Regular updates on matters relating to the 2016 U.S. elections for the Democratic and Republican Party nominee for president, and beyond . . .

Hallelujah?

 

SNL's undoubtedly very talented Kate McKinnon performed a part of Leonard Cohen's beautiful song "Hallelujah" for the opening of Saturday Night Live on October 12, 2016. Leonard Cohen had sadly died earlier in the week (shortly after Trump won the presidential election). 

At the end of her performance, McKinnon (who had portrayed Clinton in various pro-Hillary propaganda pieces on SNL leading up to the election) turns to camera and enigmatically says: "I'm not giving up, and neither should you".

 

In the view of stoningroll.com, SNL's editorial decision to allow (or request) Hillary-impersonator McKinnon to open the show with this pro-Hillary fragment of Cohen's song was one of the most disgraceful and cynical pieces of propaganda put out by Comcast during this entire election cycle, spanning well over a year. NBC is owned by Comcast which has been one of Hillary's largest donors during the election. Comcast also owns political channel MSNBC, and tells conservative pundits like Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes what their overall (pro-corporate Democrat, anti-progressive) agenda will be. 

 

Comcast made the disgusting decision to use the topical death of Leonard Cohen as a means to a political end, in a ridiculous attempt to portray Saint Hillary as a beacon of light fighting for the right and the good (whilst simultaneously deflecting attention away from the fact that she had lost the election despite their best efforts to promote her). You know - Saint Hillary of promoting the military coup in Honduras, and sending children refugees back to that country? The Saint Hillary of Haiti? The Saint Hillary of voting for Iraq (having been duped by George Bush)? The Saint Hillary of the working class? The Saint Hillary of Goldman Sachs? The Saint Hillary of providing arms to Saudi Arabia, who provide them in turn to terrorists? The Saint Hillary of super-predators? The Saint Hillary of regime-change war?

 

Now, post-election, the strategy of the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate overlords is to disparage the progressive wing of the Democratic Party as much as possible. Rhode scholar Rachel Maddow has cast aspersions on those who voted third party in the election, despite the demonstrable fact that those votes did not help Trump since most were for Gary Johnson who took votes from Trump not Hillary.

 

 

She has even done a post-election smear piece on Bernie Sanders.

 

Relatedly, Hayes has provided a patronizing and fallacious straw-man argument suggesting that those who listened to online alternative media news are partly responsible for Hillary's defeat.

 

No. Whilst some bogus online sites exist, there are many online news outlets that are much more objective than their corporate counter-parts. Some to look at are Democracy Now, Counterpunch, The Intercept, The Humanist Report, etc. More satirical sites include Redacted Tonight and The Jimmy Dore Show. Ironically, the reason people turned to such online broadcasts was because they were aware that the corporate media was propaganda for Hillary.

 

Lastly, we hear nothing in the mainstream news about how Hillary's campaign payed online trolls to counteract pro-Bernie comments in the editorial sections of newspapers across the USA during the primaries, nothing about how the DNC colluded with the media to sabotage Bernie's campaign, and nothing currently regarding the protests about the Dakota Access Pipeline. Rachel? Chris? Your response . .

 

It's your loss, bullet-point

 

So, big surprise. Hillary lost. Why?

 

- not because of third party voters contrary to Rachel Maddow. Most of those voted for Gary Johnson, who took votes from Trump not Hillary. Jill Stein votes if added to Hillary in key states would have made no difference.

- anyway, politicians are not entitled to your vote based on the fact that someone else on the ballot is portrayed as (and maybe is) worse than them. You are free to vote for anyone, and politicians have to earn your vote. 

- not because of a faction of racist Trump voters. Majority of Trump votes came from those who are against trade deals that Bernie was also against, especially the TPP. 

- overall, Hillary was a very uninspiring candidate for people who were/are concerned about the economy, the environment and foreign policy.

- not because of media bias against her! The pro-Hillary media built Trump up with massive ratings-generating free air time, thinking that he would not win the Republican primaries. When he did win, they tried to discredit him but it was too late by that point despite their smear attacks.

- not because of Wiki-Leaks. As far as the primaries were concerned, the leaked e-mails proved what we all (including Trump) knew already i.e. that the DNC and media were anti-Bernie. As far as Hillary's prior career in politics is concerned, Bernie supporters did not need leaked e-mails to know about Hillary's disingenuousness and corruption. 

 

 

- she lost because:

 

- she had no positive message for the electorate. She put too much emphasis on the facts that she is a woman and that she is not Donald Trump.

- she decided that federal rules did not apply to her in using a private e-mail server/providing a record of those e-mails/ deleting (permanently) more than 30,000 such e-mails AFTER being subpoenaed to produce them. FBI director Comey's decision to tell Congress of his decision to re-open the investigation into Hillary's private e-mail server a little more than a week before the election was certainly politically damaging to Hillary's campaign, but it would be absurd to claim that the fact that the FBI were doing their job and revealed this to Congress is something that Hillary can complain about.

- she included free college tuition in her (non-binding) platform as a patronizing attempt to court young votes to make it look as if Bernie had pushed her left, whilst picking pro-TPP conservative Tim Kaine for VP, almost entirely ignoring protests at the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), courting the votes of Republicans after STEALING the primary nomination in cahoots with the mainstream media (big sponsors to her campaign) and giving a luke-warm rebuke of Wall Street whilst taking hundreds of thousands of dollars for private speeches to them (which leaks later revealed to advocate a dishonest public and private position on policy).

- of her lies and disingenuousness throughout her career and during the primaries (see the other relevant op ed pieces on stoningroll.com). People were skeptical about her vague claims about e.g. "building bridges". She provided empty rhetoric, claiming she had put forward "detailed proposals" despite never talking about them. 

- of her endorsement by President Obama (and also Michelle Obama) which was seen by many as phony given Hillary's vitriolic 2008 campaign election when both Hillary and Trump were involved in the racist Obama birther issue. 

- of the endorsement by celebrity musicians such as Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi etc. which was seen as phony. Such endorsement and performances (e.g. at the DNC conference in Philadelphia, and the night prior to the election in the area beside Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell) were viewed by many as the only way Hillary could fool people into thinking she was an inspiring candidate. (Compare Bernie being able to pack football stadiums, Mick Jagger style, with supporters inspired just by his policies). Trump's reply to Hillary in Philly was that he didn't need a guitar or piano, vocalizing explicitly what Bernie had implicitly shown.

- Obamacare premiums are set to rise by around 25% on average in 2017, when many are struggling to pay their current 2016 premiums. Remember, Obama in his 2008 campaign wanted universal health care like Bernie did in 2016.

- Hillary is a war-hawk, endorsed by Henry Kissinger who is seen by many as a war-criminal. Hillary has advocated a no-fly zone in Syria requiring boots on the ground and possible confrontation with nuclear-power Russia

- Hillary is basically a republican (who dressed up as a Democrat for Halloween - thanks to Jimmy Dore for this joke!)

- was disingenuous or lied during primaries (regarding Vermont guns coming into New York, Michigan auto bailout etc. - see other relevant op ed pieces on stoningroll.com).

- Hillary was involved in supporting a military coup in Honduras, deporting children back to that country, lowering the minimum wage in Haiti despite claiming that she wanted to increase it from the already scandalously low amount it was previously at.

- Hillary was perceived as lying to congress and to the American people regarding her involvement with classified material on a private e-mail server

- Hillary has been perceived as massively untrustworthy and dishonest. See other relevant op ed pieces at stoningroll.com e.g. her claim about being under sniper-fire in Bosnia, being named Hillary after Sir Edmund Hillary etc.

- of the legacy of her husband who wanted to privatize Medicare, his actions regarding welfare reform, prison privatization, crime bill etc.

- of her husband's deregulation of the media such that only six companies control all media in the USA (as opposed to 50 before).

- of her role in discrediting the women that Bill had sex with e.g. Monica Lewinsky.

 

 

 

 

The Prisoner's dilemma and Election 2016

 

Suppose there are two prisoners, detained in separate cells, with no way of communicating with each other. We can imagine that the District Attorney knows that she has enough evidence right now, in order to convict both prisoners on a lesser charge, but she will only be able to get a conviction on a more serious charge if she can get at least one of them to incriminate the other. The D.A. offers the prisoners a deal, (making it clear to each that the other prisoner is getting the same deal). The deal is this:

 

If you incriminate the other prisoner of a major charge, he will get the death penalty and you will go free, provided that there is no evidence against you. If you both incriminate each other, you will both stay in prison for life. If you remain silent, and the other prisoner incriminates you, then it will be you who faces the death penalty (and he will go free). If you both remain silent, then you will both stay in prison, but for a limited term, on a lesser charge.

 

Suppose you are rationally self-interested (you only ever do anything if you have reason to believe it will be of the most benefit / least harm for yourself out of available options) and find yourself in the above situation – what should you do?

 

The other prisoner can either incriminate you or not incriminate you. Suppose first that the other prisoner is going to incriminate you. Since you want to do what is in your own best interest, you want to avoid the scenario in which he incriminates you but you don’t incriminate him (because in that scenario you would get the death penalty). So in that case you should incriminate the other prisoner, being rationally self-interested. Alternatively, suppose the other prisoner is going to remain silent. If you are rationally self-interested, you should incriminate him, for in that case you will go free and he will get the death penalty. So no matter what the other prisoner does, if you are rationally self-interested, you should ‘sing like a bird’ (incriminate!). Since exactly parallel reasoning applies for the other prisoner, he will incriminate you, and you will both end up incriminating each other. This will result in your both getting life in prison, yet if you both had stayed silent, you would have only served a limited term! Paradoxically, *it was not in each individual prisoner’s rational best interest to act according to his individual rational best interest*, in the situation just described. If each prisoner had not acted out of rational self-interest, then they both would have been better off.

 

The paradox is not solved by claiming that since rationally self-interested prisoner A knows what deal rationally self-interested prisoner B is getting, and vice versa, they will both choose to remain silent, since they each can see that if they each choose this option they will each get five years instead of life imprisonment. For suppose that they do (independently of each other) come to realize this – each will soon also realize that if *he* (the other prisoner) is going to remain silent, then *I* should incriminate; since this secures a better outcome for me than five years in prison – I get off free. In fact, since I know that the other prisoner is also rationally self-interested, I know that he will soon reach the same conclusion, and he will thus decide to incriminate me (hoping that I am going to remain silent). In which case it is even more urgent for me to incriminate him, for otherwise I’d face the death penalty.

 

Situations approximating to the above do occur in real life. Suppose the powers that be in the Pentagon reason as follows. Either other nuclear powers (e.g. Russia) will continue to remain armed, or they will not. If they do remain armed, then it is rational for us to remain armed, because if we disarm they will be able to dominate us. Alternatively, suppose they are going to disarm – if so, we should still remain armed, since then we will be able to dominate them. So no matter what they do, we should not disarm, *if we (i.e. the relevant governmental powers) are rationally self-interested*. But since the same sort of reasoning will be followed by our enemys' rationally self-interested military strategists, everyone will remain armed, pouring vast amounts of money into their military defense budgets, (which might otherwise have been used for universal single-payer health care, medical research, student-loan forgiveness, tuition-free college etc.) and everyone will be worse off than if they had disarmed.

 

A similar point can be made in the context of the current presidential election. After Hillary and the DNC colluded with the mainstream media to steal the Democratic nomination from Bernie, that same media has constantly bullied people to be rationally self-interested and vote for the lesser of two evils. Although they may not often explicitly characterize Hillary as the lesser of two evils, the clear position of CNN and MSNBC is that the lesser evil between Hillary and Trump is Hillary. Bearing in mind how these media outlets are owned by Time Warner and Comcast, both of whom are big donors to Hillary, consider the significance of the mainstream media's insistence that it would be irrational not to follow one's self-interest when voting in this presidential election. 

 

The first point to note is that the mainstream media are constructing a false prison, which we all can walk out of at any time if we have the key - knowledge. They have bombarded the public with propaganda all day everyday for the last year favoring the two main party candidates. Third party candidates (especially Jill Stein) have at first been ignored, then ignored/smeared. This has undoubtedly created the strong impression in the electorate that only one or other major party candidate has a chance of winning the election.

 

However, it is only likely that one or other main party candidate will win the election because that is how the public have been manipulated by the media. If one were fully informed, no rationally self-interested person (who e.g. wants their children to be able to live in a habitable environment) would vote either of these two candidates since neither are committed to doing anything serious about climate change, regulating Wall Street, working towards world peace, etc. It is no wonder that third party candidates were locked out of the presidential debates by the two-party partisan commission for presidential debates (who took over the debates from the league of women voters in the 1980's, whether they liked it or not (they did not, calling the take-over a fraud on the American public).).

 

We are constantly told by media supporters and surrogates of both Hillary and Trump that despite the shortcomings of their preferred candidate, a vote for a third party candidate is in effect a vote for the enemy (and greater of the two evils - Hillary or Trump). If one is rationally self-interested (says the mainstream media) one ought to choose the lesser of these two evils (even if you really dislike that candidate).

 

A vote for Hillary is widely seen as a vote for TPP, pro-Wall street, fracking, more war and possibly nuclear conflict with Russia over Syria given Hillary's proposed no-fly zone. A vote for Trump is portrayed as a vote for a dangerously unpredictable president who ought not to have access to the nuclear missile codes. The two main candidates are the most disliked and mistrusted presidential candidates in history, yet we are constantly bullied and told that we need to be self-interested and vote for one or the other.

 

The consequence of acquiescing to the demands of the media bullies will be that when you vote for the candidate you believe to be the lesser of two evils, and if that candidate wins, the country will be in a worse state than it would have been if you had voted third party (Jill Stein in particular). Just as in the prisoner's dilemma, when following one's rational self-interest was paradoxically not in one's self-interest, the same is true in the presidential election if one has been conditioned by the mainstream media and/or two main candidates to accept that voting third-party is in effect a vote for the opposing candidate. 

 

Just as if each prisoner in the dilemma would have been better off if they had not followed their own rational self-interest and incriminated (analogously, not voted against the candidate they feared most), voters who traditionally vote Democrat or Republican would be better off voting third party in this election, for reasons directly analogous to the prisoner's dilemma. 

 

In this election, you the voter are a prisoner. Remember you can vote for freedom, and walk out of the false prison that the media have constructed for you.

 

(Voters - does the following sound familiar? Hillary Clinton 2016, George Orwell 1984.)

(From) Shelley: The Mask of Anarchy

 

Let a vast assembly be

And with great solemnity

Declare with measured words that ye

Are as God has made thee - free!

 

Rise like lions after slumber

In unvanquishable number

Shake your chains to earth like dew

Which in sleep had fallen on you

Ye are many, they are few.

 

 

 

 

 

Hill & Don V Jill: A philosophical profile

 

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump should be classified as ethical egoists, philosophically. Ethical egoism is a version of consequentialism, which claims that only the consequences of actions (or policies) are morally significant (i.e. the intention which underlies a voluntary action is morally irrelevant). Consequentialism's more familiar son is utilitarianism. Whereas both ethical egoism and utilitarianism are kinds of consequentialism, and agree that an action/policy is morally required if it produces the best consequences out of all available alternatives, they differ in their explanation of the concept of "best consequence". 

 

On the utilitarian view, an action (or policy) produces the best consequence out of all available alternatives if it produces the greatest amount of pleasure/happiness for *all* affected by the outcome of the action/policy (on the utilitarian view, since non-human animals can experience pleasure/happiness, they too ought to be considered in policy decisions).

 

Alternatively, on the ethical egoism account, an action (or policy) produces the best consequence out of all available alternatives if it produces the greatest amount of pleasure/happiness for yours truly, i.e. I/ME/MINE. On this view, although it is *possible* for human beings to be altruistic and help others simply because they need help, one ought never to be altruistic. One only ever ought morally to do anything for anyone else out of self-interest. If one's own interest is not furthered, one ought not help (in fact doing so would be morally wrong on this account of morality).

 

On any account of consequentialism, whether utilitarian (of which there are several possibilities) or ethical egoism (again, more than one kind is possible), a common complaint is that no action or policy is ever morally wrong in itself. There is no such thing as an act or policy that is intrinsically morally wrong - something that in virtue of its nature should not be done (e.g. rape, or if policy, enacted as law, e.g. slavery, a regime-change war against another country, supporting a military coup against a democratically elected leader in another country (Honduras, under Hillary) or more recently the Dakota Access Pipeline, the TPP - trans pacific partnership etc.).

 

Interestingly, a corollary of ethical egoism is that since nothing is prohibited morally if it furthers one's own interests, it follows that one is not only permitted but one is morally obliged to lie whenever this is convenient in that regard. 

 

Against these broadly consequentialist ways of thinking, one tradition championed by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, referred to as deontology, stresses the importance of doing one's duty for its own sake regardless of consequence. On this view of ethics, it's just wrong to take indigenous people's land from them, then charge them of trespassing on that land, and to threaten to ruin their water and disregard their culture and beliefs for the sake of corporate profit as Obama and Hillary are currently doing (as of October 2016). A tenet of the deontological view is that lying is just wrong, regardless of consequence.

 

Equally, from a deontologist point of view, it is just morally wrong to take money from donors (as a political candidate) with the intention of furthering the donors' agenda regardless of the damage that may do to the environment and / or society / the world in general.

 

Hopefully one can begin to see which of these three categories the candidates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein fall into. Hillary and Donald, despite their superficial differences are both ethical egoists. Hillary is more subtle in her lies than Donald, but they both are inveterate liars. From their moral point of view (and despite their pantomime espousals of religious affiliations) lying is morally permissible - for anything at all is morally permissible if it furthers your own interests. Deleting e-mails, breaking the law and lying about it, lying about sexual predation etc., all falls into the same category of ethical egoism.

 

A poignant difference between Clinton and Trump on the one hand, and Jill Stein on the other, is that unlike Hill and Don, Jill Stein is not an ethical egoist. In my view, she believes that some things are just morally right / wrong in virtue of their nature and not because of consequences. Although global peace, no TPP, no DAPL, universal health care for all, free public college tuition, an end to student debt in the circumstances in the USA in 2016, urgent action on climate change etc. will (as a by-product) have good consequences for people and planet, that is not their moral rationale. The rationale is just that these things are morally right.

 

Someone was knocking on the door, not just Hill and Don, but Jill Stein too!

 

Phil and Don (The Everly Brothers) say: Despite all the media cheating - Let it be Jill!

 

What's going on? Initial thoughts:

 

- The corporate media (MSNBC, CNN) owned by Comcast and Time Warner etc. (donors for Hillary) are putting out propaganda for Hillary. The air time for Trump is just for ratings.

- The corporate media is refusing to cover any news story that would shed the political establishment in a bad light - e.g. regarding the utter failure of Hillary (despite her campaign promises) to stand up for the rights of Native Americans including those of Standing Rock Sioux, and their battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline which would devastate their water (having already wrecked their ancient burial grounds). 

- No coverage whatsoever is given to the immorality of the Commission for Presidential Debates imposing a fraud on American voters, by excluding from the debates any third party candidates despite the fact that they are on enough ballots nationally to win the election.

- Is this China? Is this Russia? What country do we live in?

 

Many will agree that Hillary and Trump are both inveterate liars. On a consequentialist view of ethics, being a liar is morally required if lying produces the best consequences (either for me personally on ethical egoism, or for everyone on utilitarianism) out of the available alternatives. Maybe Hillary and Trump are consequentialists - this would explain why they have no qualms about lying.

 

We are now asked to choose between these two liars, since we are told by the corporate media (controlled by the corporate oligarchy whose future existence is virtually guaranteed by a two-party system) that one of those liars will more than likely be the next president (the system is rigged like that) rather than a third-party candidate. 

So the question becomes - which liar should I pick? Can I even decide who to pick since I know they are both liars, and probably won't do what they say they'll do for me (or issues I care about)? Choosing between liars, I might as well flip a coin in making my decision.

 

So maybe I should just reject this bull-shit choice between liars, and vote for a third-party candidate who I do not believe to be a liar? The corporate establishment media is telling me not to do that, since voting for a third-party candidate will risk the other liar getting elected rather than the media's preferred liar. However, since I know that the establishment media just lie on behalf of their preferred liar, I can safely ignore their fear-mongering since it is just more lies.

 

I think I've decided what to do - I'm going to vote for a third party candidate. That candidate may or may not become president (which would be the case even if I voted for one of the two liars) but at least I won't be voting for someone who I believe to be a liar. My moral integrity is intact, unlike the integrity of the two main candidates towards whom the show-biz pseudo-objective puppets in the corporate establishment media are attempting to sheep-dog me.

 

 

The FBI have concluded that Hillary was extremely careless regarding her ongoing use of multiple private insecure e-mail servers whilst Secretary of State, but that no clear evidence of criminal intent was discovered (at least none that involves a legal precedent for prosecution, despite the fact that lesser mortals in similar situations have indeed been prosecuted and were ultimately convicted, sentenced to probation, denial of security clearance, fine etc.). 

 

Hillary is on record claiming categorically that she never sent or received classified e-mails using her private server(s): "There were no classified e-mails". However, the FBI have shown that over 100 classified e-mails in 52 e-mail chains were sent/received, eight chains of which contained top secret information. These 100 + e-mails were classified at the time sent/received, not marked as classified later. Hillary's claim to the FBI was that she never knowingly sent classified e-mails through the server(s) in question.

 

The categorical claim that Hillary never sent/received classified information at all (which entails that she had the ability at the time in question to discriminate between classified and non-classified information) has thus been proved false by the FBI. Hillary's claim to the FBI that she did not do so knowingly conveniently lets her pin the blame for the 'mix-up' on her wonderful and experienced (but as it turns out, fallible) staff advisers, as she did in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on July 8 2016. It is worth remembering that after some of Hillary's wonderful staff warned her that using a private server was a bad idea, she responded by commanding them to be quiet and to never mention the topic of her private server(s) again. I don't think you need to be an FBI agent to find it odd that Hillary claimed that her use of private servers was just out of convenience, but when legitimate reasons are mentioned as to why such servers are problematic, she steam-rolls over them.

Ten lies/disingenuous claims of Hillary:

- she claimed she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary (of Mount Everest fame) when she was born in 1947 and Sir Edmund ascended Everest in 1953 (see "The case against Hillary Clinton" by renowned writer and journalist Christopher Hitchens, in the 'Election 2016' area of this site).

 - she claimed to be under sniper-fire on a trip to Bosnia as First Lady in 1996 when she obviously was not (as the news crew accompanying her documented).

One may have noticed that there has recently been growing pressure on Senator Bernie Sanders to drop out of the race for the democratic nomination. Appeals for Senator Sanders to concede defeat have been universally couched (explicitly or implicity) in terms of such concession being a moral requirement. That Bernie should now support Hillary Clinton (and urge his supporters to do the same) has been described as ‘the right thing to do’ and necessary in order to defeat Donald Trump in a general election.

 

Unfortunately for her, many of Bernie’s supporters regard the idea of supporting Hillary Clinton as anathema (especially given the fact that the DNC has not repudiated the bogus declaration by NBC and AP of Hillary being the presumptive nominee on Monday June 6, the day before the California primary; nothing short of voter suppression). A proposed antidote to this anathema has been the recent endorsement of Hillary by her previously Sanders-esque critic Senator Elizabeth Warren (search for Bill Moyers and Elizabeth Warren on YouTube to see Warren’s indictment of Hillary’s flip-flop on the Bankruptcy Law). It remains to be seen whether Senator Warren’s mind-boggling endorsement has the desired effect, or whether the proposed cure turns out (from Hillary's campaign's viewpoint) to be worse than the disease. Either way, one thing is clear: the current media-driven zeitgeist is one in which Bernie supporters ought to vote for Hillary in the general election in November as this would be the lesser of two evils (Trump potentially becoming President the greater of these evils). 

(From slate.com: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2008/01/the_case_against_hillary_clinton.html)

The Case Against Hillary Clinton

Why on earth would we choose to put the Clinton family drama at the center of our politics again?

By Christopher Hitchens

Seeing the name Hillary in a headline last week—a headline about a life that had involved real achievement—I felt a mouse stirring in the attic of my memory. Eventually, I was able to recall how the two Hillarys had once been mentionable in the same breath. On a first-lady goodwill tour of Asia in April 1995—the kind of banal trip that she now claims as part of her foreign-policy "experience"—Mrs. Clinton had been in Nepal and been briefly introduced to the late Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest. Ever ready to milk the moment, she announced that her mother had actually named her for this famous and intrepid explorer. The claim "worked" well enough to be repeated at other stops and even showed up in Bill Clinton's memoirs almost a decade later, as one more instance of the gutsy tradition that undergirds the junior senator from New York. Sen. Clinton was born in 1947, and Sir Edmund Hillary and his partner Tenzing Norgay did not ascend Mount Everest until 1953, so the story was self-evidently untrue and eventually yielded to fact-checking. Indeed, a spokeswoman for Sen. Clinton named Jennifer Hanley phrased it like this in a statement in October 2006, conceding that the tale was untrue but nonetheless charming: "It was a sweet family story her mother shared to inspire greatness in her daughter, to great results I might add." Perfect. It worked, in other words, having been coined long after Sir Edmund became a bankable celebrity, but now its usefulness is exhausted and its untruth can safely be blamed on Mummy. Yet isn't it all—all of it, every single episode and detail of the Clinton saga—exactly like that? And isn't some of it a little bit more serious? For Sen. Clinton, something is true if it validates the myth of her striving and her "greatness" (her overweening ambition in other words) and only ceases to be true when it no longer serves that limitless purpose.

 

Bernie has stated in his 2016 primary campaign that if you are going to hold gun manufacturers responsible when bad actors do bad things with hand guns, rifles (i.e. non semi-automatic (assault) weapons) which they have bought legally, the logical consequence is that all such guns ought to be banned in America since you are ultimately saying that the problem is with the manufacture of those guns and rifles in the first place. Bernie is against this view, and has consistently been against it. (Relatedly, if someone were killed in a hit and run car accident, we would not think that the manufacturer of the model of car in question ought to be held responsible for the death of the victim.)

 

In 2008, the then Senator Obama referred to Hillary Clinton as the fabled female gun-slinger "Annie Oakley". At the time, the New York Times had a piece describing Hillary as "A pro-gun church goer". Yet now, Hillary loves to put forward the notion that she is joined at the hip with Obama in all of his policies. See a relevant piece here:

 

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/266412-before-attacking-sanders-on-guns-clinton-was-annie

Hilliary and the auto bail-out

 

Hillary is now repeating the same disingenuous material in Kentucky that she originally used in Michigan, regarding the "auto bail-out". Just as she did in March, she now claims that Bernie voted against bailing out the auto industry, making things seem as if she is for the middle-class and Bernie is not.

 

What Hillary does not tell you is that Bernie is on record as being in favor of and voting for the auto bail-out; he was just vehemently against using the tax dollars of the middle class to bail out the big banks in the process. Both Hillary and Bernie were in favor of the concept of bailing out the auto industry after the financial crash in 2008. To this end, a bill was proposed which involved taking some money (seventeen billion dollars) out of the much larger sum of 700 billion dollars (of middle-class tax payers' money) intended by Bush in the last part of his presidency to bail out Wall Street and the big banks. Because this was such a large sum, it was to be allocated in installments. In 2009, Bernie voted against the Treasury's releasing the second half of this 700 billion dollars - not because he was against bailing out the auto industry, but because he was against a middle class bail-out of the big banks. 

 

To Douglas Perry / The Oregonian 05/10/16

 

Douglas Perry's recent piece is just another instance of corporate media pro-Hillary propaganda (the main culprits being CNN and MSNBC - owned by Time Warner and Comcast. These are some of the most powerful corporations in the USA with vested interests in Hillary becoming the Democratic nominee).

 

If op ed pieces were to focus on the substantive issues, people would be informed about the relative vagueness and ambiguity of Hillary and Trump's policies in comparison to Bernie's. Hillary talks about "breaking down barriers", apparently in response to Trump's slogan of "build that wall" (and his claiming that Mexico will pay for its construction). In contrast, Bernie has laid out specific plans regarding how to pay for universal health care as a right for all, and e.g. free public college tuition. (See berniesanders.com for the details.)

'Almost-Insurmountable' Bernie Sanders

 

Congratulations to Bernie on his impressive win in West Virginia. Having said that, upon watching the corporate pro-Hillary media's spin on his victory, one might be forgiven for thinking that Bernie's middle name is "Almost-Insurmountable" (given their anal-retentive focus on math and the nomination process rather than substantive issues).

 

The latest pro-Hillary propaganda seems to be that some of Bernie's votes in West Virginia came from Trump supporters. Of course, CNN and MSNBC (being owned by Time Warner and Comcast, who have a vested interest in trade agreements that Hillary has traditionally supported) want to combat the fact that national and state polls show that Bernie beats Trump in a general election by a much wider margin than Hillary does. So they make a big deal about where some of Bernie's votes in WV are (allegedly) coming from. Why?

DRUG ADDICTION IN WEST VIRGINIA

 

Hillary  has been plugging Hillary-Care as a stepping-stone to Obama-Care in debates and stump speeches during the current (2016) democratic nomination battle. This is quite deceitful.

First of all, many do not realize that it was Bill Clinton, not Hillary, who was the driving force behind the Hillary-Care health care proposal - it was a main part of his presidential campaign in 1992. Bill's idea was essentially that employers would be forced to pay for health insurance for their employees, but people under a certain income level would get health care free. Hillary's role in 1993 was to head a task-force charged with selling this idea to the American public. This task-force failed, under fire from pharmaceutical and health insurance companies, weakening Hillary's popularity at the time. 

 

The pot calling the kettle black
 
 
 
2008 -
 
 
Donald Trump claims that Barack Obama is a Muslim (a rumor originally started by Hillary Clinton).  Relatedly, in a vitriolic campaign against Obama, Senator Clinton's team produces photographs (taken in 2006 in Kenya) of Obama dressed in traditional Somali garb. These misleading photos are paraded around the corporate media's political television shows as anti-Obama propaganda.
 
President-elect Obama, with his Abraham Lincoln-style 'team of rivals' brand, chooses Senator Clinton for his Secretary of State. Why? Surely not because of her knowledge of foreign affairs or being ready from 'day one' to do the job (unless doing the job involves lying to the public - Google Hillary Clinton and Bosnia). More plausibly Obama's choice of Clinton is political - to attempt to unify the party.

Brooklyn debate - further thoughts: 

 
- Hillary suggested that the 'more intense spotlight' in New York exposed flaws in Bernie's proposals, and alleged that Bernie was unable to give specific details regarding how he would break up big banks. 
 
First of all, to the extent that Hillary herself has succeeded in evading this intense spotlight (her Mafia-like influence on CNN and MSNBC notwithstanding) she has done so by e.g. talking in vague terms about 'breaking down barriers', or making deliberately ambiguous claims (e.g.  yes I am in favor of a twelve/fifteen dollar minimum wage, depending on . . . (I'll fill in the blank later). 

 Brooklyn debate - initial thoughts

 

Having intently listened to the farce masquerading as a debate, and the post-debate 'analysis' by 'senior correspondents' etc.:
 
  1. - the most depressing aspect of the U.S. media's equivalent of Soviet-style bias in this farce was that despite the two candidates' apparently having agreed to the debate rules pre-debate, Clinton was allowed by moderator Wolf Blitzer and the two other questioners to keep talking well past her allotted time, winding down the clock so that Bernie had less time to make his points/rebuttals. Each candidate was supposed to have one minute and fifteen seconds to reply to a question from Wolf, Dana, or Ollie, and thirty seconds to respond to a rebuttal, yet these rules were not impartially applied, and in Clinton's favor. In other words, the 'debate' was biased from the start in favor of the candidate preferred by the powers that be, and the viewers' response to the dialogue between the protagonists has been carefully manipulated in favor of their preferred candidate, i.e. Hillary.

 
1984? no - 2016
 
 
 
It is clear for various reasons that MSNBC (and CNN) are Orwellian propagandists for Hillary Clinton. One quick example - Chuck Todd (3-30-16, after the Rachel Maddow show) referred to Bernie’s big wins in states like New Hampshire as instances of his “buying” those wins (by spending a lot on tv ads).
 
 

On Super Delegates

 

CNN, MSNBC, please stop adding super delegates to one or other Democatic candidate's tally of pledged delegates whenever you show graphics on television about the state of the race for the Democratic nominee for president (between Hillary and Bernie). Adding these super delegates on to the tally of one or other candidate while the primaries and caucuses are still ongoing is misleading, since it creates the impression that one candidate (as it transpires, Hillary) is doing much better than she actually is as far as the ongoing race is concerned.