BERNIE VETO BLOCKS OBAMA’S FDA NOMINEE FROM THE OWRLD OF BIG PHARMA

I think this is an indication of how a president Bernie Sanders would try and change our government’s unhealthy ties with corporations who bribe legislators. Obama campaigned on stopping the revolving door of lobbyists and special interests and the White House. He went on to appoint Wall Street execs to his cabinet and while Michele Obama was pushing a wonderful healthier eating platform, Obama had the nerve to appoint Monsanto head Michael Taylor to the FDA. Talk about foxes watching the hen house. Now Obama wants someone with strong ties to big Pharma to lead the Food And Drug Administration, while simultaneously pushing the TPP trade deal which would make it easier for Big Pharma to have monopolies like on lifesaving medicines worldwide.

Another democratic senator has put a hold on Obama’s FDA nominee until the FDA reviews how it approves painkillers, including how it gives out Oxycontin to kids. I can’t believe that heroin addiction, which often starts with an addiction to prescription pain-killers, is the number 1 concern among New Hampshire voters. Not ISIS, not the economy. Heroin.

If this is a stunt on Bernie’s behalf to make people believe that he’s fighting for the people against corporate interests, it worked on me.

Bernie Sanders Blocks Obama Nominee To Lead FDA

“Dr. Califf’s extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry give me no reason to believe that he would make the FDA work for ordinary Americans, rather than just the CEOs of pharmaceutical companies.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-robert-califf_us_56a7adb5e4b0b87beec6178c

WHY BERNIE SANDERS’ IDEAS ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR NOW!

Economist Paul Krugman wrote a piece on Bernie supporters and how naive they are to believe in Bernie’s ability to affect change. Krugman claimed that throughout history, change has always happened incrementally. That revolution never actually works. I’m one of those naive people, too ignorant of history to counter Krugman with historic examples to the contrary, who thinks Bernie has a chance worth fighting for. Because he’s fighting for me.

I feel a lot of backlash from gays especially who tend to support Hillary. But I could never put anyone in the White House who voted to go war in Iraq to the White House, so last time around I voted for Obama over Hillary. Gave him money, even, because he’d opposed the Iraq war. Turns out he kept those wars going and added a few–with Hillary’s help as his Secretary of State. Almost done with his second term, people are still working harder for less money. They can’t afford to retire. Still can’t afford healthcare.

When I was growing up, one head of the household could hold a good-paying manufacturing job and support his wife and maybe even send a kid to college. That’s largely gone, and Obama’s trade deal will destroy half a million more jobs if passed. Now two heads of a household work full-time and they’re still on food stamps because we don’t have a living wage. We’ve become the “working poor” as the middle class has died out. But the wealthiest have gotten richer and richer under two terms of Bush and two of Obama. Hillary’s a corporate democrat just like Obama, and is now trying to coast on his meager successes. Walmart is the poster child for unfair labor practices with it’s own employees too poor to shop there–and Hillary once sat on their board of directors. We need a government which will benefit workers or I’m not sure this country will recover anytime soon.They say the recession is over but too many people can’t afford health insurance and to save money. That’s bleak. Perhaps that’s the reason why we view Real Housewives with nosejobs snatching wigs and fighting over martini lunches as entertainment. It makes a nice break from the reality of real housewives trying to pinch pennies because they’re scared for the future as I am scared.

And you know what? I’d rather be called naive than jaded. Actually, I have to laugh when I learn that many of Sanders supporters are young. I can barely even read a text, much less send one. But kids, granny gurl is with ya on this one and she is ‪#‎feelingthebern‬. See, I even just used a hashtag! So at my age, I probably should be jaded. Maybe I should be like other voters in my age group and be prudent. But if prudent means embracing a deeply flawed candidate like Hillary who I know will lead the country astray based on her own record, I’ll pick naive every time. We need deep structural changes now–and it’s not the time to discuss if Bernie’s ideas can get through Congress. They’re the right ideas so we need to fight for them. If fighting for what’s right is naive then that’s me. I’ll never fight for what’s wrong just because the republican candidates are more wrong.
This is one of the best pieces I’ve read on Sanders. It’s long, but if you made it this far! If you are weighing up your choices (as some of you have said you are) this may interest you.

Economist Bill McKibben for Huffpo:

You could see it last night in the Democratic town hall. Before they let, you know, sensible people ask questions, there was CNN moderator Chris Cuomo. Cuomo, of course, wanted to know if Bernie Sanders was going to “bring back the era of big government.” This is exactly the kind of frame that pundits have been trying to put on American politics for about as long as I can remember, which is at least back to the Carter era.

This question is supposed to be a kind of kryptonite that causes Democratic politicians to sweat and turn pallid and immediately explain that no, they’re for efficient government or some such. It’s the kind of question that turned Bill Clinton into a triangulating centrist who cut welfare to the bone and elevated corporate power with a series of disastrous trade agreements. Everyone in Washington knows that “big government” is always bad.

But Bernie wasted no time in saying that he was going to bring back the era when government helped care for people. He thinks government should help people go to college and pay for their medical care, which is what big government does in every other industrialized country in the world. He even — in an ad released earlier in the day — dared to advocate that people who have spent their lives working might deserve the chance to relax and be grandparents at the end of the day.
This kind of stuff makes the keepers of our political order crazy. In the last few days, we’ve seen folks such as Paul Krugman in the New York Times and Paul Starr in Politico patiently explain that Bernie is too far to the left to be president. It’s like they’re dumping water on the Wicked Witch of the West and waiting for her to shriek, “I’m melting!” But actually, he’s just shrugging it off, like a duck. As Cuomo tried to get him to confess to his socialism, his team just tweeted out a list of “socialist” accomplishments: Social Security, the minimum wage, Medicare, the 40-hour workweek.

The Beltway polls don’t quite get how much America has changed — how unequal and desperate it’s become. Sanders has spent his career on the back roads of Vermont, which is America’s second-most rural state. That means he’s met a lot of poor people and a lot of desperate people — a lot of people like the woman who started crying at his event in Iowa earlier in the day. The Washington Post reporter described it as “a remarkably moving thing,” which it was. But since Post political reporters only meet actual people during those rare moments in a four-year cycle when they happen to intersect with presidential candidates, he perhaps imagined it as rare. This is what life is like.

Which is probably why actual people are also less worried about the other half of the “serious people” test imposed by pundits. Cuomo’s next question for Sanders was about if Hillary’s experience trumps his. This was pretty much the same question Hillary herself posed to Barack Obama with her infamous “3 a.m.” ad eight years ago. In the D.C. world, “experience” is crucial. It doesn’t matter what you believe — it matters how much power you’ve exercised. Do your time, and you’re in the club.
But again Bernie refused to melt. Yes, he said, she’s very experienced — an obvious concession made with the graciousness that’s marked his campaign. (“People are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”) But, hey, experience isn’t everything. If it was, we’d elect Dick Cheney to every possible office, because he’s had the most experience of all. Instead, as Bernie pointed out, judgment is really more important.

That is why, he added, it is relevant that he opposed the Iraq War when she supported it. And he opposed the Keystone pipeline when she supported it. He could have gone on for a long time with that list: why did she set up a wing of the State Department to spread fracking around the planet, for instance? Why was she against gay marriage for years? But the point is clear. A leader is someone who figures out where the future is going, not someone who joins the party once it’s underway. A canny politician, by contrast, is precisely someone who waits until it’s safe and then runs up to lead the parade.

If it was a year for canny politicians, then Hillary would be a shoo-in. She’s spent decades perfecting that approach.

But it’s not, perhaps, a year for canny politicians. Our Earth is becoming hopelessly unequal (a report last week showed that 62 people owned more assets than the poorest 3.5 billion on the planet) and hopelessly hot. It’s a year, perhaps, for people who insist on telling the truth, even if it’s in a Brooklyn accent.

SO WE “HAVE TO” ELECT THE FLAWED HILLARY SO SHE CAN APPOINT THE RIGHT SCOTUS? NO WAY!

A common argument I’m hearing from Hillary supporters is that while she is deeply flawed, not trustworthy due to frequent flip-flops, a warmonger and tied to the very financial institutions which crashed our economy (and which Obama never prosecuted), we MUST elect a democratic president if only for the sake of the Supreme Court justices they’d appoint. This is a valid point and a bigger picture issue, since justices serve for life. A republican president WOULD try to roll back gay rights, women’s right to choose and issues that matter to people of color.

However, I take issue with this line of thinking: Elect Hillary who many are not enthusiastic about and don’t even trust to do the nation’s TOP JOB so that she can influence a DIFFERENT BRANCH of government. Elect a flawed president because at least she’ll get the Supreme Court appointees right. I’m sick of “at least” candidates. I’m sick of giving up on principles most democrats used to hold dear like peace and income equality. Fear-driven campaigns driven by “We can’t let a republican win” could land us with a democrat who ain’t no damn good.

What about her influence in the White House, when she starts new wars and panders to the corporations who’ve paid for her campaign? No, I don’t want to roll back the hard-fought victories of social justice. And Hillary is definitely better than on social issues like GLBT rights and abortion than any republican. But there are other issues she sucks at. How do we weigh the damage she might do as president versus what the benefits her SCOTUS appointees would have over the long run? I wish our news was weighing this up on this as opposed to leading with every news hour with Trump’s latest outrage.

A young man in Iowa actually stood up in Hillary’s face last night and asked her why people think she’s dishonest. (I kind of wished she’d said “Because I’m just not!” and let out a devilish cackle.) The distrust is palpable. So how do we even trust her to appoint the right Supreme Court justices? We’d like to think she would. Just as we would like to think that she had the capability to see the phony evidence Bush offered as proof we needed to attack Iraq. That war cost trillions and created more terrorists. Iraq is now ISIS’s main breeding ground. You see, there are other issues that Hillary won’t be better on than Bernie. Why wouldn’t she justices who support her corporate goals–like the TPP, not reforming big banks, not standing up to the fossil fuel industries and endless wars which benefit the defense industry?

Bernie Sanders would also appoint the right justices. Are you saying don’t support him because Hillary is the only candidate who can win? Why, because she has the most money from corporate donors? That’s exactly what Bernie wants to change. The fever for Trump and Bernie is fuelled by people sick of the corrupt political establishment and bought candidates. So perhaps Hillary is the one can’t win and this line of thinking is putting all your eggs into a creaky basket full of holes.

Here’s what polling wiz Nate Silver had to say on Jan 18: “We’ve got an unpopular set of presidential candidates this year– Bernie Sanders is the only candidate in either party with a net-positive favorability rating — but Trump is the most unpopular of all. His favorability rating is 33 percent, as compared with an unfavorable rating of 58 percent, for a net rating of -25 percentage points. By comparison Hillary Clinton, whose favorability ratings are notoriously poor, has a 42 percent favorable rating against a 50 percent unfavorable rating, for a net of -8 points. Those are bad numbers, but nowhere near as bad as Trump’s.”

You see, the media’s insane focus on Trump is not that scary of a phantom. Remember that when he had 39% in the polls, these were polls of registered republicans voters. Registered GOP voters are about 18% of the population, so 39% of 18% is what? About 8%? 8% are backing this headline-snatching monster who forces us to run into Hillary’s arms without even contemplating Bernie? Don’t forget that while Trump has a small number of virulent supporters, even many republicans who aren’t registered, independents and democrats would turn out in droves to vote against Trump because he is so disgraceful to many. Even if his opponent in the general election was Bernie Sanders. I mean, our main allies in the UK are actually discussing banning him from the country. The biggest group of people who like him are in our media.

BERNIE RULED LAST NIGHT, BUT MISSED ONE IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITY

Bernie Sanders was on fire last night, but in one respect he let me down. He was challenged as to how he plans to pay for the free college and government run health care. And his other great plans like creating much needed jobs by rebuilding our ailing infrastructure–how about that? We need jobs and the infrastructure badly needs repair. The government pays people to rebuild it. Two birds killed with one stone. But where does the government get all that money for all his wonderful programs?

Bernie claimed that he’d pay for all his plans with taxes on Wall Street speculations and by taxing corporations who get away with not paying a nickel of their taxes thanks to loopholes like offshore accounts. And by taxing the wealthy, who pay less in taxes than they they have in decades. But he won’t just tax the corporations and the wealthy. He’ll raise taxes on everyone like any democratic socialist would do. That’s what socialism is–bigger government with more benefits paid for by higher taxes. No sense in sugar-coating it becuase should he win the nomination, republicans will pound him for suggesting tax hikes. Americans hate higher taxes, even if those extra tax dollars would be way less than our monthly exorbitant insurance premiums which would disappear. I’d rather pay a bit more in taxes than pay a fortune each month to gouging insurance companies in the hopes that you won’t pay out the nose when you get seriously ill. Then you get sick and still pay more. That’s the crap system US health care system Obamacare didn’t sufficiently reform.

What Bernie couldn’t say, however, is that there’s an elephant in the room which no one’s mentioning. If the US government weren’t hell-bent on occupying countries all over the world and toppling governments, we’d have tons of extra money for his programs. In 2013, 27 cents of every tax dollar went to our bloated defense budget. Americans have said they want peace and are weary of the wars that Obama is allegedly drawing down from. But in fact, Obama has extended the longest war in US history in Afghanistan multiple times. Not what his campaign promised. Obama’s killed more with drones than George W. Bush, and recent findings from the Intercept.com showed that 90% of the “precision” drones missed their targets and killed civilians instead. Obama claimed he didn’t believe ground troops in Syria were the answer, yet sent in special operatives anyway, which are troops. Because Russia attacked the Ukraine, the US has lined up troops and tanks in surrounding areas, though this exercise in military might is pointless since no one is attacking us. We simply want to bully Russia. And we just flew a jet over North Korea to warn them after they fired some bomb. None of these are a threat to the US. ISIS, while vicious, isn’t even a threat to the US. They couldn’t strike us here if they tried. I agree with Bernie that muslim nations should step in to squash ISIS. If the US is always ready to jump into war–the trademark of most Republicans and Hillary–neighboring countries know they won’t have to.

The sad truth is that Americans refuse to even acknowledge our perpetual wars. We claim to “support the troops” yet most have no idea what their missions even are. George W. Bush didn’t even allow the coffins of soldiers to be seen on the news to try and distance us from the ugliness of battle. And we elected him twice! While the Iraq war killed several thousands of US troops, the estimates of innocent Iraqis who died is from a couple hundred thousand to a million. We’re divorced from the many wars America is waging. There’s a meme suggesting that Trump is not merely a racist @sshole but that in fact, he’s a mirror of what Americans have become. I’m sorry to say that this isn’t true of just Trump supporters. Even democrats turn a blind eye to Obama’s many war efforts and the fact that Hillary’s a hawk as well. What Bernie should have said is that we need to greatly reduce the amount that we spend on war. That would raise a fortune for his programs. If Sanders wants to mimic the successful governments of Scandinavian economies where the happiest people on earth live, let him also mimic their policy of peace.

But no US presidential candidate could ever get elected by suggesting that we spend less on the defense to pay for valuable programs here at home. So maybe that Trump meme suggesting that Americans are @ssholes isn’t too far off. We care more about killing people overseas who have never attacked us than free college, health care and a new infrastructure. I’d love for someone else to actually do the math, but if just half of that 27% of each tax dollar was spent on Americans’ needs and not endless war, I’ll bet Sanders’ free health care and college, expanding social security and jobs to rebuild the infrastructure would pay for themselves. If Sanders intends to take on Wall Street, corporations and the wealthy not paying taxes, big Pharma, health insurance , etc–why not take on the cruellest and most expensive special interest that eats up the largest part of every tax dollar we spend?

Americans would howl that Sanders is weak on defense if he suggested halving our military budget. The truth is that no one is attacking us–we’re attacking them and have troops based all over the world which we don’t need. If diplomacy worked so well with Iran, let’s ditch our failed strategy of being the world’s police. Becuase even with the trillions we put towards defense, we’re losing wars–in Iraq, in Afghanistan and against ISIS. But when your goal is perpetual war so that the military industrial complex always gets paid off, you don’t actually want to win wars. If we won, we’d have to stop fighting.

HILLARY CLAIMS BERNIE’S POLICIES CAN’T MAKE IT THROUGH CONGRESS. HOW COULD HERS?

Many have told me that they respect Bernie’s policies, but they don’t think he can win in a general election. One recent poll Quinnipiac poll showed Sanders beating Trump or Cruz by double digits by more than Clinton would beat them by. But I understand that some want to play it safe and make sure that a republican doesn’t get into office. The GOP certainly is extra crazy this year.

I just hope that your strategy of choosing Hillary to be safe from republicans doesn’t backfire. Hillary is loved by many but also hated by many. I can’t explain the love, I can’t explain the hate–I only look with at her policies and voting record with concern. But let’s imagine she wins the nomination and then wins the presidency. Bernie critics say that he’d never get his socialist agenda through Congress. What makes you think that Hillary will get her agenda through if the GOP-led Congress blocked Obama on so much? The only thing the GOP hates as much as a black guy with a foreign-sounding name is Hillary. Or Bernie. They hate everyone. Since the advent of the Tea Party, they even hate themselves.

Hillary’s putting forth the notion that she’ll be the democrat who can work with both sides because of her experience. Is this already a tack to the middle in the primaries? Don’t candidates usually wait for the general election to go more mainstream? (And face it, they always do.) I would love to get more info exactly how she plans to accomplish working with Congress when Obama failed to. By abandoning core democratic principles? How else would she manage it? A magic wand? So in the end, we would have voted for Hillary to fend off the republicans, so that she can begin acting like one? Is that the strategy? I’m actually asking, because it isn’t clear to me. I’ve heard how Bernie’s policies are too “radical” to get through our crooked Congress, but I’ve yet to hear how Hillary will get hers through. Obama was often blocked by Congress as well. What makes Hillary different? Her willingness to betray her party/compromise/whatever you want to call it?

I prefer voting for someone like Sanders who says we need a bold new direction and has enthusiasm behind him. Perhaps that enthusiasm will translate into more progressives in Congress as well. With the GOP nut jobs, perhaps any democrat can win. So why not pick the democrat whose ideas you believe in wholeheartedly? And if Obama has been doing such a great job that Hillary is now claiming she’ll continue his presidency’s great work, why did democrats have so little enthusiasm behind them that republicans won majorities in Congress to be able to block Obama as much as they have? Congress has a terrible approval rating because everyone knows they’re corrupt. I think a vote for someone willing to slam Congress’s nonsense is much more appealing than someone willing to cut more half-assed deals.

THE ACTUAL SCANDAL BEHIND HILLARY & BENGHAZI IS MUCH WORSE THAN EMAILS

For ages, the GOP yammered on about Benghazi–it was going to be the “gotcha” moment which proved Hillary’s incompetence because a few American lives were lost in the operation. When they finally had the Congressional hearing, for 11 hours Hillary proved that she was forceful, intelligent and possessed the kind of gravitas one might require in a room full of world powers. She seemed presidential, and the results of this hearing seemed like it had finally put many people’s doubts behind her. Joe Biden, who had been floating the idea of a run, announced afterward that he would not run because it was perceived that the democratic establishment had saved itself at this hearing. (Hillary’s poll numbers had been dropping because of the scandals.) In the analysis following the hearing on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell mentioned that there was a broader policy issue here, but never went into what that was.

Here’s what that issue was. The US was in Libya overthrowing leader Gaddafi with Hillary acting as one of the major brokers of the coup. She even pushed for ousting and murder of Gaddafi against the advice of Robert Gates, who was then the Secretary of Defense. So she’s more of a hawk than the Secretary of Defense is, who also criticized her lack of an exit strategy. A major reason Hillary lost the election to Obama was that she voted for the disastrous Iraq war as a senator. 10 years later and she’s acting as Secretary of State to overthrow another muslim leader, also with no exit strategy? Hillary learned nothing from her mistake in voting for Iraq. This military coup lead to chaos in Libya–the same chaos the US created in Iraq which led to it becoming a breeding ground for ISIS. A 2014 estimate reveals that 6,000 ISIS fighters are now in Libya–there are likely to be many more now. So far from keeping us safe by her tough position on defense, Hillary’s murderous actions in Libya as Secretary of State are actually bolstering ISIS. Fear of ISIS is one of voters’ major concerns. Hillary, like most Republicans, represents a foreign policy which helped create ISIS.

Remember how vile we thought John McCain was when he sang “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran?” Well, Hillary had her own disgusting little play on words to describe Libya and her utter disregard for peace: “We came, we saw, he died.”

I never said Gaddafi was a sweetheart. Like Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, he was a “bad man” who mistreated his people. Killed them in a vicious civil war. But that didn’t make him a threat to the US in any way. It did, however, make him a target for the US military, which never met an arab nation they didn’t want to overthrow. But Wikipedia casts doubt upon the “humanitarian” reasons we ousted Qaddafi: “That month, Amnesty International published their findings, in which they asserted that many of the accusations of mass human rights abuses made against Gaddafist forces lacked credible evidence, and were instead fabrications of the rebel forces which had been readily adopted by the western media.”

During the hearings, you may recall the name Sidney Blumenthal being brought up again and again. He was Hillary’s Libya advisor who stood to personally profit from his ties to Osprey Global Solutions, a defense contractor, which hinged on overthrowing Gaddafi. So if you want a foreign policy based on overthrowing countries with oil–the oil that 80% of is supposed to stay in the ground to avoid the worst effects of climate change–vote for Hillary. With Libya, Hillary was doing exactly what democrats howled over when Cheney’s firm Halliburton benefitted from the Iraq war. If you want American troops dying to enrich our government’s friends, she’s the perfect candidate.

Almost all republicans want perpetual war all the time to pay off the defense industry and snatch oil contracts for their buddies. So the GOP-led Congress couldn’t quibble with Hillary about anything of substance during the lengthy Benghazi hearing. They agree with her interventionist policy in Libya. How could they criticize her for doing something most Republicans would’ve done sooner? That’s why we got 11 hours of silly questions about which emails were when and to whom, trying to disgrace Hillary for improprieties, especially since they could link these to her other improprieties with her personal email scandal. The true scandal is that Hillary is a hawk who will bring more bloodshed to the world, which will then create more terrorists like ISIS. And that she overthrew Gaddafi, not because he threatened the US or we were so concerned about his mistreatment of his people that we had to step in and stop it. She did it to exert US military might for no clear reason and to pay off business interests like her advisor Sidney Blumenthal. The french government, which joined the US in it’s attacks on Libya, now has a multi-billion dollar deal for Libya’s oil. And the whole US government was involved in it’s typical quest for never-ending war–despite the fact that most Americans claim they are sick of war and would prefer to fix problems here at home.

Because there was no threat to the US from Libya, Hillary needed something horrific to scare Americans into supporting Obama and Hillary’s war, Blumenthal even floated a bizarre rumor which was then spouted by Susan Rice: that Gaddafi was giving his supporters in Libya’s civil war Viagra to rape the women who opposed him. Which is as absurd as George W. Bush’s false claims that we needed to invade Iraq because they had yellowcake uranium which somehow posed a threat to us. But hawks want war–their reasons don’t have to make sense.

So if you want lies, dirty dealings and unexplained wars which boost ISIS’s numbers, vote for Hillary. When it comes to war, Hillary’s a republican. I’m not suggesting that Bernie Sanders is a dove, but he has repeatedly called for muslim countries to iron out their own problems rather than jump in for murky reasons. I am suggesting that this country needs to stop seeing military intervention as the answer to problems we don’t even have. No one suspected that George W. Bush would use the attacks of 9/11 to launch wars which are still going on today. Some families urged their kids to enlist to straighten them up or to get money for college, thinking there were no wars on the horizon. Yet many were killed or many came home to experience PTSD, homelessness and joblessness thanks to some of the brutally long tours of duty. So it is very important to look at Hillary’s terrible record on war. Are you “supporting the troops” when you send them into battles they need not be fighting? Or are you instead supporting the corrupt leaders who don’t think twice about sending into harm’s way to enrich their allies?

HILLARY NOW LYING ABOUT BERNIE’S SINGLE PAYER HEALTH CARE PLAN

This organization which supports singe payer wants us to sign to urge Clinton to stop her dishonest attacks on Bernie Sanders and his support of a single payer system. Dishonest is their word. Have you seen what she’s been saying? She even had Chelsea join her in being “dishonest”. Both have been claiming that Sanders wants to undo Obamacare and start from scratch. A scare tactic. Hillary claims Sanders’ plan would basically end every kind of health care we know.” Right, because it would begin a new kind of health care where everyone has it, a plan supported by 81% of registered Democrats. Make no mistake, Clinton is right when she claims that taxes would go up for everyone. Any form of socialism is going to raise taxes because it’s offering more services like universal healthcare. But that increase in taxes would be completely offset by the fact that we would, under Sanders’ plan, have no monthly insurance bill. So while Clinton again misrepresents Bernie, 81% of Democrats support a single-payer system which Obama didn’t have the balls to go for. A system which has almost every country in the developed world has which results in cheaper health care. The US can’t have because our government is bribed by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. I wonder how much money Hillary’s campaign has taken from them to spread these lies? She’s out of step with progressive healthcare reform and she’s out of step with 81% of Democrats. So she’s forced to lie. Democrats–this is your frontrunner? Good luck!

“In recent months Hillary Clinton has targeted Bernie Sanders’s support for a single-payer healthcare system, indicating that single-payer represents a tax-hike for working and middle-class families that would undermine their income. Clinton has also argued that Sanders’s plan would “send health insurance to the states, turning over your and my health insurance to governors.”

According to a Kaiser poll released within weeks of Clinton’s comments, 81% of Democrats favor “Medicare for all,” single-payer healthcare, along with 60% of Independents and almost a third of Republicans. And for good reason: virtually every country in the developed world provides better access to healthcare at half the cost using a single-payer system, or something very close to it.

Fear mongering that single payer will cut into working families’ incomes through tax hikes is disingenuous, because single payer replaces sky-rocketing insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-payments with lower payroll and income taxes. A single payer system creates savings by cutting out for-profit middlemen and eliminating administrative waste, creating exactly the relief for working and middle-class families that Clinton champions.

Governors would not be allowed to undermine universal coverage under single-payer legislation introduced by Bernie Sanders in 2013. The bill gives states responsibility for issuing healthcare cards and paying providers, but requires that they cover all residents with comprehensive coverage, and puts them under federal receivership if they fail to do so. However, if Hillary Clinton is uncomfortable with state-level administration, 81% of Democrats would welcome her support for a national single-payer healthcare system!

Clinton has been a tremendous leader in so many areas, including her successful efforts to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program in 1997. Join us in calling on Hillary Clinton to support a moral and sustainable vision for healthcare by supporting single-payer healthcare reform.”

https://www.change.org/p/hillary-clinton-join-81-of-democrats-and-support-single-payer-healthcare-reform

R.I.P. DAVID BOWIE

12507679_10153729847101014_3423547528556914349_n

A SOBERING STROLL IN DOWNTOWN INDIANAPOLIS

New Yorkers gripe constantly about NYC changing. But yesterday I hopped on a plane to Indiana for work and caught this above a big theater the main center square of Indianapolis. A little reminder of how lucky New Yorkers are in one respect. And yes, I take it for granted until I get a glimpse of the lay of the land elsewhere. At least new Yorkers don’t have to walk past a marquee proclaiming that Christian groups are praising their governor for his call to deny LGBT rights. And my, Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) is a bold fool. He’s clearly willing to ignore the scorn and instant backlash from the national business community at large when signed a bill permitting discrimination against us last year.

Above a theater, for chrissakes? Can you imagine what would happen if they tried that in NYC? Many of the actors and staff wouldn’t show up in protest of such a publicly, proudly backward official state position. Some of us forget how it was in the places we came to NYC from. It’s the reason some of us moved away from home and it’s still like that just an hour and a half flight away from the city? While some change in NYC is bad, how awful to realize that some places stay too much the same.

Let’s note that this sign reflects Indiana pastors’ “religious freedom” stance of Kim Davis– it ain’t just in Kentucky. And while some of you howl when I say this–gays’ most vicious enemies are usually from the church. Yes, I know–some churches are accepting. Most are not. Hell, most religions are not. And these gay-bashers cling to the Bible since without it’s passages to misinterpret, they’d simply be bigots. Armed with the Bible, “they’re just doing their Christian duty”–by denying rights to gays, women who want abortions, etc.

With enemies this vocal, we don’t need a president who “evolved” on gay issues like Obama. And we don’t need a president who flip-flopped on support of GLBT rights as Hillary has done throughout her career. As late as 2013 she couldn’t support gay marriage though the majority of country had evolved in front of her, leaving her rusty position in the dust. We need someone who didn’t need to evolve because they got it right the first time and stuck with that position through their entire career. I mean Bernie Sanders. If ending discrimination against the GLBT community is what a leftie socialist from a small Northeastern state wants to spread throughout the land, I’ll take it!

I’ll never forget the LOGO presidential debate between Obama, Clinton and Dennis Kucinich. He looked right in the camera and said what neither of his opponents could: (quoting from memory) “I support gay marriage and I hope you’ll support me.” Yet most gays ignored Kucinich, and many ignored Obama and supported Clinton. Bernie’s been supporting gay rights since the 80s. So which Democratic presidential candidate will fight more forcefully for equality? My money’s on Bernie. Actually, I don’t have much money, which is why I value Bernie’s other key fight for income equality as much, if not more, than marriage equality. Because now that I can finally have one, why would I want a husband who’s broke? Opposites attract!

SIGN THIS TO STOP OBAMA’S TPP NOW!

Obama said little about the TPP last night because he knows that the more he informs people about it, the more they’ll learn what’s in it and pressure their Congress members to vote against it. That’s why Obama, with all of his messages of goodwill, hope and opportunity, wrote the TPP in secret with multi-national corporations and fast-tracked it through Congress. If whistleblowers hadn’t obtained a copy of the agreement which governs 40% of the world’s trade and leak it, we might have already bought the crappy deal because it’s too late. But it takes a whistleblower to reveal the true Obama. He’s a charming man, a handsome man and didn’t Michelle look lovely last night with her shimmering hair? But that charming handsome man is actually a snake who is actively, secretly trying to destroy opportunity–not create it. He wants opportunities, alright. For the multi-national companies who run the world. (Now I sound like Beyonce.) In no way is he being true to his rotten character when he chirps about paid sick leave or improving other working conditions. What difference does it make if we have paid sick leave if we don’t have a job to begin with? And the TPP will make American outsourcing jobs easier.

The trade deal has been called NAFTA on steroids and NAFTA was Bill Clinton’s baby which killed 1 million good-paying manufacturing jobs. By sending them to countries like Vietnam, where the minimum wage is under $1. Try to compete with that. Hillary Clinton supported the TPP and called it the “gold standard” of trade agreements just a couple years ago as Secretary of State. She then flip-flopped right before the debate so she could seem principled and less of the corporate shill which she is. Bernie’s been against the TPP since it was proposed, but why support a guy who can’t win? If Bernie can’t win, you can’t win. You’d better wake up to “corporate Democrats” like Obama and Hillary who operate like Republicans when it comes to licking corporate butt. Or at least wake up to your own economic interests and sign this to try and stop this disastrous deal. If you don’t hear Democrats from Congress raging over the TPP in the next few weeks, go ahead and admit that your news has become Trump’s reality tabloid machine. All labor unions are against it. Consumer watchdogs, environmentalist and those who don’t want to help big Pharma create worldwide drug monopolies like our dear friend Martin Shkreli and Daraprim. Let’s put it this way, the TPP aids him and those like him, not you.

PETITION: Last Night, I watched President Obama give his final State of the Union address. I expected him to talk at length about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Instead, the President said just 67 words about the deal because he knows it’s become hugely unpopular with people from across the political spectrum.

We have the momentum to stop this — but corporations and special interests will be pouring money and influence into DC to get it passed any way they can.

Click here to take action now before Congress votes on the TPP. Tell your lawmakers not to sell out the Internet and demand they vote NO on the TPP.

There are just 3 weeks until President Obama intends to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). After that, Congress can ratify the treaty at any time.

The good news is that last night’s State of the Union address was the clearest sign yet that we have the power to stop the TPP. During the speech, President Obama talked about the Trans-Pacific Partnership for just 28 seconds. He said all of 67 words. And when he was done, only his cabinet stood to clap.

The lackluster response underscores what we’ve been hearing from allies in Washington, DC: right now there just aren’t enough votes to pass the TPP.

But the bad news is that the the State of the Union was just the beginning of the final push to approve the TPP. Soon, the MPAA, the Chamber of Commerce, and other powerful special interest groups will be pouring money into lobbying efforts to undermine our the democratic process and push the TPP through however they can.

We need to act now to get as many members of Congress on the record opposing the TPP as possible before the lobbyists and campaign contributions tip the scales.

Tell Congress: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a sinking ship — vote against Internet censorship and vote NO on the TPP.

In November, we finally got to read the full text of the TPP, and it is worse than we thought. It reads like a wish list for the most powerful companies — giving Facebook, Comcast, Wal-Mart, and Monsanto the policies they’ve always wanted.

It contains extreme copyright provisions that will lead to a more restricted, expensive, and censored Internet.1 It threatens democracy and national sovereignty by letting corporations sue governments in secret tribunals to undermine our basic rights.2

The fact that members of Congress didn’t stand up to applaud when President Obama spoke about the TPP last night speaks volumes. It says that right now, Congress is on the fence — which means all the activism, the calls, emails, and protests, have been making an impact. Activism is the reason that this morning Senator John Thune, said the TPP is, “on life support.”

But we know that can change all too quickly. Remember how much momentum we had against CISA? We’ve learned to always go big or go home, and that every single call and email matters.

Click here to tell Congress: Vote NO on the TPP.

We CAN stop the TPP — but we’re going to need to step it up in the coming weeks to stave off the White House’s renewed push. So take action and send an email today, and most importantly forward this email to your friends and family and share on social media to sound the alarm.

Thanks for all you do,

~ Evan at FFTF

 

SIGN:  https://www.fightthetpp.org/?can_id=2454992fa4a2842c3e0d8e546483e2ee&source=email-the-tpp-2&email_referrer=the-tpp-2&email_subject=the-tpp&link_id=2

THIS IS SOME SERIOUS WIGGERY GOING ON!

I'm done.... Lol why!!!!

Posted by Levar Ramzie Kemp on Sunday, November 29, 2015

CHANNING TATUM AS BEYONCE AS JOCELYN WILDENSTEIN

There is a similarity, no?

AND MAYBE ONE JENNER IN THERE, TOO?

Yeah

Posted by Paz on Thursday, January 7, 2016

PIERRE: CAROLE KING

I vaguely remember this from my childhood. It’s something else!

“I DON’T VOTE WITH MY VAGINA”–SUSAN SARANDON ON WHY SHE SUPPORTS BERNIE

Susan Sarandon Endorses Bernie Sanders

Life-long Activist, Humanitarian, and Actress/Director, Susan Sarandon goes full #FeelTheBern! Here is a video of Susan endorsing Bernie Sanders at the Brooklyn is Berning event in NYC.Join Susan in the political revolution: map.berniesanders.com

Posted by The People For Bernie Sanders 2016 on Thursday, January 7, 2016

BERNIE SANDERS NEPOTISM STORY “BROKEN” BY GAWKER AND VANITY FAIR

 

A new Vanity Fair article and Gawker article claims that a report from a right-wing paper claims two of Bernie’s family members were paid by his campaign. Apparently, his wife O’Meara was paid “more than $90,000 for consulting and ad placement services” between 2002 and 2004.” Vanity Fair is respected for it’s investigative journalism, and while I don’t read it, even I recognized the reporter’s name: Tina Nguyen. I’m not an investigative reporter, but I couldn’t help but notice the article which FB suggested that I read next, which claimed that $60,000 of that $90,000 went to pay for Bernie’s campaign ads. Nothing illegal there, but Vanity Fair and Gawker make it seem like his wife pocketed $90,000. She “pocketed” 1/3 of that for her work. The rest paid for ads. That’s what “ad placement services” are.

I support Bernie Sanders but if he’s guilty of something wrong, let it be known to all and let the chips fall where they may. The last thing we need is more corruption. But this comment under the more detailed article put this in perspective for me. The whole piece and many of the comments are an interesting read. I find it interesting that the article I linked below about this was published in August. Yet suddenly it’s a “scandal” to Vanity Fair and Gawker?

“His wife earned $15,000 a year working for his campaign, which is lower than most paid staffers. “Money out of politics” means millions going to candidates’ campaigns by bankers, Wall Street and huge corporations – which causes those elected to owe favors and votes to these benefactors. This would hardly fit someone’s family members who earn a paycheck for labor given. Bernie expects naysayers to come out of the woodwork to try to find something to carp about, because his campaign is gaining ground. If you want to talk about “money out of politics”, look to the gross donations given to Hillary – with high expectations for favors from the White House. Bernie does not accept this kind of money because his is a grassroots campaign. His wife working for his campaign and receiving a small salary for her work should not be questioned in this same context.”

I also enjoyed this exchange in the following exchange in the comments:

Mahlers5th • 4 months ago
And wait’ll they get a hold of this….”And YOU want to be Commander in Chief?!”
Bernie Sanders applied for ‘conscientious objector’ status during Vietnam, campaign confirms https://www.yahoo.com/politic

casterle Mahlers5th • 3 months ago
> “And YOU want to be Commander in Chief?!” Bernie Sanders applied for ‘conscientious objector’ status during Vietnam
Yes, that’s exactly who I want to be in charge of our war machine.
Someone who’s smart enough to understand that you don’t go to war unless the homeland is under imminent attack.
Someone who won’t go to war to boost corporate profits.
And especially someone who won’t dishonor our military by wasting them for no good reason.
Who do you want in charge, Bush the invader?

http://www.progressivestoday.com/bernie-sanders-used-campaign-donations-pay-family-members-2000-2004/

WIGSTOCK: THE MOVIE’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING AT MOMA PS1 ON 1/18

Wigstock: The Movie
Monday, January 18, 7:30 p.m.

1995. USA. Directed by Barry Shils. Join us to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this joyous documentary commemorating the revolutionary drag music festival that was held annually in New York on Labor Day weekend from 1984 to 2001.

Performances and commentary by The Lady Bunny, RuPaul, Joey Arias, Lypsinka, Jackie Beat, Alexis Arquette, Misstress Formika, Tabboo!, Deee-Lite, and others testify to the importance of this event in the history of transgender liberation. 85 min. 35mm print courtesy the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project Collection

Wigstock co-creator Lady Bunny and performer John Epperson (Lypsinka) will join director Shils for a Q&A following the film.

http://www.moma.org/support/membership/film_plus

DID OBAMA ALSO SHED TEARS FOR INNOCENT CHILDREN HIS SECRET DRONES HAVE KILLED?

On Obama crying today.
I’m a crybaby who will cry at the most formulaic movies sappy, feel-good outcome. But I’m an emotional drag queen. It takes a much sadder situation to make a straight man cry, in public, on camera, in his official capacity as the president of the United States. But look at the situation we’re in. Gun nuts are killing children in schools. Colleges. Shooting up military bases. Abortion clinics. Movie theaters. Even churches. Something has to be done to limit gun access for our own safety. I’ll bet if you totaled the number of gun deaths in America, they’d surpass US deaths from terrorists. So while our news is pumping us full of fears of ISIS, those terrorists haven’t been able to strike us here. But nuts with guns who shouldn’t have them have are racking up plenty of US casualties. It’s a deeply tragic scene worthy of tears. I’m glad Obama took a step in the right direction.

I just wonder if Obama shed any tears for the children killed by his many drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Afghanistan. If dead innocents are so abhorrent to him, he should be a lot more careful with his drone strikes. Almost 90% of the roughly 2,500 killed by Obama’s drones are innocent civilians. (Link below.) Yet the Obama administration lies when it claims that civilians are rarely hurt. 90% civilian deaths is the opposite of rarely hurt. It’s more like frequently killed for no reason because a war-monger like Obama has lethal weapons and bombs innocent people in disturbing numbers. Isn’t that what this new executive order on guns is supposed to curb–people with weapons targeting innocent people? Some of these countries we’re bombing we never even declared war on. Obama needs to practice what he preaches if he’s such an empathetic guy. Why is he crying over some deaths while causing so many others? Why doesn’t the loss of innocent lives in muslim countries seem to bother a president whose middle name is Hussein?

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/civilian-deaths-drone-strikes_561fafe2e4b028dd7ea6c4ff

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/drone-papers_561ed361e4b0c5a1ce61f463?v4w019k9

THE MEDIA’S COVERAGE OF WOMANIZERS TRUMP & BILL CLINTON IS SCREWING ALL OF US

Been on the road since Christmas and still am out of the country. So the only english news I’m getting on TV is CNN international. I’m kind of shocked that their biggest headline over the weekend was Hillary announcing that Bill Clinton would be campaigning with her and what what inappropriate things Donald Trump warned he would say about Bill’s past affairs. And about Hillary as an alleged enabler. As if Trump isn’t a womanizer as well. Do we need to bring up Ivana’s old rape allegations against Trump, too?

So now the headlines focus on what is out of bounds for Trump to say, what is sexist, etc. CNN analysts were actually discussing this on every news segment, often as the top story. But in a year or even a month, who’s going to care about yet another outrageous statement from Trump? It has nothing to do with real issues that we’re facing. Does info on extramarital affairs that occurred decades ago help students pay for college? Make health care more affordable? Halt global warming? Change gun laws? Address #blacklivesmatter? Immigration? ISIS? Jobs? Rebuilding the infrastructure? Pick any problem that’s important to you which affects your life. No cat fight between two womanizers is going to address any of them. So at a time when most of us aren’t doing too well and many are facing rampant injustice, our “news” media is screaming about old affairs of the super-wealthy. This is a tremendous failure of US news, which has become TMZ by putting the ball in Trump’s court every time he blasts off with some nonsense that is treated seriously. While he’s vague on specific polices.

The clip they played of Bill Clinton hitting the campaign stump showed him saying “I do not believe in my lifetime anybody has run for this job at a moment of great importance who was better qualified by knowledge, experience and temperament to do what needs to be done now.” What does this actually mean? What does it translate to in terms of policy? Nothing. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders can’t even snag a headline because there isn’t a sex scandal in his past and he isn’t insulting anyone. As long as we’re discussing ancient affairs ad infinitum, there isn’t time to focus on a candidate whose economic policies would benefit 99% of us. The truth is that Hillary needs her popular husband right now because she’s trailing Sanders in New Hampshire and their primary is in February. With all of her money from huge corporations, she needs her husband to generate enthusiasm for her campaign in at least that state.

We don’t need scandals from the past dominating our discourse. The real scandal is that our news, which ought to inform us in troubled times, too often ignores the real issues in favor of tabloid junk and the cult of personalities. Show me the news coverage that breaks down what Hillary’s tax plan versus Bernie’s tax plan versus O’Malley’s or any GOP candidate would actually mean for the average working American. Not seeing any analysis of that. I don’t care who they f#cked. I just don’t want another president who fucks the country and continues to fuck the rest of the world.

A DRAG QUEEN’S TRIBUTE TO THE LATE, GREAT NATALIE COLE

Natalie is perhaps best remembered for her later, adult contemporary recordings like Unforgettable. But for someone my age, she’d had an entirely different career in the 1970s as an electrifying showstopper before she matured. She burst onto the scene with This Will Be, the ultimate feel good song guaranteed to get all hands clapping and every toe tapping. (Apparently, Aretha turned this song down and there was even a little rivalry between The Queen and Natalie since they were billing her as the “new Aretha.”) Her next smash, Sophisticated Lady, was a funkier groove. I never fully understood the lyrics to that one but I still knew every one of them. And proving that she could do it all, Cole’s seismic ballads Our Love and I’e Got Love On My Mind made her the first female artist to have two platinum albums in one year. I can’t really describe how lucky I was to grow up with music this great on the radio. And Natalie wasn’t some beauty who was packaged for her looks–so she had both the excellent material and the pipes to deliver it. (Oddly, Natalie somehow grew prettier as she aged, wearing more make-up and longer hair than she ever had in her youth. And it worked for her!)

Then there was her mind-blowing live double album. Drag performers have made a fortune in tips from the gems off of Natalie Live! In her patter between songs, she reveals that she is pregnant. She did have drug problems and I have no idea if she was on drugs during this concert. But let’s just say that her energy was very, very up. As in frantic hollering–two albums worth! And that’s why so many queens hoofed it to the wailing uptempo jam Party Lights, the jazzier Mr. Melody with it’s dramatic stops and of course, her insane cover of The Beatles’ Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, which changes from haunting ballad to rocking masterpiece with one gospel-tinged end section where she screams “Not pearls but diamonds! Not sapphires but diamonds! Not rubies but diamonds! Not opals but diamonds!” This is is soul at it’s absolute finest. I’d love to know what Beatles’ fans think of her bombastic rendition of it. I remember losing my mind when Dina Jacobs performed it at Backstreet in at Atlanta and the bitch had glued rhinestones on the inside of her hands. Like the rest of the crowd, I went nuts. Queens gravitate towards thrilling singers like Jennifer Holliday who make you feel something way down deep and very real. Natalie was just such a gem.

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds begins with a spoken section. It’s such a draggy intro that it could have been written with queens in mind. Here’s the rap intro–it makes the perfect outro for a superstar.

“As we continue along on our journey, in our time machine, out our window, we pass through many different eras of time. Times when ladies were very, very special. Like Cleopatra, Helen Of Troy, Venus, the goddess of love.”

And like you, Natalie. Thanks for all of your brilliance. You kept this fool dancing and singing and rejoicing for decades.

JUST IMAGINE IF THOSE OREGON GUNMEN WERE BLACK

So gunmen have taken over a federal building in Oregon and I’ve just seen two analysts on CNN agreeing the main job of law enforcement is keeping people safe. As in the people who seized a government building with firearms. Um, isn’t another big responsibility also enforcing laws–which would include preventing gun squads from occupying federal property? Both analysts agreed that time was on the side of law enforcement because the armed “patriots” would get cold, run out of food, etc. So they thought it was best to wait this out and avoid the confrontation that these nuts seem to want.

I wonder how quickly law enforcement would act if these were people of color brandishing weapons? Seems to me that police are killing unarmed blacks because they claim to perceive them to be so threatening that lethal force is often necessary. But when a band of gun-toting whites, some with criminal records, heists a government building, waiting it out is the best policy?

HILLARY TRIES TO PAINT HERSELF AS A SWEET LATINA GRANDMA–AND IT BACKFIRES!

Hillary, the complete phony who will say or be anything in order to get elected and then turn back to do her corporate donors’ bidding, released a campaign geared to hispanics called “7 Ways Hillary Is Like Your Abuela.” (Abuela means grandmother in spanish.) Many latinos responded with outrage, and this link shows some of the the tweets with the hashtag #notmyabuela which trended for a bit as Hillary’s “hispandering” drew ire.

EveryJoe: “Those who have been following the Democratic campaigns from Day 1 will tell you that Clinton still has yet to address several issues that matter to young Latinos. They are the ones who will remind you of Clinton’s inconsistent record on immigration or that the campaign stopped taking donations from private prison lobbyists only after young Latinos spoke out. Young Latinos care about Honduras and say the Clinton’s actions in 2009 should be examined some more. They tell you that at times Clinton sounds like a Republican candidate, only to apologize later. They will also tell you that the Clinton campaign was the last one to comment on Christmas Eve about a new proposed Department of Homeland Security plan to deport more Central American families in 2016. While both Martin O’Malley and Sanders quickly condemned the proposed DHS plan, the comments from a Clinton campaign spokesperson were more muted.”

Reminds me of how Hillary panders to the gay community and then changes her mind or offers non-committal positions on gay marriage as late as 2013. She’s the opposite of a leader. Even when she tries to create a goodwill campaign it backfires–because she’s a corporate hawk who would rather take money from private prisons which latino deportees are placed in!

A few #notmyabuela tweets:

Viva la causa! @70torinoman
Neoliberal
War Hawk
Wallstreet Private Prison Puppet
Mass Incarceration
Mass Immigrant Detentions and Deportations

#NotMyAbuela

@rosaclemente
“She worries about children everywhere” #NotMyAbuela does not support war/dronings which disproportionatly kill children @Hillary Clinton

Chepe Torna Atrás @sabokitty
#NotMyAbuela bcuz how many families were ripped apart, detained at abusive detention centers and deported while HRC was Sec. of State

Chepe Torna Atrás @sabokitty
#NotMyAbuela because no one in my family ever overthrew (or tried to) democratically elected leaders in Honduras, Haiti, or Ecuador

Chepe Torna Atrás @sabokitty
#NotMyAbuela because my ma worked in sweatshops, she wasn’t made rich off sweatshop labor as a member of the Walmart board of directors

http://www.salon.com/2015/12/23/not_my_abuela_twitter_explodes_in_outrage_over_hillary_clintons_hispandering/

OUR GOVERNMENT AND NEWS MEDIA ARE CONSPIRING TO SELL US ON WAR–AGAIN

When you’re hearing about non-stop terror threats like the schools that closed in Los Angeles a few weeks ago after a bogus threat–NYC schools ignored the same threat as clearly a sham–the corporate news media is aiding our war-hungry government in making it seem as though war is our only option for public safety.

Both CNN and the New York Times apologized to their viewers/readers for not asking harder questions of the Bush administration during the lead-up to the Iraq war–which we now know was a huge mistake. Neither CNN or the New York Times are right-wing, yet even these “balanced” and respected media outlets got it wrong. Sometimes because their journalists are denied access to the White House if they are too critical of them, sometimes because they get ad dollars from companies who profit from war and sometimes because of ratings–we’re more likely to stay tuned if there’s a ghastly threat from Saddam or whoever. Even if the threat isn’t real, although a threat from Saddam seemed real enough to Hillary Clinton to make her vote for an unnecessary war. Some foreign policy expert she is. So if middle of the road media is apologizing for simply regurgitating what the government wants, imagine the outright lies which less principled news outlets are spouting in an attempt to generate fear and the war that our government feels is the only solution.

The birth of the public relations industry came from president Woodrow Wilson’s Committee On Public Information, designed to sell the American people on going into World War I. This nasty business is still going on today and it’s masquerading as news. Our government profits from war and our news media is happy to assist by amplifying threats.

Remember the anthrax scare after 911? It was truly horrifying and I recall shaking my own letters to see if they contained any powder. Here’s what Wikipedia says about our governments desperate attempts to link the anthrax scare to Saddam Hussein in order to justify their assassination of him and occupation of Iraq. Oh, I mean Operation Iraqi “Freedom”–because parts of Baghdad are still “free” from electricity and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis were “freed” from their lives. Millions more were “freed” from their homes.

Wiki: “Immediately after the anthrax attacks, White House officials repeatedly pressured FBI Director Robert Mueller to prove that they were a second-wave assault by al-Qaeda following the September 11 attacks. During the president’s morning intelligence briefings, Mueller was “beaten up” for not producing proof that the killer spores were the handiwork of terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden, according to a former aide. “They really wanted to blame somebody in the Middle East,” the retired senior FBI official stated. The FBI knew early on that the anthrax used was of a consistency requiring sophisticated equipment and was unlikely to have been produced in some “cave”. At the same time, both President Bush and Vice President Cheney in public statements speculated about the possibility of a link between the anthrax attacks and Al Qaeda.[94] The Guardian reported in early October that American scientists had implicated Iraq as the source of the anthrax,[95] and the next day the Wall St. Journal editorialized that Al Qaeda perpetrated the mailings, with Iraq the source of the anthrax.[96] A few days later, John McCain suggested on the Late Show with David Letterman that the anthrax may have come from Iraq,[97] and the next week ABC News did a series of reports stating that three or four (depending on the report) sources had identified bentonite as an ingredient in the anthrax preparations, implicating Iraq.[80][81][98]

Statements by the White House[82] and public officials[83] quickly proved that there was no bentonite in the attack anthrax. “No tests ever found or even suggested the presence of bentonite. The claim was just concocted from the start. It just never happened.”[99] But, a few journalists repeated ABC’s bentonite report for several years,[100][101][102] even after the invasion of Iraq, as evidence that Saddam not only possessed “weapons of mass destruction”, but had used them in attacks on the United States.”

 

MORE:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_anthrax_attacks  It’s also very interesting to read about the scientist who was eventually blamed for the anthrax attacks. He had “mental issues” and died mysteriously from an overdose of acetaminophen. That well known poison.

HOW THE US GOVERNMENT GINS UP FEAR AGAINST TERRORISTS WHILE DOING BUSINESS WITH TERRORIST BACKERS

We’re seeing polls saying that Americans are most concerned about threats from terrorism, with the economy coming in second. Except, bizarrely, from New Hampshire, where the primary concern is heroin. I guess the doctors who dole out opiate-based pain killers get patients hooked and when they can no longer get prescriptions for synthetic heroin like Vicodin, they turn to the real heroin from the street.

With these new terrorism concerns, we always hear that we’re on edge after San Bernadino and the Paris attacks. There’s only one problem. The Paris attacks were affiliated with ISIS. The San Bernadino attacks were not. A government official initially claimed that the female attacker had posted her allegiance to ISIS on social media. The FBI now claims that is false. But in the hysteria following the CA attack, we heard over and over again about the perpetrators alleged links to ISIS. This leads many to think ISIS is now here in the US. And the retraction by the FBI claiming that the female attacker had not posted about ISIS barely made the news. You repeat one falsehood hundreds of times during the aftermath of a hideous tragedy and it sinks in. ISIS is now in the US! The couple of mealy-mouthed retractions hardly made an impression.

So even though the San Bernadino culprits were a couple of violent, islamic nut jobs, they weren’t connected with ISIS. Yet every time the newfound fear of terrorism is mentioned on the news, they mention both Paris and San Bernadino as a way to gin up fear. These two events were not on an even par. But if we have an enemy, it’s easier to sell the American people on new wars and giving up their personal freedoms to protect ourselves. The fact is, no one from ISIS in the middle east can reach the US to attack us. That’s why more sensible presidential candidates are asking neighboring arab countries to squash ISIS. Of course, there will be a few radicalized nut jobs like the perpetrators of San Bernadino and the Boston bombing, but that’s no reason to go to war in the middle east. How about just checking the warning signs on potential attackers, which the US government ignored on 9/11 and San Bernadino and which the french government ignored before their recent bombings? But then we wouldn’t have an enemy to attack. You can’t bomb an ideology which spreads throughout many countries–and the US bombings create more terrorists just as our stupid war in Iraq created the hotbed in which ISIS developed. Total up the number of people killed in San Bernadino and the Boston bombings and you’ll find that gun deaths from American citizens shooting each other are a far greater number. And the number of police killing innocent blacks is up there, too. But no one is seriously suggesting war on guns or the police who abuse their powers.

I saw the second tower fall at 9/11. So trust me, I want to be safe. But there is no military solution to getting rid of ISIS. Bombing them only recruits more ISIS fighters. No arab country trusts the US foreign policy, so our bombs will do nothing except get US/UK weapons manufacturers paid. Bernie Sanders was ridiculed by suggesting that we get the wealthy Saudis to fight ISIS over there. Rachel Maddow suggested that the GOP-led Congress was blocking one of Obama’s nominees who is an expert at cutting off international monies which fund ISIS. Except for one thing. The US is in bed with the countries who fund ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Taliban. You won’t hear about it on the news, but Saudi Arabia is deeply decimating their neighboring country Yemen with weapons the US sells them and intelligence which we provide them for free. And much of ISIS’s money comes from the Saudis, just as they funded Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Individuals from Qatar funds ISIS, yet the US cooperates with them fully, as does Britain. Kuwaiti citizens have given hundreds of millions to radical group Jabhat Al-Nusra in Syria. Remember the time when the US claimed to be training the Iraqi army, but once that army encountered ISIS troops, they dropped their US weapons and ran, so in effect the US is actually providing weapons to ISIS fighters? Who cares–as long as US weapons manufacturers get paid?

While our news gins up fears against ISIS to stoke the necessity of war, our government is happy to business with the arab countries who fund ISIS and other terrorist groups. War makes money. Peace, apparently does not. But out morally bankrupt government would gladly send US troops to die to protect not Americans, but to protect business relationships with the very countries who fund terrorism. Want to spill that tea to military recruits–that we aren’t in danger and that troops are to lay down their lives to protect US business interests?Obama has claimed that we’ll have no ground troops in Syria, but “special operatives” are already there. I’m glad he found a new name for them to deceive us. As usual, follow the money.

INFORMATIVE LINKS:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/05/wikileaks-cables-saudi-terrorist-funding

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/iraq-crisis-how-saudi-arabia-helped-isis-take-over-the-north-of-the-country-9602312.html

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/31/combat-terror-end-support-saudi-arabia-dictatorships-fundamentalism

I ADORE MRS. SLOCOMBE!

Lots of talk of Pussy ... when tv was full of innuendos

Who remembers this one Lots of talk of Pussy ... when Tv was full of innuendos

Posted by 50 shades of Northamptonshire on Thursday, October 29, 2015

Here’s her pussy montage from Are You Being Served?

A TELLING GLIMPSE AT HOW STUPID REPUBLICANS ARE

Has Santa Claus been banned from schools? I guess this is part of the “war on Christmas.”

CAITLYN IS WOMAN OF THE YEAR? SHE AIN’T BEEN A WOMAN FOR A YEAR!

CAITLYN JENNER: “If you’re out there and, to be honest with you, if you look like a man in a dress, it makes people uncomfortable. So the first thing I can do is try to present myself well. I want to dress well. I want to look good. When I go out, as Kim says, you’ve got to rock it because the paparazzi will be there.”

First of all, if I am a man in a dress and there’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t insult the community you’re trying to enter.
Second of all, if you don’t want to look like a man in a dress, you might want to keep that giant gorilla hand away from your whittled down face because it’s an instant spook. Aren’t there some injections that can soften those gnarled workman’s hands?

This is the fool being offered as a spokeswoman for the trans or even the entire GLBT community. Babe, it takes more than a reality TV crew setting up a card table where you can pass out condoms at Gay Pride for the cameras for 5 seconds to be an activist. Or casting a bunch of trans “friends” to join you on your dull reality show because you lack the personality to even be the star of your own vehicle. And for Caitlyn to imagine that the average trans woman (or genetic female, for that matter) she allegedly represents has no greater worries than rocking it for the paparazzi is just clueless. So is Caitlyn just dumb or is the “How dumb will that Caitlyn be next?” the only thing driving ratings for the show?

Caitlyn supports the Republican party which campaigns on destroying LGBT rights. Raises money on it! I’m sick of everyone falling all over themselves to be supportive and understanding of this hoax, who votes like an enemy of LGBT rights. And while you may not want to hear it, she’s also a Christian. When were they ever supportive of LGBT rights? The church is the biggest enemy of LGBT anything. Without a Bible to thump as proof, the anti-gay would simply be homophobes. Let’s put it this way: Caitlyn’s as good a spokeswoman for the trans community as the talentless whore Kim Kardashian is a role model for young girls. Take some of your millions and create a center for struggling trans people–your community more than your “missteps.” Otherwise, it just seems like you’re using trans issues which you don’t understand to propel your career.

I actually thought that a former sports hero transitioning could win hearts and minds of older straight guys who idolized Bruce–they are the hardest minds to change with LGBT issues. But even the trans community doesn’t feel Caitlyn is getting it right. Sorry, but I don’t see this as an honest journey with her making mistakes. I see it as drumming up controversy for ratings. And to prove how progressive we are, she’s being suggested as Woman Of The Year? She ain’t been a woman for a year! But I do agree that she deserved last year’s award for Driver Of The Year.

MARTIN SHKRELI REVILED, OBAMA TRIES THE SAME SHIT WORLDWIDE AND IS IGNORED

I was glad to see people cheering Martin Shkreli’s arrest recently. He was arrested for financial improprieties, but he’s the guy who raised the price of Daraprim 5000% overnight. He became the most hated man in America for a time. Well, I got news for you. What Shreli engaged in was unbridled capitalism which values profits over anything. Who cares if people with compromised immune systems can’t gain access to the life-saving drug? The corporation makes more money and that’s capitalism’s goal. It clearly seems unethical to many of this, just as many of us decry corporations outsourcing jobs to foreign countries which have lower minimum wages to save a buck. That’s why we get phone help centers with operators in India whose english can barely be understood. If capitalism is destroying our economy, perhaps Sanders’ democratic socialism is worth looking into as a kinder ideology which values people over profits?
And if Shkreli is so reprehensible, why isn’t anyone upset over Obama’s TPP trade deal? (Besides the fact that our pathetic “news” would prefer to focus on one of Donald Trumps insults than detailing any of the candidates’ tax plan or other issues which would impact all of us long after the sting from Trump’s latest verbal diarrhea dies down.) Obama’s Trans Pacific Partnership, whcih he’s trying ram through Congress with as little debate as possible on a “fast track, would give enable pharmaceutical companies to do what Shkreli did all over the world. Lifesaving, generic drugs would be much harder to come by with this disastrous deal. And let’s never forget that Obama met with Big Pharma at the White House while creating Obamacare in a meeting closed to press in order to reassure the drug industry Americans wouldn’t be able to access to cheaper drugs in Canada–so Big Pharma can continue to gouge us here. From pills to syringes to surgery, Americans pay many times more for the same medical care in other countries. Obamacare did nothing to address that.

Here’s an explanation of the TPP as it relates to drug prices from Public Citizen’s Robert Weissman. Sadly, our mainstream media won’t cover the TPP so you really have to dig to find it. I guess there are too many ads for drugs on the news for our news to slam their advertisers. So don’t we need to reserve some of the ire we feel for Shkreli for Obama if they’re doing something similar? Obama’s doing it on a far more international level.

Robert Weissman: Well, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the TPP, is a collection of provisions that amount to a wish list for giant multinational corporations. It’s really as simple as that. And the most important industry in the whole deal was the pharmaceutical industry, which is why the USTR, the U.S. trade representative, insisted on putting in the provision that Zahara was talking about. It’s why the agency was willing to hold up the entire deal to try to extract more concessions for Big Pharma.
On the underlying issue, what we’re looking at is the degree to which the pharmaceutical industry can impose monopoly pricing on the entire world. And what we’re calling the death sentence clause is particularly about a class of drugs called biologics. These are basically biotech drugs. It’s the cutting edge of the pharmaceutical industry. It’s most cancer drugs. It’s a number of drugs to treat arthritis and a number of drugs to treat smaller disease classes. But it’s the future of the industry. There’s nothing really special about the drugs in terms of market pricing. They’re made differently. They’re made from living cells and proteins as opposed to what are called small molecule chemical drugs, that are traditional drugs. They’re slightly more difficult to manufacture.

But at the end of the day, the issue that was at stake here is whether or not we’re going to have monopoly pricing for eternity for these drugs, or when generic competition is it introduced into the market. And this issue about five, eight or 12 years, among other issues, was about the degree and timing of when generic competition is made available. And as Zahara was explaining, these drugs are priced at such astronomical levels, by and large, that while they’re on patent, they are unaffordable in poor countries. They’re quite unaffordable in richer countries, too, and we’re seeing increasing levels of rationing in the rich countries. But in the poor countries, they’re just out of reach. And the question of when they become available to people who need them is entirely a question of when there’s generic competition permitted, because the price of the drugs has nothing to do with the cost of developing them, nothing to do with the cost of researching them, nothing to do with the cost of manufacturing them. The high prices are entirely due to the monopolies.

So, very unfortunately, USTR made its single most high priority in the TPP negotiations the advancement of the monopoly profit interests of Big Pharma. And that’s what was going on here. Now, Big Pharma wanted 12 years in terms of this death sentence clause, and they didn’t. They got something that’s between five and eight years, and incredibly complicated, but will delay the introduction of generic competition for many, many years. And it’s really—it’s an absolute disgrace, but it’s a sign of what the whole process is to know that the U.S. was willing to hold up the entire deal to win gains for Big Pharma. They didn’t get all they wanted, because the countries in the negotiation pushed back. They were supported by local campaigns and global campaigners who explained what the consequences were. And thankfully, the key negotiators said, “You know what? We actually care little bit about public health. We care about patient rights. We’re not only about the interests of Big Pharma.” That was despite the demands from the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office. And, you know—

AMY GOODMAN: This is President Obama’s Trade Representative Office.

ROBERT WEISSMAN: —even though they stood up, the USTR got a lot for Big Pharma.

AMY GOODMAN: What does President Obama gain by this?

ROBERT WEISSMAN: You know, that is a complete mystery. This is supposedly going to be a big part of his legacy. Well, if you ask Bill Clinton about his legacy with NAFTA, it’s something he’s embarrassed about and doesn’t want associated with him. And that’s what it’s going to be for President Obama if this deal goes through. I mean, I think President Obama has been—you know, he’s unfortunately influenced by Mike Froman, who’s the USTR and a personal friend, who’s a believer in this stuff, but a pure corporate guy. And I think that in Washington, D.C., outside—unlike everywhere else in the country, in Washington, D.C., serious people know that you have to support free trade, and therefore the president has done that. Now, of course, the rest of the country understands it much more clearly through experience. And also, of course, these deals have nothing to do with free trade, exemplified by these Big Pharma protection provisions, which are all about monopolies and undermining and interfering with free trade and free competition.

THE ELECTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED–OR EVEN ANALYZED–UNLESS YOU’RE TRUMP

Good news. Trump is polling at 39%. But that’s 39% of registered Repubs, which is only 18% of total electorate. So only 7-9% of the total electorate support him. So why is the news making his gaffes the #1 story since the summer? Because they’d rather discuss his latest outrageous statement than analyze what policies serious candidates are offering and how they break down into bread & butter issues for the majority of us. No one is going to care in a month (or week) what Trump said about Bill joining Hillary on the campaign trail. Or what he said about Carly Fiorina’s face. Yet our “news” covers him like he’s the nation’s #1 issue. Why not contrast the candidates’ tax plans or other policies which actually will affect all of us? You can’t have a functioning democracy with an uninformed electorate. We’re very informed on Trump’s latest hogwash, but we know little about how candidates claim they will actually govern if elected. The news has become TMZ. And “liberal” news MSNBC is no better. No one watching MSNBC is voting for Trump–so why give him top billing in every day’s lead story. Possibly because Hillary doesn’t want to nail down any of her positions so she can change them…again.

HAVE A DAZZLING NEW YEAR!

921251_10208434720329285_3815122592174582566_o

Bun-Bun on the roof of The James Hotel on Grand Street, NYC, a few days ago.

HILLARY IS MORE OF A HAWK THAN SOME GOP CANDIDATES

To all the women who would like to see a female president and therefore support Hillary Clinton, I hope you don’t have sons or husbands in the military. Just as we had no idea that George W. Bush would launch us into an immoral and needless war in Iraq-which Hillary voted for as a senator–it’s hard to fathom what a hawk like Hillary would do if elected. Bush gave us long tours of duty which created a whole new generation of vets with PTSD–if they even lived. Hillary is more of a hawk than some of the most aggressive GOP candidates like Lindsay Graham. It used to be that the GOP represented war and the Democrats represented less war and more diplomacy. Not Hillary. She’s given some scary, tell-tale signs of how she represents a tough US foreign policy which has failed us. (Bernie is less of a hawk, but no peacenik himself.)

Here’ some analysis from the independent Democractnow.org, which doesn’t run corporate ads which taint their coverage:
Phyllis Bennis: “The two leading candidates—Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton—both were saying yes to war against ISIS, using conventional military force—bombing, drone strikes and air—ground troops that are not American—and they are both saying go after ISIS, differing on the timing of that.

The one significant difference was on the question of a no-fly zone. And here, Secretary Clinton really played out her well-known hawkishness, where she said we absolutely must have a no-fly zone, and as she put it, both for humanitarian purposes and to challenge Russia, because, of course, ISIS has no planes, al-Qaeda has no planes, so a no-fly zone is going to be targeting planes of either Russia or Iran or Syria, which means the U.S. going to war directly against the Syrian regime and potentially against Russia. So that kind of war talk from Secretary Clinton, when it was her own colleague in the Cabinet, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who said, in the context of the Libya mobilization, which Secretary Clinton was leading—she was really the cheerleader on Libya. And it was at that time that the secretary of defense said, “Let’s be clear: A no-fly zone starts with going to war”—in that case, against Libya. What we know is that the anti-aircraft system of Libya hardly existed. And yet, he said, we would have to start with war. In Syria, the anti-aircraft system is a very developed system, which would take an enormous campaign, air campaign—and potentially more—to take out, as they call it, the anti-aircraft system in Libya, that would lead to the ability to impose a no-fly zone against Russian planes. It’s a very, very dangerous position that Secretary Clinton was talking about.”

Bill Curry: Well, first of all, I agree with everything that was just said. I’d also point out, though, that Secretary Clinton, for instance, in a speech to the Foreign Affairs Council a few weeks ago, said—I’m closely paraphrasing—”I agree with President Obama that it isn’t time to send 100,000 troops into the Mideast.” And in point of fact, President Obama’s position is that it’s not time to send any troops in, even though there are some ground troops now, that he chooses to call special operatives. But his point is zero ground troops. The 100,000 figure, these kinds of things are never plucked out of the air. In the debate on Saturday night, Secretary Clinton said, “It’s not time to send tens of thousands.” Well, the most belligerent candidate in the race is Lindsey Graham, and he’s only for sending in 15,000. And so, you wish that the mainstream press did a little better job of parsing all this syntax, but I think that the only fair inference here is that Secretary Clinton is more than ready to take the position that Lindsey Graham is taking, holding down the right of the Republican debate. Her readiness—her apparent readiness to send in some ground troops, under whatever nomenclature, I think she’s made pretty clear.

The question of the no-fly zone, again, you have two countries here—Syria and Iraq—who have invited the Soviets into their airspace. We are not invited by either country to do that. It’s a violation of international law to establish this. And like the Republicans, the secretary doesn’t say, “Well, what do you do if the Russians fly anyway?” And, you know, as always, in all of these issues, what is the next—what happens then, when you’ve actually taken the first step toward war? And so, I really agree with what Phyllis said about what’s not being said here.

And let me just wind up with a couple of points. You’ve had the United Nations in Paris playing really an historic role on climate change just in these last few weeks. You see it taking the first steps on at least outlining a process toward a resolution of the civil war in Syria—not much in that case, but there’s something there. And the fact of the matter is that our safety lies not in the force of arms, but in the rule of law. And that it’s—if we’ve learned anything in the last 15 years, it is that the introduction of ground—of large standing armies and ground troops into these desert wars accomplishes nothing. We’ve seen the limitations of our military, not the reasons to keep growing it. We’ve seen what it can’t do in this fight. And above all, we have seen that our first commitment ought to be to the multilateral resolution of conflict in this world, that this is the end, really, of the age of unilateral military interventionism. And I know that for progressives, in particular, that you can be afraid that the moment you get up and say that, some right-wing yahoo is going to call you a sissy or a subversive, but it’s the truth, and it’s logic, and the facts all support it. And at some point, I think we have to take a greater—we have to have greater faith in the ability of the American people to hear it. This is the hard time. These are things we should have been saying for years. And it’s a hard time, I know, to raise these points, when people are at their most fearful, as they are, understandably, right now. But all the things being said in this debate fall far short of making this country safer or of solving the underlying problems.

And so, I was most struck also by what wasn’t in that debate. We need to talk about how you really resolve these kinds of conflicts and—if I could actually just throw in one last point—about their real roots. Bernie Sanders was right to talk about global warming. That’s not a security threat 50 years from now; it’s having an impact right this second across the world, and it is the greatest threat. And in terms of the roots of these problems, we don’t tell the American people our own history. We don’t tell them the history of interventionism, which has caused so much blowback throughout the world among developing countries. And we don’t tell them what’s happening right now. There’s this trope floating in the air that, you know, Sunnis and Shias have been fighting since the year 750. Not true. Sometimes they’ve fought, and sometimes they haven’t. In the last 40 years, the fighting has really picked up. Why is that? I would argue that part of this is the wages of global corporate capitalism today, that it does lift some people out of absolute poverty, no question, but it suppresses others. It throws people out of the middle class across the world, and it creates a permanent underclass—right now, in particular, of angry, aimless, hopeless young men. And whether it’s Dylann Roof in Charleston or the Tsarnaev brothers, what we’re seeing right now is a creation of this, what a British economist has called the precariat. And it really, really does threaten us. That notion that O’Malley touched on, that there are economic answers, that there is a question here that precedes all the stuff we’re talking about—in the words of an old adage, “If you want peace, work for justice”—that that has to be put on the table. We need to do that now.

MORE ON THE VIDEO LINK BELOW: