Creating a better world through words and images

Artwork/Political Cartoons
Artwork/Political Cartoons
Artwork/Political Cartoons
Artwork/Political Cartoons

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.

[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

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:

Helping Bernie WIN in CA -- essential info for voters:

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:

[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.

Sec. Reich, I hope you will give thoughtful consideration to the issues I raise in the following “unsubscribe” letter I sent to NARAL:

Although I’m a lifelong supporter of a woman’s right to choose, I cannot stand with NARAL when you endorse the candidate of the establishment. It’s truly sad to see the leadership of outstanding organizations like Planned Parenthood and NARAL supporting the candidate of the deeply corrupt establishment. The truth is Sec. Clinton has carved out the textbook “Moderate Republican” position on a woman’s right to choose: open to restrictions on a woman’s right, provided there’s an exception for the life of the mother. (Thanks a lot, Mitt Romney!) Clinton also reflexively acted to throw Planned Parenthood under the bus when the right-wing smear group came out last year with its dishonestly edited video, slandering PP with disgusting lies about profiteering off fetal tissue. Rather than repudiating this obvious fraud, Clinton called the videos “troubling” and voiced support for an investigation OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD! (With Dems like these, who needs Republicans?)

Now consider the 100% rating that NARAL’s given Bernie, a career progressive with a uniquely consistent and principled record. Contrast his record with Clinton’s — a career neoconservative warmonger with a history of serving NOT the 99%, but the MIC, the Jim Crow mass-incarceration industry, the fossil fuel industry, PhRMA/AHIP, private prisons, and Wall Street crooks…. a true stalwart of the neo-fascist .01% assaulting America over the last 40 years.

Consider the perspective of an old-school, GOP-battling, progressive liberal, dubbed “James O’Pedia” by CODE PINK and “The One-Man Campaign against Bush” by the Columbia Daily Tribune, when I was a Missourian. I’m a huge policy/history wonk, too, and to me it’s abundantly clear that Clinton is THE candidate in this race most closely associated with genocidal policies abroad and institutionalized racism at home. When it comes to policy, she’s the living incarnation of all that Trump has come to represent. The victims of right-wing policies she’s championed over her long, self-serving career number in the MILLIONS, and they are disproportionately black, Muslim, Latino, indigenous, women, children, and the impoverished. Furthermore, she is completely under the control of Wall Street crooks, industry lobbyists, and neocon warmongers (the neocons have promised to support her versus Trump, who has surprisingly promised to be an honest broker in Israel-Palestine and end the regime-change wars that have the CIA partnering with Salafist terrorists in the Middle East and neo-Nazis in Ukraine).

While I can’t imagine EVER voting for Trump as the LOTE in a hypothetical race vs. Sec. Clinton, the sad state of U.S. politics in the 21st century means that a loopy, ugly, dangerous non-establishment figure, Trump, stands well to the left of Sec. Clinton on SO MANY issues. And for what it’s worth, I don’t believe Trump is actually some kind of hardcore racist — prior to this year’s GOP primary, that’s never been his reputation, despite so many years in the spotlight. Rather, he’s a shrewd, cynical, and opportunistic politician who understands the environment in which he’s operating. Like Hillary, Trump is not above a little race-baiting demagoguery in order to win a primary race (the Clintons’ conduct in 2008 was as appalling as anything “The Donald” has vomited up). Color of Change co-founder James Rucker has offered a good summary of the 2008 Clinton camp’s racist tactics against Obama:…/can-black-people-trust…

To be clear, I think that Donald Trump has said many reprehensible things, and I strongly dislike the man and all he represents (please review my “Donald Dump” political cartoon:…/01/ASPs-DDUMP4Final.jpg

But at least he holds out some promise of pulling back from the neo-fascist establishment’s monstrous agenda. That agenda, led by Third Way Dems and Republicans alike, is predicated on entitlement-slashing austerity, TPP-promotion (slavery overlooking, national sovereignty effacing “trade” pacts), and endless genocidal wars, with the U.S. supporting al Qaeda and ISIS, even, when it suits Washington’s regime-change agenda:…/hillary-clinton-and-the…

So, let’s not be facile. Today’s “Democrats” are among the most radical right-wingers in our nation’s history, when it comes to policy. “Democrats” like Clinton and Obama have achieved virtually all of the most extreme policies on the far-right’s long held wish list, including beginning to tear down the famed “Third Rail” …and then there’s NAFTA-TPP, mass-incarceration and disenfranchisement of primarily black Americans, GITMO and military tribunals perpetuated, Romney-Care enacted (all mandate, no public option), the end of Glass-Steagall, the perpetuation/expansion of terrorism-fueling wars, the “new normal” of hunting honest journalists and whistleblowers like spies, and the destruction of the Bill of Rights in the name of “fighting terrorism.” Posse Comitatus is dead, and it’s now the law of the land that anyone can be assassinated by drone, at any time, with no due process. American citizen or not. On American soil or not.


Sure, their rhetoric is far superior to that of the GOP, but that is a simple matter of BRANDING. 90% of today’s Democrats work for the same mass-murdering, biosphere-destroying, freedom-despising, rule of law-dismantling, middle class-crushing neo-fascists as the Republicans do. As Black Agenda Report’s Glen Ford has accurately surmised, Third Way Dems are NOT the “lesser evil” but the “more effective” of two evil brands, representing identical interests. Michelle Alexander, in her recent piece for The Nation, has pretty much concurred. BRANDING isn’t everything. And liberal rhetoric, while important, means next to nothing when the substance — the REALITY — is grotesquely, appallingly evil:…/hillary-clinton-does-not…/

IOW, sometimes we have to consider the history and POLICIES that the candidates have championed, not just the branding and rhetoric. And on that front, Hillary Clinton is one of the most terrifying right-wingers I’ve ever seen coming for the presidency (#2 after GWB). Trump isn’t far behind, but at least he’s rhetorically interested in reversing the neoliberal/neocon agenda that poses the most significant threat to America and humanity.

If a GOP president DOES come into power (please, NO), the Democratic base might remember to care every once in a blue moon about habeas corpus, torture, indefinite detention, Wall Street plunder, and endless war… Hell, they might even lift a finger to stop fracking, deep-water drilling, and the collapse of the oceans. Whereas under a second President Clinton (please, please, NO), it will be straight back to Nappy Time for the left, while the far-right establishment rolls forward over the Earth’s grave.

4/11/16 — JO’D was BANNED from Ben Taub’s Facebook discussion for the following responses to his article (and his insulting response to my first comment):

And here is the exchange:

James Charles O’Donnell III Wow, and here I’ve been reading The New Yorker for Jane Mayer and Seymour Hersh! Turns out, all along, in addition to offering GREAT journalism, The New Yorker also offers UNMITIGATED NEOCON PROPAGANDA (Ben Taub, I certainly hope you’re connected somehow to the Clinton campaign or Dick Cheney, because that’s where you belong). Allow me to share a comment I recently posted on Huffington Post explaining the origins of the conflict in Syria, complete with links to articles that should begin a Westerner’s education on the modern GWOT (a “war” which has the U.S. in bed with radical Salafists for the first time since the CIA, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia birthed the FIRST “mujaheddin” in the 1980s — and for the same reason):

The CIA and its allies in Riyadh, Doha, and Ankara have been arming the Salafists, including al Qaeda and ISIS, for close to a decade now. Washington, hell bent on regime-change in Damascus, has effectively revamped its 1980s “Mujaheddin” strategy.

As most of the world figured out years ago, the U.S. strategy in Syria has nothing to do with “democracy promotion” or anything the Syrian people want. The proof of that statement? Washington and the West systematically chose to ignore and marginalize Syria’s indigenous resistance — actual Syrians who vehemently opposed the influx of arms and extremist “rebels” and rejected U.S. entreaties to incite a sectarian war in their country (in fact, the Syrians opposed all of the neocon-advised Western front groups’ calls for violent revolution and “no-fly zones”). That left matters to freshly-concocted “exile” groups and radical Wahhabist proxies happy to turn Syria into a charnel house, with the CIA as their enablers.

Two years ago, Assad had all but defeated the unpopular, foreign “rebellion,” but that was before the U.S. began “bombing ISIS” — actions that saw ISIS, strangely, recover almost all of the territory it had lost (somehow we “bombed ISIS” back into a position of strength — winning again). But when Russia began *actually* bombing ISIS the government of Syria was able to regain its footing. Funny that…

Time to wake up, America: Our leaders haven’t the slightest interest in defeating ISIS or al Qaeda, groups that were created and financed by our despotic Gulf Allies at Washington’s behest. Try reading some non-propaganda, for a change:

1) My own overview (with plenty of linked mainstream sources):

2) And here’s Pulitzer Prize winner, Seymour Hersh, detailing the choice (under Bush, not Obama, who merely continued the policy) to “Redirect” U.S. Middle East policy after the disastrous Iraq invasion, backing the same people who attacked us on 9/11, simply because they could be counted on to attack Shi’ites and challenge Iran’s influence in the region:

3) Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) has also exposed the MSM’s refusal to honestly report Washington’s support for al Qaeda:

A Striking Lack of Empathy, Part III: The Neocons Keep Killing, Americans Keep…

Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 4 hrs

Emmi Bee Lol dude.

Like · Reply · 1 hr

James Charles O’Donnell III Emmi Bee — No need for the “Lol dude” deflection. Don’t be ashamed, just come right out and admit that you can’t read… OR RESPOND TO THE INFORMATION IN MY LINKED ARTICLES. Either way…. dude.

Like · Reply · 1 hr

Ben Taub This is more evidence that there’s a direct correlation between randomly pressing the “caps-lock key” and willingness to believe + propagate conspiracy theories.

Like · Reply · 1 hr

James Charles O’Donnell III Ben Taub — CLEVER DUCK!

Like · Reply · 35 mins

James Charles O’Donnell III Ben Taub — P.S. [oh dear, more caps!] You, Ben, may return to propagandizing the American public. Had you read my linked materials, you might have noticed that my sources include Pulitzer Prize winners and mainstream sources, rather than anonymous government officials and establishment neocons. But you go on calling yourself a “journalist,” you blithe minion, you. Hack away! For empire! What’s a few million dead Muslims to the establishment you serve? Nothing, so long as REGIME-CHANGE wars are pursued, without question — and brother, that’s no “conspiracy theory,” see Saddam-through-Qaddafi-through-Assad! You also might have noted (as a pretend journalist) a short while back, when Gen. Michael Flynn, the former HEAD of the DIA (the Pentagon’s intelligence outfit), admitted to Mehdi Hasan (a real journalist) that the U.S. played a critical role in the creation of ISIS and the proliferation of radical Salafist groups bent on REGIME-CHANGE in Syria:

You might also have noted, some years back, Ben, when the American Enterprise Institute’s representative, Danielle Pletka, acknowledged on C-Span’s “Washington Journal” that Americans pursuing regime-change in Syria made the mistake of “outsourcing” that objective to Qatar and Saudi Arabia — you know, the folks *bankrolling and arming al Qaeda and ISIS* (along with the CIA, as has been reported in the New York Times).

Please, Ben, please, please, quadruple-PLEASE, stop unthinkingly shilling for a policy that is tantamount to genocide. Assad’s no prince, but the people he’s fighting are NOT primarily Syrians. They are radical Salafists backed by Washington and its allies in the Middle East. Just as the Mujaheddin in the 1980s was no conspiracy theory but an actual, shameful part of our history, SO IS THIS DARK CHAPTER. Along with a few despotic, head-chopping, deeply corrupt allies, WE (the US of A) have all but obliterated Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and Syria. (So stop with the debunked neocon talking points about Assad’s “use of chemical weapons” — PLEASE. Stop supporting terrorists and their deranged imperialist masters. STOP being a tool.)

(Ya’ see that, Ben? Sometimes ALL CAPS is simply a way of adding emphasis — “italicizing” when doing so is not an option. Capiche?)

Mehdi Hasan goes Head to Head with Michael T…

[Minutes after posting my response to Ben Taub, he DELETED MY COMMENT and BANNED ME from participating in the conversation on his FB page.]