Politics Links

 

FDR 1936: I Welcome Their Hatred


Martin Luther King: Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break the Silence - 4/4/67


“Capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxury to the classes. Call it what you may, call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.”
Martin Luther King

10 U.S. Code § 904. Art. 104. Aiding the enemy

National Priorities: Discretionary Spending by US Government - Social Security $30 Billion (3%), Medicare $66 Billion (6%, most Medicare funding is covered by the Medicare HI Trust Fund - solvent through at least 2024), Veterans Benefits $65 Billion (6%), Defense $600 Billion (54%)


Wash. Post: Top Secret America - First posted 7/19/10

and now from Frontline - 9/6/11


ACLU: NSA Surveillance - “The NSA...continues to spy on a vast but unknown number of Americans’ international calls, text messages, web-browsing activities, and emails.

Our Constitution and democratic system demand that government be transparent and accountable to the people, not the other way around. History has shown that powerful, secret surveillance tools will almost certainly be abused for political ends.

In June 2013, The Guardian published documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden confirming the massive scale of this international dragnet. Recent disclosures also show that an unknown number of purely domestic communications are monitored, that the rules that supposedly protect Americans' privacy are weak and riddled with exceptions, and that virtually every email that goes into or out of the United States is scanned.

the government claimed sweeping authority under the Patriot Act to collect a record of every single phone call made by every single American "on an ongoing daily basis." This program not only exceeded the authority given to the government by Congress, but it violated the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment, and the rights of free speech and association protected by the First Amendment.”


NYTimes: State Secrets


War On WhistleBlowers


MoJo: Terrorists for the FBI - How the FBI concocts a terrorist plot, infiltrates Muslim communities, recruits, trains, enables and finances the plot, then jumps in at the last minute to foil the plot that it created and save the grateful nation...and then get more funding.


UK Guardian: The NSA Files


War On WhistleBlowers


Popular Resistance: Freedom of Speech and Assembly


NAF: Violence Statistics Aimed At Family Planning Clinics


The Counted


The Network for Public Education


How Gas Wells Leak - All gas wells, fracking and non-fracking, will leak eventually.


Obama As Candidate Against Offshore Drilling - He proposed “taxing the record multi-billion dollar profits of the oil companies and using the proceeds for a $1,000 middle-class tax cut,” and “investigation of possible market manipulation in the oil markets.” Beginning at 1:12, he explains why opening up offshore oil drilling, as proposed by “Drill Baby Drill” McCain, would not work in the short or long term. At 3:50 he proposes “an aggressive energy policy” that would invest $150 Billion in clean, affordable, and renewable sources of energy, a policy that promotes realistic energy conservation” and to “continue the moratorium that prevents offshore oil drilling.”


Iran Hawk Watch


Economic Hitmen - Global Capitalism totally explained in 2 min.


Broken Obama Campaign Promises of 2008 - A partial list.


Catholic Nuns Speak Out On Republican/Ryan Budget


AFL-CIO Bring Jobs Home


Water Defense


The platforms and pre-convention polls that all showed the Bernie routinely polled about 15 points higher against Trump than Hillary:


Hillary Clinton’s Platform vs Bernie Sanders’ Platform - Note how Hillary “is in favor of” and “will push for” but never a “how”, no numbers and no vision. Bernie in every case offers a plan for how to get there. Since Hillary offers no plan, there’s nothing to pick apart. Here and here are why all of those that pick apart Bernie’s plan are dead wrong - and btw most of them used to support Bernie’s proposals before he began to seriously threaten Hillary.


Jill Stein’s Platform


Why Vote Green? - Glad you asked.


How To Write In Your Vote for Green Party in Georgia on Nov. 8 - Or you can request an absentee ballot and fill it out from the comfort of your own home at your leisure. Just go to your county website for more info under Elections & Voter Registration.


Republican Platform


Democratic Party Platform


RealClearPolitics: Election 2016 Current Democratic Delegate Count


Gallup: Continuously Updated: Presidential Election 2016: Key Indicators - #WorstCandidates. As of 8/16: Trump fav/unfav: 31/63; Clinton fav/unfav: 41/54. That has never happened before.


HuffPo: Continuously Updated Favorable/Unfavorable Ratings - As of 5/10/16: Favorable: Clinton 41.5%, Sanders 51.6%, Trump 36.5%; Unfavorable: Clinton 54.6%, Sanders 41.1%, Trump 58.6%


Polls so far this year all showing that Sanders would defeat Trump by a wide margin and Clinton vs Trump is a statistical dead heat. See entries for the respective dates for details:


Real Clear Politics (continuously updated): As of 5/10/15: Sanders 52 - Trump 39; Clinton 47 - Trump 42


2/18/16 - Quinnipiac Univ.: Sanders 48 - Trump 42; Clinton 44 - Trump 43


5/10/16 - NBC News: Sanders 53 - Trump 40; Clinton 49 - Trump 44

Quinnipiac Univ. Poll: In Swing States Sanders Polls Higher Against Trump Than Does Clinton and Here


5/17/16 - Latest NBC News Poll: Nationwide, Clinton Leads Trump 48-45; Sanders Leads Trump 53-41


5/19/16 - Rasmussen Poll: Trump 42, Clinton 37; Sanders 45, Trump 41


5/22/16 - ABC/Washington Post Poll: Nationwide Trump Leads Clinton 46-44 - This poll did not compare Sanders directly to Trump, but Sanders has the highest favorability rating at 51% to 44% for Clinton and 37% for Trump. Sanders also has the lowest unfavorable numbers at 38% to 53% for Clinton and 60% for Trump.


6/1/16 - Quinnipiac: Clinton 45 vs Trump 41; Sanders 48 vs Trump 39 - With a margin of error of +- 2.5% either way, that’s a statistical tie between Clinton/Trump.



A Few Of My All Time Favorites:


US Dept. of Defense: President Signs National Defense Authorization Act and Here - This is the act that officially authorizes a US Govt. Propaganda Ministry (Global Engagement Center) and is a continuation of the 2014 NDAA which, in the words of Chris Hedges created “a system where, under Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, the executive branch can put the soldiers in the streets, in clear violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, to carry out extraordinary rendition of American citizens who are deemed to be "terrorists," strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities, including in our black sites.”


We live in a world of Inverted Totalitarianism, where corporate power has seized all the levers of control, and is maintained through a security state of universal, warrantless, suspicion-less surveillance working in tandem with corporate propaganda that permeates influential institutions such as the media, education, popular culture and evangelical religion.”


I’ve got a feeling Emperor Trump can’t wait to put all this to good use.


9/2/20


New Yorker: American Christianity’s White-Supremacy Problem - Per the article: In 2016, 81% of white evangelical Protestants, 64% of white Catholics, and 57% of white mainline Protestants voted for Trump. Mark Galli: “If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come?”


4/13/20


Dissent: The Nationalist Roots of White Evangelical Politics - Partly behind a pay-wall. Still has some good points: “The problem with today’s evangelicals, said Galli in response to the negative reception of his editorial, is their “widespread ignorance” and “ethical naïveté.”


Evangelical historian Thomas Kidd has even questioned their religious credentials: “I suspect that large numbers of these people who identify as ‘evangelicals’ are really just whites who watch Fox News and consider themselves religious.


The faithful...avoid extremes when they attend church regularly and adhere to orthodox theology. When these practices break down, chaos and crisis await.


White evangelicals, according to this perspective, have substituted the real truth of the gospels for an exclusionary religious nationalism. The absence of a deeper theological and spiritual foundation contributes to a sense of grievance and resentment.”


3/29/20


George Conway (Kellyanne’s husband): For Trump Supporters Let Me Make One Thing VERY Clear - Priceless!


7/25/19


Onion: Pelosi Concerned Outspoken Progressive Flank of Party Could Harm Democrats’ Reputation as Ineffectual Cowards


4/22/19


Truthdig: Noam Chomsky: Democrats Have Already Handed Trump the 2020 Election - Synopsis: Historically, the true constituency of the Republican party was and still is extreme wealth and corporate power. And up until the Reagan candidacy of 1980, the entire leadership was pro-choice. It was not the government’s job to get involved in that. It was considered a private matter. However, during that election Reagan decided he could pick up Northern Catholics and Southern evangelicals by changing that position. They already had white racists which began with Nixon’s Southern Strategy (“states rights”, “law and order”, “dog-whistle politics”, attacks on the Civil Rights Act of 64, and the Voting Rights Act of 65, forced busing, welfare), and cemented with Reagan’s Neshoba county fair speech, and his constantly dropping the “states rights” buzz words. Then he added gun rights.


Since that time, Democrats have consistently moved right to try to counter the Republicans constant shift, and to constantly present themselves as ‘the lesser of two evils’ instead of taking up New-Deal-like positions that would actually inspire voters to come to the polls. Reason: The power structure in the Democratic party is chasing the same wealth and corporate power.


After the 2016 debacle, they took the lose-lose position that it was all because of Russian interference. As it turns out, there is no actual evidence that the Russians had any real effect on the election. Sure, they tried to interfere, just like the US has interfered in the elections of hundreds of foreign governments, especially since the early 1900’s. The Mueller investigation revealed that there is all sorts of evidence that Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice and has been in violation of the Emoluments Clause since day 1, but the Democrats continue to ignore that and slowly shift right to appease their big money donors. Trump’s re-election is all but over.


2/12/19


NBC News: Senate Has Uncovered No Direct Evidence of Conspiracy Between Trump Campaign and Russia


2/11/19


UK Guardian: Trump Offers Socialism for the Rich, Capitalism for Everyone Else - Some amazing factoid examples in this article.


1/10/19


BAR: Ocasio-Cortez, Socialism, War and Austerity - “The truth is, what passes for socialism, thanks to Bernie Sanders and others, is actually New Deal liberalism, programs designed to save capitalism from itself by distributing some benefits and services to the masses. But the Lords of Capital decades ago threw down the gauntlet and swept the crumbs for the masses off the table, decreeing austerity forever and allocating ever-higher proportions of the federal budget to the military.”


12/15/18


NPR: Russia Investigations: A Case Still Unproven


11/28/18


Miami Herald: Jeffrey Epstein: How a Future Trump Cabinet Member Gave a Serial Sex Abuser the Deal of a Lifetime


11/16/18


WSWS: Ocasio-Cortez Holds Climate Change Stunt to Boost Pelosi - AOC: “One of the things that I admire so much about Leader Pelosi, is that she comes from a place of activism and organizing and she really appreciates civic engagement.”


She went on to say that should “Leader Pelosi” become the next Speaker of the House, “We need to tell her that we’ve got her back in showing and pursuing the most progressive energy agenda that this country has ever seen.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s adoration of Pelosi did not stop there. Later that day, after the photo-op with the students, Cortez tweeted at Pelosi to thank her. She commended Pelosi’s quick response to the event: “I have spoken with @NancyPelosi about how our commitments to climate change should take shape in the 116th Congress. Her office has responded quickly, and she has recommended the reinstatement of the Select Committee on Climate Change.”

In other words, a more concise accounting of the event would be as follows: Pelosi praises the protesters, Ocasio-Cortez praises Pelosi, Jacobin praises Ocasio-Cortez and concludes that the day of exchanging pleasantries in Washington represents a “qualitatively different type of leftist politics.”


10/25/18


Time: What is Democratic Socialism? - A very good overview and short history.


6/9/18


Newsweek: DNC Rule Change May Block Bernie Sanders From Running as a Democrat in 2020 - Actually it’s much broader than that. It’s the culmination of a long process. By creating rules that preclude other parties from local ballot access; to stealing presidential debates from the League of Women Voters; to being owned by the same (now) 4 corporations that control 95% of all public media; to stealing the nominating process, and Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here,  from candidates most likely to win elections, and Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here; the democrapic party joins the rethugs in silencing any dissenting voices. Both parties are simply servants of capital and empire. The people have no voice.


5/10/18


Democracy-NOW: Jeremy Scahill: Obama Paved Way for Haspel to Head the CIA by Failing to Hold Torturers Accountable - By now it’s clear that both Bush and Obama approved torture, and rendition, with a lot of help from  John Brennan and Here, Here Here and James Comey. Then Obama made sure the Senate torture report got delayed and then got ‘lost’ so no one would ever be held accountable, and Here. As this article points out Gina Haspel was the operative that actually did the deleting. Then Obama signed the 2014 NDAA which allows the president to indefinitely detain anyone in the world for any reason, or no reason. The only person ever convicted of any torture related item was the guy who revealed it. Rethuglicans and Democraps are equally to blame. Combine this with universal surveillance, and Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here, and you’ve got yourself a nice tight little corporate police state.


1/23/18


Intercept: Candidates Who Signed Up to Battle Donald Trump Must Get Past the Democratic Party First - “The Democratic and Republican parties are commercial enterprises and they’re very much interested in their own survival,” (Dem. Rep. Stephen) Lynch said. “The money race is probably more important to them than the issues race in some cases.”

The Intercept asked Lynch if the commercialization he referred to was for the benefit of the officials working in and around elections. “How much of the focus on fundraising,” we asked, “has to do with pumping money into this ecosystem of consultants and everybody else?”

“That’s what I mean,”  Lynch said. “It’s a commercial enterprise.”


“On the most basic level, it involves candidates being asked to pull out their smartphones, scroll through their contacts lists, and add up the amount of money their contacts could raise or contribute to their campaigns. If the candidates’ contacts aren’t good for at least $250,000, or in some cases much more, they fail the test, and party support goes elsewhere.”


Progressive, inspiring candidates don’t stand a chance in this environment, which is why the Democratic party is dying a slow death. The people who pull the strings within the party (the DCCC, Emily’s List, End Citizens United) don’t want to lose their control. It’s all about how much money you can raise. Issues are a distant second.


Democracy is dead.

Capitalism killed it.

Citizens United was the final nail in its coffin.


12/12/17


Intercept: Here’s What Actually Made the Difference in Doug Jones’ Victory - The Alabama Democratic Conference. A primarily black political group that actually knows how to turn out the black vote. Doug Jones had the good sense to call them into his campaign, which most white Alabama Democrats have not done. More power to them! A great read.


UK Guardian: Former Facebook Executive: Social Media is Ripping Society Apart


12/2/17


Mother Jones: Senate Passes Sweeping Tax Bill That Overwhelmingly Benefits the Wealthiest Americans - If you are in the top 1%, earning over $1M per year, you get a huge, permanent tax cut. If not, you get a tiny, temporary cut, maybe.


From the article: “This all begs the question of why Republicans are pushing a trillion dollar corporate tax cut at this particular moment. Corporate profits are near record highs, the rich are richer than they’ve been since the Great Depression, and the incomes of average Americans are in a four-decade slump. Tax reform could have eased that hardship by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit or making working-class families eligible for Republicans’ expanded Child Tax Credit.”


The rich have no intention of using their additional tax credits to create jobs, and Here. Trump will get a $23 Million tax cut, and his cabinet will collectively receive $10s of Billions. And you? Buwahahahaha! We are nothing but road kill to these people.


11/11/16


Inquisitr: Hillary Voters Owe It To America to Stop Calling Everyone A Nazi and Start Reading WikiLeaks - While all of the so-called experts and ‘data journalists’ (the Rachel Maddows, Chuck Todds, Chris Hayes, Michael Moores, Chris Matthews, Debbie Wasserman Schultzs, etc.), who were all sure that Hillary had a 90% chance of winning the election (even though it was clear for months that the only Democrat who could beat Trump was Bernie), and that after the election the Republican Party would wither away to nothing, all keep focusing on a very vocal but small minority of truly despicable Trump voters, the real truth eludes them. The ‘other’ Trump voters were simply working-class Americans who were tired of moving steadily down the economic ladder while Wall Street siphoned all of the money out of the economy and engaged in perpetual war for profit. These voters were in no mood to vote for a status-quo, pro-Wall Street, pro-NAFTA, pro-fracking, pathological liar (about her role in Libyan regime change, Honduras, Syria, that she never sent classified emails and that her lawyers did not destroy such emails prior to the FBI investigation, that she told Wall St. execs to ‘cut it out’ in 2007, that she didn’t support TPP, that she knew nothing about the DNC’s efforts to undermine the Sanders campaign). These working-class Americans are smarter than most elitist, lesser-evil, ‘triangulating’ Democrats give them credit for and if they don’t learn that lesson very soon, it is their party that will soon wither away to nothing.


11/8/17


Democracy-NOW: Voters Reject Republican Candidates As New “Autopsy” Report Finds the Democratic Party in Crisis - This group is trying to point out why the Democratic party needs to clean house at the top. The current leaders of the DNC and the party are doing everything in their power to change the focus away from their actions during the primary that lead to the devastating outcome of the 2016 election. Essentially they are blaming the outcome on the “Russiagate” conspiracy theory or anything they can possibly come up with over which they had no control. The only folks they are fooling is themselves. Here’s the actual report. The 6 questions in this letter put it all in a nutshell.


11/3/17


Boston Globe: Elizabeth Warren’s Charge That the Democratic Primary Was ‘Rigged’ - This is the height of hypocrisy. In 2016, she participated fully in said rigging, which set the stage for President Cheeto-Head. Now she’s hoping the Sanders supporters have forgotten all about that. Not likely. Just another calculating Corpra-Dem. Progressive is not where the Democrapic party, or Elizabeth Warren, are going.


New Yorker: Russian Interference in the 2016 Election: A Cacophony, Not A Conspiracy - An entertaining 5 minute read, and a great summarization of where we are currently, pending any revelations from the Mueller investigation. There is still no actual evidence - it’s all ‘highly classified’ - that Russia successfully accomplished anything with respect to the election. However, there is very good evidence to indicate that the ‘hack’ on the DNC mail server was actually an internal leak. The context, sequence and timing of each of the “Russian Conspiracy” news items always seem to be controlled by ‘CIA experts’ unknown to the public, which is expected to accept such anonymous stories solely on faith. There is still a very good possibility that the ‘Russian interference’ was actually a bunch of 20-somethings in Macedonia that figured out how to make a little extra money by using Facebook and Google AdSense.


9/30/16


Gallup: 57% of Voters Believe a Third Party is Needed


9/28/17


Intercept: Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet? - This is a must read.  Yet another of the list of these unfounded stories - the point of which is mostly to keep our minds off the DNC hatchet job on Bernie - not to mention just plain old horrible management of the 2016 campaign. For a quick review of the ways this conspiracy theory is quickly falling apart, see Here, Here, Here, Here, Here. And for a run-down of all the ways the DNC cheated and mis-managed the 2016 campaign see Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here.


9/19/17


Common Dreams: US Says No Money for Social Programs, But $700 Billion to Kill People - All public universities in the US could be tuition-free with just the increase in defense spending for this year, and the $700 billion defense budget could easily pay for universal health care and still have the strongest military in the world, but neo-liberals in Congress always want to know where the money is going to come from whenever non-defense spending comes up. The US spends more money on defense than all other countries in the world combined. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Al Franken and Cory Booker all voted in favor. Some progressives. A short must-read.

First Congress bails out the Wall St. bankers so they can all keep their bonuses - $1 Trillion. Then they throw an additional $80 Billion at the Defense Dept., for a total of $700 Billion - annually. Then they give away a $1.5 Trillion deficit bomb mostly (85%) for permanent tax cuts to the very wealthiest individuals (a tiny, temporary portion goes to you and I...maybe).

Don’t ever tell me that ‘conservatives’ are opposed to deficits, or that Medicare For All is ‘unrealistic.’ Don’t ever ask me ‘how we gonna pay for it.’


9/13/17


The Outline: The Democrats Who Can’t Quit Hillary Clinton - An examination of this strangely intense die-hard adulation. Kind of hilarious, though probably not meant to be.


8/20/17


Chris Hedges: The Corruption of the Law - “The Fourth Amendment reads: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Yet our telephone calls and texts, emails and financial, judicial and medical records, along with every website we visit and our physical travels, can be and commonly are tracked, recorded, photographed and stored in government computer banks.” See Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here.


“Constitutionally protected statements, beliefs and associations of individuals are criminalized. Our judicial system, as Ralph Nader has pointed out, has legalized secret law, secret courts, secret evidence, secret budgets and secret prisons in the name of national security.


The executive branch can order the assassination of U.S. citizens without trial. It can deploy the military into the streets to quell civil unrest under Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and seize citizens—seizures that are in essence acts of extraordinary rendition—and hold them indefinitely in military detention centers while denying them due process.


Corporate campaign contributions on the other hand, which largely determine who gets elected, are viewed by the courts as protected forms of free speech under the First Amendment. Corporate lobbying, which determines most of our legislation, (and Here), is interpreted as the people’s right to petition the government. Corporations are legally treated as persons except when they carry out fraud and other crimes; the heads of corporations routinely avoid being charged and going to prison by paying fines, usually symbolic and pulled from corporate accounts, while not being forced to admit wrongdoing. And corporations have rewritten the law to orchestrate a massive tax boycott.”


All of this legal framework was created by George Bush and Barack Obama, only to be handed over to Donald Trump.


8/16/17


NPR Fresh Air: In Trump’s Government The Regulated Have Become the Regulators


WashPo: Who Are the Antifa? and Democracy-NOW - In 1919 when Hitler attended his first meeting of the German Workers Party, it had only 54 members. Interesting to think what might have (not) happened if antifa had shown up and wiped them all out on the spot. But he transformed it into the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party.


By the end of 1920, it had 3,000 members and Hitler was subsequently declared its “Fuhrer.” By 1925 the party had 27,000 members, and by 1929, 108,000 just as the Great Depression began.


The Weimar democracy under Hindenburg was unable to stabilize the country which by 1930 had over 30% unemployment. In the elections of that year, the Nazis gained 18% of the vote, making it the second largest party in Germany. During the Nazi Brown Shirts (the SA Nazi ‘storm troopers’) sometimes violent demonstrations, the police often stood down and let riots ensue. Two years later Hitler won 37% of the vote and effectively took over parliamentary control of the government, annexing the Sudetenland in 1938 and invading Poland in 1939, which precipitated the Second World War.


At every step of the way, most Germans who even knew of the existence of the German Workers Party laughed it off as a small group of crazy extremists that had absolutely no chance to gain any power in their parliamentarian government. And at every step of the way most Germans were surprised and horrified by the respective election results. Remind you of anyone?


8/14/17


The Hill: Why the Latest Theory About the DNC Not Being Hacked is Probably Wrong - A counter-argument to the article just below.


8/9/17


The Nation: New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s “DNC Hack” - Argues that the meta-data on the leaked emails show that they had to have come directly from the DNC server via a thumb drive, and not from a server in Romania. Ignores the possibility that the meta-data could have been modified by a 3rd party. See article just above.


Also see entry of 12/14/16 for how a group of smart Macedonian teenagers and twenty-somethings that figured out a way to use Facebook and Google AdSense to make a little extra spending money by spreading false stories that would get a lot of clicks. What they found was that stories that were critical of Clinton and anything about Trump got lots of clicks, and that was all they were after. That’s not hacking.


8/7/17


The Nation: Our Russia Fixation is Devolving Into An Assault On Political Discourse - “...it seeks to police and narrow the scope of acceptable political discourse.”


7/20/17


NPR Fresh Air: The Insecurity of America’s Old and Underfunded Voting System - An excellent, eye-opening interview. Georgia is the most secretive state when it comes to the internals of how the voting system works. The Republicans, who have held an iron grip on state power ever since Georgia went totally electronic in 2002, will not allow even the most routine inspections of its software/hardware. The interviewee wrote an article in Politico prior to the Ossoff/Handel race outlining the many weaknesses in Georgia’s systems, concluding that the election probably would be hacked.


6/10/17


NYTimes: Religious Liberals Sat Out Of Politics For 40 Years. Now They Want Back In The Game - “Frustrated by Christian conservatives’ focus on reversing liberal successes in legalizing abortion and same-sex marriage, those on the religious left want to turn instead to what they see as truly fundamental biblical imperatives — caring for the poor, welcoming strangers and protecting the earth — and maybe even change some minds about what it means to be a believer.”


“How do you take two or three Scriptures and make a theology out of it, and claim it is the moral perspective, and leave 2,000 on the table?” he said. “That is a form of theological malpractice.”


“We can’t have only Jews cry for anti-Semitism, and Muslims cry for Islamophobia,” Imam Antepli said. “We can only win this if we see it as one big fight.”


“We have to make the parties work for us, not us work for the parties.”


“When we see signs of a rising fascism, we know that we cannot be silent,” said Dr. Barber, denouncing the Trump administration in his sermon at Riverside in April.


More and more, younger evangelicals are questioning their association with the religious right, Mr. Nathan said: “I don’t know almost any evangelical Christians who feel comfortable with the old evangelical guard. They’re certainly not in my orbit. Millennial Christians are really concerned about social justice.”


6/9/17


Reuters: NSA Backtracks on Sharing Number of Americans Caught in Warrantless Spying - Somebody is not paying attention. We already know how many: All of them, and Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here. And now Trump and Sessions want even more powers to snoop on everyone, even though the surveillance has never caught a single terrorist, and Here, Here, Here and Here.


6/7/17


Intercept: The Woman Democrats Love to Hate - This is a one hour podcast. Stein’s interview starts at 22:50 and at 31:17 she begins to talk about the famous picture of her at the RT News 10th anniversary dinner. She was invited, with leaders of other parties from around the world, to speak there about the Green Party’s goals and particularly about the GP Peace Initiative which basically argues for nuclear disarmament, world wide weapons embargoes and sanctions of countries that sponsor terrorism, mainly Saudi Arabia. She was not paid to speak and declined their offer to pay for her transportation and hotel expenses. This was at the time of the Paris Climate talks, so it was a great opportunity. This was a well publicized event and the GP issued press releases before and after.


In the interview she quotes John Kennedy: “We will never negotiate from a position of weakness and we will never cease to negotiate.”


I accepted an invitation to an international relations conference in Moscow shortly after Russia began bombing Syria. My message to the Russians was: don't follow in the disastrous footsteps of US intervention in the Middle East. I didn't speak with Putin, and received no payment nor reimbursement. The only reason I was there was to bring our campaign's message to an international audience: we need a foreign policy based on diplomacy, respect for human rights and international law. With the threat of nuclear war on the Korean peninsula, that message is more urgent than ever.”


“To not go to Russia and talk about the Green Party Peace Initiative at a time when all hell is breaking loose, when Hillary is talking about a no-fly zone in areas of Syria which are controlled by Russian aircraft, which numerous US generals have testified before Congress would directly lead to warfare with the Russians, to not go at that time and to not bring the message of peace which is a paradigm that doesn’t get a voice in today’s media, would have been unthinkable. There was going to be media from all over the world. Many other peace advocates were there.”


Regarding Rachel Maddow’s desperate attempts to blame Clinton’s loss to Trump on 3rd party voters, polls have shown that if there were no 3rd parties on the ballot, then about 2/3 of 3rd party voters would just sit it out and about half of the others would have voted for Trump. So when Rachel points out that Trump’s margin of victory was less than the number of votes cast for 3rd parties, remember it’s just another one of her pathetic oversimplifications which prove absolutely nothing, always followed up by her Resting Smug Face.


5/5/17


AJC: Campaign Reports Riddled With Irregularities - We always assume that candidates are not allowed to keep unused campaign funds or use the money for themselves. But this report shows otherwise. Candidates routinely fudge the rules to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. This report is specific to Georgia, but I think we can assume that they basically all do this.


4/30/17


Medium: DNC Shatters The Illusion of American Democracy In Order to Keep The People’s 27 Bucks - In court the DNC has now entered into evidence proof that they rigged their nominating process and, by extension that democracy does not exist in this country. And all just in order to keep the average $27 that sometimes even people living in their cars donated. This should give serious pause for thought to the few that still support Democraps. In case you’ve forgotten about this election fraud amidst all of the Russia-ate-our-homework fog, here are some quick reminders: See Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here. Screw them all forever!


4/25/17


Democracy-NOW: Cornel West & Former Sanders Staffer On Movement to Draft Bernie for a New “People’s Party” and UK Guardian - Cornel West: “the Democratic Party refuses to engage in self-examination, refuses to engage in soul searching, wants to do the same thing over and over again, keep the same personnel and leadership, and therefore the last thing we need is another neoliberal, technocratic centrist running for the Democratic Party”


3/17/17


UK Guardian: Everybody Loves Bernie Sanders Except the Democratic Party - He’s still welcome at the Green Party.


3/6/17


New York Review: Russia: The Conspiracy Trap - A delineation of how the unsubstantiated connections between the Trump administration and Russia first got started in the American press and has grown in the public mind. “The backbone of the rapidly yet endlessly developing Trump-Putin story is leaks from intelligence agencies, and this is its most troublesome aspect. Virtually none of the information can be independently corroborated. The context, sequence, and timing of the leaks is determined by people unknown to the public, which is expected to accept anonymous stories on faith. The conclusion of the article is that focusing on this pure conspiracy theory by most of the American press is giving Trump the space he needs to do his real dirty work: “beginning the real work of dismantling every part of the federal government that exists for any purpose other than waging war.”


2/19/17


Fresh Air: Ethics Lawyers Call Trump’s Business Conflicts ‘Nakedly Unconstitutional’ - Synopsis: Trump has not placed his assets in a blind trust as every other president since Nixon has done. He has not released his tax returns as every other candidate has done. And although he claims to be a billionaire, he hasn’t released his financial statement.


Since we know that some of his assets in foreign countries have received large loans from government banks - such as in China and Qatar - and some have received large loans from quasi-government banks - such as Deutche Bank - he is in a dependency relationship with those governments. They could refuse to renew these loans at any time and ruin those investments. Based just on this, he has been in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution since the day he took office.


He has also tweeted that he owns large positions in many government war contractors. When he starts escalating wars such as he did on 4/4/17 in Syria, those escalations will cause increases in both revenues and stock prices for those war contractors. Who is to say that he is not doing that in order to increase the value of his assets?


Excerpts: “So many people in the heartland of the country rightly are angry that their lives have been devastated by economic and trade developments of recent years and also many of them have themselves or sent their kids abroad to fight America's wars. With Donald Trump receiving these enormous sums from foreign governments and having strong property interests and relationships in many foreign governments, when he makes his decisions on domestic and economic policy, how will we know that he is not using the White House to do deals for himself at the expense of the people who voted for him?


And when he makes his decisions to use America's military force or threaten it abroad, how will we know he's not putting ordinary Americans' lives at risk in order to protect his properties and his pocket and his wallet rather than in the best interests of our country?

...his hotel, for example, in Washington has become a giant emoluments vortex sucking in all of the government - foreign government business from all of Washington, D.C., with the diplomats and foreign government officials stumbling all over each other to utilize that property sometimes for very big-ticket events...I'd love to see the first person in the Rust Belt, the first Trump voter who thought his job was going to be saved who loses his job because Trump is getting a large cash payment from China or what have you against the Constitution, and that individual says, hey, he's doing deals to line his own pockets, not to benefit me and takes him to court.“

The Trump International Hotel is located in the Old Post Office building in Washington, D. C. It is owned by the federal government and is leased to Donald Trump for 60 years. But there is a clause in the lease that states that it cannot be leased to an elected official.

And then there are the security questions where we will have US armed forces troops providing security and risking their lives, and the American taxpayer footing the bill to protect buildings, golf courses, etc. that have the Trump label all over them in countries where the main religion is one that Trump has openly disparaged. Tax dollars spent to provide this security “...could be better spent helping the American people deal with the economic impacts that in particular his core voters felt. So this is coming out of all of our pockets.” It is quite possible that the US could get into serious conflicts in the event of an attack on one of these properties.

This is Trump’s true achilles tendon. Why have no Democrats or plaintiffs been found to go after that?


1/23/17


Observer: DNC Chair Candidates Defy Reality Claiming the Primary Process Was Fair - A good summary of why it wasn’t. If the Democratic party continues to deny reality, it will cease to be relevant, leaving the American people to the whims of deranged Rethugs.


1/20/17


PBS Independent Lens: Today Only 5 Corporations Own Most News Media - Down from 6 in 2012. When you start hearing a chorus of media all chanting the same phrase (such as ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ or ‘fake news,’ or ‘hacked the election,’ or ‘civil rights icon’), it’s called neuro-linguistic programming. MSM uses this technique all the time.


1/19/17


Fresh Air: Ethics Lawyers Call Trump’s Business Conflicts ‘Nakedly Unconstitutional’ - #ImpeachTrump


The Nation: Anti-Fascists Antifa Will Fight Trump’s Fascism in the Streets


1/17/17


CNBC: Elizabeth Warren No Longer Darling of the Left - When it came time for her to stand up for the most progressive candidate to run since FDR, she dodged. Sanders lost her state, Massachusetts, by only 2 points. She could have changed the course of the primary process if she had campaigned for him. Later she passionately campaigned for Clinton - the antithesis of all she has claimed to stand for.


“Furthermore, Warren—along with the corporate media—was inexplicably MIA during the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline, saying nothing as thousands of unarmed, peaceful Native Americans and environmental activists were illegally arrested and shot at with tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, freezing water, and grenades by de facto oil police in North Dakota.


Like her decision to conveniently endorse Clinton when Sanders was mathematically eliminated, Warren finally chose to speak out against DAPL on the same day the Army Corps of Engineers denied a crucial permit for the pipeline's completion. This kind of calculated, Johnny-Come-Lately progressivism doesn't cut it for the millions of progressives looking to rally behind a leader as the road to 2020 narrows.”


She is also a proponent of the perpetual War on Terrorism (c), and unlimited illegal Israeli settlements in occupied territories. When it comes to grandstanding, verbal finger wagging attacks on nonchalant bankers in the Senate chambers, she’s a one-trick pony.


But a true progressive? Hardly.


1/6/17


Director of National Intelligence: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections - This is the official declassified version. It “does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.” “We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election.” See “Key Judgements” on pages ii and iii. The DNI believes that Russia/Putin carried on a propaganda campaign to influence the election for Trump and against Clinton - no different than propaganda campaigns that the CIA has carried on for decades in countries all over the world. The DNI does not believe that “Russian agents” were involved in vote tallying or rigging. There is no mention of any collusion between Putin and Trump.


1/5/17


CNN: FBI: DNC Rebuffed Request to Examine Computer Servers


12/14/16


NPR Fresh Air: Fake News Expert on How False Stories Spread and Why People Believe Them - It wasn’t the Russians. It was a group of partying Macedonian 20 somethings.



12/10/16


Intercept: Leaks From Anonymous Sources Based Upon Evidence That Cannot Be Revealed Do Not Constitute Proof That Russia Hacked The Election - A great read with excellent sources and some interesting flashbacks. Remember the Slam Dunk?

To begin with, CIA officials are professional, systematic liars; they lie constantly, by design, and with great skill, and have for many decades, as have intelligence officials in other agencies.”

“Even in those cases when they are not deliberately lying, they are often gravely mistaken. Intelligence is not a science, and attributing hacks to specific sources is a particularly difficult task, almost impossible to carry out with precision and certainty.”


11/26/16


Green Party: Greens Elect 138 Officeholders in 17 States


11/18/16


HuffPo: The Gaping Wound That Led to Trump’s Win: Inequality - “The people didn’t ask for Donald Trump. They asked for change and settled for Trump.” That says it in a nutshell. There is growing class consciousness in this country that has not been seen in almost 100 years. Trump addressed it and Bernie Sanders addressed it. Sanders outpolled Clinton against Trump right up to the election. The Democrats chose to present a representative of Wall Street and war - the status quo. Big mistake. There is a convergence at the bottom. Neither party speaks directly to all of those in poverty and the working poor. When that party comes along and gets a voice that most Americans get to hear, Rethugs and Democraps will quickly become a distant memory.


10/31/16


NYTimes: CNN Parts Ways With Donna Brazile, a Clinton Supporter - She was passing debate questions to Hillary. Add this to the ways the the DNC and the Clinton campaign cheated its way to the nomination and Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here. Screw them all forever!


10/11/16


Socialist Alternative: Bloodbath Presidential Debates Show the Need for Alternatives - 15 million children in America live in poverty, 43% of children live in low-income families,  2.5 million children are homeless, 400-500 thousand children live in foster care, healthcare is becoming less and less affordable, we are at war with half the countries in the world and about to start a new one in Yemen and Here, we are responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians across the Middle East, Here and Here, Americans now live under constant, universal surveillance, and Here, Here, Here, Here - which has accomplished nothing in terms of terrorist attacks thwarted, and Here, Here, Here, the First (free speech) and Fourth Amendments (warrants, illegal search and seizure) to the Constitution have been shredded, the wealth gap between the 1% and the rest of us grows by the day, and Here, Here, Here, as the largest corporations pay no taxes and fossil fuel companies get $Billions in tax subsidies, students drown under an ocean of debt, and Here, and oh yeah, the world is burning up. But what does the corporate-cable media think we need to know about? Abortion, Guns, Gays and Donald Trump is a misogynist. Further links: Here, Here, Here.


9/30/16


Gallup: 57% of Voters Believe a Third Party is Needed - Among voters 29 and younger, that number is 91%.


9/28/16


Jill Stein: The Debate Through The Green Party Lens - A must read. Per the League of Women Voters, the current debate system is “a fraud perpetrated on the American people.”


9/1/16


USA Today: 76% of Voters Believe Third Party Candidates Should Participate in Debates

8/3/16


Intercept: How Citizens United Opened US Elections to Foreign Money - A good primer on the laws concerning campaign donations before and after the CU decision.


HuffPo: Can Jill Stein Carry Bernie’s Baton? A Look at the Green Candidate’s Radical Funding Solution - It wasn’t considered radical when the Fed bought AIG for $85 Billion with no input from Congress, or when a GAO audit revealed that the Fed had secretly loaned $16 Trillion to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses, or when QE was used to transfer $4.5 Trillion directly into Wall St. bank coffers. But when Stein proposes that we use the same methods to provide basic access to food, clean water, health care, and affordable housing to actual people, then there is a loud chorus stating that is ‘radical’ and ‘unrealistic.’ BS! Much more about Green Party economic proposals in this article.


8/2/16


Truthdig: Don’t Fall For It: The Nader Myth and Your 2016 Vote - Hopefully, we can lay this old canard in its rightful place: a complete fable. 90,000 Florida voters of all persuasions (not just Democrats) voted for Nader in 2000. Over 300,000 registered Democrats voted for Bush. 191,000 self-described liberals voted for Bush. A final count of all the votes showed that Gore actually won Florida. The Supreme Court is the reason Gore lost Florida, nothing that happened in the voting booths had anything to do with it. If Gore had won his home state, Florida would not have mattered. More details in the article.


7/29/16


CREDO: 135,000+ Petition DNI James Clapper to Withhold Security Briefing From Trump - Trump can’t be trusted. But then again, neither can Clapper, and Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here, especially when he says that he’s only vacuuming up “the meta-data”, and Here and Here, even after the FBI had to admit that all that surveillance accomplished exactly zero, and Here and Here. But Clapper can be a very dangerous foe when cornered. Greenwald on where all this has led us.

See entries of 6/5/13, 11/18/15, 11/17/15, 1/4/14