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How the Insidious Corporate Media Buries the Issues

George Bush stole the election.
Barack Obama wasn’t born in America.
Donald Trump is a Russian plant.

Notice a pattern?

Keep in mind that over the last 5 months, mostly thanks to Wikileaks, we became aware of the following:

  • Congress received monetary kickbacks from the taxpayer funded TARP bailout in proportion to what the banks received.
  • The Chair of the FCC and the head of Homeland Security, among other positions, were essentially sold to the highest bidder.
  • The Democrats have a spreadsheet called “Pay to Play” where their biggest donors, the amount of the donations and what positions those donors wanted were recorded.
  • President Obama’s cabinet in 2009 was, in effect, chosen by Citigroup
  • Democrats had little interest in helping unions or minorities in private, but outwardly still pushed that narrative.
  • The media was VERY involved in wanting Clinton to win from the offset. This included consulting with her campaign on tactics to use against her opponents and in some cases rigging debates.

And that is just a sampling. In perhaps the most telling example of the ruling elite’s cold indifference to the public we learned that the Clinton campaign purposely pushed Trump to run and asked for the media to give him credibility, only so she would have an easier path in the general. If she lost? Well, we were just going to be stuck with Trump. They knew that the rich and powerful will be fine either way, but the rest of us? Sorry, peons.

Make no mistake, if you think the same illegal and unethical behavior isn’t going on in the RNC and all levels of the so called elite, you really aren’t paying attention. The corruption rotting our government, media and the ruling class, is pervasive at all levels of our society, but none more obvious than the corporate media. Almost all the media you watch, 90% of it is owned by 6 corporations. Ask yourself why, after an election that literally blew the doors off of the systemic corruption of our ruling class, are we dedicating most of our time talking about something as ridiculous as our president being a Russian agent? Why, after the biggest financial collapse in our lifetimes when many wealthy and politically connected people committed global crimes against humanity, did we spend years arguing over the ridiculous premise whether our president’s birth certificate was long or short form?

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http://www.frugaldad.com/media-consolidation-infographic/

The simple answer is the main job of the corporate media is to keep us distracted. That is it. It isn’t to enlighten us or inform us. If politicians are the elites’ policy arm, the corporate media is their messaging/propaganda arm. Polls have shown people are more informed watching comedy shows than corporate news. Some channels actually left viewers less informed than if they had just watched nothing at all. Think about that, somebody who is just winging it, just literally guessing, knows more about what is going on in the world than somebody who watches a cable news channel.

Obviously after a while most people would get tired of just being mislead, unless of course they mixed in something divisive with an intoxicating amount of self congratulatory rage , like, say… politics. If it seem as if there is a “right” media and a “left” media, it wasn’t done by mistake. Its the perfect foil. When a Democrat wins, the “right wing” corporate media screams some completely moronic, inflammatory accusation and when the Republicans win the “left” media returns the favor. Whenever there is a major, serious discussion that needs to be had the media steers us back into tribalism. That is their job. Keep us herded up and divided.

At a time we should be demanding ethics reform, investigations into the entire government and likely prosecutions, we are hyperventilating about crowd sizes and if our President is a Russian spy. Seriously. First there is a Muslim Manchurian Candidate, now its a Russian Manchurian Candidate. Come on people… We have got to see through this by now. I am not going to argue whether you think Bush stole the election, Obama isn’t legitimate, or Trump is a Russian puppet, although I think I could point out some major discrepancies in all those narratives, I am only asking if those really are the pressing issues of our time?

Our jobs are being outsourced or automated, while our ruling class has no answers except to accelerate the transfer of wealth from the working class to the global elite with their disastrous policies. The national debt is spiraling to a point of no return which will cripple the future of every worker in this country, with only the pessimistic understanding of more tax cuts and wasteful defense spending from our political class. The media is owned by a small handful of corporations, with new mergers being proposed almost every time you read the news, continually shrinking our choices for who decides what we hear. We are living on a rock hurling millions of miles an hour through space protected by a razor thin atmosphere and we are allowing it to be destroyed, damning the survival of humanity itself, just to narrowly improve quarterly profits for a few. As we circle the drain we continue to be baited by hucksters and/or useful tools in corporate news who are used to fuel the ignorance, instead of facing the real issues facing our lives and planet.

Don’t make the mistake that the corporate media has any interest in actually diagnosing the real problems. Far from it. Corporate news is essentially disguised, to varying degrees, as informative. In reality it is partisan propaganda with divisive, and often combative discussions on everyday current events. They will take an everyday event and make it a political argument. They want to distract you not only to entertain you, but more importantly, to guide your anger away from where it should be directed. When was the last time one of these “serious” Sunday shows had a transparent talk about the corrupting influence of corporate money in journalism? Ever? How about the danger of media collusion and concentration? Certainly not on those self congratulating Sunday “media watchdog” shows. How many shows discuss real campaign finance reform that includes matching funds or other innovative reforms?

The list goes on and on from debt reduction to a realistic discussion not including corporate funded shills about why our healthcare system keeps constantly failing us. On the slow days, if you aren’t getting the distraction du jour, all you will get is political gossip. How is this politician going to get this vote through or who will block this procedure, scripted “surrogates” repeating the tired right or left corporate talking points and the incessantly mind dulling poll discussions. Basically, corporate journalism is a gigantic lie spun to you by a handful of billionaires who don’t want you to think they are to blame for the absolute corruption they perpetuate in our government.

So here we are after another election, left with a bevy of unanswered question and out of nowhere… Russia rigged the election. Really? Maybe it would come off as a tad bit more serious if President Obama and Hillary Clinton weren’t running around all of October mercilessly ridiculing and mocking Donald Trump for suggesting the election could be rigged. Maybe it would come off as a little bit more legitimate if Hillary Clinton wasn’t attending the inaugural. How in any way is that part of #TheResistance by legitimizing his win by attending Putin’s puppet’s inaugural? Do you really think our past heads of state, and the so called victim of this heinous crime, would attend an inaugural by somebody widely known and confirmed as the Manchurian Candidate? Of course they wouldn’t. Maybe it would come off as a bit more believable if we were given a shred of real tangible evidence besides trust the guys who lied to you about the NSA, Libya, Iraq, Vietnam and on and on to push their ulterior agenda. If you can’t trust an espionage agency, who can you trust, right?

Even if it is true, and despite no real evidence it very well could be, and again I am not here to try an change your mind, but is this really the issue we need to be talking about? Should we have been talking about President Obama’s birth certificate in 2009? Was that the most pressing thing in our lives? Was it in yours? As ridiculous as that may sound to some of you, after being drummed up by the “right wing” corporate media, people on the right believed just as passionately that the president was a great danger to the country and held on to the foolish hope that he could somehow be found ineligible. Sound familiar with the “left wing” corporate media counterpart this time? In the grand scheme of things, it was a giant waste of time. Its nothing more than fool’s gold to distract you from the real problems. People should be angry at the state of affairs in this country, but you have to know who your real enemy is.

Although somewhat irrelevant to the point I am trying to make, but for all the hysteria did it even have an effect on the outcome? Seems pretty clear the general election polls over sampled Democratic voters thinking Clinton had locked up the Obama coalition. If they were paying attention going back to the early stages of the race in 2015 and early 2016 all the polls showed that Hillary Clinton did terrible with independents, the largest voting block. She did terrible with independents in the primaries and she did even worse with independents in general election, according to polling during the primaries. Again, this is the largest voting block in America that decides the elections. Russia changed nothing. James Comey changed nothing. During the primaries, the polls showed unfavorable head to heads with all of the GOP candidates before these revelations were revealed. These polls were even more jarring when every one showed Bernie Sanders beating each GOP candidate by a large, and even a blowout margin in many cases. It was obvious she did not do well with a general audience. Democrats loved her, everybody else? Not so much and this wasn’t a secret in 2016, or 2015 either.

This is precisely why they decided to elevate Donald Trump. To hold the American public hostage. Vote for Hillary, who you clearly don’t like, or get this lunatic. Why isn’t that interference into our election being discussed more? Doesn’t that have more of a direct affect on your life? That the media agreeably put Trump on nightly, even would run live feeds of his empty podiums while other much more qualified candidates spoke. Bernie Sanders, who was the only candidate drawing the crowds that Trump was, doesn’t even make a blip in mentions until July 2016, right after he dropped out. In fact he received almost the exact same amount of mentions in the few weeks after he dropped out then all of 2016 previous to that, while the election was at its peak. Wikileaks shows the corporate media had clear favoritism towards the Clinton campaign and colluded in many ways. The elevation of chosen candidates and the blackouts of others is just one of the ways the ruling class attempt to steer the election. As of now, we have no tangible proof with Russia interfering, but we do have 100% verified proof that our own government, media and ruling class colluded to deceive us and in effect try to rig an election for their unpopular, but corporate friendly, candidate in order to get their desired results. Those results, and like so many others from our nepotism addled elite

The results from this election shouldn’t be a surprise. Sure, the corporate media talking heads and pundits dramatically fan themselves and feign disbelief at who could have seen it, when basically every single poll in the primaries showed she was going to most likely lose. Not only did the early polls forecast it, so did most people who were paying attention. It seemed as if every time these Sunday shows would bring

Regardless of how the corporate media tries to frame it, it wasn’t exactly rocket science for the rest of us. They missed what was going on, not everybody as they claim, mostly just them. The rest of us clearly saw the Clinton campaign was ignoring massive segments of the population, not connecting to the real economic anxiety so many Americans are feeling, and overall employing a deeply flawed strategy. However, now none of that, nor does the actual contents of the leaks, the rampant government corruption, job sapping trade deals, our cruel criminal justice policies, the for profit foreign policy, disastrous environmental policies, or anything truly substantive matters because… it was Russia. in somebody not plugged into the D.C. echo chamber, like Cenk Uygur or Michael Moore they would predict Trump would win, to the jaw agape, stunned gaze of the bubble dwelling permanent rotation guests. And it wasn’t just predicting a Trump win, many commentators like Nina Turner, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Thomas Frank, David Sirota, Glenn Greenwald, Nomiki Konst, David Shuster, Jonathan Tasini and others warned of a Trump win throughout the primaries and general election..It shouldn’t be surprising based on the polls cited above that it seems the people least connected to the corporate media were more clued into what was actually going on.class, disastrously backfired and now we have to live with the results, be it nuclear war, uninhabitable air or whatever comes, yet some still choose to get mad at Russia…

The right and left corporate media will keep on going at it endlessly, like those social media chat bots, hoping to keep you paying attention at the entertaining back and forth. Only in this case it isn’t to amuse you, but to keep you from focusing on the real forces raining hell down upon your life. The more serious the problems, the more heightened the new distraction is. The corporate media serves only to distract and channel our rightful anger away from them and onto our fellow working class Americans. The purpose of the corporate media to control the populace, and unless we wake up and realize who is doing this to us, then they do control us.

Use your head. Unplug from the tv for a second. Look around your life. Russia didn’t cause this. The reality is we all know who caused this but some of us refuse to believe it. If we are going to get the change we need to solve these problems, the change we can achieve if we direct our energy in the right direction, then its time to wake up

Listen, Superdelegates! What the Corporate Media and Mainstream “Experts” Refuse to Acknowledge: Bernie is vastly more popular with voters than Hillary

Listen, Superdelegates! What the Corporate Media and Mainstream “Experts” Refuse to Acknowledge: Bernie is vastly more popular with voters than Hillary

In July the superdelegates will determine who will be the Democratic Party nominee for president. If present patterns continue, expect Bernie Sanders to win most of the remaining primaries and caucuses, and, as in West Virginia, to do so in convincing fashion.

In theory, these superdelegates are supposed to overrule the voters if they think the leader is a poor candidate in November and would damage the party’s chances not only for the White House, but also downticket. It is the rationale for having such a decidedly anti-democratic intervention by party insiders and former officials who are now almost all corporate lobbyists on K Street.

If they do their job, a strong case can be made that Bernie Sanders is by far the best choice for the Democratic Party. If they dismiss or ignore this evidence, they do so at their peril. It is more than the fact that Bernie Sanders routinely and often dramatically outperforms Hillary Clinton in national and state-by-state match-ups with Donald Trump. It is also that her performance in the Democratic primaries has been far from convincing. In what follows I will explain.

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Hillary Clinton is a singularly unpopular candidate, whose unpopularity is such that she may do what was once thought to be impossible: get Donald Trump elected president even though a high percentage of Americans detest Donald Trump.

[graphiq id=”9FD3b1HSm2N” title=”Sanders vs. Clinton: Honest and Trustworthy” width=”600″ height=”587″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/9FD3b1HSm2N” link=”http://presidential-candidates.insidegov.com” link_text=”Sanders vs. Clinton: Honest and Trustworthy | InsideGov” ]

She has negatives in polling far beyond any successful presidential candidate since such polls began 50 years ago. Her only consolation is that Trump has similarly dismal scores.

People know her and it is all but impossible for her negatives to shrink at this stage of her career.

And despite what her followers claim about Bernie Sanders, Bernie has hardly attacked her at all this primary season. He has refused to discuss the email investigation, or the shady links between her conduct as Secretary of State and the large donations made to the Clinton Foundation. He has talked about the Goldman Sachs speeches and demanded the transcripts, but has never mentioned that Hillary did around 90 such talks between 2013 and 2015 that put $21 million into her bank account. No other active politician planning a run for president has ever done anything remotely close to a corporate shakedown tour like this before.

Wait until Donald Trump starts in on her, backed by $1.5 billion in SuperPAC money. Think the news media will continue to avoid ignore and discount her various scandals once The Donald starts in on them? Hardly. Trump plays the corporate news media/NPR like the first violinist in the Cleveland Symphony plays a Stradivarius.

There is a good chance her negatives therefore will go higher. And she will return fire with fire and her Wall Street-backed SuperPACs will run a barrage of their own ads on what a complete schmuck Donald Trump is. There is plenty of material to work with.  This type of mutually assured destruction will give the fall campaign the stench of the jockstrap bin in an NFL locker-room after a game played in 90 degree weather and all but guarantee a low voter turnout, which means younger and poorer Americans don’t vote. And that spells disaster for the Democrats up and down the ticket.

Why do I assert there is little popular enthusiasm for Hillary? She cannot do public rallies, because the turnout would be embarrassing. So she is reduced to staged events with invited and controlled small audiences. These look like real events when MSDNC and CNN show clips, but they are Potemkin Villages compared to Bernie’s thriving metropolis.

There is little evidence that active campaigning by Hillary does much to improve her support among voters. The more people see her, it seems the less they like her. She has wisely opted to sprinkle occasional controlled media events among her endless private fundraisers with the billionaire/millionaire crowd, and let the brave journalists at MSDNC, CNN, NPR, the New York Times, AP and the Washington Post advance her campaign aggressively. They comprise her true firewall. That approach may win her the nomination, but it depends upon Donald Trump imploding to be a route to success in November. It is drawing to the proverbial inside straight.

Here is one question her corporate media shills never have asked: Why has Hillary fared so poorly in the caucuses after her “landslide” victories in Iowa and Nevada? Many of these caucuses—all of which were victories for Bernie, generally massive blowout landslides—had unexpected enormous turnouts for caucuses with people overflowing from the venues. But Hillary’s supporters apparently are so unenthused they are not even willing to spend an hour or two showing their support. Better to let Sanders win than to waste more than a few minutes supporting Hillary? That says a lot, doesn’t it? Think those same people who sit out the caucuses are going to volunteer to canvas in September and October? Think again.

Bernie has an army of millions of volunteers ready to devote their lives to his November success and do whatever they can. And they will bring millions to the polls who will vote Democratic down ticket.

Yes, there are her many victories in the 2016 primaries. But how impressive are they, really? Recall that Hillary had a 40 or 50 point lead in virtually every state one year ago, except for Vermont and maybe one or two other states. She began the campaign as perhaps the single most famous active politician in the United States aside from Barack Obama. In large parts of the nation, especially the South, Sanders was mostly unknown. From that lofty perch, her numbers have simply gone down everywhere. And her actual campaigning has not done much to arrest the process.

She has won states in three general categories.

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First are those states that were early in the schedule and clumped together so it was virtually impossible for Bernie to campaign in each of them and raise his profile. These were not only the numerous Southern states that Hillary swept on the first Super Tuesday on March 1, but also important swing states like Ohio, Florida, Missouri and North Carolina that came up two weeks later.

What was striking was that the turnout in all of these races was generally 30-50 percent lower than the turnout in 2008, the last year for a competitive race on the Democratic side. This was an unprecedented collapse in turnout in most of these states that was nothing short of shocking. The average age of the voters was high, relative to the average age in other primaries and certainly in the general election, especially if the Democrats hope to win. In the swath of southern states that came early in the process polling suggested many of the voters had no idea who Sanders even was, and how would they, given the remarkable lack of media attention his campaign generated.

Very low turnouts worked for Hillary. Most new voters coming to the polls were voting for Bernie, so no reason to to sound alarm bells to get more people out to the polls. The DNC, under the indefatigable Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, seemingly internalized this approach, as, by all appearances, there was precious little effort by the party to aggressively register new voters. That will have to wait until Hillary has secured the nomination, when Democrats, by most accounts, will need to get a high turnout to win. Good luck with that, Debbie.

These mega-low-turnout and mega-low-enthusiasm states account for the majority of Hillary’s elected delegates. Most of these states are deep southern states that have not voted for a Democrat for president this century, and only rarely in the past 40 years. And right now, she would be in a stiff battle to win a single one of the swing states like Ohio, Florida, Missouri and North Carolina in November, based on the most recent polling.

So if Hillary gets the nomination it will be built upon a foundation of delegates won in extreme-low-turnout races in states the Republicans will win nearly all of come November.

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The second group of states Hillary has won is those states which had closed primaries so only registered Democrats would vote in them. This eliminated independents, arguably the largest and certainly the most important voting group in the nation, and the sector that will certainly determine who wins the November election. It also eliminated disproportionate numbers of prospective first-time voters, who are generally younger and poorer than those already registered to voter. These, too, are crucial constituencies for a Democratic victory in November.

Closed primaries are a residue of machine politics and indefensible. Political parties should be using primaries to attract and encourage new voters to join their ranks, not to establish a members-only club where party officials have whip-hand control. Not if they are serious about winning general elections.

These closed primary states all came at the end of April, as Bernie was on a long winning streak of landslide victories, topped by a crushing win in Wisconsin on April 5.

As fate has it, Bernie Sanders is the most popular candidate with independent voters in the race in either party. He is also the most popular candidate with voters under 30, perhaps 40 or 45, in either party. Scratch these voters from a primary and Bernie is going to have a very hard time winning. Especially in states like New York where voters had to switch their registration to Democratic fully six months before the primary to vote in the 2016 primary.

Bernie’s appeal to independents is something that does not compute for corporate media/NPR types, so they simply gloss over it. In the group think of the corporate media experts and people like Nate Silver, people on the left are Democrats, people on the right are Republicans, and independents are people wedged between them, often liberal on social issues but fiscally conservative.

By this unquestioned logic, one would expect the democratic socialist Bernie to dominate closed primaries as only lefty Democrats would vote, while poor pro-business, pro-military Hillary would not have all her centrist independent supporters able to vote for her. She wouldn’t have a prayer. She would be much stronger in a general election than in the activist-dominated Democratic primaries.

But this obviously has not been the case. Independents are only rarely wedged in the narrow space between Hillary Clinton and John McCain. They tend to be all over the place, and very often well to the left of both parties on numerous issues. That is why they tend to adore Bernie Sanders and have his entire career. They have a strong distaste for corruption and conventional political bullshit, and that is why Hillary finds herself decidedly unpopular with them.

So closed primaries are manna from heaven for Hillary. Too bad for her the general election is not restricted to registered Democrats, preferably over the age of 45.

To put this is context, Bernie won Wisconsin on April 5 with a massive 57-43 landslide. This was a crucial win for him, because history shows that no Democrat has won the White House since 1948 who did not win the Wisconsin primary. In fact, Wisconsin has voted for the Democratic Party nominee every year since 1960, except for the wild year of 1968, when Hubert Humphrey was not in the race or on the ballot. Wisconsin has always played the role, coming in early April, of deciding between the two finalists and picking the winner.

Wisconsin assumes that role because it is an open primary with same-day voter registration. Someone can walk up to the polls, register, and then pick whichever party they wish to vote in that day. This means Wisconsin voters, after having a few months to size up the field, tend to make smart informed choices. They engage. Wisconsin tends to have one of the highest turnout rates for primaries in the nation. And, by the way, they do not always pick the more liberal option; Wisconsin went for Kerry over Edwards, Clinton over Brown, Dukakis over Jackson and Carter over Kennedy.

But if Wisconsin had been a closed primary, and did not have same-day registration, Bernie would have had a difficult time winning Wisconsin, despite being immensely popular in the state. This would have been doubly true if Wisconsin had the sort of shenanigans that were commonplace in New York that barred legitimate voters from the polls.

That is the effect of closed primaries. In New York, Hillary Clinton’s home state, Bernie should never have had a chance on paper. After all, in his home state of Vermont Bernie clobbered Hillary with 86 percent of the vote! In 2008 in New York Hillary demolished Obama in New York by an even larger margin than she beat Bernie in 2016. But his enormous crowds at rallies across the state fueled speculation that he might do the impossible and defeat Hillary on her own turf. It now looks like some, perhaps many, of the people at those rallies were ineligible to vote. Had New York been an open primary with same day registration, Bernie may well have won New York. He certainly would have made it close. The same is true for Pennsylvania and he would have won Connecticut going away.

The fact is, Bernie has not won a single primary yet that has been closed.

So closed primaries that restrict same day registration are very good news for Hillary.

The bad news for Hillary is that the general election is not a closed primary, and all the other voters who could not pass through the turnstiles at a closed primary but can vote in November are far from enthusiastic about her.

Three closed primaries remain on the Democratic schedule in 2016, in Oregon, Kentucky and New Mexico. If Bernie wins any of them it can be seen as a sign that Hillary is continuing to weaken.

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The third type of primaries (and caucuses) that Hillary has won is the five states that were virtual ties—Iowa, Nevada, Massachusetts, Missouri and Illinois. Bernie had one of these virtual tie states in Michigan. In all these states the delegates were split almost evenly. In Nevada and Iowa, as well as the other Hillary “victory” states, the local Democratic Parties were moving heaven and earth to get her victory, and these are not parties that are necessarily known for their commitment to the ethics of the Marquess of Queensberry.

Regrettably, except for some superb local journalism, Hillary’s corporate media/NPR firewall had no interest in examining the nature of these elections, or simply calling them ties, even in absurd cases like Iowa and possibly Missouri where Bernie may well have won the popular vote. Instead these were presented as unequivocal and decisive Clinton victories. This is important because each of these states came at crucial times in the narrative and allowed Hillary’s media firewall to cast the election as one where Hillary had won enormous and crucial victories, and in every case these “victories” were presented as being clear evidence that Sanders had little hope to win the nomination.

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So that is the roster of victories Hillary has secured in the 2016 primary/caucus season. She can only win the nomination thanks to the unelected delegates in Philadelphia.  If these superdelegates do their job honestly—a Grand Canyon sized “if”—Bernie will get a fair hearing and real evidence will be considered about who will do best by the party come November, and long into the future.

In that case the evidence is clear: the superdelegates would vote for Bernie and recognize that he is the future of the party and the country. He is returning the party to its New Deal past with unprecedented support from Americans under the age of 30, and powerful support from Americans under the age of 45. (If Hillary Clinton had youth support like Bernie has, the corporate news media would be beside itself assessing the incredible phenomenon. Live coverage of her massive rallies would be de rigueur. Because it is Bernie, this issue gets brief mention and is then skipped over. Few Americans know that almost anywhere in the country, several times a week, Bernie gets a crowd from 7,000-20,000 on less than 72 hours notice.)

But if the superdelegates do hand the nomination to Hillary, they should not assume that Bernie’s supporters are sheep who can be herded by corporate media jawboning into supporting her campaign. They are “beyond your command,” as the sage once sang. There is going to be a sense of outrage to what many will regard as an illegitimate outcome of a rigged system. Many Bernie supporters will in fact end up voting for Hillary, and, as an old-timer living in a swing state, I will likely be one of them. That depends upon how it plays out in the next few months.

But one suspects countless others will possibly pull the lever for Trump or, more likely, simply tune out electoral politics altogether. And if they do, it will be for understandable reasons. The Democrats Party will have lost a generation in 2016, and perhaps forever. If the superdelegates go to Philadelphia convinced Bernie was a fluke and that all will return to business-as-usual come August, they have been paying too much attention to their pals in the corporate media and far too little to what is happening on the ground in this country.

My Take—Three Large Piles of Horse Manure Being Served Up by the Clinton Campaign and Dutifully Propagated in Unison by the Corporate News Media

PILE NUMBER ONEVictories, even Blowout 50 point Landslides, in Caucus States Do Not Really Matter Because Hard-Core Politically Engaged People Tend to Participate at Disproportionate Levels

SAY WHAT?—Wait a second, it is a problem that Bernie wins blowout landslides in five consecutive states because caucuses tend to attract dedicated people? Isn’t that a good thing? Especially when at least four of the five caucuses are jam-packed with people and have long lines to attend? It shows that Bernie has tremendous amounts of enthusiastic support by people willing to work very hard to see Bernie succeed. For the general election having an army of tens or hundreds of thousands of volunteers in nearly every state ready to canvass and work tirelessly for Bernie is the ticket to victory.

And what does it say that Hillary is such an uninspiring candidate that her alleged supporters are unwilling to even caucus for her? In fact, in two of the five recent 2016 caucus states—Washington and Utah—her support fell sharply from what she had in 2008, even though in 2008 she was running against the supposedly tougher opponent, Barack Obama. It seems like a better explanation is that Hillary just has little, and perhaps dwindling, passionate support. That would be an issue getting a lot of attention if we had a credible news media that did not effectively get its marching orders from Clinton HQ.

Oh yeah, one other thing: how come when Hillary “won” the virtual tie in the Iowa caucus and a narrow-victory in the very low turnout Nevada caucus, not a peep was to be heard in the corporate news media about how irrelevant caucuses were? Instead, the main line of analysis of the corporate news media after Bernie’s 5 point loss in Nevada was that it was clear Bernie’s campaign was floundering and approaching death spiral. Seems like caucuses only matter when Hillary wins, even if by a whisker or with extremely low turnouts.

 

PILE NUMBER TWOBernie Does Well in States that are Mostly White, And Fails in More Diverse States Because He Does Not Have Appeal to People of Color

350px-HawaiiPopByRace2005SAY WHAT? Bernie is doing extremely well—even dominating—with Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, Muslim Americans, and Asian Americans. He has gained ground and is within eyesight of catching up with Hillary with Latinos. With apologies to MSNBC’s Joy Reid, Hawaii is not a white state. Just over 20 percent of the state’s population is white. Bernie’s 70 -29 blowout landslide win there last Saturday was accomplished overwhelmingly with non-white voters.

Bernie does have a ways to go with African-American voters, but here too he is making up ground. Bernie’s problem is far more that he is unknown than he is disliked. With African-Americans, Bernie is doing best among people under 40. He is having a difficult time with voters over 60. One suspects as African-Americans in northern states become more familiar with Bernie’s record his support will continue to grow. On issue after issue, on a commitment to civil rights and social justice that is unmatched, on a commitment to principle and personal integrity, Bernie is an outstanding candidate for many African-Americans. Especially those not beholden to the political establishment.

To hear the pundits on CNN and MSNBC talk, Bernie has some fundamental problem attracting African-American voters, like he was some sort of David Duke type dude. In their world Hillary will always get black votes because she has a connection to African-Americans and it is unbreakable. Well, Obama broke it in 2008, and it can be broken again. Or certainly softened. And there is no evidence whatsoever that a Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders would not do as well or better than any other Democrat in the general election—aside from Obama—against a Republican.

Far from being any sort of white supremacist, Bernie has battled racism and white supremacy his entire life, although living in Vermont certainly put him on the sidelines. It is a core part of his stump speech, and has been since even before the Black Lives Matters protests in the summer of 2015. This is why Bernie has attracted the support of many of the extraordinary African-Americans, including Ben Jealous, Cornel West, Spike Lee, Ta-Nahesi Coates, Adolph Reed, Jr., Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Rep. Keith Ellison, Angela Davis, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, countless musicians, and many many more.

Indeed age and income may be better determinants than race for who likes Bernie and Hillary right now. In general, Hillary attracts older and richer people. Bernie, the opposite.

 

PILE NUMBER THREEThe Wisconsin Primary is No Big Deal This Year

SAY WHAT? Wisconsin has always served as a watershed event in the Democratic Party’s primary schedule. Scheduled for the first Tuesday in April, it usually comes deep enough into the process that the field is whittled down to two or three serious players. Since 1960, when primaries become central to the nominating process, the winner there always has become the party’s nominee. (The only year that was not the case was 1968, when Gene McCarthy defeated President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had withdrawn from the race two days before the primary.)

In addition, Wisconsin is also exactly the sort of state a Democrat needs to win to win the White House. It is a state that is a nice cross-section of demographics found across the upper Midwest. If a candidate can win Wisconsin, the thinking has gone, the candidate can win the general election.

That has been its role historically.

In 2008, Barack Obama clobbered Hillary 58-41 and that pretty much put him in command for the nomination, though Hillary never got the memo.

In 2004, John Kerry defeated John Edwards 40-34 and pretty much iced the nomination.

In 1992, Bill Clinton edged Jerry Brown 37-34 and pretty much ended Brown’s chances at overtaking him.

In 1976, Jimmy Carter narrowly beat Mo Udall 37-36, to prove that a Southerner could play in the upper Midwest. In 1980 Carter clobbered Ted Kennedy 56-30, thereby ending Kennedy’s insurgent campaign’s prospects.

In 1960, JFK defeated Hubert Humphrey 56-44 in the race historians believe made Kennedy a viable candidate and put him in the lead for the nomination.

So Wisconsin has always been a big deal, arguably the single most important primary. And it looked to be that way this year, too, until Hillary realized she might lose. Then the spin cycle went into propaganda overdrive and suddenly Wisconsin was no longer an indicator of anything important. It was an honorary caucus state, And, of course, the corporate news media has dutifully regurgitated the party line.

In fact, Wisconsin remains a very big deal in 2016, and there is reason to believe that whoever wins it, as has almost always been the case in the past, will be the party’s nominee. If Hillary was poised to win Wisconsin, this point would be emphasized ad nauseum in the corporate news media. If Hillary won Wisconsin, Bernie would be pronounced DOA across the entirely of the corporate news media. Wisconsin suddenly loses it importance, apparently, if Hillary loses.

Now We Know Why the Corporate Media, NPR, the DNC and Hillary were Desperate to Kill Off Bernie’s Campaign by March 15

Because they all know Hillary is holding a weak hand. She is not popular with voters. I have been doing extensive canvassing with prospective voters in Wisconsin and it confirms what the polls say–Hillary has little enthusiastic support, especially among people under 50. People do not trust her. The more they see her the less likely they are to like her.

Even her hardcore supporters are either people getting paid off by her or expecting jobs for themselves or their friends in her administration. If you go to Hillary’s reddit page to see what motivates the handful of people there to be passionate about Hillary, there are almost no issues to speak of. It seems to be mostly angry bitter people who believe it is Hillary’s turn, like we live in a monarchy and anyone who challenges her right to the crown is a usurper.

That is not a very powerful selling point to a majority of Democrats, let alone Americans.

Not so with Bernie. When people get to know him, they respect him and support him. Even Republicans tend to like him more than Hillary, by a wide margin. And independents adore him. he has all the momentum and enthusiasm in the race. Hillary is reduced to the absurd position that she relies upon low voter turnout to win primaries and caucuses. That says everything you need to know about how weak she is. Because Democrats win general elections when there is high turnout, the kind Bernie routinely generates.

That is why the establishment had to run him out of the race before these truths became widely known.

They tried. They failed.

Five consecutive wins now where Bernie gets at least 70 percent of the vote. Wow.

Bernie was in single-digits or low double digits in the polls for these five states 9 months ago. Just like everywhere else except Vermont. Now he is winning total blowout victories against the biggest brand name in the Democratic Party if not the nation..

If we had a credible news media, for the next week the discussion would be whether Hillary should withdraw from the race so as to not undermine Bernie’s chances in November. The establishment media would obsess with how Hillary, one of the best known politicians in the world, could be demolished in five states she did very well in in 2008. She won many of them. Why is she going so sharply in the wrong direction?

Alas, we do not have a credible media. But we have survived their offensive and they are running out of ammunition.

All hands on deck for Wisconsin. We win there and it is two weeks of intensive campaigning in New York. Hillary’s home state. Bernie won his home state with 86 percent of the vote. Let’s see Hillary match that.

If Bernie wins Wisconsin and makes a ballgame of it in New York, he is the leader. If he wins Wisconsin and New York, Hillary is through. Game over.

Any way you slice it, she is on life support from the corporate media right now.

The next 23 days could shape the course of history. Now or never.

My Take – Hillary Clinton is Sitting on a Corruption Time Bomb (NOT the email servers or Benghazi either) that will Eventually Explode.


My Take – 
Hillary Clinton is Sitting on a Corruption Time Bomb (NOT the email servers or Benghazi either) that will Eventually Explode. Bernie Sanders: Light the Fuse Sunday night; Don’t let Trump Light it in the General Election Campaign. I prefer President Sanders to President Trump

Bernie has scored lots of points pointing out that Hillary Clinton was paid $675,000 (to her personal bank account) to do three private talks to Goldman Sachs in 2013 after she left the State Department and was informally planning her presidential run which she announced in April 2015. Bernie has demanded that it must have been a doozy of a talk to be worth that much money to Goldman Sachs, so Hillary ought to share it with all of us.

Hillary laughs it off along with Bernie, and then offers lame excuse after lame excuse for why she will not disclose the transcripts to her paid Goldman Sachs talks. She first claimed she would not release the transcripts until Bernie released his. Well Bernie has done no paid Wall Street talks—he is prohibited from doing them as a member of the Senate—so there is nothing to release.

The Hillary claimed that she would not release the transcripts until the Republican released the transcripts to their paid Wall Street talks. The problem for Hillary is that there is no evidence that Cruz, Kasich or Rubio could do paid Wall Street talks from 2013-2015 because they, like Bernie, were in public office and pocketing money for doing private talks is prohibited by the same ethics laws that affect Bernie.

And there is no evidence after a rudimentary search that Trump got paid to do talks to Wall Street banks in this period, who might have balked at his $1.5 million fee. Plus what exactly would Trump tell a Wall Street Bank? And no one took Trump seriously as a presidential candidate in 2013-15—I mean no one—while everyone knew you were the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination and a likely winner in the general election. Powerful corporation interests had a distinct interest in buttering your bread.

And since when is Hillary Clinton saying she is only going to meet an ethical bar established by Donald Trump anyway? That is preposterous and insulting. It makes it clear she is obviously hiding something that she believes voters will not approve of, and she is determined to keep them in the dark. It must be really really bad because of her resistance. All the more reason voters must see these transcripts.

For the details and background of her vast wealth from doing corporate talks in the two years before she formally announced her candidacy for president—what was in effect an unprecedented corporate shakedown/pay-to-play tour that made Hillary one of the richest people in the world—see [the work compiled by Jed McChesney](http://citizenuprising.com/5352-2/)

Bernie may be a gentleman and honor her wishes, or prod only gently, but Trump is no gentleman and never trods gently. He will pounce and pounce and pounce and Hillary has no defense.  It may well be game over.

So Bernie needs to call her bluff and demand that she turn over the transcripts of her talks to Wall Street banks.  This nonsense has got to end. He must be unrelenting.

But that is not all he needs to do. Hillary did not just do 3 talks to Goldman Sachs. She did 14 speeches to the largest Wall Street banks and hedge funds in the 18 months from April 2013 to October 2014. [Look at the list of banks and how much they paid.]( http://citizenuprising.com/financial/)

Bruce V. Rauner, governor-elect of Illinois
He put the R in GTCR

Here is something interesting: [One of the 14 talks was to GTCR hedge fund in June 2014.[(http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/Felsenthal-Files/February-2016/Hillary-Clinton-speech-GTCR/) You know what the “R” stands for in GTCR? Rauner, as in Bruce Rauner, elected Republican Governor of Illinois in November 2014. Rauner’s hedge fund paid Hillary $280,000 for her talk. Rauner may be the single most hated politician in Illinois for Democrats and independents. He wants to privatize higher education while Bernie wants to make it available to all. Rauner was not active with GTCR in June 2014, but he still had a connection to the firm. Wonder what Hillary said to them? People in Illinois sure deserve to know, don’t they?

And they vote on Tuesday, in perhaps the most important election day of the primary season.

Hillary Clinton is running as a progressive who will better tame and regulate Wall Street for the public than Bernie Sanders. She is their enemy she tells us, despite the massive contributions bankers and hedge fund executives make to her campaign and SuperPACs, because she says some Wall Street executives oppose her.

So let the people see the transcripts to the 14 speeches and judge for ourselves how sincere Hillary’s progressive stance toward the financial sector is. That is only fair. Especially since these 14 talks put $3,260,500 into Hillary’s personal bank account. In earlier times, before public relations and spin, these talks would have been called pay-offs or bribes. That is why it is illegal for a member of Congress, a public official, or an announced candidate for president to do them. Let us see the transcripts to see if there are grounds for concerns.

Press her Bernie. Mention all 14 talks. Mention GTCR. Mention her outrageous personal profit. She has no answer to this as we have seen, yet you joke about one talk or three talks.

It isn’t one talk or three talks to Goldman Sachs, it is 14 talks, to the biggest and baddest firms on Wall Street.

In fact, in truth, Hillary did 91 talks for at least $100,000 each during this period that put $21.6 million into her personal bank account. No active politician has ever done anything like that in American history. But we can get into that rogues gallery of monopolists, influence-buyers and polluters later in the campaign. Right now just nail her on the 14 talks to Wall Street and hedge funds.

Bernie, you need to channel Heisenberg like you did in the debate last Wednesday.  Take it to her. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

 

 

My Take–Top Ten Reasons for Why March 15 is a Make or Break Day for Hillary Clinton

 

It is not Bernie who lived to fight another day with his Michigan victory; It is Hillary who now has to produce and produce big on March 15 or else she is toast.

Why?

Let’s count the reasons:

First, the Superdelegate issue is a red herring. Even the New York Times is now acknowledging that Hillary cannot include Superdelegates as sure things; if Bernie wins the most elected delegates, he will get the nomination.


Second, almost all of Hillary’s lead in elected delegates comes for extremely low turnout southern states that have always voted Republican this century and will vote Republican in November. Those eight states are all in the books now. Every state from here on out Bernie has a shot at winning, and he will be a favorite in a majority of them.


Third, in particular, the schedule turns decidedly in Bernie’s favor after March 15. There are eight states between March 15 and the April 19 primary in New York state. Bernie will likely win at least six of them, and has a decent shot at seven or all eight.


Fourth, Bernie does spectacularly well with independents. Vastly better than Hillary (or most other Democrats). Although this point is strictly forbidden in corporate news media/NPR, it is why he is such a strong candidate in a general election. If one looks at the support Bernie has generated from independents and Republicans in Vermont over his career, this should be no surprise.


Fifth, where Bernie has won so far, he has done so by usually winning in states with record turnouts of new and inspired voters. This is going to continue form here on out, and bodes very poorly for Hillary. It bodes extremely well for Bernie in the fall. This is also why Nate Silver and the pollsters need to consult their nearest proctologist. These guys always assume the voting base in the USA is restricted to the relatively puny existing pool of voters and if one does that the case for Hillary is plausible. But once one realizes Bernie is bringing an entire new generation to the polls, the algorithms are of little value unless they are adjusted.


Sixth, the more people see and hear Bernie, the more they like him. The more they see and hear Hillary, the less they like her. It is why Bernie is doing endless rallies. It is why after March 15 when Bernie will have time to do plenty to visits and rallies in every state thanks to the spread-out schedule, that his campaign will thrive.

It is also why Hillary does few public events that are not controlled photo-ops, and spends most her time doing private fundraisers with rich people to fatten her SuperPAC coffers. It was striking that for two young African-American women to confront Hillary about her “super-predator” comment and her support for the prison-industrial complex, they had to pay $500 each to get inside one of her events.


Seventh, this is true for all people, including people of color. The Hillary “firewall” with Latino voters has crumbled. It is beginning to crumble with African-American voters as the campaign leaves the low-turnout South. Bernie made real strides in Michigan, especially with younger African-American voters. That should continue. What was striking from the focus groups I saw that even Michigan African-American voters who remained loyal to Hillary liked what they saw of Bernie. When he gets the nomination he will be able to count on massive support in the African-American community in November.


Eighth, Bernie is getting unusually high levels of support from poor white people in rural areas and from working-class white people. He is doing this while running on a militantly anti-racist, anti-white supremacy platform. He is appealing to our angels and our hopes, not our fears. And if you want to know why the establishment is scared of him, you need look no further than this point.


Ninth, young people are with Bernie in a way they have supported no other candidate statistically, as far as I can see, in American history. If Hillary or any other mainstream candidate had youth support like this, it would be considered the most important political story in generations. Because it is Bernie, it is a footnote. But it truly is a yuuuge deal.


Tenth, and finally, Hillary has nothing to run on against Bernie except identity, experience and connections. That works with pundits and insiders and people looking for jobs in her administration, but it does not really solve or address the great problems in the nation. To the extent Hillary appeals to voters on issues, she increasingly mimics Bernie. Then, when confronted with her obvious ties to Wall Street and corporate America—and the great fortune she has made during her career in “public service”—rather than tell the truth, Hillary resorts to the establishment politics “gotchya” game of changing the subject and manufacturing some idiotic drama, like the lie that Bernie opposed the auto bailout. This may work with the pundits and her hard-core supporters, but it does not work with voters, especially young voters. If slinging slickly produced mud is the best Hillary can do to stop Bernie’s momentum she is going to lose. She has to do better…and apparently she can’t.

And in the remote chance she can win the nomination by dragging Bernie into the sewer to fight with her and Davvid Brock, it will cost her the election. Bernie supporters are already so unimpressed with her baseless and offensive criticism of Bernie that 33 percent of them now say that will not vote for her in a general election should she be the nominee. That may change—Trump is a very scary figure—but if Hillary tries to scorch the earth with Bernie to get the nomination, she is going to alienate millions of voters, especially young voters.


This leads to three lessons.

First, Bernie is in command. He needs to do well on March 15, but even in the worst case scenario and he loses all five states, if he gets 45 percent of the delegates he is still poised for victory.

Second, if Hillary loses two or three states on March 15, it will be a sign that her campaign is collapsing and she is in an all but hopeless position for the reasons above. CNN, MSDNC and the corporate news media/NPR will spin this until the cows come home, but the people of the country will have voted with their feet. And that are not taking their cues or their marching orders from the corporate news media.

Third, March 15 is a massive opportunity for Bernie. If we take three or more states, we will have a commanding and arguably insurmountable lead in the race. That should inspire us and motivate us to do what we did last week in Michigan in a grand scale.

This is the time—right now, this second—to donate every single penny you can because right now we need to run ads in the five states because Bernie will not have anywhere enough time to do rallies across all of them.

Likewise this is the time to canvass, phonebank and facebank. Eat and sleep Bernie activism until the last poll closes on March 15.

Let’s make these 6 days that shake the world. We can sleep on the 16th.

My Take—This Chart can Win Bernie the Election and End Hillary Clinton’s Political Career (but shed no tears for Hillary—after a career in “public service,” she is now among the richest people in America!)

Hillary Clinton has the email server scandal hanging over her head. Related to this, she also has the scandal concerning whether she shaped policies as Secretary of States to favor major donors to the Clinton Foundation, donors like Saudi Arabia, the country that beheads dissidents like other people floss their teeth.

Either of these could end her campaign and put her in legal hot water, but no one really knows how they will pan out. At any rate, they feed the widely held view that Hillary Clinton lacks integrity and principle, Not good for her.

Bernie Sanders has wisely stayed away from campaigning on these issues. Leave that sort of sewer campaigning and reckless speculation to the Republicans.

Instead Bernie has wisely discussed Hillary’s corruption when it pertains directly to the core policy issues of the 2016 election. He has emphasized her three private talks to Goldman Sachs that put $675,000 into her personal bank account during the period she was informally planning to run for president in 2013-14. Since both candidates are emphasizing to voters their commitment to taming wall Street, Sanders has demanded that Hillary show the transcripts to these private talks with the public. That way we can see what, exactly, she is telling the pooh-bahs at Goldman Sachs when no one else is listening.

Hillary refuses to release the transcripts, which are in her possession, and has concocted a variety of absurd and idiotic defenses that rank far below “the dog ate my homework” in the lexicon of lame excuses. It is obvious that she thinks the release of these transcripts would do grave damage to her campaign, and perhaps end it. Even the generally pro-Clinton New York Times has editorialized that Hillary should release these Goldman Sachs transcripts.

But here is the interesting thing: Those three Goldman Sachs talks that put $675,000 into her personal bank account were just the tip of the iceberg. Bernie has much more material to work with, the extent of Hillary’s corporate speaking is considerably greater, and considerably sleazier.

Hillary did at least 91 talks, each for a minimum fee of $100,000, to corporations, trade associations and a handful of nonprofit groups from January 2013 to April 2015. The total amount of money that Hillary raised doing these 91 private talks was $21.7 million, averaging around $225,000 a pop. This money did not go to her presidential campaign fund. It did not go to one of her Wall Street SuperPACS. No, it went directly into her personal bank account. These talks made her a spectacularly wealthy woman.

In short, Hillary revived the lost art of getting a direct personal payoff from the very corporate interests that have a clear stake in the policies and regulations she would pursue once she became president.


Thanks to my nephew Jed McChesney—the guy who produced this — we now have a sortable chart that lists all 91 corporate talks, their dates and location, and the amount Hillary pocketed to her personal bank account for doing them. Some of these talks did not even require her to travel—she skyped them in.

Go through this list. Look at the companies that hired Hillary for a talk and what they paid her. These are almost all giant companies with massive lobbying armies and campaign donations associated with them. They have a lot of crucial business with the federal government. This sortable list is a moveable feast of corruption. Look up the identities of some of the groups you may not recognize. Some are massive private hedge funds. Note that Hillary got paid $1.6 million to do several talks to Canadian pro-Keystone groups.Gee I wonder what she had to say to them? That might tell us a great deal about her actual stance of environmental issues.

In fact, Bernie should demand that we see ALL these transcripts. They would give us a great deal of insight into her actual plans for the country and her actual relationship to the most powerful businesses in the country, the ones she has promised to deal with as a progressive in the interests of the people. The voters have a right to see these transcripts before they enter the voting booth.

Hillary knows this is a deadly issue for her and she has done everything in her power to pour water on the flames. Fortunately the corporate news media/NPR have shown little interest in doing any actual reporting and journalism—why do that when you can mindlessly gossip about polls and regurgitate Hillary’s talking points for a living? There have been a few good pieces—and I link to them above—but there has been precious little follow-through.

Bernie gets the blame for a lot of this. If he made these 91 talks an issue in every speech, in every debate, in every interview, he could force it into the public and media eye. He has not done so yet, happily joking about the three talks to Goldman Sachs and allowing everyone to assume that is the extent of Hillary’s corruption. If Bernie doesn’t press the issue, don’t expect the corporate media/NPR to wake up from their slumber and do anything about it beyond what little they have already.

And here is the scary part. It is not just the transcripts that are the issue. It is the very fact that she did this corporate shakedown/pay to play tour at all that reeks of corruption. This alone, even before we see the actual transcripts should eliminate her from the race.


There are six obvious questions.

First, why do these talks begin in early 2013 and end in March 2015. Why wasn’t she riding this gravy train before 2013 and after March 2015?

Answer: As Secretary of State or as an elected official it was illegal for her to do paid speaking gigs. A violation of ethics laws. That is why Senator Bernie Sanders has not done paid gigs, and the few he did for pennies were all donated to charity. In fact, January 2013 was the first time Hillary could legally do something like this in decades.

Likewise, once Hillary formally announced her candidacy for president in April 2015 she could no longer legally do paid speeches for the same reason.


Second, so Hillary wasn’t breaking the law then. What’s the big deal? Answer: If Hillary retired in January 2013 and had no plans to return to public life whatsoever, and made her sentiments loudly known, this would not be such a big deal. But everyone knew Hillary was going to run for president and that she would enter the race with a commanding lead. That is why only Bernie, O’Malley and a few eccentrics even dared to enter the race against her. One suspects corporations might have been less willing to fork out so much money to a retired Secretary of State who had no presidential prospects. Celebrity retired Secretary of State Colin Powell ranks among the best compensated speakers among retired politicians, but he did not make $21.7 million over a two-year period for doing private corporate talks. Not even close. And anyway, he is not planning to run for president. She found a loophole—she could do corporate speeches for a huge fee as long as she was not a formal “announced” candidate—and drove a Mack Truck through it and all the way to Fort Knox. Violate the letter of the law? No. Violate the spirit of the law? Absolutely.


Third, So wait, you mean to tell me that other candidates for president have not routinely gone around and made vast fortunes doing private talks to the nation’s largest corporations just before they formally announced their candidacy? Isn’t that the American Way?

Answer: No other mid-career private citizen (not covered by ethics laws) in American history has ever done anything this brazen. Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Walter Mondale, were all private citizens like Hillary in the years before they ran for president. None of them did a corporate speaking tour. They did lots and lots of speeches during these years, but the talks tended to be to build up their political bases, not to make themselves fabulously wealthy. Hillary Clinton is truly a pioneer and trailblazer in this area.


Fourth: Hey wait a second. Hillary has said she was not at all sure she was going to run for president after she left the State Department. You some sort of mid-reader or what?

Answer: That is one of her defenses, but it simply does not comport with the documented record. At the very least, she was seriously entertaining the idea, and if that was the case she should not have been aggressively pursuing a corporate shakedown tour. Even if we allow her to claim she was just chilling in 2013 and not thinking at all about a presidential run, by 2014 she was seriously considering the issue. That means aroud 50 of these 91 talks and more than $10 million in personal income were during the period she was not a formal candidate but extremely very seriously entertaining the idea. Hillary apparently confided in associates by the end of 2014 that she was all in for a presidential run, though she did not announce until April 2015. During the first three months of 2015 the unannounced candidate Hillary Clinton did six of these talks for around $1.5 million. That’s a nice chunk of money for a few hours work. And, oh yeah, this was when Hillary went to Canada to do three of her private talks to pro-Keystone pipeline groups for $750,000. Nice work if you can get it. (Sure would like to see those transcripts, Hillary.)


Fifth: Hillary claims the money these firms paid her for the speeches has absolutely no influence over how she would conduct herself if she were to be elected president. Therefore this is a non-issue and just mudslinging by desperate opponents.

Answer: This is a flat out lie. Ethics laws prohibit the sort of corporate speaking gigs not because they prove that a bribe for a shakedown has definitively taken place. That is almost impossible to prove, and smart corporations and smart politicians would never put themselves in a position where their fingerprints would be on the weapon.

Ethics laws prohibit the appearance of impropriety. They prohibit politicians from putting themselves in a position where there were legitimate concerns that they were being compromised. Period. That is why what Hillary did from January 2013 to March 2015 was illegal when she was Senator or Secretary of State and became illegal again when she formally announced her candidacy for president in April 2015. There is not a legal bar that once must prove these payoffs were direct bribes. Otherwise Barack Obama or any public official could do $500 million in corporate talks this year and also claim innocence just like Hillary. Good luck proving otherwise. It is simply not an acceptable proposition for a democracy to allow people to collect massive speaking fees from corporations and claim it is no problem because they have no influence over them.


Sixth: I don’t get it then. Hillary was already rich. Her husband is extremely wealthy. Why would she be so short-sighted and greedy to do something that could jeopardize her presidential campaign?

Answer: I can only imagine that Hillary gambled that times had changed, and no one would care much if she raked in a quick $21.7 million while she was informally planning her 2016 presidential run. Everyone has a SuperPAC and everyone is out to get fabulously wealthy after a career in “public service.” If someone questioned her on taking the corporate speaking gigs, she would just say “Hey, everyone else does it,” that same way she responded to Bernie Sanders’ criticism of her Wall Street funded SuperPACS: “Hey, President Obama had Wall Street funded SuperPACs, too, so if you criticize me you must be attacking him, too.”

Hillary Clinton, like all the mainstream pundits and experts, made one fatal flaw in her calculations: she did not anticipate the rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Two candidates running on anti-corruption platforms that refuse to have SuperPACS. If Bernie (and Trump) had not gotten in the race and become so successful, her risk might have paid off. Now she looks like she made an incredibly irresponsible and ethically challenged decision to hold these talks. According to Carl Bernstein, the White House is alarmed by the short-sighted greed Hillary displayed by doing these corporate talks. They think it could cost her the nomination.

If Bernie pursues the issue the White House may be proven right. If he does not, that delicious task will be left to the Republican nominee, who I suspect will show far less reticence about shouting about this from the mountaintops.

My Take – Hillary’s Strategy to Depress Turnout in the Primaries Makes Her Unelectable in the General

 

The evidence is in. Voter turnout is dramatically lower in the Democratic primaries in 2016 compared to 2008. This is especially true in the Republican confederate states where Hillary has won her landslide victories—states that no Democrat has won in decades and no Democrat will win in 2016. There the voting population is a dwindling few of older return voters.

It is because of Hillary’s landslide victories in these extremely low turnout, extremely low enthusiasm, extremely low information states that the entirety of the corporate news media and NPR have declared the Democratic race is over, and Hillary is the people’s choice. The people have spoken, and it is only a matter of time until Bernie Sanders acknowledges the truth that the vast majority of prospective Democratic voters are clamoring for Hillary. He is a loser.

This is pure propaganda, encouraged by the Hillary camp and dutifully parroted by the corporate news media/NPR.

Low Democratic primary and caucus turnout compared to 2008—not to mention all other major democracies– is true pretty much across the board. It is not an accident. It tends to be greatest in those states where Hillary gets her landslides. Hillary’s team sees that roughly 7 in 10 first-time voters in the 2016 Democratic primaries and caucuses are voting for Bernie. Their solution: minimize the number of first-time voters.

Had Hillary been unopposed, or opposed by a mainstream corporate Democrat, the DNC would likely have been working on registering and activating millions of young people, and people of color, to get them to the polls in November. Then Hillary could play the role of progressive, and few would care about her corruption, duplicity and obedience to Wall Street, because there would be no other game in town.

But because Bernie is in the race, and because Bernie gets most of the new voters in the primaries, by a wide margin, Hillary and the DNC have all but suspended any encouragement of voter registration and participation in the process. The less people know, the less they participate, the more likely Hillary’s nomination.

And, ironically, with far fewer engaged and activated new voters, the more likely her defeat in November. The big money people bankrolling Hillary and party officials are finally waking up to the immense problem they have created and accentuated to get Hillary the nomination. Now that elites are waking up to the problem, elite news media are paying attention. Nick Confessore lays it out in asuperb piece in today’s New York Times.

How did Hillary and the DNC depress turnout? First, Hillary and the DNC are perfectly content to have the corporate news media/NPR provide as little coverage as possible about the Democratic race. Have fewer debates. The less coverage of Sanders there is, the more difficult it will be for him to get votes, because most voters still know little or nothing about him.

The research done shows the Republican race has gotten far more coverage than the Democratic race by orders of magnitude. Even MSDNC, the “liberal” pro-Democratic network, has spent endless hours discussing the minutiae of the Republican presidential race in 2015-16. Obscure candidates have received relatively lavish attention, and Trump has been an obsession since before his poll numbers spiked. The ratio of Trump coverage to Bernie coverage across all media has been stunning.

In addition to minimizing debates, Hillary minimizes coverage of Bernie and the Democratic campaign by doing very little public campaigning compared to Bernie. While he does one or two major rallies to many thousands of people every day, she does very few public events, and the ones she does are controlled, with small turnouts, insipid and uninspired. Much of her time is spent doing private fundraisers with the 1 percent crowd or photo ops with African-American ministers or gun violence victims on her way to a fundraiser with the hedgefund billionaire crowd.

Because Hillary is content to have little news coverage of her campaign, the corporate news media/NPR do much less coverage of Bernie. He is only covered in the context of what Hillary does and what Hillary’s team is accusing him of. If Hillary does events that get coverage then, maybe, corporate media would say “Hey let’s see what Sanders is doing.” But it Hillary is silent, Bernie is pretty much out of luck.

So here we have one of the greatest political stories in a generation if not longer in American presidential politics—a maverick democratic socialist Senator taking on the establishment and getting astronomical and historically unprecedented support, especially from young people—and it is basically of no particular interest to our corporate news media/NPR. For that reason Bernie’s degree of difficulty is exponentially higher than that faced by Obama in 2008, when Keith Olbermann and MSNBC gave him extensive and sympathetic daily coverage. They knew they were covering history in the making and they were determined to be part of it. Every day they dissected and debunked Hillary’s inane charges against Obama. It was crucial to Obama’s success. This year, MSDNC amplifies the baseless charges, and its coverage of the Democratic race seems to be derived from a daily review of talking points delivered to MSDNC (and the corporate news media/NPR) by the Hillary campaign HQ.

This time, they are content to be on the wrong side of history it seems. The difference? Obama, for all that was attractive about him, was an establishment guy with big money support. Sanders is the real deal.

If this “repress the turnout’ strategy works to get the nomination for Hillary, it will cover up the fact the she is a uniquely disliked and unpopular candidate. The only way Democrats win presidential races is with relatively high turnout. Period. That is why Obama won a landslide in 2008 and a victory in 2012. As Confessore points out, without a surge in turnout by young voters and the dispossessed, the Democrats will fare like John Kerry in 2004.

Bottom line—Bernie’s analysis of the importance of voter turnout jumps out. His entire political revolution is based on the idea of radically expanding voter turnout and citizen participation—the exact opposite of what Hillary and the DNC are doing. Bernie is the strongest candidate to win in November. Hillary is a very weak candidate—especially against a candidate like Trump who can exploit her weaknesses like no other Republican– and it is becoming increasingly difficult to see how she can win in November. And if she does, the race will be so negative and with such low turnout it will be hard to see how she could ever govern effectively.

At some point some of these Democratic superdelegate elected officials are going to wake up and say, “My God, what have I done?”Many of them could be printing up their resumes after the November election as well, and see the Republican Party controlling all branches of government.

This is still our nomination to win. Every day the case for Hillary gets weaker and weaker. That is why she and the DNC and corporate media are trying to give Sanders the bum’s rush to get him out of the campaign ASAP. We have to make it through March 15 in one piece. If we do, the chances are good that we are looking at President Sanders come January 20, 2017. So treat the next 12 days like everything depends on what happens in the next 12 days. Because that is true. Donate as much as humanly possible right now. Volunteer. Whatever is possible.

Your Yearly Dose of Howard Dean Hypocrisy in just 3 minutes.

If the establishment ever wondered why we hate them so much, look no further than this gem from Howard Dean on Morning Joe.

During a discussion on why Hillary Clinton isn’t connecting with college age students, Kristen Soltis Anderson opines that its the fact she is making money off of their tuition with her pay for play bribes, errr… I mean speeches she gave at colleges and universities. Immediately Howard Dean shoots that suggestion down, visibly upset that his candidate is being accused of something he obviously finds reprehensible. He forcefully assures the viewers that Hillary Clinton would never do something like that…

So the ensuing result is of course him looking like an idiot when its revealed the 7 or 8 schools she spoke to for well over a million dollars. Unfortunately that is all you get because he doesn’t do what a normal human being would do and show shock or disappointment. Instead he jokes it off. Something he just found appalling a few minutes before is now laugh worthy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIkNRC90nzU

Not many progressives have fallen as much as Howard Dean. From lobbying to this pathetic display of hypocrisy, Howard Dean obviously now puts the people on the bottom rung as he went from sounding rational in his clear disbelief that somebody would bilk college students, to a blithering idiot defending what he just made clear was the indefensible. I am guessing he wants an ambassadorship.

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