This is Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Thin Ice

I deleted parts of this.  It was aimed at Wasserman-Schultz’s comments about Bernie, but Bernie wouldn’t have been so mean.  I was really wrong-headed on this one.  Sorry everyone.  

Second update: I thought after the New York Times article this must be a campaign strategy.  But it turns out Wasserman Schultz was probably on her own when she blamed Bernie.  The Clinton campaign has been having trouble with her for some time but was trying to let her down easy.  It looks like they were trying to take care of the problem in a decent way.  ((T. Becket Adams, Clinton Camp’s three-part plan to dump Debbie Wassermann Schultz, Washington Examiner, 11/1/16. Available: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/clinton-camps-three-part-plan-to-dump-debbie-wasserman-schultz/article/2606198))   

The comments I was addressing from Wasserman Schultz were in an article entitled, In Vice interview, Debbie Wasserman Schultz says Bernie Sanders camp “made me the bogeyman”, by Mitch Perry. ((In Vice interview, Debbie Wasserman Schultz says Bernie Sanders camp “made me the bogeyman”. Available: http://floridapolitics.com/archives/226653-upcoming-vice-interview-debbie-wasserman-schultz-says-bernie-sanders-camp-made-bogeyman))

On the contrary, its been clear for some time that Wasserman Schultz’s DNC worked against Bernie but one of the recent WikiLeaks emails shows her feeding MSNBC a false story about Sanders supporters planning violence at the convention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donald or Hillary: a Calm Discussion

The election conversation gets narrower and narrower the closer we get to November 8. I’ve already told you what I plan to do. I’ve also urged my readers to vote for Hillary, even though when she was first nominated I said I wouldn’t talk about my plans. This began out of loyalty to Bernie but I stuck with it because I don’t see another way. However judging from the polls many people don’t agree with me.

We now know the WikiLeaks emails came from a faction associated with the U.S. intelligence community. As I’ve already said, I have a problem with the timing of this so-called coup. I’m also afraid that once the word coup is associated with our electoral process it will open the door for more of the same in future elections. Something similar has already happened. In the short time since George W. Bush openly stole the presidency, the electoral process has become a sham. I’ll hold both parties responsible for any future incidences of the dueling-coups approach to elections.

The details we’ve been given in the emails have been a diversion from what we should be talking about—our interests. Donald Trump has plenty of nefarious associations, so electing him will hardly be a vote for virtue. We should be strategizing over which candidate best serves our real interests.

Peace is one of our interests. The driving force behind the world’s conflicts today is foreign policy–and not just U.S. foreign policy. The leaders of the world are locked in an infernal struggle for supremacy, and whatever you may have heard our interests are not their interests. We were outraged by Hillary’s actions abroad and her seeming lack of concern for the consequences, but she didn’t do those things on her own account. She was only serving the status quo, which will continue on its merry way regardless of who wins this election. (The status quo was one of the things this conversation was supposed to address.)

Donald talks a good game about making peace with Russia, but what will he do when confronted with the machine? I’ll leave it to his supporters to figure this one out. One of the things they like about him is his feistiness. What do they think he’ll do when it’s explained to him that Russia stands in the way of ‘our’ victory? (I put ‘our’ in quotation marks because regardless of who wins it will be a victory for the wealthy interests behind the scenes—not for us.) Trump’s supporters might be divided on the question of what he will do, but his vice president has already said he’ll be another Dick Cheney. And Mike Pence is definitely part of the machine right down to his allegiance to Israel. Trump was strongly encouraged to choose Pence as his running mate by the way. And Russia aside, many other places in the world are ripe for intervention.

We don’t even know how Bernie Sanders would have dealt with these pressures, but we do know that if he had been elected he would have listened to us. That’s the choice he made when he turned his back on the billionaires. But Bernie intends to be influential in a Clinton Presidency–an important difference between the two candidates.   Some might discount his influence in future military decisions, but the point here is that a Trump presidency will serve the machine too, and without the influence of Bernie and his progressive allies in Congress. For these reasons the candidates cannot be clearly differentiated by their foreign policy.

Domestic policy is also in our interests. Clinton has positive economic policies and they are not all due to Sanders’ influence. For example she’s been talking since January about increasing the estate tax–an important step towards correcting economic inequality. Trump’s economic policies on the other hand will increase the advantages of the wealthy.

Social policies are in our interests as well. Trump has gone all socially conservative in this campaign. Some of his followers might expect him to relax this stance if he’s elected but that doesn’t seem likely because his running mate’s social policies are downright terrifying. For example as Governor of Indiana Pence signed an abortion bill that required parents of an aborted fetus to give it a funeral. However the law was blocked by a federal judge.

According to an article on politifact.com Clinton’s campaign website lists 32 topic headings, some as specific as Alzheimer’s disease and animal welfare. Trump’s web pages offer broad statements without details. In addition, Trump is known to shift his views even from interview to interview.

While Clinton changes her views, for example on the TPP, trump sometimes reverses positions within minutes. Still it’s possible to see a difference between them.

Trump has been consistent on three big economic policy items, according to Gary Burtless, an economist with the Brookings Institution: raising barriers to immigration; imposing potentially large tariffs on goods from Mexico and China; and enacting large tax cuts. Clinton is more cautious. Clinton proposes a fairly small increase in taxes that would be borne almost entirely by the wealthy. Her plan would increase revenues over 10 years by $1.1 trillion. Trump’s plan, across-the-board tax cuts (but favoring the wealthy) would lower revenues over 10 years by $9.6 trillion. Moody’s Analytics predicts that Trump’s proposals would make the U.S. economy less global and would substantially increase the federal debt, benefit the wealthy disproportionately, and push unemployment up.

In energy policy Clinton would wean the U.S. from fossil fuels by setting targets for renewable energy, while Trump would ‘revitalize’ the domestic oil and gas sector.

They agree however on increased spending on infrastructure, with Clinton offering more specifics for the budget.

Trump opposes the TPP. Clinton has moved away from her former support of it mostly as a result of her campaign against Sanders.

Clinton would increase the minimum wage nationally to $12, and in some locations, $15. Trump would leave this to the states. She would offer tax incentives for companies to bring back jobs to the U.S. She also favors increased policing of trading partners. Trump would use aggressive trade enforcement and possible tariffs. She would enhance worker training options. He has no public stance on this. She would boost federal investment by $275 billion over five years and create a $25 billion infrastructure fund. Trump hasn’t offered any details on his infrastructure expansion. She will propose a goal of renewable electricity ‘to power every home in America within 10 years. He’ll revive the fossil-fuel sector, including decreasing regulations. She would increase funding for scientific research at agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. He has no public stance on this. She would create a 15 percent tax credit for companies that share profits with workers on top of wages and pay increases. He has offered few details outside of a tax plan and a comment criticizing CEO pay. She supports keeping the Dodd-Frank law and in some cases would tighten rules for Wall Street, such as taxing high frequency trading. Trump would dismantle Dodd-Frank. She would ease regulatory burdens on community banks and support innovative financing methods. He has criticized government regulation but has offered no specific proposals. She Advocates equal pay, paid family leave, earned sick days, and expanded child care. He has no public stance on these things. ((Louis Jacobson, Compare the Candidates: Clinton versus Trump on the Economy. Politifact.com, July 22, 2016.))

We still haven’t found a solution for this momentum toward war. I’ll talk about that in the next post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donald Trump: Counter-Coup or Coup-Coup?

Lately I’ve noticed that Trump’s supporters are using bad logic to sell their candidate.  I don’t imagine this post will change their minds but maybe it will change the minds of honest people who have been influenced by them.  If you’re determined to vote for Trump go right ahead, but please don’t vote for him based on the wrong-headed arguments of these guys.

Their main tactic of persuasion is to call anyone who votes for Hillary ‘stupid’.  They act as if this is common sense based on the Wikileaks revelations and the recent announcement by James Comey.  They would like you to believe that Trump should win the White House by default.  However this only makes sense if you have a very short memory.

If they were so concerned about corruption why didn’t they vote for Bernie in the primary?  You remember Bernie.  He’s the one who chose to run without the help of billionaires and special interests–the one they rejected in favor of a guy who’s never governed anyone, who knows nothing about policy, and who has his own record of corruption.  They are now acting scandalized by the barrage of recriminations against Hillary, but where were their delicate sensibilities when Bernie was still in the race?  It’s my belief that those sensibilities never existed.  They were attracted to Trump for other reasons.

One guy on YouTube argues that Hillary is only a viable candidate thanks to the votes of women, while Donald Trump is the candidate of men.  Men should have the final say in this race, he says, because Hillary will take us to war and men will have to fight the war.  He dismisses the fact that women go to war too, but then he tends to act as if all opinions of women are beneath contempt.  And when his female viewers insist that they don’t fit his mold he excuses himself by saying he’s making a ‘generalization’.

This calls for a definition.  A generalization is:

A general statement: a statement about a group of people or things that is based on only a few people or things in that group; the act or process of forming opinions that are based on a small amount of information.

So in other words he excuses himself for making generalizations by explaining that he’s making generalizations.  That’s just stupid.

He also seems to have forgotten how much the Donald likes ‘nuclear’.  Of course my point here is not just about Donald.  No election will save us from war because it isn’t the fault of one party or candidate.  It’s part of our culture.  And the current crisis is the result of an agenda that’s older than either of the candidates.  As I’ve been saying we need a long conversation to address it.

Just this morning I found a video claiming that the WikiLeaks releases were part of a counter-coup against the Clintons and the current administration.  I’m not saying I believe it but if it is a coup the fact that Assange waited until Bernie endorsed Hillary to release the first emails suggests that it favored Trump from the beginning.  The link to the video is below, however if you’re a skeptic, like I am, read this article first.  ((Nicholas F. Benton, Trump’s Role in a Russian Coup. FCNP.com, Oct. 19, 2016. Available: https://fcnp.com/2016/10/19/trumps-role-russian-coup/))