Monday, September 21, 2015

(Must Our Leaders Always Be Charismatic Psychopaths? Cause Hillary's Not that Charismatic. You've Been Warned)  Parties Kaput?  (Corbyn Voters "Musts")  Conspiracy Theories Finally In Vogue?

I've been a faithful reader of "Harpers Magazine" since I graduated college and was lucky enough to receive my first subscription as a birthday present from my fiance.

It's still one of the best places to find informed and intelligent opinion.

(And it's a cold, windy night in the middle of September.)

John R. MacArthur is a thinker of big ideas, a prolific author of the first rank, and although I don't always agree with his every thought, he makes the telling points more than clearly enough about the next U.S. presidential election in this month's issue:

I don’t go in much for mainstream political chatter, but watching Hillary Clinton interviewed by Andrea Mitchell two weeks ago made me straighten up and pay attention. Clinton is running on empty, and she’s probably headed for defeat in the general election — that is, if she makes it through the Democratic primaries.

It’s not what Clinton said in answer to Mitchell’s robotic questions about her emails, or anything else she talked about. As far as substance, there was none — just the usual Clinton caution and excruciatingly scripted bromides designed to offend as few people as possible. More distressing was that her energy level was as low as her authenticity, and this is bad news for anyone who dreads a restoration of the Bush dynasty.

Donald Trump, as my friend Dan Janison has written, is more professional wrestling act than candidate for president. The mob will tire of his show, while the most right-wing candidates fight over thin slices of the angry Republican electorate. Bored political journalists forget that a small minority of party activists and officeholders select nominees and, thus, organization men (and women) are always favored over irregulars.

The consummate regular in the race is Jeb Bush — he and his family, like Clinton’s, are owed more debts than any other candidate. The question for most party functionaries is not what a candidate stands for but whether he or she can deliver patronage and money after the election. The Bushes and Clintons can be counted on to take care of the party faithful. Bernie Sanders, the “socialist” who caucuses with the Democrats, is not a party man.

Of course, in a general-election campaign, some real issues come to the fore. But with Hillary and Jeb both hugging the center-right, loyal first to their rich donors, it will come down to personalities and impressions. Bland and stumbling though he is, Bush has more vigor than Clinton, and his biggest negative, his foolish brother’s catastrophic invasion of Iraq, is canceled out by Senator Clinton’s vote supporting it. Moreover, it’s easier for Jeb to dissociate himself from W. than for Hillary to hide from Bill, without whom she doesn’t exist politically. In the battle of the spouses, Jeb’s Mexican-Catholic wife Columba has no negatives (unless you really dislike Mexicans) and is a better vote-getter than corrupted and corrupting Bill Clinton.

. . . If the Democrats want to keep the White House, it’s time to dump Clinton.

And it seems a tad overplayed to believe that the many times designated as "brilliant" former president and future First Husband (or whatever the term of aggrandizement will be if Hillary wins) was as dense as he's portrayed sometimes about the events taking place during his own eight years in office - let alone his claimed-to-be "forced" actions that brought about the Financial Catastrophe of 2008 - Forever for the rest of us.

The exoneration by omission that he bestows on the Bush/Cheney junta is almost unbelievable in light of their documented, admitted to (and many times bragged-about) crimes. So much is missing in this masterful retelling that I kept looking for the asterisks.

How many can you count? (Read the whole interview by clicking on the title link.)

Bill Clinton on Missed 9/11 Signs, ISIS, and Ragging on George W. Bush

By Mark Warren, "Esquire"

19 September 15

Among political figures, only President Kennedy has appeared more often on this magazine's covers. Even as Hillary takes over the stage, Bill remains a powerful and enlivening public force. And is likely to remain so, even into the administration of his third successor. We spoke with him again recently.
On July 2, 1964, when Lyndon Johnson turned to his aide Bill Moyers after signing the Civil Rights Act and said, "I've just handed the South to the Republicans for a generation," Bill Clinton was seventeen and had already decided to run for public office, as a civil-rights Democrat. It was as a Southerner whose moral imagination had been awakened by the racism all around him that Clinton would shape his political career — in a canny, treacherous, and open rebellion against the values that prevailed in the place that created him.

And so it would be that Clinton — the greatest political talent of his generation, the one his opponents feared most and most ardently sought to destroy — not only would learn to survive but would become the embodiment of American potential in the late twentieth century.

He would take those survival skills with him onto the world stage, which meant that he would have fixed principles but everything else would be negotiable. This approach often vexed both his opposition and his allies as he led the world during the first chaotic decade after the fall of global Communism and faced the rise of global jihadism, genocide in the hearts of Europe and Africa, economic globalization, the realignment of Congress, the birth of the Internet, and his own political mortality. But by the end of his second term, when he appeared on the December 2000 cover of "Esquire," he had the highest approval rating of any departing president in history. We recently sat down with the former president to talk about how the world has changed in the fifteen years since he left office.

"ESQUIRE":  Mr. President, the world became a very different place after your presidency. Was 9/11 the pivotal point for the time in which we live now? What in your mind has been its effect, and how long will the effects of that day play out?

(BC) Well, let me just say a few words about the time I served and then the impact of 9/11. Because of the economic growth we had and because it was the only period where prosperity was broadly shared through every sector of the American economy, America was in a very strong position to try to take the end of the cold war and build new partnerships of all kinds, which I tried to do. We did have terrorist threats, many of which we defused and prevented from getting worse, sometimes through skill, sometimes through luck. You gotta get lucky in this business, 'cause it ain't like baseball; you don't get credit for saves. You're supposed to win 100 percent of the time, and it's difficult to do. So when 9/11 happened, it was such a shock to us that there were a lot of short- and long-term consequences.

We tended to believe that the right thing to do had to be something big, because what happened to us was big. So I personally have always believed insufficient attention was paid to fixing little things. Like, there were two FBI agents, in Arizona and Minnesota, who did call the FBI office and say, "We've got all these guys up here flying airplanes and they're not practicing taking off or landing; there's something wrong here." And it apparently just went into a file, and nobody did anything about it in the central office. I always thought more should have been done about immediate information sharing.

And when I went before the 9/11 Commission, I remember telling them, "Look, I'm gonna save you some time. I'm not interested in covering my backside. If you find something I did wrong, by all means tell it and let's figure out what to do about it." I'll give you an example:  After Oklahoma City, I issued an executive order that required greater cooperation between the FBI and the CIA, and I asked them to put a senior officer in each place doing that job.

But because there had been a history going back to Watergate of the president taking a hands-off attitude toward the FBI, I didn't micromanage [that effort] the way I otherwise would have, and they basically didn't do very much with it. So as the 9/11 Commission reported, the CIA knew some things, the FBI knew others. The hijackers were in this country a long time before this happened. Several months, anyway. So I think that one of the things that I worried about after 9/11 was that we were gonna try to find big, potentially bureaucratic, and maybe overly intrusive ways of dealing with this instead of identifying the cracks in a more nimble system.

The president's first national-security responsibility is to prevent big, bad things from happening. This is a big, bad thing. And it's worth a lot of effort to do that, but at all costs you have to try to do it without compromising the future of our children and the character of country, which is a free place. So we've been debating that ever since. I think that debate is healthy, just like I think the debate's healthy about moving away from "three strikes and you're out" and other erosions of judicial discretion, and ending the distinction between sentencing laws for crack cocaine and cocaine. I think all that's good. So I think we may have overreacted a little bit after 9/11, but we were trying to keep big, bad things from happening. And thank God no big, bad thing has happened again.

But it's an ongoing battle. Because the things that benefit us about globalization also burden us with great responsibilities. So I see this thing going on in some form or fashion for another twenty or thirty years. And the reason that I believe on balance the Iranian nuclear agreement is good for the country is not because I think that Iran is gonna turn into, you know, a "Kumbaya" partner, but because there are at least four other Arab states that have the capacity to become nuclear powers. And it costs a lot of money, and it's difficult to develop, maintain, and secure a nuclear arsenal, and you always have a lot of loose nuclear fuel, which can be sold, stolen, or given away and turned into suitcase bombs.

I felt much better when [Secretary of Energy] Ernie Moniz went over there and became part of the deal, because he had been part of my administration and we had worked a lot on that. I'll never forget it, he came to see me — he wasn't yet secretary of Energy, but he was in an executive position, and I knew him and trusted him; he is a brilliant man — and he said, "Look, what we have to worry about is somebody putting a Girl Scout cookie's worth of fissile material in Timothy McVeigh's fertilizer bomb." And so we tried to identify every country in the world that had that much, which is a lot because of biomedical research, and then go and tell those countries what he had found with his simulations and work out arrangements with each country about what to do, because nobody wanted that to happen.

I consider it a major — I don't know if achievement is the right word — but I think it's a major development, given the penetration of the Pakistani military and security forces by people that we knew were sympathetic to the Taliban and then became sympathetic to Al Qaeda, that to the best of our knowledge, none of their fissile material has ever been given away, sold, or stolen. And I just didn't want five more headaches, and I didn't think it was good for the people in the Middle East.

So now, if this deal is approved, then the ball is in Iran's court. We'll have to see what they continue to do, and we'll have to continue to respond to it. But buying ten years without an Iranian nuclear weapon is a lifetime - plus in global affairs. I understand why the Arab states are worried. I understand why Israel is worried, and they're absolutely right. But I just don't think there's any way Israel would be more secure if there were four or five nuclear powers in the Middle East and you had all that fissile material floating around that anybody could get a hold of.

The real dilemma for all of us over the next twenty years is going to be that the future is going to have way more positive possibilities because of our interdependence, but also continued opportunities for hacking, for cybersecurity problems, and for the spread of deadly technologies, with a lot of confused, undereducated, and unemployed young people in the world, and with a global shortage of jobs for young people, opportunities to do destructive things. Young people are more vulnerable to the siren songs of fundamentalism and the social media. And if they get up thinking tomorrow is going to be like yesterday, that's a very bad thing. This is why I think it's so important that the nation-states that are functioning work harder on shared prosperity, shared opportunities, and shared security, because that's the great battle here.

You can't make all this stuff happen without technology, without relatively open borders and without other people being able to use the same technology for more selfish and more lethal ends. And that's basically where we are. 

On balance, I feel good about it because we can't turn back the clock. We're moving toward an integrated, global society. And I think you see the rapid progress in America on the gay-rights issue, and the less rapid but in a way equally moving progress made after the terrible killings in Charleston, South Carolina, thanks to a blistering four-minute speech by a direct descendant of Jefferson Davis. That's moving history in the right direction. It's coming together instead of tearing apart. I'm for the coming together. I'm against the tearing apart.

"ESQUIRE":  When I say "the people who have defined our time," who or what comes to mind?

(BC)  Well, for me, as a baby boomer, it's the people who led the great movements to try to make America a more just place, a better place. The civil-rights movement, the women's-rights movement, the gay-rights movement, and the environmental movement. The idea that the world is going to have to become more accepting of diversity — and the people who don't agree, ISIS.

The world is becoming more interdependent, and national borders look more like nets than walls. The nation-state will continue to be very important, but there will be more and more and more unique, previously unforeseeable partnerships required. Alliances by issues, hard choices. How can you make a deal with Iran on nuclear capacity if they're still gonna sponsor Hamas and Hezbollah?

How can you break down barriers between government, business, and NGOs when you should and keep the barriers when you shouldn't? All these questions are going to present problems, and the non-governmental movement is going to be filled with good actors that some nations are increasingly trying to control — China and Russia, for example — and also bad actors that can be very successful. You could argue that ISIS is the most successful NGO — it's like the Gates Foundation versus ISIS, you know? They're a nongovernmental organization. 

There are still lots of big ideas revolutionizing the modern world in very good ways. The intersection of science and technology, for example, shows that we should now treat cancers based on what's in our genome rather than where they are in our bodies. A big National Institute of Cancer lateral research project has just been announced on that. That's what's being done at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

One of the pioneers is a South African-born American doctor of Chinese descent, Patrick Soon-Shiong, in southern California. He's the first person that ever talked to me about this, and he was treating people with late stage cancers with a program he developed. Once a person's genome was properly sequenced, Soon-Shiong could use an analytic program that would in forty-seven seconds tell you of all the available chemotherapies — not just for a lung cancer or a colon cancer or a pancreatic cancer, but of all of them, one through five — which ones would most likely work on this person. And now he's working on identifying in every tumor a protein he says is unique to you and me.

If we both had, let's say, colon cancer, our genomes are not only different, but we'd have an identifying protein, and he's trying to develop a killer cell that can go in and take out that protein and collapse the tumor. He says if it can be done to scale, it could raise all cancer survival rates above 85 percent. That, along with the work Ray Kurzweil is doing at Singularity University in California, signals a very exciting time to be alive. And if we can continue the trend toward rapidly driving down the cost of medicine as we did with AIDS drugs, I think that will be an idea that shapes our time.

So in the modern world, the ideas that will shape our time will be the intersection of science and technology, medicine and health and technology; the ability to eradicate poverty - we've already exceeded the poverty goals in the first Millenium Development Goals; the ability to identify and lend dignity and importance to every life, because there will be fewer people that need to live and die anonymously in the world; and the ability to find ways to cooperate against the forces that are using the same exact technologies and mobility and porous borders to try to gain a very different future. Boko Haram, Al Shabab, Ansar Dine, ISIS, et al. And underneath it all, in the twenty-first century we will be called upon, I think and I hope, to resolve the oldest dilemma of human society, which is "What does it mean to be a human being?" Our identity crisis. Which is more important, our differences or our common humanity?

. . . We've had dramatic reductions in poverty, dramatic reductions in child and infant mortality. We have found more and more economically affordable ways to change how we produce and consume energy, food, and water, which will be critical to dealing with not only climate change but rising global populations as well.

Well, shoot!

Bill for President! Can't he run again (after taking that long nap with W. in Haiti)?

Because if it's gonna have to be a Clinton or a Bush, I vote for Bill.

After all, we know he's already made some great deals with all the foundations.

So what could go wrong this time?

From my favorite end-times Clusterfuck artiste:

The Parties Crawl Off to Die

I‘ve alluded to being a registered Democrat now and again, a disclosure that makes some readers go feral with wrath. For years I could only justify it as formal opposition to the cretinous brand of Republicanism that washed over the country like a septic wave with the reign of that sainted pompadour-in-search-of-a-brain, Ronald Reagan, whose “morning in America” bromide was among the biggest whoppers of my lifetime. With Reagan, we got the officially-sanctioned marriage of right wing politics and the most moronic strains of Southland evangelical religiosity. (Ronnie stated more than once his belief that Biblical “end times” were close at hand, which should have raised the question of his actual concern for the nation’s future — did he think it had one? — but nobody ever asked him about it.) George H. W. Bush expressed a similar view, perhaps merely pandering to the dolts of Dixie.

So, who in his right mind could have subscribed to that load of bullshit?

Meanwhile, the youthful and magnetic Clintons came on in 1992. They put on a good show of national stewardship in the early going. Bill could speak English fluently, unlike his two predecessors. Hillary’s committee to tackle health care reform came to grief, but the effort at least implied a recognition that medicine was turning into a shameless racket (now fully metastasized). Bill managed to shove through a species of welfare reform — remarkable for a Democrat — that has since deliquesced back into a swamp of disability fraud. But the Clinton turning point was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which opened the door to an orgy of financial mischief so arrant and awful, and to a plague of corruption so broad and deep, that American life is now pitching into a long emergency.

Add to that now the signal failures of Barack Obama:  1) no prosecution or attempted regulation of widespread financial misdeeds 2) no effort to counter the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision that allows corporations to buy elections; 3) no end to dubious military operations in distant lands, and 4) healthcare “reform” that only fortified the existing rackets — take all that together and you can only recoil from whatever it means to be a Democrat.

And now the return of Hillary, gliding above the election arena like Rodan the Flying Reptile — caw! caw! Get me outa here! It’s not just her, of course. It’s the whole disgusting circus parade of identity politics, and PC witch-hunting, and trans-sex drum-beating, and girl-lugging-a-mattress-around-campus idiocy, and blame-it-all-on-Whitey whinging, and drone-strike-du-jour warfare, and out-of-control NSA surveillance monkey business, plus throw in the outrageous scams of “civil forfeiture” under a president who was supposedly a professor of constitutional law —  the list of Democratic-sponsored absurdities and turpitudes gives me the vapors.

The "New York Times" ran a front-page story Sunday saying that the Republican nomination-chasers were sounding too ominous, too dark, about the state of the nation, at least for the purpose of getting elected. As if the "Times" has an interest in them succeeding. I guess they were “just sayin’.” For my money, you can’t paint a dark enough picture to fully capture the decadence and depravity in the current zeitgeist.

This, after all, is the basic appeal of Trump — though a panoramic shot of his supporters in one of those stadium love-fests suggests that their very demeanor is a big part of the problem:  crowds of overfed tattooed clowns in nursery togs clamoring for a return to 1956. Good luck with that.

More than once I’ve referred to the earlier period in US history, the 1850s, when the political compass points shook loose and parties died. The Whigs disappeared altogether (and fast!) and the Democrats became a rump party of southern slavers. Well, the two major parties of our time are now perfectly poised to enter the Temple Grandin cattle chute of death. But history doesn’t repeat, of course, it only rhymes, and this time there are no other political parties standing by to take their place, no credible institutions, certainly no one like Lincoln. There are only Bernie Sanders and the execrable Trump.

Sanders functions nicely as a foil to the flying reptile. But the self-labeled socialist has a big problem. The public may be simmering with grievance, but my guess is that they are not especially hot for more redistribution of the national wealth — that is, whatever little remains in the hands of a sore beset former middle class. The absence of any other reputible figure on the Democratic “bench” belies a party now more hollow than a supermarket Easter egg.

What we see gathering is a political storm as perfect as the typhoon that has formed in banking. Surely the financial storm will strike first and it will leave the public stupefied with loss. I would not even bet against the possibility of the 2016 selection being canceled in some manner. Imagine, for instance, what the Pentagon brass thinks of Trump. And what they are planning for him. Just sayin’.

(James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind:  Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic:  Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press:  Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.)

zaphod42 September 14, 2015 #

At last someone publically supports my feelings about St. Ronnie, “the Wrong.” Thank you, sir.
And, counting Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, both some sort of neo-Republican posers, we have now hand an uninterrupted period of 35 years, from 1980 to date, of unremitting “trickle down” and “deregulate” combined with whining from the victors that their taxes are STILL too high.


K-Dog September 14, 2015 #

The first comment of the weekly roll is usually not well thought out because making an intelligent comment actually takes a few minutes. But there are exceptions. One exception (which we see this week) is when the comment expresses an essential truth that seeks a voice so badly if wants to leap from the keyboard. Essential truths can click out quickly.

“Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, both some sort of neo-Republican posers,”
Now that’s a truth that is not wearing clown clothes or nursery togs and is the main reason Rodan the Flying Reptile is condemned to circle with nowhere to land. Nobody finds her credible and she bends like grass in the wind at every puff of wind from the ‘be afraid be very afraid’ neo-con peanut gallery.

From the pen of the brilliant internationale journalisme Ian Welsh to all who will listen:

So, You Supported Corbyn: Here Is What You MUST Do if He Is to Survive and Win

2015 September 14
by Ian Welsh
Intra-party war is coming in the British Labour party. I agree entirely with Salvage: 

There is war coming in the Labour Party. Already, the bad-faith resignations and rumour-mongering of leading right-wingers signals the scale of resistance Corbyn will face — 
— When their onslaught begins in earnest, they will be fighting with the party machinery at their disposal. They will be fighting with the press on their side, with the Tories as tacit allies, with business at their backs. They will have the support of the civil service and the state apparatuses. They will undoubtedly benefit from Clockwork Orange-style deep-state intrigue. But, far more fundamentally, they will benefit from the fact that Corbyn is obliged to work with a parliamentary party that is overwhelmingly hostile to what he wishes to achieve, and is apt either to force him to make damaging compromises, or to engineer habitual crises for him, or both.
So, you voted for Corbyn. You’re a Labour party member, old or new. What MUST you do to have Corbyn’s back?

Because, be clear, he will fail without you. He will lose. He and a few allies within the Labour party cannot win this fight alone. He will be destroyed by lack of cooperation, scandals, and engineered crises. The vast majority of all media coverage will be negative, etc.

You must take over the locals — the branches and constituencies. Flood them. If the officers don’t act how you think they should, let them know. And by “let them know,” I mean, get in their faces.

Make sure your local MP, who probably doesn’t like Corbyn or support him, know that if he doesn’t get onside, he won’t be the nominee in the next election. Make his/her life personally unpleasant. If s/he votes against Corbyn, picket him. Mock her. Make sure there is a cost. Because on the other side, that MP will know that if they oppose Corbyn, they will be taken care of by the City and the other usual suspects.

You must prove there is a cost for opposing the democratic will of the majority of Labour party members. MPs and officials must know that if they try to sabotage Corbyn, their days in the party are numbered and will be extremely unpleasant.

The carrot is that if they get onside, they’re gold. They can keep their positions, they can feel like they’re part of a swelling horde.

But if it isn’t clear to officials and MPs that the cost for opposing Corbyn is too high, they will, and they may well win.

You elected Corbyn, but without your staying in his corner, and fighting, he’s just a sacrificial goat. A real leader is only as good as his followers. You have a real leader now, a man who genuinely wants to create a kinder, fairer Britain, a man who has lived his life in line with his beliefs.

This is what and who you wanted. Now go and make him a success. If he fails, it will be as much on you as on him.

If he succeeds, the same.

V. Arnold permalink
September 14, 2015
If what you say is true; that just furthers that votes don’t count. All is lost and we’re just fodder…
The question then becomes; what can we do?
The answer is a reality we will not face; and a long dark winter ensues…

Peter* permalink
September 14, 2015
About 250,000 people selected Corbyn to lead the attack at the weekly PMQ’s as the head of the Opposition which he will do with much of his back bench hissing at him. For Corbyn to actually take control of the Government voters will have to unseat about 100 Tories and many of the Labour MP’s who will undermine his rule, is anyone making odds on this improbability yet?
I’m not that familiar with the UK system but recent history seems to show British subjects have little more influence on their MP’s, once they’re installed, than US citizens have on our representatives. Writing sternly worded missives or signing petitions to influence their MP’s seems about as effective as Petitioning the Lord with Prayer.

EmilianoZ permalink
September 14, 2015
Yep. That’s exactly what we failed to do for Obama. And he had appealed for our help: “Make me do it.” But we were wallowing in apathy as usual. We failed him just as much as he failed us. Let’s hope the Brits learn from our mistakes.

willf permalink
September 14, 2015
That’s exactly what we failed to do for Obama.[…]But we were wallowing in apathy as usual. We failed him just as much as he failed us.
This statement is not just incorrect, but is so at odds with the truth that it brings to mind the phrase from academia “not even wrong”.
In actuality, what happened was that Obama decommissioned OfA, turning it from a political pressure org into one dedicated solely to fundraising. He left it toothless and powerless. He never called on its millions of members for help, because he did not want to pass the policies that they had elected him to pass.
Further, he defanged all the liberal and progressive activist groups. If you weren’t on board with the Obama agenda, if you weren’t part of the “veal pen”, you saw your support from the democrats wither into nothing, you saw your funding cut and your access withdrawn.
When activists tried to put pressure on establishment democrats during the early days of the PPACA fiasco, he shut them down hard, and his chief of staff called them “fucking retards”.
When activists tried to put pressure on establishment democrats (and Obama) to live up to his campaign promise and let the Bush Tax Cuts expire, he called them “sanctimonious purists”.
What you have asserted here is simply revisionism.

Peter* permalink
September 14, 2015
The ‘make me do it’ ejaculation was little more than a bullying taunt aimed at the rubes who worked so hard to elect him. Some people internalized this threat and are still in denial about Obama’s true character.
Hairhead permalink
September 15, 2015
The best example for obnoxious, effective activism in the last few decades was ACT-UP. ACT-UP didn’t shoot anyone, didn’t beat anyone up, didn’t threaten personal violence, didn’t destroy property; they simply were incredibly, publicly, obnoxious, and confrontational without letup. After all, they were DYING; what did threats of jail or social humiliation mean to them.
I agree that Obama showed his true colours and shut down organizations as much as possible — but continuous, loud, obnoxious, personally-judgmental, never-let-up abuse and demands would have gotten something — at least better results in the mid-term elections.
Remember, one of the golden rules of advertising is that a message must be repeated or exposed to the public a minimum of FOURTEEN times just for it to BEGIN to be remembered. Look, the Rethuglicans made huge inroads in politics at all levels in the last thirty years by these same tactics:  public obnoxiousness, obliviousness to criticism, and never, never, never giving an inch.
The left CAN do the same and MUST do the same. Short of revolution, nothing else will work.

Peter* permalink
September 16, 2015
You probably should put the Hopeium away and resist the Cult of the Leader even the professional Lefty stalwart who has never produced anything of significance in his long and soft career. His biggest crisis seems to have been what private school to send his son to and he lost that battle along with his wife.
So long as people continue to believe in corrupt systems and the leaders those corrupt systems produce, no matter how progressive they appear, they are doomed to face disillusionment. When these systems break down these leaders will be the first to disappear and the rubes will be left on their own to beg for help from a system that never really cared about their needs.

Jon Cloke permalink
September 16, 2015 

. . . Corbyn’s made some of the right moves and noises so far but blood will out – plus, the real problem is not how one party is constructed and led, but the party political system itself, which is putrified. My own feeling is that genuine political change in the UK can only come from genuine grassroots movements like the Independents for Frome, rather than just swapping a right-wing elite for a left-wing one

AlanSmithee permalink 
September 17, 2015
Anyone here ever seen “The Waldo Moment” episode of ‘Black Mirror’? I mean, seriously. When are you going to recognize the system is utterly rigged against you?

Conspiracy theories, anyone?

Funny how the real "conspiracy theories" (a term promulgated by the CIA after the assassination of JFK) were never questioned as such by the vast majority of the affected population.

Are people becoming more discerning today? The ongoing Financial Catastrophe of 2008 - Forever may have provided the impetus.

Is “Conspiracy Theory” Losing Its ‘Powerful’ Semantical Implications?

Catherine Frompovich

In my humble opinion, one of the most erudite alt media “talking heads” on the Internet is James Corbett of The Corbett James does his homework and discusses issues of interest regarding geopolitics from an extra-keen mindset, which, I think, seeds some of the more progressive-minded, controlled media reporting that is starting to appear in some of the “Big Six Media” [1] and on the Internet, particularly.

Once a week, Corbett joins James Evan Pilato of to produce a joint production called New World Next Week. The September 10th, 2015, issue took on “Conspiracy Theory” and how it’s losing its pejorative connotations, and that many, if not all, conspiracy theories have panned out — or are panning out — actually to have factual bases. OMG!

I think my readers will enjoy the ... notes Corbett and Pilato placed below that online show, which I’ve copied and pasted below.

If readers would enjoy listening to that entire issue of New World Next Week, here’s the link. Personally, I think both these men bring a greatly-needed breath of fresh air that’s counter to the controlled news cycles we are spoon-fed by the mainstream media.

And for a little light reading before you try to go to sleep . . . .

Chuck Schumer Is No Democrat

Revisiting David Petraeus’ Crack Plan to Ally with Al Qaeda

It's a crap shoot from here on out.

I'll be womaning a table at the "Feel the Bern" street fair gathering next Sunday.

Without hope.

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