Sunday 9th of August 2020

bernie cannot say this...


This is for my friends who supported Bernie Sanders. I suppose it is also directed toward all of my friends who believe that, despite everything, they should support the Democratic Party.


From Bill Martin

One very general thing I would like to say to this: Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper, and the like will continue to go the way they are going. Everything in their lives, especially their professional lives as politicians and media figures, determines—almost to a metaphysical certainty—that they have to keep going the way they are going. You, my friends, don’t have to. 

Bernie cannot (and will not) say this, but some Bernie supporters will say it: There is a lot more in common between Bernie, at his best, and Donald Trump, than there is between Bernie and the other establishment Democrats. 

I realize that very few, if any, of you will support Trump. That’s hardly worth talking about. But will you support the party that said to you, if you are a Bernie Supporter, we don’t care about you, it is more important to us that we defeat Bernie than that we defeat Trump? If you do support this party, then you are supporting that conclusion, and not because this is the best way to defeat Trump. It’s not the best way, and it won’t work in any case. 

And to others who were/are not Bernie supporters, will you accept this as how things should work? And will you accept the contempt that this party has for you, where it says, “hey, we know we’ve got you, you have to support whoever we put out there, so we’ll have as our front-runner and presumptive nominee …”? 

Even apart from the language of “deplorables” and what you think about that (most of my friends disavow it, or say they do, while having supported the candidate who stuck by her language—but I also know plenty out there who are fine with this language), is it not clear that the Democratic Party has nothing but contempt for “ordinary people,” including those of you in some sort of liberal or left bubble who probably don’t consider yourselves to be “ordinary people”? 

This nothing for ordinary people is also evidenced by the fact that the only response by Democratic Party and its “left” followers to the virus crisis is to spew vitriol at Trump and his supporters. Big help!

So why stay in this camp where the people who really control things do nothing but spit in your face, and where everyone is just encouraged to be a bunch of maniacal haters? 

(By the way, when I said something about the latter point to a friend the other day, adding that it does not appear that, other than some—admittedly significant exceptions—ordinary people who support Trump are not even remotely haters on this level, my friend responded that he “didn’t know about that, what about calling people ‘snowflakes’?” This really sums it all up, right there.)

Really, though, I am writing this post to ask my Bernie-supporter friends: What’s next?

I’d like to know your thoughts—other than just to tell me that “Trump is so bad that …,” etc. Believe it or not, I have already heard this sort of thing a few times in the last few years. If you’re tempted to write something along these lines (or to think it, for that matter), perhaps consider that this rhetoric is simply the hot air that is the only thing that keeps the anti-Trump movement going. And, if you’re in the “Trump is Hitler” or “… worse than Hitler” camp, I frankly consider you to be mentally ill and an anti-Semite. 

I am writing a series of articles on the Covid-19 situation, and various aspects of it, such as the popular discourses of “science” and “expertise.” Here is some material from the first of these articles that relates to the Bernie situation: 

The evening before Bernie Sander’s suspension of his campaign, I wrote the following: 


For sure, the Democrats are in quite a bit of a fix. The only one of their main figures who is saying anything worthwhile and concrete about the Covid-19 crisis and the attendant economic crisis is Bernie Sanders. (He says some crap, too, but leave that aside for the moment.)

The globalist mainstream of the DP, however, has made clear its everlasting disdain for Bernie, and will not support him no matter how sensible and relevant his ideas. Now they have a problem, though, because OP Dems (ordinary-people Democrats and others who want a Democrat to replace Trump) don’t always ask “How high?” when the DNC says “jump!”—and meanwhile, Joe Biden is giving his own bizarre press briefings from the basement of his house in Delaware.

Much of the time he is lucky if he can put one or two sentences together. Therefore, there’s new hope for the DNC, or what they think of as hope—it’s truly sick—in being able to just concentrate their efforts on spewing vitriolic bullshit about Trump.


Sanders has now provided the Democratic Party a way out of this fix. When I first heard the news, I was hoping that Bernie was doing this as a challenge to Biden—but no. His statement that he is suspending the campaign because he did not think it right to go on with a campaign he could not win will be read in two different ways.

Bernie very likely could have “won” if he had been willing to do what needed to be done, to really tear Biden down and to really rip into the power-structure of the Democratic Party and the social system of which it is apart. 

Others will praise Bernie for what he is “doing for the country,” and I am not saying this is completely wrong in the context of the coronavirus, but obviously it is wrong in terms of Bernie’s stated aim of putting the defeat of Trump in the forefront, given that the mainstream of the Democratic Party put defeating Bernie ahead of defeating Trump—and now they have succeeded. 

As for how Bernie and his supporters will shape the party platform or a legislative agenda, why would that get any further than the campaign did? Bernie will be told to back down, and for whatever set of complex and deeply messed-up “reasons,” he will do this again, just as he has now, just as he did in 2016. The real question for Bernie supporters is how much longer they want to kid themselves. 

For my part, I am very sorry to see Sanders pull out, not mainly because I had great hope in what he could do, but because there could have been a different kind of discussion with him as the nominee, especially regarding the possibilities of populism. I was also hoping such a discussion would also push Trump toward being a better populist. But it is no surprise that the DNC and other power-players do not want such a discussion, and indeed greatly fear anything going in this direction. 

Again, I will remind those who have supported Bernie, and even those who are desperately clinging to some justification for supporting the worst of two reactionary parties, the leading party of the neoliberal globalism which is the basis for evermore dangerous pandemics, the party that doesn’t care about ordinary working people and is indeed fine with having them die off, the party that holds you in contempt because it feels sure you are caught in the trap of having to support them…

No, you do not have to support this garbage!


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trump gets it...

trump NYKs

the NYT does not get it...

Believe all women? New York Times only remembers its journalistic skepticism when it’s Biden in the crosshairs


by Graham Dockery, RT

For anyone running for office in modern America, accusations of sexual assault are par for the course. But when it comes to weighing up these accusations, the US’ mainstream paper of record applies some very uneven standards.

Take Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee. If doubts weren’t already raised by his fondness for sniffing women, the emergence last month of a sexual assault allegation against the former vice president could have caused a major headache for his campaign.


Yet amid the coronavirus pandemic, and given the political leanings of most media outlets, the scandal barely registered.

The Intercept ran a story in March on how Tara Reade, a former Senate staffer, claimed that in 1993 Biden pushed her against a wall, groped her, and penetrated her with his fingers. Reade had spoken up about the alleged incident a year earlier, but was met with accusations that she was doing Russia’s bidding. The US media was still doing ‘Russiagate’ back then, remember?


Without a hint of irony, the Times capped the story off with a tweet saying “we found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Biden, beyond hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.” So no sexual assault, beyond an extensive history of what many consider sexual harassment. Right.

The tweet was later deleted, with the Times retracting its “imprecise language.”


It’s nice to know that, even in an age where politicians – including Biden himself – recite platitudes like “#BelieveAllWomen,” newspapers like the New York Times are still willing to cast a cynical eye on claims like Reade’s, without letting emotion obscure the facts. And it’s nice to know that they apply the same treatment to every such claim, regardless of the political affiliation of the accused.

Actually, no – nothing could be further from the truth. 

When Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault during his confirmation process in 2018, the Times threw away its detective’s fedora and donned its pink pussyhat. Kavanaugh was first accused of forcing himself on Christine Blasey Ford while the pair were in high school in 1982, and then of exposing himself to Deborah Ramirez when the two were at a university party a year later.

When further accusations surfaced – none of which were ever corroborated – the Times didn’t poke holes in the women’s stories. Instead, Kavanaugh’s denials were given a single line each time. Rather than carry out a dispassionate investigation, the NYT painted a picture of a privileged Ivy-Leaguer free to assault women at will. “Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not,” read the headline above a story on Ramirez’ college days. 

The story itself later had to be amended, after it emerged that one of the claims against Kavanaugh in it – that he thrust his penis into a female student’s hand – was entirely unsupported.

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singing biden's song...

Senator Bernie Sanders has formally endorsed Joe Biden as the US Democratic Party unifies in a bid to take on President Donald Trump in November in the race for the White House.

Mr Sanders, who dropped out of the Democratic primary competition last week leaving Mr Biden as the last standing candidate, joined the former vice president on a livestream over social media to issue the endorsement.


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another cartoon from the master cathy...




Read from top. See also: biden is it...

bernie is back...


This interview was recorded prior to the ruling reinstating Bernie Sanders on the New York primary election ballot.


This is a rush transcript and may contain errors. It will be updated.

Marc Steiner: Welcome to The Real News. I’m Marc Steiner. Good to have you all with us. New York has canceled its primary election, forcing Bernie Sanders’ name off the ballot. Sanders in a statement has called this a blow to democracy. And California seems to be changing the rules, and even though Sanders won the vote, he may not get the majority of the delegates to the convention in Milwaukee. Part of the Sanders strategy was to have a huge delegate presence to push the progressive agenda, which is popular with most Democrats and Americans in general. How might this affect the November election? Will this rift widen between Biden and Sanders, between the establishment Democrats and the progressives? In the midst of this pandemic so badly handled by Trump, are Democrats with little effective public response and feuding internally handing this election right over to the right wing to transform our country?

Well, we’re going to talk about that. We’re joined by Norman Solomon. He was co-founder and national coordinator of, the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, and Marcus Farrell, former African American outreach director for Bernie Sanders in 2016, former deputy campaign manager for Stacey Abrams, former chief of staff of the New Georgia Project, and currently a political consultant and now becoming a frequent guest like Norman on The Real News. Good to have you both with us. Welcome.

Norman Solomon: Hey, thank you.

Marcus Farrell: Nice to be here.

Marc Steiner: Let me start, Norman, with you since you’re in California where some of the latest news came out. What the hell is happening here? I mean, what do you think the dynamic is going on, both of you, that New York has canceled its election and California is debating on what’s counted in the delegates. Politically, what do you think is going on internally?

Norman Solomon: Well, the way it rolls out with delegates is very murky, but I think it comes under the general heading of the victor gets the spoils. And so while in the last month since Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign, there’s been quite a few pats on the head from Joe Biden and rhetorical flourishes in a progressive direction, we’re pretty much having a consolidation of control over the prospective nomination from the Biden forces and those economic and political powers that he represents. It’s really a time of churning, of turmoil, and I think a lot of progressives are trying to find new footing over this new terrain.

And just to sort of sum up, we have as usual, but with a heightened acuity, this dual responsibility to fight the right wing, the racists, the misogynists, the nativists, and so forth, so ably represented and viciously implemented by the Trump administration. And on the other hand, to really fight for and advance a progressive agenda, which requires combat, nonviolent but vehement combat, with corporate Democrats. I think a lot of progressives are looking for the best ways forward to thread both of those needles at the same time.

Marc Steiner: Marcus, how do you read this? You’ve been in the middle of all of this, this campaign for a while.

Marcus Farrell: Listen, when they talk about voting in the presidential election, one thing that folks typically bring up is how you need to vote down-ballot. I compare voting down-ballot also to being involved in local and state parties also, right? People think it’s only the DNC that might have sort of an agenda to make sure that progressives don’t have their voice heard. It’s more than just the DNC. It goes all the way down to your city party. There are people in this country who are Democrats, who fundamentally hate the idea of a progressive America. Half of them don’t even know why they hate the idea of a progressive America. It’s more so a cult of personality, and our friends are our friends and your friends aren’t your friends. If you supported Bernie Sanders in 2016 and 2020, that means that you’re a bad person.

So we have to fight to make sure that our down-ballot down-statewide parties are infiltrated by progressive people to make sure that there are fair actions across the board. This is a muting of a progressive platform and, and it’s a very obvious thing that when Milwaukee comes around, and hopefully Milwaukee doesn’t come around, hopefully they do something virtually because I don’t want you all bringing you all coronavirus-having asses to a black city and giving more of my people your little whatever you got, right? But when that moment happens, this is to make sure that the numbers and the pressure is not there.

What we’re seeing is as a progressive, and I’ll speak as a black progressive, what we’re seeing is a dual phase approach to subvert voters. First you have the DNC subverting, I guess not the DNC but powers that be, subverting the will of more progressive folks. And you also have a Trump administration who’s opening up the country right now at the same time, to aggressively almost attack black and brown communities who they know are going to show up in droves in November. So it’s a very interesting place.

Marc Steiner: It is. So let me take it from that point that both of you just said. I’ve just read on the news before we went on the air together here that Trump is looking to end his coronavirus task force by sometime in May, at the end of May. And the way this administration has handled this pandemic has been absurd. It’s been like a clown show, except for the few people around him like Fauci and others were at least trying to do something to stem the tide of this pandemic. Given that, and given the polls that show many Americans, most Americans are just fed up with Trump at a larger scale. They call themselves moderates, liberals, or libertarians or on the left, whoever they are. But it seems to me that what’s under this internal feud that allows this moment that could take down the right wing to be divided so that they actually can win a victory, because people get so internally divided that you cannot win an election.

Marcus Farrell: Pride and ego.

Marc Steiner: Pardon?

Marcus Farrell: Pride and ego. I mean, let’s start there. We want to win the way that we want to win. We want to bring it back to normal so our donors can start getting their money across and we can continue to do things like neglected progressive voices. So the question is, do we want to have common sense as a Democratic Party? I’m a 20-year Democrat, I’m a Southern black voter, I live in Atlanta, Georgia right now. And if you look around, and the state just dropped a poll I think last week saying that over 60% of people in the state actually think that the governor’s handling of the coronavirus is bad. And that’s the same thing with the American polls when it comes down to Donald Trump.

But the internal divide comes from a place of, we still fundamentally want capitalism to happen after this is over with. We just want our brand of it. And at the end of the day, it’s as simple as it can get. It’s an unfortunate place, because I have a funny feeling that we have a good chance of losing this election because of it.

Norman Solomon: Well, we’re very much in danger of losing this election to another four years of Donald Trump. Certainly, what Marcus is saying rings true to me, and this is somebody who’s run for office, has been working outside as an activist outside the Democratic Party for decades and also had some toes into it as well. I think that in terms of party operatives and people very involved and office holders and circles around them, there is this dynamic. It’s interpersonal, it’s like a bad high school and all sorts of power struggles and so forth. The broader constituency, though, is just often buffeted by the mass media, the sort of corporate Democratic messaging that comes from a place like MSNBC, which after all is owned by Comcast. And anybody who thinks that doesn’t matter should think about does it matter that Rupert Murdoch has owned Fox? Yeah, I think so, in terms of messaging and content.

And then beyond that, historically, if you look back to 1980 or 2000, we have other examples of where small, but it turned out significant, parts of the left went third party in a presidential election, and the results of those elections at the presidential level were disastrous. We’re still suffering from eight years of Reagan in the White House. We’re still suffering from eight years of George W. Bush in the White House. All that is perhaps surprisingly still in place now in 2020 despite just the, in some ways unprecedented in some ways not, horrific characteristics of the Trump presidency.

One would think that the urgency of evicting Trump from office would just carry forward just a tremendous, if not unanimity at least enormous agreement among vast numbers of progressives at the base that hey, if you’re in a swing state, you may not like Biden, you might despise Biden, but we’re able to differentiate between Biden and Trump and more broadly between Democratic and Republican president. Just look at the Supreme Court. It’s empirical. You don’t have to theorize about it.

And so at the same time, there’s so much revulsion at Biden’s record that we do have this uncertainty. I just sort of sum up by saying that USA Today published a poll a few days ago, 22% of Bernie Sanders supporters said they’re not committed to voting for Biden. That ought to set off alarm bells in the Biden campaign.

Marc Steiner: Let’s pick up that point. I mean, this is what we just talked about here. If you look at what you were just describing, Norman, the history here of politics in America in the last 50 years, people will say, well look, what do you mean? Bill Clinton is the one who started locking up all black and brown people in America. He’s the one who started this neo kind of liberal, conservative bent. Hillary Clinton, you were for the war in Iraq. Joe Biden, his record’s right there. And so people are saying, what are you trying to convince me of here and how do you do it? I’ll make this very personal. As I said to you, Norm, before we went on the air, and Marcus, I may have said this to you before, with two of my daughters I’m having this conversation. They’re saying, “I’m not sure I can vote for Biden. I’m not sure what to do,” because of who he represents to them. The divide is that deep.

And then you have, well, it gets to the second point, which is about the establishment Democrats fearful of the progressives, which is why they’re trying to shut Sanders down and what that could mean. Let’s just take it from the progressive side. How do you organize that? How do you strategically make the argument that you were making to convince people that what we’re facing is an abyss?

Marcus Farrell: I honestly think that we have to make the argument with more pressure on the Biden campaign. It’s not on progressives anymore. The day and age where we’re going to blame black people for not showing up to the polls, the day and age we’re going to blame progressives for not showing up to the polls when we are seeing messaging that literally says more of nothing, and I’m pretty sure we might even get into the black plan that Biden just came out with. But I mean, are these things enough? And to be honest with you, what we see right now is sort of a smug, “You got to come our direction or you’re going to destroy the country” talking point that is not going to turn out young black voters that aren’t super voters in the South, that were a part of the Obama coalition or could be a part of what’s considered the Obama coalition.

You’re not going to get white progressives who are already saying, “I’m going to sit home or I’m going to vote third party” if you don’t address their issues. So how do you sell it? Well, you sell it by adopting the policy. And listen, one thing that I find interesting is I always hear this from some of my colleagues, moderation and incremental change. Even moderation and incremental change, when it comes down to progressive policies, the Biden campaign is really not doing that at a level where it should even be considered acceptable. Lowering Medicare for All from 65 to 60 is not going to get that 20% of progressives who are like, “How about you just give us Medicare for All, and then maybe we’ll bend on college for all right now, maybe we’ll bend on some of these things.” It’s not going far enough.

And to be honest with you, when it comes down to black voters, and I’m talking about non-super voting African Americans who don’t show up in the primary, America, then guess what? They’re not going to be impressed with a campaign, with a candidate that refuses to even acknowledge the reason why their brothers, sisters, uncles, cousins were put in jail. So I mean, we got a long way to go, and I’m hoping that the Biden campaign adjusts, but as of right now the adjustment is not there.

Norman Solomon: Well, I agree with that. And by the way, RootsAction distributed thousands of flyers in South Carolina before the primary there this year, documenting Biden’s record in helping pave the way for mass incarceration through his championing of the now notorious crime bill in 1994. So when we look, though, at it at the same time, I got to say that after a 40-year record in politics, changing his rhetoric is not going to do a lot. Even if Biden says he’s going to do X, Y, and Z, the fact is, there’s only one decision he’s going to make between now and November that isn’t reversible and that he couldn’t easily backtrack on and blow off, and that’s the vice presidential pick. Everything else, like so often has happened when politicians have run for office, they try to pander to the base, and Democrats in office quite often just blow off the base. Frankly, Clinton and Obama did that to a large extent once they got to the White House.

So a practical progressive will look at Biden and say whatever he puts in his program when he’s running is not too convincing. I agree it would be good for him to endorse Medicare for All. We should pressure him to do that. It’s not our fault as progressives that he’s not making the sale. It’s his fault because of his record and the way he’s running this really zombie campaign at this point. I just get back to the fact that the VP pick is very important and that at the end of the day progressives and everybody need to look at what’s in it for us. It’s not about him ultimately. It’s about what happens to the people in this country and the suffering that will result if we get another four years of Trump.


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A federal judge has reinstated New York’s June Democratic presidential primary, siding with Andrew Yang, the former candidate, who sued the state in federal court and called the recent decision to cancel the contest “authoritarian and illegal”.

The judge ruled Tuesday that the state had wrongfully removed the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, Yang and eight other former presidential candidates from the ballot.

The decision came after two Democrats on the state’s election commission cancelled the presidential primary last week, relying on a new budget provision allowing them to remove presidential candidates who suspended their campaigns. The move outraged Sanders supporters and other progressives who said New York, a Democratic bastion, was actively disenfranchising voters.


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the most progressive president since sliced bread...

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate and his former rival, on Tuesday delivered a compromise roadmap for uniting the party’s base against Donald Trump.

Bernie Sanders has praised the new platform of Joe Biden he helped craft, saying it would make him “the most progressive president” since Franklin Roosevelt.

Sanders, once the front-runner in the Democratic presidential race, dropped out of the primaries in early April after Biden, the establishment favourite, secured an all-but-insurmountable lead.

After the self-described “democratic socialist” senator endorsed Biden, they continued to craft a joint agenda to unite the Democratic electorate against Donald Trump in November. Sanders is also determined to push the party further to the left, while the former vice president wants to win over Sanders supporters and younger voters.

They formed six task forces, focusing on climate change, criminal justice reform, the economy, education, health care and immigration. On Wednesday, these task forces unveiled a 110-page joint policy road map.

“These folks, needless to say, represented the progressive movement and had a different perspective on things than did Biden’s people,” Sanders said of negotiators from his camp in an MSNBC interview.

“But there was serious discussion and I think a real honest effort to come up with a compromise. And I think the compromise that they came up with, if implemented, will make Biden the most progressive president since FDR.”

Sanders was hopeful that, if implemented, that agenda will improve life for “tens and tens of millions of working people”, as well as the environment, criminal justice system, and the living conditions of low-income people.

The newly-crafted agenda contains a series of compromises between the Democratic Party’s “progressive” and “moderate” wings. For instance, it outlines a faster timetable for achieving net-zero carbon emissions than Biden initially set, instead of the Green New Deal that envisioned an overhaul of environmental policy.

There is also no endorsement for Medicare for All, a single-payer health system championed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, but instead there are proposals to expand health insurance coverage by building on former president Obama's Affordable Care Act (which was Biden’s policy during the primaries).

The plan was immediately attacked by Republicans. Steve Guest, the spokesperson for the party’s National Committee, noted that it cited passages word-for-word from Sanders’ previous agenda on social security, disability rights, and some other proposals.

“The fact Joe Biden has embraced Bernie Sanders’ radical agenda verbatim is proof that while Bernie may not be the one leading the Democrat Party, Biden is more than happy to be his champion in its lurch to the left,” Guest said.


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Biden will do (his people will do) anything to be (keep him relevent) in the frame... He voted for war against Yugoslavia, for war against Saddam and was in favour of war against Syria, Libya and Yemen... He then backflipped a bit on some of these, but we still have no idea (we have, but not officially) what he was doing in Ukraine fiddling with prosecutors in that country... and financing their Nazi hooligans...

Biden: "You want we to look like a socialist? Done... Whatever you say... What is socialism again?... Sure, time for my arvo nap..."