Jul 10, 2016

Crisis: Sanders, Kiriakou, Anti-TPP Fails, Non-democratic "Democrats"
Sections                                                                                             crisis index

Bernie Sanders Loses on Trade but Wins Hillary
     Clinton’s Support on Health Care

2. Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Shows Inherent
     Unfairness in U.S. Justice System

3. Anti-TPP Amendment Fails at Heated Dem Platform

4. 'We Have Just Written Half of the GOP Platform':
     Progressives Dismayed by Dem Party Platform


This is a Nederlog of Sunday, July 10, 2016.

This is a crisis log. There are 4 items with 4 dotted links and it so happens that three out of four are about the American Democratic Party, and in fact I have little to say about these items.

But here they are: item 1 is about how Sanders plans nearly all got shown down by Democratic supporters of the big bankers and the TPP; item 2 is about John Kiriakou's reaction to Hillary Clinton's not being prosecuted over her private emails; item 3 is about how Sanders' good and important position on the TPP got shafted in an Orwellian way by "the Democratic Party"; and item 4 is about how the Democrats are controlled by their managers, and can set aside any democratic opposition.

So in fact this is one of the smallest Nederlogs this year. As for my own take: I don't support the Republicans and I don't support the Democrats, but in the choice out of two considerable evils I am pro Clinton on the ground that she is not insane like Trump is. (And I am a psychologist and that is what I think.)

To end this introduction: In case you want to know what I think about politics, and have not read it, try "On Politics", which I wrote 33 years ago and still mostly agree with. This comes with good notes and good links, and the notes explain that the present situation is much more serious than that of 33 years ago: In 1983 there were slightly more than half as many people as there are now, and in 1983 in the USA the difference between high earners and low earners was 40 to 1, and now it is 382 to 1.

Bernie Sanders Loses on Trade but Wins Hillary Clinton’s Support on Health Care

The first item today is by Emma Niles on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:

Although he is no longer fighting for the Democratic presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders is still making his voice heard in Democratic Party politics. On Saturday, the Vermont senator experienced success and failure in his attempts to influence the party platform.

Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is hoping to win over Sanders’ supporters by adopting some of his progressive policies. On Wednesday, Clinton announced a proposal on higher education aimed at eliminating some forms of college tuition. Now she has unveiled a proposal focused on health care.
I should start by saying that - taught by Obama's election of 2008 - I am looking differently on this than many Democratic supporters, for I think Obama taught me that successful politicians say anything their voters like to hear so as to get elected, and when elected may forget everything about their promises made before they got elected. And I think Hillary Clinton is the same or worse than Obama.

This also holds for the following item:

While Sanders has succeeded in influencing Democratic policy on health care and public education, his progressive trade initiative hit a roadblock on Saturday. His attempt to insert language into the party platform opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was shot down in favor of less specific wording. NBC News explains:

[T]he committee approved an amendment backed by organized labor that called for tough restrictions on trade deals, but did not explicitly oppose the trade pact with a dozen Pacific Rim nations that liberals say would hurt workers.

Sanders will now have to decide whether he wants to use a parliamentary mechanism to push the issue to a fight on the floor of the Democratic National Convention later this month in Philadelphia.

Sanders and Clinton oppose the TPP, although it is supported by the Obama administration. Other Democratic leaders are divided on the issue.

Again I believe Sanders, if only because he has been reliable and progressive since 1970. And I don't believe Clinton. Period.
2. Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Shows Inherent Unfairness in U.S. Justice System

The second item is by John Kiriakou (<-Wikipedia) on Truthdig:

This starts as follows: 

Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer, in the immediate aftermath of FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that the bureau would not seek an indictment against Hillary Clinton for her misuse of and failure to secure classified information, asked me to write about the decision. I said that I would, but found that I was so angry about the Justice Department’s hypocrisy that I just couldn’t put pen to paper until I had cooled off for a few days. I was further angered by what I heard in the nationally televised Comey congressional hearings two days after the announcement, from both Democrats and Republicans.

I’ve not yet cooled off. But I feel as though my anger is focused enough to offer a few thoughts.

If you don't know who John Kiriakou is, click the Wikipedia-link with which this item starts. Next, while I agree with Kiriakou that he hasn't "yet cooled off", I do understand his reasons why. He explains it thus:

I did plead guilty to confirming the name of a former CIA colleague to a reporter—who never made the name public. I did it. I admit it. And I paid a price for it.

That said, providing or confirming the names of former or current CIA officers happens all the time and is almost never prosecuted. Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage outed CIA officer Valerie Plame and was never prosecuted for it. Former CIA Director David Petraeus revealed the names of at least 10 CIA officers to his mistress, lied to the FBI about doing it, and still was never charged. Former CIA Director Leon Panetta exposed the name of the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden, and Panetta was not charged.

The Justice Department calls that “prosecutorial discretion.” I call it an iron fist that came down on my head because I exposed the torture program while those who were politically connected or were friends of the president got a pass on their misdeeds.

Yes, indeed.

3. Anti-TPP Amendment Fails at Heated Dem Platform Meeting

The third item is by Nika Knight on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

When Democratic Party platform committee members arrived at the committee's final session in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday morning, 700,000 signed petitions against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement had been delivered there to meet them.

"We want unity, but we want it real. We do not want it on the backs of working people," said Dr. Cornel West, who was selected to serve on the committee by Bernie Sanders. "We want opposition to the TPP in this platform."

Yet despite such passionate arguments and widespread public opposition to the deal, the committee voted down an amendment that would have opposed a Senate vote on the agreement.

Because - you should believe, as a Democrat, and see item 1 - that Hillary Clinton is "against" the TPP, like Sanders. In fact, I think she is for the TPP, just like Obama, but she lies in order to get elected:

Opposition to the TPP is a cornerstone of Sanders' presidential campaign. While Hillary Clinton campaigned for the deal in her role as secretary of state, she switched her position several months ago and now publicly opposes the TPP.

"Hillary Clinton opposes the TPP so strongly that her apparatchiks at the Democratic platform meeting voted down language to oppose it. Integrity!" commented The Intercept reporter Zaid Jilani in response to the platform committee's decision.

Prominent environmentalist Bill McKibben, a Sanders appointee to the committee, described Clinton supporters' speeches as "Orwellian."

Yes, quite so. Here is the last bit that I'll quote:
Josh Fox, director of the fracking documentary Gasland, tweeted, "Every amendment with teeth, which would inspire actual action is getting voted down and the empty ones pass. We need #politicalrevolution."
If so, you will not get it in the Democratic Party, I think: It is too well directed by lobbyists, or the creatures of lobbyists.

4. 'We Have Just Written Half of the GOP Platform': Progressives Dismayed by Dem Party Platform

The fourth and last item today is also by Nika Knight:
This starts as follows (and seems to be published earlier than item 1 above):
As the contentious Democratic Party platform drafting committee negotiations come to an end, many Bernie Sanders surrogates have watched in disbelief as core progressive principles have been waylaid—largely by Hillary Clinton supporters.

The trend continued on the second-to-last day of platform negotiations in Orlando, Florida, when Clinton surrogates on Friday rejected an amendment supporting the creation of a postal banking system, modeled on the one in North Dakota, as well as measures that would end corporate welfare and lay penalties on companies for offshoring jobs, lift the $250,000 income cap on the social security tax, and expand cost of living increases for senior citizens' social security benefits.
This is in fact about last Friday. But as I said: Almost every plan or proposal of Bernie Sanders gets - somehow - moved out of the way by the Democratic supporters of the big banks and their plans - Decent banking? Are you crazy? Ending corporate welfare? Are you insane? Helping senior citizens? Are you a  moron: they have no power and no money?! - and this continued Saturday with the TPP. (Are you bonkers? We Democrats want to live under neofascism! We Democrats want the multi-national corporations to take over the states!)

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