Callin’ out around the world … Support for the American people grows overseas

Even as the overall standing, reputation and favorability of the USA has been shrinking for years, the American people still have the love and support – and even sympathy – of people the world over.

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Posted in Culture, Economics, History, Neoliberalism, Politics | 1 Comment

Maybe Frustrated Progressives Should Look to the Republican Party

Progressives have tried over and over again to take over the Democratic Party and return it to the worker-oriented engine for economic justice that it was under FDR.

They have failed.

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Why Trump is NOT “The Most Dangerous President”

Choose your poison?

He is a racist, a sexist, a misogynist and a xenophobe. He has sexually harassed and assaulted women. He is corrupt and has used his position in Government for financial gain. And on top of it all, he is demented and seems to be suffering from cognitive decline.

Yes, you may say, Joe Biden is not the perfect candidate, but Donald Trump is all of those things AND MORE.

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What Kind of Socialism Will We Have?

We are all socialists now

There have been several articles recently all expressing the sentiment, in one form or another, that with the COVID crisis, “we are all socialists now.” Suddenly Reagan’s quip about the government not being the solution to the problem but rather being the problem itself, seems remarkably naive and out of place. Everyone from bank moguls to CEOs to construction laborers to myriad small business owners are rushing to the bosom of the Government seeking life-saving assistance in the face of an unprecedented disaster.

The Democrats get outflanked on the Left

But there is another even more curious development, and one that Bob and I have both foretold: Trump is maneuvering to the Left of Biden and the Democrats now in terms of government activism. His recent willingness to contemplate at least a temporary “Medicare for All” solution to the COVID challenges is making Biden and the Democrats’ call to reopen the Obamacare Exchanges look like the weakest of tea – especially as more and more people are losing the jobs they will need to pay for their ACA premiums.

And it’s not just Trump. Mitt Romney made a huge splash when he called for simply sending out checks to everyone while Pelosi was moaning about moral hazard and wanting to means test the hell out of everything. Right-leaning populists like Justin Amash and Josh Hawley are way out in front of the dithering Democrats in terms of calling for speedy and direct government intervention to help working people.

Yes, but what kind of Socialism?

So it seems that we are heading for some kind of socialism, but the question is: what kind of socialism will we have?

Will it be Bernie’s “Democratic” Socialism, which seeks to heal the world, unite all workers everywhere and build solidarity based on class and station, portraying the international elites and billionaires as the enemy of workers?

Or will it be Trump’s (and Bannon’s) “National” Socialism, which seeks to Make America Great Again, put America First and build solidarity based on national origin, race and religion, portraying immigrants and foreigners as the enemy of the American worker?

History is rhyming

Many are already saying that the economic earthquake we are facing will be on a par with that of the Great Depression of the 1930’s. And we are already seeing the battle lines being drawn between the Democratic Socialists and the National Socialists, similarly to what happened in Weimar Germany. The Reds were fighting the Brownshirts in the streets – similar to today’s MAGA crowds facing off against Antifa.

The original name of the German Nazi party was the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP). The Nazis promoted a type of socialism but only for German workers. Jews, immigrants and foreigners were not welcome. Under Trump I can definitely see a similar type of National Socialist American Workers movement (if not an actual Party) spring up to defend “American” workers, with Muslims, immigrants and foreigners not welcome.

A taste of what is to come?

You may think that all this talk about Democratic Socialism versus National Socialism is far-fetched. Well, one of the Right’s most cherished attack lines against the Sanders Medicare For All plan is that it would also cover “every man, woman and child” in the US – including “undocumented” workers and immigrants. Facing a 60% overall favorability rating for M4A, with even a 53% approval rating among working class Republicans, Bannon and Miller’s propaganda machine had to find a wedge issue, something to force a crack in that massive majoritarian support, and the provision for immigrants fit their needs perfectly.

The argument goes along the lines of: “OK, OK, I can possibly see adopting a universal single payer health insurance system, but certainly NEVER when it also covers “Non-Americans”.

There you have it, in a microcosm: Democratic Socialism versus National Socialism. Let’s hope that this time the good guys win.

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The Speech Bernie Needs to Give – NOW

In order to win, Bernie does not need to “go negative’. He does not need to attack the Billionaire Class. He does not need to rail against The Establishment.

He does not even need to promise Revolution or delineate his policies. He has already won the policy debate by massive margins.

He simply needs to jog people’s memories.

I do not know whether the upcoming debate will be the best venue for this speech, but the following is the argument that Bernie needs to make in order to succeed.

So read this and imagine a thick Brooklyn accent if you want. Enjoy!

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My friends, as I mentioned in my press conference last week, we know that while the vast majority of Democratic voters support our campaign on the issues, many of you are still choosing to vote for my opponent because you think he is best able to beat Trump. While you may personally support our policies on Medicare For All, Free Public College and the Green New Deal, you may want to vote for Joe Biden because you consider him to be the “safe” choice to beat Trump in the fall.

And why shouldn’t you think that way? The media is telling you that he is the safe choice. The Democratic establishment is telling you he is the safe choice. In short, everything and everyone you see on TV and in the news are telling you that in this race, ONLY Joe Biden can beat Trump in November.

But – what if they are all wrong?

Looking back on recent history, it seems that whenever we have decided to go with the “safe” candidate, WE LOSE.

In 2000, Al Gore was the safe candidate. Everyone knew him, he had served with a very popular President. He couldn’t lose.

And yet, he did lose.

In 2004, Howard Dean led a movement of young people in the Primaries. He said he represented the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.” But the party establishment and the media said he was too radical, that he couldn’t win. They told us John Kerry was the “safe” choice.

And we lost again.

Then, in 2008, we had a situation that was very similar to what we have today. There was one candidate who was the Establishment favorite, who was associated with a very popular Democratic President, who had lots of experience, who had every world leader in a Rolodex, who had been a successful Senator, who ticked every box, who fit the bill. And the media and the party establishment all supported Hillary Clinton.

Running against her was a very unlikely opponent: a black man with a Muslim name: Barack Hussein Obama.

And as if that name was not problematic enough, he was running on a platform of Change. He wanted to put an end to the “stupid” wars, as he called them. He wanted to overhaul the system; he wanted to give everyone the chance to have government paid healthcare. He was running on a strong progressive platform.

Of course, the media and the establishment were all lined up against him. They tried everything to make him look dangerous, to make him look “un-electable.” They bombarded the airwaves, the newspapers and all the other media with pundits, experts and Democrat leaders to tell you that Barack Obama was too dangerous, too radical; that white people would not vote for him; that older people would not vote for him; that the white working class would not vote for him, that those elusive “swing voters” and “moderate voters” would not vote for him.

But you, the Democratic voters, decided to take a chance. You voted the way your own heart and head told you to. The way your gut told you to. You chose Barack Obama to be your champion in the general election, and WE WON.

And we won again in 2012.

You see, when we go safe, we lose. But when we take a chance, when we vote for the policies that we actually want, when we vote the way that our conscience tells us to – THAT is when WE WIN.

Still, you may think, can’t a safe candidate also win?

I don’t think so. AND – we have the proof. We have the experience, the test case to look back on.

Four years ago we had the same choice between a “safe” establishment candidate, whom the Party and the Media supported, and a progressive candidate running on a platform of change. I was that progressive change candidate. The safe candidate was Hillary Clinton, the same “safe” candidate who lost to the progressive in 2008.  She was the one  that the Party establishment told us was “the most qualified person ever to become President”. She was the one the media, the pollsters and the pundits all said  would win in a LANDSLIDE.  And so, we chose Hillary Clinton, the safe candidate, the sure thing, to be our nominee.

And we LOST to Donald Trump.

So I am asking you tonight to remember our history. Remember the lessons we learned from electing Barack Obama. Remember that when you ignore the noise and the propaganda from the media, when we vote for the policies that we want, when we vote for the future that we want, WE WIN.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #28: “Bernie Will Hurt Democrats Running Down Ballot”

Now that Bernie Sanders is the presumptive nominee, and clearly the people’s choice to head the Democratic ticket in November, the Party Elites and their minions in the media are flailing about in an attempt to find some reason to oppose his nomination and overturn the will of the voters.

The narrative they are pushing, however, is a cynical reversal of their prior positions. It is also precisely wrong, and we have the receipts.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #25: “Bernie wants to let prisoners vote – even the Boston Bomber!”

People who oppose letting prisoners vote often do not have the necessary facts in order to make a rational decision.

 

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Anti-Bernie Smear #26: “Bernie is like Trump and/or his supporters are just like Trump’s”

Saying that “Bernie is just a Trump of the Left” is an intellectually lazy way to criticize a candidate. When you cannot fault him on policy or personal grounds, you go after his base of support. Such an attack is as despicable as it is stupid.

 

 

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Anti-Bernie Smear #27: “Bernie is a Communist, He Honeymooned in the USSR!”

Bernie is often attacked for having taken a trip to the USSR in the late 1980’s. This attack is as ancient and outdated as it is erroneous.

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Forget “Bernie Or Bust” – When it Comes to Climate Change, it’s “Bernie Or BURN”

People accuse Sanders supporters of being “fanatics” who push “purity tests” and adopt a “holier-than-thou” attitude towards other candidates and their supporters. They are grossly underestimating us.  We Berners are on a mission to literally save the world, and in this fight Bernie is not just the best candidate, he is the ONLY candidate.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #24: “Bernie is too far Left; he can’t win the general election – he will be another McGovern”

People who claim that Bernie is “too far Left” are mired in a false narrative that the Democratic Party itself has been promoting for decades in order to suppress and thwart Progressives.

2020 is nothing like 1972 EXCEPT in the way that the Democratic Party elite is trying to sabotage their strongest candidate.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #23: “Bernie has never been vetted, he’s been given a pass …etc.”

This smear is another one that I would have thought would disappear given all the blatant facts in evidence to the contrary. But no – there are still some people out there claiming that Bernie is popular only because no one has really challenged him, no one has investigated him, no one has really attacked him.

UPDATED: February 3, 2020

 

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Anti-Bernie Smear #17: “Bernie is not a Democrat!”

Centrist Democrats love to pillory Bernie for not being on their Team. This particular “attack” is so stupid that I resisted writing an answer to it for a long time, thinking that it would go away. Alas, there seems to be mo end to the stupidity of the centrist CorpDems and #StillWithering Hive Queen Holdovers that are still out there. Continue reading

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Anti-Bernie Smear #11: “Bernie is Pro-NRA, Pro-Gun, voted 5 times against the Brady Bill, etc.”

First, let’s be clear: Bernie is no fan of the NRA. Moreover, Bernie is by no means the most pro-gun Democrat out there. Indeed, throughout most of his career, Bernie has had a solid “F” from the NRA.

Bernie has also received a Distinction from Mike Bloomberg’s own organization, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund.

In addition, Bernie has been endorsed by the March For Our Lives anti-gun violence group that was formed in the wake of the Parkland shootings.

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This is Neoliberalism, Part V: the false promise of “Choice”

Beware of politicians, pundits and experts who say they support consumer “choice”  — that word does not mean what you think it means.

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This is Neoliberalism, Part IV: The Military Industrial Complex and the Big Lie Exposed

Posted in Economics, History, Neoliberalism, Politics | 1 Comment

Tr🍩ll Smear #22: “Bernie is an Anti-Semite”

To many people this may seem like an unlikely or even a silly smear, given that Bernie is Jewish, given that he lost his family in the Holocaust, and given that he actually lived and worked on a Kibbutz in Israel. But believe me, this is a serious smear, and the fact that serious people will level this kind of attack says more about the state of discourse surrounding Israel, Judaism and the definition of Antisemitism than it does about Bernie Sanders. Continue reading

Posted in 2020 Campaign, Anti-Bernie Smears, Anti-Progressive Smears, Bernie Sanders, History, Politics | Leave a comment

Anti-Bernie Smear #21: “Bernie wants to take away Americans’ CHOICE in their healthcare provider”

This is an insidious accusation that hinges on debunked ideas of “socialized medicine” and uses classic neoliberal attack strategies to promote what is essentially a massive and bold-faced LIE.

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Posted in 2020 Campaign, Anti-Bernie Smears, Anti-Progressive Smears, Bernie Sanders, Economics, Politics | 1 Comment

Why I Know Trump Did Not Collude with Russia

Everyone knows Trump is corrupt, that he does dirty deals, and that he had been trying to do business in Russia since the 1990’s. I am sure he also got financing from Russians.

But none of that means that he colluded with the Russians to win the Presidency.

Certainly his Russian creditors did not want him to win, and I don’t believe Trump himself wanted to win – for the very reasons we are seeing now. All his dirty business dealings are coming to light.

I am sure his Russian backers are freaking out, I am sure everyone in Trump’s inner and outer circles are freaking out. And I am sure that Trump knew this day would come as soon as he was declared the winner.

Trump just wants to make money any which way he can, and we know from Michael Cohen’s testimony that he enjoys cheating people in order to do it. Being POTUS cramps his style. That is why he constantly tweets NO COLLUSION! Trump knows he is corrupt, he knows all the dirt that the Democrats will dig up on him, all the crimes they could charge him with, but he also knows that collusion is not one of them.

Now, I could go into detail about how the RussiaGate story was all just a hoax created by Obama’s CIA chief, John Brennan, to deflect blame and attention away from Hillary and the Democratic Party when they were revealed to have perpetrated the greatest election fraud in US history.

I could also go into detail about how the #RussiaGate narrative was then “re-purposed” by Clinton campaign staffers Robby Mook and John Podesta to again deflect blame and attention from their own dismal failure, the incompetence of the campaign and the unpopularity of the candidate.

But we don’t need to get bogged down in all of that, because the simple fact – and one that Michael Moore mentions in his film “11/9″ – is that Trump never wanted to win and he never expected to win. His candidacy was just one giant publicity stunt to prove to NBC that he was more popular than Gwen Stefani.

Trump is not very bright, but he is certainly smart enough to know that he has tons of skeletons in his closet, any one of which could put him in jail if investigated thoroughly.

He is also smart enough to know that he could never count on a “friendly” GOP controlling both Chambers of Congress forever, and that he would be investigated as soon as he took office.

Still, the #RussiaGate hoax has been effective. It has turned otherwise thoughtful and fact-loving Liberals into ignorant hooting hogs like their counterparts on the Right.

For example, although half of Republicans think that 3 million “illegals” voted in 2016, a strong majority of Democrats actually believe that Russia changed the vote tallies in the 2016 election.

Moreover, after #RussiaGate has been promulgated in the mainstream media, MORE Democrats believe this patent falsehood than did at the end of 2016.

Thank you, Rachel Maddow, CNN, NBC, NYT and WaPo.

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Note: this post first appeared as an answer on Quora.

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Anti-Bernie Smear #4: “Bernie was not an effective legislator and he never accomplished anything in Congress”

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. As explained in this article in AlterNet, and even confirmed here in PolitFact, Bernie was known as the “Amendment King” in Congress.

This is important, because actual bills passed in the US Congress are NOT progressive themselves.

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