Our illegitimate forty-fifth president on Friday gave us a sneak preview of his re-election strategy for 2020, when he went after Representative Ilhan Omar for the now-infamous remarks she made not long before during a speech on civil rights and Muslims in America. His tool was a visceral video of the burning World Trade Center towers taken back in 2001. He tweeted it to millions of his followers, which some have argued was an act that may have put her life in danger.
From where things stand today, it seems clear that the political momentum of America is going strong in favor of the Democratic Party. Donald Trump has been a complete disaster for the country, as everyone knew he would be, and it’s all but certain we’ll correct our mistake very soon.
It is, therefore, completely unsurprising to see him grab onto something one of our Democratic leaders have done and begin to fashion a weapon with it. Of course, he is doing this to try and deflect from his own endless blunders and crimes. But that doesn’t help us answer the central question.
What about what Ilhan Omar actually said?
In opening this discussion, we would like to make it clear that Representative Omar is someone we would like to support. She has not been a pest like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who really likes attention, and figures the best way to get it is to go out of her way to be an enemy to good Democrats. I have written good things about Omar since the day she was elected.
She isn’t one of the usual Bernie Sanders suspects, nor is she a socialist, or any of that. This isn’t about that. It’s that we’ve got to cut down on the amount of just dirt that can be slung at the Democratic Party, which means holding our leaders accountable when they start jumping off the deep end. Youthful errors happen. It is not too late for Omar to turn back.
But lately, there has been a lot of trouble.
Recently, conservative Laurie Cardoza-Moore, an Evangelical leader who hosts the popular Christian television program Focus On Israel, said on Wednesday that “while she has already established her credentials as a vehement antisemite, Ilhan Omar is far worse than that.”
That has not been proven true, and we’re inclined to believe that it is not, although certainly that hasn’t been proved either. What is without question is that she’s a representative of our country now, a person at the highest levels of the government of the greatest superpower in the history of mankind, the United States of America, and she’s been giving Trump a lot of dirt against us. This has to stop and fast.
The Jerusalem Post is a highly reputable organization operating in the territories of one of our closest global partners, Israel. We deeply respect them. It’s the most commonly read newspaper for Jews who speak English and has been around since 1932. If they thought enough of it to publish an article of concern, it is going to be necessary to give the matter a good close look.
From the article- “On her Twitter page last week, Omar demanded that US President Donald Trump push for the release of a senior member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hoda Abdelmonem.”
That is a far bigger deal than what Trump is tweeting about, and that is what our issue is. This is not about Omar’s policies, or her religion, or her hijab, or her friends. Asking for leniency on behalf of that terrorist, even unofficially, is crossing a big line.
She will rapidly lose her support among Americans if she keeps on like this.
It is very important that she quickly correct her course. She must understand after this that she is now a Representative of the United States of America, the greatest country in the world and that as such, what she does will tremendously affect everyone around her. She did not quite use her position in an official capacity, she did it using her personal Twitter account, but just the same. It’s unacceptable, and she should have known better.
Her advisers should definitely have known better, and of course, they did. They knew exactly what they would be doing, and they knew it would put Omar at risk, and they still used it. She is mixed up with rough customers, and that’s the part that’s really troubling.
We have to make it clear these people are not her only option.
None of this is a conspiracy theory. Omar might not be a Muslim Brotherhood member, but she is spending a lot of time around CAIR, which has been found to have ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. Worse, it has close ties to Hamas and Hezbollah, who are downright terroristic.
As an aside, this is one of the dozens of things we’re objecting to in the case of Tulsi Gabbard.
Last month, Omar keynoted an Islamic Relief USA emergency fundraising dinner for Yemen in Tampa, Florida. Later this month she will be a keynote speaker at a CAIR fundraiser in Los Angeles. She’s hanging out with these people all the time, they constitute her biggest support.
Most of us will remember well the trouble over the Women’s March last year when it was found out that the person organizing it was foul-mouthed and anti-Semitic political activist Palestinian Muslim-American Linda Sarsour. She got ahold of the Women’s Convention and tried to make Bernie Sanders, who has a record on women right up there with Donald Trump’s, the keynote speaker.
When American women found out about that, there was an outcry unlike anything you have ever seen unless you were there, and St. Bernard the millionaire backed out as fast as his legs would carry him, but that too is another story.
Suffice it to say that after that incident, Sarsour and CAIR were on the radar, and not as friendlies.
At the same time, however, you’re not who your friends are, or at least, not completely. It seems important to point out that Representative Omar is not Tulsi Gabbard. Omar came up on her own. She does not come from a wealthy community of emigres, nor do her parents have money, back home in Somalia. Her mother died when she was two, and her father drove a taxicab-as do many of the smartest people ever met by this Millennial Democrats contributor. There’s just something cool about taxi drivers.
We consider it critical that we carefully monitor our own back yards, and take note of disturbing trends within them. And just as the Justice Democrats always say, it’s important that we hold our leaders accountable and ask that they explain to us their actions and philosophy.
The way that Donald Trump is going after her for this is wrong, but it’s a big exaggeration to say she didn’t make a mistake. She absolutely did make a mistake. “Some people did something” is not an acceptable way to address the most lethal terrorist attack in America’s history, something that has left a permanent scar.
If Omar wants our support, she needs to desist in this vein at once, and from this day forth utterly repudiate terrorism.
As a wise woman once said, we must react the same way as if we found evidence of one of our leaders supporting a white supremacist group.
It couldn’t be less important who the terrorist is, what they’re for, what color their shirt, skin, cause, it doesn’t matter. Civilization demands that we come together behind fighting this type of attack with a united resolve. If we cannot come together behind not cutting slack to those who murder for shock value, then on what can we come together?
All of these factors caused us to conclude that this incident requires direct addressing. It is not enough to point out that Trump is trying to deflect from his wrongdoings and outright crimes using Omar, which undoubtedly he is.
We wish to state clearly that this is not an attack, it’s just the opposite. We do stand with Ilhan, it’s more than just a hashtag for us. She is a Millennial Democrat. She is also someone who rode into office on the Blue Wave that we fought so hard for, in the Year of the Democratic Woman that we lauded.
But even as we hold our hands out to Omar herself, we recognize the importance in a proper observation of this troubling new trend, and we wish to express our ardent hope that Representative Omar will awake to the harm she has done recently, to herself and to the cause, and turn around before it is too late.
At the end of this long discussion, our clarified message is this. In the name of giving somebody the benefit of the doubt, we are proud to concur with many of our fellow Democrats and say that we do indeed #StandWithIlhan. We stand with you, Representative Omar-
Our message for Ilhan Omar is this:
What Trump is doing is despicable, and we’re not going for it. You’re a Democrat and a Millennial Democrat, and we’re here for you. National leadership has been here for you, and we are going to follow suit with a full heart. But by that same token, do not play us for chumps, or take our support for granted.
We are not going to slither on your behalf or anyone else.
We’re not going to equivocate or change the subject endlessly. Do not put us in the position of having to become apologists for CAIR and Hezbollah, because we’re not going for that either. 9/11 was the greatest tragedy in the history of all America. Please pay credence to this fact, and show respect.
Six floors below Mr Reyher, James Logozzo watched with stunned colleagues from the Morgan Stanley boardroom. He recalled that it took three or four jumpers to flash past him before he realised they were people. Then a woman fell, lying flat on her back and staring upwards. ‘The look on her face was shock. She wasn’t screaming,’ he recalled. ‘It was slow motion. After she hit the ground, there was nothing left.’
For those down below, the bodies landed with sickening, almost explosive thuds. Many said it was raining bodies.
One fireman, Danny Suhr, was killed as he made his way to the South Tower after a jumper landed on him, ‘coming out of the sky like a torpedo’ and breaking his neck. Compounding the tragedy, the priest who gave him the last rites was later killed by falling debris.
Learn from this mistake, Ms. Omar. Take a few minutes to actually watch those videos Trump tweeted, horrendous as they are. Take in the sight of our beautiful Twin Towers falling, and take note of the girl around your same age who had to choose between burning to death and falling off the top of that vast skyscraper. More than two hundred people jumped to their deaths that day.
Watch carefully as she stretches her arms outward, acceptance on her face, and falls, a person, just like all of us.
Maybe she would have run for office someday. Unlike you or me, however, she never got the chance. Please let the real meaning of that sink in, and realize thoroughly the importance of being more sensitive. Terrorism is an unthinkable evil. Show us you are here to help us fight it.
Julian Assange, the co-founder of Wikileaks (a term he is said to hate, according to Daniel Domscheit-Berg, his old partner) is on his way to face American justice, good and hard. Ecuador is saying he broke the terms of his asylum, and in the next few “hours or days“, according to the Wikileaks Twitter account, he will be asked to leave once and for all.
Word has it they have made arrangements with the United Kingdom authorities for his arrest.
Ecuador has not independently confirmed this, but it’s certainly to be hoped that they will. No one has ever more deserved it.
That would just be where it begins, for him. Assange was indicted here in America last year, for reasons that are not known for sure and are obvious. After he gets done with whatever the British have got planned for him, he’ll be on his way here, where he will be charged with a federal crime and sent someplace to learn how to be penitent, since repentance never came on its own.
Quite possibly he could go to our dreaded military prison in Cuba, Guantanamo Bay, for being a terrorist and an enemy of the American people.
Wherever he goes, one thing is for sure. Our justice system may now very well proceed to dispense great misery on Mr. Assange, who has made his living and career out of hurting and embarrassing others.
Then again, why be Russian property? Why sell out the Western world? Why make all the days of your life about whining and malice?
Wikileaks is the organization whose release of hacked e-mails they’d illegally acquired from the servers of the Democratic National Committee spurred the supporters of Bernie Sanders to riot in Philadelphia. The entire Trump era was made possible by him. And in the end, rather than feed the cat, he spitefully let it go.
Moreno denies that Assange has the right to “hack private accounts or phones”. He has been greatly reviled for this modest request by the man whose life and freedom he is preserving. The deal was for him to sit there, shut up, think about where he’s gone wrong with his life, and above all, not intervene in the politics of other countries, especially those that have friendly relations with Ecuador. This seems reasonable enough, considering that they are a small nation, not in the least a world power. They really took a chance for him.
Latin America has a long history of resistance against imperialist powers, and Assange poses as a freedom of speech icon and crusader, so Ecuador took him in. Assange recently rewarded Moreno by digging for dirt on him and slathering it all over the news. What a guy.
Assange pretends to be nonpartisan and whines that he’s only doing his best to bring the truth to light.
The truth is that America is not perfect, any more than any other country is perfect. But it really is as my grandfather the World War II veteran liked to say, God rest his soul.
This is the greatest country in the world.
Without America to uphold it, democracy would disappear from Earth in a single generation, but let’s leave that aside for now. Even if we concede Assange’s point, and assume for a second that the service he performs is useful, wouldn’t it be nice to see it spread out evenly?
America is certainly not any worse than Russia, but Assange never has a thing to say about them. He has been sent many volumes full of dirt to dump on Russian officials and oligarchs over the years, but he never used any of them until after the 2016 United States Presidential election.
Shortly after, this changed for the first time when he released the“Spy Files Russia” dump. According to Wired Magazine, many outside observers consider the most logical explanation for them as having been an approved release direct from the Russian government, meant to defray criticism that WikiLeaks aided the Russian interference designed to help Donald Trump.
“These are tricks that the Russians were willing to give up,” says James Andrew Lewis, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who formerly worked as a Foreign Service officer and an information security rapporteur for the United Nations. “I actually thought it was a bit slow and belated. They probably had to get FSB clearance to release anything and that may have taken a while. Think of it as vaudeville for leakers.”
Before that, Assange and Wikileaks had never published a single solitary document that any Russian person might consider offensive in the slightest. He had always found some excuse, proving once more what we’ve been saying for years, that in our world today, those who scream and cry about America’s bad behavior tend to be working for Russia. It is no coincidence that Snowden ended up living in Russia.
Getting back on track, the speculative cause for this most recent development probably came from years-old private photos of Moreno and his family in Europe getting circulated recently on social media. Moreno said he believed the photos were shared by WikiLeaks.
“Mr. Assange has violated the agreement we reached with him and his legal counsel too many times,” Moreno told the Ecuadorean Radio Broadcasters Association.
No doubt he has, sir. Seven years, he’s been wasting their bed space. He also sued them for requiring him to pay his own costs, unbelievably. That’s all over now.
Hours or days. When Assange walks out into the streets, he’s going to get snatched up. He is soon to find out who he’s been crossing all these years. He probably still thinks he’s going to get a pardon from Trump, but one suspects he is not to end up in a cushy Federal Prison Camp like Paul Manafort.
America has a long memory, Julian. If I were you, I’d be looking for a good lawyer.
Still and all, though, we have to admit one thing, at least in the case of Bernie Sanders.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
This was the first thing that crossed my mind the other day during midterms when I first heard that Bernie hired a “Political Hit Man”, David Sirota, to target Joe Biden, the former Vice President of the United States, and a man vastly more likely to face Donald Trump in eighteen months than Bernie is.
Sirota is a Young Turks contributor, like former Justice Democrat Cenk Uygur (who was kicked out of that organization for writing sexually perverse essays). He has made a career out of ripping up Democrats, every chance he gets.
Here we go again. This is going to be the ugliest primary in the history of American politics.
This week Sirota announced to his email friends that he had accepted a job as senior adviser and speechwriter for the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). After taking the job, he spent his day deleting over twenty thousand tweets that looked like this one.
Although he blatantly lied and said the opposite, Sirota for some time has been ramping up to his joining of the Sanders campaign.
Since December, David Sirota has, on Twitter, on his own website, and in columns in The Guardian, been trashing most of Sanders’s Democratic opponents — all without disclosing his work with Sanders — and has been pushing back on critics by saying that he was criticizing the other Democrats as a journalist. He centered many of his attacks on Beto O’Rourke, but he also bashed Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Joe Biden, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper, Mike Bloomberg, and even Andrew Cuomo.
Now, the interesting thing is that Sirota, who has more than a hundred thousand Twitter followers, immediately spent his day deleting over twenty thousand tweets that show him ripping up Democrats who have disagreed with him. He took the day off work for that, and then deflected attention by saying it was really so he could care for his “sick child”.
Did he mean the Sanders campaign? “Sick child” seems to work.
Sirota is both not the first and not the most recent of the hitmen assembled by Bernie, who together will comprise one of the ugliest lineups of vicious political thugs and banshees ever assembled in the history of all the world, let alone the Democratic Party. Fake-left Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept’s Briahna Joy Grey was also just hired on as the new press secretary for Bernie 2020 should signal to everyone what’s going on here.
Gray’s old tweets on Russian election interference have garnered negative attention, on social media and elsewhere. In one such tweet from September 2016, Gray said, “@realDonaldTrump is right. The dems pushed the ‘Russia did the hacking’ angle b/c it was politically advantageous for them. #debatenight.”
We can look at Nina Turner for another example. Bernie’s got her playing the role of a campaign co-chair. What does that say? She told all of her supporters to vote for Jill Stein in the end and did so herself, citing her extreme hatred of Hillary Clinton as the reason why.
But strangely, here’s that very same Nina Turner, asking if we’re “Ready for Hillary 2016” on Twitter!
Nina wanted a job with Hillary’s campaign. She wanted to be a top adviser and got turned down for the position. She was, in the parlance of our times, rather butthurt.
After being refused, Turner made a high-profile defection to the Sanders campaign.
Once he lost, Turner refused to support Clinton and eventually voted for Jill Stein in the 2016 contest. She said the Democratic Party may be so “corporate” that it is no longer useful. Her presence on Team Sanders signaled Bernie’s intention to get ugly, right out of the gate. They were always going to be firing their big guns at us (and not the Republicans, as always). But now with Sirota and Grey on his team, we need to understand that they have already fixed their bayonets.
Although he went around telling everyone he wasn’t going to let things get so nasty this time around, Bernie is going to go for our vitals again, just as much as he did in 2016. The difference is that he’ll be far better organized and have far more ability to rip and gouge the Democratic Party, which is his purpose in life.
O’Rourke had not taken a single dime from the oil and gas industry, yet Sirota claimed he was “the #2 recipient of oil/gas industry campaign cash”.
The radical left does not care which candidate might have the best chance of beating Trump in the end. They don’t care about the Democratic Party, except insofar as Bernie can grab it like a hermit crab shell and ride it to the Presidency.
If Bernie cannot have it, they would prefer Trump.
Going forward, we’ve got to get the word out and raise awareness on what absolute jackals Bernie Sanders has hired to do his dirty work. #NeverBernie. Hold on to your hats, folks, because it’s going to be a wild ride.
Now that the Russiagate investigation seems to be winding down, and a conviction for the illegitimate president Donald Trump is not certain to appear as the light at the end of the tunnel, Republicans are gloating and he is acting vindicated, even before the report comes out. That is their prerogative, of course. But the proof is right there in the pudding.
The right-wing gloaters who say stupid things like “Their (us Democrats) narrative is breaking down” are far from correct when they do. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see him nailed to the wall, but that sure doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be. Trump both looks and is acting guilty and scared by the Russia investigation. A series of fresh disclosures on Tuesday showed that there is every reason for him to feel threatened by the shadow it has cast over his life, business and presidency. What we seek, solid information that Trump did indeed collude, probably sits in a deep crypt somewhere within the KGB building over there in Russia.
Trump’s own conduct led to the investigation and has been the chief witness against him all the while. He’s deflected, minimized, rationalized, and flat out denied his role in all this, even as he called on Russia for help during the debates and got it. Robert Mueller will soon provide the voters with the information they need to decide what really happened, and even if Trump finds a way to block it, the damage is done already. It’s been done since the day James Comey was fired. We know who he is.
Even without a smoking gun, the cat is out of the bag.
The cat is out of the bag too on Putin’s blatantly anti-American plotting. His element of surprise is gone and with it his only chance to do more than giving us a bloody nose. Realigning the world to suit Russian interests will never happen for him now. The spotlight is on and it will stay on. We know now that they never considered the Cold War to really be over, and we’re watching for their next move. They will never do this to us again.
For more than three years now, we’ve been blowing the horn of alarm as to what the Russians and other foreign actors online have been doing to our politics. From the Macedonians running the Facebook groups of Bernie Sanders to Tad Devine, Bernie’s manager, having been Paul Manafort‘s old crony and Ukrainian election fixing buddy, all of it was more real than any of us wanted to believe. Public awareness has been thoroughly raised worldwide, and that means something.
Say what you want about Putin, but he’s the single most powerful man on Earth. He’s not just some slob like Trump. He’s not going to put years into coming up with a plan just to blow it on something as basic as a written order delivered by hand- which is what it would have taken for Mueller to take down Trump directly. We never expected we’d be able to prove that.
What we can prove is bad enough, though. Three of the top strategists opposing Hillary Clinton in 2016 had been doing Putin’s bidding in this regard for over a decade, on both sides of our political spectrum. Calling that coincidence requires a suspension of belief so enormous that the average adult won’t be able to stomach it. The eyes of the world are on it now.
So what’s it all been for? If it’s not going to end with Trump in handcuffs, was it really worth it? What comes next? These are all the questions Americans are asking themselves right now, and for once and all time, we say yes. To protect the sanctity of elections is to safeguard democracy itself.
Thirty-two people found themselves behind bars for the part they played in this, with more to come. The next time some trash can of a slob decides to get in bed with America’s worst enemy, they’ll have this to refer to when considering the consequences and weighing the cost. Most will turn back, and there will be a strong precedent to smash into bits the would-be traitors who decide to cross the line.
In the last analysis, we fought this battle for the noblest of reasons- pure patriotism. We had to be sure that Putin’s puppets couldn’t run away with the White House. The last thing we needed was a fragile, easily manipulated president allied with one of the most corrupt and brutal regimes in the world. Taking that on was the true goal, and we did it.
So be proud, Democrats! You stood up when the going was hard, you fought through some of the worst conditions anyone has ever seen, and the United States of America is better for it. In order to safeguard our rights and our democracy, the most vigorous political action has been and will be necessary. The Russiagate investigation showed the world just how vigorous we can be once we’ve decided to fight.
Donald Trump has just gotten through with a week that many are calling the worst of his entire presidency. The highly anticipated Congressional testimony of former Trump fixer and recently disbarred attorney Michael Cohen raised a litany of allegations against his former boss this week, including new information relating to the Russiagate scandal. The hearings were dramatic in the extreme, and Cohen ended up implicating both the president and his inner circle in potential crimes on multiple accounts. This combined with the debacle that was the second Kim Jong-Un summit, and you’ve got the makings of a real disaster seven days.
Trump’s defense, as it always is, is to deny everything and shower slander upon his current enemy. Cohen is a liar, he says, and should not be believed. They parrot this line at Fox News, and his base does the same in day-to-day life, so who to believe? Politico’s Jack Schafer pointed out that Donald Trump has told more than 8,000 lies since becoming president. As for his former attorney, the disgraced Cohen, there is no doubt that he is also in every way a liar. No doubt about it. Remember that video clip of him arrogantly shrugging and saying, “Prove it!” in reference to the lies of his boss? I have always found it hard to find pity in my heart for him, although compassion is something one human owes another regardless of the circumstances. He confessed to lying to Congress and is prison-bound for it.
But the thing to remember is that for all Cohen’s faults, he never would have gotten in such trouble as this on his own. He was ordered down this path by an extremely corrupt wannabe mobster of a man. Everything he did, every lie he told, was all on the behalf of Donald Trump. I watched that testimony, and it had every look of being genuine. When he called his former boss a “conman”, you could tell he meant it. Like a man unburdening his soul, come what may. We wish Mr. Cohen our best in restoring decency into his life. For once in his existence, he has done the right thing without equivocating. He’ll be called upon again to tell and retell his story.
House Democrats plan to use Cohen’s testimony as an obvious reason to summon key witnesses and pursue investigative avenues that we Democrats could never get the crooked Republicans to look at. One of those same crooked Republicans, Representative Matthew Gaetz, threatened Cohen over Twitter. That is likely to trigger an investigation of him, too. We can count on a steady flow of public hearings involving those closest to the president as time goes on.
During it all, Trump was down in Hanoi meeting with Kim Jong-Un of North Korea in an all-but impromptu sideshow designed to deflect attention from the Russiagate scandal. While there, he disgraced the nation again with his poor negotiation skills and bluster. His attempt to shock the world by getting up and storming out of the deal just made us look bad. In that regard, it was reminiscent of everything else he does. He doesn’t seem to understand any better now than he did three years ago during the first months of the primaries. He’s not in a Manhattan real estate negotiation anymore. This kind of childish tactic might work on a construction company you’re trying to stiff. But its hardly going to get Kim to surrender his nukes! The very idea!
Kim knows perfectly well his nukes got him his seat at the table of the big boys. He is not giving up those nukes any more than Putin or Xi is. Trump and everyone else has to accept that. We all live under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust. Personally, I’m more concerned about Putin’s hypersonic missiles that could wipe out the Pentagon in under five minutes. Trump had not a word to say about that. They’re all doing this now on the right. They’ve got this lousy excuses for everything of “Oh, he just needs it for his base”. Those people and their sickening equivocation are like toxins to America. Michael Cohen at least is done making excuses. Now it’s time for Trump to be held accountable too.
As these words were being written, Trump went off the rails on Robert Mueller at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in the longest rant of his presidency. He attacked Democrats as socialists, johnny-come-lately that he is. He’s still patting Bernie Sanders on the head and encouraging him, all the while bringing us closer and closer to a society in which we lose our freedoms.
Going forward, it’s important that we keep the pressure on Trump, while also taking care to let people know the many differences between liberal or social democracy and the horrible disaster that is socialism. The onus of blame for this should properly be placed on libertarian and Republican support of the far left.
“Nothing is more extreme than the Democrats’ plan to completely take over American energy and completely destroy America’s economy through their new $100 trillion Green New Deal,” Trump said, describing the extreme Ocasio-Cortez plan to tackle climate change as a “high school term paper written by a poor student.”
The name of Bernie Sanders did not appear on the ballot in a single state during the 2016 general election. But a large share of the blame for this disaster that is the current administration lies squarely on his shoulders.
The Bernie or Bust movement was a nightmare, the blatant racism and sexism shown by his campaign were a worse one. But in terms of national security, however, worst of all was the Russian support, particularly on social media, that kept his campaign alive long past the point of reason.
Using illegally acquired data from Wikileaks, emails that suggested little wrongdoing, the Russians successfully goaded Bernie, and his supporters showed his anger on the streets of Philadelphia, while inside the Democratic National Convention, Paul Simon played the first notes of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”.
Bernie’s conduct, when questioned about this, has been defensive and rude, and this reaction has added to the number of raised questions that linger to this day about where the senator stands on the shadowy foreign figures who were once involved with his campaign.
The evidence is clear that Sanders became the Ralph Nader of 2016, peeling off just enough votes from the Democratic candidate to spoil the election. All the chaos he created on the left drained just as much support away from Hillary Clinton as it took for Donald Trump to win. By this point, the proof is huge and glaring that he, and to a less well-known and effective extent, Jill Stein, allowed themselves to be used as Putin’s other puppets.
We had hoped he would be smart enough not to split the whole left by running again, but that is not going to be the case. So now that Bernie Sanders has formally declared his candidacy, a bad but not unexpected move, we’re coming across a lot of different questions regarding what manner of man he is.
Is he a socialist? Yes. He’s been calling himself a “Democratic Socialist” since the 1960’s. The word “Democratic” is not a qualifier; it is better off deleted. He means he’s a socialist, plain and simple.
Is he less than one hundred years old? We’re not sure, but he claims to be. Birth records support this claim, technically, but not by much.
Is he an escaped Walking Dead extra? No one can say for certain, either way.
All of these are good questions, and the disturbing answers to them raise serious concerns about his viability to compete in a general election. But the big questions are these. How much damage did Bernie Sanders do in 2016, and how bad were the Russians infested in his campaign apparatus?
In the three states that put Trump in the Oval Office, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, a high number of voters who voted for Sanders in the Democratic primary in those states crossed over and voted for Trump in the general election.
One in ten, to be exact. We’re talking thousands of people here. Registered Democrats who went so far as to actually vote for Trump.
Is it true that he and his campaign were involved in the Russian plot to interfere with our 2016 presidential election? The one that Trump says was fake news, but was actually so real it’s truly awful?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes, and we’re going to make the case for it thoroughly.
Let’s start by taking a look at the Russian motive, means, and modus operandi for giving Bernie Sanders a hand against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary.
Motive: Vladimir Putin wanted to cost Hillary Clinton the election, by any means necessary. The most effective, obvious, and accessible ways for him to do it was to give her opponents a hand.
One of these opponents was Donald Trump, the obvious recipient of most of Putin’s goodwill. Another, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, was physically present at the infamous December of 2015 dinner meeting with former National Security Adviser and Retired General Michael Flynn. The third, and the focus of this article was Bernie Sanders, her primary opponent.
Former U.S. officials who worked on Russia policy with Clinton have laid out the reasons for this in detail. Vladimir Putin, of course, is the multibillionaire dictator of Russia who paid for all this to take place.
Hillary Clinton strongly condemned the validity of Russia’s parliamentary elections in December of 2011. This made Putin very unhappy. He had his anger communicated directly to President Barack Obama.
“Former U.S. officials who worked on Russia policy with Clinton say that Putin was personally stung by Clinton’s December 2011 condemnation of Russia’s parliamentary elections, and had his anger communicated directly to President Barack Obama. They say Putin and his advisers are also keenly aware that, even as she executed Obama’s “reset” policy with Russia, Clinton took a harder line toward Moscow than others in the administration. And they say Putin sees Clinton as a forceful proponent of “regime change” policies that the Russian leader considers a grave threat to his own survival.”
“He was very upset [with Clinton] and continued to be for the rest of the time that I was in government,” said Michael McFaul, who served as the top Russia official in Obama’s national security council from 2009 to December 2011 and then was U.S. ambassador to Moscow until early 2014. “One could speculate that this is his moment for payback.”
He ended up getting it, but not without a lot of domestic help. It came from the far left, and it came from the alt-right, suggesting strongly what we strongly believe: The alt-right and the far left are one.
A spokesperson for the publication told Town and Country Magazine that was because they haven’t been able to figure it out. “While Forbes has been able to track money tied to Putin’s allies, we have not been able to come up with a defensible, provable estimate of his net worth.”
For a guy like this, throwing a few tens or even hundreds of millions into manipulating the elections of other countries to make them more amenable to Russian interests is nothing. It would almost be strange if he didn’t do it.
Putin has paid for “destability” campaigns worldwide. The far right is not alone among radicals in getting plenty of Russian assistance. The far left, which has shown just as strong a resurgence as its counterpart since the Great Recession happened, is also getting more than its fair share. Russia, it seems, is never short of rubles to spend on troublemaking.
Director of the Political Capital Institute Peter Kreko has been recently involved in research regarding this matter. He concluded two facts about the intentions of Putin. First, that he is becoming the frontman of a worldwide anti-human rights movement, and second, that he is investing in, stirring up, and inciting radicals on both ends of the spectrum that are trying to “sabotage democracy in Europe”.
Kreko describes Russian tactics focused on destabilizing the EU and advancing Moscow’s ideology. This includes supporting parties and candidates on the margins, such as Bernie Sanders, or Jill Stein and the Green Party.
In America, we are experiencing many problems with so-called progressives who are still insisting, in the face of the overwhelming evidence that keeps piling up, that “the Russia thing” is simply a distraction from the main issue, that in their view being how the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders (it didn’t). These people are doing the entire human race a grand disservice.
By turning a blind eye to the machinations of the most nakedly aggressive power to arise in the world since Hitler’s Third Reich, for the sake of stoking a petty grudge, they are in fact helping to make possible the same specific chaotic social conditions that in the past allowed far-right populist movements like Germany’s National Socialism to thrive.
They don’t understand that they are being duped by people who long ago grew cynical and full of boredom regarding the sorts of dreams and theories Bernie Sanders is espousing. After all, they invented most of it, and more a hundred years ago.
The left’s affiliation with the Kremlin can be explained better via the “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” principle. Marx long taught that Communists should make any such alliances as are helpful toward the ultimate goal of dissolving the State. Russia’s state-controlled economy, which promises to keep “big capital” in check, has proved attractive as a model for many anti-capitalists.
Democratic Socialists, such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have clearly labeled themselves as anti-capitalist. This would have made them extremely valuable to Soviet propagandists working from inside the KGB. It still does.
Modus Operandi: Hiring hackers to spread dirt and lies around to influence elections is part of the Russian toolkit. The 2016 plan was not a new strategy, but rather a direct descendant of the original Cheka Disinformation Office, founded by “Iron” Felix Dzherzhinsky in 1923. Working both ends of the radical spectrum, left and right, to destabilize the interior of an enemy country. That is what they do.
Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has a researcher named Ben Buchanan working for them, also a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The focus of his research lies in examining how nations use their capabilities for attack and espionage in cyberspace against one another and examining the strategies that drive this usage. His words in their unaltered form may help to shed some light.
“There is a demonstrated pattern of Russian cyber operations stretching back several decades. One major early case, dating from the late 1990s, is commonly referred to as Moonlight Maze. In that case, Russian hackers penetrated a wide range of American networks for espionage purposes. Since then, Russian cyber operations have continued to expand greatly, hacking into key military, political, and economic institutions.”
“These operations show adeptness in several ways. Perhaps most significant is that they demonstrate how the Russians have developed new digital methods to accomplish old tasks. A series of espionage cases show the Russian aptitude for gathering information using computer hacking. The 2007 attack on Estonia and 2008 attack on Georgia are an exhibit of how Russia uses cyber operations against democratic states. Though we have somewhat less information about it, the 2015 blackout in Ukraine—the first ever publicly known case of a power outage caused by cyber-attack—shows the potency of cyber-attacks that appear to be Russian in origin. And the 2016 election interference demonstrates that the Russians have married their longstanding history of influence operations with their more recently developed capacity for hacking.” -With thanks to the Wilson Center.
The particulars of how these political digital influence campaigns worked out in practice in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary will be only too memorial to any Democratic activist who was around in 2016. We’ve included an anecdote that sums up what they were trying for precisely.
Around September 14 in 2016, for example, one “account specialist” of a Russian-controlled Facebook group called “Secured Borders” was reprimanded for having a “low number of posts dedicated to criticizing Hillary Clinton.”
The specialist was also told, “it is imperative to intensify criticizing Hillary Clinton.”
Later on, Russian operatives used accounts they controlled — including an account called “Woke Blacks” and “Blacktivist” — to urge Americans to vote for third-party candidates or not to vote at all. “Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein,” one such message read. “Trust me, it’s not a wasted vote.”
Not for Russia, anyway.
No, indeed, Donald Trump was not the only candidate the Russians tried to help during the 2016 presidential campaign. One other name was mentioned specifically. Senator Bernard Sanders, I-VT. The Mueller indictments of a year ago offer solid confirmation of what we have been saying all along. The specific mention of Trump and Sanders shows that the Russian government decided early on to oppose Clinton.
A personal anecdote, that I’ll admit to having shared before. The editor of Millennial Democrats was online alongside legions of others, out there for HRC from 2015 onward, every day, for many hours. Anyone who was there back then can tell you. It can be stated categorically that there was a tangible, palpable disinformation campaign going on against Hillary Clinton. It worked, too. The Bernie Bots truly hated us, and their viciousness knew no bounds at all.
It still doesn’t.
In my experience, this blog and its affiliate Millennial Democrats Facebook Pages and Millennial Democrats Twitter account, which is a fifty state plus nationwide apparatus, has been attacked by Trump trolls maybe one out of ten in the ratio of how often it has been attacked by Bernie trolls. This has little to do with what side of the country we are talking about. It goes right across the board.
I’ve written in a 3 to 1 ratio of pieces targeting the right rather than the far left, although it is my deeply-held conviction and the conclusion pointed to by evidence that they are the same entity. But even when the week of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation is taken into account this remains true. Any moderate Democratic activist online will tell you the same.
You would go into groups and talk to people, who were steadfast in their refusal to listen far beyond the bounds of reason or even fanaticism. These guys were professionals.
It was like they were getting paid per response. They all seemed to be equipped with the same list of hit points about Hillary Clinton. This became clear after a while because the very same slanders would be laid out every time, in sequential order. In many cases the wording was actually identical, although most took the time to switch about at least a thing or two. And they were just as prevalent on the left as on the right.
It got especially bad during the last month of the Democratic primary, which was a very horrible time filled with chaos and division.
During this time, we were savagely attacked. Anything we posted would be Reported as Spam/Abuse by political adversaries from both the alt-right and radical left. We were barraged with nasty messages and threats; as a matter of fact, we continue to get them. They just keep rolling in, day after day, month piled on top of month. It’s called gaslighting; they want to wear you down so you give up.
One particularly rabid group of Bernie Sanders supporters told one of our contributors that they hoped she was gang-raped.
The list is long, sick, and sordid. Drop by drop, it has convinced us to take an unequivocal stance of #NeverBernie– and stick to it.
During the 2016 electoral cycle itself, nobody wanted to listen. Most Bernie supporters still will not listen; many today will actually go so far as to claim that Russia is participating in the campaign against Bernie.
This is the equivalent of a mugger calling for help as he snatches an old lady’s purse.
“Looks like we finally know for sure why Bernie would not vote to sanction Russia,” I wrote at the time, still in a state of shock at just how surreal it was for Bernie to reinforce all this by being one of two senators who refused to pass the bill for new sanctions in 2017.
He just called in sick for the vote to lift sanctions on close Putin ally Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum company recently. And this from a guy who very rarely misses work. Of the new crop of presidential candidates, only Elizabeth Warren has missed fewer votes than Bernie.
Bernie’s people have never wanted him to touch “the Russia thing”, and most even to this day will make claims about how “it’s not all about Russia” and we need to “Talk about the issues”. They want to laugh it off, even while when it comes time to talk about what Trump was doing. This is hypocritical. When Trump does it, it’s a big threat. But when Bernie does it, it’s as though it is just a little fun.
This gives you a look at how it was back then. It’s a Russian Twitter account called “Missouri News” (@MissouriNewsUS), which sent out pictures of Sanders and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt with the line “Bernie Sanders is basically a New Deal Democrat, #feeltheBern.”
Our entire intelligence community unanimously agrees that they’re targeting us. We know that they’ve been able to get malware into our power grids. We know also that they’re considered a complete menace in Europe, where they have demonstrated their ability to turn off the lights on huge swathes of Ukraine and take Estonia offline completely. But Bernie will not talk about it, so they simply will not look at it.
They will physically squirm in real life conversations. They remind me of Fox News devotees.
“A guy who was on my staff … checked it out and he went to the Clinton campaign, and he said, ‘You know what? I think these guys are Russians,’” Sanders said.
A former Clinton campaign staffer told Politico it was nonsense that Sanders’ campaign had reached out to Clinton’s about potential Russian interference. “No one from the Sanders campaign ever contacted us about this” — not in September, and not in “April and May.”
They never said or did a thing of that nature. Nothing of the sort ever happened. Not once. Not even after Bernie had offered his weak, half-throated endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
Guy on your staff, eh, Bernie? And just to think. All of this is before we’ve even mentioned Tad Devine.
Devine was Bernie’s chief campaign strategist, the most senior of advisers to the 2016 Sanders campaign. He was also the good friend and colleague of decades of Paul Manafort, who at the same time was running the Trump campaign. Devine was the first witness called at Manafort’s trial. Here is a picture of Tad Devine with Paul Manafort and the man suspected to be his contact within Russian intelligence, Konstantin Kilimnik, himself wanted by Mueller’s team for questioning and likely more.
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank did a piece at the time, titled “The Deep Cynicism of Bernie Sanders’ Chief Strategist“. It pointed out how during his run as chief strategist for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, Devine was always the first to scream and howl about the corrupting influence of money in politics. He said “our economy is rigged,” that “special interests” buy politicians, that “all of the new wealth is going to the top of America,” that there is a “corrupt system of campaign finance” of which Hillary Clinton offered an “egregious” example.
Sanders, by contrast, “supported the little guy.”
But as we know by now, Devine had worked repeatedly to secure the election of one of the world’s most corrupt political figures and then his allies, Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovych, a crooked pro-Putin autocrat.
Thanks to Mueller’s prosecution of Paul Manafort, who earlier this weekend saw a heavily redacted- to the tune of eight hundred pages- sentencing memo presented to the court on his behalf, the former Trump campaign chairman and business associate of Devine, we now have the glimpse of Devine’s possible role in organizing Russian help for Bernie.
Though he is hardly the first to grab cash from foreign leaders, the ease Devine had in making the switch from cold-blooded profiteer strategist to social reformer firebrand strategist seems reptilian to us in the very extreme. It’s exactly that type of bold callousness that the Russians would look for in an asset.
Tad Devine is a figure of great interest in the Russiagate investigation, in our opinion. We’ve been expecting the special counsel assigned by the Justice Department to look into Russian meddling in our 2016 election cycle, Robert Mueller, to get around to him sooner or later.
Put it this way: If Manafort is the key to understanding exactly what the Russians were doing for Trump, and Kilimnik is the key to understanding what Manafort did for the Russians, then Devine, their old friend, is the key to what the Russians were doing for Bernie. He is by far the most likely connection between the Russians and the Sanders campaign. It is our view that this connection has not been explored anywhere near thoroughly enough, and we encourage our readers to write in with what they know. We would make responsible use of it.
Radio Free Europe provides some light on the situation by providing a March 31, 2014 email from Tad Devine to Rick Gates, who in 2016 was the chief aide to Manafort, and later became a star witness against him.
There we find that Devine was the one to write Yanukovych’s 2010 victory speech. That detail was found attached to his email to Gates, in the form of a draft agreement for Manafort’s firm to work on another Ukrainian’s campaign.
That all these people know each other so well cannot be a coincidence. No wonder Trump the other day said “I like Bernie”, all atwinkle in his smiling eyes.
By the time the Fourth of July rolled around in 2016, the Federal Election Commission had repeatedly contacted the Sanders campaign with warnings that hundreds of his donors exceeded the $2,700 contribution limit. They further warned him that hundreds more may have been foreign nationals illegally giving Sanders money. The Sanders campaign, however, did not take any action.
It bears repeating that it’s a very convenient coincidence, that three of the top strategists who ran against Hillary Clinton has been doing Putin’s bidding in this capacity for longer than a decade.
Last Thursday afternoon there was a meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee on the subject of Russian meddling into our 2016 election cycle.
During it, Retired Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency, said that Russian operatives targeted both liberal and conservative voters in its disinformation campaigns during the 2016 election.
Democratic committee co-chair Sen. Mark Warner (VA) asked the panel if they had any doubt that Russia had attempted to interfere in some aspects of the 2016 election. Alexander said not only did he have no doubt, he could get very specific.
“Senator, I think what they were trying to do was drive a wedge within the Democratic Party between the Clinton group and the Sanders group,” said Alexander. This seems clear at this point to everyone but the willfully uninformed and the fanatically indoctrinated (and disingenuous Republican and other conservatives/libertarians).
The supporters of Bernie Sanders were ruthlessly taken advantage of by the Russians, who used their genuine zeal and idealism as a hammer for smashing Democratic unity to bits. They were duped by false information that came from within the Kremlin itself, and thus unwittingly became Putin’s other puppets.
The man who was in the best position to act as a conduit between the headquarters of the Sanders campaign and the Kremlin was Tad Devine.
This picture provides a vivid reminder of what Democratic activists on Facebook and Twitter have been warning everyone about in the direst of terms since 2015, namely, that the Bernie Sanders campaign was just as lousy with Russian entanglements as the Trump campaign was.
Devine may well hold an important piece of the puzzle here, which undoubtedly lies within the Sanders campaign. As Robert Mueller continues his journey to this discovery, our prayers will be with him.
By now this article has grown to prodigious length, and we applaud the reader who has followed the line all the way home. In his Rise of the Roman Empire, the ancient Greek Polybius said that the most important reason to learn history is so you have a chance to make good predictions about what may happen in the future. Russian interference is heating up for 2020 like never before, Trump has given no funding to the new national cyber-coordinator job, which basically leaves us on our own again, and we’ve got to be prepared for new forms of the same old tricks. Check out our article on Defense for Democrats.
Since this electoral cycle began, Sanders supporters have been joined and even overshadowed by the Tulsi Gabbard trolls.
One allied group of our friends recently created a Facebook page, Tulsi Gabbard Must Go. It’s been around all of a month, and yet, hundreds of trolls have fallen on it since then, like wild dogs. Some of them have shown up to troll the blog, also, like this charming lady.
Lisa Wolf Edit
This wasn’t written by a millennial. This was obviously written by a neo-liberal, 3rd Way Baby Boomer and stinks of David Brock. Reply
As for David Brock, we have good things to say about him and every other dedicated Democrat, but we don’t personally know the guy. What I will say, is that I like the smell of my hair pomade. The pleasing fragrance is half the point.
Getting back to Tulsi and Bernie and the rest of the fake left, none of this is very surprising. They’re collecting paychecks for it. Check out the amount of fake activity that accompanies everything she tweets. Keep in mind, Twitter is fighting this. Facebook is not. There are two billion people using Facebook. How incomparably worse must it be!
From this, we can see that the fake left has found a new stronghold in Bernie’s close ally.
Going forward, raising awareness on all this will become more and more important, and although the story is long and multifaceted, the narrative is clear throughout. Russia and Vladimir Putin were definitely feeling the Bern. Look for them to feel him some more as we head into the next presidential cycle.
“Something there is that does not love a wall”, said the famous American poet, Robert Frost, in his famous poem Mending Wall, and that seems like a good place to start, in discussing the proposed border Wall of Donald Trump, a completely unAmerican project if ever there was one. A constitutional crisis has come to our Southern border, latest in a long line of artificial disasters created by the illegitimate and infantile man who with Russian help stole the 2016 election.
Returning again to his use of executive power to bring chaos to the country and deflect national attention from his crimes, crimes which his old campaign manager Paul Manafort got a 19-year prison sentence recommended for last week, Donald Trump has declared a national emergency where there isn’t one, announcing his intention to try and build the Wall he’s been screaming about, twelve hundred miles worth of ugly mess and dark symbol on our entire Southern border.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff gave us the story Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “He’s pretty much daring the court to strike this down,” the California Democrat said. “It is going to be a real test for my GOP colleagues in Congress and their devotion to the institution.” Knowing the Republicans, they will roll right over for Trump.
It hardly bears repeating why this whole thing is moronic and despicable. Readers of this blog will most certainly already know. But what’s the other side of the story? How can the Republicans possibly justify this? What are the Fox News talking points? How could the fight be worth it in their ridiculous eyes? As they see it, here’s how the story goes, at least in the observations of this Millennial Democrats contributor.
The Wall is not immoral because it has a door. People will be allowed through according to legal channels. The current state of affairs wherein new waves of immigrants pass under bushes and across the desert to flock into our country by the hundreds will be ended. What Trump is doing is understandable, he needs it for his base, and above all, the fight is not worth it for the rest of us. It cost the country $7 billion.
Their solution? We should simply give up the fight and let him build the thing.
Let’s start out in the Aristotelian model, by conceding that there are aspects of truth to this. As always with Trump, like Charles Manson, he is very good at taking the truth and making a lie out of it. Another point to consider is that if the president of the United States wants a $5 billion appropriation for a pet project that’s important to him personally and partially fulfills a campaign promise, then he ought to be able to get it.
This is also true. The time-honored way for him to get it is to do what Trump promised above all else- come to the negotiating table, and make good deals. But back at the beginning of 2018, we were ready to cut a deal that could have given him the wall if in so doing we could have secured legal rights of citizenship for our DREAMers, the roughly two million Latino-Americans who were brought here by their parents as small children.
We, Democrats, came to the table offering a compromise involving wall money and a path to citizenship for DREAMers. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer came up with a good plan and brought it to the table for him to sign. He almost went for it, too. It was immigration hardliners in Trump’s own administration who scuttled the deal, and that is what brings us to the core truth of this whole standoff.
The Wall is a completely pointless waste of time.
Everyone knows it, including the immigration hardliners. They themselves clearly don’t think the wall is particularly useful or important in the real world. If they really wanted a wall, they would go get a wall by offering something in exchange for it, like protection for the DREAMers or letting the immigrant children their thugs have hijacked out of the warehouses they’re keeping them in, or some other thing. Nothing has been offered and nothing will be, because the only one who wants this done is Trump. As for the aforementioned hardliners, they know the whole concept is idiotic, so they won’t offer to trade for it. It’s as simple as that.
That the Wall is pointless and not worth it is true enough, and it is also Trump’s fault. He himself immediately admitted, “I didn’t have to do this” and then went on to recite his worn out old stump speech for the umpteenth millionth time. This whole boring episode makes it clear that Trump is even more isolated in his position that what’s happened on our southwestern border constitutes any kind of a national emergency than he was when he first caused the #TrumpShutdown. The immigration hardliners and the sane center agree on that much.
But where considerations of silver and gold are all that kind of person sees, it’s only where we’re getting started.
For one thing, the belief that a wall alone will keep anyone out of anything is just plain stupid. It’s a ridiculous concept all around. It’s a medieval solution to a post-industrial problem. If they really wanted to keep immigrants from crossing the Rio Grande they would lock up the guys hiring these guys. If they didn’t know they could come here and get jobs easy, they would stay back home.
Trump cites the “migrant caravans” as a reason why this is a crisis, pointing to the disgraceful failure that is Venezuelan socialism and noting that the refugees heading out of that area are in desperate straits. He sent our troops to the border in response to one of these just before the midterms.
Now that was disgraceful.
Militarily speaking, there are no modern examples of a wall being a successful defending strategy, but there sure are lots of examples of their failure. We don’t have to go all the way back to when the Mongols hopped right over the Great Wall of China, nor do we have to make mention of the founder of Rome, Romulus, having killed his brother Remus for mocking the wall he’d built around the city. He laughed at him, just like we’re all doing at Donald, which should serve as an abject lesson of how ugly people can be in a state of wounded pride.
Fixed fortifications failed the French at the Maginot Line, which was the most heavily equipped fortress of a border there ever has been. The Germans simply drove tanks through the Ardennes Forest around it, and conquered France in a little over six weeks back in 1941.
Likewise, in 1944, American troops stormed the beach at Normandy and cracked Hitler’s vaunted Atlantic Wall in one day.
France proved our point again on its way to dragging the United States into Vietnam, by getting themselves annihilated at a fortress called Dien Bien Phu.
But above all others, it was a non-military barrier as this one will be, as ideological as physical, the border of the Berlin Wall that stood for many years as the world’s largest eyesore.
The premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khruschev, put it up across Berlin in 1967. It was the result of a fit of petty rage, his own pride wounded when he understood just how unpopular his communist system was, that many people were escaping to the free lands of the West through the part of Berlin controlled by the Allied powers.
This was because, above all else, people wanted to be free than live under the hells of socialism. We still do.
The Berlin Wall came down in 1991, right behind the evil empire of the Soviet Union that was propping it up, and it’s nothing but a memory now. But the scars it has left on the psyche of the human race are very large and have yet to fully heal. Something there is that does not love a wall, indeed. Willy Brandt, the Social-Democratic mayor of Berlin, and soon to be chancellor, called it the Wall of Shame. The term caught on quick and was totally accurate. If Trump does build a new one, it will be revived.
In the end, it isn’t all a question of money and impracticality. Trump’s Wall is a symbol and an evil one just as much as the one in Berlin. As Nancy Pelosi said, it really was total immorality. To placate his base would be insane, since they are all insane, and there’s no sense in appeasing dictators or their bases anyway- because it can’t be done. They will take and take until there is nothing left.
As the old saying goes, and as we have written in the past, never give Poland to Hitler. If we rolled over on this Trump would be emboldened to try for the next wicked item on his unending agenda of corruption all the harder, not that that will ever happen. Walls keep people from coming together, and that’s exactly what the human race does not need. Our history is vibrantly sad already. It’s time for us to begin learning how to heal, not to begin inflicting new wounds.
All cancer comes from one form of inflammation or another. This has gone on for too long. It’s bad for the presidency, it’s bad for America, and it’s bad for the whole human race. The border must remain open, the government must remain open, and Donald Trump must be made to stop using his powers in this egregiously ridiculous and damaging way. America has had enough.
As the Venezuelan crisis worsens, and the country’s failing socialism system continues to demonstrate why the likes of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are foolish, we are seeing the illegitimate president Trump’s new strategy at work. Now the long game becomes clear. Using no less a mouthpiece than the 2019 State of the Union Address, Trump both charted his 2020 strategy and scored big points by taking the time to score a shot on socialism, vowing that America will never be a socialist country.
It’s a little late to stand on that now, Donald, but we don’t kid ourselves that will stop you from trying.
This is what we’ve been warning against all along. The fake left is just as anti-Democrat as the right; why? How is it that their interests always manage to coincide? What were they playing at? Why has Trump been so soft on socialism until now? Why not during the election, when America really needed to hear all of our leaders saying it?
Because then it would have been too early.
In Ocasio-Cortez, in the few very loud members of our generation that have been hoodwinked into supporting this truly evil and invasive form of government, the Republicans now have a walking personification of all they have been fighting with their money to create: a just accusation that Democrats are socialists, and that to support us is to personally become the vector of socialism. It’s George McGovern all over again.
Meanwhile, the Venezuelan situation provides a vivid example of how big disaster socialism can be. At the end of the SOTU speech, Trump did what he’s going to be doing a lot- pointing to Bernie Sanders in silence, looking horrified, waiting for the people to become so disgusted they can’t take it and vote against their interests. Policy be damned, they will say. Look at that blue clown suit. I would rather burn than have that guy as my president.
The claim that we Democrats are going to turn America into a Venezuelan socialist hellscape looks like something new, but as every reader of this blog will be aware, they’ve been laying the groundwork for it for the last several years. Contrary to Trump’s new narrative, the Democratic Party has never embraced Bernie Sanders. We do share some policies, but he goes too far with them and makes them look ridiculous. Now he’s got AOC there with him, screaming for seventy percent income tax rates on the rich and protesting Nancy Pelosi over climate change.
In the meantime, Tulsi Gabbard got involved as well, protesting Trump’s decision to condemn Maduro, which is about the one thing he has ever done right.
On both extremes of the political spectrum, everyone and everything they have is engaged in making the Democratic Party appear to be tilting left, at just the right moment for Trump.
“It seems to me that DJT has zero interest in expanding his coalition, and is going all-in on making the Democratic alternative unpalatable, hence the focus on opposing ‘socialism,’ ” the Republican strategist Michael Steel, a former senior adviser to the House G.O.P. leadership, told the New Yorker’s Susan B. Glasser in an e-mail the morning after the speech.
The entire Trump era, in many ways, feels like a return to the days of Richard Nixon. Parallels abound in terms of personnel, power, and politics. Perhaps above all else, a feeling that a growing extremity is pervading our country and reaching a dangerous level is strongly troubling American consciousness. It feels like chaos is everywhere. In such circumstances, history has shown that just about anything can happen.
One wonders if that isn’t the socialistic schemers’ whole point.
Cold War-era divisions have emerged along the same old lines as always. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro is backed by Russia, China, and Cuba, which don’t want to lose an ally in the region. He has accepted billions in Russian and Chinese aid as his country’s economy has exploded, and is now deeply indebted to some guys that are even worse than him. The Russian government has said it is considering installing an airbase in Venezuela, and there’s no doubt at all he’d let them do it. One wonders how Trump’s tough talk on Venezuela will jive with this desire of his boss. It’s one thing to stand up to a pack of screaming wingnuts, Donald. Try standing up to Putin for a change, why don’t you.
The Venezuelan situation, complete with right-wing exiles now involved in the political scene of Miami, brings us back to the good old days of international rancor over Latin American populist revolutions. One of the standard tropes of the Nixon era was the constant trouble over the Cuban Revolution, an event which saw its sixty-year anniversary pass by last month.
In that troubled time, revolutionary leader Fidel Castro managed with the help of the famous Che Guevara to overthrow the unpopular strongman Fulgencio Batista. Having done it, he went on to construct what he promised would be a more egalitarian Cuban regime. Soon after, he made sure to announce formally what U.S. military leaders and top officials had long known anyway- that this regime would be a communist one.
In a televised address not long after, Castro declared, “I am a Marxist-Leninist and shall be one until the end of my life.” He went on to state that, “Marxism or scientific socialism has become the revolutionary movement of the working class.”
The American right was empowered by that enough to justify decades worth of grotesque savagery. Shadows of doubt will always loom over the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
It’s important to note what Castro said there about socialism, “scientific” or otherwise. True communism, as envisioned conceptually by Karl Marx, is very different from the centralized socialism that grew into fruition in places like Cuba and the Soviet Union. The idea was to give over national resources to the working class, to be administered in some unknown way, at which point these completely unprepared and unsuspecting people are sent off to go to town creating a utopia (the Greek word for “nowhere”).
No one knows what that utopia might have looked like since it never happened.
What did happen was socialism, meaning that the State took ownership of absolutely everything and set about instantly setting itself up as the sole power in the land, choosing for everyone what they would have and not have, and creating a new type of elite based on party loyalty and bureaucratic efficiency. One tiny central hub, e.g. Moscow, controls every scrap of land and enjoys total autonomy within it. Every evidence shows this practice to have caused an unreal amount of human misery everywhere it has been tried; for example, China locked an entire ethnic population, the Uighurs, more than a million deep into labor camps last fall. This is not a dream.
All this history lessoning aside, we can all see what’s going on here. Trump is making a big show out of his sudden anti-socialism posture, but actually, it’s disingenuous in the extreme for him to do so. He has subscribed all along to the usual American far-right strategy, which is to consider liberals the true enemy, not communists or socialists.
This is why Trump sided with Bernie Sanders in 2016. Instead of saying at that time, Socialism is a disaster and we should all come together on this, he chose to court a bromance with the Bern and reviled us for “stealing” the election from the man Hillary Clinton beat by nearly four million votes. His base has oft-repeated this slanderous claim.
Trump waited until Nancy Pelosi gave him permission to give the 2019 SOTU before he would finally go after the fake left. We’ve been here cleaning house the whole time, and he wants to co-opt all the hard work we Democrats have done. He thinks it’s the right time to cash in. But long before the day this started, the right has done all it can to empower and incite the socialists because they know it will make things harder for us. They want Ocasio-Cortez to be the face of our Party more than anything.
Now they’ve got their Goldstein, in the 1984 scenario.
The far right uses the far left to manipulate the public all the time. That’s what agent provocateurs are for. That’s what the Nixon era taught us, and it’s why we need to be so careful now.
It’s important to realize that this could have deep implications for us. Florida is one of the most key of all the swing states, as anyone who remembers the 2000 presidential race was stolen from Al Gore can tell you. The political scale there is so evenly weighted that percentages involving tenths of a percent are often what decide its elections.
For Trump to gain support from the Venezuelan emigre community of Miami at this time would be extremely bad for our chances in 2020. He is hitting a lick off posturing as anti-socialist, but he did the opposite in 2016. Going forward, it will be incumbent upon us to raise awareness on this. Trump is a Johnny-come-lately at this game. He’s really just a poser.
In the last analysis, the thing to remember is this: Trump has not stood for democracy or its institutions at all. The World Economic Forum no longer considers America to be a full democracy, because of him. MAGA hats have become like armbands worn by Nazis, and Trump is the white power symbol successor of Hitler. It’s worth reminding the world that fascism came from socialism. It was the branch of it designed by Mussolini. The alt left and the far right is exactly the same entity.
“The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves,” said Vladimir Lenin a hundred years ago.
Here at Millennial Democrats, we refuse to accept a false equivalency. We equally reject the totalitarian nightmares that arise both from fascism and socialism, and from that posture, we call not only for the resignation of the disgraced dictator Nicholas Maduro.
We call with equal lungpower for the resignation of the disgraced dictator Donald Trump.
Here on the eve of the confirmation of the new Attorney General pick, William Barr, questions abound about the Russiagate investigation and the eventual fate of the special counsel Robert Mueller chosen to administrate it. Barr has been critical of Mueller’s investigation but has stated that he will not interfere. We’ll see. To put it mildly, serious reasons exist to doubt the sincerity of America’s abortive failure of a forty-fifth president when he says he will not fire Mueller, the man who has compiled the case that will likely destroy him. Barr seems like a rubber stamp brought in to do just that, the hatchetman of Russian assets. We hope he proves us wrong.
If Trump does fire Mueller, it will be highly reminiscent of another corrupt president who fired a special prosecutor, president Richard Milhous Nixon. Nixon’s firing of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox began the end of his presidency, and so conventional wisdom has held that Trump will not go there. Congressional Republicans have also said that the firing of the special counsel Mueller would be a crossing of the line for them, although it’s true we have no reason to believe them either. They have caved to Trump on everything and often in the most shameful imaginable ways. Devin Nunes, former chairman of the House Intelligence Oversight Committee, was recently found to be deliberately covering up House findings in order to protect Trump.
When considered as part of the whole incident, it seems clear this could be destined to bring us into uncharted territory completely if Trump does go the Nixon route. It wouldn’t save him, and it would damn him further in the opinion of many, but he wouldn’t resign as Nixon did. His conduct during the lengthening and unnecessary #TrumpShutdown proves him once again to be utterly without scruples. It is certain he will use the country as hostages again in the process of getting the Russiagate spotlight off of him. Thus, we have no choice but to conclude that the conventional wisdom- which also did not predict the shutdown, or the fool’s errand that was the travel ban, or the Helsinki debacle, or any number of other horrible things- is probably wrong again.
Of course Trump would fire Mueller. ‘Don’t expect Trump to go quietly’, read a Washington Post article published on January 14th. He’s got the whole country held hostage at this moment, he unrepentantly lies about anything that happens to cross his mind, and he thinks he’s “winning”, whatever that even means in the context of a ruined economy and a devastated government. I guess it means getting Employee of the Month from Vladimir Putin. Firing Mueller would fit right in as the stupidest and worst for America thing he could possibly do. It’s a glaring absence in his resume as it is.
In related news, Trump, who was in the news over the weekend for having sworn his interpreters in his three closed-door meetings with Putin to secrecy, has taken an increasingly aggressive and door-closed stance toward Mueller’s requests for an in-person interview. Gone are the days when he boasts of having done nothing and means his crimes. The Trump of yesterday always said of Mueller that “No one wants to speak more than me“. That line is yesterday’s news, although references to the “Fake News Media” that has plagued him like the Furies remain plentiful. As usual, Trump blames himself for nothing, and provides an object- and abject- example to American children of what a spoiled brat at its worst can do.
News that the special counsel has already drafted a report- a report that draws the most damning possible conclusions- joined the confiscation of notes taken during his closed-door meetings with Putin as the two top stories in the news this weekend. Trump‘s behavior toward the Russian president was the focus of Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein on Sunday, when he appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sources. While there, Bernstein- whose investigative journalism helped to take down Nixon- said the special counsel investigating Trump will find he “helped Putin destabilize the United States and interfere in the  election.” Any Facebook activist can tell you this. We’ve seen it develop from the day they prepared the Wikileaks dumps.
We would also like to give a farewell salute to the former and departing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who did not have to pick someone who would look into this as hard as Mueller would, and acted with integrity throughout in spite of Republican reviles. His decency and professionalism will be missed.
In the last analysis, from the standpoint of this illegitimate infantile president, sitting back and letting this atomic report fall on him would most likely be better than trying to resist the inevitable by trying to bring this to an end. Cracks in Trump’s base are said to be forming at last, and as these people realize what they’ve been buying into, more and more of them will be looking for a new home, and a sane alternative. Our capacity to find this for them will prove to be a critical part of success for us as we move forward. Russia has been the chiefest enemy of America for nearly a hundred years now, and most Americans still know that. Reminding them is the way to go moving forward.
It is not without a sense of disappointment that we recognize the newly famous Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democratic Socialist and ideological successor of Bernie Sanders, has decided to be a liability. We’ve written highly of her in the past. She had some good points to make, but in the process of trying to make them, she has gotten in her own way badly, and in everyone else’s way, too. She has endeavored to make herself a nuisance in every way she can, and the Republicans, of course, are completely overjoyed.
At last, they’ve got someone tangible to point at and yell “See? See? We told you they all were socialists! We told you they all were crazy! That right there is the face of the Democratic Party!”
Let us be blunt and unequivocal- Ocasio-Cortez is far from the face of our party. Very far. We’re not socialists at all. We’re the ones on the front lines of the battle against socialism. The Republicans are the ones who incite and encourage the socialists, in order to disrupt and uncoordinate Democrats. That’s why Donald Trump sided with Bernie Sanders in 2016.
Our thoughts were that she should be given a chance, even though most things about her were far-left and radical. Ocasio came into all our lives by primarying out one of the best guys we had in Joe Crowley, which of course is horrible, and she’s a Democratic Socialist, which is to say, an extremely confused socialist. But even so, we gave her a chance. We congratulated her on her victory, we wrote an article giving her the proper respect she has earned. She ran a heck of a campaign, by every metric, and she is, after all, a Millennial Democrat. We did our best to keep an open mind.
Who knows, we said. Maybe she won’t turn out to be so bad. She does seem smart enough. Maybe she is. Let’s reserve judgment for the time being.
Now, this hurt us, because all of us are Democrats, and we all want the same kinds of things. We need our allies and our bright minds. Although her wing of the left and ours are often rivals, we are not enemies, and it brings no joy to report on her failings. But we all need to show discipline, represent ourselves to advantage, and realize that whatever we say will reflect on the Democratic Party as a whole.
Ocasio-Cortez is not getting that. And that Daily Caller article ate it up.
They showed her doing an interview with MSNBC’s fantastic Joy Reid, who has had her own problems with the far left. It yielded some remarks that can only be described as gems.
“Unemployment is low because everyone has two jobs. Unemployment is low because people are working 60, 70, 80 hours a week and can barely feed their family.”
Politifact ruled in on this one right away. “Americans aren’t working more today than they have been in the recent past. The average number of hours worked in the private sector has hugged tightly to about 34.5 hours a week since 2006, except for a dip during the Great Recession.”
In the very same Joy Reid interview, she blasted this out too, when she said she was in favor of an assault-weapons ban.
“I think that many members of our military need to go through years of training in order to have access to these weapons, and the idea that a 17-year-old can walk into a shop and get one, I think, is unacceptable.”
Seventeen? Federal law prohibits anybody under the age of 18 from legally buying guns, automatic or otherwise.
Around the same time, she appeared on the reboot of Firing Line. Conservative host Margaret Hoover asked her to explain her stance on Israel. The question left Ocasio-Cortez completely baffled. She began to talk about things that don’t exist, like the Israeli “Occupation of Palestine.”
Hoover pounced. “Would you like to expand on that?” she said with utter glee.
“I’m no expert on geopolitics,” said Ocasio-Cortez. Well, if that is the case, then what in God’s holy name are you doing in the government of a global superpower? This kind of thing is really a disgrace. If you don’t have the tools for the job, don’t apply for it.
“We’re gonna flip this seat red in November,”, she said in July during a rally.
Good thing for her it was the Year of the Democratic Woman.
The first time I heard someone use the term “Sarah Palin of the left”, it was in passing. Sarah Palin, of course, was the infamous 2008 running mate of Republican John McCain, then-governor of Alaska who liked to talk and quickly became a superstar- until she put her foot in her mouth, and kept it there.
I was walking down the hallway of the local library, and I heard a group of people laughing and pointing at a picture. “She’s the Sarah Palin of the left,” said one woman. “That’s the face of the Democratic Party now, guys!” yelled another man present, joyfully.
The face on the screen, of course, was that of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The headline was from RealClear Politics, and it pleaded our case eloquently.
Lieberman: If Ocasio-Cortez Is “The New Face of The Democratic Party,” Party Doesn’t Have “Bright Future”
No doubt. We might not have a future at all, if that’s the face of the party. What a mess, I thought. What a total and complete disaster.
Obviously, it’s good for us when the true face of the Republican Party is revealed by people who are just like that. Corrupt, arrogant, and sloppy.
Just like it’s good for them when our candidates are uneducated, radical, and prone to making constant ridiculous blunders.
In America, you can’t be the President if you’re not at least thirty-five, and this is because all three of those traits, so deadly for a good politician, accompany youth all but exclusively. So it only stands to reason that people are given a certain amount of time to reach maturity and correct those youthful errors. Unfortunately, there is no such law protecting the House of Representatives. So here we are.
For the last several decades, Republican politicians have moved steadily further right, and never has this been so true as now. Candidates of heightening extremity dominate the GOP playing field. They are nominating the wrong candidates all over the country, such as ex-convict Blankenship in West Virginia.
After the election of our 45th President, the strategy of many Republican politicians has depended a great deal on how deeply they can demonstrate their adherence to his destructive policies. The growing trend of Republican extremity has become troubling in the extreme. This has backfired on them badly. The Blue Wave all but knocked them out of the ballpark, which is how Ocasio managed to win her election. If she were in middle America, she’d have been driven across the state line.
This has tempted some on the left to respond with extremity in kind, and that is very dangerous. With every step we take away from the center, the closer we come to getting ripped loose at the moorings as a country. We’ve already had one Civil War. We have to find a way to come back to reason before it is too late.
The likes of Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are, to put it mildly, not helping.
Even if you put aside their socialism and their adherence to radical policies that make no sense like Medicare for All, neither Sanders nor Ocasio-Cortez are good candidates, because they do not have the resume. They don’t have records of getting things done, although at least in Ocasio’s case it’s because she has had no career. As recently as last year, she was still working as a bartender, but she’s sure got a lot to say about- well, just about everything..
While there is certainly a lot to admire about a person who can make a good cocktail, when it comes time to pick who’s in the Congress, I’ll take the geopolitical expert every time. All things considered, it becomes all too clear that socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a big mistake on the part of New York’s 14th District. We can help the people who live there by raising awareness on all this so that they will correct it.