By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Facebook Page
27 April 16
ere's what I say to all those who are telling me Bernie should leave the race: Baloney. He should – and will – fight on, despite the worsening odds of his winning the nomination.
His campaign isn’t and has never been mainly about Bernie Sanders. It’s about a movement to reclaim our democracy from the moneyed interests, and thereby have an economy that’s working for the many rather than the few.
That movement has attracted unprecedented support in this election -- from millions of young people, from a record number of small donors, from an upsurge of progressives determined to change the system.
That movement should have every opportunity to be heard and to continue to grow – not just through the upcoming Indiana, Oregon, District of Columbia, and California primaries, but also in the Democratic Party’s platform.
And beyond. Real change takes years to achieve. This movement has just begun.
Don't let the fact that these primaries have already occurred deter your attention.
This is a report on what's happened previously and possibly a warning about the future.
2016 Democratic Primary Election Fraud Evidence Hub
April 27, 2016
Report from Richard Charnin – click photo below for blog update:
Posted on April 26, 2016
Observers are watching the live results come in and documenting the results through screen shots – here is the FIRST big flip. Sanders votes GO DOWN and percentages flip in huge red flag ways – this is in Delaware. Here are the screen shots for SUSSEX COUNTY from Washington Post caught by TWO different posters – First taken by Aimee Rox Coleman (more of these images documented in other participating primary states tonight, we will update as they become available):
(Click on all photos to enlarge)
Another user caught this from the "Guardian:"
Aimee also caught this shot from New York documenting how the results go down for Sanders in New York in that primary last week:
Posted on April 26, 2016
Another election day, another exercise in subverting democracy – click on photo for US UNCUT report:
Posted on April 26, 2016
Story on the Chicago Democratic Primary audit and the criminality it revealed:
Posted on April 26, 2016
Click on photo to read the "Huffington Post" article:
Posted on April 26, 2016
Counterpunch: A logical argument on why exit polls and contradicting results MATTER. (The US utilizes them as a means of analyzing validity of election results in OTHER nations, just not here) – click photo below for article:
Posted on April 24, 2016
Audit Arizona and John Brakey (lead Plaintiff) are challenging the results of the Arizona Democratic Presidential Primary Election. Their case is crucial in not only providing redress for the voters of Arizona, the documentation and evidence they have compiled over a twelve year period holds the potential to finally blow the lid off the election fraud that permeates US elections nation wide.
Posted on April 24, 2016
It has been widely reported across social media that many individuals who had never registered with the Clinton campaign for emails or contact have been included in their contact lists. A Hillary Clinton Super Pac hired contractor, NGP Van, is responsible for managing the data of BOTH campaigns, and it reported (that) in October 15, Sanders campaign found the firewall breached.See letter here.
The DNC tried to smear the Sanders campaign in December when the breach was discovered again, yet, it was THEIR data company and a staff member the DNC recommended to the Sanders campaign that was responsible for the breach. And, we have reports in the past months of Sanders supporters being systemically purged from registration rolls in Arizona, New York, California. Are these stories related? This letter the editor puts forth a plausible theory:
Posted on April 23, 2016
Click photo for "Democracy Now" report:
Posted on April 22, 2016
Click the photo to read the "Rawstory" report.
By Katie Herzog, "Grist"
27 April 2016
n the outpouring of media coverage after Prince’s death at the age of 57 last week, fans around the globe began to learn more about the notoriously private star — including that he gave away a lot of money. Van Jones — the activist, author, former Obama administration official, and current CNN commentator — revealed that Prince had secretly funded causes from public radio to Black Lives Matter to the Harlem Children’s Zone. He also conceived of #YesWeCode, an initiative to train black kids for work in tech. And he supported Green For All, a group working to fight climate change and bring green jobs to underprivileged populations.Jones is in the leadership of the latter two organizations.
“I was an Oakland activist giving speeches about the need for green jobs,” Jones told me over the phone, recalling how he first came into contact with the musician 10 years ago. “Prince heard me in the media and sent a $50,000 check to support the work I was doing. But he did all his giving completely anonymously, so I sent the check back.
You never know when someone is trying to set you up — it could have been from Chevron or from a drug dealer or whatever. So then he sent the check back and I sent it back again, and then he sent it back and then I sent it back, until finally a representative called and said, ‘Will you please accept this check? I won’t tell you who it is from, but the guy’s favorite color is purple.’ I said, ‘Well, now you have a different problem: I’m not gonna cash this check, I’m gonna frame it.’”
Soon after, Prince reached out to Jones, and the two became friends — a friendship that would last until his death. Jones’ role in Prince’s life was, he says, as “his lead guitarist for social impact, for lack of a better term.” Jones helped distribute Prince’s resources when he didn’t want the attention, including providing solar panels for families in Oakland. The families never knew who their benefactor was.
As a Jehovah’s Witness, Prince wasn’t permitted to advertise his good works. But even without his spiritual tradition, Jones says Prince would have been modest about his giving. “He thought it was in poor taste for these celebrities to get millions of dollars and then write a check and have their publicists all over the media bragging about it,” Jones said. “He was like, ‘This is ridiculous. We get enough attention. We’re celebrities.’”
Jones says that what Prince really cared about was humanity. “He cared about life and love and freedom,” Jones says. “His politics were not red. They were not blue. They were purple. He had a mind that let him see answers — musically, spiritually, even politically. Rather than argue about global warming, he said, ‘Let’s help kids put up solar panels.’”
It’s clear in conversation that Jones deeply mourns the loss of his friend. When asked what he will miss most, he takes a long pause, so long I think for a moment that the line has gone dead.
“Everybody will tell you about the songs, but the genius didn’t stop when he walked out of the studio,” Jones says. “He was so hilariously, ridiculously funny. He was Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Kevin Hart–level funny. Dave Chappelle is probably funnier, but he’s the only one. Everybody else, Prince could have eaten their lunch, and half the time with no curse words. That’s irreplaceable. You can’t find that on YouTube or iTunes.”
Bye Bye, Alumni?
This next essay starts out like something you might be uncomfortable agreeing with; it glides after a nanosecond or two into a rant against ignorance, indifference, know-nothingness or know-too-muchedness.
So, you're uncomfortable, but I guarantee you're thinking clearly by the end.
April 27, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts
The letter below came to me from Oxford University where I was a post-graduate.
I do not think it conceivable that the letter was actually written by Oriel College, or any authority at Oxford. This letter was written in exasperation by someone who feels that the civilized world has collapsed around him. This is a letter that the author of the letter wishes had been written.
By presenting the letter, I am not endorsing a make-believe letter or its point of view. My point is different. The world’s most famous university lacks the confidence to defend itself from from unreasonable demands made by students from its former colonies who desire to remove the association of Oriel College with its benefactor, Cecil Rhodes.
Yet, despite insuficient confidence to stand up to foreign students, England has mustered the confidence to align with Washington against the Muslim World and Russia. How do we explain this?
If the British still had enough confidence for an Oxford College to have penned such a letter, the British would not have forsaken their sovereignty and joined the European Union. What saved Cecil Rhodes stature at Oriel College was not Oxford but alumni who said they would cancel bequests of 100 million British pounds if the university succumbed to erasing its history in order to appease foreigners who claim to be offended by it. If they are offended, say the alumni, let them go elsewhere.
The future independence of universities is in doubt, especially those dependent on alumni support. Old grads are turned off by the erasure of what they remember. Recent grads are not experiencing the same success. A university degree no longer brings the same economic success that it did in the 20th century. A financialized and offshored capitalism has heavily redistributed income and wealth to the One Percent. One consequence is that the alumni donor base will shrink.
Moreover, the older generation of graduates, who made their money in the past, is constantly reminded by fund-raising materials that the college or university that they attended has been replaced by something else. What they experienced is gone. Oxford colleges were segregated by gender and attended mainly by British. Today they are gender-integrated and multi-cultural.
Judging from photos in fund-raising materials, at Oxford the British appear to be a minority.
Instead of warm and fuzzy feelings, old grads feel dispossessed. The psychological effect on those who experienced a different Oxford environment is similar to returning to the site of your grandparents farm and finding a subdivision, a bedroom community for a once distant city. The creek you explored is now inside a pipe buried under back yards, and the trees you climbed are cut down. You feel a loss. This is what many alumni feel when they experience the transformation of their educational institution. They experience a loss of association, which is not a racist or sexist response.
As survivors of an era in which economic success was more broadly based pass away, colleges and universities will turn increasingly to corporations and the One Percent for funds. These donors will extract a price. Colleges and universities will be suborned, as the media and politicians are today, to serve the powerful interests on which they are dependent.
We might think that this is what the Oxford alumni are doing when they threatened to withhold bequests, but it is not. The alumni are not saying what is to be taught and not taught or how things are to be explained. The alumni are saying that it is impermissible to destroy history by throwing it into Orwell’s memory hole. Oxford alumni have had to accept so much change and now the physical image itself, the historical landmarks, are to be thrown away. The result is that nothing any longer corresponds to their memories. Their association with their college and the university becomes severed.
There is no doubt that the British and US governments have ground under their feet many peoples. But history is history. We have to live with it and try to make the future better. We cannot substitute for history our view of what should have happened.
Here is the letter that indicates more British confidence than actually exists.
This letter is a response from Oxford to Black Students, some of whom are attending as Rhodes Scholars, who are demanding the removal of the statue of their and Oxford’s benefactor, Cecil Rhodes.
Subject: OXFORD – THE FIGHT BACK HAS BEGUNInterestingly, Chris Patten (Lord Patten of Barnes), The Chancellor of Oxford University, was on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 yesterday on precisely the same topic. The Daily Telegraph headline yesterday was “Oxford will not rewrite history”.Patten commented ““Education is not indoctrination. Our history is not a blank page on which we can write our own version of what it should have been according to our contemporary views and prejudice.”Rhodes Must Fall“Dear Scrotty Students,“Cecil Rhodes’s generous bequest has contributed greatly to the comfort and well being of many generations of Oxford students – a good many of them, dare we say it, better, brighter and more deserving than you.“This does not necessarily mean we approve of everything Rhodes did in his lifetime – but then we don’t have to.Cecil Rhodes died over a century ago. Autres temps, autres moeurs. If you don’t understand what this means – and it would not remotely surprise us if that were the case – then we really think you should ask yourself the question:‘Why am I at Oxford?’“Oxford, let us remind you, is the world’s second oldest extant university. Scholars have been studying here since at least the 11th century. We’ve played a major part in the invention of Western civilisation, from the 12th century intellectual renaissance through the Enlightenment and beyond. Our alumni include William of Ockham, Roger Bacon, William Tyndale, John Donne, Sir Walter Raleigh, Erasmus, Sir Christopher Wren, William Penn, Samuel Johnson, Robert Hooke, William Morris, Oscar Wilde, Emily Davison, and Cardinal Newman. We’re a big deal. And most of the people privileged to come and study here are conscious of what a big deal we are. Oxford is their alma mater – their dear mother – and they respect and revere her accordingly.“And what were your ancestors doing in that period? Living in mud huts, mainly. Sure we’ll concede you the short-lived Southern African civilisation of Great Zimbabwe. But let’s be brutally honest here. The contribution of the Bantu tribes to modern civilisation has been as near as damn it to zilch.“You’ll probably say that’s ‘racist.’ But it’s what we here at Oxford prefer to call ‘true.’ Perhaps the rules are different at other universities. In fact, we know things are different at other universities.
We’ve watched with horror at what has been happening across the pond from the University of Missouri to the University of Virginia and even to revered institutions like Harvard and Yale: the ‘safe spaces;’ the blacklivesmatter; the creeping cultural relativism; the stifling political correctness; what Allan Bloom rightly called ‘the closing of the American mind.’
At Oxford however, we will always prefer facts and free, open debate to petty grievance-mongering, identity politics and empty sloganeering. The day we cease to do so is the day we lose the right to call ourselves the world’s greatest university.“Of course, you are perfectly within your rights to squander your time at Oxford on silly, vexatious, single-issue political campaigns. (Though it does make us wonder how stringent the vetting procedure is these days for Rhodes scholarships and even more so, for Mandela Rhodes scholarships.) We are well used to seeing undergraduates – or, in your case – postgraduates, making idiots of themselves. Just don’t expect us to indulge your idiocy, let alone genuflect before it. You may be black – “BME” as the grisly modern terminology has it – but we are colour blind. We have been educating gifted undergraduates from our former colonies, our Empire, our Commonwealth and beyond for many generations. We do not discriminate over sex, race, colour or creed. We do, however, discriminate according to intellect.“That means, inter alia, that when our undergrads or post grads come up with fatuous ideas, we don’t pat them on the back, give them a red rosette and say: “Ooh, you’re black and you come from South Africa. What a clever chap you are!” No. We prefer to see the quality of those ideas tested in the crucible of public debate. That’s another key part of the Oxford intellectual tradition you see: you can argue any damn thing you like but you need to be able to justify it with facts and logic – otherwise your idea is worthless.“This ludicrous notion you have that a bronze statue of Cecil Rhodes should be removed from Oriel College, because it’s symbolic of ‘institutional racism’ and ‘white slavery’ — well even if it is – which we dispute – so bloody what? Any undergraduate so feeble-minded that they can’t pass a bronze statue without having their ‘safe space’ violated really does not deserve to be here. And besides, if we were to remove Rhodes’s statue on the premise that his life wasn’t blemish-free, where would we stop?
As one of our alumni, Dan Hannan, has pointed out, Oriel’s other benefactors include two kings so awful – Edward II and Charles I – that their subjects had them killed. The college opposite – Christ Church – was built by a murderous, thieving bully who bumped off two of his wives. Thomas Jefferson kept slaves: does that invalidate the US Constitution? Winston Churchill had unenlightened views about Muslims and India: was he then the wrong man to lead Britain in the war?“Actually, we’ll go further than that. Your "Rhodes Must Fall" campaign is not merely fatuous but ugly, vandalistic and dangerous. We agree with Oxford historian R.W. Johnson that what you are trying to do here is no different from what ISIS and the Al-Qaeda have been doing to artefacts in places like Mali and Syria. You are murdering history.“And who are you, anyway, to be lecturing Oxford University on how it should order its affairs? Your rhodesmustfall campaign, we understand, originates in South Africa and was initiated by a black activist who said in one of his lecturers ‘whites have to be killed.’ One of you – Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh – is the privileged son of a rich politician and a member of a party whose slogan is ‘Kill the Boer, Kill the Farmer.’ Another of you, Ntokozo Qwabe, who is only in Oxford as a beneficiary of a Rhodes scholarship, has boasted about the need for ‘socially conscious black students’ to ‘dominate white universities, and do so ruthlessly and decisively.’
“Great. That’s just what Oxford University needs. Some cultural enrichment from the land of Winnie Mandela, burning tyre necklaces, an AIDS epidemic almost entirely the result of government indifference and ignorance, one of the world’s highest per capita murder rates, institutionalised corruption, tribal politics, anti-white racism and a collapsing economy. Please name which of the above items you think will enhance the lives of the 22,000 students studying here at Oxford.“And then please explain what it is that makes your attention grabbing campaign to remove a listed statue from an Oxford college more urgent, more deserving than the desire of probably at least 20,000 of those 22,000 students to enjoy their time here unencumbered by the irritation of spoilt, ungrateful little tossers on scholarships they clearly don’t merit using racial politics and cheap guilt-tripping to ruin the life and fabric of our beloved university.“Understand us and understand this clearly: you have everything to learn from us; we have nothing to learn from you.”Yours,Oriel College, Oxford
I think that knowing how prone to violence Hillary is (and the policies of her backers like Charles Koch and Robert Kagan) tells us all we need to know about her judgment and leadership.
And don't tell yourself that she doesn't agree with them on certain issues (that would turn your hair white).
By Robert Parry, Consortium News
26 April 16
Hillary Clinton’s defenders object to the widespread public view that she is a liar by noting she scores reasonably well on the accuracy of her policy statements, but that is missing the point, says Robert Parry.
ew York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has offered a curious defense of Hillary Clinton’s “honesty,” refuting the public’s widespread view that she is a liar by narrowly defining what it means to be “honest” and arguing that she is less dishonest than she is a calculating and corner-cutting politician.
Kristof writes, “as we head toward the general election showdown, by all means denounce Hillary Clinton’s judgment and policy positions, but let’s focus on the real issues. She’s not a saint but a politician, and to me this notion that she’s fundamentally dishonest is a bogus narrative.”
Kristof cites, for instance, that half of her campaign statements, as evaluated by PolitiFact, were rated either true or mostly true, comparable to how the group assessed statements by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Ted Cruz and much better than Donald Trump’s 22 percent. Leaving aside the “conventional wisdom” bias of this mainstream media organization, Kristof does seem to have a point. In a narrow definition of “honesty,” former Secretary of State Clinton may be “truthful” or kind of truthful half the time.
But Kristof misses the larger point that the American people are making when 56 percent of them rate her negatively and many call “crooked” and “dishonest.” They seem to be commenting on her lack of authenticity and perhaps her resistance to sincerely acknowledging major errors in judgment. She only grudgingly apologized for her pro-Iraq War vote and still insists that her bloody “regime change” scheme for Libya was a good idea, even as the once-prosperous North African nation slides into anarchy and deprivation – with the chief beneficiary the head-choppers of the Islamic State.
A Nixonian Quality
Many Americans sense that there is a Nixonian quality to Hillary Clinton – her excessive secrecy, her defensiveness, her rigidity, her unwillingness to acknowledge or learn from mistakes. Even when she is forced into admitting a “mistake,” such as her violation of State Department rules when she maintained a private email server for official correspondence, she acts as if she’s just “apologizing” to close off further debate or examination. As with Richard Nixon, there’s a feeling that Clinton’s apologies and rationales are self-serving, not forthcoming.
Yet, while it’s true that Nixon was a deceitful character – his most famous lie being when he declared “I am not a crook” – I would argue that he had some clear advantages over Clinton as President. He was a much more strategic thinker than she is – and sometimes went against the grain of expectations as encapsulated in the phrase “Nixon goes to China,” meaning that Nixon could open up to communist China precisely because he was viewed as such a hardliner who would never do such a thing but who finally judged that the move was in America’s interests.
While it’s impossible to say whether Clinton would seize unexpected openings as President, she showed none of that creativity, subtlety and courage as Secretary of State. She marched down a straightforward neocon line, doing precisely what Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted in the Middle East.
Clinton tried to sabotage President Barack Obama’s diplomatic outreach to Iran and favored military solutions to Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. She also followed a rightist approach in backing the 2009 coup in Honduras that ousted an elected progressive president who had offended some of the Honduran oligarchs and outside corporate interests.
Lack of Self-Criticism
In addition, Clinton appears to have learned nothing from her support for the catastrophic Iraq War and has argued against “conflating” her Iraq decision with her Libya decision. But that suggests that she is incapable of learning a lesson from one mistake and applying it to a similar situation, an almost disqualifying characteristic for someone who hopes to become President.
Being a successful President requires extracting painful lessons from one mistake and making sure you don’t make the same mistake again. But Clinton’s personal arrogance or defensiveness (it’s hard to figure out which is dominant) prevents her from that sort of self-criticism.
Indeed, her ritualistic (and politically timed) apology for her Iraq War vote in 2006 came across less as an honest recognition that she had done something horribly wrong than that she had to say something to appease a furious Democratic electorate as she mounted her first run for President against anti-Iraq War candidate Obama.
After losing to Obama and becoming his Secretary of State, she privately hedged her Iraq War apology by saying privately that she thought that President George W. Bush’s “surge” in Iraq was successful and admitting that she had only opposed it in 2007 for political reasons, according to former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in his memoir, Duty.
On Oct. 26, 2009, as Gates — a holdover from the Bush administration — and Clinton joined forces to pressure Obama into approving a similar “surge” for Afghanistan, Gates recalled a meeting in which Clinton made what he regarded as a stunning admission, writing:
“The exchange that followed was remarkable. In strongly supporting the surge in Afghanistan, Hillary told the president that her opposition to the surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary [in 2008]. She went on to say, ‘The Iraq surge worked.’
“The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.” (Obama’s aides disputed Gates’s suggestion that the President indicated that his opposition to the Iraq “surge” was political, noting that he had always opposed the Iraq War. The Clinton team has not challenged Gates’s account.)
But the exchange, as recounted by Gates, indicates that Clinton not only let her political needs dictate her position on an important national security issue, but that she accepts as true the superficial conventional wisdom about the “successful surge” in Iraq, which claimed the lives of about 1,000 American soldiers and a much larger number of Iraqis but failed its principal mission of buying time for the Iraqis to resolve their sectarian differences.
So, when one considers Hillary Clinton’s “honesty” more should be in play than simply whether she accurately describes her policy positions half the time. Honesty, as most people would perceive it, relates to a person’s fundamental integrity, strength of character, readiness to acknowledge mistakes and ability to learn from them. On that measure, the American people seem to have sized up Hillary Clinton pretty well.
[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Yes, Hillary Clinton Is a Neocon.“]
(Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.)
By Lee Fang, "The Intercept"
27 April 16
he secret tax-dodging strategies of the global elite in China, Russia, Brazil, the U.K., and beyond were exposed in speculator fashion by the recent Panama Papers investigation, fueling a worldwide demand for a crackdown on tax avoidance.
But there is little appetite in Congress for taking on powerful tax dodgers in the U.S., where the practice has become commonplace.
A request for comment about the Panama Papers to the two congressional committees charged with tax policy — House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee — was ignored.
The reluctance by congressional leaders to tackle tax dodging is nothing new, especially given that some of the largest companies paying little to no federal taxes are among the biggest campaign contributors in the country. But there’s another reason to remain skeptical that Congress will move aggressively on tax avoidance: Former tax lobbyists now run the tax-writing committees.
We researched the backgrounds of the people who manage the day-to-day operations of both committees and found that a number of lobbyists who represented world-class tax avoiders now occupy top positions as committee staff. Many have stints in and out of government and the lobbying profession, a phenomenon known as the “reverse revolving door.” In other words, the lobbyists that help special interest groups and wealthy individuals minimize their tax bills are not only everywhere on K Street, they’re literally managing the bodies that create tax law:
A request for comment about the role of former lobbyists now working as staffers was also ignored by the committees.
- Barbara Angus, the chief tax counsel of the House Ways and Means Committee, became a staff member in January of this year after leaving her position as a lobbyist with Ernst & Young. Angus, registration documents show, previously helped lobby lawmakers on tax policy on behalf of clients such as General Electric, HSBC, and Microsoft, among other clients.
- Mark Warren, a tax counsel for the tax policy subcommittee of Ways and Means, is a former lobbyist for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, a trade group that includes Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Walgreens, and Unilever. Warren, who joined the committee in November of last year, previously lobbied on a range of tax policies, including tax credits and “tax relief.”
- Mike Evans became chief counsel for the Senate Finance Committee in 2014 after leaving his job as a lobbyist for K&L Gates, where he lobbied on tax policy for JP Morgan, Peabody Energy, Brown-Forman, BNSF Railway, and other corporate clients.
- Eric Oman, the senior policy adviser for tax and accounting at the Senate Finance Committee, previously worked for Ernst & Young’s lobbying office, representing clients on tax policy.
Wealthy individuals and corporations routinely squirrel away vast sums of money in jurisdictions like Delaware or Wyoming to avoid taxation, a major factor in the current state of affairs that allows those at the top of the economic pyramid to pay an effective tax rate that is often lower than the middle class. Verizon, Boeing, and General Electric, to name a few, paid no federal income taxes in recent years, despite earning a hefty profit margin. The Tax Justice Network ranks the U.S. as the third most problematic tax haven country, a ranking even worse than Panama.