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Hillary Clinton Should Run Again. Deal With It.

You see the meme.

So did anyone watch Hillary and Chelsea Clinton on the Late Show tonight? She sounded good. Real good. It reminded me to say something I’ve been meaning to. Hillary Clinton is the rightful President of the United States of America. I hope to God she runs again and takes our country back. #Clinton2020. Deal with it.

I am going to predict I get some hate mail here, and that is absolutely fine. Please take your very worst and leave it here; Hillary Clinton is too busy saving the country.

By running for president again.

What have we got to lose? Joe Biden is a good man and will be a good president. He will also be a good vice president if a more qualified candidate should happen to come along.

As it works out, we’ve still got one.

Even discussing the other 2020 candidates in the same sentence with Hillary Clinton is an insult both to reason and credulity. None of them created a foundation that provides 2/3 of the AIDS vaccines on Earth. None of them laid the foundations of the public health care system we still enjoy today, twenty-five years before it was passed. Before the Affordable Care Act was called Obamacare, it was called Hillarycare. We would have had it from 1994 on instead of 2009 on, had it not been for Bernie Sanders.

Sanders pointedly abstained with a few of his independent buddies at a time when every vote was needed! Ever look up how many people died for lack of service during that time? A Harvard study said it was forty-five thousand people a year, for twenty-five years. That’s one million, one hundred and twenty-five thousand people dead, and every one of those dead forgotten Americans; on Bern.

Just like the entire Trump era. Feel THAT burn.

Faux-progressive Sanders people have done all they can to discourage this whole Clinton 2020 thing, but that’s because they know it’s the best thing for the country and for the Democratic Party, which they genuinely seem to hate. I have never yet seen a circumstance where the far left has hurt the Republicans somehow. It’s the very opposite.

The GOP, in fact, is getting ready to out-progressive us in the 14th district of New York, even now, where freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is having a real field day out of being a celebrity-by making all of her constituents sick. They have found-among a host of others- one Scherie Murray, a black woman who immigrated here from Jamaica to run against her, and- This is really horrible, now; we’ve held that seat for decades- the woman, who I repeat will be running as a Republican, is making sense.

Scherie Murray, a Jamaican immigrant and mother of three, jumped into the Republican primary last month. Her campaign commissioned a poll that found 62 percent of voters would support a generic Democrat and 28 percent would back a Republican.

But when asked if they would vote to re-elect Ocasio-Cortez or vote for someone else, 37 percent picked the incumbent and 48 percent favored someone else. Without any candidates named, respondents also said they would prefer a candidate who backed the Amazon deal.

“Twenty-five thousand jobs were ousted,” Murray said. “We should be encouraging businesses to come into the state, versus pushing them out.”

When I read that, I sadly shook my head. The Republicans are laughing at us, and in this case, I don’t blame them. This really is a coup from their perspective; hell, it’s almost a magic trick. They are going to out-progressive the multi-cultural and goodhearted Democratic Party, in the heart of New York City, during the Trump era. You have to hand it to the guys who thought this up, even though we moderates have been screaming at everyone to watch for it. They got it done.

I miss Hillary Clinton.

I miss Hillary Clinton, who never once took a dump in the lawn and then sat there badmouthing me as I silently cleaned it up, as Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar and the whole Democratic Socialist movement have done, day after day, for years. Time and again, I have stuck up for the Squad, for the sake of common decency and the Democratic Party. I don’t like their politics at all. How I loathed having to stand for Ilhan the second time after she stood with the other socialists in a bloc and voted to deny immigrant children like her own self toothpaste and soap. I swore I never would again. After all, how progressive of them! Hillary Clinton was progressive in fact, not just in word. Her loss was our loss. Those who robbed her were robbing us.

I say we pay them back for it.

I miss Hillary Clinton, who was always the recipient of such plotting because of how good she was at her job. I miss Hillary Clinton, who always seemed to know what to do and say, and is so completely, so obviously, still the leader of the Democratic Party.

I miss the woman who sounded really, really smart on The Late Show tonight. We hardly ever see her, and yet she gave us the best strategy when the Mueller Report came out. She crushed it at the Women of the World a few years ago. When Ralph Northam of Virginia forced us to call for his resignation, I was proud because I didn’t need her to tell me, in the last analysis. I made the right choice by myself. But there was a great hullabaloo about the whole thing, all day long.

Until Hillary came online and settled the whole thing with a tweet, in a dozen words. There never was a mic drop like this one. It was the Tennessee Stud of mic drops.

Hillary Clinton should run again. Period. She should be the president already, and we all know this. It’s the right thing. Maybe the only thing. Just look around you. Are you seeing the kind of enthusiasm Donald Trump inspires in his base coming out of this primary? Are you worried about it being too ‘divisive’? Beating Trump in an election gets us out of having to impeach him. Then he’s just got to go to court like other people.

Probably less divisive than an impeachment trial.

Hillary should run again because she is just plain smarter than the rest of these guys. There is a reason why Joe Biden did eighty-three campaign events for her and not the other way around. There is definitely a reason why Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were both among those who co-signed for her with an endorsement in 2016. At the end of the day, even Bernie cut his Lorax impersonating out long enough to do what was best for the country, unlike in 1994 with Hillarycare. Even if his followers would not do the same, even if they won’t again, it could not matter less. They are not Democrats anyway. Are not now, never have been, and never will be.

Hillary, if you’re out there reading this, God bless you. Please run again. Please run again, and save us from ourselves.

 

 

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The War on Cannabis: Who Loses, Who Benefits?

The War On Cannabis: Who Loses, Who Benefits?

From the day of its inception, the War on Cannabis has been a disaster for America. It has played a fundamental role in the architecture for the larger War on Drugs. Considered as a whole, this war can fairly be described as a generationally evolving series of wasteful and ineffective policies. In attempting to regulate the legislative needs and desires of mankind, the United States government has caused great harm to be done, in terms both of the law and of medical recourse to help for pain. It is a classic case of the old cliché, a treatment worse than its “disease”. Crimes have been committed in the name of fighting crime. Resources have been massively wasted. The futures of millions have been ruined in the eyes of the law. The question of why remains sobering in its implications. Anti-cannabis legislation was ostensibly created to safeguard the public and keep cannabis from menacing its health, but its effects have done more damage than the act their purpose was to prevent.

The question of whether the herb’s use constitutes a peril to public safety is a real concern. It is only logical for people to pay attention to alerts regarding something that might affect their health. As alerts on the matter have been so often raised, it is only natural for people to have health concerns about drugs, including cannabis. In a Health, Risk, and Safety article titled Cannabis, risk, and normalization: Evidence from a Canadian study of socially integrated, adult cannabis users, we are told that evidence pointing to the harmfulness of cannabis use has never been more abundant (213). Public concern is still highly prevalent, and many experts remain unconvinced that cannabis should be considered safe.

Whether that is true is not the issue here, however. We note only that widespread panic about cannabis was not scientifically based. The issue was never raised by the medical community of the United States. The Medical Science Monitor informs us that cannabis was routinely prescribed by American physicians. It enjoyed legal status in the United States until 1937. This is when U.S. legislature passed the first federal law against cannabis – the Marihuana Tax Act. Empirical approaches to solving the problem of cannabis addiction kept proving it was not a problem. The American Medical Association did not support the new law, and their advice was belittled and ignored. Science was not on the side of the anti-cannabis crusaders. Other rationales were needed and were manufactured where they could not be found.

The approach of the new Threat or Menace campaign was exemplified in Reefer Madness, the famous anti-cannabis public alert movie released in 1936. Self-described cannabis journalist Matthew Green paints a wild yet perfectly accurate picture of its contents in his article “Reefer Madness! The Twisted History of America’s Marijuana Laws.”. The movie exhibits an insane “reefer addict” portrayed in maniacal relief, smoking his way to murder as he enjoys the frenetic tunes of a piano-playing hostage. This law was based on artificially manufactured moral panic, as opposed to sound law or science. It was eventually discarded as being unconstitutional (Leary v. United States, 1969), but not before it set the foundation for the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which was far more comprehensive than the old law, although it continued to rely on selective or pseudoscience and public disinformation.

The tone of the new policy was set from the start by the prejudices of Anslinger, which was to prove disastrous for the cannabis community. Laura Smith, the managing editor at Timeline, paints an unforgiving picture of Anslinger in her piece “How A Racist Hatemonger Masterminded America’s War on Drugs”. He is shown there to be a xenophobic, culturally intolerant, and deeply racist man, one who used his power arbitrarily and in the worst ways. His power over his bureau, and over the anti-cannabis campaign, was completely unilateral. Historian John C. McWilliams stated in his book aboutAnslinger, The Protectors,“ Anslinger was the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (2).” His ideas about the existing social order laid the foundation for the policies he would set. He had a simple goal, but one that was far-reaching in its implications; a one-man crusade to protect American values as he saw them. His worldview held that change was coming too fast, and the anti-cannabis crusade provided him with a high-powered excuse to slow it down. The next step was to use this bitter project to hamstring progressive causes and people by making crimes out of acts that were not criminal. In this way, Anslinger laid the groundwork in place for an endemic legal injustice.

Racism was inherent in the new legislature. The approach was displayed by the confusion caused by a new word for cannabis, “Marihuana” (The more common spelling now is Marijuana) The Tax Act was named after this incorrect term, used as an associative trick based on racism and phonetics. It worked because the word sounded Mexican. Mexicans were unpopular and mistrusted, so tying public perceptions of the plant to Mexican immigrants was an easy way to scare white America. The FBN also targeted jazz musicians and lied about them without remorse. They created images of insane, weed-stinking black men on an unending quest for mayhem and white women; these also did nothing to set Caucasian minds at ease. Racial fear has always been a historically effective way to goad America’s ethnic majority off the path of common sense and decency. The War on Cannabis stands out as a noteworthy example of this tendency.

Shortly before the MTA was passed, a new governmental organization, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, was created to deal with the growing problem of drug addiction in America (Deitsch). Its first commissioner Harry J. Anslinger discarded science and medicine with glee. “Doctors,” he said, “cannot treat addicts, even if they want to.” He chose instead to call for “tough judges not afraid to take killer-pushers and throw away the key.” FBN techniques developed to disseminate the new way proved effective, allowing Anslinger’s perspective to set the tone for subsequent anti-cannabis legislation. Anslinger was a skillful administrator, and he had resources. His ideas caught on and manifested physically in the dehumanizing propaganda used by the FBN to scare anti-cannabis legislature past Congress. The aftershocks of FBN anti-cannabis disinformation are ubiquitous even today, living proof of the program’s success. Celebrating openly a pro-cannabis lifestyle is still enough to get you targeted. It’s easy to get busted, it’s hard to get a job. The way society perceives the users of cannabis today still comes largely from stereotypes based on exaggerated caricatures created during this era. These unfair and cartoonish notions have evolved and generalized over the years, becoming institutionalized as more people became invested in them. They have been used to degrade and delegitimize progressive causes and their advocates.

The propaganda employed by the FBN had been successful, so much so that it started a genuine public panic, and people were demanding that something be done. This gave Anslinger both the lawful right, and the means to pound his enemies into the ground. He was not long in finding his first sacrificial lamb. The first victim of the new policy was selected in 1937, just after the new law took effect. A draconian sentence of four years in prison for an ounce of weed was handed down to Samuel L. Caldwell of Boulder, Colorado. A precedent of insane harshness was set that endured in American courtrooms to this very day. It added greatly to the foundation of the original architecture of the greater War on Drugs, as conceived of and created by President Richard Nixon’s administration.

The Nixon era vigorously continued the judicial legacy of brutality applied to the cannabis community. Like Harry Anslinger had forty years prior, the administration targeted cannabis because its occupants knew liberals could be legally hamstrung as a consequence for using it. The concept was strategic, and its straightforward goal was the same as in the past-to keep conservatives in power at any cost. Neither fair play nor the health of democracy was considered, freedom was injured, and the resultant degradation of our system worked to the detriment of all Americans, whether they smoke pot or not. Chief Nixon White House adviser John Ehrlichman came to some of the same conclusions later in life. He spoke out frankly on the subject to Dan Baum of Harper’s Magazine years after the impeachment of Nixon. He laid out flatly their motives for taking aim at cannabis.

“Look, back in ’68, we had two enemies, you get me? The antiwar left, and the blacks. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be against the war, and we couldn’t make it illegal to be black. But by heavily penalizing the use of marijuana and heroin, we were able to disrupt
those communities. We were able to bust up their meetings, raid their offices, vilify them night after night on the evening news… Did we know we were lying about the drugs themselves? Of course we did.”.

Nixon’s work was built upon famously by the next Republican administration, that of Ronald Reagan. First Lady Nancy Reagan’s iconic “Just Say No” commercial typified the new approach, which was just like the old approach, but newly equipped with a spiffy slogan. In pursuing the anti-cannabis campaign, the Reagan administration was zealous in their willingness to apply suppression through the courts to the cannabis community. A TIME Magazine article from 1988 gives us a look at how it was. “The Reagan Administration calls its new drug policy ‘zero tolerance,’ meaning that planes, vehicles, and vessels may be confiscated for carrying even the tiniest amount of a controlled substance.” It goes on to tell the story of a captain whose boat was seized for a tenth of an ounce of cannabis. Things were so bad during that time for users of the herb that the case can hardly be overstated. Ardor for the arts of slander and libel grew in the government to an extent that left little room for conspiracy theories. Every possible medium was employed to spread Just Say No. Commercials, posters, the sides of buses. School programs like DARE, which stood for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, ensured that no young mind in America could miss the point. The net effects of all the anti-drug campaigning proved to be the same as in the past-untouched and rising rates of use, and black and poor people receiving disproportionately long sentences for small amounts of weed.

Subsequent presidents such as Bill Clinton were left with little choice but to compete with Reagan’s paternalistic style of law and order, and so the status quo remained intact. It was not until the election of Barack Obama that the prerequisite conditions for the monumental decision of 2012 legalizing recreational cannabis in the first two American states, Oregon and Washington, were met at long last. There is no doubt that it was a monumental decision. It represented the reversal of a hundred years worth of American legal policy and a tremendous amount of human struggling. The change, by that point, had been nearly a century in coming. Cannabis laws have been hamstringing the left for that entire time and they still are. Improvements have come, but they are highly incomplete. The threat of things reverting to their former miserable state overshadows all the progress that has been made in this area. Realization of the harm caused in the cannabis prohibition era has been highlighted in the nation’s modern consciousness. More and more people are coming to see how important it is to prevent the reassertion of the destructive and unfair status quo.

The history of the War on Cannabis is representative of a great many other social ills inside American life. The racist, reactionary, right-wing attitudes that created the original campaign are still alive and well in modern American jurisprudence. In the name of punishment and the spirit of human sacrifice, medical science has been stymied and suppressed, people have been ruined and jailed, and our prison system has been afflicted to the point where it has poisoned our political system. It is, simply stated, a historical and ongoing eyesore. Change has come but is far from secure, and a great deal of harm remains unaddressed.

Works Cited

ACLU ProCon.org, 2009. Leary v. United States 
	https://aclu.procon.org/view.background-resource.php?resourceID=003427
Bonnie, Richard J., Whitebread, Charles H., 1974. “The Marijuana Conviction: A History of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States.” 
	https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=185042  
Dagen, Chelsea, 2017. The Distortion of Drugs: War, Discrimination, and Profit.
	https://vc.bridgew.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi 
Deitsch, Robert, 2003. “Hemp: American History Revisited- The Plant With A Divided History.”
Vdocuments.mx, vdocuments.mx/documents/hemp-american-history-revisited-the-plant-with-a-divided-history.html.
Dickinson, Tim, 2016. “Why America Can't Quit The Drug War.” 
	https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/why-america-cant-quit-the-	drug-war-	47203/
Downs, David, 2016. “The Science behind the DEA's Long War on Marijuana.”
	www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-science-behind-the-dea-s-long-war-on-	marijuana/.
Duff, Cameron, Erickson, Patricia G., 2014. “Cannabis, risk, and normalization: Evidence from a Canadian study of socially integrated, adult cannabis users.”		
Glick, Daniel, 2016. “80 Years Ago This Week, Marijuana Prohibition Began With These Arrests.” 
	https://www.leafly.com/news/politics/drug-war-prisoners-1-2-true-story-moses-	sam-two-	denver 
Green, Matthew, 2008. “Reefer Madness! The Twisted History of America’s Marijuana Laws.”
	https://www.kqed.org/lowdown/24153/reefer-madness-the-twisted-history-of-	americas-weed- laws-
King, Ryan, Mauer, Mark, 2006. "The war on marijuana: The transformation of the war on drugs in the 1990s."
Komp, Ellen, 2011. “Mark Twain's Hasheesh Experience in San Francisco.” 
	https://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Mark-Twain-s-hasheesh-experience-in-S-	F-	2328992.php
Jennifer Robeson, 2002. “Who Smoked Pot? You May Be Surprised.”
	https://news.gallup.com/poll/6394/who-smoked-pot-may-surprised.aspx
Smith, Laura, 2018. “How A Racist Hatemonger Masterminded America’s War on Drugs.” 

The Kavanaugh Confirmation- Two Minutes to Midnight.

#StopTheConfirmation

Last week Senator Dianne Feinstein referred information regarding a claim of serious sexual assault committed by Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh’s alleged victim had intended to remain anonymous, but on Sunday morning, she stepped forward. “I was in fear for my life during that encounter,” she said.

On Sunday, psychologist Christine Blasey Ford came forward as the author. Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations- but it’s not really looking very good for him. Years of psychotherapy notes confirm it, and she even went so far as to have a polygraph done on herself.

She passed, too. One wonders if Kavanaugh will have the same amount of guts.

Senate judiciary proceedings relating to the confirmation hearings of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, got off to a rough start for the Republicans on their first day, and things have not improved for them. Our Democratic leadership has been out there in full effect the whole time.

Rising star Kamala Harris led the first round of protests, making sure Chuck Grassley was unable to continue moving the hearing along until Kavanaugh cut out his weaseling and answered her question. She was great and we are very proud of her.

Senator Patrick Leahy did an op-ed piece for the Washington Post on Thursday, eloquently stating his case for why he will never support Kavanaugh for a seat on our Supreme Court.

He brought to light a number of instances of Kavanaugh’s involvement in old e-mail scandals that predated Hillary Clinton, back when a bunch of them got stolen from Democratic senators during the W. Bush administration, and said he “cast aside truth in pursuit of raw ambition.”

“Unimpeachable integrity must never be optional,” Leahy wrote in a powerfully worded op-ed published by the Washington Post.

Our issue with Kavanaugh not only that he may very well repeal Roe vs. Wade and make abortion illegal again- which would kill many women. It’s also that they’re covering up his background so we can’t see who he is. It’s bad enough when they do that with people who are running for President or Congress. Supreme Court justices serve for life.

It’s obviously important, regardless of the petty attempts on the part of Lindsey Graham and others to label our patriotic instincts as sour grapes.

It certainly is a bad thing that Russia and our domestic radical right got together and broke every law there is to steal the election and leave an illegitimate wreck in the White House, but this has nothing to do with that except to note it as a side effect.

The issue of how powerful the American judiciary is cannot be overstated. Of the three branches of our government, it is by far the strongest. The Supreme Court has the power of judicial review, meaning they have to approve any legislature before it becomes law. They can shoot holes in anything any president or Congress tries to do.

The supreme power in the land is the judiciary, hence the term Supreme Court. We don’t want this guy to have it.

Kavanaugh has done a lot of partisan work in Washington- for the Republicans. He was even in on the cheap trick that was Kenneth Starr’s attempt to take down Bill Clinton. And he’s replacing Anthony Kennedy, who had a special place in the heart of Trump and his pals.

Kennedy’s son was leading a real-estate division of Deutsche Bank at the time it gave Trump over a billion dollars in loans to finance his projects when other banks wouldn’t.

It seems clear that raised eyebrows are not out of place here.

Kavanaugh is yet another old white male conservative who will drag the Supreme Court even further right than it is already. This is already the most conservative Supreme Court in American history. They recently held up one of Trump’s travel bans. Kavanaugh will make it worse. That is why we are fighting this so hard and will continue to do so.

On Thursday California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee released a statement regarding her referral of information regarding Kavanaugh’s nomination to the FBI, who conducts background checks on potential government employees.

Turned out it was a sexual assault allegation. What a surprise. What a pack of jackals like this is doing in our government is beyond me. It’s bad enough we’ve got to share a planet with them.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin called for a delay, saying the Judiciary panel should not vote on Kavanaugh “until all the information is before the committee.” Thank heaven some of our leaders have sense.
Even if he gets in, we’re going to keep fighting, and sooner or later we’ll think up a way to figure something out. In the meantime, we’ll just keep raising awareness. Kavanaugh is not to be trusted.

North Korean Nukes- 45th Boasts Of Imaginary Deal.

#NeverTrump

As North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the United States President Donald Trump prepare to meet, the world is feeling the tension. It is not clear that either of the two fully understands what is at stake.

Trump went around last month tweeting that North Korea had agreed to denuclearization. “Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed…Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!”

“We should all root for a diplomatic solution to the decades’ long North Korean conflict,” Chuck Schumer said April 18 on the Senate floor. “That’s why the United States should pursue a diplomatic opening, including through direct diplomacy with Pyongyang. But thus far we’ve not seen any indication that North Korea is willing to take concrete measures towards denuclearization.”

Nor will we, in the opinion of this Millennial Democrats contributor.

The only place that smooth meeting happened was in Trump’s mind. North Korea agreed to no such thing. They talked about it. That’s all. A conversation is a long way from a signed agreement.

For decades, the international community has tried to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile development. It has failed. The thought of Trump pulling it off is absurd.

Kim is never giving up his nukes. He will nuke himself before he gives up his nukes. He nuked his own backyard and ruined the mountain above the facility where he makes his nukes, rather than stop testing.

Nuclear weapons are the one sure insurance plan that a small power can have against a great one. The world was watching when George W. Bush kicked down the door of Saddam Hussein’s palace.

Kim knows we’ll do the same to him anytime we get a chance. He’ll never let that happen.

In related news, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew home from North Korea yesterday with three U.S. citizens who had been detained there. We welcome them home and are grateful for their safety; Kim snatched them under dubious circumstances and gave them back like bargaining chips.

To the unpleasant occupant of the Oval Office, who has been going around boasting that he’s cut the big deal of a lifetime, that must pass for a denuclearization agreement.

“People never thought you were going to have a situation where we’re having serious and positive communications with North Korea. And we are,” Donald Trump told reporters yesterday morning.

On the contrary, this has been tried again and again. We have engaged in on-and-off nuclear negotiations with North Korea since the end of the Cold War. They failed to prevent Pyongyang from developing nuclear weapons. We have not established diplomatic relations, and a peace treaty ending the Korean War has not been signed.

We did have a serious, positive denuclearization deal with Iran, though. Trump scuttled it earlier this month. So much for bargaining skill.

Kim gave those people back because it put on a good show. His goal here is to get us to relieve the sanctions that are crippling his economy again for a while. His father did the same to Bill Clinton and to George W. Bush after him. It is not the brilliance of Trump diplomacy that has suddenly brought them to the table.

This reticent and peculiar country has promised disarmament more than once, only to backtrack on its commitments. It has duped multiple U.S. presidential administrations, each of which has passed the North Korea problem onto the next.

That pattern is likely being repeated.

Going forward, the usual task of raising awareness will fall on us, since conservative talk radio is already gloating and spinning this up as a Trump win. Regardless of his boasting, Trump did not accomplish anything here. He’s spinning his wheels like every single other American president has done.

The difference is that during the tenure of past presidents, North Korea did not have the hydrogen bomb. Those presidents were not maniacs, hanging around on Twitter deriding the size of the North Korean leader’s buttons and calling him Little Rocket Man.

It’s a complex situation, and a lot of different things might happen, but at least one thing is for sure. If anything good does happen here, it won’t be the fault of Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton Is Needed More Now Than Ever.

#NeverTrump

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is at it again. For the first time in this cycle, they have launched ads attempting to tie Senate Democrats to the woman they most love to hate- Hillary Clinton.

A number of new digital ads released Monday are to run in the 10 states won by President Donald Trump in 2016 where Democratic senators are seeking re-election.

The videos will be seen on Facebook, which has joined Russia and the Republicans in unjustly treating Democrats time and again these last few years. What a surprise.

At any rate, while Fox News has been focusing on kicking around a private citizen, Stormy Daniels broke records on Sunday night on CNN. Twenty-two million people tuned in to hear her tell the awful story of what it was like to have an affair with America’s sleaziest man- its president.

It was a powerful story that made for a powerful retelling, and it highlighted the growing trend of awareness of women’s rights and women’s issues. In that awareness, Hillary Clinton’s name has been pulled back into the newspapers, as Fox News turns to the one strategy that has never failed it- attacking her.

Clinton recently said Trump’s campaign platform was “looking backwards”, and the videos highlight this. That’s good, since it was true.

They also highlight her saying during the 2016 race that half of Trump’s supporters could be put into a “basket of deplorables”, another undoubted fact.

For someone who they call crooked, she sure seems to make them awfully mad for telling the truth. This is what has led to Fox News giving Hillary Clinton and Stormy Daniels equal airtime this whole last week and weekend, although one was making television records while the other was living a private life.

Former State Department spokesperson Marie Harf, who is now a Fox News Contributor, made a number of nasty remarks on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace on March 18, while the Daniels interview was going on, about how she ought to “go away”.

Sometimes it is hard to understand people.

Hillary Clinton gave every day of her life to the people of this country. She subordinated her own needs and pride and self-interest to act for the good of her country and her party. Why is it so hard for them to just say thank you?

The 2016 election proved to us that institutionalized sexism is still very powerful, and the thirty years worth of hit jobs and slander that the right wing conspiracy machine cooked up over the years is still a potent brew.

It wasn’t anything rational that led to such a self-destructive decision on the part of a large minority of American people last year. It was irrational anger born from living in a confused and post-truth reality. People stopped listening to each other, the lines of communication broke down, and the worst case political scenario actually happened.

Since then not a day has gone by when we aren’t vividly reminded of how much better a place the United States would have been to live in today if Hillary Clinton was our President.

Our national conduct would befit that of a superpower, instead of a bumbling infant. Our economy would have stayed strong. We would not be internationally reviled for pulling out of the Paris Accord.

We would have been making strides toward the future, doing good for as many people as we could have, for as long as we could have.

There will come a time when we get to try again. America is an empire of magnificent strength. It was built to survive a great deal worse than Donald Trump. In the meantime, however, in our hearts, we know that she was robbed. That single fact alone has done more to disrespect this country than anything that has happened since Bush vs Gore.

Hillary Clinton is one of the most competent living Americans, and the fact of her exclusion from the halls of power in Washington is to the detriment of every man, woman, and child who calls this country home. She would have brought the country honor at all the same junctures that Trump has debased it. She is missed and she is needed more sorely than ever.

Furthermore, it is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that it’s only right to stick up for someone who is being slandered unfairly, and all the more so when they have spent a lifetime sticking up for you.

No matter how much mud they sling at her, we will never turn our backs on Hillary Clinton.

Trump Goes After SNAP, Ruins All He Touches- How It Came To This.

Trump in his element

Donald Trump has proposed a grocery list full of bad ideas as legislature since taking office thirteen unlucky months ago. This newest one is actually going after groceries.

The fattest president in the last hundred years of American history is trying to take away half of the people’s food stamps and replace them with a revolting government food box complete with shelved milk.

Another particularly vile specimen we happened to notice recently was that he’s made it legal for hunters to shoot hibernating bears.

Since Trump took over, we’ve been beset on all sides. Every aspect of our rights, needs, and value systems is being systematically discarded and trampled underfoot. Far from getting all the cool free stuff that Bernie Sanders was promising back then- $30 trillion dollars worth– we’re fighting a losing battle on every front, just desperately trying to hold on to what we’ve got.

Things are not improving, and will not improve until the Democrats are back in power. There has never been a time when this wasn’t so during our lifetimes, but it has never been truer than now.

An analysis of the events leading up to these events is provided in the form of this anecdote from one of our contributors, as well as a warning, from a Millennial Democrat who cares. The opinions thus expressed are the views of this contributor, and are not necessarily the views of the organization by and large(although they’re pretty close.)

I never wanted to get involved in politics.

Politics were boring. Plans, charts, talking heads- I couldn’t stand a bit of it. Made my head hurt. I figured that America the Great could take care of itself and did not really need my help.

One day, though, around the year 2000, a filthy animal named Ralph Nader crawled out of a toilet somewhere and burned all that to the ground, at the behest of his Republican masters. Soon after, just when I’d started to think the world wasn’t as bad as I’d thought, that the days of Bush and Reagan were behind us, that maybe we at last were close to making some kind of progress, it was all smashed to bloody bits by 9/11.

After that, everything was different.

Bill Clinton had worked hard for eight years to balance the budget and had even added a surplus to it. That was all squandered in ten months. The feeling of progress and decency that had been growing since the Berlin Wall collapsed was gone. Soon it was the Patriot Act and war with Afghanistan. A completely pointless and random war with Iraq was to follow.

Ever seen the HBO series, Generation Kill? With the American soldiers in Iraq just riding around the country, randomly blowing things up? That is how it was. We had no objective and no clear purpose. We knew perfectly well that democracy was not really threatened by Saddam Hussein. But Bush had sent us over, so there we were. It was really stupid. It messed up a lot of my friends.

After that, nothing was the same. Everyone hated Bush, but he was a Bush, after all, and we were at war. People felt like he would be a good wartime president because his father had resembled The Terminator on a number of different levels. Remember the old legends about the leaders of men being giant lizards, loose under the earth? The alien theorist guys always show a clip of the good old H.W. licking his lips in support of their theory. There can be no doubt he looked reptilian.

Unfortunately, W. was not the equal of his father, who in turn had not been the equal of Ronald Reagan. He bungled it at every turn. No weapons of mass destruction, no Middle Eastern democracy in Iraq, no launching pad for us to slowly take over everything else from. It was all for a great big nothing.

By the time the second Bush was gone, we had a mess to clean up on every corner of the globe. And even though his historical successor Barack Obama proved to be a genius, he couldn’t do more than get the country pointed back in the right direction. No one could have, in eight years. It’s much easier to destroy than create.

At length, Obama succeeded in his Herculean task and reoriented the country toward something decent. ALL WE HAD TO DO, WAS WALK FORWARD TOGETHER.

Telling this part of the story is where I always start to get mad.

There is no way to throw eight years of effort into a few sentences. Suffice it to say, what Obama had achieved was worthwhile, and it should have been stood up for. And of course, those of us who fought hard for Hillary Clinton did do our best to stand up for them. I’m here to tell you, it was not easy.

To you who reads these words- Did you ever try to have a rational debate about policy or legislature with a member of Bernie or Bust? Because I have, and I am here to tell you. It was impossible.

By the time 2015 was drawing to a close, I had a really bad feeling about what the left was up to. Signs of an impending communication breakdown were everywhere.

People who didn’t know a thing about any of it were of a sudden fervently expert in the field. All the mountebanks and pseudo-intellectual theorists in the country crawled out from under the rocks of their coffeehouses.  And the moronic faces of either Trump or Bernie were everywhere you looked.

By the time 2016 came around, it had become frightfully obvious to me that things were NOT going to simply continue to take care of themselves.

People were going nuts. Free college, free healthcare, free everything. To listen to these guys tell the story, money itself would soon be obsolete in the brave new Bernieverse. In fact, previous success in the financial world was enough to disqualify your entry.

Within these circles, reality became more and more distant from the discourse as the year went by. And by the time I realized that having started out fresh after New Year’s of ’16 was not going to be able to do much more than scratch the surface, that I had started out too late, it was too late everywhere. The schism in the Democratic Party was a fait accompli, and Trump went on to win because of it.

Jill Stein, the leader of the Green Party for that election cycle, proved a worthy successor to the legacy of Nader. Once again, the loony left stole just enough crucial swing state votes to cost us the election.

The Libertarian Party won out big, taking more third-party votes than any candidate has since 1996.

And the Republicans took control of every part of the government.

Nor was that the end. Even the ultimate disaster of Trump being elected was not enough to bring those people around. They’re out there even now, knives in their teeth, savaging people at the local level. They go by lofty-sounding names like Our Revolution and the Justice Democrats, but they’re just as noisy and insolent as when they were Bernie or Bust. They’re not fooling anybody.

Thanks in large part to them, every American on every side of the conflict got screwed. Putin was victorious. The way things are now, we can’t even agree to keep the air clean, since Trump pulled us out of the Paris Accord.

We’ve got a babbling baboon, strutting around like an obese rooster, with people calling him Mr. President. They will never get the stink out of the showers.

Every bathroom in the White House will have to be redone, at the taxpayers’ expense.

They’re all running wild in there, beating their wives and molesting one another like chimpanzees. And me? The guy who wanted nothing to do with politics? It looks like I’m in it for the long haul. Because until the day comes when things calm down again, and politics go back to being boring, I don’t have a choice.

This is about my future. It’s about the future of my children, who I don’t want having to join the Trump Youth. It’s about the future of my parents, who they want to throw out in the cold by snatching Medicare away. These things are not just important. They are life and death. See you in the trenches.

A Media Monopoly- Koch Network Funds Time Inc. Buyout.

Wicked adversaries

History has taught us that the media industry in Washington is capable of posing a considerable threat to our democracy. It stands to reason that a sound and empowered federal regulation ought to exist, one capable of holding media outlets accountable. There’s got to be a mechanism overseeing the news, to see it stays within the bounds of reason.

Hardly any such protections exist, however, and haven’t since the FCC disposed of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987. President Bill Clinton observed this is not a topic frequently discussed by the media giants who govern our screens.

The world of American media is currently going through some fundamental changes. As part of this massive transformation, media companies have dramatically increased efforts to wield influence in Washington.

With a massive lobbying presence, and a steady dose of campaign donations to politicians on both sides of the political spectrum, big media has been pressuring the government to allow it more consolidation. A corollary goal involves privatizing and commodifying the internet.

The media controls the information flow. It has acquired an unparalleled power to reach into people’s lives. If consolidated and twisted to authoritarian purposes, it would turn into a weapon of terrifying strength. Any would-be dictator would naturally perceive this as well, and seek to acquire it.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise to see that the Koch Brothers are providing $500 million of the cash needed to buy out Time Magazine.

Meredith Corp., a magazine publisher and broadcast company, will acquire Time Inc. in a deal totalling $2.8 billion, the company announced Sunday.

The Koch brothers are the domestic source of most of the worst indignities we have suffered these last ten years. All of this is a part of their grand strategy to eliminate government interference from the business sector. Anti-monopoly laws, anti-pollution laws, anti-public aid laws. These things cost the likes of Koch Industries a lot of money every year. This is why they are willing to spend so much to get rid of them in the long run.

They are the money behind many Republicans like Scott Walker, for example, the governor of Wisconsin who used a lousy backdoor bill to cripple the school system there. It was a crucial step in breaking the backs of unions nationwide and in inciting conservatives to wickedness.

If the Koch Network comes to dominate the American media, it will probably come to dominate the American government shortly thereafter.

If that happens, all hope of turning humanity back from the road to ruin it has started down is lost.

Stephen Hawking warned in July that if we don’t desist from the course we’ve been on, global warming will become so bad that Earth will “become like Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees Celsius, and raining sulfuric acid.”

He also predicted that humanity’s natural greed would prevent us from properly addressing the problem.

None of this matters to the Koch brothers, however, whose fervent commitment to libertarianism- laissez-faire, dog-eat-dog capitalism- coincides precisely with their foremost, bottom-line interest: the elimination of government regulations aimed at containing toxic pollution and ozone-damaging emissions.

Koch companies are spewing these everywhere. Around the country, around the clock. And the only power strong enough to hold them accountable is the government.

However, there is one sure way they can succeed in tipping the balance against governmental regulation.

Seizing control of the government itself.

The Kochs have been planning this out for a long time. Their father, Fred Koch, was a co-founder of the John Birch Society, which can fairly be considered the centre of neo-conservative politics.

The trademark tenets of its philosophy include liberalism being the root of all evil, mistrust and hostility toward persons of color and other groups of at-risk persons, and a deep seeded fear of change. It is typified by racism, nationalism, and an ideologically devoid will to power. It carries within it the essence and spirit of fascism.

This is why they are paying so much money to take control of Time Magazine is one of the most highly recognizable and respected magazines in the world. To buy it out and fashion it into a vehicle of their propaganda would carry obvious strategic significance.

The tactic is to manipulate the national dialectic through their control of mouthpieces in the right-wing media. Recent shows like The Young Turks suggest their ideas have begun taking root on the left as well. This reality has to be faced and fully realized before counter-efforts will prove effective.

In 1983, journalist and professor Ben Bagdikian published his groundbreaking book, The Media Monopoly, which revealed that just 50 corporations owned 90 percent of the media. That number has gradually dwindled over the years and eventually led us to our current crisis, where more than 90 percent of the media is owned by just six companies: Viacom, News Corporation, Comcast, CBS, Time Warner and Disney.

To take control of the media once and for all, they have only to conquer these six companies. Here, we can look to Russia for a model. Putin did it in the post-Yeltsin era within a couple of years, with a nearly identical strategy.

The concept of the media they share, however, is a far cry from the First Amendment. For Putin and the Kochs, it’s a simple equation. Whoever owns the media controls what it says.

Putin pursues a two-pronged media strategy. At home, his government clamps down on internal communications while at the same time positioning abroad by deploying RT, the international news agency formerly known as Russia Today to challenge Western ideas and warp the lines of truth.

However, there is one key difference. Putin controls Russia’s government so thoroughly that he basically is Russia’s government.

The Koch brothers do not yet hold such power here.

So that is what they’re after. By way of achieving this goal, they have targeted the center with a political pincer attack. Their plan is to employ both ends of the radical spectrum with candidates in line with their philosophies and take over from within.

2016 Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Gary Johnson pointed out during the cycle that “Interestingly enough, the candidate I most often side with, on 73% of the issues, is Bernie Sanders”.

Putin spoke highly of Bernie as well. And it seems an unlikely coincidence that the Justice Democrats, a Sanders-affiliated organization started by Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur, have targeted Democrats nationwide in primary challenges.

“It is time for them to step aside and let us lead. If you want unity, we’re ready to lead,” Uygur said on his popular internet TV show, The Young Turks.

The sheer brazen insolence! How many Presidents have you helped get elected, Cenk? Worthless as can be. Good for nothing but hurting real Democrats.

Any reasonably intelligent person ought to see this is a time when every dollar should be focused on targeting the GOP and waking our country up from the nightmare we’ve been in since last November. We should be sticking together like the opposition is.

As we prepare to enter the New Year, we’re going to be seeing these themes arise time and again.These are all topics we’ve covered before. Media consolidation. Anti-union sentiment. Attacks of governmental regulation of all kinds. It all comes down to economic slavery gift-wrapped with a fancy word, libertarianism.

2018 is the year that we start taking back our country. The only way we’ve got a shot at cleaning all this up is to retake the Congress. All our energies will be given to keeping #TheBlueWave alive.

There is a reasonable alternative to the pandemonium created by conservative greed and the current administration. Please join us in the task of helping the concept evolve.

 

A Defense Against Fake News- Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.

#StopLying

The news on TV this week has all been very good for Donald Trump, although his job performance has been every bit as lousy as ever. The pattern is clear. Whenever he’s got somebody else to point the finger at, his ratings go up.

The cost of Robert Mueller’s investigation has been thrown up in our faces, as if it were an unnecessary expense, or a service performed just for Democrats. Several of the members of Mueller’s team have been attacked as well, and their motives called into question.

For the record, Robert Mueller left a $3.4 million partner job to serve as the special counsel overseeing the law enforcement investigation into whether the Kremlin and the Trump campaign coordinated to impact the 2016 election, according to documents released on Monday at a request from the Washington Post.

Trump has also been receiving undue credit for the economic bounce that Obama worked eight years to assure us. His moronic provocation of a travel ban finally went through, and so on.

All of this is being slowly made possible by a “post-truth” reality defined by the random slanders of an increasingly demented Trump.

The eminent opinion of Kellyanne Conway notwithstanding, there are no such things as alternative facts. They’re just good old fashioned lies.

But here are a couple of real facts. The new administration has declared war on accurate information. And because of that, every last thing with a shred of decency in American society is either under attack or being twisted to evil ends.

Basically, the truth does not suit Donald Trump’s agenda. So he has resolved upon making a new truth. He’s good at this. It has gotten him through a lifetime.

Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels said that the key to getting people to believe a lie was in repetition, and that the bigger lies were easier to tell then the little ones.

This viewpoint, which denies objectivity and assumes the worst of everyone, is the cornerstone of fascist philosophy. And under Trump, a number of new ideas are being employed as vehicles to carry and spread the new ideas about.

One of these is a project designed to target social media specifically, a mock-TV news report touting the imaginary successes of President Trump. It is being dubbed “Trump TV” on his official campaign Facebook page.

If the Russians have sent in advisers here, they are certainly doing their job.

Earlier this year upon launching the project, the talking head of Kayleigh McEnany made its mouth speak many a falsehood on the August 6 episode of the new administration’s Trump TV project. It looked like a Trump-Pence lawn sign.

“Overall, since the president took office, President Trump has created more than one million new jobs, the unemployment rate is at a 16-year low, and consumer confidence is at a 16-year high”, and so on.

Every bit of it is an exaggeration, a theft of credit from President Obama, or an outright utter lie.

Next to her face, a small screen showed various images of a happy, senile Trump speaking to stadiums packed with adoring fans; underneath the images blared the word “Jobs.”

It all read straight out of 1984.

For now, Trump TV is a small operation, cheaply produced and disseminated through Facebook, but it’s clear it will soon be getting bigger. It’s the spearhead of an effort by media giant Sinclair Broadcasting. It’s troubling in the utmost to watch the new administration both sanction and invent new media mouthpieces through which to spread outright lies. This is not a healthy sign.

Since the end of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, which mandated that equal airtime and coverage be given to the points of view of both major political parties, we have seen partisan organizations like Sinclair worming their way into buying up the whole apparatus. Now a number of them are no longer even American. This state of affairs is a travesty.

Bill Clinton, the most notable target of syndicated conservative talk shows cited the unbalanced nature of conservative talk radio, where “big money” is fueling “right wing talk shows.” This is why we need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.

It is the opinion of Millennial Democrats that the very first segment of the alt-right’s information pipeline that we have got to sever is the part of it stretching here from Russia.

Former White House correspondent Andrew Feinberg is one of the strongest advocates for this point of view, and he ought to know. He used to work for Sputnik. But these days, he openly admits the site’s content being “foreign propaganda, not news.”

His claim is that organizations like RT and Sputnik hold a pervasive influence on right-wing, pro-Trump, news websites. “Many of the most popular articles about things like WikiLeaks and pizzagate and other conspiracy theories were prominently featured on the Sputnik website,” said Feinberg.

In a recent Politico article Feinberg described parting ways with Sputnik earlier this year. He felt he was being bullied and pressured to pursue fake stories, including the Seth Rich conspiracy theory. He knew that he was being “fed” questions.

A news site which is funded by a hostile foreign government with the express purpose of reporting fake news and brazenly lying to the people of America is an outrage. There’s no other word for it. Any person who doesn’t understand that is one already lost to the opposition.

A journalist sacked by the Kremlin-funded Sputnik news network claimed that right-wing U.S. outlets like Infowars, Breitbart and Gateway Pundit are joined by RT and Sputnik as functioning parts of this right-wing media ecosystem.

The crux of the problem is that we’re not all being given the same information.

Harvard’s Berkman-Klein Center recently produced an analysis of the subject which they entitled Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. In it, they made the following observation.

“We find that the structure and composition of media on the right and left are quite different. The leading media on the right and left are rooted in different traditions and journalistic practices. On the conservative side, more attention was paid to pro-Trump, highly partisan media outlets. On the liberal side, by contrast, the center of gravity was made up largely of long-standing media organizations steeped in the traditions and practices of objective journalism.”

Democrats remain interested in things like truth and reason. The opposition has discarded those virtues as impractical, if not actively detrimental, to their various causes.

Although Fox itself does still usually take the time to bother putting a veneer of professional journalism on their stuff, they still know who a large part of their audience is, and they cater to it.

If you watch Fox News these days, you won’t just find the usual conservative twist anymore. Much of their old content has become too truthful for many of their viewers. It’s not hardcore enough anymore. These people want uglier mud to sling at their liberal foes. A website called Liberty Headlines will tell you all about it.

This is why Fox has partnered with a more extreme conservative media. One resolved on developing the concept to its evolutionary apex: sheer, pure propaganda.

It seems painfully obvious in hindsight that twenty years of media consolidation has been bad for our democracy.

The exaggerations and falsehoods emanating from right-wing media outlets such as Breitbart News have infected mainstream discourse.

Though the Berkman- Klein report we mentioned earlier does an excellent job of laying out the challenge posed by Breitbart and its ilk, it is less than clear on how to counter it. One very interesting solution has been employed by our neighbors to the North, in Canada, with a surprisingly effective result.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, or CRTC, is a regulatory media commission like the FCC. It is not large and it does not often have a need to make the news. But back in 2011, a rather small decision by a relatively small government agency in Ottawa made a pretty big splash.

In April, a major player in the Canadian media scene, Quebecoir Media, planned a launch of what they called Sun News, or Sun TV. It was billed as a Canadian analogue to FOX News, by which they meant a broadcast news outlet with a skewed and partisan conservative perspective.

But Sun News hit a major snag, in the form of a CRTC rule on “prohibited programming content” that includes “broadcasting false or misleading news.”

That rule means that in Canada they can ban lying in the media.

If the human race is going to avoid a significant degradation of its own condition, then we have to maintain our objectivity. We can’t be lulled to sleep by Trump-brand fairy tales.

It’s time we stopped letting wingnut billionaires clutter up our airwaves with their nonsense just because they’ve got the money to throw their weight around. Legislation must be passed immediately to make perfidy in the American news an official crime.

Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again, but America never stopped being great. If we wish to keep that intact, the removal of state-sanctioned falsehoods would be a very good start. Bring back the Fairness Doctrine, and make it illegal to call poisonous deceit the news. It’s really pretty simple. Just vote a straight blue ticket next year, and get everyone you know to do the same. It is time we started doing laundry.

Putin Divvies Up Syria, Trump Spills Israeli Intel- The Puppet Strikes Again.

#demontroll
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a trilateral summit with the presidents of Iran and Turkey in Russia’s Black Sea resort city, Sochi. Putin gave a warm welcome to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and declared that the three countries deserve all the credit for helping to maintain “stability” in Syria.
Turkey, which is still a NATO member and U.S. ally, announced that it may soon open talks with Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria, in a joint effort with Russia and Iran to return stability to the region. America was not invited.
Trump seems to have agreed to back off in exchange for Russian help last year. As a result, the future of Syria is being largely determined without significant input from Washington, the world’s single superpower.

In related news, highly-classified Israeli intelligence was offhandedly revealed by Donald Trump to Russian officials earlier this year. Earlier this week we found out what it was.

The US President’s decision to spill the information during a meeting with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was described as having brought Israeli spies’ “worst fears” to life.

During Trump’s meeting with Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, Trump revealed the details of a covert Israeli operation that exposed ISIS plans to create bombs out of laptops and smuggle them aboard commercial airliners.

Israelis were horrified.

Earlier this month, the “dead” ISIS leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi was spotted in the hotly contested Syrian town of Boukamel.

The Iraqi Media News Agency quoted an anonymous source in Iraqi News as saying: ‘In a yellow taxi, Baghdadi fled Iraq and headed to Syria.’

The question of whether al-Baghdadi is dead or alive has been a continuing source of mystery and confusion. Russia claimed in June that he had “likely been killed” in an airstrike just outside of Raqqa. But they offered no proof, and there are many questions about the relations peculiar to the relationships of the parties involved.

Russia had a good working relationship with Iraq under Saddam. Although it always repeatedly denied giving military or security assistance to the Hussein regime, the Russian government under Putin expressed intense disagreement with the U. S.-led war on Iraq.

In April of 2003, after the fall of Baghdad, documents were found in a Baghdad office of the Mukhabarat, the Iraqi secret police under Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime. Those documents showed that a Moscow- based organization had been training Iraqi intelligence agents as recently as September of 2002.

In other words, Russia was training some of Saddam’s best generals and their secret police. We know it went on for several decades. They spent billions of dollars on it.

The leadership of the Islamic State of the Levant consists primarily of former Baathist leaders, Saddam’s generals all coalesced again without him, like a hydra that grew back tens of thousands strong.

Of the six individuals who have been at the helm of the terror group, at least three of them served in Saddam Hussein’s army. Another is dead, and the very top guy, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was supposedly killed by Russian airstrikes back in June.

Imagine our surprise, seeing him strolling around in Syria healthy as a horse, and releasing more hate-filled videos calling for more terrorism. Claims of his death appeared to have been just more Russian disinformation.

If al-Baghdadi is alive, then Russia was most likely lying last summer, which was predictable. Russia lies about everything, routinely and by way of self-defence, like the ink-cloud of a giant squid. 

But what might Russia hope to gain by claiming the death of al-Baghdadi? What might they hope to gain?

A large amount of Turkish effort has been placed into acquiring this oil. Gaining energy autonomy to avoid having to depend on Russia for fuel has long been a goal of Turkish foreign policy.
But in spite of these attempts to diversify their energy sources and become more self-reliant, Turkey still depends largely on Russia for its energy needs, as do many other countries in Europe. They still have to depend on the goodwill of Vladimir Putin for things to run smooth.
Fortune 500 rated Vladimir Putin as the fourth richest person in the world last year, but some believe he is far wealthier than that. Hermitage Capital Management CEO Bill Browder believes Putin’s fortune to be in excess of $200 billion. Either way, if he wants things to stay that way, he’s got to stay in control of Russia.
Oil is obviously very important to us, but to Russia it is everything. Oil is essentially all that Russia has. It controls a huge mass of the world’s strategic oil reserve, and it comprises Putin’s fortune, which is sizeable by any standard, regardless of his Fortune ranking.
This dependence on oil as a source of wealth and income is also the case for Turkey and its leader Tayyip Erdogan.
Under President Bill Clinton, the United States and the EU engaged with and attempted to include Turkey as part of their efforts to strengthen the liberal international order, and it worked. They’ve been an ally for decades. Their fortunes in the Middle East were always fundamentally tied to ours. The Turks and the Russians have been rivals since the days of the Ottoman Empire.
And here is where we reach the ominous part of the story, the focal point of the developing narrative.
In spite of all these decades worth of progress strengthening American interests in the region, a perplexing area of cooperation between Russia, Turkey, and Trump seems to have arisen on Syria, with anti-EU undertones, and without American involvement.
Little by little, an outline begins to take shape. The way things looks from here, it’s a huge quid pro quo, in which Assad, Erdogan, Putin, and Trump came to an arrangement to simply leave alone Russia’s narrative about having killed al-Baghdadi.
For al-Baghdadi’s part, keeping the illusion alive would have given him months to regroup, lay low, and try to come up with something. In the meantime, there are those oil routes heading for Turkey, that the eyes of the world are not on. To all outward appearances, this is a strategic ceasefire if ever there was one.
 Assad gets to stay in power, and start seeing order restored to his country. Erdogan, who just survived a coup attempt last year, gets the sanctions applied by Russia for the fighter plane shot down in Turkish airspace in 2015 lifted and regains his ability to use Russia and the EU as a counterweight. Just last week, Erdogan and Putin met for four hours. Everybody’s happy- but all of them will soon be presented the bill.
Currently, Putin and his cronies are all smiles. They’re chopping up the spoils. And America was not invited. Trump seems to have agreed to back off in exchange for Russian help last year. As a result, the future of Syria is being largely determined without the world’s only superpower.
None of this could have happened without Putin, who will get the best that everyone has to offer. From Syria, a warm-water port in the Mediterranean Sea. This has been a dream of Russia’s for generations. From Turkey, restored good relations, and a subservient oil client. From Trump, an America weakened and thrown into chaos.
And from them all, Russia’s hold on the Crimea tacitly acknowledged, at the expense of ignored and pilfered Ukraine. Their criminal long game has become all too clear, and Trump is doing nothing. Please help us raise awareness.

#HoldTheCenter- Far Left Attacks Franken, Distracts Us From Russiagate.

ABC News reported on Sunday that within the past month, special counsel Robert Mueller requested that the Justice Department turn over a wide array of documents as part of its ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

His team is said to be particularly interested in materials that relate to Trump’s notorious firing of former FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russia probe earlier this year, a source who was told about the request informed ABC News.

This is a major step. The Justice Department is getting pretty close to the Oval Office. This will be Mueller’s first records request to the very agency that is overseeing the probe.

Also, Rob Goldstone, the British publicist who helped set up the infamous meeting between members of the Trump campaign Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Mueller’s office, according to several people familiar with the matter.

Since the indictment of Paul Manafort and the others, the news from Mueller’s office has been coming hot and heavy.

Its onrush has caused great panic and consternation among the Republicans. Most of those with consciences, like Jeff Flake from Arizona, are retiring next year. Flake was caught on a hot mic recently, speaking frankly about the Republican Party and its future. “If we become the party of Trump and Moore, we’re toast”. Well said.

It’s a promising sign that they’re throwing all their bones to us Democrats right away. Donna Brazile, Uranium One, Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All, etc. They have been really been desperate lately. Ordinarily, they would hold these things in reserve in a vain hope that we’ll avert our gaze long enough to pull something nasty. They’ve had some awful successes that way.

Lack of public expectation was how Scott Walker was able to ravage public schools. He broke the backs of the public worker unions in Wisconsin, using vaguely worded provisions on the infamous backdoor bill known as Act 10. People just were not ready for someone to be that vicious, that fast. It’s the way things are these days, though. Koch Industries has changed the game. We cannot let that happen again.

There’s no end to the challenges we’re up against, and the way it breaks down is very simple. If we keep our focus on the big things, like Russiagate and their evil tax plan, we’re going to take the #BlueWave we’ve been building and knock them flat with it. If we let their distractions take our eyes from the prize, though, it’ll be a different story, a really nasty one.

Right now, the world needs our power combined more than ever before. The stakes could not be higher, and most people know it. It is therefore both inexplicable and unfortunate that the so-called progressive wing of the left decided recently to release a report ripping Democrats up on every level, in a manner that once again reinstates the well-known complaints of Bernie Sanders and his followers from back in 2016.

We do not agree with the Free Press Online report in a number of key regards. We consider their interpretations of these key events to be monstrously distorted. In any case, their report, which they called an Autopsy, came complete with a dead donkey, legs up, on its cover. Not even a Republican could have done as nasty or insulting a job.

Why are Sanders followers so eager to hurt Democrats? They attack us with far more passion and frequency than they do the Republicans, even though we are people who agree with them in terms of the policies they say they hold so dear. It’s reminiscent of Ralph Nader. Perhaps the worst thing is that they’ve been completely silent on Russia. Bernie wouldn’t even vote to sanction Russia.

Excesses of radical leftist rage are what the alt-right is hoping to induce, every time they hack some emails and strategically release them. The Russians are said to have been speechless with joy when Debbie Wassermann-Schultz resigned her position as DNC chairman. To finance, encourage, and incite the radical portions of both sides of the political spectrum is the M.O. of Russian destabilization tactics all through the world.

A radicalized environment is a volatile, polarized environment. You can’t get anything done in it, and that is what the Russians need. They have very little money to work with. Materially they are far weaker. But, if they can tie us all up with inaction, using traitorous Trojan Horses to infect our body politic, they can hope to realign that. All Putin wants, is to make Russia great again. At our expense.

The hostile world power that is Russia has crafted a meticulous plan to realign the European order as subordinate to the interests of the Kremlin. Their biggest obstacle was America. So they hatched a plot to remove us from the playing board. Our nation has been victimized, it’s still going on, and the latest victim of it is Al Franken.

It’s a sad thing, to watch people jump on a bandwagon.

Two prominent progressive groups, Credo Action and Indivisible, called for Franken’s resignation Monday in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations against him. This is so idiotic, so destructive to the Resistance, that it’s frankly hard to believe it’s unintentional.

If Democrats were to actually resign their offices every time they were slandered by Republicans, we’d have packed our bags and went home a hundred years ago.

Needless to say, these homegrown attacks are coming from organizations who show every sign of extreme bitterness about the primary defeat of Bernie Sanders in 2016, the election that seemingly never ends.

This type of cheap scandal stinks of Ken Starr and Monica Lewinsky. It’s unreal that it’s coming from our own backyard. For such attacks to be coming from people who share our values would once have been unthinkable.

Everyone remembered the Bush and Reagan years. The opposition had the country completely locked down. Bill Clinton was able to take it back by the slimmest of margins. In order to break that stranglehold, the utmost cooperation among the left was necessary. It still is.

When one section of the left starts making up imaginary purity tests to administer to the other, it is all too clear that many have forgotten the importance of the coalition concept. That is why we lost in 2016.

It’s put up or shut up time. The midterm elections are now less than a year away. It has become necessary to take a side. The only options are to stand with the Democrats or stand with Trump, and only one of those has any sanity or decency in it. Taking half measures will mean leaving the status quo intact.

The most important thing for any democracy is that its lines of communication remain healthy and open. When those break down, all that remains is tyranny. We have seen its face. It is eating dinner at the White House. We understand the necessity of cooperation and coalition, and we are willing to open a respectful dialogue with anyone who realizes that we’ve got to find a way out of this mess. We have got to find a way to move forward together. #WeWillEmbraceYou. All we are saying, is give peace a chance.

 

 

 

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