why bernie sanders is a ‘hero’..

Sanders should continue his fight to represent the interests of American workers.

There’s too much at stake.

While Sanders may not end up becoming the Democratic nominee he has already accomplished more than anyone could have predicted just six months ago and is now a powerful force in the Democratic Party and American politics.

Since announcing his candidacy a year ago winning the nomination has always been somewhat subordinate to creating a popular progressive movement or what he has termed a ‘political revolution’. As he explained in a speech back in October:

‘We need millions of people—people who have given up on the political process – people who are demoralized – people who don’t believe that government listens to them. We need to bring those people together to stand up loudly and clearly and to say ‘Enough is enough.’ This country belongs to all of us not just wealthy campaign donors.’

Sanders has run on a bold (but by no means ‘radical’) platform that directly challenges America’s plutocracy.

And the one underlying message of the Sanders campaign has been straightforward and simple: The economy is about power and over the past 40 years as unions have weakened and monied interests have united to drive policy and political debate in Washington economic gains have gone to the wealthiest while wages have stagnated for the vast majority.

Contrary to the mainstream notion that America’s economic winners and losers are determined entirely by merit and the invisible hand of the market – those who win tend to be those who already have enough economic (and therefore political) power to rig the game in their favor.

In his latest book ‘Saving Capitalism’ former Labor Secretary Robert Reich refutes this myth of the free market:

(cont..)

Source: Bernie is the hero of 2016: Just because he’s losing the nomination doesn’t mean he’s failed – Salon.com

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ed:..a false-argument is made against bernie sanders.(+op-ed..)

For my money (if not my vote), Sanders has made two of the most consequential decisions of any presidential aspirant now out on the hustings.

One was choosing to run as a Democrat even though he has stood outside the party since his student days as a Harringtonian democratic socialist in Chicago.

The other was his judgment—apparently more considered than Sanders and his people have let on—to opt out of the disgraceful ritual wherein all political figures striving for high office must touch their foreheads to the floor at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

One at a time.

*

Why did Sanders throw in with the Democratic Party when he decided to reach for the Oval Office?

What was the point of sitting in Congress as an independent all those years if when he looks up at the dangling brass ring Sanders associates himself with a party that has step-by-step abandoned working-class interests from the mid-1960s onward?

(cont..)

(ed:..as you would guess from the above excerpt this salon writer tries to make the case that sanders should have stood as an independant – not tried for the democrat party nomination..

..he is talking complete rubbish..

..all this would achieve by election time would be a vote-split amongst democrats and a guaranteed republican party victory..(is this guy working for trump?)

..and if you doubt this..i have a two-word answer – ralph nader..

..he who stood for the greens..and as u.s. does not have mmp and guaranteed representation above the 5% threshold  – all he/they achieved was to split that vote..and to guarantee victory to bush jnr..

(an outcome we all could have well done without..surely..?..)

..this salon-writer is correct when he describes the democrat party having (like the nz labour party..eh..?..) walked far away from its’ working class roots..but he is totally deluded in arguing for a third party route for bernie..(esp. in a non-mmp environment..)

..the answer must lie (esp. in u.s. but also in nz) in dragging the democrat party (and the nz labour party) back to those ‘working class roots’..surely..?

..here in nz under mmp a case could be made for a new party on the left to challenge labour..

(tho’ i favour doing that drag-back on labour..i mean/after all..who wants a grand coalition between the tories and the reactionary/neoliberal rump of labour..? (shudder..!)

..far better for the labour party to return to what they used to be..before they sold-out on those founding-principles..)

the greens could still do the/that job..but they need to move a long way away from (past-leader) russel normans’ musings before the last election about how he/the greens could ‘work with’ key/the tories in a coalition government.(!)..

..that was quite the defining-moment for norman/the green lurch to the right..

..and for the greens in nz to achieve/take up this role they will need to present a coherent/well-costed/defined radical set of policies/ideas..to tackle environment/poverty etc..

(n.b.) ..policies that can in their defining be shown how they will work..this much is essential..those policies must be able to withstand blowtorches..

..i am not saying it is beyond the greens to do this..but i dunno if they are there yet..

..but back in that first past the post environment in america any arguing for a vote-splitting independent route for bernie sanders..can clearly be seen as blind stupidity..an arguing for ’tilting at windmills’..and that guaranteed republican party victory..

..and an outcome from bernies’ run has been that those neoliberals controlling the democrat party are on the back foot/rattled..their certainties shattered….

..and they now have a mob of millennials clamouring on their doorstep..demand to be let in/control of the party..

..and they are not going away any time soon..those radicalised through necessity millennials..and this is a very very good thing..

(and something that needs to also happen to the nz labour party..eh..?..)

..and this/these demands for change (that won’t desist any time soon) from within the democrat party would not be happening if bernie were running as an independent..

..that much is clear..

..and that the writer of this salon piece is talking/arguing complete rubbish..

..that much is also clear..

 

Source: We are all just this screwed: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and our muddled, perverted democracy – Salon.com

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how google plans to eat all other news websites..

The tech titan plans to roll out a new service encouraging publishers to put their content directly on Google.

On Thursday the Wall Street Journal reported something that in hindsight was completely inevitable: Google is rolling out a feature that allows media companies to publish material directly on its platform.

From the Journal report:

Google is experimenting with a new feature that allows marketers, media companies, politicians and other organizations [to] publish content directly to Google and have it appear instantly in search results.

The search giant said it began testing the feature in January and has since opened it up to a range of small businesses, media companies and political candidates.

Fox News has worked with Google to post content related to political debates, for example, while People.com published posts related to the Oscars in February. Earlier this week, HBO published “news” articles related to fictitious characters in its popular show “Silicon Valley” to promote the season 3 premiere.

Google has built a Web-based interface through which posts can be formatted and uploaded directly to its systems. The posts can be up to 14,400 characters in length and can include links and up to 10 images or videos. The pages also include options to share them via Twitter, Facebook or email.

Welcome to another harbinger of our glorious future – everyone!

Google is announcing that it wants to cut out the middleman—that is to say other websites—and serve you content within its own lovely little walled garden.

That sound you just heard was a bunch of media publishers rushing to book an extra appointment with their shrink.

You can point to lots of things for this state of affairs but let’s start at the beginning.

(cont..)

Source: Google’s new media apocalypse: How the search giant wants to accelerate the end of the age of websites – Salon.com

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obamas’ final white house correspondents’ dinner..

Obama roasts Donald Trump – Ted Cruz and ponders being a ‘couch commander’.

(ed:..obama starts @ 2 hr 33 mins in – and his turn is funny and it is worth staying around for larry wilmore who follows him..who is also funny..

..and no matter how obama-jaded you may be – what with the drones and all that..it is difficult not to admire his performance here..

..and at the same time to dread who will come after him..)

Source: Here Are Obama’s Best Jokes From Tonight’s Sizzling White House Correspondents’ Dinner | Mother Jones

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what’s bernie’s gonna do now..?

As he continues to campaign for Democratic primary votes from Indiana to Oregon Bernie Sanders has begun to detail a vision for where the movement that has developed to support his candidacy might move the Democratic Party.

After winning only the Rhode Island primary on a Tuesday that saw front-runner Hillary Clinton win Pennsylvania Maryland Delaware and Connecticut—and with those wins a substantial boost in her delegate-race advantage—the Vermont senator released a primary-night statement that anticipated a way forward even if he does not win the party’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Sanders made it clear that his campaign—which has won 18 contests and 1,355 delegates and has the potential to win more primaries and delegates—would go on.

‘The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be.

That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast’ said the senator.

Then he offered a framework for how that campaign might influence the direction not just of the party but of politics in the years to come.

‘[This] campaign’ said Sanders, ‘is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage – an end to our disastrous trade policies – a Medicare-for-all health care system – breaking up Wall Street financial institutions – ending fracking in our country – making public colleges and universities tuition free and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change’.

(cont..)

Source: Sanders Fights On for ‘the Strongest Progressive Agenda That Any Political Party Has Ever Seen’ | The Nation

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how the clintons ‘screwed’ the democrat party..

Imagine there’s no Clintons.

It’s easy if you try!

But Clinton is a skilled politician so she’s artfully re-aligned herself to blur their differences with overwhelming support from the elite punditocracy. 

When the dark side of the Clinton record from 1990s is raised—NAFTA,  Defense Of Marriage Act, “welfare reform,” mass incarceration, Wall Street deregulation, etc.—two defenses come readily to mind: ‘Hillary didn’t do it!/Bill was president’ and ‘times change/you’re forgetting what it was like’.

These are both effective narratives in the establishment echo chamber – which is designed and intended for horse-race politics at the expense of political understanding (as well as factual accuracy). 

But Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be here today if she hadn’t been aligned with those policies—and with helping to create the environment in which they came to pass. 

Even before entering the White House with her husband who had promised voters  ‘two for the price of one’ during the 1992 campaign – the pair had cast their lot in with those who moved the party to the right – most notably when Bill Clinton became head of the DLC—the Democratic Leadership Council or as Jesse Jackson called it, ‘Democrats for the Leisure Class’.

The DLC was crucial to the Clinton’s rise to power so it’s absolutely essential to understand it if one wants to understand their politics—and that of the party they’ve so profoundly reshaped—all the way up through Hillary Clinton’s most recent rearticulation of the day. 

An excellent starting point for understanding this comes via the much broader focus of Thomas Ferguson and Joel Rogers’s book, Right Turn: The Decline of the Democrats and the Future of American Politics.

While the book makes references going back to the Carter era it opens with a meeting of twenty top Democratic Party fund-raisers three weeks after Walter Mondale’s landslide loss in the 1984 election – where they discussed1988 and how they could have more policy influence in that campaign – how they might use their fund-raising skills to move the party toward their business oriented centrist viewpoints’ as the Washington Post reported the next day. 

(cont..)

Source: Clintonism screwed the Democrats: How Bill, Hillary and the Democratic Leadership Council gutted progressivism – Salon.com

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big-oil is in deep doo-doo..

Failed negotiations in Doha are just a sign of things to come.

Big Oil has collapsed and is unlikely to recover.

Sunday April 17th was the designated moment.

The world’s leading oil producers were expected to bring fresh discipline to the chaotic petroleum market and spark a return to high prices.

Meeting in Doha the glittering capital of petroleum-rich Qatar – the oil ministers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) along with such key non-OPEC producers as Russia and Mexico were scheduled to ratify a draft agreement obliging them to freeze their oil output at current levels.

In anticipation of such a deal oil prices had begun to creep inexorably upward from $30 per barrel in mid-January to $43 on the eve of the gathering.

But far from restoring the old oil order the meeting ended in discord – driving prices down again and revealing deep cracks in the ranks of global energy producers.

It is hard to overstate the significance of the Doha debacle.
At the very least it will perpetuate the low oil prices that have plagued the industry for the past two years – forcing smaller firms into bankruptcy and erasing hundreds of billions of dollars of investments in new production capacity.
It may also have obliterated any future prospects for cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC producers in regulating the market.
Most of all however it demonstrated that the petroleum-fueled world we’ve known these last decades — with oil demand always thrusting ahead of supply – ensuring steady profits for all major producers — is no more.
Replacing it is an anemic possibly even declining demand for oil that is likely to force suppliers to fight one another for ever-diminishing market shares.
(cont..)

 

Source: There will be pandemonium: The end of the old oil order has already begun – Salon.com

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