Category Archives: Bernie

End game

It is interesting to watch the Main Stream Media try to get its head around the undercurrents running through America and the Democratic Party since the IG of the State Department released his findings last week. Certain factions that are definitely pro-Hillary have castigated her for the flaws found in the IG’s report, and they seem a little conflicted about what their posture should be to this unluckiest of candidates.

I commend doing a Google search for some combination of “FBI” and “Hillary.” You will find that local or regional newspapers and magazines are much more interested in publishing what is going on than the big members of the MSM. According to several of these offerings, the White House is on alert for the next shoe to drop, making inquiries of its supporters about possible endgames to this troubling saga. The most suggested outcome is a convention naming Joe Biden as the nominee with Elizabeth Warren as his veep.

Many speculate on what Obama will do, and most come down on the side of allowing the investigation to take its course, including indictments if they are warranted. Nobody wants the Democratic nominee to be facing indictments during the race, although Fox News has contributed a poll that suggests that 71% of Democrats surveyed would have no problem with voting for Hillary if she’s indicted. This has caused great consternation among the commentators, although Bernie supporters have seen the irrational devotion of many of Hillary’s supporters over the past several months.

Only one brave soul has suggested that the Democratic Party somehow owes it to Bernie to allow him to be the nominee. This doesn’t surprise me. The general antipathy of the Third Way Democrats toward Bernie and his supporters is that which one would expect of a dying regime. Imagine Marie Antoinette on the guillotine. Bernie represents such a break with the status quo that he looks positively alien to the corporatists in charge of the party now. Those who have claimed that the separation between Bernie and Hillary is greater than that between Hillary and Trump are quite close to the truth. Neither Hillary nor Trump is interested in any reins on unbridled capitalism. Unfortunately, the American people seem to be with Bernie on this one.

We are living through remarkable times. Winds of change may well blow gale force if an indictment is issued. Who the nominee is who arises from these ashes will tell us how violent the revolution will have to be.

What Bill Clinton Did in Africa

As African Americans all over this country fall in line to vote for Hillary Clinton because she is good for them, among the many sins of her husband was the continuing of the rape of the Democratic Republic of Congo begun by Belgian King Leopold in the late nineteenth century. Long before Slick Willy became president, back in the early ’60s, the CIA ousted the democratically elected president of that country, Patrice Lumumba, because he intended to keep the resources of his country for his people to have the benefit from them. Among the minerals present in large quantity was cobalt, an element necessary in most electronics, including American weapons systems and military aircraft. Our government was involved in the assassination of Lumumba and installation of the tyrant Mobutu Sese Seko.

Clinton came into the picture after 30+ years of CIA support for the dictator, who was responsible for the deaths of as many as six million of his subjects. Why? Because Mobutu was becoming an embarrassment, and was talking, like Lumumba, of nationalizing the mineral extraction from his country. Under Clinton’s NSA. funds for a coup and training were given to Laurent Kabila, then a rebel against Mobutu, with the understanding that western access to the minerals would be maintained at the level necessary for western corporations. Laurent Kabila became President of the country, and continued brutal oppression of various ethnic groups , of which there were over 450 in that large land.

Abby Martin, the journalist behind The Empire Files, has created a wonderful entry into her series, called How the World Runs on Looting the Congo.   I recommend it highly. She goes into much greater detail than I can here, and has as her guest one of the many exiles from the Congo since the Kabila family took over.

The US has taken an unhealthy military stance in Africa, and has gone to great lengths to hide it. The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald’s current haven for investigative journalism in this era of corporate ownership of the mass media and the dumbing down of network news, has given us the lively story of how a journalist was blackballed by the Pentagon for pursuing evidence of the US military presence in Africa, How a Simple Request Got Me Blackballed by the Pentagon, a horror story of abuse of FOIA procedures intent on keeping evidence of the military’s vast and growing presence on that beleaguered continent still struggling to find its way clear of its colonial past.

These stories dovetail, and do not tell a pleasant story about how our politicians and military have decided that Africa is too important to our military-industrial complex to be allowed to control itself and its own destiny. This is the price we are paying as a nation for allowing the corporatization of politics and the hegemony of the Defense Department. If we want to stay uninformed about this atrocity and put our heads in the sand, we can continue to waste so much of our income on the military and corporate welfare, costing lives and societies in Africa their freedom and self-determination without interference from the wealthy of this world. Or we can join Bernie’s revolution and fight against the dehumanizing effects of our country’s misdeeds, and at the same time, help a continent that has been abused too long by the Western World.

The conflicts this spring

I spent several hours at Bernie’s HQ this morning doing data entry. There was a couple visiting from Colorado who wanted some swag and they got a fair amount. We had the kind of conversation about Hillary that Bernie probably doesn’t approve of, and we lauded the fact that we finally had a candidate we could vote for instead of against. One thing I find when I encounter women of my age who support Bernie is that the primary motive is positive, that he is saying things we want to hear, that he has a history of consistency and strength in the areas we want, and that he is winning rather nicely of late.

I came home after  doing my work, and found that my kitties had, as usual, wreaked havoc in my apartment and were in the process of creating a motor speedway through my living room. They had snarled a few balls of yarn, knocked some books out of a bookcase, and gotten the cupboard door open that conceals their dry food. Their rambunctiousness is caused by the lengthening day and higher sun. They spend mid-day lolling on their climbing tree in the heat through the windows. They had only been running around for a short while when I got home and that was all to the good.

The Red Sox  are playing so that my evenings are now committed in front of the TV. Tomorrow night, I will go to my writers workshop knowing that I am missing my boys of summer.It is hard to think of summer when the wind blows and still gives a windchill, but seeing the men at Fenway gives me hope of a sirocco wind in a few months time. Then I will undoubtedly complain about the heat and humidity.

The problem with all this activity is that I cannot find the inclination to write. I am reworking the novel I thought I would publish a year ago, and I’m not making much progress. I work in fits and starts, without much to show for it.  I have about 20,000 words down, but am already reworking them because they are not detailed enough to entice the reader. This part of writing is not particularly inspiring for me, in fact, more like a slog, and I find little desire or motivation.

Bernie and the Sox are much more interesting to me right now. But it will happen, when the newness of the baseball season has worn a little thin, and the race for president will be more clear in a few weeks. It is sometimes difficult to convince myself that I’m a writer.

Wyoming joins the crowd!

I suppose I shouldn’t celebrate too much. It’s a western state and a caucus which means the MSM will dis it completely. Bernie spent the day in NYC, holding rallies that attracted bunches of people, while Hillary was upstate raising more money from the well-to-do. I got in some money and so Bernie got his $27. He gets the first money in my checks, then the cats, and then food for me. If there’s any left over, I might buy a book or two, but that seems like a luxury while Bernie is a necessity.

The fundamental reason I support Bernie is that he is the first politician in a long time not to take money from the monetary elite, the ones who run this country in an oligarchy. The Clintons are part of that with their machine funded by Wall Street, Monsanto, Saudi Arabia and others. Monsanto has sued my tiny state because we are the only ones with the cojones to pass a GMO labeling law without wiggle room. It goes into effect in a few months, and some of the big companies are going to start labeling, but not Monsanto.

Monsanto is probably responsible for two of my cats getting bizarre forms of cancer within a very short time of each other, both dying withing three weeks of each other because of contact with Round-up. Round-up has been labeled as probably carcinogenic by the World Health Organization. This has not been widely reported by the MSM because Monsanto is a big player in the oligarchy. Hillary lost my vote, even if she is the nominee, because of her connections with Monsanto. There are plenty of other reasons, but that’s the big one.

So Wyoming, another tiny state, at least population wise,  has stood with Bernie against Hillary and so I applaud them. I wish Hillary would drop out for the good of the liberals, both Democratic and independent, who will otherwise be placed in the position of not voting for her. Her negatives are just too high. Without us, she cannot win. It is her sense of entitlement that keeps her in this race. She cares only for her ambition to be president. This has been painfully clear when her campaign put out the message that she was taking off the gloves, and going to fight to disqualify and defeat Bernie in any way necessary and look for unity thereafter. What unity can she possibly expect if she turns ugly, as she did in 2008, when Bernie’s youthful supporters will not join her? Many of Bernie’s older supporters, like me, will also not support her.

One of my favorite fantasies, in fact, is that Vermont will write-in Bernie, and Hillary will be deprived of our measly three electoral votes.I doubt that enough will do it, but wouldn’t it be loverly? (with apologies to “My Fair Lady”)


Losing patience?

Hillary is losing patience with Bernie, or so she says. Excuse while I chortle. Her campaign has done everything it can to trash Bernie at every step of the way, and she’s the one losing patience? Have at it, Hillary, because you won’t look any better being nasty, if what’s come before is your sweet.

It started with the ridiculous debate schedule. In spite of the pundits and their claims that she’s a great debater, the internet has decided that Bernie has won every debate so far. The mainstream media has picked up the narrative of Hillary’s excellence as a debater, ignoring the groundswell of public opinion in the other direction. Of course, very few people watched the debates since they were placed at such inconvenient times.

Then there was the weekend when both Hillary and Chelsea gave speeches, in New Hampshire, no less, in which they claimed that Bernie was against ChIP and Medicare, since he was going to wipe them out with his own plan. This was so misleading as to cause howls from anyone who had read Bernie’s position papers.  It backfired on them, but was indicative of the tortuous reading they gave to Bernie’s plans.

Next, she decided to put out her college plan to compete with Bernie’s. While he offered Bachelor level degrees in his plan, Hillary would only stump for community colleges, and they would not be free. Poor students would pay for their education with work-study programs. Notice how Hillary’s plan again creates a two-tier system, one in which poor students have to do twice the work to get the same benefit as the wealthier students.

Hillary is now opposed to climate change. This is a lesson she learned from Bernie, too, although she’ll never admit it. It’s very hard to make a credible case for being against climate change when you spent four years traveling the world, impressing on developing countries the benefits of fracking, as if using a slightly cleaner fossil fuel is the answer to four hundred years of using coal and other dirty fuels. Of course she’s now against the TPP, after having called it the gold standard in treaties for the past several years.

Could her loss of patience have anything to do with Bernie’s recent streak of wins? Good grief, even the Democrats Abroad were strongly for Bernie.

If anyone should have lost patience, it should be Bernie. Hillary has ripped off his positions, dumbed them down a little, and offered them as her great experience-driven takes on the subjects involved. Bull pucky. Bernie was right about the Iraq war, and right about our treaty with Panama. Hillary has apologized for the first. It will be very interesting to see what the Panama Papers reveal as more is disclosed. Can you say private server? Can you say speeches to Wall St. firms? Hillary has so much more work to do before she’s earned the right to lose patience with Bernie.

Takeaways from the 3/9 Democratic Debate

First, is Hillary getting uneasy? There’s the question she had difficulty answering, about why so many people find her untrustworthy. She then refused to answer whether she would drop out of the race if she is indicted. She wouldn’t answer the question, claiming it was preposterous. In light of the immunity given to her aide recently, does anyone agree with her? She has to have known that this question would be coming to her sometime soon, but her lack of preparation with a substantive answer was shocking. In fact, if she though her contempt would play well with the audience, she was sadly mistaken.

Second, her attacks on Bernie for voting for or against particular items in a multi-faceted bill were weak and questionable. To try to say that Bernie sided with vigilantes didn’t pass the straight face test. His response was spot-on, saying that she clearly hadn’t listened to any of his speeches. Similarly her claim that his opposition to TARP 2 was a vote against a bailout of the car industry was disingenuous and didn’t make her any points with the audience. She rarely got cheers from the audience and she must have realized her ploys were not being accepted as the debate progressed.

Bernie was more energized than he was in Sunday’s debate, and also more on his game. He faltered when shown the 30 year old video in which he praised Castro and supported Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega. In Miami, this connection may be harmful, in light of the strong immigrant community there from Cuba and Latin America. But to those of us who remember the disastrous Reagan years of regime change in Latin America, supporting despots and dictators against freedom fighters from the left, the attack on Ortega fell well short. To most of America, the idea of the Castro brothers as bogeymen has fallen by the wayside with the possibility of ending the isolation of Cuba after too many years.

My main takeaway from this debate is that Clinton is feeling the tension of the unexpected loss in Michigan and what it portends for Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri. If those three states come to Bernie next Tuesday, while North Carolina and Florida possibly go to Clinton, the handwriting should be on the wall. Clinton may live and die by her southern firewall, which is turning into a prison of her own making.

The Bernie March Is On

Bernie wins Michigan! Less than a week ago he was more than 10 points down in the polls, and though the numbers were getting close, not one of the pundits thought he could win. Now the country, and the mainstream media, has to wake up and take notice. Last weekend, the Washington Post published 16 negative articles about Bernie Sanders, trying to sway public opinion against this champion of the people. The arrogance of the media and the Clinton campaign (“It’s time to pivot”) has brought them low, but I wait with anticipation the spin they will try to put on this.

Ohio is next, and it’s demographically very similar to Michigan. The West Coast has yet to be heard from and it’s fertile Bernie territory. Hang on to your hats, folks. The Bernie Bus has left the station and is taking on the world!