Tag Archives: Green Party

Cornel West, fresh from Democratic platform committee, endorses Jill Stein

Cornel West, who is supporting Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in his presidential run, at a fish fry on Saturday in Charleston, S.C., organized by Representative James E. Clyburn.

New York Times photo

Cornel West, whom Wikipedia describes as “an American philosopher, academic, social activist, author, public intellectual and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America,” recently finished his stint as one of the 15 members of the 2016 Democratic Party platform-drafting committee (he was one of Bernie Sanders’ only-five picks to the committee) — only to endorse Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. West, shown above campaigning for Bernie in Charleston, South Carolina, in January, correctly calls Stein “the only progressive woman in the race” for the White House.

Here is Cornel West’s piece for The Guardian, in full (the links are the original links, not mine):

A long and deep legacy of white supremacy has always arrested the development of U.S. democracy. We either hit it head on, or it comes back to haunt us. That’s why a few of us have pressed the president for seven years not to ignore issues of poverty, police abuse and mass unemployment. Barack Obama said it very well, following the shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, that some communities “have been forgotten by all of us.”

And now – in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and beyond – this legacy has comes back to haunt the whole country.

Obama and his cheerleaders should take responsibility for being so reluctant to engage with these issues. It’s not a question of interest group or constituencies. Unfortunately for so much of the Obama administration it’s been a question of “I’m not the president of black people, I’m the president of everyone.” But this is a question of justice. It’s about being concerned about racism and police brutality.

I have deep empathy for brothers and sisters who are shot in the police force. I also have profound empathy for people of color who are shot by the police. I have always believed deliberate killing to be a crime against humanity.

Yet, Obama didn’t go to Baton Rouge. He didn’t go to Minneapolis. He flew over their heads to go to Dallas. You can’t do that. His fundamental concern was to speak to the police; that was his priority. When he references the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s to speak to the police. But the people who are struggling have a different perspective.

The very notion that Dallas is the paragon of policing is something that needs to be interrogated. The Dallas mayor said we have done nothing wrong, but look at your history. Ask people in southern Dallas about the police. Ask Clinton Allen, an unarmed black man fatally shot by the Dallas police in 2013. I was with his mother, Collette Flanagan, the founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, last year. Countless people came up and told us about all the struggles black communities are having with the Dallas police.

Unfortunately, Obama thrives on being in the middle. He has no backbone to fight for justice. He likes to be above the fray. But for those us us who are in the fray, there is a different sensibility. You have to choose which side you’re on, and he doesn’t want to do that. Fundamentally, he’s not a love warrior. He’s a polished professional. Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Ella Baker – they were warriors.

Obama’s attitude is that of a neo-liberal, and they rarely have solidarity with poor and working people. Whatever solidarity he does offer is just lip service to suffering, but he never makes it a priority to end that suffering.

Obama has power right now to enact the recommendations made after Ferguson: better training, independent civilian oversight boards, body cameras. But he has not used executive orders to push any of these changes through.

This November, we need change. Yet we are tied in a choice between [Donald] Trump, who would be a neo-fascist catastrophe, and [Hillary] Clinton, a neo-liberal disaster. That’s why I am supporting Jill Stein. I am with her – the only progressive woman in the race – because we’ve got to get beyond this lock-jaw situation. I have a deep love for my brother Bernie Sanders, but I disagree with him on Hillary Clinton. I don’t think she would be an “outstanding president.” Her militarism makes the world a less safe place.

Clinton policies of the 1990s generated inequality, mass incarceration, privatization of schools and Wall Street domination. There is also a sense that the Clinton policies helped produce the right-wing populism that we’re seeing now in the country. And we think she’s going to come to the rescue? That’s not going to happen.

The American empire is in deep spiritual decline and cultural decay. The levels of wealth inequality and environmental degradation is grotesque. The correct response to this is: tell the truth about what is going on. Bear witness. Be willing to go to jail to fight for justice if need be.

When the system is declining, it can bring despair. That’s why Black Lives Matter – and all other young people of all colors who are mobilizing – is a beautiful thing. We are having a moral and spiritual awakening. It gives us democratic hope. Its not about having hope but being hope. It’s time to move from being spectators, to being actors.

Among his many other points, I share West’s contention that Barack Obama hasn’t done enough for black Americans, irrespective of Obama’s race.

In fact, I’ve long speculated that Obama has done even less for black Americans than would a president of another race even with a similar political ideology — out of Obama’s fear of being accused of doing too much for black Americans because he is a black American himself.

And yes, of course all lives matter and of course Obama is supposed to be every American’s president, but these assertions often if not usually are made to whitewash the fact that black Americans still struggle mightily — by most socioeconomic measures more than any other racial group — in a largely racist, white supremacist nation.

As I’ve noted, I don’t hold it against Bernie that he endorsed Billary. Because he ran as a Democrat, he pretty much had to. But he didn’t have to do so wholeheartedly, and he didn’t do so wholeheartedly. In my view, he did it with a major wink-wink.

And, of course, we Berners are free to vote for whom we wish, and like Brother Cornel (who, again, helped to write the Democratic Party platform, for fuck’s sake), I intend to vote for Jill Stein, who is not only the only progressive woman in the presidential race, but is the only progressive, period, who still is in the race.

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No, Billary Clinton does NOT have the support of 85 percent of us Berners

2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

The actual number of those of us who voted for Bernie Sanders who plan to vote for Billary Clinton in November is probably around 60 percent. Indeed, a CNN poll taken last month showed that only 57 percent of us Berners would support Billary in November, while 18 percent of us would support Green Party candidate Jill Stein (pictured above), 13 percent would support Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, and 8 percent would support Donald Trump. The widely quoted Pew poll that showed that 85 percent of Berners would support Billary did not give the respondents the explicit choices of Stein or Johnson, wildly skewing its results.

How many of those who voted for Bernie Sanders in a primary election or caucus plan to vote for Billary Clinton in November?

The poll numbers have varied widely.

A Bloomberg poll taken a month ago found that only 55 percent of Berners would vote for Billary, while 22 percent would vote for Donald Trump and 18 percent would vote for Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson. Very apparently and very revealingly, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, the natural candidate for Berners who can’t bring themselves to support Billary, wasn’t even among the Bloomberg poll respondents’ choices.

The Bloomberg poll is, methinks, bullshit, and, by omitting Stein, among other things, quite intentionally skews to the right; no, I don’t see a bit more than a full fifth of Berners actually voting for Donald Trump (I don’t see any Berner voting for Trump, really, unless it’s a Fuck-it!-Bring-on-Armageddon-already! vote).

And the Libertarians are mostly wingnuts, and certainly aren’t diverse, but are mostly white dudes; the Libertarians aren’t a natural fit for Berners, either (although I’m sure that the misandrists who use the defamatory [but thankfully-also-self-defeating] term “Bernie bro”* disagree).

Further, a pillar of the Libertarian Party is “the abolition of the welfare state,” whereas a pillar — actually, the pillar — of Bernie Sanders’ campaign was the strengthening of the welfare state.

Wikipedia defines the “welfare state” as “a concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the social and economic well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life.”

I am a staunch proponent of the welfare state — no, not as defined by the wingnuts (whose definition is something like this: a bunch of lazy people mooching off of the gubmint and our tax dollars), but as defined in the paragraph above.

So no, this Berner isn’t going to vote for Trumpence or for Gary Johnson, but most likely will vote for Jill Stein, in large if not most part because she supports the welfare state as defined above. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein subscribes to my belief that the federal government should exist primarily to improve the life of every common American — not to further enrich and to further empower the already rich and the already powerful, which is what the right-wing Repugnicans and the right-wing Libertarians very apparently believe is the main role of the federal government.**

Another, much-more-bandied-about-because-it’s-good-for-Billary poll is a Pew poll taken earlier this month that found that a rather whopping 85 percent of Berners will vote for Billary and that 9 percent plan to vote for Trump in November.

But, tellingly, Stein and even Johnson weren’t explicitly listed as possible responses in the widely quoted Pew poll, demonstrating amply that exactly how a poll question is worded already loads the dice.

Indeed, The Atlantic noted late last month:

… A CNN poll released Tuesday [June 21] shows that 74 percent of Sanders supporters would vote for Clinton in a choice between her and Trump in the general election.

Yet support for Clinton dropped when other options besides Trump were included in the poll. 

When asked to choose between Clinton, Trump, the Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, and the Green Party candidate Jill Stein, only 57 percent of Sanders supporters said they would back Clinton. Eight percent said they would vote for Trump; 13 percent picked Johnson; and 18 percent went for Stein. … [Emphasis mine.]

Call me a conspiracy theorist, but the corporately owned and controlled mainstream media, a la George Orwell’s 1984, want us proles to support only corporately owned and controlled presidential candidates, so when they poll us proles, they won’t even ask us about third-party or independent presidential candidates.

The CNN poll’s results — with all four candidates included — are, I think, the closest to the truth.

Yes, give Berners a choice in your little poll of only Billary or Trump, and anywhere from around 75 percent to 85 percent of them might pick Billary, but give them the choices that they’ll actually have on their November ballots, and the result is quite different.

My best guesstimate as to the percentage of Berners who truly plan to vote for Billary Clinton in November as I type this sentence is around 60 percent (in line with CNN’s finding), maybe as high as around 65 percent, but certainly not as high as 85 percent.

Note that when CNN included in its poll of Berners the choices of Billary, Trump, Stein and Johnson, Stein garnered the largest amount of support outside of Billary, with 18 percent. Again, Stein is the most natural inheritor of the support of Berners (like yours truly) who can’t bring themselves to vote for the center-right Billary in November.

It’s quite possible, of course, that that percentage of Berners who plan to take an anti-emetic, hold their noses and actually vote for Billary will creep up over the coming months as the full horror of a Trumpence White House becomes clearer and clearer. A lot can happen between now and Election Day.

In the end, Billary might actually capture in November something like 85 percent of those who voted for Bernie. But I don’t believe that she has that level of support today.

And given how close polls have her with Trump, she will need it.

Real Clear Politics’ average of recent polls right now puts Billary at only 4.5 percent ahead of Trump nationally in a four-way race and only 3.2 percent ahead of Trump nationally in a two-way race. The Huffington Post’s average of recent polls right now similarly puts Billary at only 3.5 percent ahead of Trump nationally in a two-way race.

I’m sure that it’s comforting to the Billarybots to believe that 85 percent of us Berners already are in the bag for Billary, but the polls indicate that the Billarybots easily could be in for a big November surprise.

*Glenn Greenwald has written of the term “Bernie bro”:

The concoction of the “Bernie Bro” narrative by pro-[Billary] Clinton journalists has been a potent political tactic — and a journalistic disgrace.

It’s intended to imply two equally false claims: (1) a refusal to march enthusiastically behind the Wall Street-enriched, multiple-war-advocating, despot-embracing Hillary Clinton is explainable not by ideology or political conviction, but largely if not exclusively by sexism: demonstrated by the fact that men, not women, support Sanders (his supporters are “bros”); and (2) Sanders supporters are uniquely abusive and misogynistic in their online behavior.

Needless to say, a crucial tactical prong of this innuendo is that any attempt to refute it is itself proof of insensitivity to sexism if not sexism itself (as the accusatory reactions to this article will instantly illustrate). …

My best guess is that the Billarybots’ invention of the term “Bernie bro” at least in part was meant to shame the “Bernie bros” into supporting Billary (lest they be called sexist and misogynist), but methinks that this tactic for the most part has had the opposite effect.

I mean, I, for one, never was going to support Repugnican Lite, DINO Billary Clinton anyway, but then to be called sexist and misogynist for refusing to support the self-serving, center-right, sellout Billary (whom I’m “supposed” to support only because she is [as far as we know] a biological female and because she calls herself a Democrat) — that only reinforced my repudiation of Billary and her ironically sexist and misandrist bots.

**To be more precise, the Repugnicans want the federal government to actively aid and abet the rich and powerful in their continued war on us commoners. This is, to the Repugnicans, the only real legitimate use of the federal government: to continue their class warfare, using our commoners’ own tax dollars in their war upon us.

The Libertarians, on the other hand, want a dog-eat-dog nation in which the federal government (which has been shrunk as much as possible if not eliminated altogether) just sits back (if it still even exists at all) and lets the canine cannibalism happen.

In either case, the rich and powerful right-wing white men continue to run the show and those who historically have suffered the most in the nation continue to suffer the most.

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Sick of Bernie? You’ll miss him when he’s gone and it’s only about Donald

27DARCY-SANDERS4.jpg

No, despite Slate.com’s recent snarky headline “Bernie Sanders Officially Announces He Will Run for President Forever,” he won’t actually run for president forever.

Bernie’s last chance to be able to sway the Democratic Party super-delegates to his side at the party convention in late July was to have a big win in California’s primary election on June 7, but he lost California (which, despite the conspiracy theorists’ angst, is not shocking, as Billary Clinton also beat Barack Obama in the 2008 California primary; I don’t know what’s wrong with Californians [well, I do have an inkling, actually, but that’s another post…]).

Even that plan (to win over the super-delegates after having won California) was a long shot for him, but now, Bernie’s only hope for the presidential nomination would be if Billary, say, had a major stroke or a major heart attack or died in a plane crash or bus crash or was indicted for some crime.

Bernie won’t win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination unless one of those kinds of scenarios comes to pass, but he does have the right to continue through the convention. He has more than earned that. Against a deck stacked against him, he garnered 45 percent of the pledged delegates (the delegates more-or-less-democratically elected in the primary elections and caucuses).

Think about that: a 74-year-old self-described democratic socialist from Vermont with glasses, wild white hair and a Brooklyn accent whom most Americans have known for only about a year now garnered 45 percent of the vote against Billary Clinton, who has been around longer than has dirt, and whose resume includes first lady, U.S. senator, U.S. secretary of state, and two-time presidential contender. (She is great at holding titles, but interestingly, she sure doesn’t have any real accomplishments to list on her resume.)

The Democratic Party establishment didn’t go down this time, but next time, it certainly can (and probably will); from having blatantly ignored the needs and the desires of us, the people, because for decades now it has been too busy catering to the desires of the corporatists and the plutocrats, the Democratic Party establishment is weak and is ripe for toppling.

For Bernie to drop out now would be to forestall that long-past-due toppling, which he apparently recognizes. (See this pretty good piece on Vox.com on this topic.)

An associate of mine has the theory that Bernie won’t drop out between now and the Dem Party convention because he wants to prevent another Dem convention conflagration like we saw in 1968. Maybe, but perhaps such a conflagration is unavoidable anyway; it has, after all, been that kind of presidential election cycle.

Although this protracted primary battle has been a bit fatiguing, I’m not mad about Bernie taking it to the convention, and if you’re mad at him, reflect upon the fact that not even a year ago, Billary Clinton proudly publicly proclaimed that she is “moderate and center.”

Were Bernie to go away now, Billary would return to the center-right even more quickly than she most likely is going to do anyway. At the very least, Bernie can force her to have to at least pay lip service to progressive values, beliefs and ideas at least through the convention.

If Billary were trustworthy and had integrity and didn’t have a center-right, Democratic-in-name-only, Repugnican-Lite record, Bernie could have exited already, knowing that she’d keep any promises to be more progressive.

So blame Billary for being a DINO, and don’t blame Bernie, for his hanging in there for as long as possible.

If Bernie if nothing else successfully changes the party’s presidential nominating process, such as by eliminating super-delegates and requiring open primary elections in all of the states that hold primary elections (that is, allowing at least independents as well as registered Democrats to vote)** — as he is trying to do — then with his presidential campaign he will have achieved something significant.

Bernie Sanders has run a valiant campaign, and the nation owes him gratitude that he probably never will receive (Americans aren’t very good with the gratitude thing).

The weeks before and the months after the Dem Party convention are going to (continue to) be dismal. As the Democratic Party establishment has done next to fucking nothing for us commoners over the past many, many years, their only “message” will be a message of FEAR of DONALD TRUMP!!!

I’d say that we deserve better than that, but since we don’t fight for more than that (true, some of us do, but most of us don’t), it probably is exactly all that we deserve.

*California doesn’t certify its June 7 primary election until July 15, but as I type this sentence, Bernie has 44.5 percent of the vote that has been counted thus far in California, which is in line with how he has done nationwide.

Alas, California is a reliably blue state, but it isn’t as far to the left as are the other two Left Coast states (Oregon and Washington), both of which went to Bernie.

**The caucuses probably should go, too, as they are open to too much chicanery and don’t allow people who must be at work and people who can’t easily leave their homes to have their voice heard. The caucuses should be replaced with primary elections, and I’d rather that we have one nationwide primary election day rather than spreading the primary-season voting out over several months, but these two latter reforms are more unlikely to occur any election cycle soon than are the reforms that Bernie is suggesting now.

Also, of course, the Electoral College needs to be scrapped. We should have scrapped it long ago and replaced it with a simple popular vote. If it’s good enough that we choose our governors and U.S. senators by a popular vote, then it’s good enough that we choose our presidents with a popular vote, too.

If we chose our presidents by a popular vote, you could say with at least some credibility that when I don’t vote for Billary in November (I’ll probably vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein again) I have helped Trump, but since we have the winner-takes-all Electoral College, my not voting for Billary in November won’t matter at all, since I live in a solidly blue state and all of its 55 electoral votes already are assured to Billary.

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Why I’m on board with Bernie

Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders acknowledges the audience's applause at a campaign event in Des Moines

Reuters photo

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders waves to his audience at a packed Drake University auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday. Sanders has surged in recent New Hampshire polling but still has work to do in Iowa toward winning the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. 

Americans apparently still are hungry for the hope and change that they ubiquitously were promised back in 2007 and 2008. That, I think, helps to explain why U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is doing better in his quest for the White House than even he ever had anticipated that he would.

Initially written off as a dark-horse candidate at best and a joke at worst (replete with mad-scientist-like flyaway hair), Sanders is in the news lately for polling quite competitively in New Hampshire, the first state to hold a presidential primary election (on February 9), right after Iowa’s caucuses (on February 1).

Sanders (who as of late has had his flyaway hair under remarkable control) reaps not only the allegiance of those of us (including yours truly) who still are waiting for that once-much-promised hope and change, but reaps also the anyone-but-Billary vote, since the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden very apparently aren’t running.

This is no poor reflection upon Sanders; you – or at least I – go with the most-progressive-yet-still-viable presidential candidate, and Sanders fits the bill. And kudos to Sanders for not being too timid to compete against Queen Billary, who deserves a coronation now no more than she did in 2008.

It is to Sanders’ credit that until now, with his presidential run, he has not identified with the Democratic Party, but has been an independent, a self-identified democratic socialist (I’ve seen “democratic” there capitalized by some, but that’s quite incorrect), ever since he joined Congress in 1991.

Not that this is good enough for everyone.

Fellow leftist Chris “Chicken Little” Hedges, with whom I agree on most things but whose frequent hysteria and hyperbole make me look quite tame by comparison, has remarked that Sanders “lacks [Ralph] Nader’s moral fortitude” and that Sanders “will, when it is all done, push his followers into the vampire-like embrace of Hillary Clinton. He is a Pied Piper leading a line of children or rats — take your pick — into political oblivion.”

Wow. Condescending and reductionist. (And again: hyperbolic and hysterical.) I support Sanders now (he’s a Democrat in name only, but in a good way, for once), but I won’t vote for or otherwise support Billary Clinton (who’s a Democrat in name only in a bad way) in any shape, way, manner or form. Sanders is not a gateway drug who will lead me into the Billary camp; he will not lead me, like a mindless child or rat, into “political oblivion,” as I’m quite capable of thinking for myself.

Sanders has stated that he had to decide whether to run for president as an independent, as Ralph Nader* has done, or to run as a Democrat, since it’s much harder for an independent to run for president than it is for someone who is aligned with one of the duopolistic parties. I don’t fault Sanders for deciding to run on the Democratic Party ticket, and while Ralph Nader, as much as we might want to vaunt him (and I do admire Nader quite a lot), never has won elected office**, Sanders has been in the U.S. House of Representatives (from 1991 to 2007) and in the U.S. Senate (from 2007 to present), at least pressing for progressive change (Sanders co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus his very first year in Congress and chaired it in its first eight years of existence), albeit with the constriction of being the only self-identified democratic socialist in Congress and more or less being able to caucus only with Democrats.

Chris Hedges proclaims that in November 2016 he most likely will vote for the Green Party presidential candidate, whomever that turns out to be, and that’s fine; that’s Hedges’ choice. I voted for Ralph Nader when he ran on the Green Party ticket in 2000, almost voted for Nader in 2008, and I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein in 2012. (In 2004 I voted for John Kerry, as ousting George W. Bush from office was my No. 1 goal, and from the get-go I saw Kerry as the candidate best able to oust the incumbent [and ousting an incumbent president is usually quite difficult], and in 2008 I fell enough for the promises of “hope” and “change” to vote for Barack Obama.)

If Sanders doesn’t win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, there’s a good chance that, like Hedges, in November 2016 I’ll vote for the Green Party presidential candidate, of which I have a history.*** (I know that I won’t vote for Billary, no matter what. No, I never would vote for a Repugnican, but that doesn’t mean that I’d have to vote for Billary, because I don’t and I won’t.)

But let’s face it: the Green Party is incredibly politically weak. True, that’s in no small part because the duopolistic parties do their best to kill third parties and independent candidates (which is why the independent Sanders isn’t running for president as an independent or on a third-party ticket), but at the same time, Hedges and his ilk encourage us to tilt at windmills (such as by supporting the Green Party) to the point that it’s abusive.

It strikes me that the Green Party had an opportunity to grow since 2000, but has squandered the opportunity – in no small part, of course, because getting leftists on the same page is like herding cats on crack on a hot tin roof.

Chris Hedges calls for all-out revolution, and while an all-out revolution would be great (indeed, I’m reading Hedges’ current book, Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt, right now), it seems to me that we’re still fairly far away from the critical mass that is necessary for one. “Every action we take now must be directed at ripping down the structures of the corporate state. This means refusing to cooperate [such as in the duopolistic electoral process]. It means joining or building radical mass movements,” Hedges proclaims, and again, while I’d love a progressive revolution, and while I suppose that a revolution (a progressive or a regressive one) could erupt in the United States (revolutions often erupt taking everyone by surprise), the fizzle of the Occupy movement leads me to surmise that a progressive revolution isn’t going to happen in the United States soon.

And to paraphrase war criminal Donald Rumsfeld, you go to political war with the army that you have, not with the army that you wish you had. Just as I saw John Kerry as the best “army” to defeat incumbent George W. Bush in 2004, I see Bernie Sanders as the best shot for an actually progressive White House come January 2017.

Hedges, of course, disagrees. “Any further energy invested in these elections, including championing Bernie Sanders’ ill-advised decision to validate the Democratic Party by becoming one of its presidential candidates, is a waste of time,” Hedges, whose columns so often read like fatwas, proclaims, but real-world politics is about getting the most that you can get under the conditions that you actually have while doing your best to improve those conditions. Real-world politics is not about pouting and repeatedly supporting the Green Party candidate who has a snowball’s chance in hell of ever winning, which is tantamount to scooping up all of your marbles and storming home in a huff. (And isn’t supporting the Green Party candidate still participating in the system that needs to be overthrown?)

I don’t see that Bernie Sanders is “validating” the Democratic Party by having become one of its presidential candidates, especially when he has identified himself as an independent and a democratic socialist since at least 1991 and clearly has explained why he is running on the Democratic ticket (again, it’s a procedural thing, not his agreement, tacit or otherwise, with the direction in which the Democratic Party has gone). I see that Sanders apparently is trying to change the Democratic Party from within, which is much more likely to succeed than is the national electoral success of a progressive third party. (Again, the Green Party remains weak and will remain weak for some time; only under a parliamentarian system, it seems to me, could the Green Party flourish in the United States.)

Bernie Sanders might not succeed in winning the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. While he obviously is politically stronger than he has been considered to be (even by himself, apparently) – he seems to have roused a sleepy giant, one that has been disappointed profoundly by Barack Obama – I concede that of course he might not succeed in his quest for the White House.

But it is a worthy quest to at least try to elect the most progressive president that we can, and while that’s still a possibility, I’m on board with Bernie Sanders.

P.S. I found it interesting to read that musician Neil Young, who has a problem with plutocratic jackass Donald Trump having used his song “Rockin’ in the Free World” without permission during his bogus presidential campaign rollout, supports Bernie Sanders…

*Nader ran for president on the Green Party ticket in 1996 and 2000 and as an independent in 2004 and 2008.

**That’s not a slam, and perhaps Nader has been most effective fighting from the outside. In any event, the fight can and should be fought from both within and from without the current corrupt system, it seems to me; this either-or, puritanical bullshit doesn’t sit well with me. Politics isn’t pure; it’s a dirty game.

***Having lived in the very blue state of California since 1998, it doesn’t matter whether I vote for the Democratic presidential candidate or not; the Democratic presidential candidate always wins California and all of its electoral votes in the winner-takes-call Electoral College, which needs to be scrapped for a simple popular vote of the U.S. president. (The last time that a Repugnican presidential candidate won California was in 1988.)

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Obama solidifies his status as a thug

Updated below

U.S. journalist Greenwald embraces his partner Miranda upon his arrival at Rio de Janeiro's International Airport

U.S. journalist Greenwald walks with his partner Miranda in Rio de Janeiro's International Airport

Reuters photos

The courageous American journalist Glenn Greenwald — who, unlike the cowardly traitors in Washington, D.C., actually respects and defends the Constitution of the United States of America — receives his partner, David Miranda, at Rio de Janeiro’s international airport after his partner was detained for nine hours yesterday by British thugs — lapdogs of the Washington elite — at the Heathrow Airport in London, where Miranda had stopped on his way from Germany to his and Greenwald’s home in Brazil.

Wow is the Obama regime out of fucking touch.

To have had the government officials of the United Kingdom — Washington, D.C.’s obedient little bitches (the UK, recall, was the only major nation to join in the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War) — for several hours detain and interrogate the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald and confiscate his cell phone, his lap-top computer and his memory sticks — was supposed to accomplish what, exactly?

If you are smart — and neither the thug in chief Barack Obama nor anyone else in the Obama White House (nor, pretty much, in all of D.C.) is — you always calculate how a strike at your enemy might harm or hinder your own political position. There is this thing called blowback, and when you abuse your power to actually attack your political enemy’s family, you might find that this blatant thuggery gains you even more enemies than allies. 

No doubt the megalomaniacal Obama thinks that he’s some fucking bad-ass and that by having had the UK detain Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda, with whom Greenwald is in a civil union, he is going to frighten — to terrorize, and to terrorize for political gain, which yes, makes it a form of terrorism — anyone else who, like Greenwald, would dare to challenge the D.C. elite by exposing their treason against the American people, even when the D.C. elite brazenly and obviously treasonously are violating the most basic provisions of the U.S. Constitution, of which no one, not even the bad-ass President Hopey-Changey, is above.

Obama is painting himself and his pathetic, plutocratic-ass-kissing, Constitution-violating, corporation-loving party into a corner. Obama and his bots for years now have believed that they don’t need us members of the actual (a.k.a. the “professional” and the “sanctimonious”) left, that they can act just like Repugnicans — with impunity and for perpetuity.

Except that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are even bigger traitors than Obama and the Obamabots are, and that without the support of the actual left, the so-called “Democratic” Party is only going to continue to weaken. You can claim to represent the interests of the majority of the American people while actually representing the interests of only the plutocratic elites for only so long.

Memo to the DINOs (and you are, I realize, legion): We actual members of the left don’t have to vote for the “Democratic” presidential candidate. In 2000 I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, and in 2012 I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. And I’d do it again.

Even if the DINOs who now comprise the “leaders” of the “Democratic Party” don’t worry about losing votes — even if they are confident that enough deeply disappointed and disgruntled Democrats will hold their noses and still vote for the latest center-right offering labeled as a “Democrat” (and labeled as “the best that we can do”) — in order to consistently and decisively win elections, you need the enthusiasm and the dollars of your base, and once you have lost that, good luck in your fucking elections.*

Having the family members of your political opponents detained, when neither these family members nor even your political opponents have broken any law, is, as Greenwald himself put it, despotism. (“It’s bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It’s worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic,” Greenwald correctly proclaimed.) It is, as I have put it, terrorism — the use of fear and intimidation for political gain.

In this case, the political gain is that the D.C. elite intend to continue to blatantly violate the constitutional rights of the American people by making the mere exposure of their crimes against the Constitution itself a “crime,” while they, the real criminals, remain free (instead of in prison, where they belong) to continue to commit their crimes against the American people and our Constitution.

The Obama regime officially has lost all credibility. The transformation of the so-called “Democratic” Party into the Repugnican Lite Party is complete.

The only question now, it seems to me, is whether enough of us actual patriots — those of us who actually care about our Constitution and our freedoms — will fight against the despotic “Democratic” Party (as well as against the even worse Repugnican Tea Party) or whether the United States of America will go out with a boom or with a whimper.

P.S. Glenn Greenwald, I am delighted to see, has vowed to fight on with even more determination than before. As a result of the despotic detention of his partner by the UK, the U.S.’s No. 1 partner in crime, Greenwald proclaimed, “[I’m] going to write much more aggressively than before, [and] I’m going to publish many more documents than before.”

That’s exactly how you respond to thugs: You do even more of what you were doing before. You don’t back down, because that’s what they want you to do, and you use their continued thuggery as evidence that you are on the right track. If you weren’t, they wouldn’t be attacking you.

Update (Monday, August 19, 2013): In case you actually believe that maybe the Obama regime was not behind the unlawful detention of Greenwald’s partner, know that the UK Guardian reports today that “the White House confirmed that it was given a ‘heads-up’ before David Miranda was taken into custody for nine hours at Heathrow [Airport in London],” but that “the U.S. distanced itself from the action by saying that British authorities took the decision to detain him.”

But did the Obama White House instruct or even ask the British government not to detain Miranda? Very most likely not.

And why was Miranda’s name on a “terrorist” watch list no doubt authored by the U.S. government in the first fucking place? Simply because he is a close associate of a journalist whose reportage the White House dislikes?

These are serious, Nixon-level abuses of power. These are not tiny things.

Finally, I recommend that you read Greenwald’s column on these latest events. Among other things, he writes:

…. They [the British officials who detained and questioned Miranda with at least the knowledge of the White House] completely abused their own terrorism law for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism: a potent reminder of how often governments lie when they claim that they need powers to stop “the terrorists,” and how dangerous it is to vest unchecked power with political officials in its name. …

And the money shot:

… This is obviously a rather profound escalation of their attacks on the news-gathering process and journalism. It’s bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It’s worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic. Even the Mafia had ethical rules against targeting the family members of people they felt threatened by.

But the UK puppets and their owners in the U.S. national security state obviously are unconstrained by even those minimal scruples.

If the UK and U.S. governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded. If anything, it will have only the opposite effect: to embolden us even further.

Beyond that, every time the U.S. and UK governments show their true character to the world — when they prevent the Bolivian president’s plane from flying safely home, when they threaten journalists with prosecution, when they engage in behavior like what they did [yesterday] — all they do is helpfully underscore why it’s so dangerous to allow them to exercise vast, unchecked spying power in the dark. …

Greenwald adds that Miranda’s cell phone and lap-top computer remain with UK authorities, who had no legal or ethical right to forcibly take them from Miranda in the first place.

Those who aren’t abusing their power and who thus have nothing to hide have no reason to go to lengths against individual citizens of the world like this.

I hope that Miranda sues the holy living fuck out of the British government, which is as fascistic as its U.S. counterpart.

*Well, of course, one could argue that both the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party (a.k.a. the “Democratic Party” and the “Republican Party”), having stopped representing the interests of the American people long, long ago, rely increasingly on corporate millions and millions to fund their shams of “campaigns,” so no, they don’t need the dollars of individual voters, but still, how long can two duopolistic, pro-plutocratic, corporately owned and controlled parties that stopped representing the interests of the majority of the American people go on?

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Obama’s Round Two already shaping up to look just like Round One

US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Obama (D-IL) shares laugh with Senator Hagel (R-NE) at Amman Citadel in Amman

Reuters photo

Then-U.S. Sens. Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel yuk it up in Amman, Jordan, in July 2008. Obama is expected to nominate the Repugnican former senator as his secretary of defense any day now, because “bipartisanship,” you see, means that a so-called Democrat does things that no Repugnican Tea Party traitor ever would do in kind.

 Let’s see:

“Democratic” President Barack Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated for his second term, and already he:

  • Threw U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice under the bus when she came under attack from the white supremacists and patriarchs, who rather would see U.S. Sen. John Kerry in the position of U.S. secretary of state, since a white male Democrat is better than any other kind of Democrat
  • Capitulated on the Bush-regime-era tax cuts for the rich, having promised over and over and over again to increase taxes on inviduals earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000, but actually having agreed to increase taxes on individuals earning more than $400,000 and families earning more than $450,000  
  • Is poised to sell us out on Social Security and/or Medicare in the deferred so-called “fiscal cliff” fight over the federal budget (after all, he and his family are set for life)
  • Is poised to name Repugnican former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel as U.S. secretary of defense, reinforcing the meme that Democrats are shitty on defense, and doing something that a Repugnican president never would do (i.e., appoint a Democrat to his cabinet, perhaps especially for defense)

Have I forgotten anything? And again, Obama hasn’t even been inaugurated yet for Round Two.

Your vote for Barack Obama on November 6 was significantly different from what Mittens Romney was offering how?

The most immediate next fight in D.C. apparently will be over Hagel, whose nomination might be announced as early as tomorrow, according to Reuters.

Not that Hagel would represent the first time that Obama sold out those who voted for him where it comes to his selection of the U.S. secretary of defense. Recall that Obama, at the start of Round One, lazily, cowardly and stupidly kept on Robert Gates, who under George W. Bush had replaced war criminal Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense in November 2006. Gates stayed on the job as defense secretary under Obama until he retired on July 1, 2011.

My biggest problem with Hagel is that again, a Republican president of today never would put a Democrat on his cabinet (yes, I use “his” because a female Republican president is pretty much an oxymoron), and DINO Obama has sold out the Democratic Party enough as it is.

Yes, I have a real problem with Hagel having referred to former U.S. Ambassador James Hormel in 1998 as “openly, aggressively gay” — we gay men should keep our sexuality strictly and entirely in the closet, just like straight men always do, you see (since when has equality been an American value?) — but I do like Hagel’s reportedly made comments about the “bloated” defense department budget (our national “defense” budget is bloated beyond belief, and mostly represents only the perpetual looting of the U.S. Treasury by treasonous war profiteers) and the insanely disproportionate amount of power and influence that the “Jewish lobby” (I call them the “Israel-first lobby,” because of course not every Jewish American is an Israel firster) has in D.C.

Admittedly, it is unusual for a Repugnican to attack the sacred cows of the military-industrial-corporate complex and the Israel-first lobby, even though both of those sacred cows are milking us dry. And Hagel, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, also apparently wasn’t enough of a cheerleader for the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War — which also is unusual for a Repugnican.

But are there no qualified Democrats whom Obama could nominate as defense secretary?

What’s Obama’s logic here? That as long as his nominee as defense secretary uses the Republican label, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the U.S. Senate will be OK with it?

“This is an in-your-face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel,” Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham– who, along with Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. John McCainosaurus, was instrumental in Obama’s caving in on the nomination of Susan Rice — already has declared of Hagel’s nomination.

Not that the likes of wingnutty closet case and chickenhawk Lindsey Graham would approve of any of Obama’s nominees, but why the fuck can’t Obama at least respect those who voted for him by ceasing to kiss the ass of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, who never return the favor in the fucking slightest?

Oh, well.

As I watch Barack Obama for the next four years continue to sell out those who voted for him — and continue, just like Bill Clinton did, to make the Democratic Party more and more indistinguishable from the Repugnican Party (I lovingly think of the two corporation-loving and individual-hating parties as the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party) — at least I won’t feel nearly as punk’d this time as I did during Obama’s first term, because while I stupidly voted for Obama the first time, on November 6 I cast my vote for the Green Party candidate for president.

As George W. Bush once so wisely declared: Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again!

See you around, fools.

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TIME’s lazy, unimaginative choice

TIME magazine cover of Barack Obama as Person of the Year 2012

TIME magazine’s having made Barack Obama its “Person of the Year” yet again (it first gave Obama that designation for 2008) reminds me of the ludicrously premature awarding of the Nobel Peace Price to President Hopey-Changey-Droney for 2009.

Not that TIME routinely is exactly creative or visionary in its naming of its annual “Person of the Year.” Winning a U.S. presidential election often if not usually is enough of an accomplishment/“accomplishment” for an individual to win the designation. Jimmy Carter won the designation in 1976 and Ronald Reagan did in 1980. Bill Clinton won it in 1992 and even George W. Bush won it in 2000 and in 2004 — and then, as I noted, Obama won it in 2008 and then again this year.

The Nobel Peace Prize selectors are a lot more creative — the only two U.S. presidents to win the prize during my lifetime (I was born in 1968) were Jimmy Carter in 2002 and, as I noted, Obama in 2009. (Well, Al Gore, who actually won the presidency in 2000, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, but he wasn’t coronated as president by the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court.)

I fail to see why, other than TIME’s lack of vision or creativity or imagination, Obama was named the magazine’s “Person of the Year” again this year.

I mean, TIME’s selection comes right as Obama apparently just handed over U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice’s scalp* to the KKK, headed by Grand Dragon John “Sore Loserman” McCain, so that the much more acceptable old white guy (John Kerry) can be made U.S. secretary of state instead, and as Obama apparently is poised to sell us out to the Repugnican Tea Party fascists on Social Security, and Goddess knows what other historic Democratic achievements the center-right DINO Obama will dismantle during his second term. (Surely Obama will be a progressive president in his second term, the Obamabots theorized. The gloves will be off! Yeah, right. I’m so glad that I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein on November 6.)

TIME’s 2008 designation of Obama as its “Person of the Year” I can accept. He not only beat Billary Clinton in the protracted Democratic presidential primary season, which was a political feat, but his election as the nation’s first non-white president was at least a milestone if not technically a great accomplishment.

But TIME’s 2012 designation of Obama is just fucking lazy.

True, Obama, given his dismal first term, is damned fucking lucky to have been re-elected. He promised “hope” and “change” but delivered more of the same. Instead of pushing through a progressive agenda when both houses of Congress were in his party’s control in 2009 and 2010, he squandered his once-in-a-lifetime political capital by trying to sing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors — and thus his party lost the House to the “tea party” traitors in 2010.

Obama won re-election last month only because the Repugnican Tea Party dipshits incredibly stupidly nominated one of the most unlikeable people on the planet as their presidential candidate for 2012.

Multi-millionaire Mormon Mittens Romney is so freakishly unrelatable that even many if not most Repugnican Tea Party traitors had to hold their noses while they cast their votes for him (better the despicable white guy than the black guy again), so of course Mittens lost the so-called “swing vote.”

Obama didn’t win re-election because he’s so great, but because his opponent was so unbelievably bad, replete with telling his Richie-Rich donors on hidden camera in May that he already had written off 47 percent of the American people as being lost causes.

Fuck, make David Corn of Mother Jones magazine, who broke the “47 percent” story in September, the “Person of the Year.” He did more to win Obama re-election than Obama did.

Even TIME magazine’s editor seems to credit changing U.S. demographics to Obama’s re-election more than to Obama himself. Reports Reuters:

[TIME magazine] has tapped U.S. President Barack Obama for its Person of the Year for the second time, citing his historic re-election last month as symbolic of the nation’s shifting demographics and the rise of younger, more diverse Americans.

In announcing its annual selection [today], the magazine called Obama the “Architect of the New America.”

“He’s basically the beneficiary and the author of a kind new America — a new demographic, a new cultural America that he is now the symbol of,” TIME editor Rick Stengel said of Obama, who was also selected for the honor in 2008 when he became the nation’s first black president. …

Obama is the beneficiary of demographic changes and the resultant national cultural changes, to be sure — as well as he was the beneficiary of what Howard Dean built in his failed 2004 Democratic presidential bid (indeed, in 2008 Obama rode Dean’s wave right on into the White House) — but how, exactly, is Obama the “author” or the “architect” of these changes?

Um, aren’t national demographic changes a lot bigger than just one individual?

Barack Obama could fart or sneeze and it widely would be called a great fucking accomplishment.

Only in a dying empire, it seems to me, could this be the case.

*If you thought that Obama actually was going to defend a person of color from the lynch mob to the death, don’t feel too badly. I also actually thought that maybe this time Obama wouldn’t throw a person of color who is under attack by the white supremacists under the bus, but, of course, just as he did with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Van Jones and Shirley Sherrod, he apparently tossed Susan Rice right under those big wheels.

Because he’s a man of character and courage, you see.

Let’s make him the “Person of the Year” every year!

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