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Saturday, February 20, 2016

A few things...

Kimberly Dozier. Remember that name: When honest historians, looking back on our era, list the pseudo-journalists who worked overtime to whip up a new Cold War, Dozier's name will appear on the scroll of shame, and not toward the bottom. Case in point, from the Daily Beast:
When Assad’s troops used the nerve agent sarin against his own people in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta in August 2013, the Obama administration threatened a punitive bombing run against Assad’s military—not enough to disarm it, but enough to make a point.

Only then did Russia strong-arm its client state into giving up its WMD crown jewels—likely with the promise to defend Assad in return, which Russia has since done by deploying Russian troops on Syrian soil and unleashing a relentless series of airstrikes on Assad’s opponents, including Syrian rebels backed by the U.S.
Notice how she never names these "Syrian rebels backed by the U.S." That's because the group in question is undoubtedly Nusra (a.k.a. Al Qaeda) or Ahrar al-Sham (a.k.a. Al Qaeda) or the so-called "Free Syrian Army" (a.k.a. An Exercise in Fiction).

By this point, I probably don't need to refute Dozier's specifics, since many previous Cannonfire posts have gone over this territory. The thrust of Dozier's argument is that Russia worked with the U.S. on that occasion only after we threatened to go into Syria militarily. Thus, Dozier implies, Obama should level a similar threat now; doing so can only have the happy result of bringing Russia and the US closer together.

Actually, American bellicosity toward Syria is more likely to result in World War III. Dozier is right, in a sense: Mutual nuclear destruction is an excellent way to attain international intimacy. As Tom Lehrer once sang: "We will all fry together when we fry..."

Who made these weapons? Skeptics will scoff: "Consider the source." A fair sentiment, perhaps. Still, I wonder if the following claim is true? (Note: Sweida, also called As-Suwayda, is a city in southern Syria, near Jordan.)
The concerned authorities in Sweida, in cooperation with the locals, seized on Sunday a vehicle loaded with large amounts of arms and ammunition in the western countryside of the southern province.

A source at Sweida Governorate told SANA that the vehicle was heading to the terrorist organizations operating in the eastern countryside of the neighboring Daraa province.

The arms and ammunition which were confiscated included 7 Israeli-made anti-tank rocket launchers, 62 shells, 128 RPG shells of different kinds, 43 120 mm mortar rounds, 42 82 mm mortar rounds and 100 23 mm machinegun bullets.

Earlier on Saturday, the authorities, in cooperation with the popular committees, seized hundreds of U.S. and Israeli-made anti-tank mines loaded in a pickup in the western countryside of Sweida. The weapons were bound for the terrorists in eastern al-Badiya (desert).
If you know your anti-tank mines, you may want to check out the videos which accompany this story. Are those actual Israeli munitions?

It's 2008 all over again. You can tell by the stench of horseshit in the air. Salon has become a stable so reeky that even Hercules couldn't clean it:
The precious and all-knowing polls already show Bernie Sanders defeating Republicans in a general election and Robert Reich has already explained why Sanders can easily win the presidency. In a Huffington Post piece titled “6 Responses to Bernie Skeptic,” Reich debunks the trusted myth of Clinton supporters and Republicans:
“He’d never beat Trump or Cruz in a general election.”

Wrong. According to the latest polls, Bernie is the strongest Democratic candidate in the general election, defeating both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in hypothetical matchups. (The latest RealClear Politics averages of all polls shows Bernie beating Trump by a larger margin than Hillary beats Trump, and Bernie beating Cruz while Hillary loses to Cruz.)

“America would never elect a socialist.”

P-l-e-a-s-e. America’s most successful and beloved government programs are social insurance – Social Security and Medicare. A highway is a shared social expenditure, as is the military and public parks and schools. The problem is we now have excessive socialism for the rich (bailouts of Wall Street, subsidies for Big Ag and Big Pharma, monopolization by cable companies and giant health insurers, giant tax-deductible CEO pay packages) – all of which Bernie wants to end or prevent.
We've dealt with Reich's delusions before: This fine man is kidding himself.

Neither Social Security nor Medicare would have stood a chance if the politicians pushing those measures used the S-word. FDR never called himself a socialist; if he had, he would never have been elected and we would have had no New Deal. (At the time, actual socialists despised FDR.)

Yes, Sanders does well in matchups against Trump and Cruz -- now. Why? Because Sanders has not received any negative press, while Hillary has undergone an unimaginable barrage of lies and deceptions.

(Bernie Sanders is also a firm opponent of the death penalty. Me too. But I also understand that roughly 60 percent of Americans support the death penalty. The Bernie Brigade is filled with deluded dolts who think that their positions are more popular than is actually the case.) 

The Republicans have made it very clear that they want Bernie to win. Thus -- for the moment -- their considerable media assets have taken no measures against the man. Their strategy was laid out openly in this National Review story from June of last year...
Support Bernie Sanders! This is a call to action for every Republican anxious to win back the White House in 2016.
After a GOP power player sent me a piece from left-leaning Salon headlined “Hillary Clinton is going to lose: She doesn’t even see the frustrated progressive wave that will nominate Bernie Sanders,” my heart went pitter-patter, beginning to sense an opportunity. But it was not until I saw a headline in The Hill warning that the “Sanders surge is becoming a bigger problem for Clinton,” accompanied by “It may be time for Hillary Clinton to take the challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders more seriously,” that I was truly motivated to join Team Bernie and rally my fellow Republicans to do the same.
Last month, the Christian Science Monitor observed:
And some Republicans are already salivating at the prospect of a Sanders nomination.

“We're going to win every state,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich said in last week's Republican debate, “if Bernie Sanders is the nominee.”

"Wild, socialistic, liberal Bernie Sanders" would be "easy to beat," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said recently on the "John Gibson Show."
Priebus must have realized that he had de-bagged the cat -- oopsie! -- because he also said (on another recent occasion) that Sanders would be the tougher opponent. Of course, that disingenuous statement was simply his version of "Whatever you do, don't throw me into that brier patch!"
Bloomberg Politics’ Sahil Kapur reported that Republican operatives have “a strange crush on Bernie Sanders,” and it goes beyond the RNC’s pro-Sanders rapid-response during Sunday night’s debates.

After the debate, the Republican political action committee America Rising promoted the narrative that Sanders won the debate... Meanwhile, American Crossroads, a group co-founded by Karl Rove, is airing an ad in Iowa bolstering a core tenet of Sanders’ case against Clinton: that she has received large sums of campaign contributions from Wall Street, and therefore can’t be trusted to crack down on big banks.

“Hillary rewarded Wall Street with a $700 billion bailout, then Wall Street made her a multi-millionaire,” a narrator in the ad says. “Does Iowa really want Wall Street in the White House?”

Yep, Karl Rove’s operation is not only complaining about the bailout his former boss signed into law, Team Rove is also suddenly worried about Wall Street’s influence in DC – just like Bernie Sanders.

Or put another way, Reince Priebus can say he sees Sanders as a stronger general-election candidate, but his actions suggest he means the opposite.
Seriously. The TARP bailout -- negotiated by George Bush's White House -- is now supposedly all Hillary's fault. Or so we have been assured by Karl Rove, America's most trusted political commentator.

History lesson: The vast majority of Democratic senators supported TARP, including Barack Obama, Jim Webb, Barbara Boxer, and Joe Biden. There were only a few exceptions. (Yes, Bernie was one of them; so was good old Russ Feingold, a man who should be running for president right now. Unlike Bernie, Russ could defeat Trump -- handily.)

But now we are supposed to think that TARP was all Hillary's fault. Rove said it, progs believe it, and that settles it.

Those of you who dare to doubt the Karl Rove version of history may recall that, at the time, TARP was presented as an emergency measure -- the sole alternative to an economic Ragnarok which was widely believed to be mere days away. In fact, it really was the sole alternative, at least in the sense that no other plans were on the table. Something had to be done. It was beyond the power of any Democrat to negotiate with the Fed and the banks, or to force the Dubya administration to offer anything better.

This propaganda meme -- that Hillary was responsible for TARP -- exemplifies why I have reluctantly come to support her. When they hand you lined paper, write the other way. When the hand you incessant lies about a candidate, vote for that candidate.

Even when I was furious with Hillary, I felt a desire to vote for her every single time I heard some creep pretend that she was solely responsible for the Iraq war. ("Hillary forced Dubya to do it!") At the time, the vote authorizing military force had widespread, bipartisan support -- not just in Congress but from the public. (The media did not call it a "war vote," and I doubt that either the Senate or the public thought of it that way. The vote was sold as a measure to force Saddam Hussein to observe a UN resolution for disarmament.) It is perfectly fair to say that Hillary Clinton bowed to the will of the people in 2003. We now make Hillary the scapegoat for our own sins.

No other politician in history has had to deal with the amount of sheer fucking shit that has been tossed at the Clintons. You want an anti-Establishment candidate? Vote Clinton. They have always been loathed by the Establishment. No other politicians have been on the receiving end of so many deceptions, witch hunts and smears.

You want to know why Sanders is getting the youth vote? Because young people have no direct memory of the Bill Clinton presidency. A nonsensical revisionist history has been drilled into their heads.

Most of them do not know that Bill Clinton was a Democratic president during an essentially conservative era. Throughout the 1990s, much of the electorate leaned toward Limbaugh-ism: The GOP had not yet become a clown car, and the internet (for the most part) did not exist as a means to counterbalance the Republican hammerlock on the national conversation. The media -- right, left and in-between -- launched a ceaseless barrage of anti-Clinton propaganda. (If you want the details, look for Conason and Lyons' superb book The Hunting of the President.)

Nevertheless, against massive odds, the Clinton years were an era of peace and prosperity. Moreover, Clinton offered the most progressive politics that one could reasonably have expected from any President operating at that time and in that culture. The Bernie-ites now portray Bill Clinton as (literally) to the right of Dubya -- but throughout the 1990s, much of the country believed Bill Clinton to be a socialist wildman who wanted to coddle criminals and round up the guns. Many college-aged voters of that period bought into that propaganda.

Today's young voters are even more nescient than were their counterparts of twenty years ago.

Let's face it: Young people are ill-informed dolts who smugly consider themselves wiser than their elders, even though they lap up disinformation the way my pooch snarfs up Snausages. Take a poll of the people in your neighborhood under the age of 25. Ask them two questions: "Did Reagan increase or decrease the budget deficit? Did Clinton increase or decrease the deficit?" You know full well how our gullible, easily bamboozled, historically illiterate younglings would answer.

(For the younglings in the audience, I shall provide the answers. Reagan ran up a national debt larger than that of all previous presidents combined. Clinton, by contrast, was the only modern president to run a surplus. He got the government out of the red while overseeing the country's longest postwar economic boom, even though the economy seemed to be a hopeless mess when he took the oath of office. Dubya put us in the Deep Red again.)

So please don't expect me to be impressed by the spate of "Young people love Bernie" stories that have been planted throughout the left side of the internet. Youngsters don't know nuthin'.
By the way, the no-troll policy is in effect.
I know I love you for a reason.
No comments ?

Syria is the neo con dream that has failed but the never stand/give up on the madness and who cares who dies if it isn't the s0-called chosen 1%%. I thinks is all iss good on the good ship of doom no matter you who win the prizes of taking Amerikas workers to hell as the they do around the world tpp and tipp here come save workers. I hate them.
Killabilly has won that is the counted vote by die-conn?
Very, very good point, Joe. I remember the ceaseless barrage against the Clinton family, led by the so-called "liberal" New York Times and the Washington Post, all too well. The contemporary impression of the "dishonest" Clintons was formed by Ken Starr and the Scaifes, and has not really changed since then. This is still the received wisdom of the Villagers, and you hear it from MSNBC as much as Rush Limbaugh.

It is encouraging the Bernie is sharpening Hillary's campaign skills. She and her staff need to get better by the time of the general election, because we can be confident that no matter the Republicans select, all the knobs of the Mighty Wurlitzer will be set to 11. We have to be ready for that.
Sanders can't win, but that doesn't matter. The idea is getting some pro-worker topic's into the mix. Does anyone really believe, that without Sanders in the race, the conversations being kicked around would be the same? I don't. So, full speed ahead with the debates, America needs the conversations.
Another fine man (IMHO) who kids himself is Ian Welsh.

He published this Feb. 19.
Bill Clinton is the only president in the past 80 years who louvered the annual budget deficit every year he was in office. Bill Clinton is the only president in the past 80 years who left office more popular than when he was elected.
And the more mud the GOP slung at him, the better his poll numbers got. The whole impeachment farce would be hilarious if it hadn't been such a drain on resources and political capital.

Even Richard Mellon Scaife, who bankrolled most of that "scandal" nonsense, liked Hillary Clinton once he had met her in person. I think he may have had regrets about needlessly inflicting so much shit on her and and her husband.
I agree with the poster who said Sanders is sharpening Clinton's campaign skills. That is why he is in the race rather than her running basically unopposed. He is also helping to get the traditional Democratic Party coalition involved again. He is clearly not in it to win the nomination.
You can rant and rail all you want about how "America would never elect a socialist," but you are wasting your breath because it isn't going to matter. What will matter is Democratic turnout. So far, in the primaries, it has been miserable. If it is just as bad for the general election, it will be TURNOUT, not Bernie or Hillary, that lost us the election.
1) This account of the Clinton presidency completely erases triangulation, the most defining and written-about aspect of how Clinton governed since the moment he assumed office in Arkansas.

"Clinton offered the most progressive politics that one could reasonably have expected from any President operating at that time and in that culture" flies in the face of Clinton's own statement of his political strategy.

2) Clinton economic policy was "let Goldman Sachs run it". To think that the most progressive option available was to have Alan Greenspan, who literally fucked Ayn Rand, as Treasury Secretary; to staff the State Dept with GS execs who would loot Russia to the point that the average life span declined; to institutionalize the theft of the middle class in trade deals like NAFTA; etc. ad infinitum is ludicrous

3) Clinton completely decimated the Democratic party structure. Part of the anemic response of Democrats to the stolen 2000 election and the few years after 9/11 is that Clinton and the DLC had destroyed the institutional mechanisms of the Democratic Party to fight back. This is *also* a part of progressive politics - in other words, Clinton's failure here is a failure to be progressive - and this failure is *explicitly* part of Clinton's governing strategy outlined in the points above: he decimated the party structure *in order to be able to* triangulate and give away to Goldman Sachs.

The account of Clinton's presidency in the post is totally wrong.

A Youngling Under 25 for Bernie
"Dubya put us in the Deep Black again."

Um, I think you meant "Deep Red"...
Damn, on earth did I make a mistake like that? Maybe THAT's why I always lose at checkers.

Thanks. I've already corrected.
Hillary's role in the destruction of Libya is a deal breaker for me. I cannot in good conscience vote for this sadistic warmonger. I doubt Trump could be as bad in that department as she has shown herself to be. Plus, Trump opposes TPP and TTIP whereas Hillary supports them. These trade deals will destroy what's left of America's middle class and end our national sovereignty. The stench of corruption emanating from this woman is staggering.

If Hillary is the Democratic party nominee, I'm voting Green. Voting for the lesser evil just makes the Democrats get more evil with every passing year.

Label me a troll. Sticks and stones, etc.

Reich, Haruhi bless him, misses the point.

Yes, objectively, Social Security and Medicare are welfare programs, run by the "Fedrul Gummint".

But in the alleged minds of many of the melanin-challenged recipients of such benefits, "welfare" is only something those horrid lazy criminal *BONG*s get (Blazing Saddles reference).

This mentality is reflected perfectly in the statement "Keep the government's hands off my Social Security/Medicare".
we'll see if this make onto lame-stream-news

The above came from here

In my prior post, louvered = lowered, must have been a spell check thing.

Social Security is not socialism because people paid into the system for a minimum of 10 years and the amount they get back is based on how much they paid in, that's not socialism.
Is there a reason you didn't enable my comment from earlier? Even if you didn't agree with the history in it, it's a widely-regarded and respected account in the academic literature that your position needs to engage with.

- Millennial Bernie supporter
Because Social Security and Medicare are not means-tested, that means they are "entitlements"--you paid into it, you are entitled to it. There is no income or asset test to receive them. So-called welfare programs include Section 8, Medicaid, SNAP, supplementary security income ARE means-tested.
Apparently definitions of socialism differ from user to user.
you could add destruction or partial destruction of Syria to destruction of Libya.
she woulda had another climax had Assad met Ghaddafi's fate.
You know, if Hillary is our only chance to keep the White House Democrat, then maybe it's time for America to collapse once and for all. I mean, seriously, how is she so different from her Republican challengers? As noted above, at least Trump opposes TPP (well, in theory, of course). In truth, none of these hucksters is going to make good on anything they are campaigning on and that includes Hillary. Sanders will try, but more than likely wouldn't be able to do any of the things he wants because of congress being beholden to the status quo. Much like the previous two elections, I'm not convinced it matters at all who becomes President. It's not like they have power to do anything on their own anyway. Ultimately, I'll end up voting for the Dem most likely, but I may change my mind. I'd rather "waste" my vote than vote for continuing the status quo (which a vote for Hillary or any Republican would undoubtedly be).
While I agree that Feingold is something of a dream candidate for progressives and Sanders does have real electability problems, this seems like a pretty snide and unwarranted dismissal of younger Sanders supporters. What makes you think, for example, that older voters are any less likely than younger ones to assume that Reagan was a deficit hawk and Clinton was a big spender? This seems anecdotal at best, completely groundless speculation at worst. I also think you vastly overestimate Hillary's electability- while she'd *probably* beat Trump (although this is far from a sure thing imo), I think she'd have a difficult time against Cruz or especially Rubio. She has higher negatives than any Democratic candidate since Dukakis, and while you're right that much of this attributable to right-wing smears, the fact is that those right wing smears have proven effective.
Hi Joseph, I found this interesting read in Diaspora* and wanted to share. It sketches out how social media and google in particular can nudge people and alter elections with the later even setting up "The Groundwork" for Hillary further outlined in a linked Quartz article that can be found in the link below.

I don't want to debate you on this, as I am so tired of this debate-but Hillary is absolutely despised with an amazing animosity by a certain part of the electorate. They are already working on having her indicted and I fully expect that if she is nominated and wins-she will be impeached just like her husband. Does that mean she will step down-no, but it will be a stunted Presidency of little actual affect.
Here is some info that might be good to read.

Most every despicable multinational corporation we take issue with has involvement with Clinton Foundation--as they say- they appear to be in the habit of putting lipstick on a pig-but they are still pigs.
Most recently, I noticed how the Clintons have partnered up with Nestle in both women issues here and social issues abroad, while they decry the Flint Michigan water crisis. No one discusses the fact that Nestle has been pumping water out of Michigan for free and selling it back to us.

At this point, for me-talk is cheap. I never thought as highly of the Clintons as you have. The Crime Bill pushed for more prisoners, the budget cuts pushed for privatization of prisons-they never take responsibility for the cause and effect of their policies until it is way to late to change the course of history.

I forgot to discuss the issue of foreign policy-which many may is Clinton's strong point. I would remind you all that she was working for Obama, when it came to Israel. If it came to her own policy there, you can bet things would have been different.

Here's the thing that's given me pause about Hillary Clinton for years: her association with The Family. I don't see it discussed, and maybe it doesn't end up mattering, but it still gives me the willies.
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