My Vote for President in 2020

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W.J. Astore

I’ve given a lot of thought to my vote for the presidency in 2020.  Neither Trump nor Biden is attractive to me.  These men haven’t earned my vote.  Who has?

I like Tulsi Gabbard, and I’m planning on voting for her in November 2020.

I know: she’s pulled out of the race.  She even endorsed Joe Biden.  But I can’t vote for the Biden/Harris ticket.  To me, they’re corporate cronies who endorse U.S. militarism and empire.

Trump, the Republican alternative, is a disaster.  Totally self-absorbed and lazy to boot, Trump cares nothing about our country and will sacrifice anything and everything to his own definition of success.

Now, I live in a state that is safely blue; in the big picture, my vote is meaningless.  But it’s not meaningless to me.  I want to vote for something I believe in, and I believe in Tulsi’s stand against war.

Here’s a recent statement from Tulsi Gabbard that convinced me she’s still in the vanguard of reform.  If only Biden/Harris would say something like this, but of course they won’t.

STATEMENT FROM TULSI GABBARD

When I first ran for Congress in 2012, I knew that we needed to bring our troops home from Afghanistan and made that a central focus of my campaign. After two decades of fighting in a war that has no clear objective, cost thousands of lives, and continues to cost taxpayers at least $4 billion a month, most Democrats and Republicans want to continue this war. This is why I voted against this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – a $740.1 Billion defense bill that disproportionately benefits the military industrial complex, continues to escalate the new Cold War, and needlessly continues our decades-long war in Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, this bill passed the House with bipartisan support.

Nevertheless, as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, I fought hard to get many provisions added to the bill, including:

  • improving the quality of life for servicemembers and military families,
  • addressing sexual assault in the military,
  • providing transparency of the devastating humanitarian impact of U.S. sanctions,
  • allowing servicemembers to use over-the-counter hemp products,
  • and helping to mitigate and reduce the environmental threats that impact our troops.
READ MORE

We have much work ahead of us. I will continue to do all I can to bring our troops home from Afghanistan, work to end the new Cold War and nuclear arms proliferation, and ensure the safety, prosperity, and well-being of the American people and our planet.

Now, it’s time for Congress and this Administration to do the same.

Mahalo and be well,
Tulsi

Update (8/16/20): I believe politicians have to earn our votes.  We should never feel obligated to vote for them.

For the sake of argument, let’s say Trump wins. People will predictably argue that it’s people like me who are to blame, since I didn’t vote for Biden. (Nor will I vote for Trump.)

No. It won’t be my fault. If you wish to blame someone, blame the Trump voters. And blame the DNC for nominating a candidate (Biden) who didn’t earn the vote of people like me.

The same applies to Hillary’s loss in 2016. She lost to a con man and a reality TV celebrity because she ran a poor campaign, and because her hypocrisy and elitism were so obvious. Remember her “basket of deplorables” comment? Remember all the money she took from Goldman Sachs and the like? $675K for three speeches, even as she opposed Bernie’s call for $15 minimum wage.

With a $15 minimum wage, it would take a “deplorable” more than 22 years of hard work to earn what Hillary got in roughly three hours of speechifying.

And I’m supposed to admire Hillary and vote for her because the DNC said so?

And I’m supposed to vote for Biden because once again the DNC, joined by Obama and Hillary, gave the shaft to Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard?

If I vote for Joe, I’m rewarding the DNC for its blatant corruption.  So I choose to vote for someone who’s offering something more than the status quo of endless war and bottomless corruption.

Update (8/18/20):

I’m surprised that David Sirota, who worked for Bernie Sanders, had this to say about Democrats’ alleged “choice”:

“If the Sanders-Biden battle was perceived as a choice between Sanders’s daunting promise of an exhausting revolutionary struggle and Biden’s promise of a glide path back to normal, then it’s no mystery why Biden ultimately prevailed. Easy street was an understandably alluring vision for an electorate already tired out by Trump’s never-ending conflicts and controversies.

In reality, though, this was not a choice between two possibilities — it was a choice between honesty and fantasy, and Democratic voters picked the latter.”

https://sirota.substack.com/p/did-americans-want-a-political-revolution

I disagree with him because Democratic voters chose nothing. They had no choice. The DNC, the establishment, and especially Obama intervened to torpedo and sink Bernie just as he was riding high. Saint Obama even convinced Amy K. and Mayor Pete to drop out; we’ll see their rewards/price if Biden wins.

Democratic voters, when polled, broadly support Bernie’s agenda. But DNC operatives don’t give a f*ck about what voters want; they care about what the owners and donors want.

This is why I refuse to watch this convention. It’s a rigged, dishonest, show.

I know what happened to the two candidates I favored: Bernie and Tulsi. And I refuse to reward the DNC with my vote based on everything that we witnessed in this corrupt primary season.

182 thoughts on “My Vote for President in 2020

  1. Bill, Can’t believe that you are actively encouraging voters to abstain from the most election of our lifetimes. Trump and the fascist forces behind him are perilously close to establishing a fascist dictatorship in our country. If he is not removed, he will soon appoint two supporters to replace the two 80-something year old liberal Supreme Court justices. Wake up! This is like Germany in 1933. Like it or not, asking people to abstain from voting Trump out is supporting Trump and the forces he embodies.

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    1. Hi Bruce: I’m not asking (or telling) voters to do anything. I’m suggesting they should vote for a candidate they believe in.

      As I said, I live in a thoroughly blue state that Biden should carry easily. If I lived in a swing state, I’d have to consider the need to vote “blue no matter who.”

      Actually, I think many people who lean more for Trump than Biden might find my position refreshing. In fact, Tulsi Gabbard is attractive to many lukewarm Trump supporters. I hope more than a few of them might join me in voting for Tulsi Gabbard (or other candidates) as a protest against the corruption of both major parties.

      After all, Trump could get little done if Nancy Pelosi and establishment Democrats didn’t keep voting for his agenda.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The preponderance of the Democrat arguments as to why you should vote for Biden seems to be “Trump is such an egregious and unique danger to the nation that this time around you HAVE TO vote for Biden no matter how bad he may be” It kind of reads to me as them saying that in every other election there was no real difference between the Republican and Democrat candidates.

        If the DNC really believe Trump is an existential threat perhaps they should have run a candidate that more people really wanted to vote for. For pity’s sake, Biden is having trouble opening a lead on one of the most unpopular and distrusted politicians in the US who is also currently showing massive incompetence handling the pandemic and the associated economic collapse.

        I don’t envy you the position you’re being put in with this election. If I was in the US I would have great trouble deciding who to vote for.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A perfect statement of the situation. The DNC may or may not see the Orange One as an existential threat, but that’s not what they’re concerned about. Their goal is keeping the corporate dollars flowing; hence, Biden.

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        2. RMO–In my opinion, yes, Trump is truly in a class of his own for venal, intentionally cruel and incompetent administration. But you are absolutely right that a far, far better candidate could have been selected. But the DNC was terrified of risking alienation of “sensible, middle of the road” potential voters. Personally, I’ve yet to meet one of the latter, though!

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  2. Of course, we’ll never get a “perfect” candidate. But what troubles me with this Gabbard statement is that she opposes ongoing US intervention in Afghanistan–and elsewhere, by implication–not because the US attack on Afghanistan was the result of a completely phony ginned-up lie, but because “Gee, we don’t seem to be ‘winning.'” Afghanistan abides, as The Burial Ground of Empires. But doubtless it continues to provide the hemp for the over-the-counter products she advocated for! Now that’s a new one by me!

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    1. Who am I – as a non US citizen or even resident – to have opinions here. But as a European from a country with a president whose stupidity matches Trump’s and who just gleefully invited more US army to station here, during a visit of Emperor Pontius Pompeus, and having witnessed the havoc wreaked by US/NATO armies on a nation which never attacked any of them – I do also tremble watching the US elections. If Biden wants Bernie’s supporters, he will have to do more than grin on photo-ops and utter platitudes. If I could vote, I’d also have to hold my nose doing it.
      I discovered the existence of Kamala Harris during Kavanaugh’s hearing and was impressed. Apparently she has several negative sides as well and if elected and quite possibly one day becoming president if Biden implodes, my only Schadenfreude ‘satisfaction’ will be Hillary’s fury about another woman going down in history as the first one. Small mercies …

      As for Tulsi, sorry, but I have never become convinced. She may be wanting to stop regime change wars but I very much doubt she would do so if elected, even manage to do so if she tried. And what puts me off – not only in her case by the way – is the deafening silence about the real victims of those wars – as you have pointed out. It’s exclusively about US losses, whether in human lives or dollars, not about the victims of wars of aggression – whether for the purpose of regime change or just greed. This statement of hers actually feels like pouting : hell, we occupied you for nearly 20 years and you still refuse to let us win, how ungrateful !

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      1. Pamela–I don’t picture Biden even trying to woo Bernie supporters. First, he’s on record as opposing Medicare for All, and secondly the Dem. Party Establishment is counting on “Well, he’s not Trump” to win the day for them. This strategy failed last time of course, as “Well, she’s not Trump” was overcome by the incredibly stupid and archaic Electoral College, a vestige of slavery.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, and the same cannot be excluded this time either. The present situation reminds me of September 2016 when I was visiting friends in Manhattan but also met up with an exceptional former (EU country) ambassador in Kabul. Exceptional, because this gentleman not only was adorable, but also intelligent and very experienced. And wise. His embassy was the only relaxed one I knew – while not being careless by any means. I could bring unannounced Afghan friends to his garden parties without them being refused or invasively frisked as potential criminals. He even allowed his wife (diplomats’ wives could only visit, not live there) two hours to go for a walk with me in the neighbourhood where I lived since several years, to personally discover its couleur locale, without armed guards ‘protecting’ us. And was jealous that he could not allow himself the same pleasure :-). Unheard of for most expats, let alone diplomats’ wives. If only all western diplomats (not to mention military) behave in that civilised way, there would be much less bloody attacks. Beauty & ugliness are in the eye of the beholder, agression sooner or later provokes agression in return.
          In 2016 he was in NY to attend the UN annual gathering, we ‘cried in our drinks’ about the continuing & ever deepening drama in Afghanistan, but also discussed the upcoming election. The idea that Trump could not possibly win seemed unrealistic optimism to us. We both were ready to bet he would win.
          I feel as worried now as I did then, even more so as I now know how unpredictable voters and polling can be and how rigged the electoral college. In September I’ll ask the now retired ambassador for his professional opinion and do hope he’ll be more optimistic this time…

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          1. The pit of my stomach–which is often very accurate–tells me this election will not be decided by the wee hours of the day after Election Day. Trump is openly laying foundation stones for disputing the outcome if Biden clearly wins. The uncertainty surrounding the outcome in 2000 knocked the US stockmarket on its arse. Anyone reading this invested in US stocks is advised to bail now. [No, I am not a certified financial adviser, but I follow these matters closely.]

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  3. I saw this coming. Your Biden bashing would make Tucker Carlson blush but the math is simple:
    A vote for Trump = a vote for Trump
    A vote for Kanye West = a vote for Trump
    A vote for Tulsi = a vote for Trump
    A vote for Biden = a vote to stop fascism

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    1. Sigh. A vote for Biden is a vote for neo-con warmongering, big banking, and major corporations. It’s a vote for big pharma, the health insurance industry, the military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex, and a return to the status quo of worker exploitation.

      I don’t fault anyone for voting for Biden because they despise Trump. But don’t deceive yourself that Biden is a principled public servant who is for people like us. He just isn’t. And neither is Kamala Harris.

      Note to readers: Yes, Trump is worse. I know.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I haven’t researched this question, but I’m willing to bet that no Presidential election was ever so close that third-party votes would have changed it.

        In any case, similar to the 2016 race, it’s the Dems’ election to lose. Castigating people for voting their consciences is needless vitriol.

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        1. I could be wrong (it happens!), but I think Ross Perot in ’92 had a real chance at upsetting the apple cart. Was George Wallace a genuine threat to Nixon’s re-election in ’72? I doubt it.

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      2. Do we need a Fascist Dictator running our Country? Plus we’ve seen close races before– in our hometown even in the Eighties a Mayoral Race that went down so close the Race was won by a mere handful of Votes. So every Vote really does COUNT! You know how the Electoral College won it for Trump in 2016 what IF these protest Votes like yours for Tulsi whom I also like btw are the victory voucher for Trumps re-Election in 2020? It could happen…

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        1. It’s not a “protest” vote. I merely wish to vote for a candidate who reflects my values. I think everyone should do that.

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          1. We all wish that, if we all got what we wished for it would be a happy place but we will wake up on Nov. 4th facing another 4 years with a incoherent President who is going to take this Country to a place where none of us will want to live…

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          2. Every four years it’s the same song: vote for the lesser of two evils. The song will remain the same until we change our behavior. Stop voting for these saps.

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          3. Bill, you can’t possibly be more sick of “vote for the lesser evil” than I!! But honestly–and I’m NOT beating a drum on Biden’s behalf with this, BTW–Donald J. Trump really is an exception, an aberration, in history of US presidents. (And he’s certainly had some abominable predecessors!) He was never, ever qualified to hold a position of “public trust,” and with each passing day he proves more unacceptable. If he is able to retain the presidency, our nation can be written off as the worst joke in the history of so-called democracy.

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          4. Agree! Norman Solomon published a screed last week declaring that a vote is NOT a matter of self-expression, and that each person must vote according to a calculation of how others are likely to vote, more or less. In other words, vote for a candidate who’s got a chance of winning. In so many words, he said that if one calls oneself a Progressive (!), one MUST vote for Biden. I strongly objected to his assertions. I believe one should vote for the candidate one actually wants to see in office.

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          5. At the end of the day, Denise, pragmatism will win out. Because the Establishment has so successfully stifled attempts to build a viable alternative political party in the US, regardless of for whom you WANT to vote, we will HAVE either Trump or Biden for POTUS.

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          6. No argument there. I just resent being told that if I don’t vote for Biden, I’m betraying the Progressive cause. Also resent being told that I have no “right” to vote my conscience when the stakes are high. The meaning of one’s vote is one’s own prerogative.

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        2. The citizens of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts–those who vote, at least–have had the habit in recent decades of electing Republican governors, which kind of mystified me. But large parts of the state are rather rural, after all; not everyone is a “Boston Brahmin.” But MA should be, underline that “should,” a safe bet for the Biden/Harris ticket.

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    2. ” . . . no matter who wins in November America’s opaque government agencies will have already primed the nation for more dangerous escalations against countries which have resisted being absorbed into the blob of the U.S.-centralized empire. If Trump wins we can expect his administration to continue its escalations against Russia in retaliation for its 2020 “election interference,” and if Biden wins we can expect his cabinet of Obama administration holdovers to ramp up escalations against China in the same way while Joe mumbles to himself off to the side as his brain turns to chowder.” — Caitlin Johnstone

      Hence my refusal to validate yet another ludicrous right-wing faction-fight in the Global Corporate Oligarchy’s US Marketing Territory and Population Containment Zone. No way I can “choose” between:

      Chowder Brain and Lightweight or Orange Man Bad

      What if they gave an “election” and nobody came?
      What if Joe got an erection and Kamala came?
      What if Trump started a war like the rest of them did?
      What if Obama and Clinton made Donald their kid?

      What really matters has nothing to do with your vote,
      now that you swallow their lies ’cause you learned them by rote.
      Boycott elections or write in your candidate choice.
      Force them to read what you’ve written if you want a voice.

      Otherwise shut up and save us the waste of our time
      hearing you tell us that two nickels equal a dime.
      Doing binary arithmetic doesn’t make math,
      just that, like Biden, you’ve wandered too far off the path.

      Sure, Trump’s an Orange buffoon like the Black one before
      following White ones, and all of them Israel’s whore.
      Nothing will change, as it hasn’t for centuries now.
      Money rules everything. Give some, or back to your plow.

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

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I also live in a blue state that will go Biden by a comfortable margin. So I’m with Bill – there’s no way I’ll vote for Biden for the reasons he cites. In addition, a Biden administration will continue the objective of the Obama administration to seek a so-called grand budget compromise that likely means cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

    In every state, however, it’s important to vote Democratic for the US Senate and the House of Representatives. The House must stay in Democratic control, and the Democrats must take the Senate: if Mitch McConnell is Senate majority leader in the next Congress, he will have veto power over everything, irrespective of who is President.

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    1. If GOP continues to control the US Senate, probably the question of SCOTUS nominees will be a bigger issue than getting legislation passed. Given hypothetical of a Biden win, the Court could shrink to seven members for years on end, with the rightwingers reaping a larger majority than they now enjoy. We need term limits for these positions!

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  5. I understand your view because I went with it in 2016, voting for Jill Stein. I also am in a solid blue state, Illinois, and my community went 89% for Hillary, for whom I could not vote. The only positive from Trump is Hillary is gone with her friend of Jeffery Epstein, husband Bill, though their party machinery is still running smoothly.

    My view is to vote as I would want others to vote. I could not stand either major party candidate last time, and was terribly disappointed previously in seat-warmer Obama, now firmly a member of the jet set after leaving any hope he inspired far behind, though he is still eloquently jivin’ from time to time.

    This time, Trump must go and I mean to give him my little push. Either he is thrown out in November, or our country is going to continue to irrationally tear itself to shreds. He is the embodiment of ignorance, speaking with authority on innumerable things he knows nothing about, lying if necessary to cover his empty talk, packing government management positions with those dedicated to get rid of regulations, who formerly worked in the industries regulated.

    Trump will exploit anything, anyone, to further his own interest. He speaks the language of a high school boy, name calling regularly, which has nothing at all to do with any subject of public interest of which there are so many. He is an instigator, an inciter. He is a magician of chaos, being incapable of managing while loving the ability to hire and fire. Nero has been maligned by being compared to Trump. This is because unlike Nero Trump has no talents, I’m sure he cannot fiddle.

    Status quo Joe will get my vote and that likely means before four years are up it will be President Harris. But just as Hillary is history, Trump will be out with no chance of returning. The MIC will have more time to run free but the country will survive.

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    1. As I’ve been stressing for years now, the major issue with Trump is that he is genuinely MENTALLY DERANGED. I don’t plan to read the recent book by his niece, Mary, but from what I’ve heard she agrees with my assessment. And “he won’t get better,” the niece reportedly warns us. Hard to argue with that prognosis! In his own Reality Bubble, I think Trump actually believes he’s a great entertainer. Yeah, I split my sides laughing every time he reduces our already weak environmental regulations.

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    2. “Status quo Joe” is just right. As Biden himself said, nothing will fundamentally change if he’s elected. This at a time when our country desperately needs meaningful change: higher wages for workers, medicare for all, better education, a Green New Deal, major spending on infrastructure, an end to forever wars, and so on. Joe Biden is pretty much against all of this.

      But he’s not as destructive as Trump is, I’ll give him that.

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      1. The real test for a (hypothetical) President Biden will be: Can he muster the clout needed with Congress to actually REPAIR Trump’s most damaging “mischief” (an inadequate term to describe Trumpian environmental policy)? Can he do a lot of that by Executive Orders, or would that be viewed as “impolite,” since it’s been Trump’s M.O.? Polluting corporations have been given the green light to do as they please and they will not roll over and play nice with an incoming non-Trump administration.

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    3. Excellent summary of the overall situation. I’m in a swing state and still voted for Stein, because to me, Hillary was evil. I’d held my nose and voted for Obama, then saw my misgivings justified. Don’t know if I can make myself vote for Joe.

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  6. We all like to think our vote matters. But the president is elected by the electoral college, not the popular vote. Hence it’s the “swing” states that matter, and there appear to be five of these: Florida (29 electoral votes); Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes); Wisconsin (10 electoral votes); Arizona (11 electoral votes); Minnesota (10 electoral votes).

    If you live in a swing state, your vote matters a lot more, as this article explains:

    View at Medium.com

    It’s possible the electoral vote could be tied while Biden wins the popular vote. In that case, Trump is likely to be selected the winner since Republicans control more Congressional state houses (as explained in the article above).

    It’s the so-called battleground (or swing) states that matter, and I don’t live in one of those.

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  7. For the sake of argument, let’s say Trump wins. People will predictably argue that it’s people like me who are to blame, since I didn’t vote for Biden. (Nor will I vote for Trump.)

    No. It won’t be my fault. If you wish to blame someone, blame the Trump voters. And blame the DNC for nominating a candidate (Biden) who didn’t earn the vote of people like me.

    The same applies to Hillary’s loss in 2016. She lost to a con man and a reality TV celebrity because she ran a poor campaign, and because her hypocrisy and elitism were so obvious. Remember her “basket of deplorables” comment? Remember all the money she took from Goldman Sachs and the like? $675K for three speeches, even as she opposed Bernie’s call for $15 minimum wage.

    With a $15 minimum wage, it would take a “deplorable” more than 22 years of hard work to earn what Hillary got in roughly three hours of speechifying.

    And I’m supposed to admire Hillary and vote for her because the DNC said so?

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    1. The “basket of deplorables” remark was the ONE thing Mrs. Clinton said in 2016 that was right on target. So naturally she was forced, by her advisers I imagine, to immediately withdraw the comment!

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  8. I came to the same conclusion as you. I will write in Tulsi, or Jesse Ventura if he gets more serious. Biden is corrupt, Harris, who will take his place early on, is Hillary’s tool (who will replace Harris?). Harris only punished and abused the little people, the connected were not prosecuted. She doesn’t have slave blood (parents from Jamaica and India), but she tried to extend prison sentences so California wouldn’t lose slave prison labor. Oh, the duplicity, the hypocrisy! No wonder Hillary supports and promotes her. Only if Trump starts arresting deep-state actors he will earn my vote. Brennan, Clapper, Comey, and Clinton have all lied while under oath before Congress, as anyone can determine from youtube.

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    1. And how do you think black folks came to be on the Caribbean island of Jamaica, eh?? “No slave blood” indeed! At any rate, let’s look at the elections from a new perspective: Would we rather have Mike Pence or Kamala Harris in the Oval Office? (Both POTUS candidates, after all, are of quite advanced age.) Shall we prefer someone who believes he literally has Jesus’s unlisted phone number, or someone who has been accused of being an over-zealous prosecutor?? The answer for me is a total no-brainer.

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  9. Has anyone considered the following: the DNC (and those not so shadowy figures “everyone knows” control the party) don’t really care who sits in the Oval Office, and that their goal is to control Congress? There is such a gap between the quality of the Sens. & Reps. and the collection of Presidential candidates that surface every four years – and who gets the nod for the White House bid – is both embarrassing and laughable.
    As for a “progressive ticket” … might as well wish in one hand and spit in the other. Put “progressives” in Congress where they can make a difference year after year.
    Finally, speaking from personal experience, $15 an hour is only a “livable wage” if you’re still living with your folks or have roommates.

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    1. Hmmmm….thought=provoking comment about Congress vs. the White House. You may very well be onto something there.

      As for the livable wage, agree completely. Even where I’m domiciled, where the cost of living is low compared with many other places, $15 an hour is basically minimum wage, not to be confused with money enough to keep one eating and living indoors.

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  10. On the bright side, progressives are making progress in Congress and I was elated to see the downfall of Elliot Engel to Jamaal Bowman. The direct overthrow that would have been achieved had Bernie been able to prevail, is the very thing that will be opposed to the death by every established power that benefits from the corrupt system we have, and they are legion. But districts can fall, as AOC and The Squad have shown, and that change is being maintained despite the outcry from the right and the flood of pro-Israel money that has been raised to bring them down.

    (BTW: Netanyahu has said he has had to abandon annexation because the US gave him no choice, a far cry from when on video years ago he said the US could be easily managed, and was right.)

    The electoral college and the senate allow a minority to game the system, the house, but for gerrymandering which both sides do, is as close to national democracy as we come in America. Black, brown and female faces in the House are making all Americans realize that change is not only possible, but inevitable, if slow. Chicanery is the last refuge of the Republican party and is now so blatant as to be a loud alarm bell to get them out. The USPS destruction is openly admitted by Trump. Finesse, spin, whatever you want to call it, have been abandoned. The Republicans see the enemy all around and the Alamo must be held!

    I remembered being alarmed by Reagan appointing James Watt to the EPA. It was beyond imagining that the right would get us to where we are today.

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    1. Yes, James Watt was so bad, even embarrassing to Reagan, he had to step down. So what does it say about our country that we now have presidents and Cabinet members pretty well immune to embarrassment? Talk about the arrogance of power!!

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    2. “Netanyahu has said he has had to abandon annexation because the US gave him no choice”. I wonder whether that really was the reason and not the UAE wanting to avoid regional backlash for ‘too much’ selling out Palestinians, while of course allowing it as soon as this Deal’s dust has settled.
      He apparently has no clue yet as to how exactly implement that final stage of the annexation, while calling it a US demand mitigates outrage from his own right wing. So far it’s all election and deflection rhetoric, until international disapproval falls asleep and he can pounce unopposed.
      As for The (growing) Squad, absolutely wonderful :-).

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      1. I never noticed any MSM news item about this “abandonment” of annexation of the West Bank. This was to be a supposed “legal” maneuver. annexation by Netanyahu’s signature on a document, yes? So it’s all too easy to predict that Israeli settlers will simply continue to seize Palestinian properties bit by bit, as they’ve been doing all along. There can be no peace in the “Middle East” under these circumstances.

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        1. Greg, I am a subscriber to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. That’s where I got the story. I never watch MSM, don’t even have a TV. After 23 years working for ABC, my advice to one and all is turn it all off.

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          1. I “cut the cord” myself around last Thanksgiving (a budgetary matter primarily, but I was only looking at 5% or less of the channels offered anyway). I still “rely” on MSM for a general idea of what’s going on (helpful to know if a major storm is approaching!), always applying my own very skeptical analysis. CNN is my internet homepage, I subscribe to NY Times digitally–primarily for movie and book reviews, really–and listen, with increasing dissatisfaction, to NPR News while washing dishes or what have you. I often see references to Haaretz in alternative news coverage of Israeli affairs.

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  11. As usual, Biden and the corporate Dems are already abandoning the idea of a public option for health care (they’ll never go for Medicare for All). “Tweaks” to Obamacare are the best we can hope for — during a pandemic in which nearly 30 million people have lost their health care! Tell me again why Biden is worth voting for?

    “On the eve of a Democratic National Convention taking place as millions lose health care coverage, the health care industry is launching a new ad campaign pressing Democrats to back off the party’s already compromised health care promises. That pressure seems to be having its intended effect on Capitol Hill as congressional aides say the party will not push the initiative if Biden wins. The signs of retreat come as health care industry profits are skyrocketing and the industry’s campaign cash has flooded into Democratic coffers.”

    https://sirota.substack.com/p/dems-begin-signaling-their-post-election

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    1. At some point since the reality of the pandemic manifested, I heard the following “promises”: 1.) one of the Dem. POTUS wannabes–and it may even have been Biden himself!–said the Fed. Gov’t would pick up the tab for Covid-19 related healthcare; and 2.) Trump himself, I believe (though it could’ve been a Cabinet member, I suppose), stated that if an effective vaccine comes to fruition it will be given to the public FOR FREE. And politicians ALWAYS keep their “promises,” right??

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Like a deep-space probe, after another two years of negligible activity, Nancy Pelosi and her pals have come to life just in time for another election. After all the damage Trump has done and continues to do on a daily basis to the Republic, the Democrats have yet to say anything about the treaties and agreements the US has pulled out of or will soon pull out of, or of stopping/overriding the stack of Presidential orders that opened lands to mining/oil operations and removed other environmental protections, or … the list is long. The corporate tax breaks.
    They thought they had the previous election in the bag. They think they have this election in the bag. If the Biden/Harris ticket wins, and the best they can offer is “we’re not Trump/Pence” – which seems to be the strategy – then America’s fate will be truly sealed. I’m through with the Democrats. If the electorate can’t see that they only represent themselves and the corporate interests that fund them, then I’m through with them, too..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A National Public Radio News summary today (17 August in Eastern USA) reported that potential Dem. voters are showing less enthusiasm for voting this year than their GOP counterparts. Gee, we can’t imagine why, huh?! [wink]

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Folks may have to ponder “What”s more exciting, voting for Joe Biden or staying home and watching paint dry on the wall?” “God” save our republic!!

          Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s possible voter participation could rise due to mail-in ballots. But if the postal service “loses” them … and the Trump team pushes fraud … I can even imagine violence, at least on the small scale, if Biden wins because of mail-in voting.

        Like

        1. Didn’t Trump himself, or someone very close to him, make “vague threats” many, many months ago about violence erupting if he’s declared to have lost? May even have been in 2019.

          Like

  13. First off, I supported Congresswoman Gabbard’s quixotic campaign during the Democratic Party’s primary elections this year. I found her relatively principled for a politician and refreshingly articulate. I thought she had some intelligent and independent positions — especially in the area of foreign policy — although it became rapidly obvious that the decayed and derelict Democratic Party would have none of her. (Hence, I will have none of them). As I understand, another person has won the Democratic Party primary in her Hawaii district and will contest with a Republican for her seat in Congress. Come January of next year, she will have to find something else to do with her life. Where she goes from here, I have no idea. Writing in her name for President — without knowing if she plans on joining and working to build a new People’s Party — seems pointless to me at this time.

    In 2016, I voted for Dr Jill Stein of the Green Party because (among other things) she proposed cutting the vast money-laundering Pentagram War Budget by 50%, which I thought would make a good beginning for any new administration. Of course, for my “leftist” part, I want to see the CIA and Department of Homeland Security abolished; also the FBI; the 6-Mega-corp media-oligarchy busted up under the Anti-Trust laws, etc. Sensible things like that.

    Then I checked up on this year’s Green Party presidential candidate, Howie Hawkins, and discovered an unreconstructed “Russia-gater” of the first order: Howie Hawkins on RussiaGate, Julian Assange & Assad. So much for the Green Party. What a monumental waste.

    The political (especially the red-baiting) environment in the United States has become a certifiable lunatic asylum, with its own Pathological Puppet Theater where the audience — i.e., the public — gets to applaud at designated intervals laughingly called “elections.” So, go out and clap with your vote, servile subjects. Let the producers of such swill know that you “approve” of their two — i.e., twin — moronic offerings. Meanwhile the disinterested observer from the Orient ponders the ancient Zen Koan: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. No doubt Bill Astore will weigh in on all the Republican wannabes speaking at the “virtual” Democratic Party Convention. But in the meantime a few words about the subject from Michael Tracey’s twitter feed:

    Michael Tracey @mtracey · 3h They completely shut out Tulsi from this convention even though she won delegates in the primaries and was consistently the most-Googled candidate

    Someone tried to take issue with the plural “s” in “delegates” won by Tulsi Gabbard in the primaries:

    Caroline Houck @carolinehouck · 2h Tulsi Gabbard was like 50 American Samoan votes away from that being *delegate* — singular — but okay go off twitter.com/mtracey/status…

    Michael Tracey responded:

    @mtracey · 2h That’s two more delegates than Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, Jay Inslee, Andrew Yang, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Seth Moulton received: all of whom spoke tonight. (And two more than Kamala Harris, whose campaign imploded before voting even started). But go off

    So Joe Biden picks as his running mate someone who hadn’t even won a single delegate and who dropped out before voting even started.

    Some more relevant material from Mike Tracey’s twitter feed:

    Michael Tracey @mtracey · 2h Oh and lest we forget Tom Steyer, who also spoke tonight. He received zero delegates despite spending $345 million

    Michael Tracey @mtracey · 1h Politicians pay tens of thousands of dollars for operatives to write lines like “We are standing at the crossroads of an inflection point for the soul of this nation and our children’s democracy something something check out my podcast”

    Michael Tracey @mtracey · 5h Mistakenly tuned in early to a feed of the Dem Convention just in time to hear some dead-eyed pundit, apparently allowed to speak only in cliches, explain “What Joe Biden needs to do this week”

    Michael Tracey @mtracey · 4h So thrilling and informative to hear political reporters on TV speculate about “what to expect” from convention speakers who are going to deliver their speeches in like 20 minutes

    Michael Tracey @mtracey · 4h OK this thing is already painfully insufferable after approximately 30 seconds

    Michael Tracey @mtracey · 4h When I think of who in the United States is best positioned to present a major party’s nominating convention, the first person that comes to mind is definitely Eva Longoria

    Michael Tracey @mtracey · 4h Never could have guessed that the “reckoning with racial injustice” just automatically meant “elect Democrats”

    Michael Tracey @mtracey · 4h As you can tell, there has never been a protest movement that so neatly aligned with establishment interests — hence the enthusiastic establishment support it received virtually overnight

    Michael Tracey @mtracey · 3h COVID isn’t a metaphor, it’s an infectious disease, but Andrew Cuomo is a metaphor for megalomaniacs who appoint themselves some kind of bizarre philosopher king

    Michael Tracey @mtracey · 3h The federal response to COVID has been horrible, but if Trump is personally responsible for each COVID death, where exactly does that leave Cuomo

    Michael Tracey @mtracey · 3h Imagine being a normal person and voluntarily choosing to watch this

    Michael Tracey @mtracey · 3h Wow, John Kasich standing at a literal “crossroads” in a field somewhere in Ohio. Stunning and historic

    Liked by 1 person

  15. From this morning’s email to a friend, only slightly off point:

    And yes, I finally got my “stimulus money” (sorry, but it’s gonna take more than $1200 to get my vote), but I’m still not happy. To wit:
    So, the Democrats’ Presidential ticket is now up and running. It’s not encouraging. I make no claims to being politically savvy, but the “message” appears to be “we’re not Trump/Pence” and if that’s the best you’ve got, why not run Michael Dukakis again? I think he’s still alive. Or maybe one of Al Gore’s suits.
    Joe Biden doesn’t strike me as Presidential timber. I think the choice of Sen. Harris was not his, but forced on him by the DNC in a reactionary, media-driven move. My memory isn’t what it once was, but though I remember Biden saying he would choose a woman as a running mate, I don’t recall him saying she would be a “woman of color.” I do remember reading that his VP choice “should be a woman of color” which in recent weeks turned into “was going to be/needed to be a woman of color,” a reflection, I felt, of the recent social unrest.
    My feeling is Sen. Harris would not have been his choice – not after the way she routinely savaged him in the debates (Was her dropping out of the running her side of a deal for the VP slot? Sure.).
    Democrats – both the DNC and the rank & file – like to believe they are the all-inclusive party of diversity, that all the racists/bigots are on the other side of the aisle. I think they are going to find that’s not exactly true. It looks & feels like they’re pandering to the Black vote and looking for the endorsement of the Black Lives Matter organization which is suddenly seen as a potent political force, probably because it is in the news a lot (having co-opted the recent deaths & demonstrations – contemporary Horst Wessels). But while they have displayed a talent for seizing opportunities they haven’t shown they can deliver anything politically yet, and that’s what counts. Maybe it’s because I’m old, cynical, and stupid, but has it not occurred to anyone that rolling out the Obamas and Black members of Congress and preaching a picture of diversity which doesn’t really seem to include Latinos, immigrants from anywhere and certainly not Native Americans might alienate more than a few people and push them toward the Republicans? In 2016, the Republican party – always and still seen as primarily a pro-big business/anti-little people party – became the PPO: Party of the Pissed Off. Doesn’t matter if it’s a hyper-hypocritical stance, getting out the vote is what counts. One of the new guilt/shaming phrases is “be on the right side of history,” a stupid remark on any level you choose. Even so – and it’s nothing personal – my feeling is the choice of Sen. Harris for VP will prove to have been a tactical error compounding a true lack of strategic vision around a non-entity candidate brought about by the DNC’s believing (as they did four years ago) that this election is a mortal lock.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. butsudanbill–Your comments require a numbered list of my responses! 1.) I think (I sure hope!) Joe Biden’s mental functioning is still superior to that of Reagan’s on the latter’s first day in office of term number one. Somehow we survived eight years of Ronnie. Kamala Harris is no dope–though I’m just waiting for Trump to label her “a very low IQ person,” as he likes to do with black women–and I don’t think the Ruling Class will freak out if she has to step up an office if Biden kicks the bucket; 2.) I agree that Harris was likely the DNC’s pick, as was Joe himself of course; 3.) does all this constitute pandering to black potential voters? Perhaps. As to a lack of real diversity in the speakers at Dems’ convention, I can’t comment. I’m certainly not wasting any time actually monitoring that event. If ever there was an election year when neither party even needed to hold a convention, in the flesh or virtual, this is surely it! Of course, 2/3 of activity at the traditional conventions consisted of excessive consumption of alcohol anyway!; 4.) to my knowledge, Black Lives Matter (as with “antifa”) is not a single, organized entity. [Note: I think there may be some foundation whose name is similar to BLM. “The Movement for Black Lives” perhaps?] It’s more like a concept. I don’t think there is a BLM entity that could endorse the Dem. candidates, and if such a thing happened Trump would immediately paint a picture (for his blue-haired old lady suburban demographic target) of “violent anarchists” running wild in the streets. In fact, he’s already said that’s what a Biden win will bring, ipso facto, to say nothing of “the end of religion” (!!!); 5.) efforts to “reform” police departments have already met stiff resistance and any legislation passing has been severely watered down. We may be sure Biden/Harris will fundamentally stand with The Boys in Blue. Nothing there for progressives to celebrate, but speaking of fundamentals, “at least they [Joe and Kamala] aren’t, indeed, Trump/Pence.” At the end of the day, that’s what’s really going to decide things; 6.) I’d say the Modern Republican Party is the Party of the Pissed-Off Against the Wrong People. Will Americans ever identify the Ruling Class, instead of hapless immigrants, as the enemy?? We shouldn’t hold our breaths waiting; 7.) finally, on a happy note, congrats on getting your “stimulus” funds! Wow, I guess it took a while for some minor bureaucrat to figure out where you reside! Don’t spend it all in one place, nyuk-nyuk.

      Like

  16. “During the intervals between elections the political existence of the citizenry is relegated to a shadow citizenship of virtual participation. Instead of participating in power, the virtual citizen is invited to have ‘opinions’: measurable responses to questions predesigned to elicit them.” — Sheldon S. Wolin, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (2006)

    So here we go again with another depressing daily episode of . . .

    The Circus that Wouldn’t Leave Town

    From time to time, the circus once arrived,
    Quadrennial in its appointed rounds.
    Yet somehow it has artfully contrived

    To never leave — bombarding us with sounds
    And sights so lurid and insistent that
    Whatever tripe The Candidate expounds

    Begins to clog the arteries with fat,
    Inducing aneurisms in the soul
    Through endless touting of a puerile spat.

    Consultants endlessly conduct a poll
    Which tells us what they wish for us to hear:
    That folks like us will play our scripted role.

    Commercial ads have made that crystal clear.
    If only fright were all we had to fear

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2012

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh, yes. And lest we forget about the Empire of Humanitarian Starvation Sanctions and Bombings for “Democracy,” Jesus, Boeing, and Facebook: suit up, fellow Crimestoppers, for another thrilling quest to rescue the fair prosecutor/Woman-of-Color from the “Russian” vampire unicorn holding her hostage on Social Media somewhere:

    Some of you May Die, But it’s a Sacrifice I [Joe Biden’s Twitter account management team] am Willing to Make.

    [Applause!]

    Like

  18. I’m surprised that David Sirota, who worked for Bernie Sanders, had this to say about Democrats’ alleged “choice”:

    “If the Sanders-Biden battle was perceived as a choice between Sanders’s daunting promise of an exhausting revolutionary struggle and Biden’s promise of a glide path back to normal, then it’s no mystery why Biden ultimately prevailed. Easy street was an understandably alluring vision for an electorate already tired out by Trump’s never-ending conflicts and controversies.

    In reality, though, this was not a choice between two possibilities — it was a choice between honesty and fantasy, and Democratic voters picked the latter.”

    https://sirota.substack.com/p/did-americans-want-a-political-revolution

    I disagree with him because Democratic voters chose nothing. They had no choice. The DNC, the establishment, and especially Obama intervened to torpedo and sink Bernie just as he was riding high. Saint Obama even convinced Amy K. and Mayor Pete to drop out; we’ll see their rewards/price if Biden wins.

    Democratic voters, when polled, broadly support Bernie’s agenda. But DNC operatives don’t give a f*ck about what voters want; they care about what the owners and donors want.

    This is why I refuse to watch this convention. It’s a rigged, dishonest, show.

    I know what happened to the two candidates I favored: Bernie and Tulsi. And I refuse to reward the DNC with my vote based on everything that we witnessed in this corrupt primary season.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I’ve seen headlines talking about how wonderful Michelle Obama’s speech was last night. Here’s an example from NBC: “Michelle Obama delivers scathing indictment of Trump at the 2020 DNC;
    The former first lady said it’s obvious the president is not up to the job and called on Americans to vote for change.”

    Hey, Barack and Michelle: You held office for eight years. EIGHT YEARS. What happened to the hope and change we were looking for? Where was Medicare for all? Where was a higher minimum wage for workers? You had a supermajority in Congress and did almost nothing. Why didn’t you have the fervor, the attitude, the guts (however narcissistic), of a lightweight and ignoramus like Trump?

    Why should we listen to you now? When all you’ve done since 2017 is write books, make lots of public appearances, all for very hefty fees?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Hefty fees,” indeed. The Obamas scored 30 million dollar payoffs each — 60 million for both — upon leaving office, for “books” they hadn’t even written. No two greasy-pole-climbing grifters — not even the Clintons — scored like that upon leaving the US presidency. The Clintons only got 8 million each for future “books,” the discharge of their 6 million dollars in legal fees, and a couple of small-million dollar estates, one in New York and one in Washington DC. Even in total, they got nothing to compare with how the Obamas initially scored (although the Clinton slush fund “foundation” did pretty well for awhile until 2016 put an end to all the “donations”). These political parvenus (the Clintons and Obamas) served the transnational Global Corporate Oligarchy well and did very well themselves as a result. Like James Michener wrote about the missionaries who went to Hawaii to save souls: “They went to do good, and did very well” (winding up owning most of the best land and pineapple plantations).

      I understand that Michelle produced a vapid something-or-other about “Being,” a nebulous concept that even Aristotle failed to define. Typical rhetorical flatulence from the Obamas who, as you correctly note, had all sorts of political capital and lost no opportunity using it to protect corrupt Wall Street casino gamblers from “the people with pitchforks” who just so happened to have put the Obamas in office. So the people with pitchforks put Donald Trump into the White House as revenge for the Obamas’ and Clinton’s betrayal. Whether they will do it again remains to be seen, but it wouldn’t surprise me they did.

      And the Clintons have yet to start blathering their self-interested harangue at this “virtual convention.” One could probably date the demise of the Biden/Harris “not Trump” campaign from that point alone. Bawl and Pillory. What ugly thoughts.

      Sorry for suggesting that you might sacrifice yourself watching this drivel so that we didn’t have to. Very inconsiderate of me. But just a quick scan of the media headlines ought to serve as much as anything to put this shit show into proper perspective. I would have watched a speech by Tulsi Gabbard, but not anyone else, including Bernie “Joe Biden is a friend of mine” Sanders.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Old joke:
    Masochist: “Hurt me!”
    Sadist: “. . . no.”

    Updated US version circa (from Ronald Reagan to the Present):
    Democrat: “Hurt me by calling me nasty names like “leftist” and “radical!”
    Republican: “If you’ll continue running even further to the right than me, well, OK.”

    In other words . . .

    Worshipping the Whip

    “Abhorrent adoration,” that’s the term:
    An oxymoron crafted to describe
    “Resistance” with the backbone of a worm

    Or, “Democrats,” the other right-wing tribe,
    Those now attacking Fascists from the right
    Who call them “Leftists” anyway, a jibe

    Full of contempt for those who will not fight
    For anything but table scraps and trash
    Who kneel for every lobbyist in sight

    Who shun the take-off but embrace the crash
    Providing cover for the donor class
    Who for a quid-pro-quo supply the stash

    The Slogan of The Owners, crude and crass:
    “You buy the Elephant and rent the Ass.”

    A contradiction joining hate and love
    Like Stockholm Syndrome, victims of abuse
    Become enablers of the one above

    Whom they profess to find lewd and obtuse
    While, in reality, they bow and scrape
    Excusing conduct lecherous and loose

    “Forgiving” rich men like the Orange Ape
    In hopes that he might “trickle down” to them
    Some funding for their Culture War escape

    So they can blame the poor, a strategem
    Republicans have long perfected which
    Permits the trust-fund wealthy to condemn

    As “unsuccessful” those below their niche
    Who live in tents beside the drainage ditch

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2018

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I kid you not, fellow Crimestoppers, I keep hearing that Colin — WMD in Iraq — Powell (a Bush/Cheney Republican flack and minion) will speak at the Democrats virtual convention. Yes. Mr Veracity himself (as a possible warm-up to Deputy Dubya himself doing a song and dance number with Michelle Obama?) Every time I suspect that the Democratic Party has run out of Republican asses to lick, I discover that their appetite for degradation and humiliation knows no depths below which it cannot sink. So, here you go, Democrat bootlickers. Rehabilitate this:

    Deputy Dubya’s Droopy Diaper Rap

    You fell asleep on watch and let some bad guys blow us up,
    And when you woke you swore to pay them back.
    You then attacked a country that had never done us harm
    Which seems to indicate it’s brains you lack.

    You needed made-up reasons that you thought the rubes would buy.
    You swore Saddam Hussein had done the crime.
    You had Ms. Rice warn darkly of some sprouting mushroom clouds
    In little less than forty minutes’ time.

    Dick Cheney spoke of spies who may have met one night in Prague
    Discussing who-knows-what? or when? or how?
    He claimed that all this nothing added up to something big
    That justified attacking Iraq now.

    Don Rumsfeld claimed to know just where to find those awful bombs.
    He said he knew exactly where they were.
    That none had ever come to light disturbed him not at all;
    For dreams, not facts, made better sales allure.

    And Colin Powell played along and told the world untruths
    In service to a man who oft betrays;
    And now no thinking person who resides on Planet Earth
    Believes a single word that this man says
    .

    Your CIA did what it does, whatever that might be;
    And spent more billions finding zilch to fear;
    But undeterred you pressed ahead until the spooks agreed
    To tell you everything you longed to hear.

    The Pet Press pundit sycophants fell quickly into line;
    For “access” they had sold their souls for free.
    You gave each one a nickname in return for which they swore
    To overlook your rank stupidity.

    The Congress went along and did precisely not one thing
    To cure us of our doubts about their worth.
    They swarmed aboard the lemming liner, “Gulf of Tonkin II,”
    And led us once again to rue their birth.

    So came the night of green-hued TV pictures from “The Front”
    With breathless claims of “Shock and Awe” profound
    That really only lulled and bored the viewers back at home
    Impressing no Iraqis on the ground.

    You and your team, of course, converged to watch the main event;
    To stomp and cheer each way-cool boom and bang.
    You had photographers snap pictures of you gettin’ down
    And doin’ that studly Texas hamster thang.

    With manhood issues unresolved, you pranced and leaped about
    With every adolescent urge fulfilled,
    You launched three dozen missiles at a Baghdad neighborhood
    Yet never cared to wonder whom you’d killed.

    And don’t you think that forty missiles seem a little much
    To cut the heads off three Iraqi men
    Who, anyway, were somewhere else when all the bombs arrived
    And not where you supposed them to have been?

    That word “decapitation” sounded swell not long ago
    But now only reminds us of your lies.
    Some folks have lost their heads, all right, just not the ones you planned;
    Just those who drive your trucks and cook your fries.

    So things have gone from only-bad to worse-than-that and more
    As GI coffins come home late at night;
    And billions run into the hundred-billions off the books
    Which makes those foreign lenders quake with fright.

    You started spouting Jesus jive because you think it sells
    Among religious folks who live in dread
    Of terrorist hijackers crashing into Red State barns
    And working people organized and led.

    To you, the Middle Ages sound like just the place to reign
    With hopeless people waiting for their doom
    Who every thousand years or so take off their clothes and climb
    Up on their roofs to wait for what? and whom?

    You learned to watch the NBA and do that high-five dance.
    You’ve learned your three-word mantras through and through.
    George Tenet taught you how to ‘slam-and-dunk’ and jockstrap-sniff
    But still you’ve never grown to more than you.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2005

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I felt enormously proud of Tulsi Gabbard during the primary campaign when she replied to Pillory Clinton’s scurrilous red-baiting of her by making the snake-haired Medusa drink her own urine, calling her “the Queen of Warmongers,” among other accurate observations. Still, the Democratic Party’s number-one female Nixon/McCarthy imitator (the once and future Goldwater Girl) will get yet another opportunity to speak (or screech) out of a computer or television monitor in those American homes or offices where no intelligent viewing alternatives exist. Talk about making America “Grate” again. With the “always there when they need you” Clintons contributing to the Trumpian cacophony, I didn’t know that the grating (on the world’s nerves) had ever stopped.

    Anyway, I consider Nixon/McCarthy red-baiting the single greatest symptom of national insanity that anyone could imagine, having lived through its various permutations and combinations for all of my life to date. So I automatically dismiss anyone as a candidate for national governance who utters even a syllable of the sleazy shop-worn slur. Yet I hear nothing but this insidious idiocy not only from the Global Corporate Oligarchy’s two “major” American right-wing factions, but from the American Green Party as well. So this political plague shows every sign of ravaging the United States Marketing Territory long after a vaccine for the Coronavirus has immunized the world’s population to a merely physical pestilence. For example:

    I don’t know if I can paste the following Twitter comment properly (since it contains a video segment) but I’ll try:

    Michael Tracey @mtracey

    “Here is Bolton successor Robert O’Brien today rattling off all the many ways in which Trump has been so very tough on Russia. (The list is non-exhaustive). Dems are oblivious to these actions, while GOP cheer them — despite Trump’s repeated pledges to pursue détente with Russia.”

    The Republicans invented red-baiting as a political club with which to bludgeon Democrats. Now the Democrats think they can red-bait not only the Republican President Donald Trump but any “leftists” in their own faction, apparently to save the Republicans the trouble of doing so themselves. Something evil merits investigation here. I sure wish that Tulsi Gabbard would host a town hall conversation (perhaps at the People’s Party Convention) dedicated to driving a wooden stake through this undead vampire’s rotten heart.

    Like

    1. Every time I hear or read of a so-called “Democrat” trying to red-bait a Republican I think of that restaurant scene in the move Love at First Bite where the jealous psychiatrist (D) tries to impress his girlfriend by hypnotizing the Count (R). Replies the Count, derisively: “Do not teach your grandmother how to suck eggs, Rosenberg. It is you who are getting sleepy.” Priceless: Love At First Bite Doc And Dracula Meet

      Like

    2. The Dems, as usual, seem determined to do the undead Nixon and McCarthy corpses’ work for them. What Democrat could ever stand for the Republicans calling them nasty names like “soft” or “weak” or anything. Oh the sheer terror of those word-like noises!

      [Again, at the virtual “Convention”]:

      Michael Tracey @mtracey · 2h “As usual the foreign policy portion was the most ominous. Pledges to be “tougher” than Trump, with calls for interventionism and occupation dressed up as a commitment to “alliances” and vague idealized multi-lateralism. Then again Joe voted for the Iraq War, so what do you expect.”

      There they go again. Dems trying to outflank the Republicans on the right hand shoulder of the road (or “center,” as they like to call it).

      Liked by 1 person

  23. “I Didn’t See It But I’ve Heard About It”:
    Renegade Republicans clearing the air about who is a Democrat and who isn’t.
    Renegade Republicans getting more air-time than actual Democrats.
    Conclusion Drawn: The American political system is rapidly closing in on becoming a true one-party system, and the DNC doesn’t care who knows it.
    The message to so-called progressives is, “Get on the team, son! Get on the winning team! Gots to all be pulling on the rope in the same direction. Get with the program or get gone.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. As Gore Vidal said quite some time ago: “The United States has only one political party, The Property Party, and it has two right wings.” Not exactly news by this late date in the Empire’s accelerating collapse. Therefore, I prefer to use the more accurate term “faction” instead of “party.” No sense going along with this threadbare imitation of a “Democracy” any longer. The late Sheldon Wolin used the term “Inverted Totalitarianism.” Probably about the most useful description of the United States Marketing Territory. Chris Hedges uses it quite often. Anyway, regarding the “convention”:

      A short clip from The Jimmy Dore Show (August 19, 2020): Low Ratings For DNC Convention!

      Jimmy Dore: [shows screenshot of report from the Hollywood Reporter showing picture of Michelle Obama]

      “Boom.” ‘TV Ratings: Democratic Convention Numbers Down for Night 1.’

      “Well, she should get a couple more republicans on there. That should get the numbers up.”

      Ouch!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Though Gore Vidal’s brilliant characterization of our “two-party system” is ever more spot-on with each passing year, I think the appearance of GOPers on behalf of Biden really is a reflection of just how revolting Trump is. The latter has certainly tried to satisfy his ego by carving out a legacy unique in our national history. It doesn’t bother him in the least that the legacy is one of utter vileness. The comedian Andy Kaufman said “I’d rather be hated than ignored.” Trump has made it his daily mission to be impossible to ignore, much as we’d prefer to be able to so do. John Kasich was being openly critical of Trump when I still had cable TV (up until last Thanksgiving), a frequent guest on CNN. But Kasich himself certainly clung to his rightwing GOP viewpoint on the whole. If there actually are any “undecided voters” out there in the vast, benighted America, will these appearances at the Dem. convention sway them toward Biden? A highly dubious proposition, methinks.

        Like

        1. Good point, Greg. Kasich & Co. are not convincing voters to change their votes from Trump to Biden. If anything, they are simply sending signals that Democrats are just as pro-business and anti-worker as your average Republican.

          What the Dems should be doing is exciting their base. Mobilizing the progressive wing. But they refuse to do so. They treat us with contempt, assuming we have nowhere else to go.

          Sorry, DNC: If you give me nothing, I’ll give you nothing in return.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. For all practical purposes, we really don’t have anywhere else to go; no candidate other than Biden or the Orange One has a chance of winning. For now. We don’t have viable alternatives…..YET. That could change by 2024.

            Like

          2. Right. That’s exactly the problem when the two mainstream parties have the funds and propaganda weight to stifle any actually progressive attempt at an alternative. Oh, how I wish things could change as soon as 2024!

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Agreed. While he was Ohio’s governor, Kasich absolutely toed the GOP line. And yet, in the early days of the 2016 election, he was billed as a moderate. Compared with the Orange One, he was, I guess.

          As you say, the Dems have pretty much guaranteed that undecided voters will not flock to their ticket. Biden is so uninspiring—leaving aside his many sins—I can’t see voters managing to gin up any enthusiasm.

          Like

    2. I will never respect Colin Powell. This is what I will always remember him for: During one of his televised briefings to the nation during the US’s War Against Iraq One, he pointed to a map and claimed Saddam’s “elite” (ha! ha!) personal guards were marching along such and such a route. He then stated his intention to pursue and “kill it.” Yes, several hundred or thousand individuals who’d never harmed a US citizen had been reduced to an “it” and slated for extermination. That will always represent the real Colin Powell for me. And I guess it’s appropriate he pronounced his given name “colon.”

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I just came across two typically hysterical red-baiting headlines from Huffpost:

    Senate’s Bipartisan Russia Report Refutes Trump’s Repeated ‘No Collusion’ Lie

    [no it doesn’t]

    and

    ‘Big Fan Of Yours!’: Trump’s Old Fan Mail To Vladimir Putin Revealed

    What unadulterated crap. The Russian Federation has a world-class statesman for a President in Vladimir Putin. He has served his country with distinction and has made every effort to establish co-operative relations with the United States. Why on earth should any American find that at all problematical? If only Americans could find someone even remotely in President Putin’s league. And if that simple recognition constitutes “fan mail,” then so fucking what? I survived one pointlessly pathological anti-communist crusade in Southeast Asia and sure as hell do not want to see one more American enlisted and brutalized into taking part in another, especially against a country not even communist.

    The Democrats today — and for quite some time past — simply have nothing to offer working-class Americans. Trying to stoke ignorant and bigoted fear and anger at Russia proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt. I only wish that the browbeaten twerp Donald Trump had the balls to tell the red-baiters — in both right-wing factions — to go pound sand and do what the people elected him to do: namely, (1) pull American armed forces from their marooned and hopelessly ineffective deployments abroad and (2) restore and reinvigorate peaceful and co-operative relations with Russia, its people, and its government. A real American leader could do these things and win resounding election for doing so. President Trump really needs to grow some hair on his chest and scrotum (most actual men do this at puberty). If the piss-ant Democrats and their senile champion Joe Biden can scare Trump into capitulating to rabid Russia-gating, then he really does need to go — and take warmongering Joe Biden with him.

    Like

  25. Doesn’t it seem like the Democratic Party is offering nothing this year except a return to the status quo? During a climate crisis, a pandemic, forever wars, and people losing their health care and being kicked out on the street?

    How do they think they can win on a message of Orange Man Bad? Elect Creepy Uncle Joe instead!

    The Trumpian Republican Party has a soul. It’s a dark soul, but it exists. WIth notable exceptions, the Democrats are soulless, as represented by Pelosi, Schumer, and Biden.

    Dark soul or no soul: which is worse?

    Of course, I understand those who’d vote for Biden because of the Supreme Court and similar concerns. Even so, it’s a grim choice indeed.

    Like

    1. You know how critical I am of what the status quo has come to be in this country, but the answer is a resounding YES! A return to the status quo is certainly preferable to four more years of Orange Man. Anyone who’s familiar with my comments here over time is aware of how crucial the Global Climate Catastrophe is, in my mind, to the future of humanity and the other occupants of our planet. Biden and Harris will offer no meaningful improvement. Of course not, they’re part of the Establishment (Harris undoubtedly has had to work much harder than Biden to get there), part of the problem. But really, do we want four more years of a POTUS consciously, intentionally working to ACCELERATE the destruction of the environment?

      Like

      1. As I understand your binary, either/or “logic”, you don’t want (a) the Republicans to do their own dirty work and take the blame for it. Instead you want (b) the Democrats to do the Republicans’ dirty work for them and take the blame for it. You know, the old Clinton/Obama “you dirty fucking anti-war hippies have nowhere else to go” thing. Let Citibank choose the cabinet and Rahm Emanuel take over as chief of staff calling the loyal “leftist” base of the party “Fucking retards.” Oh, yeah, Bring that crowd back — while doing their worst red-baiting impressions of Tricky Dick Nixon and Tailgunner Joe McCarthy into the bargain. No thanks. Sure, Trump hires ass-wipes like these, but he usually fires them in short order when they can’t perform. The Democrats just hire them and give them a lifetime guarantee of position and privilege.

        Put another way, do you prefer (a) the Republicans stabbing you in the chest or (b) the Democrats stabbing you in the back? At least you can see the Republicans coming at you with undisguised intentions, giving you at least some opportunity to get out of the way. And, anyway, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could defund any or all of the Trump administration’s budgets and egregious policies and Chuck Schumer could filibuster any and all of Trump’s administrative and judicial appointments — if these two “leaders” really objected to any of this institutionalized venality. Which they don’t. So, please give us a break with the awful Orange Man Bad stuff. We’ve had worse presidents. I shouldn’t even have to mention Ronald Reagan and Deputy Dubya Bush, just for starters.

        Democracy in America died at the end of WWII when the major corporations conspired with the career military brass to stage a coup. We’ve had pretty much a Corporate Imperial Junta in power ever since. No one who votes “D” or “R” or “G” in November will change any of this. Russia, China, Iran, and Venezuela have already determined the outcome for the American Marketing Territory — and with only a few thousand dollars worth of Facebook ads. I would have thought that you knew all this.

        At any rate, I understand from Jimmy Dore that the People’s Party will have their convention on August 30th. I do plan on tuning in. Way past time to do a Ross Perot on the useless and thoroughly corrupt Democrats. No reason for them to any longer exist. America already has more than enough native fascism with the the Republican right-wing faction. It doesn’t need a second (and junior) one calling themselves “Democrats” and pissing on FDR’s grave every chance they get.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hmmm. If some folks posting here are so obsessed with hating the Democrats they’ve blinded themselves to just how bad Trump really is…I can’t help such individuals.

          Like

          1. I’m in no wise blinded about how bad the Orange One really is; I understand full well. It’s just that I, and seemingly, others here, have no illusions about how bad the Dems really are. When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, I don’t think we’ll find that much to choose between Uncle Joe and the Dumpster. Joe won’t end the wars, won’t support Medicare for All, won’t give up his ties to Big Pharma, Big Credit, and Wall Street, and so on. His history with women in general is questionable at best, and then there was Anita Hill. He’s offering no solutions. I’m beyond disappointed that the DNC has chosen such a truly lame candidate. Not surprised, though.

            Like

          2. Denise–I fully understand all this and have expressed my lack of enthusiasm for the Corporate Dems. But to my mind, there is no getting around Trump being uniquely, massively unfit for the office he occupies. His gaining that position in the first place is a travesty USA may not live down for a long time.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Agree about the travesty part. We are the laughingstock of the world. Also agree that the Orange One is massively unfit to hold office. Whether he’s “uniquely” unfit is another story. I submit that others before him have been unfit on the same scale, perhaps just in different ways. Dubya immediately comes to mind, then Reagan. The current Occupant may be more openly malicious than his predecessors, and may be more prone to “saying the quiet things out loud,” as some of his staff put it. I’d say that Biden’s unfit-ness is at a very high level as well, based on his already-stated plans to change nothing, along with his, again, recorded declaration to veto any Medicare for All legislation that might come to his desk. In the face of the pandemic and the enormous loss of healthcare coverage to date in this country, such a stance is unconscionable. As I said of Hillary, not lesser of the evils, just a different evil.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. I imagine Biden’s Brain Trust advised him early on that “Medicare for All” smacks of the dreaded SOCIALISM!! The most he offers is to try to restore “Obamacare” to where it was pre-Trump, bucking up a health insurance industry that is greedy as hell and leaves many, many people behind. Yes, that’s the “best” one may hope for, and just another reminder of how inadequate “our” System is. I could sure use another $1200–even though I fully understand I’ll be asked to repay it in the future, via further loss of purchasing power of the $US, etc.–but the GOP has put up the usual roadblock because they don’t see enuf additional benefits to their corporate sponsors in the Dems’ new proposal. Trump AND Congress are fiddling while the country spirals deeper into the muck.

            Like

          5. They’re ALL fiddling while the country slides into the abyss. The Dems, yes, were much more generous with proposed relief measures, no doubt about that. Here we are, 3 weeks after the $600 extra unemployment benefit timed out, and months after the $1200 checks, and millions of people are so far down, they can’t see daylight. I may not have heard, because I’m not watching convention coverage, but as far as I know, Joe and Kamala have not outlined any specific actions for relieving the unemployment situation, the rent/mortgage shortfalls, and food insecurity. Sounds to me as if there’s been a lot of kumbaya, but no actual ideas. How many families will never recover from the last six months of disaster?

            Liked by 1 person

          6. Back in what seem like ancient times now, Bernie and some other candidates offered a Green New Deal to create millions of new jobs. The WPA and CCC did, in fact, save many, many Americans from starvation under the original New Deal. GOP and those they truly represent will always scream “We can’t afford it!” as they shovel a trillion dollars into the Pentagon (yes, with complicity of most Dems, because “‘defense’ brings jobs to my district!” We really, really need a better way to put people to work/back to work!).

            Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t trust Joe and Kamala not to continue the Orange Moron’s environmental policies, as much in the pockets of Wall Street as they both are. If they even leave in place the damage to the ESA and the plans to drill in the ANWAR, for example, the outcome will be disastrous.

        Like

        1. It seems like a no-brainer that if Trump can open parts of the “refuge” to fossil fuel exploration with the stroke of a pen (“Executive Order”), then Biden should be able to undo that in same fashion in his first week in office. If he failed to do that, it would be close to criminal. Energy companies would rush into court, screaming “But look, we’ve got signed contracts, and contracts are sacred!” It could take a SCOTUS ruling to void those contracts. (And maybe Chief Justice Roberts would hand an unpleasant surprise to the despoilers.) But the fight to salvage something of our only planet must go on!

          Like

          1. “…then Biden should be able to undo that in same fashion in his first week in office.”

            He should. I merely doubt that he will. But yes, the fight to save the planet must never stop.

            In the meantime, NRDC has filed suit against His Orangeness to try to block the executive order to which you refer.

            Like

          2. I think it’s been part of GOP strategy to tie things up in court, with ultimate hope that their majority on SCOTUS will win the day for them.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Shit. First Colin “WMD” Powell and now “Bomber” John McCain?

      Joe Biden and other warmongering American ass-wipes really like each other while starving and bombing foreign peasants in order to steal their resources (and while robbing domestic peasants in order to pay for all the plunder).

      As a Vietnam Veteran Against The War (the one that never ends) I have never forgiven the North Vietnamese for freeing John McCain and inflicting him back upon the people of the United States. Sure, I feel badly for all the millions of Southeast Asians that our military murdered trying to impose grifter proxy “governments” upon the Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians. Regarding the Vietnamese in particular, I can understand why they might hate us Americans and want to exact a fair measure of revenge for all the harm we did. But sending John McCain back to us to infest and infect our national government? I consider that just plain mean.

      Or, expressed somewhat differently:

      Mad Dog John McCain Bombs Again

      Get a life, John McCain: Now. Tonight.
      We’re so sick of you and all your slogans trite
      Face it: you lost back in ‘Nam
      So you’ll never sell your scam
      That if given one more chance you’ll do it right

      You couldn’t fly a plane to save your ass
      Now you want to peddle jokes of bombing crass
      Seems your time spent in the clink
      Never caused you much to think
      Of the people down below whom you would gas

      Not a pretty sight, your abject lack of grace
      Seems some stitches you should once again replace
      Then each time you kiss the bum
      Of some vicious right-wing scum
      You’ll get less shit on your sagging, lifted face

      Don’t you know when you’re not wanted, John McCain?
      Have you no conception of the grief and pain
      That your hero George has wrought
      Even though he never fought
      In the war that you forgot for your own gain?

      Why on earth do you suppose that we would choose
      Such a reckless fool as you to light the fuse
      Of another needless crime
      That you’d start to pass the time
      Just until you show another way to lose?

      One can summarize your policy insane
      As a take-off on the Third Reich’s brutal bane:
      “Where our soldier plants his boot
      On some foreign country’s loot
      Why then, there forever after he’ll remain”

      Not a dollar for a doctor, school, or job;
      Yet more billions for some bombs that you can lob
      At those hapless foreign souls
      Whom you brutalize for polls
      Claiming that your “straight talk” lies persuade the mob

      Oh, I hope you get that nomination soon
      Then your party can collapse into a swoon
      From the stench that fills the air
      Of that albatross you wear
      Dead as your career: you clueless, crude cartoon!

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2007, 2008

      Or words to that effect . . .

      Liked by 1 person

    2. On a break between watching a DVD and getting on this here computer, I put on the radio and heard most of Kamala Harris’s acceptance speech. Very tepid stuff, with preposterous claims about how Joe Biden is going to root out racism and social inequalities. Wow, I never noticed Joe’s red cape sticking out from under his suit jackets!!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Michael Tracey @mtracey · 5h “Was just reminded of this remarkable insight from Joe Kennedy, as he now pursues a Senate seat”

    Michael Tracey @mtracey · Jul 18, 2017 “Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) says his constituents are just as concerned with Russia as they are about healthcare https://apnews.com/3e12eec3b29e48

    I wonder if anyone we know who lives in Massachusetts can confirm this astounding claim. I guess susceptibility to this red-baiting shit must run in the Kennedy family. I know that JFK let the Republicans and senior military brass use it to bully him into committing US military forces to Vietnam. Now one of his descendants seems only too willing to buy into the same horse shit. What a complete and utter moron.

    Like

    1. It won’t surprise you to learn I voted against Kennedy and for Markey.

      Kennedy’s claim here is utter nonsense. And yes, I live in Mass.

      Like

  27. Michael Tracey @mtracey · 33m “The DNC claimed to be celebrating “women” tonight but totally ignored the first female combat veteran ever to run for president, the first Hindu ever elected to Congress, and the youngest woman ever elected to a state legislature. Weird.”

    Not a second for Tulsi Gabbard (a real woman) but the the snake-haired Medusa and “Queen of Warmongers” — who lost to a political novice and cable-tv game show host — got time at this “convention” to screech her self-absorbed bile at the “foreign adversary” who defeated her with a few thousand dollars of Facebook ads, over half of which aired after the 2016 election. I think I’ll call this wimpy Wagnerian soap opera: Gotterdammerung II: The Twilight of the Girls. Not a Brunhilde, let alone a Siegfried, in sight anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I watched the “highlights” of last night’s Democratic convention: https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000007297733/democratic-national-convention-highlights.html

    Nothing about policy. Nothing. Kamala says they’ll “act boldly.” Hillary talked about “expanding the circle of possibility.” Obama complained about Trump’s inability to grow into the job. And so on. All empty words.

    Kamala is great because she’s black and South Asian. And a woman. This makes her “historic.”

    Nothing about Medicare for All; a $15 minimum wage; ending the forever wars; reducing defense spending; defunding the police.

    It’s basically content-free. Oh, and did you know Joe and Kamala care about us? They really do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some pundits in MSM said Obama had let Trump have it with both barrels, to dig up an old expression. I heard only a brief soundbite on a radio news summary. These hagiographical speeches are to be expected, and just another reason I’d argued there’s no freakin’ need for EITHER party to hold a stupid damned convention this time, with the “contests” within each having been decided so long ago. Tonight I imagine violins will accompany Biden in his “big” acceptance speech. Final night of the Love-In for Joe. Seems Trump was tweeting his usual hate toward Obama during the latter’s presentation, proving that the SOB WAS tuned in to the Dems’ big show. Ho-hum. Next week the blatant HATERS will gather, in the flesh and online, to shower their LOVE on The Donald. I’ll work more vigorously still to avoid THOSE doings.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. If you introduce anything remotely resembling policy, you’ll get grilled for specifics. No one wants that.
    To talk about “social inequalities” opens you to charges of social engineering. More jobs for minorities? Sounds like Affirmative Action and, ultimately, a numbers game: filling slots which “violates the spirit if not the word” of the program (see: NFL/The Rooney Rule).
    And as for economic equality, that money will have to come from somewhere – so, who will it be taken from, whose wages will be frozen? I don’t expect businesses will willingly cut their profit margins, so that leaves maybe government incentives/subsidies?
    Welcome Back to The Seventies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I’ve said innumerable times–sorry, readers!–a bill for the damages to the economy stemming from the pandemic will be presented at some point, and the taxpayer/worker/consumer, of course, will be picking up the tab. It is truly mindbending how long the Banksters and their ilk have been getting away with kicking this can down the road! I will continue to advocate for a return to (something at least resembling) the Gold Standard. This make-believe money is just too damned easy for Gov’t to throw away. [And it doesn’t bother me if this puts me in Ron Paul’s camp! As they say, even a broken (analog of course) clock is right twice a day.]

      Liked by 1 person

  30. The Joe Biden Acceptance Speech Drinking Game, by Matt Taibbi 🙂

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/official-drinking-game-the-speech

    Drink EVERY TIME:

    Biden says, “Folks.”

    Biden says, “The United States of America.” Double-shots for any multiple-America construction, e.g. “The best America is an America where Americans believe in the American dream.”

    Biden says, “Middle-class.”

    Biden says, “Get up!” as in, “Folks, you’ve got to get up! This is the United States of America!”

    Biden says, “You guys.”

    Biden says, “Barack” or references the “Obama-Biden administration.”

    Biden says, “Soul of America.”

    Biden points out a surprising percentage of something, e.g. “Look, folks, seventy-four percent of venture capital goes to four cities.”

    Biden says, “My Mom used to say” or mentions one of his father’s relatable jobs, e.g. “He sold a hell of a lot of cars!”

    Biden makes a self-deprecating joke about his age or his tendency to say puzzling things.

    Biden finishes a section of his speech with a rhetorical flourish, and he sounds angry, and you can’t tell why, because he’s talking about something non-angering.

    Biden tells a story about a rewarding interaction with an ordinary person, as in, “I walk over to the guy up in the bucket. And there’s seven guys around him, all with hard hats on. I yelled up and said, ‘Hey, man, thanks!’”

    Biden references a job you’ve never heard of, as in “Why is a sandwich maker being forced to sign a non-compete clause?”

    Biden says “systemic.”

    Biden tells us there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.

    Drink the FIRST TIME only:

    Biden begins a sentence with, “Look.”

    Biden mentions Scranton.

    Biden says something that sounds sort of inappropriate.

    You may FINISH THE BOTTLE or QUIT if Biden combines any four of the above in one sentence, e.g. “Look, folks, we’ve got to get up if we’re going to be the kind of America we know America can be.”

    “Malarkey,” as always, is an automatic drink.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very droll! I haven’t been fall-down drunk in more than 50 years and it’s not an experience I find enjoyable, so I will not be participating in this drinking game. Ain’t gonna follow the damned speech in real time, anyway. Those of you who choose to join in…enjoy your hangovers Friday morning!!

      Like

  31. Apparently, Joe Biden managed to string enough sentences together to make an “acceptable” acceptance speech. Unfortunately, he couldn’t resist squandering a rare few minutes of coherence spewing in the same tired, scurrilous lies that 2016’s Democratic loser candidate has peddled for the last four years. From a short review article by Nebojsa Malic, RT.com (August 21, 2020): American ‘darkness’: Biden recycles Clinton’s 2016 language in final DNC speech, painting divisiveness as unity.
    . . . [snip] . . .
    “The second fiction was ‘Russiagate’. A President Biden, he said, would “not turn a blind eye to Russian bounties on the heads of American soldiers” or “put up with foreign interference in our most sacred democratic exercise.” These were direct references to a debunked New York Times story – the bounties were groundless speculation – and Hillary Clinton’s excuse for losing in 2016, which Democrats clearly remain obsessed with to this day.”

    Applied to particular female personalities, I understand “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” but it escapes me why the junior right-wing faction of the American Marketing Territory’s One Party Corporate Oligarchy should adopt that bitter blanket of bullshit as its own signature slogan. Anyway, here’s a non-alcoholic toast to

    Tricky Joe McCarthy’s Dick

    Red-baiting, Russia-gating,
    Nixon and McCarthy set the “standard.”
    Tricky Dick, Tailgunner Joe,
    Now have Democrats in tow;
    Down through Hades’ depths they go;
    Blaming each and every woe
    On some guy named Putin: ‘Oh!
    Vladimir stepped on my toe!’
    Trying hard their chance to blow;
    Saw two roads and took the low;
    Joined Republicans to sow
    Dragons’ teeth, those seeds that grow
    “Soldiers” pissing at the ones they slandered.

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

    Like

    1. Come to think of it, we corporate customers can easily “put up with turning a blind eye to” utter and complete rhetorical horse shit. Plugging the nostrils to the stench of it, though, may prove a bit more difficult. Who writes this kind of credulous crap, anyway? And does someone actually pay them for it?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Thus far I have managed to avoid even the briefest soundbite from ‘Uncle Joe’s Big Acceptance Speech last night. But I get the impression he’s being marketed something like this: “More powerful than a speeding locomotive! Faster than a bullet! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!” Right. MSM saying Joe painted a picture of “darkness on America” under Trump’s reign. Trump’s scintillating reply today: “Look at all we’ve accomplished!!” Yeah. And HOW IS that border wall coming along, Donny?

          Liked by 1 person

  32. From a friend: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) confirmed Thursday night, just before the last night of the Democratic National Convention, that she was completely snubbed by the party, despite being a Democrat presidential candidate and receiving delegates.

    “You’re correct — I was not invited to participate in any way,” Gabbard tweeted, in response to an apparent supporter who reminded viewers that candidates who receive delegates traditionally are offered a speaking slot but Gabbard was not given a slot.
    ******

    A serving Major in the U.S. military, a woman of color, a person of integrity, a candidate who won delegates, and she’s utterly snubbed by the DNC, despite endorsing Joe Biden.

    That confirms everything I know about Biden/Harris and the DNC.

    Like

      1. You aren’t alone. When I saw Obama—a guy who was then new on the national scene—give his speech at the 2004 Dem convention, I said, “He’s going to be President one day. That’s what he’s being groomed for.” I just had no idea it would only be four years later.

        I have to admit, however, that although it was clear from day one of the campaign that His Orangeness would be a disaster in office, I couldn’t then conceive how truly horrific his reign would be.

        Instances such as Dubya’s going to war in Iraq….pppffftttt! Doesn’t take a crystal ball for things like that, with Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Bolton in place. Predicting that stuff doesn’t count. : )

        Like

        1. I never heard O’s 2004 speech, but the media indeed pegged him as on the rise for “big things.” Trump revolted me from his first appearance as a candidate; I had no prior exposure to him on that “The Apprentice” nonsense. I only knew he was ON that show. I didn’t watch primetime TV drivel. But I’m with you, I didn’t grasp just how bad news Trump would prove to be. To my knowledge, no mainstream candidate–George Wallace ran as a “third party”–had ever openly (key concept) accepted the support of KKK types.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’d never seen anything of the Orange One before the campaign, either, and I made a point of it to never watch any of his ads or speeches. To this day, I have yet to see any live appearance of his, or any taped presentation. I’ve heard about his tweets and comments second-hand. His persona and views so repel me, I simply couldn’t bear to watch him.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. True confession: I preserved (on recordable DVDs) “debates” 2 and 3 with Hillary. I felt Trump’s conduct was so remarkable–the creeping up behind the vertically-challenged former First Lady and breathing down her neck, etc.–that it ought to be archived. A study in bizarreness, to put it mildly.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Not to mention, early proof of his mental instability. But of course, absent a one-on-one examination by a credentialed-out-the-wazhoo specialist, we can’t say that he’s mentally ill….

            Like

          4. Oh, petty details! I ain’t got no degree in Clinical Psych. but have no doubt whatsoever the guy is literally DERANGED.

            Like

          5. I can’t find it now, but a few months ago I plowed my way through a noted clinical psychologist’s lengthy, technical analysis of the Dumpster’s behavior and affect, and the expert’s opinion was that said Occupant scored more than 15 out of 20 on the standard Hare Psychopathy Checklist. But I didn’t need a diagnosis from such a high authority to convince me.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. Right. One need only observe his conduct, before and after being elected, and his absurdly untruthful statements. Now, this might be an interesting aspect of the Trump Coronation celebration starting Monday: How will his “act” come off broadcasting over TV without a crowd of thousands of his rabid supporters in the same physical space with him?

            Like

          7. That’s a very real possibility! And I imagine this televised affair is gonna be produced by Fox “News,” even if they’re not officially credited.

            Liked by 1 person

  33. I’d like to share Bruce Franklin’s article here, in which he argues we should vote for Biden/Harris: https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/08/21/which-side-are-you-on-4/

    But I disagree. The question for me is whose side are they (the Republicans and Democrats) on? It seems to me they’re on the same side: the rich, corporations, the military-industrial complex, the powerful and well-connected. They’re not on my side.

    I despise Trump but the Biden/Harris ticket is a vote for forever war.

    I understand those who prefer Biden/Harris to Trump. I just can’t get past the hypocrisy and corruption of the DNC.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. That’s it, in a nutshell.

    Past is prologue. I remember Howatd Dean’s line all those years ago, to the effect of, “I represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.” Today, we’d say he represented the Progressive wing. And we saw what the Dems did to him.

    Like

  35. I am surprised that Trump (so far) is trying to portray Biden as being captured by the Left. Kamala too! It’s as if Trump thinks Bernie is the candidate, not Biden.

    This could cost Trump the election, for it’s obvious to anyone but the most slavish Trump supporter that Biden/Harris is not a triumph of socialism, leftism, or any other -ism other than capitalism.

    When will Trump smarten up and run to the populist left of these tools? Maybe he really misses Bannon.

    Like

    1. Bill A.–Whoa, were you drunk when you posted this?! First, Trump has been tarring the entire Dem. Party as “leftist extremists” for months now! And second, isn’t it clear Trump is utterly incapable of moving to “the populist left” of anyone? The story of the GOP these past few decades has been one of an ongoing descent into SHEER INSANITY!!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Greg: In a way, Trump ran to the left of Hillary in 2016. He said he was against the Iraq and Afghan wars. He said he wanted to end forever wars. He said he was against Nafta, the TPP, and other trade deals that screwed workers. He said he wanted to stop American jobs from going overseas. And so on.

      These positions were more populist than what Hillary was selling. Sure, Trump didn’t mean much of it, but his message resonated with a lot of workers who were tired of Democrats’ neo-con foreign policy and neo-liberal economic policies.

      Yes, Trump is always railing and ranting against the Left, but again this is hardly an apt description of the DNC and Biden/Harris. I think Trump will adjust his rhetoric in the fall; if he doesn’t, he might just lose. So I suppose we should hope he keeps ranting against radical leftists …

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True, Trump did spout “pseudo-populist” rhetoric in 2016. And to his “credit,” he did alter NAFTA. “The Democrat [sic] Party has been taken over by leftwing extremists” I’m sure will be one of his big applause lines on the campaign trail this year. His supporters will cheer like crazy, but speaking of CRAZY, the inmates of the asylum are working the gears of Trump’s own party. That party is 99% (there is a little internal dissent) committed to standing by their man. Their mentally deranged man.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Yes. As Jimmy Dore likes to point out, President Trump could easily run to the left of the country’s junior right-wing faction, or fascist junior varsity. End just one useless war — or easily three of them (Iraq, Iran, Syria) — and he would have done what no president in living memory has done. Student debt relief or pandemic duration health care would also put him over the top. But the billionaire donor class has his party by the short hairs and may feel that they’ve already gotten most of what they wanted from Trump. So whether Biden and the “Cop of Color” win matters not to them at all. With Pelosi and Schumer long-since in the bag, the Democrats won’t change anything — and, in fact, Joe Biden has already said that he wouldn’t. But hey, vote for him and them anyway?

      Of course, Trump’s bungling of the viral pandemic and working-class economic disaster (while joining the Democrats to take excellent care of Wall Street) would normally cost any president his job. But the red-baiting, excuse-mongering Democrats will no doubt do their best to keep the “horse race” neck-and-neck, even though only two bedraggled sewer rats ever get to run in it.

      Liked by 1 person

    4. Yes. Trying to position the Democrats to the “left” of the Republicans sounds like Genghis Khan calling Attila the Hun “insufficiently barbaric.” Fascist food fight over on the right hand shoulder of the road.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. I agree that, theoretically, His Orangeness could run to the left of Biden/Harris. Pretty much anyone could. But that’s objective reality. Perceptions are a whole ‘nother story.

      I can’t go along with your conviction that anyone but a devout Dumpter fan would see Joe and Kamala as emissaries of the right wing. There are millions—probably tens of millions—of people out there who are going to swallow the “leftwing extremist” propaganda that the GOP is handcuffing to Joe and Kamala. It’s obvious from the election results in the last few decades, along with the abject failure to demand better candidates, better policies, better anything, that the dumbing-down of this country has been successful. I’m terribly afraid that the GOP crazy train is going to attract all too many Average Citizens (I was going to say, “Average Joes,” but that would have been redundant!). I hope I’m wrong, but I think that if there are enough attack ads branding the Dems as wild-eyed anarchists, out to abolish guns, police, and all the freedoms, people will buy it.

      Like

      1. If H.L. Mencken, who tagged our basic know-nothing rube “boobus americanus” so long ago, was alive today, he’d rub his eyes (and ears? Hmmm, strange metaphor there) in disbelief over how much worse the nation is now. I feel Trump has a very strong chance of victory, even in an untampered with vote count, thanks to the Electoral College.

        Liked by 1 person

  36. Next week’s Republican Convention promises to be a major shit show — an exercise in outlandish distraction that’ll be both funnier (in a dark way) and excruciating than anything the Dems can produce.

    Leave it to Trump — he knows how to entertain, or better yet to inflame, the masses. They’re coming to take our statues! Our guns! Our police! Our walls! Our flag(s)! Our way of life!

    Live Free and Die!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MOST terrifyingly, for those idiotic enuf to swallow this horse poop, a Biden presidency will mean THE END OF RELIGION!! I’ll have to muster whatever resources it takes to avoid THAT “show of shows” next week! Kind of interestingly, I saw something on CNN online the other day (didn’t click thru for details) suggesting GOP might try their “big tent” game again leading up to Election Day. You know, “You gay folks, Muslims (even Jews!), Latinos, you’re all welcome under our big tent!” I guess “nasty women” will still be excluded. And speaking of Election Day, Trump stated publicly Friday his confidence that the presidential race likely will not be decided for a long time after Nov. 3. THAT statement from him I believe! I’m predicting demands for recounts, or even nullification of the results because of “voter fraud,” and dragged-out court cases. Get ready, folks, it’s coming!!

      Liked by 1 person

  37. This article does a good job of explaining how many of us feel about Biden and the Democrats

    View at Medium.com

    By Lauren Martinchek

    “[D]emocrats have opted to coalesce around a candidate that they did not even like.

    This genuinely doesn’t even have to do with Bernie. Of course, there’s a part of me that will never, ever forget the fact that after the tens of thousands of text messages I sent, the money donated, and the time and effort I and millions of other people contributed in order to help organize the Sanders campaign, Barack Obama was waiting for just the right moment to destroy everything that we had built and worked so hard for. On top of it, we’re told to sit down, shut up, be gracious in our “defeat”, and turn that energy towards electing Biden. Of course, there’s a part of me that will never get over the fact that democrats worked harder to stop a campaign that just wanted everyone to have decent wages and healthcare than they ever have to stop Donald Trump or the republican party, and I genuinely have not been the same since I watched it happen. All that being said however, I can’t help wondering about the consequences of doing all this just to effectively anoint a man who they never even had any confidence in to begin with.

    Let’s not forget that Barack Obama intervened on behalf of a man who he had not even wanted to run in the first place, and reportedly said his ability to “f*ck things up” should not be underestimated. At the start of the campaign, there was no one who was able to deny that over twenty candidates had decided to run because they genuinely did not believe that Joe Biden would be able to handle not only the rigors of a general election, but more important the position of the Presidency. While of course they weren’t wrong, far more concerning is the fact that he has absolutely nothing to offer the American people on top of it. Not even a public healthcare option in the middle of a global health pandemic.

    It was just six months ago that Joe Biden’s campaign was dead in the water, and the corporate democratic establishment had all but written him off entirely. There’s not a shadow of a doubt in my mind that if the alternative hadn’t been Bernie Sanders at the top of the ticket we would not be in the position we’re in today, with a candidate who can barely even be trusted to appear in public.
    I just can’t shake the feeling that bad things are coming in November.

    If anyone can bungle what should be a landslide victory against a President who was more concerned about his own re-election prospects than he was about the fact that hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives due to his failures, it would be the modern democratic party. The American people are quite literally faced with a choice between Republicans and Republican-lite, and polls are already beginning to reflect a lack of enthusiasm about the options.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A succinct, passionate statement of the fears so many of us have. And it lays bare the Dems’ machinations to produce this sorry situation. I sorta, kinda, in a way, understand Bernie’s actions, but I’d be much less disappointed in him if he’d have withdrawn and then kept his mouth firmly shut. Or, ideally, had refused to go quietly. I have to assume he thinks he’s acting for the good of the country, but he’s mistaken.

      Like

      1. I, too, understand Bernie Sanders’ actions, but my understanding does not fall into the category of exculpatory pleading. (It doesn’t seem that yours does, either) Senator Sanders has gone down this road before (in 2016) and has once again (in 2020) willingly played the Pied Piper for lifelong corporate warmongers like Mrs Bill Clinton and now Joe Biden. To this day he seems incapable of understanding that a foreign policy of militaristic imperialism sucks the life out of well-intentioned New Deal domestic social programs such as those Senator Sanders claims to value. He simply can’t make this obvious connection and truly seems to feel that foreign policy has nothing to do with domestic policy when, to the contrary, it constitutes the whole of it for the Ruling Corporate Oligarchy. His endless and tiresome bloviating about “revolution” reveals that he hasn’t the vaguest conception of what that concept truly entails.

        The problem with blaming others for promoting Joe Biden over Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic Party primary conveniently overlooks Bernie’s own — and exasperating — efforts on Biden’s behalf. See The Jimmy Dore Show (April 15, 2020): “Top Staffers Blame Bernie For Losing Campaign”. For those interested in having a printed record of this in-depth analysis by Jimmy and guest journalist Aaron Maté (which runs a little under 20 minutes), I have produced a transcript here. Worth saving for future reference I think.

        It always seemed to me that Bernie Sanders concerned himself more with keeping his Senate seat and committee assignments than actually deposing and replacing President Donald Trump. Of much greater long-term significance for any future “progressive” or “left” candidate in the essentially right-wing Democratic Party (may its rotting corpse rest in pieces), Bernie’s thoughtless appropriating and promoting of Red-baiting/Russia-gating as a valid political tactic — from someone old enough to remember the Republicans and their vicious Nixon/McCarthy vilification of the Democratic Party — will haunt American domestic/foreign policy far beyond the tepid tenure in office of Donald Trump. The Republicans will never relinquish their scurrilous creation and the aspiring, wannabe Republicans (i.e., “Establishment Democrats”) will never cease trying to teach their grandmothers how to suck eggs.

        Again, I highly recommend the Jimmy Dore discussion with Aaron Maté for the best available deconstruction of the Bernie Sanders campaign flop.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Or, the same idea worded somewhat differently:

          Always Moving to the Right (or, “Center”)

          Red-baiting wthout the reds,
          Dick Nixon without the dick,
          McCarthy went off her meds
          And tail-gunner Jane got sick.

          The Russians did something, but,
          No evidence proves a thing.
          The war witch got beat. So what?
          She wanted, and got, her fling:

          A last chance at breaking glass,
          The ceiling and not the floor,
          But fell on her ample ass
          And got booted out the door.

          She lost to a game-show host,
          A rookie on his first jaunt,
          A real-estate con at most,
          With money and wives to flaunt.

          More dollars she raised, then blew
          On pollsters who told her stuff,
          Except what they never knew:
          That people had said, “Enough!”

          They just wanted peace and jobs
          No NAFTA or TPP
          It hurt when she called them slobs
          Deploring their dignity.

          She campaigned as if by rote,
          Neglecting a few key states.
          The neophyte, he took note
          And trashed her in their debates

          The voters held up one hand.
          The finger to her they gave,
          Then sent (with a TV brand!)
          Her dreams to an early grave.

          She never did think to look
          How far from the Left she’d run.
          So seeing, the Right-guy took
          One step to the Left — and won.

          She then wrote a book (she said),
          Explaining (though in the dark),
          “What Happened” the title read
          But left out the question mark.

          Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2018

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Yes, Mike. Bernie refused to attack Biden directly. And he kept calling him his “friend” who could “beat Trump.” Well, if Biden is your friend who can beat Trump, why do we need you and your revolution? That’s a conclusion that more than a few Democrats reached.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. As a seasoned politician (who runs as Independent, BTW, but “caucuses with” the Dems), Bernie understands that we are force-fed the “choice” of Biden or Trump. There simply is no viable, pragmatic alternative. And that sums up the tragedy/travesty of US politics today. I will not vote for Biden because my state “should” be a lock for the Dems. If this was a “battleground” state, I would have to consider voting for Joe. This blight upon our nation–Jesus, am I starting to sound like a patriot?!–called the Trump presidency simply must be retired permanently to the golf course. Maybe some day he’ll actually get decent at that game! He WON’T be wearing an orange jumpsuit in the future, despite the fantasies of some.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. The pandemic may prove Biden’s savior. And I don’t mean because his opponent has so botched dealing with it. The fewer occasions Joe has to speak before live people, risking another insertion of his own foot deep in his mouth in an extemporary moment, the less will his slipping mental sharpness be displayed. And yes, CNN online has an article about Dems worrying that young voters don’t seem exactly on fire to vote for Biden. Combine this with Trump’s own pre-announced tampering with the election and I can’t see giving Biden anything like a big victory margin, if there’s even to be a victory. But my own reactions to Dem. Establishment’s bungling are not colored by disappointment in that party, like this author’s, because I have never been a supporter of that party.

      Like

      1. I’ve never been a card-carrying Dem, either, but as I have to declare an affiliation to vote in primaries, that’s the side I take. I’m fed up with the Dem Establishment because, unfortunately, the few candidates I’ve ever truly supported in the last couple decades have chosen to run on the donkey ticket, even though they’re Independents of one stripe or another: Bernie this year and in 2016, Dennis Kucinich in various candidacies. Therefore, I feel justified in vilifying the machine that perennially shoots down candidates who are genuinely worthy, who actually ARE interested in serving the country and their constituents, and who have no ties to Corporate America.

        Like

  38. In the category of “I’m rubber — you’re glue,” Trump claims it’s he who is preventing “anarchy, madness and chaos.”

    Because peaceful protesters who care about equal justice for all are agents of anarchy, madness, and chaos.

    Both parties truly love the idea of rulers and serfs, but the Republicans have lust in their heart for it, to cite an old phrase of that madman, Jimmy Carter. Remember his “Playboy” interview?

    Mister, we could use a man like Jimmy Carter again …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carter was victim of a bad streak for the economy on his watch. As Trump’s own party continues to block passage of a further “relief” package to help folks who’ve been put out of work by the pandemic (and, this being USA, major corporations as well of course!), one MIGHT THINK Biden should win in a landslide. But Trump has already made clear his intention to claim “voter fraud” should he lose, and warned us to not expect a final decision on the election for…who knows how long?? It’s gonna be an interesting November. And December. And January?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As a historical note, the US managed to hold the 1864 election in the midst of a bloody Civil War. If the US Cell-Phone/Cable-TV Audience has anything about it worth saving, the citizenry of the 50 various corporate franchises will figure out some sort of resolution. Either that, or the Supine Court will step in, like it did in 2000 and simply select the President they think enough Americans will accept, knowing that the Republicans will fight for power while the Democrats will accept waiting another four years for a shot at their turn. Ask Al Gore. He can tell you how that works. If anything, though, I think that fatigue with the whole charade may prove the decisive factor. Who really cares less than whom?

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Apropos of my comments above regarding the Jimmy Dore conversation with Aaron Maté about Bernie Sanders’ adoption of — orco-optation by — Red-baiting Russia-gating as a bipartisan pathogen in the nation’s political bloodstream:

      Michael Tracey @mtracey · 2h “Today’s episode of “anyone who falls outside a narrow set of ideological parameters must be a stooge of Russia.” Now four-years running, and set for renewal. Doubt we’d see the “series finale” if people such as Ben regain control of the NatSec apparatus.”

      This in response to the stomach-churning stupidity of a certain Mr Ben Rhodes:

      Ben Rhodes @brhodes · 14h “Ignore the Russian trolls and bots on here posing as progressives. That’s going to get worse but it’s all noise. Let’s go beat Trump (and Putin).”

      Gag. Thanks for all your help in promoting this belligerent bile, Bernie. Come on. Shake your fist at Russian President Putin again after one of your own Democratic Party campaign rivals — i.e., Mike Bloomberg — red-baits you in front of the whole world. You’ve got Tricky Dick Nixon and Tailgunner Joe McCarthy grinning in their graves. What? Does this sewer rat Ben Rhodes really think that he’s got an appointment in the works should a Biden/Harris administration take over from the browbeaten Trump trying to start WWIII with nuclear armed Russia?

      Like

      1. Bernie made a big mistake in the debate in which he was challenged about Russia and Putin. He supinely went along with the narrative that Russia was, and is, trying to meddle and steal the election for Trump.

        For a “revolutionary,” Bernie is far too conventional. A truth-teller at times, but not a big risk-taker.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Of late, I have spent many an hour transcribing YouTube videos and collecting articles relevant to the scourge of endemic American Red-baiting, which I have watched die and resurrect itself repeatedly for most of my life (at least since my 8th grade Social Studies class (1961) where our teacher, Mr Christensen, showed us a film of the Army-McCarthy hearings where Tailgunner Joe finally had to drink his own poison urine). To see it all metastasize yet again over the past four years, and this time with so-called “Democrats” hyping the hysteria, depresses me beyond belief. How can anything so mind-bogglingly stupid take hold of practically the entire American “governing” bureaucracy, if not what passes for a national “culture”?

          In particular, I have produced a transcript of The Grayzone’s Aaron Maté interviewing Professor Stephen F. Cohen on the subject during the ridiculous and farcical “impeachment” of President Trump for making a phone call to a TV comedian who had just won election to the presidency of Ukraine (booting out of office the corrupt buffoon that the US had installed and promoted for several disastrous years). See “Adam Schiff is Unhinged on Russia – Adam Schiff’s Russi-bashing is unhinged and dangerous” , The Grayzone (January 27, 2020). Those interested can find my transcript here. Just a few quotes from the beginning of the interview:

          Aaron Maté: “My guest is Stephen F. Cohen, Emeritus Professor of Russian Studies at Princeton and NYU, author of many books, including his latest War with Russia? From Putin & Ukraine To Trump & Russiagate. Professor Cohen, welcome back to Pushback”

          [0:21] Professor Stephen Cohen: “Thank you Aaron.”

          Aaron Maté: “I wanted to have you on to discuss some of what we’ve been hearing fkrom the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, where ostensibly we’re supposed to be focused on a case of alleged pressure on Ukraine by Trump. But Russia has been front and center from the Democrats’ presentation. And before I play some clips and ask you to respond, I want to acknowledge something which is that back when Russiagate and the conspiracy theory about Trump and Russia, back when that collapsed, I remember saying that finally we can get to talking about real issues in this country and we can put this Russia madness behind us. But you said to me, both privately and in interviews with me that this Russia thing was far from over. So I’m wondering why you felt so confident that this intense focus on Russia and hawkish posture towards Russia, especially from Democrats, was not going away.”

          [1:24] Professor Stephen Cohen: “And this was even after, or at least now is after, the findings of the Mueller investigation, that there was no tie between Trump and Russia. That’s what had been driving Russia into our makinstream for a long time. I don’t know. I’ve lived with Russia, I guess, going on 50 years now. And one of the things I’ve learned is that being highly critical of Russia is good politics in the United States. Nobody ever gets any points for saying anything good about Russia, and only rarely for advocating any kind of partnership with Russia. So that’s one reason why I thought Russia wasn’t going to go away, even after Russiagate, is that it politically is advantageous to a lot of people to bash Russia. And by the way, we find that, alas, even among progressive Democratic candidates for the presidency. It’s not just the right wing. It’s a left-wing/right-wing phenomenon.”

          [2:22] “Why that is so is, of course, historical. It goes back to the old Cold War, which some people, particularly in Moscow think never really ended. That is, it ended in Moscow but not in Washington. But it has become an American way of life to blame Russia when things go wrong. Then, of course, sometimes Russia is to blame, but not all the time. And yet that has become part of our discourse. The Trump thing is, I guess, among the worst I’ve ever seen. The notion that somehow he was a Kremlin agent and people were saying, liberals were saying, that the Kremlin put Trump in the White House. They’ve kind of dropped that, though it still appears now and then. But the notion of some special secret relationship between Trump and the Kremlin — for which there is not a shred of evidence — is still a standard part of our discourse. I don’t know what you do about it.
          . . .
          Truly depressing, if not enraging. What mindless herd stupidity.

          Liked by 1 person

  39. And with simply perfect timing in wake of my suggestion that maybe Fox “News” will be producing GOP Convention comes report at NY Times that, in fact, it will be a team that used to work with Trump on “The Apprentice”!! Life imitating art imitating life imitating… Also, a sister of Trump is now quoted (via audio obtained by NYT) describing him as “cruel” and totally “unprincipled.” Whoa, THERE’S a real news flash! Takes a Trump to REALLY know a Trump, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Ray McGovern hits the proverbial nail squarely on the head: “The LSM [Lick Spittle Media] should be confronted. ‘At long last have you left no sense of decency?’“: RAY McGOVERN: Catapulting Russian-Meddling Propaganda. By Ray McGovern, Consortium News (August 21, 2020)

    The New York Times is leading the full-court press to improve on what it regards as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s weak-kneed effort to blame the Russians for giving us Donald Trump.

    “The fresh orgy of anti-Russian invective in the lickspittle media (LSM) has the feel of fin de siècle [end-of-century]. The last four reality-impaired years do seem as though they add up to a century. And no definitive fin [end] is in sight, as long as most people don’t know what’s going on.”

    The LSM should be confronted: “At long last have you left no sense of decency?” But who would hear the question — much less any answer? The corporate media have a lock on what Americans are permitted or not permitted to hear. Checking the truth, once routine in journalism, is a thing of the past.” [emphasis added]

    “Thus the reckless abandon with which The New York Times is leading the current full-court press to improve on what it regards as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s weak-kneed effort to blame the Russians for giving us Donald Trump. The press is on, and there are no referees to call the fouls.”

    “The recent release of a 1,000-page, sans bombshells and already out-of-date report by the Senate Intelligence Committee has provided the occasion to “catapult the propaganda,” as President George W. Bush once put it.”

    “As the the Times‘s Mark Mazzetti put it in his article Wednesday:
    ‘Releasing the report less than 100 days before Election Day, Republican-majority senators hoped it would refocus attention on the interference by Russia and other hostile foreign powers in the American political process, which has continued unabated.’” [emphasis added]

    “Mazzetti is telling his readers, soto voce: regarding that interference four years ago, and the “continued-unabated” part, you just have to trust us and our intelligence community sources who would never lie to you. And if, nevertheless, you persist in asking for actual evidence, you are clearly in Putin’s pocket.”

    Incidentally, Mueller’s report apparently was insufficient, only two years in the making, and just 448 pages. The Senate committee’s magnum opus took three years, is almost 1,000 pages — and fortified. So there.”
    . . .
    The entire article merits reading, studying, and keeping handy for frequent future reference. But one of my favorite parts has to do with the Mueller Report taking almost 500 pages to peddle pure, evidence-free bullshit while the US Senate — in the hands of the Republicans — re-publishes the same load of evidence-free bullshit, only taking twice the number of pages to do it.

    No country calling itself “educated” and “developed” can long survive a “governing class” this addicted to licking their own — and each other’s — asses.

    Liked by 1 person

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