Saturday, April 2, 2016

NYT Owners Outed as Clintonistas (Clinton Campaign Collapse/Deb Was Schultz to Resign?)  Neoliberalism/Neofeudalism Destruction and Playing the Identity Politics Card Against Trump Whites?  (Max & Stacy Out the Bums)


Were Changes to "New York Times" Sanders Article "Stealth Editing?"
Because if so, the owners have been revealed fatally as not only Clinton backers, but journalistic integrity quislings. Click the link and decide for yourself. (Right-click for a private window.)

Then read the 1000+ comments like the ones immediately below, and after pausing to get a grasp, attempt to count the horrified readers who canceled their decades-long subscriptions.

Aaron Cohen - El Cerrito
I've been reading this paper regularly since 1989, and reading it addictively ever since the iPhone came out. And, I have been happily shelling out $35 a month not because I have multiple devices, but because I wanted to reward good, balanced journalism that is so difficult to find these days.
These last few months of heavily biased reporting have tempted me to cancel time and again - especially after this paper endorsed Clinton before single primary vote had been cast – but I held on because at least many reader comments approximated good, balanced journalism, even though almost none of the articles did.
This, however is the final straw. It is utterly reprehensible and lacking in journalistic integrity to change a positive article reporting historical fact into a negative opinion piece after it has been shared widely on social media.
It was bad enough yesterday in Mr. Blow's article where he and the Times pretended they did not know that "there's no such thing as bad publicity" even after it has helped Trump succeed and even though he and his editors are allegedly journalists, who should know one of the fundamental maxims of publishing.
But this is simply beyond the pale. Never again will I read this newspaper. Canceling now.

Ellen Liversidge - San Diego CA

Margaret Sullivan, the NYT's Public Editor, tells the truth here. It is completely dismaying and disheartening that the "paper of record" has turned into a rag not worth reading. The premature crowning of Mrs. Clinton, the complete disparaging and ignoring of Bernie Sanders' campaign, seem to me to represent not just Orwell's 1984, but perhaps the death rattle of print journalism in the U.S. One wonders whether the NYT's stance is more about arrogance and being out of touch, or if it represents genuine fear that somehow what Bernie proposes might actually be enacted ... what could be so terrible, after all, in seeing the U.S. become a more fair society?

KC - TN 

So disappointed in the NYT, the journalists, and all of the editors!! They added no depth, no real time context, to the article....I am embarrassed to have been a loyal reader, subscriber to the NYT!!! Granted, this is not the first time, I have been disappointed in the Times, but, I will say, this was the first time , in which, I felt compelled to cancel my subscription....and after reading this article, I am so glad I did !!!!! Donald Trump on the front page, and in sooo many of the NYT articles, use to upset me, make me question, the integrity of the NYT .... but now, somehow, I find it quite fitting:)

Entropic Decline - NYC 

The Times has been in the tank for Hillary ever since they were describing Bernie is an irascable 73 year old with tussled hair. The integrity of this paper has not recovered since the Iraq War debacle. Hegemony and oligarchy are the order of the day at the Times. Instead of giving us hard news and analysis, the editors try to distract informed readers through puff peices such as Emily Rossum reading about a kiss on a plane. Who cares about this garbage?! This is supposed to be the Paper of Record! I find myself reading the Times for the latest editorial outrage of the day, rather than any serious discussion of issues facing this country.

Sanford Jacoby - Los Angeles

Margaret, you failed to mention another troubling sign of bias:  the attacks on the economic plan authored by Professor Gerald Friedman, a consultant to the Sanders campaign (but a Clinton supporter). Since January there have been seven articles in the Time criticizing Friedman's plan. Some articles reported on a public statement attacking the plan written by former Obama administration (and presumably pro-Clinton) economists, hardly an objective group. Some were opinion pieces by a colleague of the economists (Krugman) and also a piece by a spouse of another Obama economist (Wolfers) that ran on page 3 instead of the business section where it usually appears.

An analysis of Friedman's plan (the only one) was conducted by yet another Obama economist (Romer) and her husband, with positive comments from Romer's colleague, who's is a former Bill Clinton economist. You get the idea. The Times never conducted an interview of its own with Friedman, never reported positive opinions by Robert Reich, among others, and never conducted or opined on Hillary Clinton's own (sketchy) economic plan. Margaret, this supports claims that the Times has engaged in biased maneuvering masquerading as journalism. Shame.

Jennifer Hoult, J.D. - New York City 

I have been a subscriber to the NYT for a long time. Maybe the black out on coverage of Bernie Sanders' across-the aisle work during his 35 year career as an elected public servant, and the blatant ongoing attempts to disparage his campaign and promote Clinton's campaign should not surprise me. After all I remember the NYT running articles throughout the Reagan years reporting that Reagan's administration reduced most people's taxes, only to run articles after that administration ended showing that the earlier coverage had no factual merit. But the blatant bias and clear attempt to denigrate Sanders' record, while bolstering Clinton's much shorter 12 years' record as an elected official, have led to me to seriously consider cancelling my subscription. The NYT is no longer a credible news source. This isn't "balanced reporting." It is just political marketing.

N - WayOutWest 1 day ago

So it's late Wednesday, March 30, nearly midnight EST, and where is the NYT breaking news story on how the WA D.C. Democratic Party failed to submit Bernie Sanders for inclusion on the ballot in D.C.'s upcoming primary? And how the Democratic Party waited until the day after the deadline to come clean?

This story is being widely reported tonight, in all its glory, in other media. I have read that the DNC claims it was some kind of error that Sanders was left out.

What's going on with the Democratic Party, and why is this not being reported in the NYT=personal megaphone for Hillary Clinton?

NYT, you will be losing many, many subscribers before the end of this campaign - and Hillary will be losing many, many Democratic voters. I can't wait for the boo-hooing in November, when the Dems yowl that they don't understand why they lost.

I had a brittle, almost friable conversation with a fairly well-educated (self- and other-described) extended family member several years ago about the two-tiered NYT reporting integrity and have never forgotten the sneer I received when I evinced my opinion that the Judith Miller/Iraq War/perverted overseas reporting scandals (see history of Ukraine, Panama, Honduras, etc., for verification) had never ceased and provided a perfect window through which to view their true (double-sided) colors.

Seems I win.

And we all lose.


As usual - as it becomes even more clear that the few newspapers left with any reporting integrity at all are becoming museum pieces.

But a real win for the Democrats and Independents (as well as a few Republicans) may be upcoming.

Florida Representative, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Chair, is being asked (not politely either) to resign due to her multiple infractions of sensibility, good taste, management and myriad (and self-serving) conflicts of (many times financial) interest. (Not that that any of these type people were ever stopped by a good argument's logic or common courtesy before.)

John Fetterman, the Bernie supporter and progressive mayor in the Pennsylvania Senate race, called on Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign as DNC chair in an interview on Pittsburgh TV station, WTAE. He then sent out a tweet (above) endorsing her South Florida primary opponent, Tim Canova. The Huffington Post reported that when he was asked by WTAE anchor Jackie Cain if his opposition to Wasserman Schultz was "a bold move," he said it was more a matter of common decency.
“I wouldn’t call it a bold move. I would call it an appropriate one given her collusion with the sub-prime, payday loan, lending machine,” Fetterman said. “I can’t imagine-- the average interest rate they charge is 309 percent-- as a Democrat, how could you get in bed with those kind of people?”
He also pointed to her campaign’s donors.
“The fact that she would take tens of thousands of dollars from that industry, and the fact that she would try to pass legislation that benefits that industry - it’s deeply disappointing particularly for the head of the DNC,” Fetterman said. In a letter to his supporters he wrote that "It’s ridiculous that the leader of the Democratic Party would turn her back on some of the most vulnerable members of society - the very people that her candidates are pledging to fight for. That’s why today, I’m calling on the Chair to resign. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has made it clear that her values are no longer our values." He asked them to consider signing a petition asking her to resign from the DNC.  
Payday lenders lure desperate, mostly poor customers with the promise of quick money - but the reality is filled with hidden fees and sky-high interest rates.
So why is the leader of the Democratic Party trying to protect this industry by supporting a bill in Congress that seeks to delay the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau's pending rules on the issue?

Tell Congresswoman and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "You have abandoned the values of the Democratic Party and betrayed the most vulnerable members of society who depend on our party to fight for them. I urge you to resign from your position as DNC Chair immediately."

There are more than a few good economic sources in print right now to aid us in informing ourselves about the history of neoliberals and their destructive policies.

The Lies of Neoliberal Economics (or How America Became a Nation of Sharecroppers)
‘Wall Street Godfather’ Explains Why Bernie Is Best for U.S. Economy

Although the following essays were published on April 1, they are not April Fools tales.

The Clinton Campaign Collapse has been documented by a number of trustworthy sources.

It's only a surprise to those not paying attention.

And it's not Republicans doing the ratting out.

Feeling the Bern from the pen of Seth Abramson:

. . . today, Public Policy Polling, a widely respected polling organization, released a poll showing that Sanders leads Clinton among African-American voters in Wisconsin by 11 points.
It’s all part of a dramatic national trend that has seen Clinton’s support among nonwhite voters dwindle to well under a third of what it was just a month ago — not nearly enough support to carry her, as it did throughout the Deep South, to future electoral victories in the Midwest and Northeast.
So no, it’s not a coincidence that, in the 18 state primary elections since March 1st, Bernie Sanders has won on Election Day in 12 of them.
(That’s right: Bernie won among live and provisional ballots in Arizona, Illinois, and Missouri.)
Of Clinton’s five post-March 1st Election Day wins, four (Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and North Carolina) were in the South, and were made possible by a level of support among nonwhite voters that Clinton no longer enjoys.

Indeed, this coalition was already collapsing when Clinton won in Florida and North Carolina on March 15th. At the polls in North Carolina on Election Day, Clinton won just 52 percent to 48 percent, including the tens of thousands of provisional ballots cast (which, still being counted, have gone, as expected, 57 percent for Senator Sanders). In Florida, the 36-point edge Clinton held in the first three weeks of early voting (February 15th to March 7th) dwindled to a 13.4-point edge among those who made their decision regarding who to vote for from March 8th to March 15th.

In short, the Clinton campaign is in the midst of an historic collapse — much of it due to the unraveling of support for Clinton among nonwhite voters — and the national media has yet to take any notice.

Clinton’s 48-point lead in New York less than two weeks ago is now just a 12-point lead, according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll. That poll shows Sanders with approximately 300 percent more support among African-American voters in New York than he had in Mississippi earlier this month.

Meanwhile, in the only poll taken in Indiana, Sanders is said to be beating Clinton handily.

Sanders is leading by 8 points in West Virginia.

And the only polling done so far in Kentucky — among nearly 1,000 students at the University of Kentucky — has Sanders up on Clinton there by more than 70 points.

But what the latest "Reuters" polling underscores is that even Clinton’s support in the South has collapsed.

Between February 27th and March 26th, Clinton’s lead among Southerners — the group whose primary votes (and thus delegates) comprise the entirety of her 228-delegate lead over Bernie Sanders — decreased from 15 points to just 6. Given the percentage of Southern Democrats who are African-American, even without cross-tabs available there is reason to believe Clinton’s declining numbers among nonwhite voters are partially responsible for this decline. Certainly, it was the strength of Clinton’s support among this polling demographic that assured Clinton of massive delegate hauls in nearly every Southern state: according to CNN exit polling, on March 1st black voters in Mississippi favored Clinton by 77 points, in Georgia by 71 points, in Virginia by 68 points, in Texas by 68 points, in Tennessee by 79 points, in Arkansas by 66 points, and in Alabama by a whopping 85 points.

Now that Clinton’s lead among black voters nationwide is fluctuating between the high single-digits and the mid-teens, it appears the sort of voting margins among nonwhite voters that made Clinton’s present delegate lead possible are never coming back.

Case-in-point: last week, Sanders beat Clinton in three of the ten most diverse states in America (Hawaii, Washington, and Alaska) by 39.8 points, 45.6 points, and 61.5 points, respectively.

Yet even after “Western Saturday,” the media clung to its narrative that Sanders cannot win among nonwhite voters, arguing — sometimes implicitly, often explicitly — that only strong performances among African-American voters would be sufficient to dislodge the narrative the fourth estate has run with about Sanders since late 2015. Indeed, after the release of the latest Marquette University poll in Wisconsin, Harry Enten of tweeted, “All I see on the Democratic side is the Marquette poll matching the demographic expectations [in the primary race].”

In fact, the poll showed Clinton leading Sanders among all nonwhite voters by a mere 16 percent.

Again, as a point of comparison, Clinton beat Sanders by 82 points among nonwhite voters in Alabama, by 66 in Arkansas, 62 in Georgia, 71 in Tennessee, 48 in Texas, and 52 in Virginia.

Outcry among Sanders supporters at the false narrative regarding Sanders and nonwhite voters continues to go unheard, even as, today, Public Policy Polling data showed the Senator beating Clinton among black voters in Wisconsin by 11 points. Instead of a mass mea culpa from the media, Sanders supporters were confronted with a Chicago Tribune column, published today, that says of polling in the Democratic primary race, “Of course polls can change, but there’s no particular reason to believe they will.”
No reason indeed.

Three weeks ago, Sanders won Michigan while losing among nonwhite voters by 29 points. So the 16-point deficit reported by Marquette and the 11-point advantage reported by PPP constitute dramatic improvements for Sanders over even a recent winning performance in the Midwest — in fact, Sanders’ most important win of this election season. This bodes well for Sanders’ future performance in other key Midwestern states like Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Indiana.

As for Sanders’ performance among nonwhite voters in the Northeast — where New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Jersey voters will head to the polls in the coming weeks — it’s always been substantially stronger than the media, again inexplicably stuck on Deep-South exit polls, has claimed it to be.

In Massachusetts, Sanders lost the nonwhite vote by only 18 points, per CNN exit polling. In New Hampshire, where close to 20,000 nonwhite voters cast ballots back in February, Sanders actually won the nonwhite vote 50 percent to 49 percent.

In short, when the media — which seems to be reporting election results as though today were the “SEC Primary” — indicates that Sanders is in trouble in upcoming states with slightly more diverse populations, it’s not clear what recent numbers they’re looking at. Though the nonwhite voting population in the upcoming primaries and caucuses is exclusively a Midwestern and Northeastern one, the media appears to be ignoring all extant data from Wisconsin, Michigan, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire in favor of exit polls from states — like Alabama — that are nothing like these four politically, culturally, or in any other respect.

For those wondering about the exit polls in the Midwestern states that voted in mid-March — for instance, Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri — we can say that these, too, show that Clinton’s lead among nonwhite voters outside of the Deep South is nothing like it was in those red-state strongholds.

In Illinois, Sanders won Latino voters 50 percent to 49 percent and lost African-American voters by a percentage (-40) midway between his recent, improved performance in Wisconsin and his March 1st performance in the Deep South (-73.5 average). These numbers were born out also in Missouri, where Sanders lost African-American voters by 35 points and nonwhite voters by 23 points. These data aren’t surprising or disheartening for Sanders or his supporters — indeed, the figures, taken together, are almost algebraic — given that Sanders lost African-American voters by 73.5 points on March 1st, 40 points on March 15th, and was ahead in Wisconsin among this group by 11 points by March 31st.

In other words, nonwhite voting offers the media a clear and unambiguous narrative about Sanders — an unmissable trajectory — if only they’re willing to see it.

And the same dramatic trajectory — albeit in the opposite direction — is evident for Clinton.

Indeed, putting aside for a moment her loss of support among African-American voters, Clinton has offered the media a narrative of her domination among Latino voters that likewise has taken a serious hit of late.

While Clinton won early voting in Arizona — which took place around the time of voting in the Deep South — by a 25.4 percent margin, Election Day and provisional ballots in the heavily Latino state (which all came in as Sanders was decimating Clinton’s lead among nonwhite voters in mid-March) favored Sanders 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent (82,470 votes for Sanders, 77,849 for Clinton). Given that Arizona has the sixth-largest Latino population of any American state, it’s exceedingly difficult to imagine Sanders beating Clinton in non-early voting there by nearly 3 points without performing exponentially better among Latinos than he had at the beginning of the month (e.g., his 42-point loss among Latinos in Texas on March 1st, which contributed substantially to his 32-point loss in the state).

It’s worth noting, too, that Arizona still has thousands of predominantly Sanders-voter provisional ballots to count, so the Senator’s 3-point margin in Election Day and provisional voting there is almost certain to widen. And the counties now giving him the largest additional margin in provisional voting are counties with sizable populations of Latino voters.

In short, there simply is no evidence available to suggest that Hillary Clinton’s robust coalition of nonwhite voters still exists — certainly not in anything like the form it was just four weeks ago. How else to explain an 82-point margin among nonwhite voters in Alabama, and similar margins in every other Southern state, on March 1st, and just a 6-point lead among all Southern Democrats (who are, depending upon the state, between 27 percent and 71 percent African-American) on March 26th?

Indeed, even where Clinton now outperforms Sanders among nonwhite voters, the margin — when and as there is one — is perfectly in keeping with competitive politics in the contemporary era. And it is dwarfed, as it happens, by Sanders’ lead among other key groups, notably voters under 30 (particularly Latino voters under 30) and independent voters.

The Clinton-Sanders tilt remains at a stage in which nearly all the real-time data favors Sanders, and all the television and print coverage favors Clinton because of a delegate lead she built up during Deep-South voting a month ago. The race as it is being reported therefore bears no relation to the race as it is, which is why the Clinton camp has all but pulled out of Wisconsin — anticipating a sizable loss there that will emphasize the momentum (actual and internals-supported) Sanders developed in Mountain-state and Western voting over the past two weeks.

Consider: in North Carolina two weeks ago, Sanders handily defeated Clinton among white voters (+9) and narrowly lost among all voters on Election Day (-4). However, the Senator’s performance (-61) among African-American voters — many of whom voted early, well before March 15th — doomed him to lose the state as a whole by 13.8 percent.

If Sanders had had the African-American support during early voting (and some Election Day voting) in North Carolina that he enjoys today, he would have lost all voting in North Carolina by fewer than four and a half points — 52.7 percent to 47.3 percent (514,447 for Clinton, 460,828 for Sanders). But here’s the key:  in a Midwestern or Northeastern state, rather than a Southern one — indeed, in any state with racial and ethnic demographics in the middle 50 percent of American states — those same internals would result in a massive Sanders win.

Which, as it happens, is what the State of Wisconsin may well be for Sanders in just five days.

6 Ways Hillary Clinton Fails At Basic Progressive Politics

I'm guessing not much has come out publicly about the last reported sexual trysts of federal agents.

But I could be wrong.

Appeals Court:  FBI Whistleblower Wrongfully Terminated for Revealing Sex Trips By Agents

A federal appeals court ruled in late February that an FBI whistleblower, who reported fraud and sexual misconduct involving prostitutes, was wrongfully terminated in October 2010.
Lieutenant Colonel John C. Parkinson worked as a special agent in the FBI as part of a Special Operations Group ground team. He reported that an undercover facility for FBI operations was compromised in 2006 because pilots, Special Agents Steven Broce and Andrew Marshall, allegedly engaged in sexual acts with women, who were brought back to the facility. The pilots also allegedly participated in activities, which cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars over a number of years.

Parkinson attempted to use proper channels to blow the whistle on the agents’ misconduct, but Parkinson’s supervisors chose to ignore his claims. When Parkinson went to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in the Justice Department to report wrongdoing, the investigation into Broce and Marshall eventually targeted Parkinson after those implicated in his whistleblower disclosures made counter-allegations against Parkinson.

Parkinson brought his claims related to his wrongful termination before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), which hears claims from civil service employees related to violations of their rights.
Typically, the MSPB does not hear cases brought by FBI agents, but Parkinson was able to pursue his case because he is a “preference eligible veteran” and was enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit dismissed [PDF] a “lack of candor” charge brought against Parkinson under the FBI Offense Code. He was accused of providing “false information” or concealing information when he reported wrongdoing. The appeals court found no substantive evidence to back up this charge.

The appeals court also found the MSPB “improperly precluded Parkinson” from raising a whistleblower retaliation defense.

From Trump and the Liberal Intelligentsia:  a View from Europe:

The Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, who is also an outsider, has at least warned his voters that he could not succeed as President without a popular movement behind him (which is the truth). But the same goes for Trump, except that Trump presents himself as the providential leader who can manage everything by himself.

The real risk of a Trump presidency is not a “fascist threat,” but the likelihood that he would not do much of anything that he has promised his voters but instead would pursue the standard policies with more vigor.

Another amusing aspect of the respectable left’s anti-Trump campaigns is to present him as scandalously unique and unacceptable because of his “racism.” But what is racism after all? A bad attitude toward people who are different? Trump speaks wildly of excluding certain categories of people from the United States on the basis of who they are. But for decades respectable U.S. leaders have been excluding millions of people who are “not like us” from life itself.

How would a Trump presidency be worse than the Vietnam war, than the bombing of Cambodia and Laos, than all the Middle East wars, than support to apartheid in South Africa, than to Suharto’s massacres in Indonesia or to Israel in each of its wars? How would it be worse than massacres in Central America or the overthrow of governments in Latin America or in Iran? Or worse than the embargoes causing hardship to the peoples of Cuba, Iran, Iraq, as well as the arms races imposed on countries obliged to try to defend themselves from US hostility and threats?

American liberal intellectuals who are horrified by Trump are quick to forget what their own country has inflicted on the “ROW” – that rest of the world where it is okay to kill masses of people, not out of “racism”, oh no, that is not nice. But killed because they have bad leaders, or bad ideas, or even – the story goes – because they need to be protected.

As commentator John Walsh asked, which is worse, denigrating people because of their race or religion or killing them by the hundreds of thousands? Who among the liberal intellectuals will denounce Hillary Clinton’s policy as racist? But can anybody believe for a second that Clinton would have supported the devastation of Iraq, Libya and Gaza, or that her friend Madeleine Albright would have considered the deaths of 500,000 children in Iraq to be “worth it”, if either of them considered the victims of those policies to be really human?

But since we live in a culture where words matter more than acts, and Clinton is perfectly politically correct in her way of speaking, such racism is invisible.

Of course, what finally matters is not to know whether all those people were killed out of “racism,” but the fact that they were killed in avoidable, non-defensive wars waged by the United States.

One might reply that precisely because of his “racism,” Trump would be even worse. But there is no sign of that. He is the first major political figure to call for “America First” meaning non-interventionism. He not only denounces the trillions of dollars spent in wars, deplores the dead and wounded American soldiers, but also speaks of the Iraqi victims of a war launched by a Republican President. He does so to a Republican public and manages to win its support.

He denounces the empire of US military bases, claiming to prefer to build schools here in the United States. He wants good relations with Russia.

He observes that the militarist policies pursued for decades have caused the United States to be hated throughout the world.

He calls Sarkozy a criminal who should be judged for his role in Libya. Another advantage of Trump:  he is detested by the neoconservatives, who are the main architects of the present disaster.

Even though he is far from being a pacifist (impossible among Republicans), the left has been so thoroughly taken in by the delusions of humanitarian imperialism that Trump’s program ends up looking like the most progressive on the political scene in a long time. (Even Bernie Sanders has not denounced the intervention policy so sharply.)

In light of his unorthodox views on foreign policy, it is a bit too easy to attribute all his success to the supposed racism of his supporters. As Thomas Frank explains, if millions of Americans support Trump, it is because they see in him the embodiment of their own revolt against the establishment, right and left, in their perfect division of labor.

The right wants to ensure access to markets, as its neoconservative branch promotes endless wars against supposed threats, while the left provides “human rights” arguments as pretexts.

The issue of protectionism versus free trade is complicated, but the class aspect cannot be denied. For people with stable incomes, it can be advantageous to import goods produced in low-wage countries or to use services provided by workers from those countries. But for those who would otherwise produce those goods or provide those services, that competition is a problem, and they are bound to respond favorably to Trump’s speeches in favor of protectionism and of limiting immigration.

The intellectual left (who mostly enjoy stable incomes, for example in universities) has totally ignored this problem by viewing the issue solely in moral terms:  wouldn’t it be marvelous to live in a world open to others, without racism or discrimination?

In short, the message to the white worker who lost his job as a result of delocalizations, with no better prospect than delivering pizza, that he should be delighted to live in a multicultural world where one can eat sushi, listen to African music and take vacations in Morocco. He is told that he must absolutely not make any racist, sexist or homophobic remarks, that gay marriage is a huge progress and that the ideal society is not one aiming at relatively equal conditions for all, but rather an “equal opportunity” society in which there is no limit on economic inequalities so long as they do not result from discriminations against minorities.

All is well if one can find a good number of women, blacks and homosexuals among the billionaires.

That is essentially the way of thinking that has dominated the left for decades.

The working class has been totally forgotten, most of all the white working class which, as Chomsky recently stressed, is the big loser in all this wonderful globalization – so much so that its life expectancy has begun to decline, more than any other ethnic group in the United States.

Once the left abandons relative equality of condition as its goal in favor of equal opportunity, it is also playing the card of identity politics, by focusing above all on what makes us different from each other. By emphasizing minorities, by showing concern for whatever is supposed to be different, or marginal, economically privileged intellectuals are unaware of the class aspect of this discourse, in which the bad guy is inevitably the ordinary guy, who must be racist, nationalist, stuck in his narrow outlook.

The implicit contempt expressed for the white Christian majority, supposedly eternally privileged thanks to the hazards of birth, at a time when it is in fact in total disarray, in economic and moral crisis, was bound to produce a reaction. Trump’s campaign can be partly seen as a “white identity” reaction to identity politics, which elicits cries of indignation from the well-thinking left. The problem was to start playing the game of identity politics.

In many respects, the success of the Sanders campaign, even if it is weaker among Democrats than that of Trump among Republicans, also expresses the revolt of the masses against the elites, but without the “white identity reaction” (which remains totally politically incorrect on the left) and with fewer isolationist tendencies, since while Sanders stresses the need to rebuild America, he has in the past shown a weakness for the notion of humanitarian intervention.

Finally, we must ask what the Trump campaign means for us, the vassals, European citizens of the Empire deprived of the right to vote in the United States. First of all, that popular revolt in a country which is supposed to be the vanguard of all that is for the best, and which our “European construction” strives to imitate while following its lead, is a problem for our elites. Jeremy Corbyn’s election as head of the British Labour Party as well as the rise of various parties labeled “extreme right” in continental Europe are somewhat analogous to the Sanders and Trump phenomena in the United States.

Here too, the ruling class consensus in favor of maximum opening of markets as well as confrontation with the rest of the world in the name of human rights is beginning to collapse.

As things go from bad to worse, our political class grasps at a single straw, a single hope for salvation:  Hillary Clinton. And it still looks likely that the mobilization of mass media, of transnational business, of the great majority of intellectuals, entertainment celebrities, human rights activists and churches will succeed in defeating Sanders and, with help from the latter, in defeating Trump in November. We shall then be faced with four, or perhaps eight, years of even more militarism, threats of war and war itself, while our self-styled left celebrates the latest victory of democracy, feminism and anti-racism.

But popular discontent will continue to grow. Those who fear seeing it culminate in the rise of someone worse than Trump should not count on the “Queen of Chaos” but rather go on from the movement for Sanders to build a more radical alternative.

Translated by Diana Johnstone.

New York Times Hypes Financial Industry Scare Story on Public Pensions

Most newspapers try to avoid the self-serving studies that industry groups put out to try to gain public support for their favored policies. But apparently the New York Times does not feel bound by such standards. It ran a major news story on a study by Citigroup that was designed to scare people about the state of public pensions and encourage them to trust more of their retirement savings to the financial industry.

Both the article and the study itself seem intended to scare more than inform.

Max and Stacy intend to inform us about the economics of crime and stupidity, of which there seems to be an abundance now - witness the street screamers trying to communicate their angst.

Max begins by quoting Hunter S. Thompson and ends speaking of the solutions not being pursued by those with the power to make a difference in our world.

It's pretty scary for millions, especially those without jobs on limited incomes.

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