Martin Niemöller’s wisdom, revised for the modern holocaust, birthed in America (the one that promises to claim the world)

First they came for the Native Americans, and virtually wiped them out. Then they came for the African-Americans… and they’ve never stopped coming for them, caging them and forcing them to work for nothing (only today it’s called “mass incarceration” and it’s the Democrats who ushered in that unprecedented modern practice — and never looked back). Then they came for the communists, socialists, and leftist artists and intellectuals (they called it the “Red Scare” and McCarthyism — which almost faded away, before the Clinton 2016 campaign and modern Democrats revived it, angling for political advantage at home and World War III abroad). Then they came for the last few liberal activists capable of organizing a movement, and they crushed that movement with mercenaries, militarized-police brutality, and violence against journalists and peaceful protesters alike — and that was the end of Occupy Wall Street, thanks to President Obama and the newly pacified “left,” which didn’t make a peep in protest. Then they came for Democracy itself, stealing the 2000 and 2004 elections for George W. Bush and the 2016 Democratic Primary for Hillary Clinton (who has also vociferously advocated in favor of that “Wall” we dishonestly associate with Trump and Trump alone). Then, the last three presidents came for what was left of our laws, diverse media, and the middle class… and today there simply aren’t any democratic institutions left (only the illusion of them, thanks to slick corporate media — which replaced the free press, after Bill Clinton signed the 1996 Telecom Act and after President Obama made it the new normal to hunt honest whistleblowers and actual journalists like “enemies of the state”). And today, they’re coming for the last resources of a dying planet, happily profiteering off of genocidal wars — mostly against Muslims — and crushing anyone, anywhere, who makes the slightest feint toward democracy or humanitarianism. Because that’s what happens after the institutional left folds tents and joins Them (which is, after all, what the last 30 years in American politics has been all about… which is why the planet is fucked, along with 99% of humanity).

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Liberalism’s last stand… and last hope.

Voting for the Green Party and Dr. Jill Stein has nothing to do with sour grapes or a protest over what should have been. It’s about embracing the ONE strategy left for saving liberalism in the U.S. Remember, the vast majority of states are not in play — are NOT “swing states.” If the Green Party gets 5% of the vote in 2016, then they get $10,000,000 in matching funds in 2020 and a likely seat at the debate table. The true left — which champions policies favored by 50-70% of the American people — will finally have a voice and an opportunity to reach the mainstream.

Conversely, pretending that welfare-slashing, mass-incarcerating, Wall Street-defending “Super-predator” Sec. Clinton is somehow — more than rhetorically… occasionally — to the left of Donald Trump (or Bush/Cheney, Reagan, or Nixon) means sanctioning the establishment and the “nominee” that was forced on us in a blatantly rigged primary that disenfranchised millions of Americans.

Voting for Clinton effectively kills off the left and empowers the far-right, both in terms of policy victories (neocon wars, “trade” pacts, mass-incarceration, etc.) and by swelling the ranks of the “deplorables” — uneducated/ignorant whites, predominantly, who understand, correctly, that the establishment that’s screwing them over is monstrously corrupt, but don’t know who to blame. These folks are extremely vulnerable to demagoguery, as Trump’s race-baiting “anti-establishment” popularity is demonstrating. Such people increasingly associate liberalism, tolerance, and diversity — the Democrats’ hollow platitudes — with the devastation and tyranny of the establishment. (Robert O. Paxton’s “The Anatomy of Fascism” makes clear that there is no surer path to bona fide fascism than warmongering, bankster-championing pseudo-liberalism… which discredits liberalism itself. This is why the most insightful, policy-informed analysts have identified Clintonian neoliberalism as “the disease” and Trump-style demagoguery as merely the “symptom.” And trust me, after 4-8 more years of the status quo, the next “would be fascist” that neoliberalism produces will be well to Trump’s right, Ted Cruz-style, or worse.)

If we objectively examine the record, the last two Democratic presidents have already done worse than most things people imagine Trump promises to do. In Syria alone, by continuing Bush’s neoconservative foreign policy, Obama is responsible for the deaths of over 400,000 Syrians and the creation of over ten million refugees (he marginalized Syria’s indigenous resistance and flooded the country with CIA-armed radical Salafists who began ethno-sectarian cleansing of whole towns and suicide-bombing, primarily targeting civilians). President Obama is also the ICE-unleashing, family-jailing (for-profit) Deporter-in-Chief, is he not? And the man who gave Wall Street criminals $16 trillion and facilitated their coup de grace to the middle class (especially minorities), with zero penalties or meaningful reforms. He’s the president who’s allowing Nestle to drain what’s left of our groundwater (effectively for free) while subjecting millions of Americans to carcinogenic water and worse (Flint, replicated thousands of times over, thanks to an industry-captured EPA). Yes, “The Donald” is an unthinkable, abhorrent train-wreck — and bosom chum of the Clintons — but he’s frequently taken positions to the LEFT of today’s neoliberal establishment, especially when it comes to the warmongers’ agenda and sovereignty-effacing “trade” pacts like the TPP. (It’s no mystery why the neocons, Kochs, Bushes, banksters, and other stalwarts of the far-right have rallied behind Sec. Clinton’s candidacy: she is 100% their horse in this race.)

Backing Clinton tells the establishment that you accept the neocons, their genocidal wars, policies of rampant assassination and torture — with the vast majority of victims being women and children, the vulnerable, and the impoverished. Voting “Blue no matter who” sends the clear message that you’re OK with the Obama-led assault on civil rights, democracy, journalism, whistleblowers, African-Americans, and the rule of law. Worse, it sends the message that you’re fine with the destruction of the planet’s life-sustaining systems, which has been dramatically accelerated by post-1980s “Democrats.”

FORGET THE RHETORIC AND THE CORPORATE BRANDING: What did President Obama’s representatives do at the Paris Climate Conference but demand that carbon emissions goals NOT be legally binding? That polluters must NOT be held responsible for the devastation they’ve wrought. It’s like the recent conference on refugees: the administration’s representatives demanded that language protecting children from incarceration be stripped from the final document. While green-lighting thousands of oil pipelines, the Obama administration has sold fracking to the world and opened up the oceans and the Arctic for deep-water drilling — at the same time that these same oceans are signaling collapse, and the sixth Mass-Extinction event is underway. At the same time Colony Collapse Disorder is wiping out our most vital pollinators, the bees (and Monsanto has no greater advocates than today’s Democrats). And the TPP deal that President Obama is championing, which Hillary Clinton has touted as “the gold standard” of trade pacts, will allow corporations to continue dictating our environmental laws, labor laws, food safety laws, and other regulations — in perpetuity — meaning, there won’t be any. Bizarre though it may seem, this position alone puts President Obama and Sec. Clinton to Trump’s right, when it comes to regulations of all types. (Not that a vote for Trump is REMOTELY an option — the demagoguery he’s spouting is even uglier and more dangerous than the race-baiting Birtherism the Clintons threw at Sen. Obama in 2008… not that they originated that smear; they merely trafficked in it, as The Guardian reported at the time… which the Clinton campaign admitted at the time, merely professing that their distribution of the “Kenyan Obama” photo was “misunderstood.”)

With a vote for Sec. Clinton, we surrender the last of our principles and proclaimed values in defense of one of the all-time movers of the far-right’s agenda: the planet-fracking, election-rigging, Nazi-funding, al Qaeda/ISIS-arming, Planned Parenthood-backstabbing, race-baiting, labor-crushing, school-privatizing, entitlement-slashing neoliberal candidate. For good-hearted, well-intentioned Americans to believe that Sec. Clinton represents liberal values — in any way – is a triumph of the corporate media and an indication that the SIX companies that generate 90% of everything that most Americans see and read have done their job and can now rest. It means that liberalism in America is officially extinct… like the free press and Bill of Rights (it was, after all, Obama who crushed peaceful assembly and OWS with a militarized and brutal, illegal, federally-coordinated, 18-city crackdown).

And that’s what I’ve been battling for over 20 years, with all my heart and soul: the death of liberalism. We cannot let it happen, and we sure as hell shouldn’t be voting for it. Peace, love, and friendship, but it’s time to champion facts and reality over corporate propaganda. It’s time to stop voting like sheep and right-wing dupes: http://invitation2artivism.com/?p=1491

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Understanding how we get to bona fide fascism is important.

In his June article, “No Lesser Evil, Not this Time,” sociologist and writer for CounterPunch, Andrew Smolski, presents some vitally needed critical thinking concerning the choice liberal Americans are facing right now: Sec. Hillary Clinton and the Democrats or Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party… How best to reverse course and avert the fascism threatening to descend on 21st-century America?

I just shared Smolski’s piece with several FB friends, adding the following comment (which I now share with all of my friends who aren’t into the whole social-media/networking thing that Zuckerberg birthed):

THIS. This is brilliant. Recent reading on the phenomenon of fascism (Robert O. Paxton’s tome) has reinforced for me the fact that there is a direct correlation between failed, thoroughly-corrupted, PSEUDO-liberalism (like that of the last 30+ years of “Democrats,” esp. under the Clintons and President Obama, who are — ON POLICY — the all-time movers of the modern far-right’s agenda)… and bona fide fascism.

Put simply, the former (failed/pseudo-liberalism) makes relatively free societies extremely vulnerable to the latter (fascism).

In early 20th-century Europe, “liberal” establishments set the precedent for modern American Democrats — the bankster-abetting modern Democrats who’ve dismantled the middle class and rule of law, while perpetuating war — serving up their free societies to dangerous fascists with no regard for the consequences, oblivious (because they are pure corporatists, technocratic managers of mass-plunder and environmental destruction. Their job is to silence the left in order for the pillage to continue.).

I cannot vote for a pseudo-liberal candidate whose ethics, character, and agenda are indistinguishable from those of Bush/Cheney/Romney and the entire Koch/Adelson-fueled cabal — whose neoconservative policies I know so well, whose victims number in the millions, mostly non-European people, indigenous and impoverished people, Muslims, Africans, Central/South Americans, women, and children. (I can’t vote for a transparent warmonger whose party has been setting the table for WW3 during the entirety of Obama’s presidency, supporting neo-Nazi coups in Ukraine and Salafist violence across the Middle East, originating from Washington’s Saudi despot allies… and Langley, VA, of course. The destruction of Syria has been the result of a second Mujaheddin unleashed by the neocons.)

The truth, for those of us who follow policy like our lives depend on it, is that George W. Bush’s torture-happy CIA (like Wall Street) got exactly what it wanted in the presidency of Barack Obama: the death of left-wing opposition to Bush/Cheney policies, which have been continued and dramatically expanded under the nation’s first black president.

But I will vote for neither the “cause” nor the “effect” of America’s descent into neo-fascism.

And here’s a word of warning to those living in FEAR, too terrified to vote for Dr. Jill Stein and the values which you profess to hold: With more “Democrats” like these in office, the NEXT fascist will be a whole lot scarier than center-left, pro-choice, anti-war, anti-TPP* Donald Trump… and, yes, while exploding the GOP establishment and discrediting the wars and corruption of our political system and media, he’s also comported himself as an extremely dangerous demagogue (and a very flawed, reckless PIG of a man — though that is what we’ve come to expect from the Clintons’ circle of friends).

Think, people. Think. Read. Learn. And then vote your conscience.

* which actually makes Trump a stronger defender of environmental/labor regulations than Sec. Clinton, counterintuitive though that may seem (the TPP is all about subjugating nations to corporations — officially and enshrined in international law, as the oceans collapse and the world burns — nullifying/discouraging any form of government regulation… of fossil-fuel companies, labor practices, banking, pharmaceutical companies, etc. — President Obama’s State Department actually lowered the government’s standards to allow some of the most notorious modern practitioners of SLAVERY, including Malaysia, to participate in the treaty. THAT is all the TPP promises, having almost literally nothing to do with “trade” — and being wholly antithetical to freedom. It is about putting shackles on any future threat of an actual democratic, responsive, accountable government breaking out, anywhere in the world. That’s what our establishment fears more than anything else: Free people. And that’s why we’ve got to buck the fuckers).

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My political thought for the moment we’re in…

A vote for Dr. Jill Stein is not actually a vote for Donald Trump, but rather a vote for Dr. Jill Stein and the values and platform of the Green Party, which, IMO, are desperately needed at this critical moment in human history.

A vote for Sec. Clinton, however — if one is at all familiar with her record — is a vote for policies of the extreme right-wing of American politics (she’s in the neocon/neoliberal vanguard, FFS).

No one grounded in reality should support the climate-fracking Wall Street tool and proven warmongering neocon who has positioned herself to Trump’s right on issue after issue. Yes, Donald Trump is a dangerous, race-baiting, sexist demagogue — but he’s not the dangerous, race-baiting, sexist demagogue who just rigged the Democratic Primary, disenfranchising millions of progressive and independent American voters (including me).

Nor is Trump the candidate who is all-but-overtly promising WW3 (quite the opposite, actually) — while the middle class, national sovereignty, and rule of law are further dismantled by the new “Democrats” (TPP anyone? More due process-free assassinations of American citizens? Mujaheddin 2.0? Neo-Nazi allies in Ukraine? The end of environmental/labor standards and bank regulations? Forget the rhetoric and branding, these “Dems” are leading the way toward totalitarianism!).

PAY ATTENTION, my friends, and don’t let yourself be propagandized so easily by brand-names and corporate MSM advertising. Anyone remotely familiar with their respective records should know that both Trump and Clinton are unmitigated monsters — contemplating a vote for either of these unholy terrors is a sign that the brainwashing thugs who run America have your brain in their cookie jar.

“Don’t blame me, I voted for KODOS,” indeed!

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Celebrating another citizen journalist, Jordan Liles

Thank you, Jordan Liles, for this very good journalism documenting what went down at the Nevada Democratic Convention. Your 9-minute video presents a nice contrast to the corporate media’s (stenographic, Clinton Camp-originated) folderol about “violent” Bernie Sanders supporters; rather than spreading David Brock’s latest “artful smear” (nicely debunked by Cenk Uygur) you’ve shed light on a process that was clearly an undemocratic farce. In sharing your work on Facebook, I added the following comments:

Another glimpse at America, not for the faint of heart: Nevada is one several states apparently rigged for Sec. Clinton, this year. After upstart Bernie “tied” (won) in Iowa (also apparently rigged, with even The Des Moines Register crying foul) and went on to make all kinds of history in New Hampshire, Nevada became “must win” for Camp Clinton. Who remembers what happened next? That’s right: with Nate Silver and other pollsters pointing to a Sanders come-from-behind WIN in Nevada, Sen. Harry Reid (NV, Minority Leader) got union bosses in Las Vegas to direct thousands of Clark County workers, *under supervision*, to go “caucus for Hillary” (obviously, such conditions are coercive, where one’s *job* is to participate in an open process with the expectation of support for a specific candidate). Several weeks later at the Clark County convention, Sanders’ delegates reversed the original outcome, because THEY SHOWED UP in greater numbers, because Bernie’s support in Clark County was ACTUAL, rather than artificially inflated. Sen. Sanders likely won — or at least tied — in Nevada, as the exit polls indicated… only the Nevada Democratic Party won’t allow a delegate count that reflects that reality… nor have Democratic officials across the country allowed anything resembling a fair, open, transparent process in SELECTING their “Democratic” nominee (126,000 voters purged in Brooklyn alone, Bernie’s birthplace and hometown; and then there’s what happened in Massachusetts, Chicago, Arizona, Rhode Island…).

THIS is what tyranny looks like, folks. Consider the results to date: Our deeply corrupt, war-profiteering establishment is responsible for the deaths of millions of Muslims over just the past couple of decades and the persecution and oppression of millions of American minorities, especially African-Americans. Our industries have knowingly trashed the planet’s climate, posing a genuine threat to the future of life on Earth. In all quarters of the world, Washington routinely supports dictators, terrorists, drug-lords, and corporate criminals — all MSM propaganda aside, America is rarely, if ever, on the side of democrats, human rights workers, journalists, or the rule of law (consider Honduras, Haiti, Uganda, Ukraine, Bahrain, Yemen, Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Argentina — and we mustn’t forget Syria-Libya, where the US is actively arming and supporting genocidal affiliates of al Qaeda and ISIS, hell bent on regime-change in Damascus and Tehran… the neocon agenda).

Wrapping up: whether we’re talking about democracy/the rule of law/human rights — or the foundering oceans and important, disappearing species, like bees and other pollinators — the inescapable concept is that of the “tipping point.” How much further can we push our indifference to all of the things that matter most?

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High dudgeon (I just lost my shit ranting at The Young Turks and decided to post it on my blog anyway)

[The following rant was in response to this 5/10/16 segment from The Young Turks‘ occasionally excellent program, reporting Bernie Sanders’ 15-point win last night in West Virginia… and the utter hopelessness of his securing the nomination (the nomination he has in all probability already won, had anyone bothered to count the provisional and affidavit ballots). I’ll leave this boastful, wrathful mess exactly as it was originally posted on YouTube, sparing myself nothing. I guess this is what I’ve become.)

TYT is sounding more like Bill Maher every day: “Eat the chicken! Eat the chicken!” skipping right over the fact that the only reason “the math” is so daunting for Bernie is because the nomination is being stolen through fraud. If Cenk and Co. were for real they’d be investigating raw vote totals in Iowa, Chicago, Arizona, New York… To politely avoid mention of the elephant in the room — MASSIVE FRAUD determining the nominee of the “Democratic” Party — is to sanction the Wall Street/neocon coup that makes this country NOT America anymore. Fuck you, Cenk. You suck enormous amounts of ass. You couldn’t BEGIN to debate me, because I’ve got about a thousand more facts than you… and I’m not as full of shit as you (even now, in a state of high dudgeon). FULL RESPECT for all the times you’ve got it right in the past, folks, but right now you’re joining all the rest of the shitbags in the corporate media by simply reporting the “official” tally and neglecting to mention how many millions of Americans were disenfranchised to reach that “official” tally… which isn’t remotely supported by the EXIT POLLS (why aren’t you covering the hell out of that story?). But here’s TYT and the MSM: “Nothing to see here, nothing to see here. Looks like Clinton’s locked up the nomination, in all likelihood.” FUCK you straight to hell, Cenk Uygur and your dirty, appeasing crew. The oceans are signaling collapse, the bee population is winking out, and the Bill of Rights is in a thousand shreds. Literally millions of Muslims have been butchered by the West over the last three decades — WHERE ARE YOU???

(OK, you can go back to your “Two Minutes Hate” of Trump now… but why you’re sparing the “Democratic” neocon stealing the nomination — the warmonger who threatened to “OBLITERATE” Iran and has been in the vanguard of Washington’s genocidal program in the Middle East — is the question you should be asking yourselves.)

James O’Donnell III — Invitation2Artivism.com

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Either fight for Bernie or embrace Chancellor Trump!

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

(Photo by DSK, AFP/Getty Images)

Check out what The Hill and USA Today are reporting, folks: Sec. Clinton is TIED/LOSING to Trump in critical swing states (the raw polling data has shown for months now that Clinton is particularly vulnerable to Trump).  Not only is she the furthest-right Democratic nominee imaginable, nominating Clinton is apparently the shortest path to electing Donald Trump……whereas the same polling data shows Bernie, an actual progressive, clobbering Trump by double-digit margins, including in swing states!

Consider this excerpt from Seth Abramson’s excellent recent article in The Huffington Post:

“Sanders outperforms Clinton against Donald Trump in nearly every state where head-to-head general-election polling data is available. While some of this is undoubtedly due to the fact that Sanders beats Clinton by between 30 and 40 points among Independents — itself a major warning sign for a Clinton candidacy this fall — the rest is explained by the fact that when voters come to know Bernie Sanders as well as they already know Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, they tend to prefer him to these two by clear margins.”

Trump beats Clinton. Bernie beats Trump. It really is that simple.

And the Democratic Primary is far from over: Bernie only needs 56% of the remaining pledged delegates to pass Clinton, with very favorable terrain ahead. Let’s keep working to win the nomination for Bernie — unless we want “Chancellor Trump” in office!

That’s the real choice we face.

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In order to succeed, it’s time to pressure Bernie to demand an audit of the Democratic Primary

[This hopeful message was originally composed for our Tri-City FUN for Bernie Facebook page, with some of my local activist cohorts in mind. Even so, the main point of this writing is intended for sharing broadly, and that point is a simple one: it’s time to tell Sen. Sanders that he must demand that our votes are actually counted -- #BernieAUDITthePRIMARY -- it’s now or never, friends.]

Lately, I admit I’ve been struggling to remind myself of something positive about the moment we’re in, and that something is this: this moment is brimming over with HOPE. Our humanitarian, climate-conscious, peace-loving, egalitarian, diversity-celebrating movement is winning. (It’s a thing of beauty. Truly.) But it’s been difficult for me to fully appreciate that aspect of this moment because it is my sincere belief that our movement will be defeated (cheated, in fact) if we don’t — in great numbers — demand an independent and transparent audit of the entire Democratic Primary… before the Democratic Convention.

If we count the votes, I strongly believe that Bernie WINS. Decisively, even. If we don’t, I’m afraid the establishment is going to steal this moment from us.

Friends, I’m concerned that in harping on this issue, I might have recently come across as overly pessimistic about our current efforts. And beyond pessimistic, when it comes to the level of despair I exhibited this morning at our Voter Registration table at the Irvington Farmer’s Market (clothes were “rent,” teeth “gnashed”). The truth is, the last few days have presented me with some challenging moments, and I have faltered. But please understand that I’m not giving up. I will continue to support our canvassing, phone-banking, voter registration, and other efforts, which are essential. I am on board with Tri-City FUN for Bernie, all the way!

But let’s also be realistic about what we’re up against: MASSIVE FRAUD. That’s the elephant in the room (or DINO, in this case). Massive voter suppression and outright, vote-flipping fraud have marred this primary race, and if we want Bernie to get his win, we need to shout it from the rooftops. Sen. Sanders is too much of a gentleman — and Team Player — to do it himself.

FUN people, what the world needs now — more than love and Coca-Cola combined — is the right meme (and IMO we should be working to spread that meme): COUNT THE VOTES! AUDIT THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY!

We need to press Bernie to demand an independent and transparent audit of the Democratic Primary before the disenfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of Americans is made “official.” Before it’s too late and there’s no going back to the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to elect President Bernie Sanders! (Damn, that felt good typing that!)

So let’s not take our chances (or humanity’s) with a second President Clinton or a Chancellor Trump. It’s time to stand up for the movement we’ve built and claim the WIN that we and Bernie together have already achieved (against all odds, even discounting the vote suppression): #BernieAUDITthePRIMARY [That’s right: for Bernie’s sake, I just became an official Twitter person (I’m twitter-pated). JOD_III_Tweets is my handle -- as in “You can’t handle the Twuth!” I mean, “the Tweet!”]

Bernie-boosters, I understand that there are other, more conventional, steps essential to winning CA, but as Sen. Sanders himself has said, his path to victory is “narrow.” Mark my words: that path may well become blocked entirely if we continue to accept fraudulent official vote totals. And please, don’t dismiss it as a “conspiracy theory.” The rigging so far has triggered massive citizen outcry in one contest after another, prompting several investigations, job suspensions, state hearings (filled with livid disenfranchised citizens), and even mini-audits… which, according to the citizens in attendance, have been opaque and rigged.

Our winning strategy is simple: AUDIT THE PRIMARY. COUNT THE VOTES. And press the Sanders campaign to join us. (Sign whatever petitions you can find to this effect. I know I have.)

Let’s not risk the future because we’re afraid to be a little assertive: write Bernie, Tweet him, e-mail his campaign, chant it to him at his next yuuuuge rally: “BERNIE, WE LOVE YOU, BUT COUNT THE VOTES! AUDIT THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY!”

Peace, James

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Helping Bernie WIN in CA — essential info for voters:

Here’s the latest flier I’ve come up with for our awesome Tri-City FUN (Fremont/Union City/Newark) volunteers: FLIER–Register&Protect_Your_Vote,BERN_Tops_Trump&Righty-HC_LOSES

(It’s a two-sided flier, designed for folding in half — and now that you have the instructions…) Print it, friends! Share it widely! CALIFORNIA can put Bernie in the lead and save what’s left of our democratic republic from Trump and Clinton!

Come to think of it, there are two versions of that flier — here’s the one that includes my original “Donald Dump” cartoon: FLIER–Register&Document_It,Bernie_WINS&HC_LOSES2Trump,w-Toon

Next, just for fun, here’s a bit of art that happened on the way to completing my graphic for our “FEEL THE BERN!” matchbook covers:

I’ll close by recommending you to the 2016 equivalent of Thomas Paine: Debbie Lusignan, the Sane Progressive, kicking ass, taking names, and exposing Sec. Clinton as the phony “feminist” she is. Lusignan gives special attention to the time in 2015 when Sec. Clinton lent credibility to the bogus “Center for Medical Progress” smears against Planned Parenthood, effectively throwing the organization under the bus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69b2wqZ6q7Y

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President Obama vs. Richard III: the monumental tragedy of Machiavellian politics

[I recently responded to a comment at DailyKos claiming that Shakespeare's Richard III has no modern rival, when it comes to the character's charm, brilliance, and malevolence. Who in today's shabby world could match the Bard's misshapen misanthrope with regard to those three qualities? Karl Rove and David Brock, two of the more disgustingly amoral strategists of the far-right, are mere PIKERS in comparison to Shakespeare's Richard III, the commenter asserted. I agree. Below is my full response to that DKos commenter, disagreeing with his/her main premise that the tragically flawed hero has no modern rival... because I know the answer, and it isn't pretty. Below is the latest refinement of the argument I've been making for several years now about the significance of Obama's presidency: a "Win-Win for the Right."]

No modern rival to Shakespeare’s Richard III? Au contraire: President Barack Obama is both brilliant and the all-time champ of the far-right. How’s that for Machiavellian?

What Republican could have sealed the deal on the $16-trillion Wall Street coup de grace to the middle class, with zero prosecutions or meaningful reforms, leaving “casino” banking, TBTF, and the promise of more socialized losses intact? Who else could have revived the neocons’ utterly discredited, counterproductive (and ultimately genocidal) regime-change agenda (in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Ukraine…) — effectively giving Bush/Cheney’s foreign policy two additional terms?

What other president could have made it “legal” for the government to assassinate anyone anywhere, without a whisper of due process?

What post-Bush politician other than Obama (the CIA’s choice in 2008) could have dramatically expanded the use of civilian-killing drones or forgiven and normalized torture, removing it from the realm of criminality by reducing it to a matter of bipartisan disagreement about “waterboarding” (quite the red herring, when Obama has continued all but a few of Rumsfeld’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” — and has sanctioned and continued the practice of torture in numerous ways, as Jeremy Scahill and Alfred McCoy have reported). Who else could have swept under the rug the monstrous war crime of “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” with several hundred thousand Iraqis dead, possibly over a million?

Who else could have so painlessly lied to the American people while normalizing the vacuum-collection of virtually everyone’s data? Or used the Espionage Act more than all previous presidents combined, to hunt honest whistleblowers and journalists as if they were enemies of the state? While the left snoozed on and on (save for CODE PINK and a few stalwarts out here in the wilderness).

Who else could have insisted on the demise of Posse Comitatus with nary a national debate? (Ditto for the TPP, under ZERO public pressure from the GOP.) What other Democrat or Republican could have been PRAISED for adamantly opposing legally-binding carbon emissions targets in Paris, while the Great Barrier Reef dies and the oceans signal collapse? While the world runs out of potable water? (And speaking of water, what other president could possibly get away with letting Nestle drain the Great Lakes – at zero cost – while the population of Flint pays good money to drink poison? Obama’s EPA has been following Gov. Snyder’s lead for far too long.)

President Obama has even begun tearing away at the legendary “Third Rail of American Politics,” Social Security and Medicare — a little chained-CPI here, a little retirement age-hike there (“Work longer, manual laborers, because white-collar workers are living longer!”). And he’s given the far-right what they’ve long been clamoring for, fracturing Medicare and shifting costs to taxpayers (the more affluent). It also has the effect of weakening that segment of the population’s support for the program.

ONLY charming, brilliant, Third Way Democrat, Barack Obama, could have managed to make Nixon’s wettest dreams of presidential power and corporatism-uber-alles come true… while the left went straight to sleep (leaving it to the kids and the country’s last few progressives to rally around an independent Brooklyn Jew, suddenly missing over 125,000 of his PURGED voters!).

So don’t tell me that President Obama isn’t impressively Machiavellian…

And yet the Wall Street/neocon-darling who is looking to succeed him (by hook and by crook) is clearly FAR to his right… yet running as a Democrat. And she can’t wait to embrace Netanyahu. Hell, she’ll probably make him her Secretary of Defense, with the GOP singing her praises.

Take that, Richard III.

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