Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bernie Sanders in Santa Cruz today -- short news video

Bernie, Bernie, he's our man!  If he can't do it, nobody can!  (~.~)  He got a great reception here, an overflowing-into-the-street crowd -- and is now in Monterey.  Am hoping he can pull off a very important win in California!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Crocodile Tears from Those Who Create Wars

Memorial Day Crocodile Tears from Those Who Create Wars
by Walter Brasch | May 30, 2016

A few million Americans may be thinking about it, but won't be celebrating Memorial Day. For them, there's not much to celebrate or to remember.

They're the low-wage employees who may have to work all three days, without overtime; about three million workers earn the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Many work 30 to 35 hours a week, just low enough that their employers don't have to pay for insurance, holidays, or sick leave. The corporate CEOs, of course, will be enjoying the long weekend at their alternate vacation homes in the mountains, or along the coasts, or at off-shore islands where they have found banks willing to hide their money and avoid U.S. taxes.

Almost 600,000 persons are homeless on any given night. They are homeless for any number of reasons, but whatever reason, the reality is they are homeless—and the wealthiest nation in the world cheers $10 million a year pro athletes, but discounts social workers who have graduate degrees and are paid an average of about $46,000 a year.

The homeless live beneath bridges, in subway tunnels, on the streets, or if the shelters aren't filled, in protected areas with cots for beds, and grocery carts for what few possessions they have. In Atlantic City, the homeless live beneath the boardwalk, unseen by hundreds of thousands who go into casinos, buy expensive dinners, and think nothing of dropping a few hundred or a few thousand dollars at gaming tables and slot machines. In urban cities, those with jobs and families walk by the homeless, as if they are invisible, sometimes erroneously thinking that even if the homeless get a dollar or two, they'd rush off to buy beer, liquor, or more drugs.

About 50,000 of the homeless on any given night are veterans, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Overall, more than 150,000 veterans are homeless during the year. The reasons for veterans being homeless are because of "extreme shortage of affordable housing, livable income and access to health care . . . lingering effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance abuse, which are compounded by a lack of family and social support networks," according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. Under the Obama administration, which has focused upon assisting veterans, the number of homeless veterans on any given night has come down from about 80,000 six years ago, but even a few dozen homeless veterans are far too many.

Hundreds of thousands of veterans won't be able to march in Memorial Day parades, or stand and salute the flag. They don't have limbs, their muscles have atrophied because of extensive bed confinement, or they have other debilitating illnesses. About 2.2 million American veterans were injured during their service; about 1.7 million of them were wounded in combat, according to a Pew Research Center summary and analysis. About 200,000 military personnel who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder of have major depression, according to a study done by the Rand Corp. About 285,000 of the veterans of America's most recent wars have suffered from traumatic brain injury. Among other injuries, according to the VA are chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia, hearing difficulties, hepatitis, malaria, memory loss, migraines, sleep disorders and tuberculosis.

More than 120,000 Americans won't celebrate Memorial Day; they died in combat during the Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, and Iraq/Afghanistan wars.
During this three-day weekend, Americans will grill steaks, burgers, and hot dogs; they will travel to relatives' or friends' houses, or take mini-vacations. The nation's politicians—from small town council members to presidential candidates—will go from picnic to picnic, from rally to rally, and deliver poignant speeches about how much they care about the veterans who were injured or died for their country, and how much veterans mean to the country, while delivering the underlying message to vote for them in the coming election.

But it is these politicians who, without hesitation, will quickly send American youth into war, and claim that killing people a half-world away somehow protects American citizens. And once Americans are in combat, these same politicians will complain about the cost of war, and vote against providing adequate funds for decent medical and psychological treatment for those who come home damaged.

Dr. Brasch, an award-winning journalist and the author of 20 books, is co-founder of the Northeast Pennsylvania Coalition for the Homeless. His latest book is Fracking America: Sacrificing Health and the Environment for Short-Term Economic Benefit.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Trump, the GOP and Media Pivot to "Normal"

This article tells truth that needs to be expressed but which most don't want to think about.  It's too frightening to consider...but this horror is what is actually happening in our country.  After dealing with Hitler's Germany, we always said, "That could never happen here."   Take a good look.  Trump supporters don't realize who they are. They think of themselves as good people, in the same way the German population thought of themselves as they cheered Hitler and persecuted the "others."  The media here is doing what Germany's media did: "normalizing" evil.  Fox started it, manipulating and fear-baiting their viewers to become haters of the much-reviled "others," thereby creating the monster that manifested as Trump...and the other news channels have followed.  Just look at MSNBC today. They are copying Fox in the way they present the "news" or what passes for it in today's world. 

Fox news lovers and Tea Party types who love Trump would not recognize themselves in the following, so it's probably fruitless to send it to them.  But it should be read by every voter who cares about the future that we, our children and grandchildren will have to live in. The world is watching...and waiting in great fear, holding its breath at what the decision of Americans will be.

Trump, the GOP and Media Pivot to 'Normal'
by Neal Gabler | May 28, 2016

— from Moyers & Company

There is no sense in mincing words, even at the risk of sounding alarmist: Donald Trump is an existential threat to American democracy. Andrew Sullivan, in his much-discussed essay in New York Magazine, said as much, calling Trump "an extinction-level event."

Robert Kagan, writing in The Washington Post, concurred. His piece was titled: "This Is How Fascism Comes to America."

And those are neoconservatives. Others who are normally temperate and cautious also have weighed in with the same idea.

Americans are usually sanguine about such things. We feel the country somehow survives, no matter how dire the threat. But what Trump portends is something this country has never before faced, never, and even if he is defeated, he already has managed to change the nature of our political discourse, perhaps even our politics themselves. This country will take a long time getting back to normal, if ever, because now we know there not only is something dark and hideous lurking in the American heart, but that it also can take over the system.

Whether or not we can save ourselves from ourselves, anyone looking to the media as a potential bulwark is likely to be disappointed. Though the print media especially have been critical of Trump's temperament, if fairly oblivious to the windy pronouncements he calls policies, and though pundits, even some on the right, have blasted Trump continuously and warned of the consequences of a Trump presidency, both the media and politics share a long-standing tendency that sooner or later kicks in: Anyone who, or any institution that, exercises power always gets normalized. It doesn't make any difference where that power comes from. It doesn't make any difference how reprehensible the expression of that power may be. It doesn't make any difference even if the power threatens the very basis of a nation.

Those with power always get normalized.

We have seen this in action with the Republican Party, which has perpetrated one idiocy after another over the years without much blowback from the press because the party is one of the two hubs of power in America. So when they deny climate change or shut down the government or attack the Affordable Care Act without producing any alternative or repress the voting rights of poor and minority citizens, or, as congressional Republicans did earlier this week, slash funding requested by the National Institutes of Health to confront the Zika emergency, it is treated in the mainstream media as business as usual, one set of policy preferences against another, rather than an assault on the safety and health of American citizens, not to mention their sanity.

But the Republican Party, heinous as it may be, is a huge institution with a long history and a certified place in the American establishment. Donald Trump, on the other hand, is an individual with a history of clownishness. Abnormality has been his normality — his way of grabbing attention, of distinguishing himself from the bland horde of suits who competed against him, and of making money. In this election, he has depended on not being normalized, and when he seemed like the longest of long shots for the GOP nomination, the MSM accommodated him. He was always the outlier.

Now that Trump is the presumptive nominee, the press and the candidate's own henchmen have predicted the famous "pivot" to normal, the idea being that the Republican rank-and-file were so far gone that Trump's inadequacy, his proud ignorance, his bullying, his incivility were actually advantages in the primaries, but that these same qualities won't play anywhere near as well with the general electorate.

That idea, however, is actually self-fulfilling, not necessarily by Trump but by the media. Of course, Trump was embraced by the lunatic right-wing media — Fox News, Breitbart, the radio gasbags. That wasn't normalizing. That was just the alliance of one abnormality with another. Normalizing is what The Washington Post did in the piece I referenced last week on Trump's sons, in which Trump was depicted as an absent but caring father.

Normalizing is what The Today Show did when it interviewed the entire Trump clan.

Normalizing is what Jimmy Kimmel did in inviting Trump on his program as if the candidate were just another entertainer shilling a movie or TV show or CD, even as Kimel was grilling him over his stance on transgender bathrooms.

Normalizing is what Megyn Kelly did on the Fox network, not on Fox News, to turn Trump into a lovable curmudgeon. Normalizing is what People magazine did with articles on Melania and Ivanka, who told the magazine her father was not a "groper."

Can the smiling Trump cover be far behind?

Still, given the typically craven behavior of our media, the MSM pivot hasn't been as thorough as one might have expected, because, I suspect, the Internet, with its vast anti-Trump sentiment, has brought some pressure on the MSM by highlighting Trump's lies, his provocations to violence, his secrecy, his disregard for any common decency, his insults, his flip-flopping.

But the single biggest source of news in this country is still the evening network news broadcasts, and they have resisted that pressure. They have been treating Trump not as a demagogue, or as the strangest and most dangerous individual ever to be nominated by a major American party, but as just another candidate. When they reported the violence this week outside the Trump rallies at Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Anaheim, California, they didn't discuss how Trump had provoked this activity with his pronouncements, or how unusual this is in American political campaigns. It was reported as another day on the campaign trail.

I don't doubt — perhaps because I want desperately to believe it — that there are network news presidents wringing their hands and pulling out their hair over how to cover Trump, and searching their souls about whether to abet him by giving him this normalizing treatment or to call him out for what he is: the single greatest danger to American democracy in our lifetime.

This is their existential moment, as well as ours. Normalizing Trump is almost certainly the only way he can be elected because it gives voters the license to cast their ballots for him and for their blackest impulses. I wonder if these executives are asking themselves what they would have done had they been running the media in Weimar Germany when Hitler was on the rise.

I realize that Hitler comparisons are the cheapest political currency, not to mention that they are almost always misguided and wrong. Comparing anyone to Hitler immediately empties the argument. But if Trump isn't Hitler — for one thing, Hitler was, unfortunately, programmatic; Trump is not — this may nevertheless be America's Hitler moment as well as its existential one, the moment when Trump is either ostracized or normalized.

Frankly, the media impulse to normalize is almost an irresistible reflex — the media default. Without looking to the similarities between Hitler's rise and Trump's, we can look to the way the German media enabled Hitler once he had established power. Although most German newspapers held particular political positions and championed particular parties, the establishment press was beleaguered at the time of Hitler's rise by the concomitant rise of what became known as the "boulevard press" — what we would call the tabloid press, high-circulation papers that were less interested in ideology or party than in entertainment and excitement.

Hitler certainly benefited from this ecological change in the media, just as Trump has benefited from a similar proclivity in ours, especially cable news. Hitler, too, was a renegade – a political outcast who, like Trump, appealed to a disaffected group nostalgic for nationalism, frustrated by political inertia and fuming over the cultural liberalization of Weimar the way American conservatives fume over our nation's liberalization.

But a recent book, Hitler at Home, by Despina Stratigakos, professor of architecture at the University of Buffalo, chronicles how, once Hitler became chancellor, the Nazis manipulated the press into portraying the once-marginalized maniac as just another celebrity, who, behind the tough public persona, was a dog-loving, child-embracing homebody. "It was dangerous," Stratigakos says, "because it made him likable."

Emory University professor Deborah Lipstadt, in her pathbreaking book, Beyond Belief, tells a similar story of how the international press normalized Hitler after he came to power and ignored his excesses. Many American press accounts exculpated Hitler for the early episodes of Nazi violence and attributed it to "overenthusiastic and poorly disciplined followers." Editorialized one Ohio paper, "Chancellor Hitler, personally, is committed to a policy of moderation." The Los Angeles Times agreed, opining that once he "becomes more used to his job" – the pivot – he would become less "theatrical."

Remember: This was Adolf Hitler. In Germany. How do you think the American press will treat Trump if he closes in on the presidency?

But even if Trump were to lose, the bigger problem with the MSM normalizing him is that they are also normalizing the values he purveys — the anger and violence, the racism, sexism, nativism, misogyny, the ignorance and the hatred of the democratic process. Throughout modern history, these were generally, and rightfully, considered shameful. Major candidates dared not declaim them. But power can extirpate the shame. That is exactly what happened in Germany, where there was, as in many segments of America, a predisposition to the worst instincts of humanity.

The print media at least are already flummoxed not only whether to continue attacking Trump, but also whether to call out his supporters for their antipathy to American tolerance. If anyone wielding power is normalized, large segments of the population from whom that power emanates are always normalized, too. But a media that refuses to condemn these values — and the people who espouse them — is a media that has forfeited its decency as well as its role in a democracy.

This is obviously not a typical election. Trump is obviously not a typical candidate. And, as Andrew Sullivan wrote, the election already has revealed the "fragility of our way of life and the threat late-stage democracy is beginning to pose to itself." The decent and sane among us want to think a Trump presidency won't happen. We think that even if it does, something, somewhere, will circumscribe the threat. We can be sanguine. We can let the media normalize Trump and think of him as another presidential contender. We can do that. But that is how fascism takes hold — not because it strong-arms its way to power, but because it seems like a political option, and not the end of politics as we know it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Trump and Clinton Now Neck-and-neck In the Polls

I just received an e-mail from a Republican voter who didn't like Trump at first but who now supports him. This voter is indicative of the way many Republicans are heading with their votes for President. Unfortunately, they are not aware or thinking of the terrible repercussions of a Trump presidency. I had hopes that at least the evangelicals would hold out against him, but even they are throwing away their religious scruples and getting in line behind him.  As helpless as many of us feel in watching the Pied Piper demagogue lead his duped, cheering followers proudly down Main Street, I do believe there are still some thinking/aware Republicans who will not be able to cast their votes for Trump.

I think that the more thoughtful/aware people see of Trump, the more they will realize how dangerous he is. With his constantly shifting positions on every issue, you never know where he stands on anything. Voting for him is like playing Russian roulette with 2 or 3 bullets in the revolver chamber.

As much as I don't like Hillary Clinton, I know where she stands on the issues. I know she will be a President like others who have gone before her, in bed with Wall Street and the corporate sphere and chomping at the bit to take us into more wars, so the pockets of the one percent can be lined with even more gold.  But I also know, because of Bernie Sanders, she has been forced to go to the compassionate side on some issues involving the middle class and poor.  And her feet will be held to the fire by Sanders supporters and thinking Republicans who are aware the middle class is dying.

As the middle class goes, so goes the nation. As this nation goes, so goes the world. I can't understand why this isn't obvious to middle-class Republicans. As Trump has so triumphantly stated, "I love the poorly educated!"  As well he should. They are now proving they make up a large part of the GOP.

It's clear to anyone with half a brain that Donald Trump would not be the middle class's advocate in anything. The man is a narcissist of the worst kind...with sociopathic tendencies. Take a look at the pompous ass Mussolini in his heyday. Then mix in some aggressive madman Hitler and Napoleon. That is what we would have if Trump gets into the White House, taking personal umbrage at every negative comment about himself and swiveling erratically, every-which-way, like a loose cannon.

I am praying that clearer heads prevail by the time November rolls around and all eligible voters enter the voting booth. Hopefully, the GOP won't have been able to disenfranchise many more in their frantic attempt to reduce all votes that would work against them. They've already gerrymandered districts across the country to their advantage, and denied votes to millions in every obstructionist way they can think of.

Is this really the party we want in control of our lives, our country and the world, with Donald Demagogue Drumpf at the helm?

Please say No.


Saturday, May 21, 2016


Wasserman-Schultz represents Everything that is Wrong with Hillary Clinton. Now she is going against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that Elizabeth Warren fought so hard to create. Hillary's alignment with Wasserman-Schultz (the incredibly blatant favoritism shown to Clinton by the DNC) is going to work against Clinton as she goes forward. So far, Debbie has been Hillary's BFF, but we know Hillary and Bill by now, don't we?  If the Clintons think Debbie is becoming more of a liability than an asset, no matter how many favors she's done for them in the past, she will be forced to go. Though her strong-armed ways against Bernie have helped Hillary up till now, Debbie is becoming a liability because, in her leadership of the DNC, she so flagrantly shows the world what the Democratic Party has become. As Bill Moyers says, "she embodies the tactics that have eroded the ability of Democrats to once again be the party of the working class. As Democratic National Committee chair she has opened the floodgates for Big Money, brought lobbyists into the inner circle and oiled all the moving parts of the revolving door that twirls between government service and cushy jobs in the world of corporate influence."   In other words, exactly the kind of politics Bernie Sanders wants to get rid of. 
By Bill Moyers

To paraphrase the words of that Scottish master Robert Burns, the best laid plans of mice, men — and women — go often astray, or "gang aft agley," as they say in the Highlands. No one knows this better than Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Twice now, the flight of her presidential aspirations has been forced to circle the airport as other contenders put up an unexpected fight: In 2008, Barack Obama emerged to grab the Democratic nomination away and this year, although all signs point to her finally grabbing the brass ring, unexpected and powerful progressive resistance came from the mighty wind of the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Certainly, Hillary Clinton is angered by all of this, but the one seemingly more aggrieved — if public comments and private actions are any indication — is Democratic National Committee chair and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Hillary surrogate who takes umbrage like ordinary folks pop their vitamins in the morning.

As we recently wrote, "… She embodies the tactics that have eroded the ability of Democrats to once again be the party of the working class. As Democratic National Committee chair she has opened the floodgates for Big Money, brought lobbyists into the inner circle and oiled all the moving parts of the revolving door that twirls between government service and cushy jobs in the world of corporate influence."

And that ain't all. As a member of Congress, particularly egregious has been her support of the payday loan business, defying new regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that would rein in an industry that soaks desperate borrowers. As President Obama said, "While payday loans might seem like easy money, folks often end up trapped in a cycle of debt."

In fact, according to an article by Bethany McLean in the May issue of The Atlantic, "After studying millions of payday loans, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that 67 percent went to borrowers with seven or more transactions a year, and the majority of borrowers paid more in fees than the amount of their initial loan."

A recent editorial in the Orlando Sentinel notes that 7 percent of Florida's population "must resort to this predatory form of small-dollar credit – nearly the highest rate in the nation…" What's more, "Based on a 14-day loan term, the typical payday loan… had an annual percentage rate of 278 percent. Many lenders advertise rates of more than 300 percent." Let us repeat that slowly… 300 percent!

So why has Wasserman Schultz been so opposed to the CFPB's proposed rules? She has said, "Payday lending is unfortunately a necessary component of how people get access to capital, [people] that are the working poor." But maybe it has something more to do with the $2.5 million or so the payday loan industry has donated to Florida politicians from both parties since 2009. That's according to a new report by the liberal group Allied Progress. More than $50,000 of that cash has gone to Rep. Wasserman Schultz.

But we digress. It's the skullduggery going on within the Democratic Party establishment that's our current concern and as we wrote in March, Rep. Wasserman Schultz "has played games with the party's voter database, been accused of restricting the number of Democratic candidate debates and scheduling them at odd days and times to favor Hillary Clinton, and recently told CNN's Jake Tapper that superdelegates — strongly establishment and pro-Clinton — are necessary at the party's convention so deserving incumbent officials and party leaders don't have to run for delegate slots 'against grassroots activists.' Let that sink in, but hold your nose against the aroma of entitlement."

Now Wasserman Schultz has waded into the controversy over what happened or didn't happen last weekend when Sanders supporters loudly and vehemently objected to the rules at the Nevada State Democratic Convention. In truth, some behaved badly at the event and others made trollish, violent and obscene threats to Democratic state chair Roberta Lange via phone, email and social media. There's no excuse for such aggressive, creepy conduct, and Sanders was quick and direct in apologizing for the behavior of the rowdies and bullies.

But there is a double standard at play here. Why, pray tell, shouldn't the peaceful majority of Sanders people be angry at the slow-motion, largely invisible rigging of the political process by Wasserman Schultz and the Clinton machine — all for the benefit of Secretary Clinton?

Wasserman Schultz claims the party rules over which she has presided (and manipulated) are "eminently fair." She told CNN on Wednesday morning, "It is critical that we as candidates, we as Democratic Party leaders, everyone involved needs to make sure that we can take all the steps that we need to, to ensure that the process is not only run smoothly but that the response from the supporters of both candidates is appropriate and civil."

In response to the DNC chair's remarks, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver talked to CNN, too, and said Wasserman Schultz had been "throwing shade on the Sanders campaign since the very beginning… Debbie Wasserman Schultz has really been a divider and not really provided the kind of leadership that the Democratic Party needs."

The Nation's Joan Walsh, a Clinton supporter critical of the Sanders campaign, concurs: "Once again, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz escalated a conflict that she should have worked to defuse," she writes. "… Wasserman Schultz is not helping her friend Hillary Clinton with her attacks on Sanders. Just the appearance of fairness can go a long way in assuaging worries about fairness. Wasserman Schultz's defiant rebuke to the Sanders camp has made it worse."

So, too, has her abolition of the restraints that had been placed on corporate lobbyists and big money — now they can write checks bankrolling what doubtless will be swank and profligate parties during this summer's Democratic National Convention. At The Intercept, Lee Fang and Zaid Jilani report that a number of the members of the Philadelphia host committee "are actively working to undermine progressive policies achieved by President Barack Obama, including health care reform and net neutrality. Some… are hardly even Democratic Party stalwarts, given that many have donated and raised thousands of dollars for Republican presidential and congressional candidates this cycle."

This is a slap in the face to progressives calling for a halt to big money and allowing lobbyists to buy our elected officials. And it's contrary to what Hillary Clinton herself has said about money and politics on the campaign trail. The Sanders movement has shown that lots of cash can be raised from everyday people making small donations. His supporters and all of us should be outraged that Debbie Wasserman Schultz and convention officials have kowtowed not only to the corporate wing of their own party but also to those high rollers who back the opposition and ideas antithetical to a democracy.

Rep. Wasserman Schultz is facing a primary challenge for the first time this year, her opponent a law professor, activist and progressive Sanders supporter named Tim Canova. But the primary's not until late August, long after the Democratic National Convention. Unless she steps down now or Hillary Clinton has her removed, Philadelphia will be dominated by someone who represents everything that has gone wrong with the Democratic Party and Washington. At the convention's opening session, Debbie Wasserman Schultz will be bringing the gavel down squarely on progressive hopes of returning the party to its legacy as champion of working people and the dispossessed.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Time for her to go.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Krystal Ball Makes SENSE: Why Bernie Sanders Is Our Best Chance to Beat Trump

Now I know why Krystal Ball is no longer on MSNBC as a hired pundit. She was their most intelligent surveyor of the political scene, but she wouldn't carry the Clinton water that all the others on that cable channel have sold their souls to do. Obviously, like Keith Olbermann and Cenk Uygur, Krystal didn't fit in with the agenda of GE (former corporate owner of MSNBC) and Comcast (present corporate owner of MSNBC). So now you can get truth in news from Krystal, Keith and Cenk online. That is, until somehow the corporations finally manage to make that impossible for us through a restrictive takeover of the Internet.  Unless....unless....we turn to Bernie in this so-extremely-important election.  Read what Krystal has to say about the WHY of it all.  She makes perfect sense. It is exactly what progressives and independents have been saying all along.

Why Bernie Sanders Is Our Best Chance to Beat Trump
By Krystal Ball

Hand-wringing over party unity misses the point. No one cares about your precious parties.

As Hillary Clinton joylessly stumbles her way to the Democratic nomination, calls have increased for Bernie Sanders to either drop out of the race altogether or, at least, to stop fighting so darn hard. We're told that Bernie should drop out for the good of the party. Bernie should drop out so that Hillary can make her general election "pivot" (which presumably means she can be free of the burden of pretending to be a liberal). Bernie should drop out so that Hillary can focus on Trump. According to this logic, Bernie and his band of loyalists need to get pragmatic, face the music, have a reality check. Hogwash. Doesn't anyone see what I see? Bernie Sanders is our best chance to beat Donald Trump and to prove to the young voters backing him that the Democratic party actually stands for something.

Error in thinking #1: Sanders supporters care about the existing system.

Not all Sanders voters are young but many are, so let's consider the world as it appears to a 24-year-old. Perhaps you are deeply in debt from a college degree that still left you with few job prospects. Perhaps you were told in many ways large and small that you are not clever or connected enough to make it into the vaunted ranks of the "creative class" so you are doomed to a life of poorly paid service sector hell in which you will never be able to properly afford a family, a house or a vacation. Perhaps you were one of the lucky few who are ascending that creative class, new economy ladder, but find it deeply disturbing that the kids you went to high school with have been so casually cast aside and relegated to a life of gut-clenching instability. And again, you're 24-years-old so you've got a long time to live and struggle with this corrupt, fickle, Gilded Age, bubble prone system — unless, that is, you are one of the many who will suffer a shortened lifespan like so many others who don't make it in this system. Now from this vantage point, how much might you care about Harry Reid or Debbie Wasserman Schultz or some other Democratic partisan pearl clutcher's pleas for party unity? These young voters are expected to back down for the sake of a party they tell pollsters they don't identify with, in the service of nominating a presidential candidate who promises to maintain a system that has conspired to screw them at every turn.

Error in thinking #2: Uniting around Clinton is the best shot to beat Trump.

The very same people who condescendingly exhort Sanders followers to "do the math" on the nomination process seem to have left their own calculators at home when it comes to figuring out who can actually win this fall. So for the math-obsessed, here are some numbers for you. According to RealClearPolitics, Sanders beats Trump in polls by an average of 13 points while Clinton's average lead over Trump has dwindled to five points with one outlier poll from CNN doing a lot of the heavy lifting to give her even that much of a lead. The two most recent polls, NBC and Gravis, give her a lead of only three points and two points respectively. This in a week that was supposedly terrible for Trump with embarrassing stories about his butler's racist rants, his penchant for pretending to be his own publicist, and his lecherous ways with women.

According to the math, Sanders is a much better bet for November, which makes sense when you think about it. Consider, for example, that he has cleaned Clinton's clock with independents. Come November, these independent voters will have their every mood and microclimate measured by a Democratic party desperate to win them over. For now, however, they either don't enter the calculus, or they are used to grant greater legitimacy to Clinton voters who are the "real" Democrats. Here's a reality check folks: Independents win elections. They like Bernie and they hate Hillary. That's to say nothing of the fact that a majority of voters find Clinton untrustworthy, a reality I'm confident will not be helped by her general election "pivot" to yet another version of the real HRC. Will she pick Warren as her veep and double down on her newfound progressivism, or will she pick Tim Kaine and shift to the center to help assuage the fears of white men? The very fact that her team is so publicly mulling these choices reveals that they have no clue that their biggest problem isn't making the proper electoral calculations, but rather that their entire campaign is based on electoral calculations.

We are told that these voters who like Bernie now would all come to their senses by the general election when they notice Sanders is a *cue scary music* SOCIALIST!!! A fact that could not have possibly escaped anyone's notice since Hillary Democrats have made common cause with Republicans by hurling this supposed epithet at Sanders every chance they get. I guess they haven't noticed that after watching our vaunted capitalistic system enter a free fall from which it could only be saved (we were told) by throwing a bunch of money at the bankers while somehow forgetting to help any of the individuals whose lives were destroyed, well, socialism doesn't sound quite so scary anymore. In fact, millennials tell pollsters that it sounds quite a bit better to them than the system we call "capitalism" which is really just socialism for bankers, billionaires and multinationals.

So remind me again who has the best shot and who all patriotic Democrats must rally around for the good of saving the Republic from Trump?

Error in thinking #3: Winning is the only goal that matters.

Let's pretend for a moment that I'm completely wrong about Hillary being a dreadful choice for November and that the moment voters discover Sanders is a socialist they will run into the loving arms of Donald Trump. Let's pretend Hillary Clinton is a winner. Is this really what the Democratic party has been reduced to? Not fighting for the poor? Not standing up for the working people of this country? Not fighting with every breath to push the money and corruption out of a system that only works for a glossy few?

Of course, we know that for much of the party establishment the answer is yes. Bill Clinton provided a master class in how to sacrifice your principles to the gods of electoral success. A tactic, by the way, that may have found some success at the presidential level, but which has led the Democratic party to historic, crushing defeats in most of the country. For reference, just examine the largest number of state legislatures in our nation's history in Republican hands or the way inequality has soared unchecked as Democrats decided that winning national elections mattered more than fighting for the middle class or the working class or the poor.

Make no mistake, the values that we say we stand for will be compromised by a Clinton nomination. After all, who will really believe we're the party of the people when we unite behind the queen of the global glitterati? Who will buy that we'll fight to get money out of politics when we back the most prolific political fundraiser in history? Who will take seriously that we'll get tough on Wall Street when our nominee got paid big bucks to stroke their fragile egos?

So to the Bern-baby-Bern crowd I say, keep fighting. Your fight is worthy. Your cause is just. Your passionate existence irritates the Democratic powers that be because you remind them of all that they are supposed to stand for.

Krystal Ball is a former MSNBC host and Democratic congressional candidate. She currently writes political coverage at The51million.com.


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Koch Brothers Consider Purchasing Their First Democrat

Ya' gotta' love it. So damn true. Humor will have to get us through this nightmare election cycle insanity. (~.~)

Koch Brothers Consider Purchasing First Democrat

By Andy Borowitz

WICHITA (The Borowitz Report)—Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists who have spent decades acquiring a world-class collection of Republicans, revealed over the weekend that they are considering purchasing their first Democrat.

"We've always bought Republicans, and our father bought Republicans before us," Charles, the elder Koch, said. "They're bred to be obedient, and they respond to simple commands."

He said that he and his brother had considered acquiring a Democrat only after determining that none of the Republicans on offer this year was worth adding to their collection.

"It's kind of a scary proposition for us, because we've never owned a Democrat before," he said. "We don't really know what we should be looking for."

Koch said that he and his brother learned, after making some phone calls, that other oligarchs have bought Democrats in the past, and "had good experiences with them."

"That was very reassuring," he said.

But he bemoaned the absence of online consumer reviews that could help people who are, like him and his brother, interested in purchasing a Democrat for the very first time. "Yelp needs to jump on this," he said.

While acknowledging the risk inherent in owning their first Democrat, Koch said that it would probably turn out to be a better investment than some of the Republicans they have recently purchased. "It can't be worse than Scott Walker," he said.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Want to hear a real substantive interview with Bernie? Hallelujah, there IS one!

In this interview, real issues are addressed and truths are told.  You won't hear it on CNN or MSNBC, but we are fortunate there are still a very few true journalists around who ask meaningful questions and wait for meaningful answers.  What a contrast to the duds we've been sold on major media networks as interviewers/reporters. 

This is a 30-minute long interview of Bernie that all people should be allowed to see--it is one such as Jon Stewart might have done, but without all the jokes. How I miss Jon Stewart!  But we can tune in to Cenk Uygur and get real news and the same depth of truth we always got from Jon.

Treat yourself to this interview -- it's a gem!  Sure wish one like this were available on cable news, but that's a dream that will never be.....

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Woman Dies To Avoid Having to Vote for Hillary or Trump--What her obituary says

Well, it's rather drastic but that's one way out of it...

Woman Dies To Avoid Having to Vote for Hillary or Trump--What her obituary says

According to polls, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the two least liked presidential nominees in modern American history. In fact, you may have heard some of your friends say they'd rather die than vote for either one of them… and that's exactly what one Virginia woman's obituary is claiming she did.

An obituary published in The Richmond Times Dispatch on Tuesday states that "faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at the age of 68."

The obituary doesn't say anything else about her political views and only notes that she was a "faithful child of God" who was "devoted her life to sharing the love she received from Christ with all whose lives she touched as a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend and nurse."

That said, you don't have to be religious to be unenthusiastic about the upcoming choice in this year's presidential election. According to the latest polling averages posted at The Huffington Post's Pollster, 55% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of Hillary Clinton while 58% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump. Whether the upcoming choice between Clinton and Trump is bad enough to die over, however, is a matter of subjective opinion.


Monday, May 16, 2016

MOST IMPORTANT - A highly authorized project, sanctioned by top government, has now begun on Earth

Please listen to this American Freedom Radio program, revealing must-hear, need-to-know information from concerned people at high levels of government, dedicated to giving the public the truth about UFOs and covert black ops programs:

The project discussed on this program can dramatically change our world and has the support of high government officials who are now fighting back at the military/industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about in 1961. Please listen to this American Freedom Radio show hosted by Dr. Carol Rosin, who worked directly with Dr. Werner von Braun and is a highly credentialed whistle blower herself.  This is not a conspiracy theory. This is real. I can't stress that strongly enough!  It is being sanctioned by people in very high government positions (one of which is the present Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff!) who are encouraging and authorizing anyone involved in secret, covert black operations projects (military, government or corporate) to come forth, and reveal what they know, as whistle blowers, without penalty for violating their top secrecy oaths

Every agency in the U.S. government has now been sent a UNOD (Unless Otherwise Directed) letter, stating that disclosure will now be freely taking place regarding all covert black operations conducted by the military/industrial complex, which have heretofore been kept secret from the public and from the legitimate government itself. None of the agencies to whom the UNOD letter was sent has protested and said, "No, don't do it!" Top government officials are behind this program of disclosure.

The legitimate U.S. government is on board now to uncover and make known to the public what we (and our government, including the highest members of it) have been excluded from knowing since the early 1950s.  This includes every kind of manipulation and control from behind the scenes initiated by secret agencies of a subterranean government (UFO secrets, physical and psychological experimentation, mind manipulation, etc.), which have been kept secret from anyone without a black ops-sanctioned "need to know" -- including even Presidents and heads of the CIA, NSA, and other top level departments of the government. These high-up positions, at the top of our government, are now publicly authorizing those who are a part of the covert programs to come forward with information, promising that they can do it without risk and will be exonerated forever from penalty, because the operations they would be disclosing are themselves illegal and unconstitutional.

This was announced publicly last Friday on American Free Radio by Dr. Steven Greer and Dr. Carol Rosin, both of whom are connected with high government officials and who are both involved in the Disclosure Project, first introduced in early 2001, when many credentialed military and government people revealed top secret information at a national Press Conference in Washington, D.C. (See www.disclosureproject.org and www.seriousdisclosure.com for more information). 

This signals a new paradigm beginning on this planet, setting a foundation for a deeper spirituality, addressing consciousness itself--the awareness and connection of all beings.  We are changing as a species, coming to the realization of our oneness.  Quantum physics is revealing that the conscious mind is a singular field, with refractions shining in every person.  The essence of awareness is One, and we are now meant to understand this.  

Free energy, such as was developed by Nikola Tesla, can be made available to this world (this energy already exists), which will change this planet and its people and allow the planet to renew itself.  The real power for change lies with the people who can now bring out the truth about the technology/energy power that is already known but has been prevented from being put into use all over the planet. Imagine how implementation of free energy would allow self-sufficiency to all people across the planet. We're talking about retooling the planet, taking it off dependency of oil, coal, nuclear power, etc.  It will cause mammoth planetary changes in every way (which is why the greed-driven corporate and war-driven military interests have prevented it till now).

Big money is being poured into this project now from high sources who are horrified at the descending direction the planet is heading and at the so-called "leaders" who are taking us in the wrong direction (i.e., Trump, Clinton).  These high sources want to see a new vision for the planet and its people.  They are strongly encouraging the whistleblowers to come out in exposure of the forces that are psychologically manipulating us with disinformation.  As Laurance Rockefeller* (one of the rare one percenters who, before his death, staunchly supported the Disclosure Project) said to Dr. Greer about the global availability of free energy, "No aspect of life on earth will remain unchanged."  (Which, of course, is why the major oil and energy corporations and the Cheney-like "dark forces" are against it!)

Change only happens when the people become more aware and lead the way.  History has proven this time and again, with the women's rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, acceptance of gays and transgenders, etc.  With encouragement from some of the highest positions in our government, now is the time for us to create this kind of change on a more cosmic level.  As we raise our consciousness to a higher level, we need the courage of our convictions.  Just listen to the conversation between Dr. Carol Rosin and Dr. Greer on this program and let yourself become inspired to make the necessary planetary changes that our children and grandchildren will benefit from.  We don't want a disclosure that serves the secret organizations, making us think we need to arm ourselves against a "Star Wars" alien enemy. (This is the kind that appears to be on the way via John Podesta/Clinton, etc.)  We need a disclosure of real truth, which can only come with whistle blowers stepping out of the war-creating dark corporations, telling what they know.

We are transitioning from earthbound ideas to a broader cosmic view, with self-sustainable life on Earth not only a possibility but a foregone conclusion, based on new energy information.  It is time to wake up and join forces with the courageous people leading us to a new paradigm for Earth.  Listen to the program and decide for yourself if you want to align yourself with it, and then consider: what is your alternative? 

Please pass this message along to others. If we are to survive as a species, everyone on earth needs to be informed of the new direction for our planet, and for ourselves.


*See: http://www.openminds.tv/rockefeller-ufo-211/5252

In later life, Rockefeller became interested in UFOs. In 1993, along with his niece, Anne Bartley, the then-president of the Rockefeller Family Fund, he established the UFO Disclosure Initiative to the Clinton White House. They asked for all UFO information held by the government, including from the CIA and the US Air Force, to be declassified and released to the public. The first and most important test case where declassification had to apply, according to Rockefeller, was the Roswell UFO incident. In September 1994, the Air Force categorically denied the incident was UFO-related. Rockefeller briefed Clinton on the results of his initiative in 1995. Clinton did produce an Executive Order in late 1994 to declassify numerous documents in the National Archives, but this did not specifically refer to UFO-related files.[4]  Rockefeller funded the research of Harvard Medical School Professor Dr. John E. Mack, author of Passport to the Cosmos. He also supported the work of Dr. Steven M. Greer of the Disclosure Project.[5]


Boston Globe article: With Vows to Open Files, Clinton Pulls In UFO Vote

If you really want to know some actual truth about UFOs and what has been kept from us on that subject and many others -- and you are prepared to be shocked -- you might want to watch an online talk by Dr. Steven Greer, a man who has dedicated himself since the early 1990s to getting the truth to the people--and who is the man who briefed both John Podesta and the Clintons about this truth (and also members of Congress).  He gave a 4-hour talk on the subject in November of last year that also gives answers to many of the other mysteries that have plagued the populace for many years (JFK assassination, Marilyn Monroe's death, etc.).  If interested, you can access this talk, entitled How the Secret Government Works at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJpyX514cUg

Warning: If you have never explored the issue of the secret government, you might want to prepare yourself for some of the revelations in Dr. Greer's talk by first watching President Eisenhower's warning to us all in a speech as he was departing the presidency.  He explicitly and emphatically warns us against the "misplaced power of the Military/industrial complex" that has taken over and threatens our way of government and way of life. Well, Eisenhower's warning was ignored and the secret government has been operating from that day to this, under the radar of the press and of Congress and even of several presidents who were not informed of their black ops projects. Here is the important warning from Eisenhower, excerpted from his exit speech in 1961 (only 2 minutes long and well worth watching for those wanting to be fully informed): https://www.youtube.co/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY

With vows to open files, Clinton pulls in UFO vote
May 11, 2016, Boston Globe

When Jimmy Kimmel asked Hillary Clinton in a late-night TV interview about UFOs, she quickly corrected his terminology. "You know, there's a new name," Clinton said. "It's unexplained aerial phenomenon," she said. "UAP. That's the latest nomenclature." Her unusual knowledge about extraterrestrials ... has struck a small but committed cohort of voters. Clinton has vowed that barring any threats to national security, she would open up government files on the subject, a shift from President Barack Obama, who typically dismisses the topic as a joke. Her position has elated UFO enthusiasts, who have declared Clinton the first "E.T. candidate." Stephen Bassett, who lobbies the government on extraterrestrial issues, views a Clinton presidency as a chance to finally get the United States to disclose all it knows about life beyond Earth. Bassett's organization has sent roughly 2.5 million Twitter messages to presidential candidates, elected officials and the media urging a serious discussion of the issue. The movement viewed Clinton's decision to correct Kimmel's use of the term UFO ... as a breakthrough because it "suggested she'd been briefed by someone," Buchman said. In fact, Clinton had been briefed. Her campaign chairman, John D. Podesta ... is not only a well-respected Washington hand, having served as a top adviser to Obama and President Bill Clinton, but is also a crusader for disclosure of government information on unexplained phenomena that could prove the existence of intelligent life outside Earth.

Note: Check out strong evidence in declassified FBI files that UFOs are quite real. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing UFO cover-up and disclosure news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

What We've Come to: Why Trump Can Lie and No One Seems to Care

Why Trump Can Lie and No One Seems to Care
by Neal Gabler | May 14, 2016 - 8:28am

— from Moyers & Company

Donald Trump is a serial liar. Okay, to be a bit less Trumpian about it, he has trouble with the truth. If you look at Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning site that examines candidates' pronouncements for accuracy, 76 percent of Trump's statements are rated either "mostly false," "false," or "pants on fire," which is to say off-the-charts false. By comparison, Hillary Clinton's total is 29 percent.

But if Trump doesn't cotton much to the truth, he doesn't seem to cotton much to his own ideas, either. He waffles, flip-flops and obfuscates, sometimes changing positions from one press appearance to the next, as Peter Alexander reported on NBC Nightly News this past Monday — a rare television news critique of Trump.

I say "rare" because most of the time, as Glenn Kessler noted in The Washington Post this week, MSM — the mainstream media — just sit back and let Trump unleash his whoppers without any pushback, even as they criticize his manners and attitude.

In an ordinary political season, perhaps Trump would be under fire for his habitual untruths, like the one that Ted Cruz's father might have been involved with Lee Harvey Oswald. This time around, though, neither the media nor the public — least of all his supporters — seem to care. Which leads to the inescapable conclusion that these days, as far as our political discourse goes, truth, logic, reason and consistency don't seem to count for very much.

The question is why.

One simple explanation is that Trump has changed the rules. He is not a politician but a provocateur, and he isn't held to the same standards as Clinton or Bernie Sanders or even Cruz, all of whom actually have policies. For Trump, policies are beside the point.

Another explanation is that long before Trump, social scientists observed that truth matters less to people than reinforcement, and that most of us have the ability to reformulate misstatements into truth so long as they conform to our own biases. We believe what we believe, and we are not changing even in the face of opposing facts (without this capacity for self-deception there would be no Fox News).

There is, however, another and even more terrifying explanation as to why the truth doesn't seem to matter. It has less to do with Trump or our own proclivities to reshape reality than it has to do with infotainment — with the idea that a lot of information isn't primarily about education or elevation, where truth matters, but entertainment, where it doesn't. You might call it "the Winchell Effect."

Walter Winchell, about whom I wrote a 1994 biography, was a hugely popular New York-based gossip columnist for the Hearst newspaper chain and an equally popular radio personality, although saying that is a little like saying that Michael Jordan was a basketball player. Winchell was the gossip columnist, with an estimated daily audience of 50 million. He practically invented the form, and the form was a long chain of snippets — rumor, prediction, innuendo — racing down the page, separated by ellipses.

Some of these snippets were scarcely more than a noun, a verb and an object: Mr. So-and-so is "that way" about Miss So-and-so. Does her husband know? In this way, Winchell became not only the minimalist master of gossip but also, quite possibly, the first tweeter – before Twitter.

If you are wondering how this is relevant to the 2016 campaign, in time Winchell turned his roving eye from entertainment to politics, deploying exactly the same arsenal to the latter as he had to the former. Thus did gossip leap the tracks from Hollywood and Broadway to Washington. In this, Winchell's approach was a precursor of modern election coverage. He was obsessed with letting readers in on what was going to happen — the clairvoyance of rumor — rather than with what was happening or what it actually meant. That is, he was a horse-race handicapper long before horse-race coverage became the dominant form of political journalism.

One prominent example: At the behest of the White House, Winchell spent months floating trial balloons for Franklin D. Roosevelt and his ambitions for a third term. Basically, it was presidentially endorsed gossip.

But Winchell's influence didn't stop at conflating entertainment with politics — and this is where the indifference to truth comes in. Winchell reported dozens of tidbits of gossip each day. Presumably, that's why people read him or listened to him on the radio; they wanted to be ahead of the curve. But the vast majority of these tidbits were unverifiable, and nearly half of the flashes that were verifiable turned out to be false, according to a survey conducted for a six-part New Yorker profile of Winchell by St. Clair McKelway. Since there was always a passel of new scoops every day, no one seemed to notice — or care — that he was usually wrong.

One can only assume this was because readers seemed to relish the excitement of the "news" more than they desired its accuracy. Or, to put it another way, gossip was entertainment, not information. Thus the Winchell Effect.

The Winchell Effect is alive and well in today's politics in two respects. First, candidates can get away with saying pretty much anything they want without being held accountable so long as what they say is entertaining and so long as they keep the comments coming. Trump has been the major beneficiary of this disinclination by the MSM to examine statements. The blast of his utterances always supersedes their substance. And the MSM plays along.

To wit: Trump announced his tax plan way back in September 2015. With kudos to the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, which did look at his plan, it is just this week that most of the MSM are getting around to examining it — even as he changes it. (I may have missed it, but I still have yet to see a single story delving into Trump's tax policies on the network news.)

Perhaps better late than never, but the fact that he could throw out wild schemes involving trillions of dollars without the media feeling the need to vet them means that primary voters had no way to understand his tax plan and see its flaws. Of course, from the MSM's perspective, analyzing a plan would be tackling policy, not providing entertainment. And make no mistake, the candidate and the mainstream media are in the entertainment business.

And that is the second way in which the Winchell Effect changes our politics. If candidates are not accountable, neither are the political media. Like Winchell, they are not only besotted with strategies, polls, predictions, and — in the case of a few cable networks — wild, unverifiable charges, they are, like Winchell, seldom challenged when they get it all wrong.

They were wrong about Trump not being a serious candidate. They were wrong about Jeb Bush's and Marco Rubio's chances to get the nomination. They were wrong about the likelihood of a contested GOP convention. Since they won't call one another out, no one calls them out. In effect, they are implicated in the Winchell Effect as much as Trump is, which may be one reason why they don't challenge him. Neither Trump nor the press has to be right. They just have to keep ginning up the excitement.

What this means is that our politics is no longer politics in the traditional sense of policy and governance. It is, as most of us realize, a show, a game, an ongoing reality TV saga. This is nothing new. The media have been bored with policy for a long time and have been pressing the horse-race narrative over real reporting for just as long. And when they do discuss policy, as The Huffington Post's Jason Linkins observed, in a typically smart piece, they are likely to prefer the windy, absurd generalities of a Trump to the wonky policies of a Clinton. It makes better copy, and it has the added benefit that it doesn't require any fact-checking.

Trump is the fullest flower of a non-political politics and the fullest product of the Winchell Effect. With their mutual lack of interest in the truth, Trump and the MSM deserve one another — a synergy of the showman and the gossip columnists. But do we deserve them? Only if we allow our politics to become a way of amusing ourselves rather than the way to select a leader.

Meanwhile, Trump and the MSM will keep the misinformation coming, on the sadly correct assumption that many of us don't really care about facts so long as we are being titillated.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Donald Trump Has Already Destroyed the GOP

Donald Trump Has Already Destroyed the GOP

by William Rivers Pitt | May 12, 2016

— from Truthout

When I was a boy, we had a small cocker spaniel. Though she was dumber than a can of paint -- she would run headlong into walls on a regular basis -- the pup had moves like Barry Sanders coming out of the backfield. At the sound of a door to the outside being opened she'd come charging, claws raking the hardwood floor. A feint to the left, a jink to the right, a hesitation followed by a surge and she was gone down the front steps and into the world like a blur. Stopping her was like trying to catch smoke.

Invariably, she would find herself in the company of Big Red, an enormous orange Labrador mongrel who roamed our neighborhood like a massive free-range chicken with rail spikes for teeth. Big Red stood chest-high to the average Buick and had a head the size of a beer keg, while our spaniel was no bigger than a minute, and yet the two of them always managed to figure out a way to copulate.

It did not go well, due to a phenomenon dog people call "The Mating Tie," in which the two creatures become locked together at the rear once the act is completed. Big Red would finish his business and lope off toward whatever adventures awaited him with our poor wee spaniel attached to his rump, dragging her through the dirt as she howled piteously, her little paws scrabbled for purchase. Big Red didn't even notice she was there.

I think of this, and I think of Donald Trump and the Republican Party.

Think about it. A giant orange wrecking machine dragging a helpless beast in its wake toward an unknown future, utterly indifferent and strutting all the while. The newspapers and TV "news" media are practically overflowing with stories about how Trump's all-but coronation as the GOP nominee for the presidency could destroy the Republican Party. I have news for them: the party is already destroyed. A hen will run for yards after its head has been lopped off. Those last doomed steps don't make the thing any less dead.

Consider this: Former President George W. Bush, along with his father, dropped a big "No thanks" on the upcoming GOP convention, and won't endorse the GOP's nominee if that nominee is Trump. This is unprecedented in the modern era; the former president of a party always shows up at the convention, always gives a speech and always endorses. It's axiomatic, and as Bill Clinton demonstrated at President Obama's 2012 convention, can be tremendously galvanizing. Not George W.: One of the worst mass-murderers, liars and bald-faced thieves in US history won't come within a country mile of Donald Trump because he doesn't want to stain his reputation by association. Beat that with a stick.

And then there's Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, the unhappiest man in American politics. Just as he assumed one of the most prestigious and powerful positions in government, his party's base voters decided to nominate a volcano as its representative for the presidential race. When asked about an endorsement of Trump, Ryan said he wasn't ready to go there yet. Trump replied by hinting that he might try to have Ryan removed as Chairman of the Republican National Convention before blasting Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney for their lack of fealty.

Who came riding to Trump's side after Ryan refused to endorse? None other than Sarah Palin, the cascade failure from Alaska who makes Dan Quayle's time in politics look like a physics lecture from Einstein by comparison. Palin said Ryan's failure to fall in line with Trump could lead to him being "Cantored," a reference to Eric Cantor getting bounced from the House in 2014. When Sarah Palin jumps on your team, it's time to quit that team, climb a tall tree and gnaw on the bark until she goes away. Nothing good can come from this.

Trump, for his part, has spent the last several days demonstrating that he is terrified of women. He picked a fight with Elizabeth Warren, calling her a "goofus" and a "basket case" in Oregon while insulting her Native American heritage. There was more. "I mean, all of the men, we're petrified to speak to women anymore," he said in Spokane. "We may raise our voice. You know what? The women get it better than we do, folks." He then trained his fire on Hillary Clinton and all the old '90s-era nonsense, a sad signal of things to come.

Donald Trump is a ridiculous small fraction of a man with an inferiority complex big enough to bend the very light. He is the creation of a political party that has spent decades cobbling him together like Frankenstein's monster using parts made of misogyny, racism, hatred, ignorance and fear. Now the monster is out of the laboratory and is rampaging across the landscape with a vast bank of microphones and cameras in front of him at all times. Whenever he opens his mouth, the Republican Party is further damaged, and we've got more than six months of this to go before the deal goes down.

Mitt Romney, the last Republican presidential nominee, is in active and very public talks with Bill Kristol about finding an "independent" candidate to kneecap Trump's chances for the White House. The last two living Republican presidents have headed for the hills and want no part of this mess. This is a preposterous turn of events. There is no mistaking the writing on the wall. The GOP is not in danger of being destroyed. It is already gone.

The giant orange Lab and the helpless spaniel. Trump and the Republican Party. It's a hell of a thing when humping dogs provide an accurate and appropriate metaphor for the reality of a presidential election, but here we are. "Farce," said screenwriter, author and dramatist John Mortimer, "is tragedy played at a thousand revolutions per minute." Thanks to Mr. Trump, we're about at speed.

About author William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know and The Greatest Sedition Is Silence. His newest book, House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation, will be available this winter from PoliPointPress.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The secret world of J. Edgar Hoover

J. Edgar Hoover was an insidious man who ruled the FBI with an iron fist for almost 50 years. His hatred extended to everyone, while his hypocrisy knew no match. He condemned homosexuals while being one, and he compiled blackmailing dossiers of vengeance against all whom he considered to be his enemies (anyone of liberal persuasion). He hated Martin Luther King with racist vehemence and yet he himself had African-American ancestry.

One could go on and on about this loathsome man's treachery against King, the Kennedys and innumerable others (even Nixon, another duplicitous man with whom he presumably had an alliance of sorts) during his reign of terror in our country.  I believe Donald Trump to be cut from the same cloth. This country had to endure  5 decades of a venomous, devious man in a seat of great power.  Do we really want another one of that same ilk, and this time in the Presidency itself????  Don't we deserve better than this???  Contrast Bernie Sanders, a man of great integrity and honesty, with Donald Trump.  It's light vs. dark.  Read/view the following to learn of what living under "dark" is like:

Video: (50 min):
Secrets of J. Edgar Hoover

Welcome to the bizarre world 
of J. Edgar Hoover, the director 
of the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation from 1924 until 
his death in 1972. Rumors of 
Hoover's homosexuality and 
cross-dressing were rampant 
but suppressed during his 

One well-known story is how 
Mob-friendly lawyer, Roy Cohn 
possessed a photograph of 
Hoover in drag, which he used 
to blackmail the FBI director 
into denying the existence of 
the Mafia. 

As well as himself being a deeply-
closeted homosexual, like Hoover, 
the late Cohn was for years counsel 
to Donald J. Trump and previously 
to Senator Joe McCarthy.

One of Hoover's lesser-known 
secrets is that he was part African-
American, although writer Gore Vidal, 
who grew up in Washington DC 
during the 1930s claims that it was 
known in his family and around the 
city that Hoover was a mulatto, 
whose family "passed for white".

These were the kinds of secrets 
Hoover kept (or tried to keep) about 
himself and which he obtained about 
others to wield power, as the founder 
of the FBI, over which he presided for 
nearly 50 years.

Millie McGhee, was a 10 year old 
black girl, growing up in rural 
Mississippi in the late 1950s when she 
was told by her grandfather that 
Hoover was his second cousin. She 
was able to confirm this, after years 
of research.

McGhee made this film after the 
release of Clint Eastwood's film, 
'J. Edgar' in 2011, because that film 
failed to explore this side of Hoover's 
story - which is significant, given his 
obsession with destroying black 
leaders and what was likely Hoover's 
direct involvement in the assassination 
of Martin Luther King, Jr.