Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

Emigrating To La La Land

A  fellow Bernier) sent me the link to a short film, as one of the reasons she could never vote for Hillary. Hearing veiled remarks about ‘corruption’ and ‘can’t trust her’ and just ‘follow the money,’ I realized: this is what Hillary first called ‘a right-wing conspiracy” back in the ’90’s. All the rumors of the terrible things done by the Clintons, or by Hillary specifically, have a funny way of never being confirmed or proven. And the conspiracy-mongers always have an explanation, how ‘she’ or ‘they’ wriggled out of it.

And it does come out of the right-wing. It’s the kinds of things right-wing radio ranters and the Enquirer have been shouting for years.

A current example, Clinton Cash was produced by Breitbart Films. The organization also publishes Daily Caller and is a well-known right-wing propaganda mill.

So, viewing Clinton Cash must be done with a healthy dose of skepticism. The film itself is rich in images of cash, of supposedly corrupt people being greeted by or hosted by or hosting Bill and Hillary and of a drawn, unattractive Hillary announcing decisions as Secretary of State—none of her announcements are actually shown, but the commentator helpfully tells you what nefarious deals they facilitated. So, there are a lot of inferences drawn, a lot of circumstantial “evidence” is mustered, but the inferences in all these cases are only insinuations.

Since Brightbart doctored videos that destroyed ACORN and then attempted to do the same thing to Planned Parenthood–posing as innocent reporters, they twisted the videos through deceptive editing, to show that PP was selling fetal tissue for profit, when it has never been proven that PP ever did: they sell tissue at cost, to cover handling expenses, since they want to make it available for scientific research. Why believe anything declared by Brietbart?

You have to realize, this is the same propaganda that animates Fox News, and the screamers in Cleveland calling for Clinton to be jailed or executed. It has about as much credibility as the failed effort to destroy Planned Parenthood.

And, almost all the stories about Hillary and Bill, extensively investigated over and over and found baseless, have been circulating on the Tea Party network for years. Now these same propaganda “news” groups are seeking new converts: among Bernie or Busters: to persuade as many Berniers as possible that they should NEVER vote for the demon, Hillary Clinton. Trump’s been pretty up front about that, himself.

Just to know where all this comes from should tell you how insidious and spurious it is.

I think Hillary has made some mistakes, because she listened to longtime experts in State, for example, to support the Honduran coup, and to overthrow Libya’s Qaddafi, without a realistic scenario for what should come after–both incidents NOT covered in this film. But to portray her and Bill as on the take, solely motivated by accumulating money on the backs of poor Haitians or Congolese is just completely BS. Yes, they sought funds to carry out their programs abroad, programs they believed would do good. They thought the people in charge knew what they were doing, or that the only way to get things done was to work with questionable people. That’s an especially old story in foreign development circles, where corruption is endemic and expected. Any politician trying to get things done will probably have to make questionable connections.

Bernie’s wife, Jane, is also supposedly tarred by questionable actions vis a vis an education fund. No one is pure.

As for Trump: his whole career has been built on legally (that’s why so many lawsuits) bilking contractors, workers, students, and ordinary people in virtually all his “business” dealings. That’s how he’s made his money.

If you don’t vote for the Democrats (including Hillary) you are making it easier for Trump to be elected, and he could win. He’d probably have the mob with him—and his own mob. He’s admired Putin and Saddam because that’s the kind of dictatorial regime he wants to lead himself: he’s also on board to discriminate against: immigrants, Latinos, blacks and the LGBTQ community (despite his careful repeating of the initials in his speech). He would abolish the health care act, privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, while cutting taxes on the wealthiest, thereby creating huge deficits that would require slashing government services to any except the very wealthy. And, he’d build up our military (now accounting for 40% of all defense spending in the entire world), so he’d probably need new taxes: maybe an “America Tax”, a sales tax or a value-added tax that would hit the poor especially hard (they are his favorite victims in business, after all).

I’ll vote Democrat to protect my children, all of whom are identified as in the LGBTQ spectrum. I’ll vote to protect a Supreme Court that could become either even more conservative than it was with Scalia, or could be progressive if Hillary gets to appoint his replacement and the other Justices getting too old to serve. That court will serve long after I’m dead.

I’ll also vote to insure that we have someone leading our country who is sane, not unstable and unpredictable.

That Hillary has also signed on for a good part of Bernie’s agenda is a bonus we could work for. It would be impossible for us to even think about the Bernie agenda (except maybe through violent revolution) if Trump were elected.

The idea that, even if Trump got elected he couldn’t do anything, is unwarranted. He offered Kasich the Vice Presidency, in which he, the VP, would be in charge of Domestic and Foreign Affairs, i.e. the one getting things done for Donald. It’s very likely Pence signed on for the same deal. And there are all sorts of radical ‘conservative’ Republicans who would do the kinds of things outlined in their platform. Pence would dismantle as much of the Federal Government as he could, except for Defense, Homeland Security and DOJ. If he and Trump were elected, they’d probably take Congress, too. And, of course, the Supreme Court, since he, or Trump, would have the pleasure of appointing the most conservative, pro-monopoly-corporate, “Christian,” anti-LGBTQ lackeys they could find.

Tell me: what would voting for Jill Stein do, if Trump were elected?

Would her 3%—5% make a difference in the election? You can already see it in the polls: Jill takes votes from Democrats. Trump and Hillary were neck and neck, when Stein and Johnson were included in the latest polls, while a pairing of Hillary only against Trump shows Hillary slightly ahead.

Voting for Jill Stein, if Trump were elected, would signal to him that the left is divided and weak, so he can destroy us as predatory “leaders” are apt to do: by turning us against each other.

Maybe, he/they have already done that, with the help of Brietbart, Fox News, Limbaugh, and all the other right-wing propagandists.

I hope not, but if so: Welcome to their LaLa land!

Sweet Spot For Seniors!

Older in Sweet Spot In ref to NYT 6/15/15

The older generation is better off than any other age group, in large part because the stability of Social Security has given us all a floor upon which to float, rather than sink, in the economic tides.

The extremely wealthy gained almost all of the recovery; seniors hardly. So, a class, the billionaire part of it, especially, siphoned off the good times, while the rest of Americans, with the exception of seniors, were the losers: flat or declining earnings, increased demands at work, including having no time of your own—the “flexible” labor market.

Seniors are not to blame for the declining standard of living of nearly everyone else—except for the very rich. We are only lucky that we have Social Security, and for many of us, yes, we were lucky in real estate, perhaps in investments, possibly in finding a part-time job to supplement Social Security and make possible a moderately middle class lifestyle.

We did not fund the “think tanks” that created the “conservative” agenda, although a regrettable number of seniors may have joined the resulting reactionary counter-revolution.
That money came from the same place as the money now flowing into the electoral system, through superpacs and all sorts of other “legal” ways to buy elections for their own interests.
One of those interests is to somehow persuade people they don’t really want Social Security any longer: it’s Government Tyranny.

Huge majorities of Americans want to inherit it, however; they don’t want to jettison it; they want to expand it.

So, what does the the NYTimes article illustrate: “American Seniors Find a Middle-class Sweet Spot?
It isn’t that seniors have been greedy. So far, we’ve been lucky, Social Security and Medicare now and stable jobs in the past, and maybe even retirement pensions. That is what everyone should be getting. But everyone, not either very wealthy or a senior, took the brunt of the losses of the Great Recession and only the very wealthy gained far more than they’d lost, in the recovery. Flat incomes (in buying power) and loss of job security for the many, stability and modest gains for my generation, wildly inflated incomes engorging a very few.

Bernie Sanders is hitting chords of discontent, and well he might. Most people, even the many who are gulled by Fox and Rush, can see only worse times ahead, not better, and yet we’re still a growing economy—one of the few in the developed world.

I once taught a political science course on Revolution. The dominant theme of all the revolution scholars was relative deprivation: good times followed by the immiseration of most, especially from the middle class, combined with a sharpening class divide from the very rich, was the proximate cause for many revolutions in the past.
It could happen here. I hope not. Radical reform is better than manning the barricades.

Apres Nous, Le Deluge

Apres Nous, Le Deluge: In ref to NYT 6/15/15

The older generation is better off than any other age group, in large part because the stability of Social Security has given us all a floor upon which to float, rather than sink, in the economic tides. The extremely wealthy gained almost all of the recovery; seniors hardly. So, a class, the billionaire part of it, especially, siphoned off the good times, while the rest of Americans, with the exception of seniors, were the losers: flat or declining earnings, increased demands at work, including having no time of your own—the “flexible” labor market.

Seniors are not to blame for the declining standard of living of nearly everyone else—except for the very rich. We are only lucky that we have Social Security, and for many of us, yes, we were lucky in real estate, perhaps in investments, possibly in finding a part-time job to supplement Social Security and make possible a moderately middle class lifestyle.

We did not fund the “think tanks” that created the “conservative” agenda, although a regrettable number of seniors may have joined the resulting reactionary counter-revolution.

That money came from the same place as the money now flowing into the electoral system, through superpacs and all sorts of other “legal” ways to buy elections for elite interests.

One of those interests is to somehow persuade people they don’t really want Social Security any longer: it’s Government Tyranny. Huge majorities of Americans want to inherit it, however; they don’t want to jettison it; they want to expand it.

So, what does the the NYTimes article illustrate: “American Seniors Find a Middle-class Sweet Spot?
It isn’t that seniors have been greedy. So far, we’ve been lucky, Social Security and Medicare now and stable jobs in the past, and maybe even retirement pensions. That is what everyone should be getting. But everyone, not either very wealthy or a senior, took the brunt of the losses of the Great Recession and only the very wealthy gained far more than they’d lost, in the recovery. Flat incomes (in buying power) and loss of job security for the many, stability and modest gains for my generation, wildly inflated windfalls engorging a very few.

Bernie Sanders is hitting chords of discontent, and well he might. Most people, even the many who are gulled by Fox and Rush, can see only worse times ahead, not better, and yet we’re still a growing economy—one of the few in the developed world.

I once taught a political science course on Revolution. The dominant theme of all the revolution scholars was relative deprivation: good times followed by the immiseration of most, especially from the middle class, combined with a sharpening class divide from the very rich, was the proximate cause for many revolutions in the past.

It could happen here. I hope not. Radical reform is better than manning the barricades.