1. Bernie Sanders Took
Money From the Fossil Fuel Lobby,
Too — Just Not Much
‘Days of Revolt’: Wall Street Criminals and the Future of
Our Economy (Video)
Oliver Stone Makes Impassioned Plea for Sanders:
'Hillary Clinton Has
Effectively Closed the Door on Peace'
4. Superdelegates Are One Reason Why the Way
Choose Our Presidential
Candidates Is Wrong
5. Greenpeace, Sanders Hold Ground Against Clinton in
Fossil Fuel Feud
This is a Nederlog of Saturday, April 2,
crisis blog. There are 5 items with 5 links: Item 1
and item 5 are both about the lies of Hillary
Clinton; item 2 is about Part 2 of an interview Chris
Hedges had with Michael Hudson; item 3 is about a
pessimistic Oliver Stone (who has some right to be pessimistic); and item 4 is about superdelegates: Unchosen
democratic supremoes who try to keep from power anyone who is not
like democratic supremoes: How the Democratic Party tries to keep
Bernie Sanders from being elected their presidential candidate.
Sanders Took Money From the Fossil Fuel Lobby, Too
— Just Not Much
first item is by Zaid Jilani on The Intercept
- and you may
This starts as follows:
A GREENPEACE ACTIVIST confronted
Hillary Clinton during a campaign stop Thursday: “Thank you for
tackling climate change. Will you act on your words and reject fossil
fuel money in the future from your campaign?”
Clinton replied angrily: “I have money
from people who have worked for fossil fuel companies. I have never … I
am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me. I am sick of it.”
The Clinton camp later issued an explanatory
statement, concluding that the “simple truth is that this campaign
has not taken a dollar from oil and gas industry PACs or corporations.”
In case you doubt: I
have quoted this literally except for a video
that is between the second and third paragraph.
In fact, if you believe Hillary Clinton,
you may as well believe not that black is white, but that black is the
second differential of Julius Ceasar :
Altogether, Clinton received $4,509,280 from
lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry or from large donors connected
to the fossil fuel industry.
The Bernie Sanders campaign countered
by pointing to a Greenpeace tally that says she
has collected “$1,259,280 in bundled and direct donations from
lobbyists currently registered as lobbying for the fossil fuel
found “$3,250,000 in donations from large donors connected to the
fossil fuel industry to Priorities Action USA,” the main Super PAC
backing Clinton’s campaign.
Sanders, by contrast, has signed a pledge
to reject fossil fuel dollars.
This is what Hillary Clinton means when she says that she (bolding added) "has not taken a dollar from oil and gas industry PACs or
corporations": Not a single one, do you hear?!
But then there is Bernie Sanders:
But Sanders, too, is apparently
money from the fossil fuel lobby. According to an Intercept
examination of online
records of lobbyist disclosure of political contributions, the
Sanders campaign took in $24 from Nathen Causman, a lobbyist
for the LNE Group, whose clients include American Municipal Power
So you see, Sanders received over 24 times as
much from the fossil fuel lobby: He received $24 (which Causman in the
article defends by saying these express his personal preferences), whereas Clinton - if you believe her - took less than one dollar.
You might incline to believe that $4,509,280
might be a little
bit more than $24 (personally given, not as part of a lobby) but then
here is the ever truth-telling Hillary Clinton to set you right:
You have her word for it and she never
ever lies: Not only did she receive less than one (1) dollar from the lobbyists for the fuel industry, she also insists
Clinton has repeatedly argued that money
from corporate interests does not influence her policymaking. “You will
not find that I ever changed a view or a vote because of any donation
that I ever received,” she
said during a February Democratic debate.
that this less than one (1) dollar did not influence her votes on bit.
(In case you say I am not reporting faithfully, I plead guilty. I just
find it more credible that a person lies who receives $4,509,280. But yes, I forgot that
Hillary - honest to God, and her husband will support me and her -
never ever lies. For more, see item 5.)
‘Days of Revolt’: Wall Street Criminals and the Future of Our Economy
is by Chris Hedges on The Real News:
This is Part 2 (of 2). This part starts as follows:
HEDGES: Hi, I'm Chris Hedges. Welcome to Days of Revolt.Today we're
going to carry out part two of my discussion about where we're headed
economically, with economist Michael Hudson. He's worked on Wall
Street, taught economics, and is the author of Killing the Host:
How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy.
I have dealt with Part 1 here. There I also referred you to Michael
Hudson, on Wikipedia, because I thought (and think) his economic
argument was given
a bit better there than it was in conversation.
This part is more political, and I will
quote a bit more from it, and start with this:
HEDGES: (...) I want to look first at
the self-identified liberal class
within the Democratic Party, including Barack Obama. It often uses the
language of economic justice, and will even chastise Wall Street
rhetorically, but has been as committed to this neoliberal project as
HUDSON: The key of demagogic politics is to realize
that the people who are really backing you are your campaign funders.
Your job as a politician is to say, I can deliver this constituency to
you backers. Obama was a genius at doing what Donald Trump is trying
to do today: taking a constituency. That's his column A: a focus group
listing everything the constituency wants. They want debt relief. They
want better jobs. They want higher minimum wage.
And not trade agreements like NAFTA and [...]
HUDSON: Right. And then
column B, that he didn't tell them, was what the campaign backers on
Wall Street want. Obama was picked essentially by Robert Rubin, who
then became head of Citibank after having come out of the Goldman
Sachs. Obama was picked by Rubin of Wall Street to promise was he was
going to really do. It was what any president today is going to do: A
politician's job is to deliver whoever voted for you to your backers,
who are on Wall Street. Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, but
especially if you are a Democrat that's really the Wall Street wing
of the American political system. The Republicans are for the corporate
monopoly, oil and gas wing of it.
Here are some supplementary comments to
the above potted history (which is correct to the best of my knowledge):
First, Obama also is a Third Way guy, as
are Clinton and Blair. This itself means that he supported the
turning to libertarian/conservative ideas and values
Blair did (which was done by them - it seems to me - to ease their
personal chances for being elected and then getting many millions from
the very rich, which
Clinton and Blair in fact did).
Second, the focus groups, which gave Obama most of the things he had to
say so that he would win, is mostly a product of
psychiatry-turned-commercial (which used the technique to find
out what housewives wanted in the fifties and sixties, in order to sell
them the most and make the highest profits). It is used by politics since
the nineties to inform politicians what they should say to make
the best chance of being elected. (And no, truth is not
norm at all.)
Third, I did not know that Obama
was selected by Robert
Rubin (who - I agree - is a very bad and very
greedy man, who also deregulated
the banks under Clinton). In any case, also given the previous
clarifications about what politicians say to get
elected, I think it is true that the real job of a
politician when elected is to do what his
financial backers want him to do. (I mean: That is why the very
rich gave the politicians millions: To get what they want, and
not because they like the color of their eyes.)
Fourth, I think it is also correct that
the Democrats are mostly supported by Wall Street and the Republicans
by oil and gas, and indeed that was so since the last century, also in
spite of the fact that both corporate groups always hedge their bets,
and take care that "the other party" also gets money from them.
Next, there is this on the real
job of most (American) prominent politicians now, which is
fundamentally deceiving the people who elect them to trust the
politicians that the politicians will do as the
people want them to, and as the politicians said they
They are almost always mistaken,
for "the people" have only votes and no big money:
HUDSON: Or whether it would be Hillary
today, or Trump. Their job is to
bail out Wall Street and make the people pay, not Wall Street. Because
Wall Street is the people who select the politicians who know where
their money is coming from. If you have a campaign contributor, no
matter whether it's Wall Street, or locally if it's a real estate
developer, you all know who your backers are.The talent you need to
have as a politician is to make the voters think that you're going to
be supporting their interests.
HEDGES: And what's that great Groucho
HUDSON: The secret of success is sincerity. If you can fake
that, you've got it made.
Putting Groucho Marx's quote otherwise: A successful
politician is a successful liar. More specifically,
successful politicians do as their rich backers want, and say
what their electorate wants to hear (which is generally the opposite of
what their backers want), and get away with it. (Incidentally,
is made a lot easier by an unfree press, that is bought by - roughly -
the same rich backers as support the politicians and their lies.)
Here is some about the money involved and some about Obama:
HUDSON: So the Federal Reserve has
given Wall Street $4.5 trillion.
That $4.5 trillion could have been used to write down the debt. And
then we wouldn't have a problem. Then everybody would have a lower
costs of living. The $4.5 trillion could have been spent into the
HEDGES: We could have saved people from being foreclosed and
driven from their homes.
HUDSON: Yes. But that wasn't what Obama did.
HEDGES: Even though he promised that he would. And then he turned
around, he earmarked some money to save people who were being pushed
out of their homes. And then he never spent it.
HUDSON: That's right. It
Incidentally, a trillion dollars = a
thousand billion dollars = a million times a million dollars. Therefore
$4.5 trillion is a whole lot of money.
Then there is this on the probable future of most non-rich men and
HEDGES: Right. And you say in the book
that really, the only option
left is a form of debt slavery or revolt.
HUDSON: That's exactly it. But
the enzymes that the parasite have inculcated via the control of the
media tell people it's not Wall Street's fault, it's not the parasite's
fault, it's your fault. The victims haven't been able to make enough
money to pay the One Percent, the victimizers. That's financial
affluenza after kills an economy.
HEDGES: But is it working? I don't
think the lie of neoliberal economics is being swallowed by larger
segments of the population, including the people gathered around
HUDSON: That's right. They know that something's wrong, but they
don't know what it is, because nobody's spelling out how the economy
actually works. That's why I wrote my book, to say here's what's
happening. The reason I was able to warn about the crisis a year before
it happened was that I had the charts that were published in Harper's.
My charts were cited in the Financial Times as the only charts
by those who did foresee the crisis and said just how and why it would
And indeed Michael
Hudson was one of the very few economists
who saw the crisis of 2008 coming before it arrived.
I do not know whether Hedges or
Hudson referred (also) to "Sixteen Tons"
that contains the line "I owe my soul to the company store", and was
originally published in 1946, but this is a link, and it is well worth
listening to. (You also get the lyrics, which I've known since the
60ies: Quite good.)
And in essence, we become a kind of nation of sharecroppers.
That's exactly right, having to shop at the company store.
the company store.
HEDGES: Well, that lays it out. I think
it illustrates the point that we need a vision to counter the vision of
predatory, parasitic capitalism. If we don't get a vision very soon,
we're in for a dark age.
HUDSON: And the job of the politician is to
promise the nice vision, and then double-cross the constituents.
HEDGES: Well, so far unfortunately, they've done it very well.
Oliver Stone Makes Impassioned Plea for Sanders: 'Hillary Clinton Has
Effectively Closed the Door on Peace'
The third item is by Oliver Stone on AlterNet:
This starts as follows:
When fear becomes collective, when
anger becomes collective, it’s extremely dangerous. It is
overwhelming... The mass media and the military-industrial complex
create a prison for us, so we continue to think, see, and act in the
same way... We need the courage to express ourselves even when the
majority is going in the opposite direction... because a change of
direction can happen only when there is a collective awakening...
Therefore, it is very important to say, ‘I am here!’ to those who share
the same kind of insight. — Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist Monk, The
Art of Power
I’ve been in deep despair these last few
months about our political landscape. This quote from Thich Nhat Hanh
recently elevated my spirit, and I share it with you. Because I am — we
are — still here! Though it’s clear that the die is cast and that
Clinton will win — that is, if you believe in numbers and materialism,
but I don’t, not completely.
I don't believe I am as pessimistic or as
despairing as is Oliver Stone, but I don't say he is wrong. And one
reason I may be less pessimistic is that I have no children (because I
fell ill at 28, and still am). Another reason may be that Oliver Stone
knows a lot more about the USA.
Here is some more:
We’re going to war — either hybrid in
nature to break the Russian state back to its 1990s subordination, or a
hot war (which will destroy our country). Our citizens should know
this, but they don’t because our media is dumbed down in its
“Pravda”-like support for our “respectable,” highly aggressive
government. We are being led, as C. Wright Mills said in the 1950s, by
a government full of “crackpot realists: in the name of realism they’ve
constructed a paranoid reality all their own.”
I like C. Wright Mills
(<- Wikipedia) indeed since the late 60ies (Mills died at 45 in
1962). If you are going to read anything by him, which is strongly
recommended, start with his "The
Sociological Imagination" (<- Wikipedia).
There is this on Hillary Clinton:
Hillary’s record includes supporting the
barbaric “contras” against the Nicaraguan people in the 1980s,
supporting the NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia, supporting the
ongoing Bush-Iraq War, the ongoing Afghan mess, and as Secretary of
State the destruction of the secular state of Libya, the military coup
in Honduras, and the present attempt at “regime change” in Syria. Every
one of these situations has resulted in more extremism, more chaos in
the world, and more danger to our country.
If this isn't fair, it is fair enough, in
my opinion. And there is this on Bernie Sanders:
This is why I’m praying still for Bernie
Sanders, because he’s the only one willing, at least in the name of
fiscal sanity, to cut back on our foreign interventions, bring the
troops home, and with these trillions of dollars no longer wasted on
malice, try to protect the “homeland” by actually rebuilding it and
putting money into its people, schools, and infrastructure.
Since I am a life-long atheist, I don't
pray, but I agree that Bernie Sanders is by far the best presidential
4. Superdelegates Are One Reason Why the Way We Choose Our
Presidential Candidates Is Wrong
The fourth item is by
Michael Winship on AlterNet and originally on Moyers and Company:
This is about superdelegates and
the pretensions of the Democrats that they are democrats. No, they are
not, or not quite, or not very much:
One of the more troubling aspects
of the Democrats and their nomination process is something we touched
upon in last week’s piece: the 712 or so “superdelegates,” about 15
percent of the total (and 30 percent of the majority needed to win the
nomination) who will cast ballots at the July convention in
Philadelphia. They include President Obama and Vice
President Biden, 239 Democratic members of the House and Senate, 21
sitting governors, 437 Democratic National Committeemen and women, and
a category referred to as “distinguished party leaders” – former
presidents and veeps, ex-congressional leaders and erstwhile
For this simply means that if Hillary Clinton
will be presidential candidate, 1 out of 3 of the votes for her that
determined this outcome was not voted for democratically,
but was in fact by authority only.
These superdelegate VIPs are chosen not by the voters in this year’s
primaries or caucuses but selected by the party solely for their status
as members of the Democratic upper crust.
How did this come about? As follows:
This whole superdelegate thing
started back in 1984, when, after the devastating presidential defeat
of George McGovern in 1972 and President Jimmy Carter’s landslide
reelection loss to Ronald Reagan in 1980, it was determined that
experienced party stalwarts should be made delegates to fend off fringe
efforts to divert the mainstream.
That is one way of reading it (although it
seems a bit strange to me to call these nominees by the
existing authorities "delegates"), and here is a slightly clearer
and more direct formulation:
Nevertheless, the perceived
wisdom has become that, “Lest those pesky Democratic grass-roots
activists and loser-lover types be inclined to drive the party over a
leftward-hanging cliff, the establishment is supposed to step in to
ensure that we nominate the electable candidate.”
In any case, Michael Winship concludes:
But like so many of those rules,
superdelegates symbolize something that has to go: the entrenched,
inside-the-Beltway embrace of power and influence by the Democratic
illuminati that does little for the poor and middle class and
everything for the one percent that writes the big checks.
I say yes and no: Yes, because that would be
far more democratic; no, because it seems to me that the Democratic
Party works in majority (not: all of them) for "the one percent that writes the
big checks" since the early 1990ies anyway - and
see item 2.
5. Greenpeace, Sanders Hold Ground
Against Clinton in Fossil Fuel Feud
The fifth item is by Nadia Prupis on
This starts as follows:
Environmental group Greenpeace has
responded to Hillary Clinton's frustrated interaction with a climate
activist on Thursday, when the former secretary of state said she was
"sick of" the Bernie Sanders campaign claiming she has taken fossil
fuel money to fund her presidential campaign.
"I do not have—I have money from people
who work for fossil fuel companies," Clinton said
after being confronted by Greenpeace activist Eva Resnick-Day at a
campaign rally in New York. "I am so sick—I am so sick of the Sanders
campaign lying about me. I'm sick of it."
As I explained in item 1
Hillary Clinton gets "so sick" because few people (apart from her
extreme fans) are capable of believing that someone who received over
$4.5 million dollars could not and would not lie for that amount of
But no, Hillary Clinton, in Hillary Clinton's opinion, never lies, not
even for over $4.5 million dollars:
As I pointed out in item 1 she got more than
a million dollars more. And she may be confused in another way:
the Clinton campaign doubled down on defense, stating that she "has not
taken a dollar from oil and gas industry PACs or corporations. The
simple fact is that the Sanders campaign is misleading voters with
As the Huffington Post
reported last year, Clinton's biggest campaign bundlers are fossil
fuel lobbyists. Reporters Kate Sheppard and Paul Blumenthal wrote in
July that "fossil fuel interests have pumped $3.25 million into the
largest super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election
cycle. The Clinton campaign has received donations from industry
lobbyists including ExxonMobil's Theresa Fariello."
Greenpeace campaign director Molly Dorozenski pointed out on Thursday,
Clinton is "conflating Greenpeace with the Sanders campaign, but we are
an independent organization.... Earlier this year, we asked both
Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders to sign our pledge to
#fixdemocracy, and while Sanders signed, Clinton did not."
Anyway... this is why I can't very
seriously refute a liar like Clinton.
case you don't understand it: That is the point. Hillary Clinton
doesn't try so much to say that black is white, which is a more or less
straight lie, as that she is trying to convince people of complete and
utter nonsense. (Also see item 5.)