Smearing Bernie Sanders

ticket

W.J. Astore

Just before Tulsi Gabbard announced her candidacy for the presidency as a Democrat, NBC ran a smear piece that suggested Vladimir Putin and the Russians loved her.  This smear was then repeated and amplified by Hillary Clinton, who suggested Gabbard was being groomed by the Kremlin to run as a third-party candidate, thereby ensuring Trump’s reelection in 2020.  There was no evidence for any of these claims — none.  Yet Gabbard was put on the defensive and her campaign (still ongoing) has been essentially redlined by the mainstream media.

Now it’s Bernie Sanders’s turn.  Bernie is much better known than Tulsi with a much larger movement behind him, so the DNC and the mainstream media have a modified tactic: rather than smearing Bernie as a Putin puppet, they’re suggesting the Russians are boosting his candidacy without his knowledge — the end game, naturally, is Trump’s reelection.  This was reported yesterday by the Washington Post and echoed today by the New York Times and other media outlets.  Here’s how NBC News put it today:

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., excoriated Russia on Friday after being briefed that the Kremlin is attempting to help his presidential campaign as part of an effort to interfere with the Democratic primary and the 2020 election.

“The intelligence community has been very clear about it — whether Trump recognizes it not, or acknowledges it or not, they did interfere in 2016,” Sanders told reporters. “The intelligence community is telling us they are interfering in this campaign right now in 2020. What I say to Mr. Putin: If elected president, trust me, you will not be interfering in American elections.”

The Washington Post reported on Friday U.S officials have briefed President Trump, other lawmakers on Capitol Hill and Sanders, who has recently become the frontrunner in the Democratic contest, that Russians are helping his campaign. The Post cited people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

When you look further into these claims, the so-called Intelligence Community (IC) is not telling us specifically how the Russians are allegedly helping Bernie.  They just are.

This puts Bernie on the defensive.  Already known as a “socialist” who, we’re told, visited Moscow on his honeymoon, Bernie is being forced to issue denials as well as statements against Putin.  And this pleases the IC and the DNC to no end.  Get Bernie talking about Russia and Putin!  Force him to disavow Russian “support,” no matter how nebulous or false that support is.  Associate his name with the “bad guys,” the communists, just as Mayor Bloomberg linked Bernie to communism during the last debate.  “Cheap shot,” Bernie replied, but the cheap people are desperate and will do anything to win.

To the DNC, IC, and MSM, it doesn’t matter if these accusations of Russian interference are believed.  What matters is shifting the narrative and thereby weakening the credibility of candidates like Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders.

Anyone who criticizes or threatens the power and privileges of the military-industrial complex, the IC, and the MSM must be attacked and defeated.  There are literally trillions of dollars at stake here.  This is why other candidates issue no criticisms of these powerful entities.  Can you recall Mayor Pete, or Joe Biden, or Amy Klobuchar, or even Elizabeth Warren saying anything truly critical about the MIC, the IC, and MSM?  For the acronym-wary, that’s the military-industrial complex, the intelligence community, and the mainstream media.

Again, judge the candidates by the enemies they make.  The more the powerful smear Tulsi and Bernie, the more you know they are the candidates with principles and integrity.

57 thoughts on “Smearing Bernie Sanders

  1. The latest NYT piece (by Lisa Lerer) I read about ‘teflon’ Bernie is digging up any dirt that was ever suggested about Bernie, supposedly only in order to wonder why in spite of that he is ‘so little attacked’, while admitting that there never was any proof for any of it. But here’s a little fun : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgoRVbDh6R8 Support from 94 yrs old Dick Van Dyke, which already got over 3 million views in about 24 hrs :-).

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  2. There are, of course, other elements in play here. One is whether Bernie is being tested by the “intelligence community.” Is he willing to spout their talking points about Russian interference? So far, the answer is “yes.”

    But, does Bernie have a choice? If he said Russian interference is a non-factor, wouldn’t he be dismissed as a Putin apologist on that basis alone?

    So, I wonder what Bernie truly believes? I think this issue means little to him. His agenda is domestically-focused and pro-worker. But he has to play along — or does he?

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  3. It’s clear already that Bernie is spouting the official DNC line that the Evil Russkies “interfered in” the 2016 elections. This message has been delivered daily in all the MSM since that election. SOP concerning repetition of the Big Lie. I have been calling BS on these accusations since 2016. In the social-media-dominated environment in which we now live, propaganda is going to be placed by this entity or that to this or that end. Mr. Zuckerberg is on record as being okay with that, as long as the money keeps rolling in to Facebook. Because I do not view Russia as my enemy, I see no fundamental difference between Russian entities placing material meant to influence US voters and our homegrown wingnut entities doing the same. They’re all just capitalist transactions, right? And don’t we Americans just love capitalism and reject socialism?? That’s what NPR News told me just the other day!! And please wake up, folks, to the fact that Vladimir V. Putin is no less hostile toward communism than Donald Trump!! “Communism” went out the window when Boris ‘Boom-Boom’ Yeltsin ordered the artillery assault on the Russian Duma building!

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    1. Greg: “I see no fundamental difference between Russian entities placing material meant to influence US voters and our homegrown wingnut entities doing the same. They’re all just capitalist transactions, right?”

      Well put! And shouldn’t American voters be educated/involved enough to make their own choices, separating the wheat from the chaff and throwing the latter into the fire?

      Have some faith in the people. They hated Trump and Hillary, but Hillary deflated her own base even as Trump inspired much of his. So Trump and his “deplorables” won, with a huge assist from Hillary, with nary a Russian in sight, bot or otherwise.

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      1. “Put my faith in the people/And the people let me down…” –Rare Earth, c. 1970. [Historical note for young readers: Rare Earth was a “Caucasian” R&B band that appeared on the Motown label, and was mocked by Gil Scott-Heron when he proclaimed they would not be part of that revolution that wasn’t going to be televised!] Let’s not overlook the issue of the Electoral College. The people spoke in 2016 and said, by a margin of about three million voices, that they did not cotton to Trump’s revolting racist appeal. Many of us progressives simply could not find any love for the ex-FLOTUS and Senator and Secretary of State, etc. But though she likely would only have given lip service to the Climate Catastrophe, being the representative of the Established Order she is, at least we may be confident she would not have used Executive Orders to intentionally make the planet a less inhabitable place. Yes, I will give her that much credit!

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  4. So the Networks and News Services are all calling Bernie a Huge Winner in Nevada. How will CNN and MSDNC spin this to Bernie’s detriment???

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    1. “The Russkies rigged Nevada! The Russkies rigged Nevada!” (I wish I could insert an emoji laughing hysterically!)

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    1. Not so amusing, but dreadfully on target regarding Bernie Sanders’ apparent unfamiliarity with the concept of the leading question. Apparent US Intel Meddling in US Election With ‘Report’ Russia is Aiding Sanders, by Joe Lauria, Consortium News (February 21, 2020). My favorite part of the article:

      [begin quote]

      … Sanders was put in a difficult spot. If he said, “Show me the proof that Russia is trying to help me,” he ran the risk of being attacked for disbelieving (even disloyalty to) U.S. intelligence, and, by default, defending the Kremlin.

      So politician that he is, and one who is trying to win the White House, Sanders told the Post:

      “I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president. My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do. In 2016, Russia used Internet propaganda to sow division in our country, and my understanding is that they are doing it again in 2020.”

      The Times quoted Sanders as calling Russian President Vladimir Putin an “autocratic thug.” The paper reported Sanders saying in a statement: “Let’s be clear, the Russians want to undermine American democracy by dividing us up and, unlike the current president, I stand firmly against their efforts and any other foreign power that wants to interfere in our election.”

      Responding to a cacophony of criticism that Sanders’ supporters are especially vicious online, as opposed to the millions of other vicious people online, Sanders attempted to use Russia as a scapegoat, the way the Clinton campaign did in 2016. He said: “Some of the ugly stuff on the Internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters.”

      But no matter how strong Sander’s denunciations of Russia, his opponents will now target him as being a tool of the Kremlin [emphasis added].

      Mission accomplished.”
      [end quote]

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        1. Or, Bernie Sanders crossing the street [from Left to Right] in order to more closely observe a pile of dog shit [DNC/Corporate-Media talking points] on the opposing sidewalk.

          “Hmmmmnnnn. Looks like shit.”

          Bending down for a closer look: “Hmmmmnnnn. Smells like shit.”

          Dipping a finger in to obtain a sample: “Hmmmmnnnn. Tastes like shit.”

          Bernie concludes: “Sure glad I didn’t step in that.”

          A wiser person, like Tulsi Gabbard, wouldn’t needlessly cross the street to dine on crypto-fascist dog shit in the first place. As she wrote in a recent Op-Ed piece for Fortune:

          “An egregious lack of foresight … led to this counterproductive impeachment of Trump. … The risk that he will win in November is much greater than before. … This was entirely foreseeable.”

          Anyone with the intestinal fortitude to actually watch some of that Senate Show Trial of an “Impeachment” got to see Rep. Adam Schiff spend literally hours ignoring Trump’s phone call — that nobody actually overheard — while, instead, spitting insults and invective at the Russian Federation and its popular, competent President. Anything to gin up Cold War 2.0. Whether you spell that “Russia-gate” or “Ukraine-gate” or “Impeachment” doesn’t matter. The Russians apparently learned something from surviving Cold War 1.0. The United States quite obviously didn’t and — even worse — doesn’t want to.

          Bernie Sanders really needs to consult Tulsi Gabbard about how to avoid chewing, spitting, and swallowing Cold War dog shit while proudly proclaiming that he hasn’t gotten any the soles of his shoes.

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    2. Oh no, we can’t even trust Amy “safe as milk” * Klobuchar?!?
      * “Safe as Milk” was an album by the inimitable ‘Captain Beefheart’!

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      1. From a search of the Interwebs:

        Captain Beefheart, who died aged 69 of complications from multiple sclerosis, was one of the most influential American musicians of the 1960s and 1970s. His status was always cult rather than commercial, and for most of his career he was broke. He conducted a rotating ensemble called the Magic Band, with whom he recorded 13 studio albums between 1964 and 1982.

        Speaking of studio albums featuring a core identity persona backed by a select cast of excellent musicians fusing rock, pop, and jazz from back in the 1970s, I have to go with Steely Dan: namely, Donald Fagen and the late Walter Becker who produced eight albums over that decade. I only mention them in the context of the current topic because of an article I came across by Pam Ho, Medium.com (February 13, 2020): Tulsi Gabbard is the Steely Dan of Politics or: Perfection Isn’t For Everyone.

        I found the article a good read: sincere and worth quoting in detail for what it has to say about music and politics. I’ll skip that for the present, though, and instead point out something that the author apparently didn’t consider in making her comparison: like where did Fagen and Becker get the name “Steely Dan?” Greg Laxer’s mention of “safe as milk” Klobuchar triggered a memory of long ago reading William S. Burroughs’ obscene, hallucinatory novel of drug addiction and homosexuality, Naked Lunch, in which Steely Dan (I, II, and III) referred to a strap-on dildo which squirted milk instead of semen. Those interested can consult chapter 11, “a.j.’s annual party.” Lest I leave the wrong impression, the book does contain — here and there among the paranoid delusions of “Junk” culture — penetrating insights into the larger American society of the late 1950s. A sample passage:

        “A contingent of howling simopaths swing from chandeliers, balconies, and trees, shitting and pissing on passers-by. (A simopath — the technical name for this disorder escapes me — is a citizen convinced he is an ape or other simian. It is a disorder peculiar to the army, and discharge cures it.)”

        At any rate, I just thought I’d bring up a little literary history for those who might — in all innocent ignorance — wish to call Tulsi Gabbard “the Steely Dan of politics,” assuming that this implies studied political perfection on the part the Congresswoman from Hawaii. Burroughs, himself, would no doubt relish the metaphorical implications, stating forthrightly that somebody (a woman in this case) should do to the ruling corporate oligarchy (overwhelmingly male) what they have done to the working class for decades.

        [end free-association interlude . . . ]

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  5. MSM better wise up…..

    ps Anand Giridharadas has written a great book, “Winners take all: The Elite Charade of Changing the World

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    1. Bernie’s sincere best intentions to bring affordable healthcare to the people–gee, wasn’t “Obamacare” gonna achieve that, ha-ha?!–if we hypothetically envision him inaugurated come January, will run into a stone wall of resistance in Congress. Regaining a majority in the Senate for Dems would not ensure a damned thing. Even leaving aside the Big Pharma lobbying loot, many Dems in Congress are still wedded to a “Dixiecrat” mentality. I’m afraid nothing resembling “democratic socialism” is on the horizon for USA. Cancel the firing squad for Chris Matthews!

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  6. The DNC is the boy who cried Russia. Well, Crimea river, baby! Maybe it’s because the dems have their heads stuck in the 60’s, or maybe it’s because they want Russia to go back the third-world country it was in 1992, but I genuinely think that Russian fixation is simply to sour relations between the two countries as much as possible. After all, in order to prove them wrong, whatever president is in office, be it Trump, Sanders, or Gabbard, will be as unfriendly as possible to Russia in order to expose the MSM and others for the liars that they are. Reactionary politics may be a dangerous game to play, but it’s effective. Meanwhile, not a peep about China, and I can’t help but wonder why.

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    1. You mean “not a peep about China” in the “debates”? China is being daily raked over the coals in MSM for supposedly bungling the virus outbreak. Yet, China mobilized its healthcare workers in quasi-military style (a vestige from when the country was trying to be “communist”!) far more efficiently than the US could have. The accusations that China initially tried to conceal the outbreak smell like propaganda cheap shots, though there could be a nugget of fact in there somewhere.

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      1. Yes, in the debates, I thought that was obvious. Regarding China bungling the outbreak, there is a grain of truth to those allegations – I first heard about the coronavirus back in December from a non-MSM news source, and upon searching for articles about it, most had been blacked out. Knowing as much about epidemiology as I do, I can say with certainty that NO-ONE is reporting on it honestly. The effects of such uncertainty are apparent in how the stock market is currently behaving.

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  7. What were once vices are now habits! To successfully smear has become a badge of honor, when it is so completely without honor. To paraphrase Jack Sparrow, the deepest circle of hell is reserved for smearers and mutineers..

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  8. The take away is Net Work News as practiced by FOX, CNN and MSDNC is not News, they are Infotainment and as such is marketed to their selected audience with the appropriate spin.

    The Corporatist Democratic Partisans are already “questioning” the results from Nevada with thinly veiled allusions to – You guessed it Russian Help. These Corporatist Democratic Partisans are already casting about the net of how best to stop Bernie.

    There is supposedly a secret dossier on Bernie with all the dirt that will sink him in a General Election and bring the Democratic Party crashing down.

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    1. And Bernie continues doing his very best to undermine his own campaign by stupidly regurgitating mouth-noises that the “intelligence community” and DNC/Corpprate-Media have bullied him into uttering at their command and convenience. Jimmy Dore truly nails Senator Sanders’ exasperating credulity in this clip from a recent night-club appearance: CIA Says Russia Is Boosting Bernie To Undermine His Campaign, The Jimmy Dore Show (February 24, 2020). I’ll do a transcript of the program as time allows.

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      1. Mike: As Jimmy Dore says, Bernie knows how he’s being played here. He’s made a choice to play along (for now). That, I think, is the right choice with Super Tuesday looming in eight days.

        If he can win big next week, he might be uncatchable. But of course the DNC, the IC, etc., will not stop in their efforts to discredit him. So he has to make some very tough choices — making mouth-noises is one of those tough choices.

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        1. As my wife said yesterday about Bernie Sanders shamelessly flogging the “Russia-gate” dead horse because the “intelligence community” has him by the short hairs: “He folded after only three states.”

          I had a long phone conversation yesterday with my younger son who lives in Flushing, New York. He told me that he voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Party primary but soured on him after he failed to insist on getting the Vice President slot on the national ticket as his price for supporting “She’s-With-Her” who had cheated him out of the nomination. A great many people who might have voted Democrat felt the same sense of betrayal and either stayed home or, like my son, voted for Donald Trump in the hopes that he would destroy the Republican Party. The Democrats, unfortunately, chose to destroy themselves instead.

          Anyway, thanks for the poetic stimulus. This will make Number Two as the Year of the Rat begins to unfold, or unravel.

          Playing Along For Now
          (Or: Bernie Sanders makes the “tough choice” to fold)

          I’m “playing along, for now”
          (With “now” meaning “four years and counting”)
          Soon I will fight back, I vow
          (Just wait till some votes begin mounting).

          In only three states, I gave up
          And started rehearsing excuses
          “The Russians” put borscht in my cup
          Which caused me to slurp my own juices.

          While Tulsi struck back at the smears
          I chose to roll over when smitten.
          As Clinton keeps grinding her gears,
          I drink from the glass she has spit in.

          The Democrats do not hate Trump,
          But only admire his erection.
          So I’ll be the one they will dump
          If I make it to the election.

          Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2020

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          1. Mike: They are throwing everything at Bernie, including the kitchen sink — and Putin, Fidel Castro, Moscow honeymoons, you name it. You have to pick your fights …

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    2. At the risk of someone having posted on this already, I observe that CNN online today is firing both barrels at Bernie: 1.) they’re excoriating him for not being able to state, to the nearest dime, just how much his reformist plans will cost (Medicare For All, Free College Tuition, etc.). Calling his replies to Anderson Cooper’s questions “disastrous” for Bernie. So Bernie must fall because he’s not psychic, I guess; 2.) CNN is quoting Dem. Members of Congress, including Donna Shalala (remember her?), who represent districts in Florida teeming with anti-Castro Cubans, attacking Bernie for NOT condemning Cuban “communism” harshly enuf! (Apparently he had the poor judgment to mention the massive literacy campaign launched soon after the Revolution’s successful ouster of Batista; no reference made in article to what Bernie may have said in praise of public health system in modern Cuba.)…Conclusion: Yes, the DNC has entered Full Panic Mode! “Anyone but Sanders!” is the battle cry.

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  9. The same argument you use should make us admire Trump. His enemies are IC, DNC, MSM. I used to call it the Bush Crime Family and the Clinton Crime Family. However, Trump has been hiring from the Bush Crime family: Haspel, Kavanaugh, Bolton, Pompeo,…At any rate, I did judge him by his enemies, it took me a long time to realize this isn’t good enough. Trump makes the money flow, tax cuts for the rich, environmental onslaught, pokes Russia, builds nukes. Good enough for the Dems, but Pete or Joe or Kamala would be better, they think, worse for us. I agree with Michael Murry above more. https://www.sentinelsource.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/biden-bernie-and-trump-are-all-the-same-by-joseph/article_e261cf98-4515-5892-8489-9333ac92fef8.html

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  10. Now, of course, Bernie is too old, according to the Boston Globe. But Biden and Bloomberg, about the same age as Bernie, are just fine, thank you very much. And Trump, who’s only a few years younger but in worse shape, is also just fine.

    “In this discontented winter, Bernie Sanders isn’t too left. He’s too old: At the risk of being dismissed as ageist, the idea that a guy who just had a heart attack and will be pushing 80 if elected should be the Democratic standard-bearer to defeat Donald Trump is a little ridiculous.”

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/02/24/metro/this-discontented-winter-bernie-sanders-isnt-too-left-hes-too-old

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    1. Well, in all fair-mindedness (or something resembling it), the age of all these white dudes is not a real strong selling point!! I think Beto O’Rourke was a not bad candidate, all things considered. Pete is really young, but dwells in a (wine) cave (a Gucci troglodyte!); Tulsi is young but has no chance at all of being on the ballot come November. Reagan’s mind, such as it ever was, had already turned to mush when elected to his first term, but biological age didn’t hinder him at the polls. Let’s be honest: being physically appealing is a selling point in elections. Ask the ghost of Richard Nixon about those televised appearances with his rival, Senator John F. Kennedy.

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  11. The other day, a considerably younger (Dutch) musical friend asked if I had ever heard of a band from the late 60’s called The MC5. “Yes,” I replied, ” The only thing worth remembering about them is something said by the guy* who introduced them at the beginning of their first album (a “live” recording called Kick Out the Jams!): “It takes 5 seconds to decide if you are gonna be part of the problem or part of the solution!”
    And then …. well, a few minutes ago I received an email tease from that bastion of progressive, even downright revolutionary thought known as The Nation that it’s time to choose between B. Sanders and E. Warren. They didn’t say how many seconds they were allowing for the decision.

    *John Sinclair, commandante y jefe of “The White Panther Party.”

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    1. This is very droll for me, because just this morning I was thinking about the fact that the only time I ever went to The Electric Circus, in the more or less East Village of Manhattan, was to check out the MC5!! (“Motor City 5,” as in Detroit) Their corporate promoters (I think they were on Elektra Records? swallowed up by Warner Bros. Records eventually) advertised them thusly: “The MC5 ARE The Revolution!” That’s pretty well verbatim. Those were the days, huh? Historical Note: At Woodstock, Abbie Hoffman tried to interrupt The Who’s performance to grab a microphone and plead for John Sinclair (jailed on drug charges) to be freed. Pete Townshend, noted for his intensity on stage, did not take kindly to this and bashed Abbie with his guitar! If there is movie footage of this incident, it was excluded from the documentary of the festival. But I have heard the audio, with Townshend warning Hoffman “You’re gonna get fuckin’ killed!!”

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      1. Yes, “Kick Out the Jams” was on Elektra, but owner/prez Jac Holzman dropped them (he was unmoved by revolutionary ardor) which allowed them to sign with Atlantic but in the end, they couldn’t play/sing/write and having developed the de rigueur “nasty habits,” were sent back to Ann Arbor without so much as a sandwich & a road map.
        As for Abbie “Steal this Book!” Hoffman (a.k.a “Free”) … between Daltrey & Townsend – neither of whom was known for their people skills in those days – he was lucky that’s all that happened to him. Still waiting on The Revolution ….

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  12. I happened to catch about ten minutes of MSNBC this AM. A Black commentator tried to sell the idea that Mayor Pete deserves lots of credit for reaching out to Blacks in South Carolina. He’s offering something called health care “equity,” whatever that is supposed to mean. After this commercial for Mayor Pete, MSDNC then asked if Sanders can broaden his appeal to “moderate” Democrats, even though Bernie clearly won moderates in Nevada.

    And this was only about 10 minutes of snippets I caught while watching the TV at the gym.

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  13. Just as FYI from WIKI on Batista:
    Facing certain electoral defeat, he (Batista) led a military coup against President Carlos Prío Socarrás that preempted the election.

    Back in power, and receiving financial, military, and logistical support from the United States government,Batista suspended the 1940 Constitution and revoked most political liberties, including the right to strike. He then aligned with the wealthiest landowners who owned the largest sugar plantations, and presided over a stagnating economy that widened the gap between rich and poor Cubans.

    Eventually it reached the point where most of the sugar industry was in U.S. hands, and foreigners owned 70% of the arable land. As such, Batista’s repressive government then began to systematically profit from the exploitation of Cuba’s commercial interests, by negotiating lucrative relationships with both the American Mafia, who controlled the drug, gambling, and prostitution businesses in Havana, and with large U.S.-based multinational companies who were awarded lucrative contracts.

    Brothels flourished. A major industry grew up around them; government officials received bribes, policemen collected protection money. Prostitutes could be seen standing in doorways, strolling the streets, or leaning from windows. One report estimated that 11,500 of them worked their trade in Havana. Beyond the outskirts of the capital, beyond the slot machines, was one of the poorest, and most beautiful countries in the Western world.
    — David Detzer, American journalist, after visiting Havana in the 1950s

    Batista reportedly fled Cuba with hundreds of millions of dollars.

    JFK had this to say:
    On October 6, 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy, in the midst of his campaign for the U.S. Presidency, decried Batista’s relationship with the U.S. government and criticized the Eisenhower administration for supporting him:

    Fulgencio Batista murdered 20,000 Cubans in seven years … and he turned Democratic Cuba into a complete police state—destroying every individual liberty. Yet our aid to his regime, and the ineptness of our policies, enabled Batista to invoke the name of the United States in support of his reign of terror. Administration spokesmen publicly praised Batista—hailed him as a staunch ally and a good friend—at a time when Batista was murdering thousands, destroying the last vestiges of freedom, and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the Cuban people, and we failed to press for free elections.

    I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime. I approved the proclamation which Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption. I will even go further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins. In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear.
    — U.S. President John F. Kennedy, to Jean Daniel, October 24, 1963.
    =====================================================
    JFK was no saint when it came to trying to eliminate Castro.

    Just imagine the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth if Sanders had echoed JFK’s words, by our Red Baiting McCarthyist McMega Media.

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    1. Bernie Sanders has taken to doing a little smearing of his — or, should I say, She’s-With-Her’s — own. And why? Consider:

      “Just imagine the weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth if Sanders had echoed JFK’s words, by our Red Baiting McCarthyist McMega Media.”

      I consider this a good point, but we need to recall, in this context, what baseball fans call “rabbit ears,” referring to umpires who let the taunts of the crowd get to them, influencing their decisions. Bernie Sanders — like most Democratic Party politicians since at least Harry Truman — lives in constant dread of having “those mean Republicans” say all sorts of nasty things about them and their “red” or “pink” proclivities. And so as to forestall (they think) this utterly predictable partisan badgering, Democratic Party politicians try to act “tougher-against-the-commies” (meaning the American working class) hoping that if they just do whatever the Republicans want, then this abject appeasement — or “triangulation” as a Clinton would euphemistically call it — will accomplish something other than whetting Republican appetites for still more concessions by the Democrats: what Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell gleefully refers to as “Clintonian back flips in our direction,” which he will graciously accept whenever offered.

      So it seems to me, listening to Bernie Sanders call Russian President Vladimir Putin “an autocratic thug” (and worse things) that “our Red Baiting McCarthyist McMega Media” has already — and at least since 2016 — bullied him into, if not “weeping and wailing and gnashing his teeth,” then at least spitting and snarling and slandering Russians precisely to the tune that “She’s-With-Her” has scripted for him. Regrettably, Bernie Sanders has foolishly invested himself — and the party he seems eager to have accept him — in a New Cold War rhetoric that has already made rational foreign policy practically impossible, not just for the Trump Administration, for a Sanders administration as well.

      Bernie Sanders really needs to stop the gratuitous smearing of all things Russian. And if he seriously believes anything the “intelligence community” says, then I’ve got a Bay of Pigs and some WMD to sell him.

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    2. I had never seen these quotations from JFK! It borders on the hilarious, needless to say, that it’s highly likely La Cosa Nostra had a major role in eliminating the young POTUS because he failed to send US troops to support the hapless invaders at Playa de Giron (“the Bay of Pigs”).

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  14. Have heard several times past few days, “Mr Sanders is hijacking the Democratic party”!! I wonder what Mr Thomas Frank would have to say about the current election cycle! His insight into the state of Democratic party before and after 2016 election is a must read for all politicians who claim to be “democrats”.
    https://www.theguardian.com/profile/thomas-frank
    AND the so called liberal media’s propaganda against Mr Sanders… what are they afraid of??
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/25/the-liberal-medias-propaganda-war-on-bernie-sanders/

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    1. The spectre of “democratic socialism” is haunting the Democratic Party as if Henry Wallace–the dreaded Henry Wallace!–was in Bernie’s present shoes!!

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  15. “It’s in the bag.”
    More and more, the term “brokered convention” is showing up, usually followed by how the only fair thing is to “let the process play out.” Republicans are urging Democratic candidates to concentrate on stopping Bernie. Democrats are urging Democrats to stop Bernie. Thanks to “the process,” the DNC – supposedly in a panic – will eventually settle down, secure in the knowledge that when the time comes, the “super delegates” will be roused from their four-year slumber, kicking Bernie and his delegates to the curb, and bestowing the nomination on someone willing to play ball. My first guess would be “a phenomenally-rich white man.” My second would be E. Warren.

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    1. butsudanbill–If your “phenomenally-rich white man” is Tom Steyer, I could stomach that. (Generally speaking, I am not a “friend” of the uber-wealthy, to understate the matter grotesquely!) If you’re hinting at ‘Little Mike,’ I have to scream “No way!” Even the Dems…EVEN the Dems!…aren’t THAT hooked on self-sabotage! I had no access to Tuesday’s S.C. affair, don’t know how Klobuchar is being reviewed by the media “pundits.” But I think she has a very good chance of getting the DNC’s stamp of approval. “She’s soooooo [sigh] sensible!”

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      1. I don’t think the DNC would be too picky, any “phenomenally-rich white man” would probably do: “You’ve got to fight fire with fire!” (Trump still largely perceived/touted as being phenomenally-rich).
        I’ve no doubt if E. Warren were phenomenally rich, they’d be behind her all the way. Same with Amy K., perhaps especially with Amy K. As you point out, she’s the “sensible” candidate (shades of Monty Python’s “Election Night” episode with The Sensible Party and the Silly Party).
        Ultimately though, I think that as been stated here many times by many others, the DNC doesn’t really care who gets the nomination, as they aren’t in the “Win the White House” business so much as the “don’t rock the boat, don’t derail the gravy train” business.

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        1. Ah-hah! You left the tally (“nil”!) for the VERY Silly Party candidate in that Python skit! And no, I won’t even attempt to spell out that guy’s name! It was way, way stranger than Buttigieg!

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  16. I just caught this from the Crosstalk video program: Bullhorns: Russiagate 3.0, RT.com (February 24, 2020). From a real — and rather kindly — Russian:

    Dmitry Babich: “Coming back to what you just said: I think that Sanders, this campaign about his involvement with Russia is so absurd. Only he can destroy his chances. When he said, “My message to Russia is, Stay out of American elections.” Well, my message to him is “Don’t be a nincompoop. Don’t push the same theory that stole your chance to be nominated in 2016.”

    No joke. Every time the world-like mouth-noise “Russia” escapes from between Bernie Sanders’ barely moving lips, the rest of the world hears: “I’m Hillary Clinton [a.k.a., “She’s-With-Her”] and I not only approve this message, but I wrote it in the first place.”

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    1. In an effort to further educate myself on the excruciating details of Russia-gate I, II, III, ad nauseum, I’ve spent several recent days and nights transcribing and saving on my website some of the video presentations that I consider most relevant and informative in connection with this topic. For those who might find them of interest, I list links to them as follows:

      CrossTalk Bullhorns: Russiagate 3.0, RT.com (February 24, 2020).

      CIA Says Russia Is Boosting Bernie To Undermine His Campaign, The Jimmy Dore Show (February 24, 2020). [profanity alert]

      MSNBC’s Chris Matthews goes WW2 on Bernie after Nevada win (Video), The Duran Quick Take: Episode 480 (February 25, 2020).

      Same, lame Russia meddling BS. Trump & Bernie react in completely different ways (Video), The Duran Quick Take: Episode 479 (February 24, 2020)

      Now I can get back to my Alfred E. Neuman relief sculpture-painting [acrylic paint over paper clay over wood]. Something about Notre Dame Campus Mayor Pete Booty-judge’s resemblance to Mad Magazine’s poster boy impelled me to finish something I started many years ago under entirely different circumstances.

      So much for Bernie the Red-baiter apprentice for now. My apologies to the Russian people and the President of their country. The government of my country has gone stark, raving mad.

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  17. Thank you for this great post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! I have recently published an article on my blog with my thoughts on Bernie Sanders from an outsider’s perspective. If you have time, it would be great if you could check out my post and let me know your thoughts! Thanks 🙂

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