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

So, Elizabeth Warren is trashing Bernie Sanders based on a Politico story which has as its source “a person close to Sanders’ campaign.”

An anonymous source speculates that “if” the Sanders campaign is finally willing to discuss Sen. Warren’s considerable weaknesses and lack of broad support, “(Sanders) is aware.”

(All progressives have been saying — with no directives from the Sanders campaign, to my knowledge — is that Elizabeth Warren hasn’t built much of a coalition beyond affluent whites and the “Blue No Matter Who” crowd.)

Sen. Warren, these are not personal attacks, but enumerations of your potential weaknesses as a presidential candidate in a general election, as someone with little appeal to independents, crossover voters, the working class, the military, and people of color.

(Meanwhile, Bernie’s campaign excites the base, breaks fundraising records without PACs or megadonors, brings new people into the party, including millions of under-40 voters, and he’s the number one choice of women, people of color, Wal-Mart workers, Amazon employees, Starbucks workers, teachers, and people serving in the military — making Bernie Sanders the one true threat to Trump’s reelection.)

Even if it’s true that Sen. Sanders gave the “green light” for his supporters to mention Warren’s narrow band of support — as the data reveals (over 70% of Warren’s supporters are white, and the majority are affluent white men) — how is that a personal attack?

And don’t you think Sen. Warren should have asked her friend Bernie, personally, about this allegation, before going to the press with these ugly attacks on his character?

No. Screwing over her friend and ally, Warren simply assumes the allegations are true, and goes on the attack, trashing Bernie, saying: “we cannot nominate” him, and that he “takes big chunks of the Democratic Coalition for granted.”

Bernie’s good “friend” then implies that he won’t “bring the party together” and won’t “excite every part of the Democratic Party,” that he won’t “be there” for Democrats, and that many simply can’t “believe in” him.

(He won’t “be there” for Democrats??? Really, Sen. Warren? After the millions of dollars he’s raised for down-ballot Democrats??? After he refused to challenge the rigged 2016 primary and campaigned across the country for Sec. Clinton??? After 88% of his supporters held their noses and voted for Clinton in order to defeat Trump???)

Some friend!

An anonymous source — reported uncritically by a right-wing rag — and that’s enough for Warren to go for the jugular.

What else should we expect from the candidate who has spent the last two consecutive presidential election cycles sabotaging the liberal revolution on behalf of party elites? Once again, Warren is showing her true, Clintonian colors — always there for party elites, always willing to undermine the left.

While most establishment voices have cheered the assassination of Gen. Soleimani, a recent CounterPunch article has a much better take on Soleimani’s role in the GWOT era.

From the article:

“As Soleimani moved about openly in Iraq, U.S. commanders did not attack him because he did not attack them. Sometimes, pro-American and pro-Iranian soldiers even fought side by side. Thanks to this tacit U.S.-Iranian cooperation that neither country cared to publicly acknowledge, ISIS was expelled from Iraq into Syria by 2017.”

From Washington’s perspective, Gen. Soleimani’s greatest offense was defeating the CIA’s Operation Timber Sycamore in Syria, conceived by Bush and Saudi Prince Bandar bin-Sultan, implemented by President Obama.

Basically, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia conspired for the second time in our history to create a Mujaheddin Army, flooding Syria with thousands of CIA-armed-and-coordinated Salafist militants, predominately al Qaeda, in order to effect regime-change in a nation at peace.

Thanks to Operation Timber Sycamore, Syria became Obama’s Iraq, resulting in over half-a-million deaths and over 10 million refugees, after Washington’s proxy-invasion failed, leaving the country devastated — and the regime in Damascus more popular than ever: the protector of Syrian minority populations, the regime that defeated a foreign invasion and strengthened its alliance with regional and international partners.

Also from the CounterPunch article:

“Soleimani helped defeat ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria’s civil war. In 2015, President Bashar al-Assad’s armed forces were losing ground to Sunni fundamentalist forces funded by the CIA and the Persian Gulf oil monarchies. The CIA wanted to overthrow Assad. Iran feared losing its ally in Damascus to a hostile anti-Shia regime controlled by al-Qaeda.”

All Donald Trump has done is murder the most effective enemy that al Qaeda and ISIS ever had.

He’s caved to his political enemies, the neocons, as we always feared he would, risking another catastrophic war in the Middle East, one that threatens to descend into a third World War, as Russia and China have been engaging in joint military exercises for the first time in history (as Washington has threatened all three with annihilation in the post-9/11 era, bringing them into an alliance against the most genocidal nation since Nazi Germany, the post-Cold War USA).

I still believe that between Sec. Clinton and Donald Trump, Trump was the clear *lesser* of two fairly obvious, reprehensible evils (not someone I could vote for, but clearly less dangerous and authoritarian than his rival and former family friend).

But this latest action on Trump’s part was extremely reckless and may prove to be far more self-destructive to the U.S. than the illegal invasion of Iraq, which resulted in over a million deaths.

As Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has said, assassinating Soleimani in Iraq was unconstitutional, counterproductive, and has dramatically decreased our national security, rather than enhancing it.

All Trump has done is murder a frequent strategic ally of the U.S. military in Iraq, an invited guest of Iraq’s government, and an unrelenting foe of al Qaeda, ISIS, and the neocons who’ve been backing their genocidal butchery in the region.

NOT a smart move, and NOT consistent with Trump’s promises to pull back from the neocon agenda that’s killed several million Muslims in a modern holocaust.

[To reassure you that I’m not being extra-gratuitously crude, here are a few words from Wikipedia about a bit of jargon I use a couple of times in the following diatribe: “Ratfucking is an American slang term for political sabotage or dirty tricks. It was brought to public attention by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in their non-fiction book All the President’s Men (1974).”]

 

It’s a tragedy and a disgrace. The slowest burn I’ve ever seen.

 

Over the last three years, I’ve watched the center-left, mainstream media, and virtually the entire U.S. political establishment slowly fashion a noose, attach it to the ceiling, position a rickety stool, stand up on that stool, loop the noose around their collective necks, and start doing the Hokey Pokey — all while screeching, “Die, Trump, die!!!”

 

(They put their right leg in, they put their left-wing out, they put their right fist in, and they shake it all about… They do the Hokey Pokey and surrender to the right. That’s what it’s all about.)

 

From November 2016 to the present, the “#Resistance” to Donald Trump has bet everything — all future credibility — on an alleged “pee tape” contrived by a notoriously dodgy hireling of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 political campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

 

The truth is there never would have been an investigation of Trump-Russia, at all, if a few FBI partisans hadn’t presented as legitimate intelligence the ratfucking malarkey created by a retired foreign spy hired by the Clinton people. This report-embellishing minion relied heavily on official Russian sources that he now says may have been spreading “disinformation” through him (that’s right: as has been verified several times over and reported in The New York Times, it was the Clinton campaign that relied on Russian sources and may have been spreading Russian disinformation).

 

Look it up.

 

Please.

 

And bear in mind that the Clintons run their campaigns just like the Bushes do, banking heavily on ratfucking lies, malicious/racist smears, fabricated misogynist narratives, and demagoguery — even when the target of their character-assassination onslaught is fellow Democrat, Barack Obama, or lifelong progressive and civil rights champion, Bernie Sanders.

 

Like George W. Bush and Karl Rove, when it comes to politics, the Clintons have no scruples whatsoever.

 

And now, following the Mueller Report (obliterating Russiagate’s central claims) and the Horowitz Report (documenting years of FBI lies and misdeeds to propagate the Russiagate fiction, spy on the newly-elected president, and launch the Mueller probe), there is no longer any doubt about the ignominious origins of Russiagate.

 

It’s a scam, and has been from the start.

 

Trump is corrupt, sleazy, dangerous, deeply offensive, morally reprehensible, and guilty of a great many things (Emoluments Clause, anyone?), but it turns out he never colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election.

 

As the Mueller Report explains, the Russians didn’t have a single contact with the Trump campaign, no number to call or e-mail to reach out to him after he’d won the election.

 

Funnier yet, by all accounts, Trump barely made an effort to win the 2016 election. He had so little belief that he could possibly win that he didn’t even draft a victory speech… just as Sec. Clinton never drafted a concession speech. As was the case in the rigged Democratic Primary, the fix was in; she couldn’t lose.

 

Except she did. (Thanks, Electoral College!)

 

The result of all this skulduggery:

 

Over the last three years, Democrats and the establishment have been literally (OK, figuratively) pissing away their opportunities on Russiagate — leading, ultimately, to a bogus impeachment proceeding so narrowly focused and hypocritical that it is bound to fail.

 

As poll after poll shows, Russiagate and Ukrainegate have only improved Trump’s chances of reelection, while dividing the country, fracturing the left, and putting the neocon agenda on steroids.

 

What a waste!

 

It would have been far easier to oppose Donald Trump on principle.

 

Considering Trump’s treaty-shredding bellicosity toward Russia and Iran — and considering the way he’s ignored/contributed to genocide in Yemen and the unfolding climate catastrophe — it would have been a slam dunk to challenge him from the left …rather than from the far-right, with neo-McCarthyite fabrications.

 

Defeating Trump, politically, should have been a walk in the park, a doddle, a breeze — but to actually challenge Trump, the Democrats would have to champion a liberal agenda, rather than a neoconservative one… and that was simply never going to happen.

 

Democrats and the U.S. political-media establishment decided to attack Trump with a rabidly nationalistic and xenophobic fictional narrative that has blown up in their faces, enormously benefited Trump, politically, devastated the reputation of the media, and significantly increased the chances of a third world war.

 

This is somewhere between political malpractice of the highest order and a complete dereliction of duty, as treasonous as anything Trump has allegedly done.

 

And that is both a tragedy and a disgrace.

The authors of this article write: “the reversal we have in mind is the movement from late twentieth-century liberal democracy to seventeenth-century autocracy.”

Mention Thucydides all you want, fellas, but your take on the Trump era is somewhere between sub-mental and wholly detached from reality.

In what parallel universe did we have a “liberal democracy” in the late twentieth century? After Dulles and company murdered President Kennedy and effected their deep state coup, followed by a dizzying lurch to the right and away from the rule of law (which no longer exists, when it comes to elites)?

The next few decades saw the continuation of U.S. imperialism, butchering millions of human beings in the name of corporate profits – overthrowing stable nations and democracies, alike, in favor of torturing autocrats, secret police, and terrorists on the CIA’s payroll.

The CIA infiltrated the “free press” long ago, and today – following Reagan’s ending of the Fairness Doctrine, Bill Clinton’s catastrophic Telecom Act, and President Obama’s nullification of the Smith-Mundt Act – there’s no semblance of an American free press and the government openly propagandizes the American people.

As Noam Chomsky observed years before Trump hit the scene, “any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.”

As Mike Pompeo has openly boasted, “I was the CIA director – we lied, we cheated, we stole.”

And another CIA director outlined the reality we’re presently living: “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”

That prescient phrase was uttered with impunity (the impunity of a neo-fascist official in a neo-fascist nation) by William Casey, CIA director under Ronald Reagan (you know, back in the good old “liberal democracy” days – back when the U.S. was training and coordinating murderous Contras, downing civilian airliners, selling arms to Iran and chemical weapons to Iraq, so the two nations could reduce each other to rubble).

By the end of the 20th century, following decades of neoliberalism, following the Powell Memo and the ascent of the Third Way, the U.S. had no remaining liberal institutions.

The “free press” took its marching orders from the national security state, demonizing foreign leaders – democratic and autocratic, alike – to the point that Bill Clinton could butcher “well over a million” innocents in Iraq, and his holocaust went largely uncovered and ignored: https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2000/mar/04/weekend7.weekend9

According to career U.N. development worker, Denis Halliday, who resigned in protest of the policy, U.S. sanctions met “the definition of genocide.”

And George W. Bush, following a stolen presidential election in 2000, would go on to butcher over a million more Iraqis – again, a modern holocaust, only with the vast majority of those targeted being Muslim rather than Jewish.

(Some “liberal democracy!”)

A peer-reviewed 2014 University of Princeton study demonstrates that the U.S. in no longer a democracy, but an oligarchy: https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746 3

A peer-reviewed 2016 study from Harvard and the University of Sydney, Australia, ranked the U.S. dead last in election integrity – the most corrupt, opaque, unreliable elections in the West, also trailing several nations from one continent to the next: https://www.electoralintegrityproject.com/eip-blogs/2017/1/7/its-even-worse-than-the-news-about-north-carolina-american-elections-rank-last-among-all-western-democracies 2

And anyone who doesn’t know that the 2016 Democratic Primary was a rigged farce simply wasn’t paying attention.

None of this has anything to do with Trump, repugnant, dangerous, corrupt though he is.

Because it was Bush, Jr, and President Obama who drove the last nails into the coffin of “liberal democracy” in the U.S., in the post-9/11 era. By the time #44 was done, Nixon’s proclamation that “if the President does it, then it’s not illegal,” had been effectively realized:

Torture, assassination of citizens uncharged with any crime, persecution of journalists and whistleblowers, indefinite detention, caging children at the border by the thousands, crushing peaceful protest (OWS) with brutal police state tactics, total surveillance of society, free-flowing propaganda, the deeply racist prison industrial complex, endless genocide, wholly undemocratic elections, and the destruction of the biosphere… all had been normalized.

We need Trump gone. But I’m sick to tears of all of the imbeciles pretending we had a “liberal democracy” before he moved into the White House.

If we, as a society, don’t reckon with the rot in the system – if we continue making all of our political battles about partisan rancor and tearing ourselves to pieces over trifling differences between two monstrously corrupt and immoral parties – then we are truly fucked.

Yes, there is some overlap of the Trump/Bernie voter: two massive groups of Americans sick-to-tears of a government captured by oligarchs and run by venal, careerist bureaucrats who take their orders from modern fascists, the neocons and MIC, responsible for the deaths of millions of human beings during the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.

(Their victims are Arab-Muslim civilians, predominately, amounting to a modern holocaust — like the previous holocaust, which targeted millions of Jews, Russians, and Slavic peoples, this Arab/Muslim-slaughtering genocide must not be mentioned while it’s ongoing. Mentioning the serially genocidal conduct of our nation is strictly verboten. There’s a reason we’re all talking about a nonsensical and doomed impeachment proceeding, rather than the millions of people being starved to death and deprived of medicine and potable water in Yemen and Palestine, thanks to U.S. foreign policy and the bipartisan consensus.)

Save for the most brainwashed partisan tribalists, the American people have realized that the duopoly of the 1% doesn’t remotely represent the rest of us, the 99%. Republicans and Democrats are partners, ensuring that the left will be forever marginalized and suppressed. That’s the reality, not the dog and pony show going on in the House of Representatives.

Americans comprehend that the corporate media only reports news from the billionaires’ perspective, blacking out most climate change developments, erasing the victims of our illegal wars, and smearing/disappearing any politician who promises to reverse the country’s suicidal/omnicidal course.

It’s not exactly “Fake News,” as Trump alleges; it is heavily censored “news” slanted to promote the agenda of the corporate class and the narrow, self-serving interests of the oligarchy.

And we’re sick of it!

Partisan “news” intended to Divide & Conquer the country while sewing despair, paving the way for more and worse fascists than Donald Trump (people like George W. Bush, for instance, who stole not one, but two elections, shredded the Constitution, and killed over a million people in Iraq alone, just as his predecessor, Bill Clinton, had done with his draconian sanctions regime).

The American people are desperate for authentic, morally decent, and sincere politicians, like Bernie Sanders — and ready for progressive/moral values and policies, including single-payer healthcare, transitioning to sustainable energy, a livable minimum wage, honest and transparent elections, the end of the Prison-Industrial-Complex, the end of cruel U.S.-Mexico border policies, and an end to the neocons’ genocidal march across the Middle East.

But it’s already been demonstrated, in 2016, that millions of these desperate and serially betrayed folks will settle for a shameless con artist who merely postures himself as “anti-establishment.”

That mustn’t happen again.

(2020 is probably our last chance to turn this mess around.)

It’s time to end the con and elect one of the few politicians in the country who actually works for us, and always has: Bernie Sanders. It’s time for Democrats to run an honest primary, for a change… or get used to the idea of four more years of “President Trump.”

From Doug Henwood’s excellent article, originally appearing in Jacobin Magazine (a publication that’s done a lot to earn my respect in recent years):

“Health-care stocks rallied on the release of Warren’s plan…

“Warren’s defenders say the scheme, to start with a ‘moderate’ Dem plan and wait three years to push for the full program, is politically realistic, given congressional and other political constraints on ambitious social programs. That argument never made sense to me.

“If the success of the Right over the last few decades has taught us anything, it’s that going for maximalist demands gets results. You might have to make some concessions along the way, but you get some wins and also push the political center of gravity in your direction. If you start out already compromised, you won’t get anywhere.”

*         *         *         *         *

Correctamundo!

Warren’s approach sounds like the worst of Bill Clinton’s “triangulation” combined with Barack Obama’s “pre-concessions” to the GOP, negotiating with himself, rightward, before he even approached the Republicans (a party that was in utter disrepute after the Bush/Cheney years — a party that sounded like deranged psychopaths, completely unhinged, blathering about “death panels” and “socialism” when President Obama was working to pass their fucking legislation, RomneyCare, an industry-enriching scheme birthed by the right-wing Heritage Foundation!).

Don’t misunderstand me: The Affordable Care Act has helped many people, including some dear friends of mine, but it helps the insurance and pharmaceutical industries even more and leaves tens of millions of Americans without insurance of any kind, resulting in over 40,000 unnecessary deaths each and every year.