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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Young suckers who think they're hip. Plus: Why did Bill Maher lie his ass off about Bill Clinton?

Is it true, as Perry Bacon of NBC says, that the Clintons are facing a "Liberal war against the 1990s"?

No. It's a war against a fake version of the 1990s. The mainstream and progressive media -- united in its hatred of all things Clinton -- has erected what we might call "a Potemkin '90s."

The myth-makers are portraying the best years of our lives as the worst.

In the afore-linked piece, NBC once more trots out the "Clintons are racists" theme that we heard throughout 2008 (and which nearly everyone, a year later, laughingly admitted was pure bullshit). People forget that a leaked Obama camp memo revealed their disingenuous plan to paint Hillary as a racist. That's when Hillary discovered that she could not make any comment, however innocuous, without David Axelerod's army of troll-commenters snorting in faux-outrage.

Example of an alleged "racist" remark from Hillary: "Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964." Remember that one? Remember how Axelrod's troll army pretended that only a KKK leader would say such words?

Jesse Jackson Sr. said of this tactic: "We all know what's going on."

The above-linked NBC piece makes Bill Clinton out to be an opponent of Jesse Jackson, when in fact they were and are friends. Several members of the Jackson family endorsed Hillary, and the elder Jackson defended Bill Clinton against the slurs of 2008.

It is true that Jesse Jackson Jr. continually lied about Hillary. He did so for reasons of personal gain: As we later learned, the corrupt younger Jackson coveted Obama's senate seat so avidly that he was willing to pay for it.

The NBC piece harps on the crime bill of 1994. Predictably, it leaves out the usual three unmentionable facts: 1. The rise in African American incarceration stemmed almost entirely from changes in state law, not the act which Clinton signed, 2. The Congressional Black Caucus strongly supported the 1994 bill, and 3. Bernie Sanders voted for the thing.

What we are seeing now is a deliberate propaganda campaign.

We don't have any leaked memos -- yet -- but it's quite obvious that Bernie Sanders is a witting participant in a deception strategy. Sanders knows that he needs to dampen black support for Hillary Clinton, and he's perfectly willing to fight dirty -- to fight filthy.

The strategy relies on two key factors:

1. The historical ignorance of the young.

2. Compliance from the Clinton-hating mainstream media.

The BernieBots have always taken what I call the "false underdog" position. They pretend that the media is "in the bag" for Hillary and dead-set against the Messiah from Brooklyn. The exact opposite is true.
A newly released media analysis found that the “biggest news outlets have published more negative stories about Hillary Clinton than any other presidential candidate — including Donald Trump — since January 2015.” The study, conducted by social media software analytics company Crimson Hexagon, also found that “the media also wrote the smallest proportion of positive stories about her.”
Meanwhile, we've seen almost no slam-stories against Bernie Sanders -- even though he has proposed a revision of the tax system in which people scraping by on $20,000 a year would be taxed at a higher rate than is now applied to Bill Gates.

Admit it: In any normal election year, you'd be hearing about that confiscatory tax plan every time you turned on the TV. Yet the media refuses to mention it (for now). That refusal tells us much: The fix is in.

Young people are so fucking arrogant that they cannot admit that they have been brainwashed by a propaganda campaign.

Of course, young people always presume that they know more than they actually do. (God knows that this was true of me, back in the 1970s.) They are convinced that they are incapable of being hornswoggled. In fact, the under-30s are the easiest to fool, precisely because they are so damned full of themselves.

Here's the problem: Young "millennials" are infinitely self-congratulatory, even though our rotten school system has left them clueless about everything that happened before they were born. It flatters their egos to think everyone born before 1990 was hideously racist, and that theirs is the first generation to be cured of the social diseases that plagued their elders.

(This was also a common delusion of the hippies, as some of you may remember.)

These well-meaning-but-ignorant youngsters get an emotional high from believing that Bill Clinton presided over a time of lynchings and Klan robes. If you tell millennials that African Americans gave Bill Clinton an 89 percent approval rating in the year 2000 (higher than the approval rating which black people give to our current president), our smug know-it-all youngsters will fall back on the condescending presumption that black people must have been hypnotized.

Actually, that sky-high approval rating occurred for very good reasons: Bill Clinton did a hell of a lot more for black people than Barack Obama has ever done.

(A question I've asked since 2008: When has Barack Obama ever helped a black person not named Obama? He sure didn't do anything noticeable during his days as a state senator in Illinois, when he ignored the problems of his constituents while holed up in a mansion bought for him by a crook who stole from the poor.)

Allow me to repeat some words I've published earlier:

What Bill Clinton did for the black community is a matter of record -- a record which the smear merchants don't want young people to learn. He preserved Affirmative Action at a time when it was very unpopular. He took on the issue of racial profiling by police. He helped minority and woman-owned businesses via the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Act. He helped minority-owned businesses compete for government contracts.

As I have recounted at length in previous posts, Bill Clinton expended one hell of a lot of political capital when he ended redlining and made it much easier for members of minority groups to get home loans. If you're young and you don't know the meaning of the term "redlining," ask your elders. Or go to my earlier posts (here and here) and read about the battles over the Community Reinvestment Act.

Helping many black Americans get home loans was no token gesture. Enabling minority-owned businesses to get government contracts was not an exercise in symbolism. These things were and are real. Do not use the word "mere": There's nothing "mere" about any of this.

Redlining was a genuine obscenity. Any propagandist who attempts to minimize the profound changes wrought by Bill Clinton is either a blinkered fool or a paid liar.

Sister Souljah:  There has been a lot of lying recently about Bill Clinton's "Sister Souljah" incident from the 1992 campaign. The myth was repeated on Bill Maher's Real Time last week.

Let's set the record straight.

Rap artist Sister Souljah, decrying black-on-black violence, said these words: "Why not have a week and kill white people?" Her lyrics had included even worse sentiments: "So if you're a gang member and you would normally be killing somebody, why not kill a white person?" And: "If there are any good white people, I haven't met them."

Don't pretend that context excuses these undeniable calls for violence. She meant what she said. 

Bill Clinton spoke in front of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition -- at an event that also featured Sister Souljah. The situation forced him to respond; not to respond would have been cowardice. Clinton said: "Her comments before and after Los Angeles were filled with a kind of hatred that you do not honor." By "you" he meant the audience at that Rainbow Coalition gathering. He also said: "If you took the words ‘white’ and ‘black,’ and you reversed them, you might think David Duke was giving that speech."

Well put. Those were precisely the words he should have said. His statement was inarguable. Presidential.

On Maher's show, a false version of history was put on display. A guest claimed that Clinton said these words in front of a white audience. That's a damned lie, and I was stunned to see Maher allow it to go unchallenged.

Maher and his guest refused to let the audience know that Sister Souljah had called for blacks to kill white people. Worse, Maher refused to let the audience know what Bill Clinton actually said: Scurrilously, Maher left that part to the audience's imagination.

By deliberately leaving out all of the key details, Maher allowed the audience to believe that Sister Souljah had said something innocent (or at least defensible), and that Bill Clinton had responded with words deeply insulting to all black people.

In short: Maher pretended that Clinton had offered a racist shout out in order to win the white racist vote.

In front of the Rainbow Coalition? Ridiculous!

Maher's narrative is worse than false -- it's ludicrous. No Democratic politician in his right mind is going to insult black people. Even in the 1940s, any politician speaking in New York would have known better. African Americans have been an important voting bloc for a long, long time.

Let me give you a further example of the way political sharpies have revised history: The vile Dick Morris once wrote that Clinton rebuked Sister Souljah in order to embarrass Jesse Jackson -- because, said Morris, Clinton was running against Jackson in the New York primary in 1992. In fact, Jackson did not run at all in that year. (And only an idiot would argue that a Democrat might benefit from making a racist statement in New York in 1992.) Morris isn't stupid: He knew full well that he was being deceptive.

At that time, black people not only understood what Clinton said, they agreed with it: They voted for him in overwhelming numbers, in the primaries and in the general. And at the end of his presidency, they gave Clinton a higher approval rating than they now bestow on Barack Obama.

In later years, the history of the "Sister Souljah" encounter was completely rewritten by Clinton's enemies. The fictionalized version of the story became one of those unkillable zombie lies, like Ronald Reagan's welfare-queen-in-a-Cadillac story.

This Big Lie is directed at voters too young to have any direct memories of 1992. Of course, there's no point in telling them the facts of the matter. The young are too damned arrogant to admit that they've been played for suckers. 
But what really puzzling to me is why the Clinton campaign so weak and slow to respond. At this point what are they going to lose.
How CAN they respond? 2008 taught us that anything -- ANYTHING -- which Hillary might say will be construed as racist.

Think about it. If you knew that there were a thousand political sharpies looking for some way to scry racism into your words, could you say ANYTHING? At this point, Hillary can't even say "I like green beans" without a million people screaming: "How dare you? That's RACIST!"
Mr. Cannon, you left out the right-wing media as part of the All-Media Clinton-Bashing Coalition--unless you consider the RW media and the mainstream media to be identical now, in which case, I would agree that they overlap significantly.
"The young are too damned arrogant to admit that they've been played for suckers."

Some of those our age are being suckered in, too, with an unending drumbeat of Hillary as a racist.

The most jawdropping meme that keeps cropping up is how Hillary "secretly" is a SUPPORTER of the KKK and is desperately trying to hide a video of her praising Byrd.

In this meme they "reveal" a video of this public speech with quotes of a younger Byrd, who later evolved out of his racist upbringing and earnestly regretted his history. This is hardly a secret! But apparently a ton of people, even those our age, somehow didn't know of Byrd's history, tho he'd spoken of it, and it was well known when I was growing up! The meme pretends Byrd was an unrepentant racist KKK leader *while* Hillary was praising him.

Now why isn't BERNIE decrying this lie? It may be ratfucking but it purports to come from HIS supporters.

On taxes:

The problem with the Vox chart is that it artificially inflates the total tax burden in the lower brackets by mixing the marginal income tax rate with the (flat but capped and therefore highly regressive) payroll tax (conveniently forgetting that income taxes are graduated and therefore one does not pay the marginal rate on one's entire income). I assume they do this because they're too stupid to know the difference (I offer their employment of one Ezra "nobody can understand the Constitution because it was written like a hundred years ago" Klein as evidence to support that). It also (of course) ignores the inconvenient fact that health insurance premiums under the ACA are really a de facto tax - complete with penalties for nonpayment. You should add in the IRS-calculated national average premiums for a crappy "bronze" plan ($207/month for an individual in 2015) to the current tax burden if you want a more accurate comparison, Joseph. That's an added $2484/year - which makes the tax burden under the Sanders plan considerably lower than current levels for many taxpayers.

Plus, of course, it makes both Social Security and Medicare solvent for the foreseeable future (without privatizing either or resorting to hidden benefit cuts like "chained CPI").

The left in this is a mutilated version of a noble ideals. The voices I hear now are liars,hypocritical and down right bought by the forces they are supposed to be fighting. That is why they found a safe heaven in the Sanders campaign. They are afraid of a real liberal to be in power, then they will out of job. Hating Clinton is their bread and butter. They will do it with gusto like it's their last stand. Shamelessly they cover all Sanders' shortcomings while make up exaggerating Clinton's. In the end if their goals and the right intermingled so be it after all they are paid from the same pool. What a farce
There are a number of serious problems with Bill C's admin and they are legitimate and not just made up. Here is a brief list.

* The expansion of NATO in Eastern Europe began with Bill. This was unnecessarily provocative and has convinced a clear majority of Russians that the US is their enemy.
* The crime bill.
*Repeal of Glass-Steagal which permitted FDIC insured saving accounts to be used in speculative investments. This set the stage for the too big to fail banks.
* Pushed through the commodities and exchange act of 2000 that prevented the government from regulating derivative trading. This led directly to the financial crisis of 2008.
*Forced the resignation of Brookley Born in 1998 who as chair of the CFTC argued that existing law gave the governemnt authority to regulate the derivatives markets.Rubin and Summners, Bill's secretaries who carried out the coup, then left government and have earned tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in the financial markets.
*Pushed for a totally bogus war against Serbia that was completely unnecessary in 1999.

It is this record of war and financial malfeasance that Hillary shares with Bill and is the reason we cannot support her.

Speaking of the mansion that Tony Rezko helped the Obamas buy, I resurrected an article I wrote back then and did a small update -
The NATO expansion is fair. IN fact, an overall fair criticism is that Clinton allowed conservatives to dictate foreign policy vis a vis Russia, as JFK did, and for the same reason: He could not be seen as "soft."



Look, dummy, CONGRESS makes laws. Congress passed that one by a VETO-PROOF MAJORITY. What part of the words "Veto-proof majority" do you not understand? Bill's signature came at the price of maintaining the Community Reinvestment Act. If he had not signed, no CRA -- and Gramm's bill would have passed anyways.

The Commodities and Exchange Act of 2000 was -- once again -- passed with a VETO-PROOF SUPERMAJORITY. And one of the people who made it veto-proof was Bernie Sanders, who voted for it. The great advocate for the bill was Larry Summers, who convinced everyone in Capitol Hill. And who was it that placed Larry Summers in charge of cleaning up after the 2008 debacle...?

Born was APPOINTED by Clinton. She was opposed by the Fed and by Summers. Clinton did not force her to resign. Here are Born's exact words on the topic of how she left government service...

"I was asked by the White House whether I would like another five-year term. I had gone into the position thinking I would fill out the existing term and return to the practice of law, which was what I really loved to do. But by the time I was considering whether I wanted to stay on for another term, it was pretty clear, because of the attitudes of the other financial regulators, because of the congressional action tying our hands, that there was not anything effective that was going to happen in the over-the-counter derivatives area. And I felt as though because of that, I had done what I could to help protect the public, and there wasn't much left for me to do, and that perhaps the agency would benefit from new blood who came in with new priorities."

You're a motherfucking LIAR, Ted. Don't come round here again. Nothing further you say will be published.

I have HAD IT with paid trolls like you.

You made a lot of good points. I agree with most of what you wrote. For what little that worth.

I don't think either Clinton is racist. However isn't that quite a low bar? What I do think it's the both Clintons have a lot of allies among black politicians I do not respect. What is sometimes termed the "black misleadership" class by Bruce Dixons publication.

Redlining was a great evil. Is a great evil. But many minorities lost those homes due to foreclosure. The banking crisis itself was badly policed. All involved are culpable including obama.

The young need to make their own mistakes. I don't think they owe HRC anything. Even if the record was not being twisted, it wouldn't be a compelling reason to vote for HRC.

The most compelling case you have is that she isn't Trump or Cruz.

You are probably right that she is being slimed. I'm not sure who is doing the slime-ing. I would be surprised if it was everyone's favorite jewish uncle. But give my wife a good reason for voting for her, other than she ain't Trump.


It's a shame Bill Clinton isn't running for President. You make a lot of good points Joseph, as always, but this entire post is about Bill. I guess it's inevitable that people talk about him in relation to the person actually running, his wife. I'd much rather see a focus on her, and her alone. When people try to smear her by talking about what her husband did, or didn't do, I don't pay attention. He's not running. I wish others would do the same, but I guess it was inevitable due to the irrational hatred Republicans have for Bill. He was our last good President, after all, which probably irks them to no end.
Joseph, the sad truth is that no matter what you say--even if it is backed up with hard facts--nothing will convince folks like Ted that they are wrong and that they are attacking the wrong person when it comes to Hillary. The 20+ year campaign of the GOP slime machine against Hillary has pretty much solidified in the mainstream media and in many areas of the Left, as seen by some Sanders' supporters regurgitating them over and over again.

Still, I was around in the 1990s, and they were damned good times (not utopia, but things were heading in the right direction for all). And then they came crashing down because of Bush II.
I quit caring about what Bill Maher had to say about anything a long time ago. He is a misogynist, and proud of it. He has never claimed to be a liberal or progressive; he is an avowed Libertarian. Life is so much happier when you stop watching this jerk and his conga line of right-wing a-holes looking for some cool cred.
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