non-military foreign aid, which is less per capita or in relation to the nation's economy than many other countries. Is the percentage of discretionary spending now devoted to non-military foreign aid, as compared to what you would propose for 2018,
_______too high,
_______too low,
_______just right.
Approximately what level would you propose? ______________________.

3. Does the Kellogg-Briand Pact forbid war? _____________________.

4. Does the United Nations Charter forbid war that is neither actually defensive nor authorized by the United Nations Security Council? _________________.

5. Does the U.S. Constitution require a Congressional declaration of war? __________________.

6. Do the anti-torture and war crimes statutes in the U.S. code ban torture? _________________.

7. Does the U.S. Constitution forbid imprisoning people without charge or trial? ________________.

8. The United States is the leading weapons supplier, through sales and gifts, to the Middle East, as to the world. In what ways would you reduce this arms trade?_______________________ _________________ ______________________ _________________________ _________________________ ___________________ _________________ _________________ ____________________.

9. Does the U.S. president have the legal authority to kill people with missiles from drones or manned airplanes or by any other means? Where does that legal authority originate? _____________ ____________ __________ ___________________ _________________ ______________ ___________________ __________________.

10. The United States military has troops in at least 175 countries. Some 800 bases house hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops in some 70 foreign nations, not including numerous "trainers" and participants in "non-permanent" exercises that last indefinitely, at a cost over $100 billion a year. Is this,
_____ too many,
_____ too few,
_____ just right.
What level would be appropriate? ___________ ________________ ________________ _______________ ____________.

11. Would you end U.S. war making in
_____ Afghanistan
_____ Iraq
_____ Syria
_____ Libya
_____ Somalia
_____ Pakistan
_____ Yemen

12. Does the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty require the United States to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control? ________.

13. Would you sign and encourage ratification of,
________ the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
________ the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction
________ the Convention on Cluster Munitions
________ the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity
________ the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture
________ the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
________ the proposed treaty on Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space

14. Should the U.S. government continue to subsidize
______ fossil fuels
______ nuclear energy

15. How, and how much, would you propose to invest in bringing renewable, green, non-nuclear energy to the United States and the world? ______________ _______________ _____________ ________________ _____________ ________________ ____________ ______________ ___________________ _________________.

Focus: Bernie Sanders - Mar 17, 2016

 

Following the results of yesterday’s primaries, the odds are against Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic nomination at the convention according to the delegate and superdelegate math. There are primaries in the coming weeks that will give a clearer picture. More than half of the delegates are yet to be chosen and the next races may favor Sanders campaign while the past primaries have been in Clinton territory. Clinton is winning the Democratic nomination thanks to the super Pac and rich donor money which finances her campaign and the campaigns of the Democratic congressmen that endorsed her. The Democratic party machine and a sympathetic media coverage promote her candidacy notwithstanding her domestic failures, foreign policy blunders and revelations about her private email server and the Clinton Foundation dealings.


It may come the time for Sanders to consider the option of running as an independent for President if he does not collect enough delegates to win the nomination, which is likely unless there is a political earthquake such as Hillary Clinton indicted by the FBI or else. There are more than seven months to the November elections, an arc of time long enough to turn events around. Sanders and the movement, which he represents, deserve to make their case until the November elections given the crucial issues facing the nation. As shown in several polls Clinton won the majority of Democrats in most primaries and Sanders won the independents and the new voters, two groups that will have more weight in the November elections than in the primaries which are slanted in favor of the political parties. 


If Sanders runs as an independent for President chances are he will not be a “spoiler,” the label used against third-party candidate Nader when Gore lost to Bush in 2000. On the contrary Sanders may attract Trump low-income supporters who share his same concerns on the issues of jobs, trade, economic inequality, health insurance, college tuition, etc. On the other end Hillary Clinton may lose in a matchup with Trump or Cruz because of her political past and a majority of Americans think she is not honest and trustworthy. Personally I think that Sanders has a chance to win a three way contest between him, Clinton and Trump (or Cruz.) 


Time will run out to be an independent candidate for President if Sanders wants to go this route. There are deadlines for gaining ballot access to run as an independent or 3rd party candidate in every state starting with Texas on May 9, North Carolina June 9, Illinois June 27, Indiana and New Mexico June 30 and so on. Here are filing deadlines and signature requirements for independent presidential candidates in all states.

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE

By Robert C. Koehler

The snaking line was more than a mile long. Thousands of us had been waiting for hours in the bitter cold to get into Chicago’s Auditorium Theatre to hear Bernie Sanders speak. It was Monday night. The Illinois and four other state primaries were the next day and, as has been the case for the last three weeks now, the fate of the country — and the planet — seemed to hang in the balance.

Signs were everywhere: A FUTURE TO BELIEVE IN, of course. And FEEL THE BERN, and variations thereof. BERNIE: PROPHET, HILLARY: PROFIT. And my favorite: SHAMANS FOR SANDERS.

The elevated train — Chicago’s L — rattled and clattered overhead at regular intervals, adding random noise to the windy, exhilarating night. Cheers erupted here and there for no apparent reason. The camaraderie was joyous. Even the police were friendly.

What if Trump people showed up and tried to start something? That rumor had been hovering for several days, but here in the midst of this crowd nothing seemed more preposterous. “If Trump people show up we need to show them love,” a woman standing nearby said. “Welcome them! Invite them to be one of us!” This was the sort of energy that infused the crowd. If nothing else, it flooded the cold March night with warmth.

And people chanted: “This is what democracy looks like!”

Oh Lord.

What I thought was: Maybe they’re right. A day and a half later, as I write, I’m still transfixed by those words, even though all the energy has scattered. Democracy is about depth of participation, not about winning and losing. And something is happening this election cycle that is opening up a participatory consciousness I haven’t felt, at least at the national level, in four decades.

What I want is more than a fleeting image of democracy on a bitter Chicago night. I want a lasting sense of social involvement and participation in crucial change. This is what democracy looks like. Democracy is the precondition of social evolution. And for this to occur at the national and global level — for society to reorganize itself in a way that defangs the four horsemen of social collapse: war, poverty, racism and climate change — we have to be engaged not as spectators but at the level of every human soul.

The doors opened. A huge segment of the waiting crowd did not get in, but I made it. Wow. A burst of light and warmth in the historic old theater. Jill Sobule is on stage with her guitar. “When they say they want America back . . . America back . . . what the fuck do they mean?”

Speakers address the crowd. Someone says: “The only thing that’s been able to trump hatred and fear is beauty and love.” Old rock music fills the air. Twentysomethings get up and start to dance. A mom in front of me is holding a month-old baby and I can hardly contain my emotions.

The candidate himself didn’t step onto the stage till 11 p.m. He went nonstop for about 40 minutes, addressing, by my count, 15 issues, none of which — of course! — were part of the media coverage of the primaries. Here are a few highlights:

·        “This is the wealthiest country in the history of the world. We need to invest in our children. Get our priorities right. We are not going to be shutting down schools while Wall Street makes huge profits. . . . No more water systems that poison children.”

·        “This should be a country with the highest voter turnout, not one of the lowest.”

·        “Together we are going to repair a broken criminal justice system. . . . We need to demilitarize the police.”

·        “Substance abuse is a health issue, not a criminal issue. We need to rethink the so-called war on drugs.”

·        “There are 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. living in fear: We need comprehensive immigration reform.”

·         “The way we have treated Native Americans for centuries is an absolute disgrace.”

·        “Barack Obama’s father was born in Kenya. My father was born in Poland, but no one is asking me for my birth certificate. Maybe it has something to do with the color of my skin.”

·        “I’m opposed to death penalty. In a world where there is so much violence, the state should not be a part of that.”

Finally and, it almost seemed, reluctantly, Sanders brought up the matter of war. He condemned the Iraq invasion as one of the worst blunders in American history and added: “I will do everything I can to see that the men and women in the military do not get sucked into perpetual war.”

Yeah, this is what democracy looks like, on both the inside and the outside. I hear the words of the one major-party candidate who dares to question America’s militarized relationship with the rest of the world. I also hear the wiggle room. I wish Sanders’ stance on war and the unfathomable U.S. military budget had the certainty of most of his other policy positions; and I wonder if his momentum — his reach into the soul of the electorate — would be more powerful if that were the case.

I know this much. When I hear someone dismiss Sanders’ social programs, such as free college tuition, on the grounds that “the money’s not there,” I will ask why nobody ever says: “We can’t develop the next generation of nuclear weapons; the money’s just not there!”

When it comes to militarism, I have yet to see what democracy looks like.

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.

© 2016 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, INC.

Focus: Donald Trump - Mar 13, 2016


I think Bernie Sanders should refrain from calling Trump names like evil, fascist, racist, bigot, etc. Although Trump's words are hash, extreme, sometimes offensive, criticizing his views on the issues should not equal to insulting him. This means waging a positive campaign and not indulging in personal attacks. We must avoid to debase the political debate to a brawl. 


Trump's political positions should be criticized for what they really are and not distorted. For instance he said that the worst criminal elements of the Mexican society cross the border to enter U.S.. This statement is wrong but does not necessarily mean that Trump is anti-Mexican. He said that he would "temporarily" block all Muslim to enter U.S. due to the spread of the Islamic State. This measure is wrong but it does not necessarily mean that he is anti-Muslim. Finally, contrary to the hawkish attitude of Republican opponents and Hillary Clinton, Trump's foreign policy towards Russia, Syria, Libya and Ukraine is remarkably dovish, advocating against violent regime change which is at the root of the current world crisis.


Trump's supporters are mostly low income people who, in the future, may support Sanders' policies directed at addressing social reforms and economic inequality, i.e. the scandalous accumulation of wealth in the hands of the rich at the expense of the whole nation. Insulting Trump is perceived as insulting his supporters and may generate sympathy towards him. Sanders should not endorse or justify the Chicago protest that forced Trump to cancel the rally over security concerns when protesters clashed with his supporters inside an arena where he was to speak. "We came in here and we wanted to shut this down”, said a protester. Trump and his supporters must be allowed to freely speech and assemble with no threats.


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Time for Sanders to play hardball: With Clinton Stumbling Following His Big Michigan Win, Bernie Should Attack Her Integrity

By Dave Lindorff

 

            Bernie Sanders, whose campaign for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination is on a roll following a stunning if narrow win in last Tuesday’s Michigan primary, where he embarrassed pollsters who were predicting a double-digit rout by Hillary Clinton only a day before the voting, has famously said he’s “not interested” in the issue of his opponent’s exclusive use, during her five years as Obama’s Secretary of State, of a private, instead of government email account and server.

Profile in lack of courage: Sen. Warren has Betrayed the Cause the Put Her in the Senate and Once Made Her a Hero to Millions

By Dave Lindorff

 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren just had a chance to turn the tide in this rigged Democratic primary season last Tuesday, and she ran away from it.

How a Hillary or Bernie Government Would Relate to the World

By David Swanson, teleSUR

By world standards, a U.S. government led by President Bernie Sanders would be exceptionally militarized and very much an outlier in terms of its disregard for the standards of international law and its lack of respect for the sovereignty of other nations.

By comparison to a U.S. government led by a hyper-militarist President Hillary Clinton, a Bernie government would be the peaceful, law-abiding, and humanitarian Age of Aquarius.

Bernie Sanders lacks any transformative vision of peace, international cooperation, the rule of law, or transition to a peaceful economy.

Senator Sanders has been unwilling to propose any significant reduction in military spending, despite the boon it would be to his campaign, which faces criticism over planned taxes to pay for desired domestic programs. Just stating "I would cut aggressive and counterproductive military weapons and operations," would eliminate the need to ever raise taxes on a non-billionaire to pay for anything ever again, but Sanders won't state that. I've communicated with his campaign, which has declined thus far to tell me what level of military spending Sanders favors, but it seems clear it would not be dramatically different from the world-record levels of spending now current.

Candidate Sanders tells us he would continue to kill people with drones, he would continue the wars but seek more partners and funders abroad. He rather grotesquely wants Saudi Arabia to "get its hands dirty." He also has a long history of justifying military spending as a jobs program, and of merging his support for the needs of veterans with glorification of war making. While he eventually opposed the Gulf War and then the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Sanders supported wars in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.

Sanders lacks any transformative vision of peace, international cooperation, the rule of law, or transition to a peaceful economy. He does not propose to eliminate nuclear weapons or join the International Criminal Court or ban weapons in space or stop antagonizing Russia. He's offered no proposal for a ceasefire, humanitarian aid, or other diplomatic initiative in Syria / Iraq. There's reason to hope only that a Sanders White House would be a bit less bellicose than Obama's -- and the chief reason to hope that is that Sanders would almost certainly not include Hillary Clinton in his cabinet.

Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 largely because she'd been in the Senate in time to vote for the Iraq invasion, while Barack Obama had not. That they'd both later voted repeatedly to fund that war seemed lost both on those defending Clinton's vote and those claiming Obama for the peace movement.

Prior to 2008 we already knew Clinton's history. She had pushed her husband in a militaristic direction throughout his presidency, including on Yugoslavia and Iraq. The 1998 Iraq Liberation Act had laid the groundwork for the war to come. She's urged Bill Clinton to bomb Kosovo in violation of the U.N. Charter and against the will of Congress. She'd not only voted for the war on Iraq, and against an amendment to pursue inspections first, but she'd promoted all of Bush-Cheney's lies as her own, despite having been well informed of the facts. She'd then continued to defend her actions for years, and to argue for continuing and escalating the war.

In 2006, Democrats had won Congressional victories principally on the public demand to end the war on Iraq. Clinton protégé and future despot of Chicago Rahm Emanuel openly told the Washington Post that the Democrats would keep the war on Iraq going in order to run against it again in 2008, and that's what Hillary Clinton did. In time for the 2008 primaries, she turned against the Iraq war and began lying that she'd never supported it and only ever wanted inspections pursued, a lie she has articulated in recent weeks as well.

None of this has changed in the past 8 years. On top of it we can add the following. Hillary Clinton turned the U.S. State Department into an arm of the military, redefined "diplomacy" to mean the communication of threats of violence, made diplomats work as marketing staff for weapons companies, waived restrictions on arms sales to brutal governments that donated to her personal foundation, led the advocacy for escalation in Afghanistan, led the lobbying for a war to overthrow the government of Libya creating the disaster now found there, backed a military coup in Honduras, defended dictators and torturers in Tunisia and Egypt until the last possible moment, and in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia until the present moment, threatened assault on Iran and lied about Iranian nukes even after finally being compelled to support the nuclear agreement with Iran, supported the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara, opposed opportunities for peace in Syria at every turn, and much much more. Clinton had in fact joined Republicans in pushing for the disarmament of Syria as early as 2004. On Afghanistan, Libya, and the attack on Osama bin Laden, Secretary of State Clinton was more hawkish than Secretary of "Defense" Robert Gates.

Much of the additional information we know comes from WikiLeaks which exposed the Clinton State Department as a cynical Machiavellian club for contemptuous rogues out to dominate the world for the sake of corporate profits. The fault here lies not with Chelsea Manning for exposing these outrages, but with Clinton for leading them. But her attitude toward whistleblowers like Manning and Edward Snowden has exposed another difference with Sanders, to Sanders' advantage. A Hillary Clinton administration promises to be as secretive and vindictive as Obama's.

A Sanders White House would not cut off the free weaponry and legal immunity for Israel, but a Clinton White House would expand on those policies, offer unlimited support to openly racist Israeli assaults on and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Sanders has proposed normalizing relations with Iran, while Clinton has denounced that idea and demanded that all (meaning nuclear) options be "on the table." If peace should come to Syria with Assad still in power, Clinton can be expected to continue the line she has already promoted, namely that Obama should have overthrown Assad with massive force long ago. Sanders, in contrast, could be expected to breathe a sigh of relief and focus on domestic matters until the next crisis develops.

While Clinton has accused Sanders of heresy for disagreeing with Obama's disastrous domestic policies, she herself has frequently criticized Obama's foreign policies for being insufficiently militaristic. Clinton does not hide who she is. She's fear mongered 9/11 in a debate. She's giggled jubilantly while bragging about the murder of Muamar Gadaffi. She's suggested the possibility of "obliterating" Iran. She talks up her dedication to the Israeli rightwing in public as well as behind closed doors with donors. Donors like Boeing have successfully hired her, while Secretary of State, to personally market their products to foreign governments.

I've asked the Clinton campaign what her military budget proposal would be, and have thus far heard nothing back, but it's hard to imagine how she could do what she would do without raising it, and it's easy to imagine that her election would boost the campaign to add young women to the selective service draft registry.

Pollsters imagine that Donald Trump's negatives make him easily defeatable, but they imagined that in the primaries as well. Polls also suggest that Hillary would be weaker than Bernie in a general election and that many Bernie supporters might not support Hillary. Imagine an election in which the mad militarist with the comb-over fear mongers Muslims but accurately accuses Clinton of lying about Iraq and helping to create ISIS. Would she counter with the promise of another bigger, better war? Would such a situation create a new opportunity to move public opinion against war? What would peace advocates do? How many would hold their nose and flee the country? What would Henry Kissinger advise?

DNC defection: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Surprise Endorsement Gives Sanders a Chance to Change the Whole Primary Game

By Dave Lindorff

 

            Just as the media, in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s landslide win in South Carolina’s Democratic primary Saturday, are predictably writing the obituary for Bernie Sanders’ upstart and uphill campaign for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has handed him an opportunity to jolt the American people awake.

New TCBH! poem by resident poet gary Lindorff: 'The Pink Bear'


Wow. I had a dream that went on all night.
 
There was a pink bear sighting in Alaska.
 
Then there were pink bear sightings
In South Dakota and Colorado,
All thought to be hoaxes but then
The New York Times published a photo, front page;
It looked real enough.
 
The article interviewed a hiker
Who reported talking to the Pink Bear.
He said it was standing up.
When asked what the bear said
The hiker said he couldn’t repeat it;
The bear was talking trash.
The hiker said the bear was heading for Washington.
 
What happened next is hard to believe.
(I mean in my dream it was hard to believe.)
There were signs that great changes are coming:
Mount Shasta was waking up, sending out a plume of ash.
Native Americans warning, This is it.

I’m just sayin’... Who Cares About Democratic Primary Results in South Carolina -- a State Democrats Will Lose in November?

By Dave Lindorff

 

            I'll be the first to admit I'm no pollster or even political scientist, but when I read that Bernie Sanders is going to be crushed by Hillary Clinton in Saturday's primary in South Carolina, the state that fired the opening shots in the Civil War and that only last year took down a Confederate battle flag in front of the capitol building, I have to shake my head at the absurdity of it.

South Carolina Democratic Party Means Well

The chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party called to complain that I was being unfair to him, and maybe he was right. But I'd simply urged the need to avoid any appearance of bias, and if the chairman doesn't understand that, he's in for a heck of a lot more criticism than he's ever imagined. This is his bio on the party website at 11:15 a.m. ET on Friday, February 26, just after he called me:

The Washington Times had prompted Harrison's call with this article:

. . . What his bio on the party’s Web page doesn’t mention, though, is that Mr. Harrison is also a principal at the Podesta Group, a lobbying firm founded by brothers Tony and John Podesta — the same John Podesta who is chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Mr. Harrison’s day job is likely to get more scrutiny as the presidential campaign turns to South Carolina and questions continue to swirl about whether the Democratic Party apparatus is fairly treating Mrs. Clinton’s challenger, Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont. . . .

“If you want to avoid appearances of conflict of interest, you need to be completely open and reveal that,” said David Swanson, a spokesman at Rootsaction.org, a progressive online group that also has organized a petition asking for the ouster of the head of the Democratic National Committee. “Someone can be in favor of one candidate and still conduct a fair primary election, but if they’re hiding that they have close ties — beyond just electoral interest, but with actual monetary interests — that starts to look bad.”

Harrison called me up and recounted his long connections with staffers for Bernie Sanders, and said that he had been the first to invite Sanders to come speak even before he was officially a candidate. Harrison said he'd also had Sanders as the first ever guest in his video series called "Chair Chats." Here's that video:

And here's one with Hillary Clinton, which has about half as many views.

Harrison said he'd offered Sanders the party's resources and conference room, that his own Deputy Executive Director had gone to work for the Sanders campaign, that anything he and the party had done for Clinton they'd done for Sanders, and that I could ask the Sanders campaign and they'd say as much.

I said I was certain they would indeed, whether true or not, but that I had merely answered a reporter's question on one point, that of Harrison's bio on the party site leaving out what he did for a living, namely that he worked for a Clinton-affiliated organization. Amazingly, Harrison claimed not to know whether his bio included that info or not. He blamed me for not investigating it myself, while he himself claimed not to have looked into it either. And he assured me that if I "googled" him I'd see that he worked for the Podesta Group.

But isn't that the point, I asked? If I google Santorum I'll find something else entirely, but that's what Google shows, not what Santorum chooses to display. If everyone can find out that your paycheck comes from a Clinton-associated group, but that's left out of your bio, how does that look? Harrison promised to look into it and to make sure that it said from now on right at the top: "Jamie Harrison, chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party and Principle at the Podesta Group...."

I said I thought that would be a good idea.

The Podesta Group was founded by John and Tony Podesta, the former serving also as Hillary Clinton's campaign chair.

I explained to Harrison that my concern was not over any actual unfair treatment I knew him to have engaged in, but over the appearance of it in a context that had everyone understandably on the lookout for bias. I pointed out to him that the DNC Chair was quite openly on Hillary Clinton's side, had sought to minimize debates and hide them on Saturday nights and other times of low viewership, had sought to deny Sanders access to his own voter files, had just opened up the Democratic Party to money from corporate lobbyists to benefit one candidate, had refused to release the results in Iowa, etc., and that the Party had its superdelegates lined up for Hillary in open defiance of popular will.

Harrison said he agreed with me that the superdelegate system and the electoral college for that matter should be scrapped. And he agreed with my blaming the DNC, which he pointed out was not the South Carolina Democratic Party.

The funny thing is, after I hung up, I looked at Harrison's bio on the Podesta Group website. That bio is very open about his Democratic Party identifications. And they include this: "Member of the DNC Executive Committee."

The 2016 Election's Obama Problem

I was looking for love in all the wrong places
Looking for love in too many faces
Searching your eyes, looking for traces
Of what I'm dreaming of  --Waylon Jennings

Why do the Republican presidential debates resemble world wrestling matches without all the formality and politeness?

Why do the Democratic presidential debates always end up with the two candidates deeply respecting the other's admirable efforts to destroy everything decent in the world?

Because the Republicans are going after voters who are thoroughly disgusted with the U.S. government, including the man running it, Barack Obama, while the Democrats are going after voters who are thoroughly disgusted with the U.S. government but in love with the man running it.

Senator Bernie Sanders explains that we need the opposite of what Obama's been doing, then claims to agree with Obama. Why? Because he wants to win over voters who think exactly that, who believe that Obama has done everything wrong but who love Obama despite, or even because, of his disastrous conduct. Sanders knows that many of the same voters feel (that's the key word) the same way about Hillary Clinton.

Pick up a book called I [Heart] Obama by Erin Aubry Kaplan. In it, she explains that she and others she's asked love Obama for his looks, his voice, his poise, his attitude, his facial expressions, and his skin color. She and others she quotes fell in love with him before they'd learned anything about his political performance. And whatever they later learned entirely confirmed their sentiments. If he did something terrible, they imagined he'd tried to do something good. If he failed, they loved his failure and blamed it on his racist opponents. Because racists hate him, one must love him, they feel.

Kaplan hoped for change, but when Obama didn't meet her expectations she condemned anyone so misguided as to complain. Then she blamed the public for not rising up and complaining, without which Obama couldn't very well be expected to do anything, could he? But even when Obama didn't do the right thing, you could be sure he knew what the right thing to do would have been. And that was good enough. Hell, that was better. And if he lied about it, that was better than truth. Even his bullshit smelled sweet. Kaplan writes:

"Does the fact that  his 'Hope/Change' campaign was more a matter of brilliant branding than anything else diminish the fact that hope and change are exactly what black folks need?"

Perish the thought!

Racists would even object to Obama murdering people. Not the Obamaphiles Kaplan quotes: "'I know it's hard for people to look at the drones, to look at why he doesn't do this thing or that thing,' says Ward. 'But the tightrope is one that he has to walk. I have a friend in the South who says she's seen bars with calendars on the walls that count down the days to when Obama gets assassinated.'"

Get it? Racists want to murder Obama, so he should go on murdering all those dark-skinned foreigners, and you should shut up about it and love him even if you hate what he's doing.

Do the old people and black people backing Hillary Clinton in primaries associate her with Obama and his lovable odiousness? Or do they associate her with the Democratic Party and identify with that party as they might with a racial group? Or do they want to feel the warm tingles of watching a woman, instead of a man, pilot the empire over the cliff? Are good people going to double down on tokenism while the fascists prepare to play their trump card?

The answer is, of course, not to elect all white guys. The answer is to end the election obsession, and build a movement. And when we must have an election, elect the best person. Democrats need to stop loving the people who have created everything Sanders wants to fix. Obama and Hillary do not love you back, my friends. They're using you. They have nothing but contempt for you. And if the morning ever comes, you'll hate yourself in it.

Republicans, of course, need to stop bowing down before a fascist clown who openly tells them that he only loves himself and they should love him too. For him, you are beneath contempt, unworthy even of notice. You'd better hope the Democrats don't run the woman you hate against him, because then he'll be president, you'll be the woman scorned, you'll hate yourselves more than the Democrats hate you, and most people will give up hope for the electoral system -- which will of course turn out to be even worse than falling for false hope with a nice smile.

Talk Nation Radio: Harvey Wasserman on the Stripping and Flipping of Elections

  https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-harvey-wasserman-on-the-stripping-and-flipping-of-elections

Harvey Wasserman is a life-long activist who speaks, writes and organizes widely on energy, the environment, history, drug war, election protection and grassroots politics. He teaches (since 2004) history and cultural & ethnic diversity at two central Ohio colleges, and is married with five daughters and five grandchildren. Harvey works primarily for the permanent shutdown of the nuclear power industry and the birth of Solartopia, a democratic and socially just green-powered Earth free of all fossil and nuclear fuels. He writes regularly for a wide internet readership through Ecowatchsolartopia.orgfreepress.org and nukefree.org, which he edits. His articles also appear at Commondreams, CounterPunch, HuffingtonPost, Buzzflash and others. He hosts the Solartopia Green Power & Wellness Show at www.prn.fm. In this show, Harvey discusses the stripping and flipping of U.S. elections.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.

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Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

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Striking out at the NY Times: Hit Piece on Sanders Proposals Relies on Pro-Clinton Economists Mislabeled as ‘Leftists’

By Dave Lindorff

 

As Bernie Sanders’ insurgent campaign for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination continues to strengthen, so do the attacks on him by the establishment corporate media, which are reflexively backing the status quo corporatocracy.

 

Focus: Clinton and Sanders in the Polls - Feb 18, 2016


POLL (Quinnipiac University): Dead heat: Sanders, Clinton in virtual tie nationwide - TheHill


POLL: Full results of the Quinnipiac University poll - quinnipiac.edu


POLL (Economist/YouGov): Hillary Clinton Least Trustworthy Of All Candidates - The Daily Caller


POLL: Hillary Clinton loses to four top Republican presidential contenders, including Donald Trump, - TheHill


POLL (Public Policy Polling): Clinton leading Sanders in 10 of 12 early March primary states - TheHill


POLL: Full results of Public Policy Polling - publicpolicypolling.com


POLL: Voters Say Money, Media Have Too Much Political Clout - Rasmussen Reports


POLL: Nevada: Clinton, Sanders tied; Trump way ahead - Las Vegas Sun


POLL: Clinton leads Sanders by 26 points in Tennessee - tennessean.com


POLL: Sanders ahead of Clinton in Mass., poll finds - The Boston Globe


POLL: Clinton, Trump lead in Va., poll says, but voters have doubts - The Daily Progress


POLL: Clinton, Trump leads getting smaller in North Carolina - abc11.com


POLL: Poll shows Democratic primary race tightening in Oklahoma - NewsOK.com


POLL: Trump, Clinton hold strong leads in South Carolina polls - FOX2now.com


Big Win For Bernie: AFL-CIO Holds Off On Presidential Endorsement - huffingtonpost.com


House Dem uses online poll to decide between Sanders, Clinton - TheHill


Hillary Clinton's Wal-Mart ties breed mistrust among liberals, boost Bernie Sanders - Washington Times


Superdelegates Could Affect US Presidential Nominee Selection - VOA


Lobbyist superdelegates tip nomination toward Hillary Clinton - theintercept.com


Unpacking the Role of the Superdelegate in the Democratic Party Primary - huffingtonpost.com


N.H. GOP urges Democratic superdelegates to support Sanders - AP


Trying to predict the election? Forget about Twitter, study concludes - The Guardian


Thomas Piketty op-ed on the rise of Bernie Sanders: the US enters a new political era - The Guardian


VIDEO: This looks like video evidence of Bernie Sanders getting arrested in 1963 as a young activist fighting racial discrimination - dailykos.com


Clinton email chain discussed Afghan national's CIA ties, official says - Fox News


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Hillary Clinton - Feb 13, 2016

 

POLL: Who won the Democratic debate? Hundreds of thousands voted online and declared overwhelmingly Sanders the winner - Huffington Post


POLL: Bernie Sanders closing the gap, pulls within 7 points of Hillary Clinton in national poll - morningconsult.com


POLL: Clinton, Sanders deadlocked in Nevada - Washington Examiner


Is the Clinton campaign panicking over Nevada? - slate.com


POLL: Sanders gaining on frontrunner Hillary Clinton in Illinois - The Daily Caller


Spearheading a $4.5 million effort Super PAC makes big play to lift Hillary Clinton in primary states - The Washington Post


DNC rolls back Obama ban on contributions from federal lobbyists, some suggested it could provide an advantage to Hillary Clinton’s fundraising efforts - The Washington Post


Hillary Clinton’s Congressional Black Caucus PAC endorsement approved by board awash in lobbyists - theintercept.com


VIDEO: Who endorsed Hillary Clinton? The Congressional Black Caucus or its PAC filled with lobbyists? - Democracy Now!


VIDEO: At Democratic debate Clinton and Sanders spar over super-PACs and megadonors - realclearpolitics.com


Hillary Clinton's paid speeches to large Wall Street banks reportedly bordered on 'gushy’ - Business Insider


------------------------------------------------------

FBI, foundation controversies missing from Clinton questioning at debate - Fox News


VIDEO: Fox News panel excoriates PBS moderators, Sanders for ignoring Hillary Clinton’s scandals - newsbusters.org


Clinton Foundation received subpoena from State Department investigators - The Washington Post


Clinton campaign accuses State Dept. IG of Targeting Hillary - newsmax.com


VIDEO: Hillary Clinton FBI investigation has 2 tracks: classified email & public corruption - YouTube


Judge orders Clinton’s last emails public before Super Tues. - KSN-TV


State Dept. won't rule out more 'top secret' Clinton emails - Washington Examiner


Official: Clinton aides also handled ‘top secret’ intel on server - Fox News


Emails appear to show how key Clinton aide manipulated media coverage - Fox News


Benghazi panel nears final report examining Clinton's response - Bloomberg Politics


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Bernie Sanders: The 2016 Peace Candidate

On February 10, 2016, Peace Action—the largest peace organization in the United States—announced its endorsement of Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination for President.

What Obama Did While You Were Watching Elections

Pass the popcorn! Wait till I tweet this! Did you see the look on his face?

Ain't elections exciting? We just can't get enough of them, which could be why we've stretched them out to a couple of years each, even though a small crowd of Super Delegates and a couple of state officials with computer skills could quite conceivably decide the whole thing anyway.

Through the course of this marvelous election thus far I've been trying to get any human being to ask any candidate to provide just the most very basic outline of the sort of budget they would propose if president, or at least some hint at the single item in the budget that takes up more than half of it. Do they think military spending should go up, go down, or stay right where it is?

Who knows! Aren't elections wonderful?

I'd even settle for the stupid "gotcha" question in which we find out if any of the candidates knows, even roughly, what percentage of the budget military spending is now.

Why is this topic, although seemingly central, scrupulously avoided?

  • The candidates all, more or less, agree.
  • None of the candidates brings it up.
  • Nobody in Congress, not even the "progressive" caucus, brings it up.
  • Nobody in the corporate media brings it up.
  • The corporate media outlets see war profiteers as customers who buy ads.
  • The corporate media outlets see war profiteers in the mirror as parts of their corporate families.
  • The fact that the military costs money conflicts with the basic premise of U.S. politics which is that one party wants to spend money on socialistic nonsense while the other party wants to stop spending money and build a bigger military.

Those seem like the obvious answers, but here's another. While you're being entertained by the election, President Obama is proposing a bigger military than ever. Not only is U.S. military spending extremely high by historical standards, but looking at the biggest piece of military spending, which is the budget of the Department of so-called Defense, that department's annual "Green Book" makes clear that it has seen higher spending under President Barack Obama than ever before in history.

Check out the new budget proposal from the President who distracted millions of people from horrendous Bush-Cheney actions with his "peace" talk as a candidate eight years ago. He wants to increase the base Do"D" budget, both the discretionary and the mandatory parts. He wants to increase the extra slush fund of unaccountable money for the Do"D" on top of that. This pot used to be named for wars, but wars have gotten so numerous and embarrassing that it's now called "Overseas Contingency Operations."

When it comes to nuclear weapons, Obama wants to increase spending, but when it comes to other miscellaneous extras for the military, he also wants to increase that. Military retirement spending, on the other hand, he'd like to see go up, while the Veterans Administration spending he proposes to raise. Money for fueling ISIS by fighting it, Obama wants raised by 50%. On increasing hostility with Russia through a military buildup on its border, Obama wants a 400% spending boost. In one analysis, military spending would jump from $997.2 billion this year to $1.04 trillion next year under this proposal.

That's a bit awkward, considering the shade it throws on any piddly little project that does make it into election debates and reporting. The smallest fraction of military spending could pay for the major projects that Senator Bernie Sanders will be endlessly attacked for proposing to raise taxes for.

It's also awkward for the whole Republican/Hillary discussion of how to become more militarized, unlike that pacifist in the White House.

And, of course, it's always awkward to point out that events just go on happening in the world rather than pausing out of respect for some inanity just uttered by Marco Rubio.

Focus: Hillary Clinton - Feb 8, 2016


VIDEO: Clinton says she’ll release speech transcripts if opponents do the same - ABC News


VIDEO: Clinton: Sanders putting artful smear on my Wall Street donations…I’m not going to sit and take it anymore - CBS News


Hillary Clinton has made millions from her Wall Street speeches... but what did she say? - Daily Mail Online


GOP: Hillary, Release the Transcripts - GOP


Contracts indicate Clinton owns transcripts, controls their release - The Wichita Eagle


Hillary's Goldman Sachs speech fee set by her agent, not 'what they offered' - Washington Examiner


Here’s What Hillary Clinton’s Paid Speaking Contract Looks Like - theintercept.com


Hillary won't release her speaking transcripts, but LOOK what we found! - Allen B. West


Sign the petition: Hillary, release the transcripts of your paid speeches to Wall Street banks - Vets For Bernie


Wall Street Distrust Fuels Millennial Opposition to Clinton - valuewalk.com


VIDEO: Donna Brazile: Wall Street issue is playing same role for Clinton that Iraq war vote did in 2008 - RealClearPolitics


$153 million in Bill and Hillary Clinton speaking fees, documented - CNNPolitics.com


Meet the lobbyists, donors and bundlers behind Hillary’s $157 million campaign juggernaut - Yahoo News


Fund-raising alliances with 33 state Democratic parties fuel Clinton with cash - philly.com


The vote for bankruptcy reform that haunts Hillary Clinton - The New York Times


VIDEO: George Stephanopoulos presses Clinton on Elizabeth Warren’s criticism on bankruptcy bill - YouTube


VIDEO: Elizabeth Warren on Hillary Clinton and bankruptcy bill (2004) - YouTube


Time for Chelsea Clinton's easy ride to end, she’s a board member at Barry Diller’s IAC (paid a reported $300,000 a year, plus stock awards) and charges $65,000 per speech - politico.com


Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein: Sanders candidacy a 'dangerous moment' - politico.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Bankers, Preachers, and Fear of President Sanders

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a new war in Libya, more war in Syria, permanent war in Afghanistan, climate change crashing over the cliff -- these and other immediate disasters are pursued with one hand, while the magician's other hand distracts us with caucuses, primaries, and super bowls. Remember when insiders said the TPP would die the moment it was made public? Well, what if it was made public during an election season? Bread and circuses, even in Rome, weren't designed to make the people happy but to keep them pacified while all the real energy and treasure went into destroying Carthage and filling the vomitoria of the oligarchs. And it's easier for a good team to make it into the super bowl than for a truly good candidate to make it into corporate election reporting. I deny none of that. And yet ...

The 2015-2016 presidential election has, by some measures, already accomplished more than all the previous elections in my lifetime put together. And it's scaring some of the right people.

If you had claimed in 1969 that it would be possible for presidential candidates in the United States to reject religion before they could reject permanent worldwide military empire, you'd have been laughed right out of the Age of Aquarius.

If you'd prognosticated in 1999 that an independent socialist focused like a laser beam on taxing billionaires and busting up some of their most profitable scams (not to mention taxing many of the rest of us) could grab the lead in a Democratic primary campaign against a Clinton with no intern scandals, you'd have been triangulated right out of your career as you knew it.

And if you'd predicted in 2014 that a candidate virtually ignored by the consolidated corporate media, as consolidated under the Clinton Telecom Act, would surge in the polls, you'd have garnered as much respect as those guys in The Big Short did when they claimed to know more than the high priests of Wall Street.

Bernie Sanders, for all of his dramatic shortcomings, is a phenomenon created by a perfect storm of institutional failure -- by Hillary Clinton's coronation constructed of cards just waiting for someone to suggest that millions of outraged winds breathe on it. Sanders is 6 years older and generations more advanced than his Democratic Party rival.

 

God Is Dead

"What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?" --Friedrich Nietzsche

Sanders' website calls him "secular" and "not particularly religious." His answers to a religion question during a CNN "town hall" this week were typical. A member of the audience asked about religion and race, and Sanders answered only about race. Then the moderator asked again about religion. And this was Sanders' answer, I swear to ... -- well, I just swear:

"It's a guiding principle in my life. Absolutely it is. You know, everybody practices religion in a different way. To me, I would not be here tonight, I would not be running for president of the United States if I did not have very strong religious and spiritual feelings. I believe that, as a human being, the pain that one person feels, if we have children that are hungry in America, if we have elderly people who can't afford their prescription drugs, you know what? That impacts you, that impacts me, and I worry very much about a society where some people spiritually say, 'It doesn't matter to me. I got it. I don't care about other people.' So, my spirituality is that we are all in this together, and that when children go hungry, when veterans sleep out on the street, it impacts me. That is my very strong spiritual feeling."

It's also my very strong non-spiritual feeling. But that was a typical Bernie answer, one he's given many times, typical even in its focus on only 4% of humanity and on only a particular type of homeless people. Some states, by the way, are making huge strides toward ending the shame of homelessness for veterans, so that soon all homeless people in the United States may be people who have never been part of a mass-murder operation. I point this out not to oppose it. Better more people with homes, no matter how it's done! And I point it out not to quibble with Sanders' statement of generosity and humanism, but to suggest that part of how Sanders slipped a completely irreligious answer past an audience that asked a religious question is that Sanders identified himself with the true U.S. religion, the religion that will be front and center and in the jet noise overhead at the super bowl -- the religion of war, the religion of national exceptionalism. Who can forget Ron Paul being booed in a primary debate for applying the golden rule to non-Americans?

When Sanders is asked explicitly if he "believes in God," he also answers, "What my spirituality is about is that we're all in this together." Exactly what my non-spirituality is about. I think it's safe to assume he'll never be asked if he believes in death (which television sponsors would be pleased by that topic?), so "God" is the question he'll get, and he won't be required to answer it. New Hampshire is the least religious state in the country, but the country as a whole has also moved against religion and even more so against "organized religion." Some of us always preferred the organized part (the community, the music, etc.) to the religion, but the larger trend here is a rejection of elite institutions telling us how to run our lives while demonstrably running the world into the ground. And who has more to answer for in that regard than God?

Rejecting organized religion while proclaiming an individual "spirituality" may be all that is needed, and that is tremendous news. That Sanders has done this while professing an ideology of generosity and solidarity, and winning applause for that, is even better news. Studies find that lack of religion can correlate with greater generosity, as certainly seems to be the case with the Scandinavian societies Sanders points to as models. (Seventeen percent of Swedes, as compared to 65% of U.S. Americans, say religion is "important".)

A majority in the United States say they wouldn't vote for an atheist, but for many atheism, like gender, race, sexual preference, and other identifiers is now a matter of self-identification. Someone must choose to call themselves an atheist. Just having no use for theism doesn't qualify them. The media also seems to have no direct interest in attacking candidates on religion. Nobody pays them to do that. And it doesn't show a lot of potential as a weapon. Donald Trump is seen as the least religious candidate in the field, and some of the most religious voters say they support him and just don't care. In addition, Sanders is a supporter of religious freedom, tolerance, and even tax exemptions. He doesn't fit the mold of the bigoted atheist who finds Islam dangerously more religious than Christianity. The media is also no big fan of Ted Cruz, who's on a Dubya-like mission from God. All of these factors seem to have made it possible to run for president of the United States on a platform of pure enlightenment humanism. I didn't think I'd live to see that.

 

Most Dangerous Man on Wall Street

Hillary Clinton friend and funder and CEO of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein seems to view Bernie Sanders as President Richard Nixon characterized Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, and as President Barack Obama seems to view WikiLeaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning, as the most dangerous person in the United States. Sanders' sin, in Blankfein's view, is failure to worship the almighty dollar.

Blankfein is fully aware that his endorsing a candidate would hurt that candidate, but seems not to have thought through the possibility that opposing a candidate might help them. Reportedly, Blankfein suggested this week that "Sanders' attacks on the 'billionaire class' and bankers could be dangerous. 'It has the potential to personalize it, it has the potential to be a dangerous moment. Not just for Wall Street not just for the people who are particularly targeted but for anybody who is a little bit out of line,' Blankfein said."

It sounds like the 1% has a case of 99% envy. Misery loves company, but fear demands it. Think about what Blankfein is claiming. One of the two Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton, who has long said explicitly that the Democratic Party should represent banks, has taken $675,000 (or about $5,000 per minute) to give three speeches to Blankfein's company, in which she reportedly reassured them they had nothing to worry about (despite widely known crimes that wrecked the economy of the United States and other nations). Public demands to even see what Clinton told Goldman Sachs have thus far gone unanswered and unechoed in the media, except by Ralph Nader. On Clinton Blankfein has no comment and sees nothing unusual. This is normal, standard, and unquestionable behavior.

But Bernie Sanders proposes to enforce laws, laws against financial trickery, laws against cheating on taxes, laws against monopolization, laws against market manipulation, and new taxes on unearned wealth. Well, this is unacceptable and in fact "dangerous"! It's extreme madness is what it is, according to Blankfein, who depicts Sanders' position as fanatical: "It's a liability to say I'm going to compromise, I'm going to get one millimeter off the extreme position I have and if you do you have to back track and swear to people that you'll never compromise. It's just incredible. It's a moment in history." That it is.

Here's how Bill Clinton reportedly viewed popular resentment of bankers in 2014: "You could take Lloyd Blankfein into a dark alley and slit his throat, and it would satisfy them for about two days. Then the blood lust would rise again." Of course, nobody had proposed killing bankers. Many had proposed enforcing laws. But that's how bankers view such a proposal, through the lens of fear. They are probably not alone. Sanders is proposing to end fracking and various other disastrous industries, while investing in new ones. He promises to block the TPP, which Clinton -- long a big supporter of it -- merely claims to "oppose" without committing to actually prevent. Sanders wants to tax the very wealthiest, including the 20 individuals who own as much as half the country. He wants to break up monopolies, including on Wall Street, and perhaps in the media -- which is already clearly shaken by the fact that he's advanced in the polls without them.

Health insurance executives can't be feeling too much better than banksters, unless they're wise enough to see the bigger picture. I waited on hold for 30 minutes this week to try to fix the latest SNAFU with my Obamacare, and then a really helpful woman answered who promised she'd fix it. I asked her if she could also back Bernie Sanders to put an end to the industry she worked for. She said yes, indeed.

The wiser minds in the plutocracy should follow that example. Nobody's out to hurt you, only to help you share your hoarded loot with those who worked for it. Your life will be different, but not necessarily worse. It might even be happier.

The more hopelessly greedy minds in much of the U.S. plutocracy, right about now, will start wishing they'd been prescient enough to go into weapons making and war profiteering, that sacred realm that Sanders' spirituality dares not threaten.

He’s the best, but is he all we need?: The ‘Bern’ and the Internet

By Alfredo Lopez

 

Bernie Sanders' stunning success in the campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination, highlighted by what is effectively a victory in the Iowa caucuses this past Monday, provokes serious thinking about what a Sanders presidency would look like.

Focus: Hillary Clinton - Feb 1, 2016

 

Email Issue dogs Hillary Clinton on eve of Iowa caucuses, she calls for release of those deemed 'top secret’ by the State Dept  - New York Times


VIDEO: Clinton: There is no classified marked information on those e-mails...I think they can and should be disclosed - YouTube


Clinton campaign statement calling for release of ‘top secret’ emails: “This appears to be over-classification run amok” - hillaryclinton.com


Clinton is confronted with her non-disclosure agreement which says information is classified either marked or unmarked (VIDEO) - Hot Air


POLL: 64% of U.S. voters now think Clinton broke the law on emails, but serious charges are not likely to be brought against her - Rasmussen


VIDEO: State Department briefing on Hillary Clinton Emails - C-SPAN

 

FBI, Justice Department ‘super pissed off’ at White House for ‘weighing in’ on Hillary Clinton email investigation, Fox News reporter says (VIDEO) - TheBlaze.com

 

John Kerry sent Hillary Clinton a 'SECRET' email when he was Massachusetts Senator - The Daily Caller

 

Bernie Sanders Calls Hillary Clinton's Emails 'A Very Serious Issue' - huffingtonpost.com

 

VIDEO: Sanders: Clinton emails are 'a serious issue' - YouTube

 

Former House Oversight chairman: 'FBI director would like to indict Clinton and Abedin' - Washington Examiner

 

‘This was all planned’: Former IG says Hillary, State Dept. are lying - New York Post

 

Hillary’s email defense is laughable, I should know—I ran FOIA for the U.S. government - politico.com

 

NSA whistleblower: Clinton email server was ‘open to being hacked by anybody’ - Breitbart

 

----------------------------------------------------

90% of money raised by Clinton super PAC came from donors giving at least $1 million, 98% giving $100,000 or more - Huffington Post


George Soros gives $6 million pro-Clinton super-PAC - TheHill


Pro-Clinton super PAC brings in more than $50 million, and donors have committed to give another $42 million - The Washington Post


A pro-Sanders super PAC raises $2.3 million - usatoday.com


New York Times Gets it Wrong: Bernie Sanders Not “Top Beneficiary of Outside Money” - The Intercept

 

Here's a List of All the Hillary Clinton Wall Street Fundraisers - freebeacon.com

 

Clinton's big ticket fundraiser with investment firm facing federal scrutiny - dailykos.com

 

Goldman Sachs is in the eye of the campaign storm, it’s being singled out for its ties to the political establishment because of two top contenders for the presidency - nationalmemo.com

 

Clinton laughs when asked to release transcripts from Goldman Sachs speeches (VIDEO) - freebeacon.com

 

Clintons's $200,000 an hour pay from Goldman Sachs is nothing to laugh at - huffingtonpost.com

 

Reporters Barred From Hillary's Wall Street Speeches - The Daily Caller

 

I worked on Wall Street. I am skeptical Hillary Clinton will rein it in - The Guardian

 

Hillary Clinton whiffs on reforming Wall Street’s ratings agencies - The Intercept

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

It's Hard Not to Be Sexist in Iowa

No, the cornfields are not full of dumb blondes (except when Fox News shows up), but it truly is hard not to be sexist in Iowa.

For example, I think it's reprehensible to take tens of millions of dollars from murderous kingdoms and dictatorships and then waive restrictions on selling them weapons including the weapons that Saudi Arabia has been using to slaughter men, women, and children in Yemen. And this makes me a sexist, or so I'm told.

In my view, parroting every war lie of Bush and Cheney was disgusting enough, but then pretending you meant well and didn't understand, even though once the war was begun you voted over and over again to fund it, is literally criminal as well as a moral abomination. Taking so many millions of dollars from war profiteers just makes it worse -- at least in the eyes of us sexist fans of Jill Stein.

Serving the health insurance and drug industries by smashing every attempt for decades to create a civilized health system like those in the rest of the wealthy world is also murderous by any straightforward empirical measure. Millions have died, and many billions of dollars have been diverted from better use as a result. But mentioning it turns out to be sexist. Tasking your daughter to give speeches lying about it shows, on the contrary, deep respect for women.

Pushing policies with your husband to create mass incarceration and then pretending it just happened like the weather, ramming through NAFTA and pushing more corporate trade agreements at every opportunity (but pretending momentarily to oppose the TPP), defending the Wall Street crooks who trashed the economy and taking hundreds of thousands of dollars to give them speeches promising to protect them and refusing to make public the transcripts, pressuring the White House for a war on Libya for reasons of oil and looting, facilitating coups in Honduras and Ukraine, stirring up hostilities with Russia, talking of obliterating Iran, insisting on yet more, counterproductive war in Syria and Iraq, pushing for massive bombing in Syria, giggling about murdering Gadaffi and the people (including female people) of the entire region be damned, turning the State Department into a marketing firm for U.S. weapons companies and U.S. fracking companies, taking many millions from corrupting interested parties while claiming to be dead broke, supporting unconstitutional spying and retribution against whistleblowers, corporatizing the Democratic Party and proposing that it should "represent banks," defending any and all of this by yelling "9/11," and suggesting that opposition to any of this makes someone sexist -- that all seems outrageously reprehensible to me.

The people Hillary Clinton would kill, the people she would deprive of healthcare, the students she would deny a free quality education, the families she would deny a decent income, the workers she will deny jobs, the generations she will deny an inhabitable environment -- are they going to feel better because she's a woman?

And how are the poor people of Iowa going to feel if they're responsible for supporting her?

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