Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 15, 2020

Oligarch Buys Political Party - Seeks to Become President

Mike Bloomberg is the world's ninth richest person. An oligarch known for strong racism and insulting sexism who once was the Republican mayor of New York City. He since decided that he wants to become president.

As he saw no chance to run for a Republican party that is happy with Trump he filed to run as a Democratic candidate. Bloomberg has since bought the Democratic Party in every state as well as the DNC:

The DNC told Mike Gravel they wouldn't change the debate rules for any candidate. "That's our #1 rule - we can't change the rules for anybody."

A few months later, they changed the debate rules to let oligarch Bloomberg into the debates... after he gave the DNC $300K.

His political tactic is very simple. He does not talk about issues, as people would not like what he has to say, but simply spends tons of money:

He’s dropping huge sums of money: on staff and resources, on TV advertisements, and on Facebook ads, where Trump has long dominated. And he’s attempting to overcome his stodgy public image with the help of a meme army and through well-catered campaign events seemingly designed to convince voters that life under a wealthy technocrat might not be so bad. “I think it’s classy,” one supporter told the Times at a Philadelphia campaign rally complete drink station and a selection of cheesesteaks, hoagies, and brie-and-fig appetizers. “I feel like it’s a nightclub in here. This is what he needs to get people going.”

To this date Bloomberg has spent more than $350 million for his campaign. He is willing and can afford to put several billions into it. Over the years Bloomberg has given more than $10 billion to build a political and philanthropical empire. He used that money to suppress voices critical of him:

In 2015, Center for American Progress researchers wrote a report on U.S. Islamophobia, w/a 4300-word chapter on the Bloomberg-era NYPD.

When the report was published, the chapter was gone.

By then, Bloomberg had given CAP ~$1.5mm. That number has grown.

The really bad thing is that it works:

3 months ago, polls found Mike Bloomberg “widely disliked” with the highest negatives in the race. Now he’s a top 3 contender for the Democratic nomination. One of the richest humans ever is trying to upend every part of the process. And this is just the stuff we know about.

The Democratic Party and lots of its bought off functionaries seem to be happy with this. They do not mind that it makes the U.S. look worse than the Ukraine. Yes, U.S. politics are always corrupt. But outright buying one's way into office is exceeding the usual stench.

But would Bloomberg, with Hillary Clinton as running mate, really be able to bring out the votes that are needed to beat Trump? I for one doubt it.

Atrios is appalled by the whole scheme but still falls for it:

Bloomberg is bad for lots of reasons, and one of them is PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE SO WILLING TO EMBRACE A BILLIONAIRE WHO IS BUYING (not just ads, but people) THE ELECTION WITH HIS ABSURD FORTUNE. I mean, ok, sure, if it's BLOOMBERG OR TRUMP I'll choose Bloomberg, but why are people establishing this as the choice? It's absurd. The only person who can beat an asshole (fake, I know) billionaire is another asshole billionaire? Broken brains everywhere.

"[I]f it's BLOOMBERG OR TRUMP I'll choose Bloomberg" is, in my view, exactly the wrong response to this hijacking of a party and election. It is this behavior that makes Bloomberg's move possible in the first place.

Any good response to billionaires hijacking elections must demonstrate that campaigns by rich people have a high risk of failing. To vote for a third party or to abstain is the only responsible reaction to it.

Posted by b on February 15, 2020 at 18:28 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Pft @ 30 said;"Any of them will do. All are controllable and will follow their scripts."

One thing is for sure. We'll all find out after the "election". In the meantime I'll cast a vote for whom I like, when the time comes.

All our "do nothing" champions can do as they like, but, that ensures the continuation of a corrupt system. Hope they're being paid well.

Participate as best one can, that's all you can do.

Posted by: ben | Feb 16 2020 0:46 utc | 101

The thing that appeals about Bloomberg presidency is the honest of recognizing that we are ruled by oligarchs.

The Hillary thing is a non-starter. That would be recognizing that we are ruled by Satans mentor.

Posted by: jared | Feb 16 2020 0:50 utc | 102

Posted by: jared | Feb 16 2020 0:43 utc | 100

trump backs far far right netanyahu to the tits, it doesn't get any farther right than that.

Posted by: Bubbles | Feb 16 2020 0:51 utc | 103

P.S. Jrabbit thinks it's a Biden/Gabbard ticket. Not looking too probable, but we'll see.

It's just like posting here at MoA, all therapy.

Have fun.

I like Sanders/Gabbard, but, we all know, that's a dream...

Posted by: ben | Feb 16 2020 0:51 utc | 104

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 15 2020 19:18 utc | 18

"Zionist Bloomberg and Zionist Biden and Zionist Buttigieg and Zionist Klubachar and Zionist Warren and Zionist Sanders competing to race against Zionist Trump." - Exactly Jackrabbit, Can't understand why people won't catch on?????

Permanent War Mode - "Initiated with the 9-11 attacks."

This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon,
Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” Gen W. Clark

Every President is following the same Plan since the 'Skull N Bones' Bush's 'New Pearl Harbor' 911 Staged Event

President John F. Kennedy warned us about the danger posed by tolerating excessive Secrecy, and permitting members of "Secret Societies" and the Military-Industrial(-Intelligence-Media-Political) Complex to slowly covertly subvert our Constitutional Republic ...

Posted by: JohnF | Feb 16 2020 0:52 utc | 105

freddy trump's boy donald used his twitter for twits free to use account to call bloomberg "mini mike"

All else aside.. I remember John F Kennedy, crooked Joe's son saying "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

Then the racists and the war mongers murdered him.

All these many years later, the best America can do is donald trump? ffs

Posted by: Bubbles | Feb 16 2020 1:04 utc | 106

james #73

Thanks for the link to wsws and its report of the survey of candidates as reported in some other propaganda rag.
There are only two candidates in this USA election that seem ok from my point of view:- Gabbard and Sanders.

Sanders seems more viable at this time simply due to his vote margin. Gabbard is a reasonable candidate too and IMO much preferred to all the others. I have no illusions re Sanders. I just see him as the best of a poor choice in the viable candidates. When he gets shafted by the DNC either as a continuing gross manipulation of Nevada and what follows or at the dem convention he could capitulate and try to lead his supporters to the guillotine or he could strike out for independence. If he goes for betrayal then we will see no more of him in any tangible sense.

A judas sheep is used to lead a flock into the slaughter house at most abattoirs.

The wsws story seems to have omitted the Greens; odd that, but then Trotsky. Now I have no idea whether the NYT included the Greens but I doubt it and I don't read that ridiculous site. BUT I would have thought the wsws would have sought their position on the very same questions if it had any intention of assisting voters to make a progressive decision.

So james there is my view and could you comment on is the wsws any better than the NYT?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 16 2020 1:07 utc | 107

ben @102:

All our "do nothing" champions can do as they like, but, that ensures the continuation of a corrupt system.

Voting for corrupt politicians offered by a corrupt political system only strengthens that system.

The establishment loves to see the Turkey's voting for Thanksgiving.

You're being misleading. We don't say "do nothing". We propose the only sensible course of action: support independent Movements. The biggest obstacle to doing so is the establishment shills with the message that "Democracy Works!" when it's clear that it hasn't been working for the vast majority of people for decades.

You can vote or not vote. That is your decision. But don't expect voting to really change anything.

=
ben @105:

P.S. Jrabbit thinks it's a Biden/Gabbard ticket. Not looking too probable, but we'll see.

I have proposed that that is the ticket that the establishment may have planned for us. It's not a ticket that I support.

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

Only genuine, independent Movements (like the Yellow Vests in France) will actually change anything.

Zionism, neo-conservativism, and neo-liberalism are elite ideologies that have destroyed Western democracy.

There can be no accommodation with this new form of colonialism that seeks global domination.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 16 2020 1:36 utc | 108

Any polling firm that concludes Hillary Clinton could help Bloomberg as his VP is either a comedy act or a Clinton front.

Posted by: Liberty Blogger | Feb 16 2020 1:49 utc | 109

If Bloomberg is able to buy his way onto the 2020 Democrat Party ticket it should send a clear signal to the US masses that both political parties work for the same bosses.

That said, I think the world is going to be a much stranger place by next November and increasingly so on the way there.
1. Where are the global coronavirus situation and its economic effects going to evolve to be as minimal, if not catastrophic, dislocations occur throughout the food and other goods supply chain world?
2. What is the situation in the ME going to be and what effects on US politics including
a) Syria (pushing those paid mercs back into Turkey, whence they came.)
b) Iran (has Iraq's back if it wants to push empire out.)
c) Yemen (just shot down a SA jet!)
d) Afghanistan
e) Libya
f) others
g) AND, Occupied Palestine/Syria?
3. What more positioning/posturing has taken place that further articulates the meme of good/bad axis nations, how many nations does US/NATO still have troops in and has the global market crash occurred yet?
4. I have written before that I see major shifts occurring before the US (s)election comes round and world history is not going to wait to occur while US politics takes "center stage" for the next 8-9 months on some folks Plato's Cave Displays because other folks pay billions for it to be there.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 16 2020 1:58 utc | 110

Personally, I figure that if I'm still alive come November I'll take 10 minutes off from campaigning for pay justice and go cast a vote for Gabbard or Sanders if either one is the demrat nominee. If it's not one of them, I'll vote Green maybe, or write in my own name (I'd make an Awesome President). Trouble with not voting is that it doesn't register as a 'fuck all of you', it's just as likely to register as an 'I suffer from apathy'.

I want 'em to know I'm out here, alert, awake, aware, and sans inertia.

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Feb 16 2020 2:03 utc | 111

Goldie goodie, Bloomin bird to be the best thing for Bernie.. No one I know likes him as Hillary herself would say, and fewer yet like Killary.. so its a double negative. Bernie wins by popular default but Bernie will soon discover after winning there is no place in the privately owned Democratic party for Bernie.
No caddie named Bernie is going to be given a ticket to play on the executive course of the Democratic Party.

Trump's profits have been so high, Bloominbird decided to horn in.

Posted by: snake | Feb 16 2020 2:15 utc | 112

b:
""[I]f it's BLOOMBERG OR TRUMP I'll choose Bloomberg" is, in my view, exactly the wrong response to this hijacking of a party and election. It is this behavior that makes Bloomberg's move possible in the first place.

Any good response to billionaires hijacking elections must demonstrate that campaigns by rich people have a high risk to fail. To vote for a third party or to abstain is the only responsible reaction to it."
+++++++++++
This attitude, called out by b, is why Trump won. The 2016 voters were in part trying to teach the Dems a lesson not to try the "anyone but X" "least of two awfuls" gambit again. Surely an important message of the 2016 election is that Dems are tired of being taken for granted and taken on the "Where are they gonna go?" carnival ride.

Now, with Bloomberg, looks like they are trying the same thing over again. What will it take for Dems to learn? Oh, yeah, they will never learn because the DNC prefers the tit to actually doing politics. Call it poliTITs. The DNC is a privately owned entity that is, simply, not democratic. If they swing things again to deny Sanders the nomination I see only one viable scenario, and that is for Sanders to run as an independent and campaign to carry his message to *everyone* DEm and Republican: Fair distribution of the benefits of the country's wealth and public monies is not "socialism." It is EQUITY. I think he could win. The disgust with Bloomberg will be as great as the disgust with Hillary. So, is the electorate finally going to learn ITS lesson? We have to break out of the duopoly straitjacket.

Quite possibly Bernie is the guy to lead the breakout. If he seizes the moment and runs with the ball and completes the try.

Posted by: Really?? | Feb 16 2020 2:22 utc | 113

Mark 31

I agree with you.
Never Hillary.

Posted by: Really?? | Feb 16 2020 2:30 utc | 114

Jrabbit @ 109 said;"I have proposed that that is the ticket that the establishment may have planned for us. It's not a ticket that I support."

I get it, you only support non-existing movements. When one shows up, make sure you let us all know.

Soo why do you bother to eat? It only turns to crap.

Participating is at least therapy, and that is psychically beneficial also, as well as physically.

Posted by: ben | Feb 16 2020 2:35 utc | 115

@8 Veritas X

LEARN HOW TO USE HTML TAGS FOR YOUR LINKS. YOU DESTOYED THIS THREAD FOR OTHERS!!!!

Posted by: Circe | Feb 15 2020 23:06 utc | 80
+++++++++++++++

Yeah, and you: Learn how to post a message without annoying the piss out of everyone by "shrieking" like a madwoman with your interminable use of UNREADABLE CAPITAL LETTERS.

Posted by: Really?? | Feb 16 2020 2:54 utc | 116

For authentic humorous Russian election interference try:

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/bernie-sanders-punkd-russians-posing-greta-thunberg

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Feb 16 2020 3:00 utc | 117

ben @116: ... you only support non-existing movements.

Again, you are being misleading. There are many good Movements to support (though the establishment tries to co-opt Movements):

  • The Palestinian Resistance is a Movement.
  • Yellow Vests in France
  • Occupy
  • Wikileaks
  • The fight against human-induced climate-change
  • Black Lives Matter

But we need more - especially like Yellow Vests. There's a reason why news about Gilets Jaunes is suppressed in other countries.

Too many in USA have been lulled into believing that change can happen only via a simple, easy vote... like taking a pill. But that's no longer possible (if it ever was).

Form and join Movements!

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 16 2020 3:02 utc | 118

Election 2020:

A Republican Oligarch vs. a Democrat Oligarch.

A New York-based billionaire (Trump) vs. a New York-based billionaire (Bloomberg).

America's get-out-vote propaganda slogan, Choose or Lose, is wrong.

It's Choose ... and Still Lose.

This is American (snicker) Democracy in its essence--the best damn democracy that one can buy.

Posted by: ak74 | Feb 16 2020 3:07 utc | 119

@ circe

LEARN HOW TO USE HTML TAGS FOR YOUR LINKS. YOU DESTOYED THIS THREAD FOR OTHERS!!!!

We can't hear you with all of that yelling and there's only one exclamation point at the end of a sentence, not three!

Posted by: anonymous | Feb 16 2020 3:13 utc | 120

Jrabbit @ 119; I support all you mentioned, and Bernie's, not just with lip service, but with actual $ when I can.

And you? It's ALL I can do at my age.

For me, non-participation for a worthy cause has NEVER been an option.

Posted by: ben | Feb 16 2020 3:27 utc | 121

@ Circe; Ignore the critics, keep swinging. If rhetoric bothers em' they're deficient....

Posted by: ben | Feb 16 2020 3:31 utc | 122

This simple image is quite convincing with respect to the oligarch. Last time I checked was before Thanksgiving. Trump was then 3/2, Sanders and Biden were if I remember correctly, 8/1 each followed by Warren and Buttigieg. The entry of Bloomberg has drastically affected things, despite Trump attracting most of the money. I don't recall seeing Pence at any price before now either.

Posted by: psychedelicatessen | Feb 16 2020 3:38 utc | 123

ben @119: I support all you mentioned ...

I don't believe you.

No one that supported Movements (like you say you do) would attack those who call for Movements as "do nothing" (@102) and scoff at "non-existing Movements" (@116).

There is good reason to believe that voting will not actually bring about real change. Those reasons have been described here (money in politics, Obama's betrayal, etc.) as well as reasons to suspect Bernie.

Anyone who supports Bernie as SAVIOR - and/or those who try to depict him as such - is implicitly sending the message that voting alone can result in real change.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 16 2020 3:46 utc | 124

Bloomberg is one of those people who say that if you don't overpay the rich they will stop producing and if you don't underpay the poor then THEY will stop producing. Clearly self-contradictory and subrational. Unless you believe the poor and the rich are 2 completely different species.

Poor, muddlebrained Mike.

Dear Mike, if someone is working twice as much as the average person working average hard, justice pays him twice as much - not any amount between twice as much and a billion times as much. And fairpay does NOT make people stop working. If you want proof just look at the people who are working every day for fairpay, not underpay not overpay, fairpay. The proper incentive for work is fairpay, Mikey, not poverty wages nor overfortunes. Oh and money doesn't trickle down, it percolates up. The way to have a vital, thriving economy is to put the money at the bottom where it will be spent to meet unmet needs, Dear Mikey.

Justice is a virtue essential to happiness, survival, safety, prosperity.

There is no *REASON* to allow superrich on this planet. There is every *REASON* not to.

Happiness is horizontal, not vertical. We humans have climbed the ladder of "success" for so long and found miseries compounding. Lay the ladder flat and have a picnic already Humanity. Nobody is working a billion times harder than anybody else. Nobody works harder than the poor do, just to stay alive.

Maybe we oughta just put a map on the wall and throw a dart and whatever town the dart hits, we get the local prom committee to run this country. Heck, they'd pick a theme (like stop killing people already) and set every table likewise and equal for every class member, they'd bring the project in on time with a meager budget. And we'd all get snacks and flowers on the tables and everybody would dress nice...

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Feb 16 2020 4:08 utc | 125

Bloomberg picking Hillary Clinton as a running mate? This has got to be a bad joke.
I mean like did Bloomberg ever think of why Hillary lost to Trump in the first place?
Certainly it was not because of anything having to do with Russians.
Let us be real; who would vote for an old witch taking about starting a thermo-nuclear world war while her eyeballs are popping out?

Posted by: Robert Shule | Feb 16 2020 4:13 utc | 126

karlof1 #98

A note for those who've asked for the link to my VK Space. All you need do is click on karlof1 at the bottom of my comment and you'll be taken directly there to register or sign in depending on your status.


Not for me using firefox or Opera. When I perform windows trouble shoot (yes I sometimes do that for futility therapy) "DNS server failed to connect" or some such. Otherwise on a straight search clicking on your link I get 'site not found' or some such. I am not in the mood to chase and so I assume the pentecostal thought police are aggressive. Eventually I will summons the will to fight for access but I usually avoid IT rigmarole busting. Perhaps after a tequila margarita.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 16 2020 4:14 utc | 127

Berman,

You forget to observe events, in particular the pledge by Sanders on 5/3/2015 to throw his votes to the Party anointed, the Wikileaks proof of hanky-panky that was more than smoking-gun proof, the campaigning for the Clinton harpy, the renewed pledge this year to throw the votes to the Party anointed.

Then the fact that the legal basis for the invasion of Iraq (and may other countries since) was AUMF 2001, not the specific Iraq vote; that he voted the war budgets anyway, that he never did anything in matters of blocking war -- the opposite -- that he is as much of an imperialist warmonger as any re the aggression against Libya, Syria, Korea, Venezuela, Russia, you name it. Only last week he confired to the NYT that he is ready to use **preventive** war against Russia or Iran.

That, and the fact that there is a "progressive" sheepdog running for the Democratolicans every election since the Flood, tells me that he will do a magnificent, successful campaign again and throw it again. It tells me that he is not any different than Trump, the Harpy, Bloomberg, etc. Except, of course, for the slow thinkers who cannot see that any "lesser evil" thoughts automatically mean creating a worse "evil". The latest sheepdog who was "better" or "if not better at least the lesser of two evils" was called Obama, and how did that work out for you?

Finally, to all those who want to swallow the poison pill just because of health care and such other crumbs from the table of war profits, ask: "why give health care to the population of a country that more than any other has fucked up the physical and mental health of the whole world? Are you crazy?"

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Feb 16 2020 4:26 utc | 128

James wtf are you

See james #73 and me #108

This is no time to be asleep. The empire is in peril.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 16 2020 4:28 utc | 129

Piero Colombo #120

I guess some change or any change excites the enslaved. A great example of the absurd mental and financial health of the USA is oranges. Those beautiful sweet juicy fruit that I can buy here (half way round the world from the USA).

They are cheaper than the local product and no better.

That tells me that the poor schools and health care is because $$$ are diverted to Big Farmers.
And r-soles like Bloomer and Trumper scream socialism. (Except when stealing $$$ for their pets like MIC, Insurance, Farmers). So what happens in mainland USA impacts others everywhere.

But I notice there is no one on MoA at the bar or even in the dark corners talking about the Green Party this time round. Now that speaks heaps. I will do some research and report if I find enough to keep me awake. I also notice that Democratic Socialists are silent too.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 16 2020 4:40 utc | 130

Jrabbit @ 125said;"ben @119: I support all you mentioned ...

"I don't believe you."

Gee, rabbit I'm crushed..

Posted by: ben | Feb 16 2020 4:44 utc | 131

Here in Michigan, we'll be hearing from eight better candidates in three weeks.

If you want to contact the campaigns directly, here's some contact information.

Posted by: jalp | Feb 16 2020 4:58 utc | 132

And we'll be nominating one of them at Wayne State University in Detroit in July.

Posted by: jalp | Feb 16 2020 4:59 utc | 133

The empire is in peril? Of course it is. Every empire was strong though small in its more egalitarian beginning, and every empire has fallen once the inequality of wealthpower reached extremes.

Also, after every bloody revolution in the past (think of France, USA, Russia for instance) inequality has regrown to extremes. Why? Because the people never changed their thinking, never rid themselves of the dumb, self-harming idea to HAVE rich/poor.

Having rich/poor is not the natural order, it is an AFFRONT to the natural order.

The only revolution worth having is the peaceful, lasting revolution where we humans finally murder the diabolically stupid idea to allow overpayunderpay. Fairpay justice is waiting to give Humanity our Golden Age of peace, harmony, safety, security, sustainability, happiness, ease, maximum liberty, smallest government, responsive government... no need for big, wasteful bureaucracy to arise when fairpay justice prevents all those problems the currently-erected bureaucracies keep trying and failing to fix.

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Feb 16 2020 5:00 utc | 134

But I notice there is no one on MoA at the bar or even in the dark corners talking about the Green Party this time round. Now that speaks heaps. I will do some research and report if I find enough to keep me awake. I also notice that Democratic Socialists are silent too.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 16 2020 4:40 utc | 131

* * * * * * * * * *

Sorry I haven't been louder. It's been a busy week, and we just got confirmation of the eighth candidate's plans to appear at that statewide meeting a day or two ago. . . .

Posted by: jalp | Feb 16 2020 5:01 utc | 135

Why are Activists still dividing and diluting their energies by attacking this or that CONSEQUENCE of allowing unlimited fortunes? Why don't they focus on striking the root? There are millions of very negative consequences of allowing no-limits to wealthgrabbing, most certainly including governments being devoured by superwealth, ahem. Failure to place a sane limit on fortunes, based on principles of justice, is the CAUSE of the millions of various very bad consequences. What about this is hard to understand?

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Feb 16 2020 5:18 utc | 136

This country is doomed and the Joos have realized their dream of ruling this country from the top. When the Democratic Party’s top three choices are Joos and the Republican incumbent is all but a joo. This is a perfect storm.

How did we get here? When did the citizens of this country relinquished their sovereignty and decided to stay home and watch the Kardashians instead of being in the streets and take control of their country?

If there is a god, he won’t help since he knows well we deserve what we are getting.

Posted by: alpi | Feb 16 2020 5:38 utc | 137

I would vote for Bloomberg if he gave me and every other other American a million dollars. And why shouldn't he, he's got 60 billion. What actually is the difference between having 60 billion and say, 50 billion? I'm not sure what it would do to the economy if everyone suddenly became a millionaire, but it is easily doable. Bloomberg and other oligarchs could make things so much better for everyone if they would just share a bit. They can't take it with them when they're dead.

Posted by: Blood Flukes | Feb 16 2020 5:48 utc | 138

ben @132: Gee, rabbit I'm crushed..

I thought you might be.

But now that you've outed yourself ... are you Ben Norton? And Max B. is "Circe"?

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 16 2020 5:54 utc | 139


Politicians are not deities.

Bernie Sanders is not a deity.

Vote for Daddy is not politics.

Daddy will fix Everything is not a political position.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 16 2020 6:06 utc | 140

Bloomberg is a DUAL ISRAELI and is one of ISRAEL'S most ardent supporters.
His stop and frisk program while mayor in NY as well as his surveillance of Muslim populations makes him even more dangerous on a US wide scale: He would turn this country into a militarized apartheid regime. And there's just enough racists in this country to support it.

Posted by: Annie | Feb 16 2020 6:13 utc | 141

Benjamin at 101

"Objectively false. 2016 was the year he wasn't running to win so much as just get his ideas into the national consciousness, which he largely succeeded at (he wanted Warren to run, and only ran when she declined..."

"Objectively" one looks at the facts, not cloudy words of the subject himself or one's imagination. The facts, which I listed in part but you skipped, are these:
-pledge by Sanders on 5/3/2015 to throw his votes to the Party anointed ... Wikileaks proof of hanky-panky that was more than smoking-gun proof ... campaigning for the Clinton harpy ... renewed pledge this year to throw the votes to the Party anointed
... there is a "progressive" sheepdog running for the Democratolicans every election since the Flood [...]

Check these facts, one by one. That's what "objectively" means. Where is the fact to support it's different this time? Again, he renewed the pledge to throw the vote to the one anointed by the Party Owners. We know he ain't the one (that's not a fact, that's a bet onto half of my realm.)

As for the, again subjective, delusion that "he's a damn sight better than any of the others", see the facts: He's mainly cheered for invasion and intervention; he's voted for all appropriations. His "Palestinians have an equal right to a state of their own" is standard Dim Party policy to keep talks going until the genocide of the people is completed -- no different than any other Democrat's but for the style. As for US diplomacy, while he was talking sweet at the meetings, he recommitted to preventive war and intervention talking to the NYT.

That you have a need for hope where there is none at all isn't a reason to give up reason. That hope thing brought you the Obamination and you guys are asking for more.

When the problem is the empire, one works to destroy it. Not try to fix parts of it.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Feb 16 2020 7:02 utc | 142

Appalling. The US political system has degenerated into a charade, a money-driven, faux-democratic kleptocracy - the average salary of a member of Congress is $174,000 a year – that’s before the speaking tours, the writing, the kick-backs, the pay-offs, the executive directorship, the bribes, the cheating, the ‘expenses’….you get my drift…they are all rich, rich, rich, rich!! Taking all just listed into account, a member of Congress’ average yearly earnings come in at about $900,000, that’s 12 times what the average American family earns....

https://richardhennerley.com/2019/10/27/a-government-of-the-millionaires-by-the-millionaires-for-the-millionaires/

Posted by: Richard | Feb 16 2020 7:23 utc | 143

@108 uncle tungsten... i realize the choices are bad for american voters.. it is much the same deal here in canada, but our foriegn affairs policy is hasn't killed or murdered near as many people.. however, canuck parliament tends to side with the warmongers in washington most of the time..

if i was in the usa i would be hard pressed to vote for anyone with any great confidence.. bernie has some positive characteristics, but his foreign policy agenda - which is probably my biggest concern - looks like it really sucks.. that is what i get... tulsi gabbard seems like the only person in the usa political arena at the moment that is speaking out against the constant warmongering.. bernie seems preoccupied with other issues, but when i see what he has to say on this topic of fp, it is very unfortunate... so, if someone is going to vote, i think it is important to be fully aware of what they are voting for.. it is a tough environment to vote for anyone on the topic of fp in the usa as i see it..

i was busy playing music tonight and just got home from my gig.. i am sorry i haven't responded sooner.. think of it this way though.. some of us are not as preoccupied with the minute by minute of usa election furore.. we are going to have this madness for the next year and we have had it for what seems like forever already...

thanks for your response.. ps.. i do hope the empire is in peril.. i can't see any of the options changing anything here either.. the usa continues to circle the drain and i see nothing here to change any of that.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2020 8:18 utc | 144

Piero something:
"Objectively" one looks at the facts, not cloudy words of the subject himself or one's imagination. The facts, which I listed in part but you skipped, are these:
-pledge by Sanders on 5/3/2015 to throw his votes to the Party anointed ... Wikileaks proof of hanky-panky that was more than smoking-gun proof ... campaigning for the Clinton harpy ... renewed pledge this year to throw the votes to the Party anointed
... there is a "progressive" sheepdog running for the Democratolicans every election since the Flood [...]

Basically, you observe that Sanders decided to operate within party system, and THUS he is EVIL. Blah. People make their choices, and their reasoning and if these choices are different, it does not imply that they are evil, and if their conclusions are different than yours, it does not imply that they are stupid. Most of your "facts" is based on this type of pseudo-implications.

Concerning the party system, one could wish that it would operate differently, but the wish does not make it true quickly. Some changes were made under the pressure of Sanders supporters, if the movement that coalesced around his person will have some durability, more will come. But I admit that Jackrabbit has a point: American parties do not make "any difference". But his (and yours? Jackrabbit is more coherent) prescription, "make a movement", does not have much of track record either.

Juan "I am the President" Guaido has some movement. Each of the color revolutions had a movement. Plus there are all those movements, some cute, some rambunctious, that make noise from time to time, but otherwise they exist for years while visible and heard by very few. Lots of them are wacko.

The fact is that in the short term nothing will produce needed results, something can go toward those results. A movement may start pure, continue be pure, and grow gradually. If you can start or join such a movement, good for you. Another way is to take over an existing party. That gives potential of much faster growth, but enmeshes in dirty exigencies of politics. The risk is there. Movements, however pure looking, are being corrupted and infiltrated too.

Any way that leads to the top of a tall mountains take considerable time, sweat, and requires to watch your step and keep the eye on the map.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 16 2020 8:47 utc | 145

Berman @146

You write "Basically, you observe that Sanders decided to operate within party system, and THUS he is EVIL"
Wrong:
You put that right under my text: "pledge by Sanders on 5/3/2015 to throw his votes to the Party anointed ... Wikileaks proof of hanky-panky that was more than smoking-gun proof ... campaigning for the Clinton harpy ... renewed pledge this year to throw the votes to the Party anointed". Quite a feat to qute someone and write right below that that he said something else.

If that is the same as simply operating within what you call "two-party" system, we're not living in the same universe. Anyway, what was described is worse than "evil", to use a religious term. It means a guarantee from the start to do exactly as dictated by the imperialist owners of the country, AND to have those who were finally waking up and refusing to vote for them vote for them anyway, thanks to the sheepdog pretend-"progressive" war liberal.

as for "taking over" the very heart of the administrative machine of worldwide imperialist aggression from the ruling class, good night and sweet dreams.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Feb 16 2020 9:09 utc | 146

Piotr Berman | Feb 16 2020 8:47 utc | 146

"But his prescription, "make a movement", does not have much of track record either."

Judaism. Christianity. Islam. The American independence movement. Marxism. Anarchism. Shakers. The Populist Farmers' Alliance Movement. Zionism. Jehovah's Witnesses. Various fundamentalisms. La Via Campesina. Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST - the Landless Workers Movement).

I'd say those and many others have something of a track record.

I can't speak for the others who call for movement-building, but those are the kind of examples I have in mind.

What should be needless to say, the very existence of these movements, and the spectacular success of some of them, proves that it can be done, and gives the lie to the do-nothing sit-on-their-hands cynics who insist it can't be done and that There Is No Alternative to total abject conformity to system-approved fake "politics".

Those are a few examples of the kind of movement that's needed.

By extreme contrast, those who remain swaddled in the system's electoralism and its ultimate sewer, the Democratic Party, are proposing zero change. They're not political people at all.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 16 2020 9:42 utc | 147

Benjamin #101

Sander claims he would preemptively bomb Iran & NK. He also claimed he would start an invasion for "humanitarian" reasons. He is the bigger evil! That's stuff G. W. Bush would do!

Posted by: D. | Feb 16 2020 10:22 utc | 148

Annie at 142.In the movie "riverbed run red carpet" direct action is called for.care to provide proof of said dual citizenship

Posted by: mcohen | Feb 16 2020 10:27 utc | 149

Democracy isn't a form of government, it's a form of crowd control.

The vast majority of people are ill-informed. Half the people are of average or below average intelligence. Would you let someone who is less informed and less intelligent decide for you how to live your life? That's democracy as a form of government in a nutshell. Absurd.

Most people are incapable of dealing with the onslaught from media, marketing, PR and propaganda. The Orwellian world of 1984 is child's play compared with the reality of Western "democracies" in 2020.

Posted by: Symen Danziger | Feb 16 2020 10:47 utc | 150

Phryne's frock #137

There are millions of very negative consequences of allowing no-limits to wealthgrabbing, most certainly including governments being devoured by superwealth, ahem. Failure to place a sane limit on fortunes, based on principles of justice, is the CAUSE of the millions of various very bad consequences. What about this is hard to understand?

A sane limit on fortunes could be solved by a Tobin tax. That could be structured to exclude loan transactions for first home and other socially progressive purchases. It could be a tax that only triggers when an individual has net assets of a certain level.It could be moderated for an individual that employs people at a set hourly income and rapidly moderate where income is greater than set average level. Lots of ways to implement that.

I like a tax on email like a stamp. Or even facebook posts. All offshore income should be taxed at home where the offshore rate is less than the home rate. People with a billion should not exist and where they do they must contribute all in excess of one Billion to the nominated national priority social infrastructure.

Any person with an offshore bank account in a shady haven should be placed on a travel ban list and denied entry to all countries. No national carrier can transport them or they will be fined millions.

I dream on. But I know all this can be easily done.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 16 2020 11:20 utc | 151

Debunking "killing hope" Jackrabbit´s meme that Sanders is a Zionist along with all the rest, and thus "you must not vote":

With Sanders surging in the polls, Israel lobby spends big bucks to sink his chances in Nevada

And about "Movements", it is precisely Sanders who have started one, by empowerising people to work at grassroots level to awake and work hard for their rights and a better future.
I very doubt all these already active people would sit idle allowing Sanders deviate from his platform points, especially related to unprovoked wars abroad.

Since in one of his comments Jackrabbit talks openly against "democracy", one has to think that when he talks about a "Movement" he is thinking in one of far-right style which will finish democracy and everything related, as historically happened in Germany, Italy, Spain, where they ended with a uniparty supported by a "movement"...The worst news is that it is not only political parties what these movements usually finish...

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Feb 16 2020 11:25 utc | 152

How they "kill hope"...an essay on increasing cyphers of depression along the capitalist Western world, whose origins must be found more in the increasing impossible life conditions, lack of future and expectatives of change and less in imbalance of brain chemicals...

A Future with No Future: Depression, the Left, and the Politics of Mental Health

Long read but worth the time....some excerpts to encourage reading:

“HOW DO YOU throw a brick through the window of a bank if you can’t get out of bed?”...

(...)Contrary to mainstream psychological and psychiatric discourse the reason why you can’t get out of bed is not because you have a bad attitude, a negative mindset, or because you have somehow chosen your own unhappiness. Nor is it merely a matter of chemistry and biology, an imbalance in the brain, an unlucky genetic disposition, or low levels of serotonin. More often than not it is a matter of the world you live in, the work that you hate, or the job that you just lost, the debt that haunts your present from the future, or the fact that the planet’s future is going still faster and further down the drain...

(...)The claim: Depression makes manifest the contemporary subject’s alienation, in its most extreme and pathological form. As such, the psychopathology needs to be related to a world of capitalist realism, where there really is no alternative, as Thatcher triumphantly declared, and the future seems frozen once and for all. The crisis embodied by depression thus becomes a symptom of a historical and capitalist crisis of futurity. It is a kind of structure of feeling, as Raymond Williams would say. Consequently, any cure to the problem of depression must take a collective, political form; instead of individualizing the problem of mental illness, it is imperative to start problematizing the individualization of mental illness. The call is for the left, for these specific reasons, to take seriously the question of illness and mental disorders. Dealing with depression — and other forms of psychopathology — is not only part of, but a condition of possibility for an emancipatory project today. Before we can throw bricks through windows, we need to be able to get out of bed...

(...)If the individual is responsible for her own happiness, then she is also responsible for her own unhappiness. If the keys are in our own hands, each of us is personally responsible for almost everything. Success or failure, and health or illness are a matter of subjective willpower, lifestyle, and choice alone. While we may not be able to change other people, or the world for that matter, we certainly can work on changing ourselves and our selves. Structural change, a change of the system, is abandoned in favor of subjective change, a change of the self. Every problem, however social, political, or economic in nature, is personalized and even criminalized, the subject is made responsible for its own unhappiness, and made to suffer alone and to feel guilty, at the same time, for feeling unhappy, for not being a good and productive citizen, for not coming to work, for not getting out of bed....

(...)Capitalism, in other words, inflicts a double injury on depressed people. First, it causes, or contributes to, the state of depression. Second, it erases any form of causality and individualizes the illness, so that it appears as if the depression in question is a personal problem (or property). In some cases, it appears to be your own fault. If you had just lived a better and more active life, made other choices, had a more positive mindset, et cetera, then you would not be depressed. This is the song sung by psychologists, coaches, and therapists around the world: happiness is your choice, your responsibility. The same goes for unhappiness and depression. Capitalism makes us feel bad and then, to add insult to injury, makes us feel bad about feeling bad....

(...)In the wake of the economic crisis, a plethora of studies have looked into the psychopathological consequences of debt. In 2012, economist John Gathergood published a study showing that people awash in a sea of debt experience and exhibit a variety of mental problems, including depression. By all accounts, it seems that being indebted can, and indeed does, lead to an increased risk not only of depression but also suicide....

(...)All of this to say that the current — social, political, economic, ecological — crisis is thus a mental health crisis as well. The perpetuum mobile of capitalism and its exhaustion of resources also pertains to mental resources. The economic and the psychological seem to have become indistinguishable from each other, as the double meaning of depression would also suggest. Naturally, we are not all in the same boat, or in the same bed. We are not all depressed (and those of us who are are experiencing it in the same way, or for the same reasons). We are not equally fucked (up). Some strata of society have access to futurity in ways that others do not, some bear the burden more than others, and some simply die sooner than others. People in Greece during the Euro Crisis, or people in the US higher educational system, are not indebted or depressed in the same way. As shown above, the violence and social suffering are differentially distributed along axis of class, gender, and race; so is the climate crisis insofar as citizens of Copenhagen are not feeling the devastating weight of it as those in Chittagong....

(...)Maybe a good place to start, then, with regards to the politics of depression, is to collectivize suffering, externalize blame, communize care. At this point, the question of responsibility returns in all its force. The neoliberal responsibilization of the depressed subject must be rejected, and, also, replaced by an idea of collective responsibility....
(...)Therapy as resistance, not as reactionary obedience to the given order. Therapy as a collective project, not an individual one. Therapy as the overcoming of alienation.

What might such collective and emancipatory “therapy” look like?....

(...)This is care that transcends the hospital, the clinic, the family, the state, the insurance company, Capital as such (even if one does not have access to those institutions in the first place). This is care which, based on a politicized understanding of mental illness, moves beyond care in its commodified and capitalist form. When bodies take care of each other, when responsibility is redistributed, and individual collapses are transformed into collective intimacies, the future can be (re)built in the name of a communist, shared, and sustainable one....

(...)The point must be, rather, to destroy the material conditions that make us sick, the capitalist system that destroys people’s lives, the inequalities that kill. Thus, creating another world together. But to do that, to get to where that becomes possible, what is called for is not competition among the sick, but alliances of care that will make people feel less alone and less morally responsible for their illness. In alliance with each other, people might eventually be able to get up and throw some bricks.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Feb 16 2020 13:03 utc | 153

- It's simply another confirmation that the US has become a "banana republic".

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 16 2020 13:33 utc | 154

Guys, have you heard? I'm sorry that this is absolutely OT, but they are going to demolish the BBC! I had no idea that this was coming.

B, thanks for yet another week where you've kept our brains busy. So many topics, so much to consider. Will gladly re-post in your next open thread.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Feb 16 2020 13:58 utc | 155

Robert Shule@127 "Bloomberg picking Hillary Clinton as a running mate? This has got to be a bad joke.
I mean like did Bloomberg ever think of why Hillary lost to Trump in the first place?
Certainly it was not because of anything having to do with Russians.
Let us be real; who would vote for an old witch taking about starting a thermo-nuclear world war while her eyeballs are popping out?"

More people voted for Clinton than voted for your god Trump. But since you bring up why Clinton lost, the Electoral College, aka the rules. That's why Buttigieg got more state delegates in Iowa than Sanders, and tied in New Hampshire. Now it's impossible to make perfect rules, but some are decidedly worse than others, like the EC. Clinton should have been president because she won (not lost, despite Sharpie sniffer Shule-rhymes-with-fool.) And Sanders should have got more delegates too. But nobody should be fool/Shule enough to claim Sanders was robbed but their god Trump was the stable genius who won.

It has been annoying enough watching the host "forget" the repeated claims that stable genius Putin had of course won Turkey away from the decaying empire.
It has been annoying enough watching the host ignore that iran has not been supported by the supposed multipolar just world-hero champions like Putin and Xi. But watching the host deliberately feed witless conspiracy theories to support the god Trump is just too disgusting. Goodbye, AfD.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 16 2020 14:05 utc | 156

H.Schmatz @154

Your smears are demonstrably false and deliberately misleading.

Anyone that has followed the conversation and my comments here over many years knows that I'm not "killing hope" and I am not "far-right".

And I'm not saying that "you must not vote". I can't stop people from voting. I'm saying: if you really want change, you must support Movements.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 16 2020 14:18 utc | 157

The best advertisement for Bernie Sanders is the hatred spewed out of every evil corner in this country...lobbyists, the Main Stream media, and the establishment. I am a Sanders supporter even though I know he is not perfect. I believe he will utilize Tulsi Gabbard in a significant role and have seen that he has engaged Michael Hudson on the economic side. How can anyone argue he is the best hope for a shakeup of TINA? And furthermore the huge and organized campaign strategy may be useful in the future for a yellow vest effort.

Posted by: Linda Amick | Feb 16 2020 14:23 utc | 158

Russ 148

Other successful Movements: Women's suffrage, Abolitionism, the Civil Rights Movement.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 16 2020 14:33 utc | 159

if you guys really want any type of turnaround what so ever. it has to be written in. and counted by hand.

anything else repub or demo or even three party without at the minimum four "real" parties is a mockery of ethics. as the third party is just a bunch of guys from the first and second hoping to siphon off votes to offset the prime candidate in exchange for a little power i.e. corruption.

this is not to say some candidate can go through the power of the parties and become a real president, but the chances are next to nill. i have to say trump has become full blown imperialist, it is an act, but it is one that he has to wear fully and lie to himself in or else they will give him a t shirt maybe?

Posted by: jason | Feb 16 2020 14:47 utc | 160

Really ??@117:

Replace "madwoman" with "fishwife."

Posted by: Morongobill | Feb 16 2020 14:51 utc | 161

Jackrabbit Feb 16 2020 14:18 utc | 159

" I'm saying: if you really want change, you must support Movements."

This is trivial. But you constantly use this trivial argument against voting or against people like Sanders.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 16 2020 14:52 utc | 162

Democrats. The people's party. Lololololol. What is a deplorable to do? At least we got our guns and religion to cling to. Maybe Obama was correct. We do feel antipathy to people who aren't like us. People who cheat, lie, and steal in order to gain positions of power.

Posted by: Goldhoarder | Feb 16 2020 15:04 utc | 163

Linda Amick @160

Great comment.

Let me explain why people should not expect much from Bernie's campaign/Movement.

Bernie's Movement is essentially a Democratic Party insurgency.

It dies when Bernie declares victory via pointing to how he has changed/influenced the Democratic Party. That will satisfy MOST of Bernie's supporters and Sanders will join in the BIG PUSH to

The Democratic Party honchos know this and will give Bernie the "victory" that he needs. That victory will take the form of: a VP, platform changes, etc.

Those of us who are suspicious of Bernie have pointed out how the actions of this politically astute and supposedly committed progressive aren't consistent with winning and making change really happen: sheepdogging for Hillary in 2016; pulling punches (not effectively defending his campaign); and unilaterally disarming (announcing that he will support any Democratic Party candidate in the general election).

The good news is that we don't have to rely on Bernie. We can join and start Movements that are independent of political Party.

Not everyone sees game that is being played. Not everyone sees the futility of elections today. Not everyone sees that Western democracy has been hijacked by unscrupulous elites that have jelled around Zionist/neo-convervative/neoliberal ideologies.

So support whomever you like. Vote for whomever you like. But when your hopium crashes against the establishment rocks and you realize that you've been had, join a Movement.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 16 2020 15:35 utc | 164

He's connected -- extremely well connected... Wondering if there's a way to post photos here on this site as think a post with visuals in this case I think would help? Or, if someone could direct me to a site I can upload NOT instagram ...

Posted by: Jayne | Feb 16 2020 15:41 utc | 165

Hausmeister | Feb 16 2020 14:52 utc | 164:

This is trivial. But you constantly use this trivial argument against voting or against people like Sanders.

No. It's not trivial.

The establishment's war against the Occupy, Wikileaks, and the Yellow Vest Movement show that it is not trivial.

No. I don't use Movements against voting.

Those who push Sanders as a SAVIOR use voting against Movements.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 16 2020 15:41 utc | 166

EW: Blood Flukes | Feb 16 2020 5:48 utc | 139 "I would vote for Bloomberg if he gave me and every other other American a million dollars. And why shouldn't he, he's got 60 billion."

1 billion = 1,000 million so 60 billion = 60,000 million, (60,000 people would get 1 million)

US population= 327 million

to give everyone in the US a million dollars, you would need 327 million million dollars (327 trillion dollars)

Posted by: Perimetr | Feb 16 2020 15:57 utc | 167

>> For me, non-participation for a worthy cause has NEVER been an option.

A vote of no-confidence is participation.

Don’t participate in the manner TPTB told you.

>> But you constantly use this trivial argument against voting or against people like Sanders.

No, that’s not JR’s argument against opting for Sanders. That’s his defense against the “hate JR the messenger” crowd telling him he doesn’t support or encourage any action. Do you recognize the difference?

>> The best advertisement for Bernie Sanders is the hatred spewed out of every evil corner in this country.

It’s theater. Every play needs antagonists. Real enemies of TPTB don’t get exposure at all. They’re never on stage.

>> More people voted for Clinton than voted for your god Trump.

We don’t know that. Electronic vote tallies are worthless. Indeed, we also don’t know whether Trump won the state’s he supposedly won. I can think of a few reasons TPTB might’ve decided (late) that Shillary was not the right choice.

Posted by: jeffe | Feb 16 2020 16:02 utc | 168

What “kills hope” for people? It’s a personal choice or perception.

At this moment, what “kills hope” for me is watching intelligent people, like you keen people who patronize this bar, announce their intention to follow Bernie to the abattoir.

If half of the keenest 1% of the pro-peace, pro-justice, pro-sharing people are still this misled, then, at least right now, fuggedabout changing anything. You people are hopeless.

Posted by: jeffe | Feb 16 2020 16:13 utc | 169

Bloomberg is insanely wealthy. (How that comes about, what it implies, other story .. which should be of concern) Imho he is the only one at present who stands a slim chance of beating Trump — in a regularly-rigged vote which only falsifies tops 5%, usually less (that is without counting vote supression moves.)

Booty-gig is a ridiculous figure, he has been compared to Random Guy-Do, which seems very apt.

Warren is there only to draw support away from Bernie. She was a poor prof (incl. Harvard) imho but who am i.

She is an opportunist and a transparent liar, see Pocahontas, has not skills or savvy of any kind to speak of. Wait till Trump points out that she wrote a book about the squeezed middle class - written with her daugher btw (see Hunter B, Paul P, Chelsea C, etc..) The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke and subsequently she and her family house-flipped like mad making out like bandits.

link is off the top of goog MSM and underplays.

https://www.bostonherald.com/2012/06/02/records-prof-profited-by-buying-selling-homes/

How can ppl still believe in these charades? Was / is Trump so different from Obama - besides the ‘look’ the ‘speech’ aka public persona in social terms, and the vilification from different sides?


Posted by: Noirette | Feb 16 2020 16:39 utc | 170

Why do Democrats always harangue Bernie Sanders with: Will you support the nominee???

BERNIE SHOULD ANSWER: I'm going to win. So will YOU support the Nominee???

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you YOU DUMB FCKS!

They're asking of him what they would never give him and his supporters. If they install Bloomberg at the Convention...SUFFER TRUMP AGAIN!

Bernie should get everything he wants IN WRITING! In other words, before agreeing to support the nominee, the Dem Party should put in writing that they'll support him 100% if he wins the majority of automatic delegates, and if not (impossible he will win), he doesn't release his delegates without his demands for changes agreed to in writing.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 16 2020 16:50 utc | 171

@ Posted by: Noirette | Feb 16 2020 16:39 utc | 172

The problem with an eventual Bloomberg election would be that Wall Street would be very well positioned to receive another unlimited bail out when the next recession come to the USA (and it will come. Insider information state that the main agents of Wall Street are already resigned to the fact - it is only a question of when and how bad will it be).

If the American elect Bernie Sanders, there would at least be a non-zero fighting chance against another Wall Street bail out. No, Bernie Sanders will not let Wall Street fail because that would mean the end of the USA, but at least he would try to bail it out on some conditions of extra regulation.

And sincerely, I don't think why the American people wouldn't want that. After all, even the far-right aims to turn back the clock to the 1950s-1960s - when the USA was at the apex of its strength and beauty. That's what Bernie Sanders wants, too. And that's what many "centrist" ideologues also want (albeit, in their own, warped way of thinking).

As a communist, it's my job to tell you that this "time machine" strategy will fail - and will fail badly. It will only accelerate the American descent to full-fledged nazifascism and thus only pull the world a step closer to the abyss of nuclear war. But I recognize capitalism was very nice to the American people, so its natural for the American people to fight until the end to save capitalism from self-destruction.

Posted by: vk | Feb 16 2020 16:57 utc | 172

Care to explain Sanders warmongering support for preemptive strikes on Iran and North Korea?

He said this in the New York Times of all places.

If Sanders is ok with that, someone should ask him if he'd be ok with a Russian or Chinese leader suggesting they would consider a preemptive strike on the U.S. if they were planning a weapons test or on humanitarian grounds!

Posted by: Carciofi | Feb 16 2020 17:25 utc | 173

@ Posted by: Carciofi | Feb 16 2020 17:25 utc | 175

I think it's easy for Bernie Sanders to say he would support preemptive strikes on Iran and North Korea because, deep down, he knows they will never happen.

If the USA could realistically strike preemptively Iran and North Korea, it would've already done that decades ago. They would've done that now, with Trump in charge.

It is really a nothing burger in the context of contemporary American domestic politics.

Posted by: vk | Feb 16 2020 17:48 utc | 174

uncle tungsten 153 - Thanks lots for that post. You sound like you must be one of the 10% bellwethers who the 90% rest of the herd will someday start to follow to safety.

If people think it is too much work to make the rescue switch from everybody having the idea to have everybody go after getting any amount of wealth they can manage to grab,, to having everybody convinced of the survival necessity to have everybody go after the amount they contributed to the pool of wealth by their own work, no more and no less -- they should just consider the very VERY much greater amount of work coming down the pike if we DON'T make that switch.

We are in a globalocal emergency and we are in a race between education and catastrophe.

As you say, uncle tungsten, it is EASY to establish counter-measures to the ceaseless and automatic and unjust drift of wealth away from its rightful earner-owners to the freebie-getters. Nobody really believes in the overpay-underpay dystem. The problem is getting humans to overcome inertia and start acting in accord with what everyone already believes. Once the will is there, the hardest work is done.

more to come and thanks again, uncle tungsten

and to the board, for pity sake, somebody will sit in the white house. far as I can tell, those here who figure sanders will do less damage than most are not advocating doing nothing more than voting. supporting him until the convention does not equate to obeying his instructions to support someone else after if he aint the pick. it would be helpful if peeps would stop the pretense.

and all caps ARE very hard to read when strung together in whole sentences. would be helpful if that would stop, too in my humble opinion

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Feb 16 2020 18:12 utc | 175

>And furthermore the huge and organized campaign strategy may
>be useful in the future for a yellow vest effort.
>Posted by: Linda Amick | Feb 16 2020 14:23 utc | 160

Unless the Bernie People are building a new organization while collecting donations and registering voters, the day after the election everything stops. The most competent people will be hired by stink tanks, congressional staff, etc. while everyone else just goes back to the daily struggle.

Essentially the Bernie People are just salesmen, selling everybody on the idea that all they need to do is donate and vote for Bernie. Every candidate has the same messages:

Vote for me so *I* can be in charge
I'm in favor of jobs and against crime

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Feb 16 2020 18:23 utc | 176

To Steven at #158.
Truth is some people's votes count more than others here in the U.S.A. That was and is the deal since our Country's inception, and for good reason. People in rural areas own and care for the land upon which the rest of our country depends. So, they have the right to have more say about what is going on in the country than urban folks. And for this reason the delegate split, and the electoral college. Then too, we do not have one election, but fifty elections, one in each State. So, that is why one can win an election without getting the popular vote. And if you think it through it IS fair.
Now, fact is rural folks just can't stomach a fat witch with popping eyeballs talking thermo-nuclear war and LGBT rights, and neither can a good many city folk. There are more Democrats in the U.S.A. than Republicans who can overwhelm any Republican vote, but if the Democrats put up a nut-job candidate as they did in the last Prez election, a good many Democrats will stay home and give the win to the Republican. That is what happened.

Posted by: Robert Shule | Feb 16 2020 18:32 utc | 177

Some folks tell us that the predator will be hard to unseat, unless we go cold stinking oligarch. I think that would mean capitulating to a selection rather than seizing a democratic choice. To turn government back to serving people, to stem the tide of lawlessness, to collar or regulate the greediest SOBs, to move toward the universal healthcare that most enlightened nations have, and to back off from pointless and endless wars,---Bernie Sanders is still our best shot. So just face it, we can't expect, or have perfection in any human. Bernie is at least his own person and is not dancing like a marionette on the strings of the ruling class.

Posted by: Copeland | Feb 16 2020 18:47 utc | 178

@ Posted by: Robert Shule | Feb 16 2020 18:32 utc | 179

This "if we don't give parity to the rural people, we'll starve to death" narrative is a myth.

The reason the USA uses an electoral college system is very simple: it was born that way. It is literally the united states. That means representation in the union is by states, not by people. Now, the advantage of this system at the time was that is facilitate and, therefore, accelerate territorial expansion in a very hostile environment (of colonial superpowers).

When the system itself reached its natural limits (somewhere around the time of McKinley), it was enshrined and sanctified. It "stuck".

The USA has one of the most modern agriculture in the world. It is almost entirely mechanized. Production, divided by the "belts", is completely maxed out and rationalized. The federation has de facto complete control of the farmers, through its subsidy system. The farmers are, for all purposes and intents, federal employees.

And the USA is not alone in this regard: every developed country has a centralized and rationalized agriculture. Even when the farmer class has signicant political power (e.g. Europe, specially in France, Germany and the Netherlands), the government has huge leverage in negotiations over what is produced and how much - again, through the subsidy system. It is practically inevitable: there will be bad crops, and the farmer won't want to be bankrupt; the State simply gives them a guarantee of a minimum price (essentially, a permanent subsidy), plus other subsidies in exchange for more concessions. The Armed Forces of each country also give an unsurmountable leverage to the State over the farmers, since every self-respecting nation-state has a food security plan in case of total war.

No need to say that the urban people will never want to get rid of the farmers. They will never vote themselves to starvation. It is an absurd thesis to claim that the urban areas have a crazy obsession to crush the rural areas.

But they will want to mechanize it, in order for more food to be produced. And History is on the side of the urban people in this case: mechanization has really got rid of starvation - and not the farmers themselves. During the earlier stages of the Russian Revolution, the peasant class refused to use the new tractors given by the government, under the argument they were the "anti-Christ". They were crushed, the Soviet farms were all collectivized, production was mechanized, and Russia lived its first time in history without hunger.

Posted by: vk | Feb 16 2020 18:50 utc | 179

@ 153 uncle tungsten... quote "I like a tax on email like a stamp. Or even facebook posts." like whenever someone makes a google e mail, or posts on facebook - google and facebook have to pay a small fee? great idea... if you are referring to the people who make the e mails or fb post - bad idea.. you are still going after the little person.. just remember though facebook and google are running things and would never allow a tax like this..

Posted by: james | Feb 16 2020 19:38 utc | 180

Vk @ 181
Fair enough. The matter is more complex than both you and I make it out to be. But the crux of it all though is that we do have a system of State representation,not people representation (something which most people do not understand.), and that the whole matter does come down to land. Namely, that people in low population areas, i.e. rural areas, e.g. States with low populations, and counties within States with low populations, get a fair representation in the whole.

Posted by: Robert Shule | Feb 16 2020 20:18 utc | 181

@143

Yes, I'm well aware of his pledge. That he's pledged to support the Democratic (sic) nominee if it isn't him, and that he's genuinely trying to win, aren't mutually exclusive.

He's walking a tight-rope. He actually wants to win and achieve power to effect change, and that requires (sorry, but it just does) going through one of the two major parties. He's attempting to win the nomination while not driving away less radical Democratic voters in the process. He's going to need them in the general election.

Part of that, as well as getting the party leadership to allow him to run as a Democrat, involves him bending the knee, first supporting Clinton in 2016, and now pledging to support whoever the nominee is.

I absolutely understand the immense frustration at him kow-towing to these assholes, but it's a calculated decision on his part.

On top of that, the Democratic Party will have to be confronted sooner or later anyway. Since it can't be relied upon to support a progressive agenda (and in fact can be relied upon to oppose it), it is an obstacle to change, just like the GOP is.

Sanders position is that the Party can be seized and reformed. He plans to do this by expanding the voting base; getting the vast number of people who don't vote at all engaged (by contrast, the DNC's plan is to appeal to moderate suburban Republicans who are horrified by Trump).

Will his plan work? I don't know; he's fighting the party establishment and media every step of the way. His approval ratings seem to show it's working though; he is liked and respected by a majority of Democrats. If his plan fails, and in the worst case scenario, he'll have to pledge his support to a billionaire oligarch, which would be a truly ignoble end to his political career.

There's room for nuance here, is my point. He's playing politics because he has to. That doesn't mean he isn't still genuine in his goals.

Also, who he endorses doesn't mean I, as a Sanders supporter, have to vote for them. I'm supporting Sanders, not the Democrats. If the Dems don't nominate Sanders, I will either vote Green, as I did in 2016, or write in Sanders out of sheer spite.

Posted by: Benjamin | Feb 16 2020 20:18 utc | 182

Circe@173

Sanders is not a movement!

If you want to see a movement consider Algeria and their overthrowing of their corrupt regime. If you travel to the Place de la Republique in Paris you will see a village of stands representing the various groups protesting the Macron Regime. Across from these stands are the Algerian French who are explaining how they got rid of the Bouteflika regime and are working at changing the residual military regime put in place at the end of the Algerian war.

There is a disconnect between your view of “Democracy” and the US Constitution: People do not vote for President and Vice President as it is electors who vote depending on the will of their State Legislators.

US Constitution Article 2 Section 2
“Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.”
https://constitutionus.com/

for a deeper understanding on so called “elections” see:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV91WRJbx0c

Posted by: krollchem | Feb 16 2020 20:43 utc | 183

Fvck Hillary, Michael, choose Erdogan. A perfect running mate for two rats.

Posted by: Taffyboy | Feb 16 2020 21:14 utc | 184

Of course we must support Sanders if there's nobody better,The main issue is not that he would be elected,but that his themes are discussed on a daily basis.To prevent this they put up Bloomburgher.
Talking about starting a movement.Why can't americans go out in the street and claim the demise of the whole political scene ,like they do in Beirut,in Bagdad,Santiago,sort of kick out the jams movement?The media do like it very much if it's over there,in the tiny dirt somewhere.I think there must be large crowds that could be motivated to participate particularly if it is presented in a positive way,with references to the feats of american history,conquering of the West and so on,but taking in account the fact that your forebears indeed stole land of the red man.You stole it,now it is on the way to be stolen from you,but not by the original roamers.To make it work begin the Long March of the despised and deplorables ,the homeless and the jobless,the veteran's sick of it,to DC on foot and horseback from the West-coast to Washington DC,following ancient historic trails,(pump up the symbolics in your narrative)in the opposite direction.Gaining momentum with the support of the soon to be overruled Sanders supporters,the clever youngsters and students ,just people meeting people on the way showing solidarity by offering food and shelter,having joyful discussions talking about their lives and why the roads are so badly kept.
When asked about the goal,it's just getting rid of the government and its secret agencies.Take back your country,make DC the new frontier.On the way collect in a symbolic way the bullets that flew in the past to kill the originals on behalf of the rich.Refuse arms-bearers to join .If armed people want to join,make them take a parallel trail on a safe distance,say between twenty and forty miles.Make the government sweat with millions marching on Washington,who actually went there on foot,and the armed company at a safe distance from DC,but making a circle around it,at say twenty miles.Occupy Capitol Hill.Then talk Constitution and a new organisation of state,where federal government will take care of nationwide infrastructure,and international relations,with real diplomats.By that time some people' heroes will have arisen,anyways it's really none of my business ,but what can I as an european under nuclear threat do otherwise than cheering you american folk up in to action,peaceful action.

Posted by: willie | Feb 16 2020 23:40 utc | 185

Sanders is not a movement!
If you want to see a movement consider Algeria and their overthrowing of their corrupt regime. krollchem | Feb 16 2020 20:43 utc

Or a movement to overthrow corrupt Assad regime, not to mention the previous movement to overthrow Algerian regime and which produced 10 years of civil war. Those things can go wrong. Death tolls in hundreds of thousands, this kind of things.

In any case, all those examples miss the practical point that street movements do not lead to change in USA. Sociological reality matters. I want to stress that uniformity is neither possible nor necessarily desirable. One has to appreciate diversity of world views and commonality of goals -- certain goals. Working to change the discourse and eventually position of Democratic Party does not forbid others to make street demonstrations against bad banks, cruelties to trees and animals or anything else.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 16 2020 23:53 utc | 186

RE: Hillary: If Ms. Clinton takes office as VP, she will definitely implement a shadow government a la Cheney, and run things off the record, behind the scenes. As she's already done with the email server, and masterminding the Steele affair used to Russiagate Trump. These will be small potatoes compared to the power of the VP office.

The President has to worry daily about running the country; and so his attention stack is full, and he has little cognitive space for special projects. The VP has nothing to do but sit on her hands, and coordinate extremely involved special projects. Hence Cheney in Iraq, and Biden in Ukraine.

targets could include Iran and Russia.

Posted by: Imagine | Feb 17 2020 1:51 utc | 187

Piotr Berman @188: street movements do not lead to change in USA

1960's Civil Rights and Anti-war Movements led to many changes.

Yellow Vest protests are virtually ignored in USA while Bernie is is trumpeted as a savior. Why is that?

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 17 2020 3:04 utc | 188

--No clear majority in the first DNC. Sanders wins by 30%; Bloomberg by 30%; Buttigieg 20%, Biden 10%, others 10%. DNC goes into second round. Superdelegates come into play. Shenanigans: Sanders is shut down arbitrarily, and Bloomberg is crowned Dem Candidate in the smoke-filled backrooms way before the kabuki plays out before the crowd. If Clinton is actually in the mix as VP, this scenario is almost an assured outcome.

--Presidential election is a toss-up. Trump wins by a nose, as he is more hypnotic than Bloomberg and gives better rallies.

Posted by: Imagine | Feb 17 2020 3:23 utc | 189

'To vote for a third party or to abstain is the only responsible reaction to it.'

Not if there are genuine policy differences between the two bastards. Bloomberg is a bastard that happens to believe the science on climate change and he happens to believe women aren't just brood mares for the state. If those positions matter to you it is irresponsible to let Trump win.

Posted by: Sigil | Feb 17 2020 4:40 utc | 190

Jackrabbit,

if the question is Bloomberg or Trump, I have a simple choice: I am not a citizen, I am allowed to contribute to campaign, or "movement activities". You will not see "Bloomberg" or "Trump" on my lawn, or "Mike" T-shirt in my chest of drawers. I have "Tulsi" T-shirt and I will have another, with long sleeves. But I may consider Sanders.

Sanders got some good ideas, and while it took him long sweet time, he got some foreign affair team which is "not so bad". In The Hill I read a reaction of some creature, name Schoen, claiming to be advisor of Bloomberg and Hillary. Pure, unadulterated horror. It is like in the Bible, "The Jews turned away from the Lord, so he send them Mike Bloomberg". Or like with Pharoah of Egypt, USA deserves seven plagues. Frogs, Obamas, this kind of stuff. Perhaps we should count up to seven and quietly build a movement. But Sanders does not look like a calamity to me.

By the way, Google has ways of tracking my browsing and adjusting ads accordingly, I got more than average share of Tulsi, hardly any Sanders, but now I started to see Bloomberg. Right now: "Not a mayor. The mayor. Support Mike" with a photo of a creature resembling a vulture. My guess is that they want to use Stockholm syndrome to get votes.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 17 2020 6:01 utc | 191

Aha, Shoen the "advisor" was reacting to the fabulous peace plan that was "unveiled to wide acclaim", and with sadness observed that only 43% of self-diagnosed Democrats support Israel more than Palestinians, unlike Republicans with 74%, so --- Democrats should re-think their approach to Israel. The novel idea is to make it a party principle that support for Israel is UNCONDITIONAL, whatever the government there is. Measures (unspecified) should be taken to enforce it in the face of "elements" that lamentably appeared in the Democratic Party. Israel now, Israel tomorrow, Israel forever!

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 17 2020 6:08 utc | 192

Piotr Berman @188

Assad is an elected and highly respected leader of Syria. It is the Zionist fascist Israel that supports ISIS and other terrorist groups and is responsible for rivers of blood as one Rabbi put it. Israel should not exist according to real Jews.

As for my comment on Algeria You did not address my comment.

Posted by: krollchem | Feb 17 2020 8:11 utc | 193

james #182

@ 153 uncle tungsten... quote "I like a tax on email like a stamp. Or even facebook posts." like whenever someone makes a google e mail, or posts on facebook - google and facebook have to pay a small fee? great idea... if you are referring to the people who make the e mails or fb post - bad idea.. you are still going after the little person.. just remember though facebook and google are running things and would never allow a tax like this..


My intention is that its a tax on the corporation. I don't care whether they are pretending to 'run things' that is where such a tax could apply. Emails are slightly different as corporations use vast numbers. Perhaps exempt private email but IO would never advocate complexity at the collecting level. Just give the private users a right to claim a reimbursement at year end or quarterly. The ISP can tote it and report the volumes per user and send both an activity count. Do not tell me that is not possible, I have been around too long.

Equally a Tobin tax on financial movements, tax money at its work, is likely a mighty unpopular thing with banksters. Too bad. That is where money does financial labour and should be taxed for that work income. Level playing field etc....

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 17 2020 9:13 utc | 194

isn't there a way the planet can just shut the door on america - sick of it?

Posted by: jazza | Feb 17 2020 12:36 utc | 195

Ok, the fix is obvious, Bloomer buys the top job and the Dragon Person is seated as VP person...but then how does Bloomer avoid suicide?

The Dragon person seems to have a problem like "Maggie O'Connell in "Northern Exposure"....people around "her" die a lot...

Does Bloomer know?

Posted by: Walter | Feb 17 2020 12:50 utc | 196

Circe @ 173

"Why do Democrats always harangue Bernie Sanders with: Will you support the nominee???
BERNIE SHOULD ANSWER: I'm going to win. So will YOU support the Nominee???"

But then he did not, and yet again does not. Instead, he accepted being officially written off.

The Wikileaks files, 2016, put him against the wall:
- Either he was not in on the Democrats' every-election sheepdogging scam, in which case he would immediately use the Wikileaks revelation to blow up his Party's leadership,
- or he would pretend to ignore this very public proof, throw the disgruntled vote, as promised, to the Owners of the Country and Single Party, thereby exposing the kayfabe (and for good measure campaign for the Clinton harpy.)

He did the second, and you the hope-addicted crowd pretend to ignore it, because you are too badly hooked and you need your dose of hope, even against common sense.

Anyway, plain logic dictates that, even if they let him win, all you'll get is a second Obama: a slicker warmonger who'll be worse than the number before him. You guys may deserve that. The rest of us don't.

---
"the Dem Party should put in writing that they'll support him 100% if he wins the majority of automatic delegates, and if not (impossible he will win), he doesn't release his delegates without his demands for changes agreed to in writing."

Yarright. The UN Charter, the Bill of Rights, the Nuremberg Preamble, the Constitution, all have been put in writing. And the Pollyannas continue giving credit to pieces of paper as binding for the Owners of the Country.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Feb 17 2020 13:36 utc | 197

CAP is John Podesta's "think tank" (think "Evil-Think" tank).
It is becoming obvious now, that Bloomberg has cut a deal with Podesta-Clinton, rigged the DNC for himself as a result, installed Podesta's buddy Faiz Shakir as Bernie's campaign manager so Bernie can sandbag himself once again, and Bloomberg is free to pick Hillary as his running mate.
Buttigieg figures into this all as well, most likely as a fall-guy to blame-shift the upcoming election disaster onto.

Posted by: ROSS GARSIDE | Feb 17 2020 14:04 utc | 198

Benjamin @ 184

"Sanders position is that the Party can be seized and reformed."

Which is arrant nonsense.The "Party" is the main administrative organ of the American Empire, owned by the ruling class (just as the lesser organ called the Republican Party.) There is no example in all of history of a case of said party not doing exactly what its owner class wants. Cite one. Also, Sanders is too smart not to know that; anyway he did give the game away in 2016 as argued elsewhere.

"Also, who he endorses doesn't mean I, as a Sanders supporter, have to vote for them. I'm supporting Sanders, not the Democrats."
That's your subjective impression. By getting stuck supporting the Dims until the very last moment you are deserting the fight to destroy the Single Party, which is the #1, #2 and #3 priority. Anyway, the majority aren't like you and they vote as told. Like most recently in 2016.

Posted by: Piero Colombo | Feb 17 2020 14:09 utc | 199

vk wrote in response to Noirette on Bloomberg etc. etc:

It will only accelerate the American descent to full-fledged nazifascism and thus only pull the world a step closer to the abyss of nuclear war.

I agree. As for another ‘deep’ recession, ha-ha, aka bank fail and bail (out), that you mention, it is inevitable as well. The only question is how soon (in relation to the election.)

I’m not sure Sanders would be different from Obama on this score, imho Sanders might wish differently but would have his hand forced, but who knows, maybe your view is better.

Obama was of course the ultimate bankster’s man, dream, right from the start. 1. I’m reminded that the Swiss Banking Community donated bigly to the Dems (Obama’s win was baked in) but were very worried, because Billy C. had attacked Swiss banks frontally, forcefully, and quite sucessfully, and besides that, he, Billy C, was not perceived as banker-friendly whatsoever (despite his repeal of Glass-Steagall, which he was forced into by Mitterand having done the similar in France..), more of a corporate klutz, or ‘pretty ignorant’, etc.

When Obama’s first ‘private’ but in public appearance (besides, inauguration, etc.) with plentiful photographs, showed him playing a round of golf with the director of UBS (Americas) they all heaved huge sighs of relief and thanked God or the Stars or Fate in their own way. — with light candles in churches, coke n sex for the party types, etc.

To be clear I agree with Copeland 180, Sanders as ‘best bet’ but am not v. hopeful.

1. for ex. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/10/15/wiki-o15.html

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 17 2020 15:42 utc | 200

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