1. Bill Clinton's War on
2. Trump’s White Supremacist Factor
3. Clinton’s Transition Team: A Corporate Presidency
4. I'm a Bernie Backer and I Refuse to Support Hillary
This is a Nederlog of Tuesday, August 23, 2016.
are 4 items with 5
dotted links today and in fact most of these deal with both Clintons,
though there also is an item about Trump: Item 1 is
Clinton's major lies on ending welfare (during his presidency), and can
be seen as a sketch of how the Clintons deceive; item 2
is about an
interesting article about Trump as racist; item 3
is about how
Clinton's transition team betrays her presidency: it will be bad and
conservative; and item 4 is by a Bernie backer who
argues quite well (I agree with her on the badness of Clinton)
but who just refuses to be
rational and reasonable in the end - or so it seems to me.
1. Bill Clinton's War on Welfare
first item today in fact consists of two
links, both by Robert
Scheer (<- Wikipedia), and one originally from
2006 and the other from 1999, but both reprinted now on Truthdig, in
2016, in part (I take it) because they contradict - quite correctly -
Bill Clinton's lies , and in part because
Clinton's wife may be the
next "progressive", "democratic" president (where both attributes are
really quite false, which is why I put them between quotes).
The first item is this, from 2006:
This contains the following bits:
To hear Bill Clinton tell it, his
presidency won the war on poverty three decades after President Lyndon
B. Johnson launched it, having changed only the name. Unfortunately,
however, for the mothers and their children pushed off the rolls but
still struggling mightily to make ends meet even when the women are
employed, the war on welfare was not the same battle at all.
Clinton masterfully blurred the two in a
York Times opinion column, as did most others on the 10th
anniversary of the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work
Opportunity Reconciliation Act, writing as if getting mothers and their
children off the welfare rolls is the same as getting them out of
poverty. In the absence of any evidence that poverty is tamed, he
celebrates a “bipartisan” victory, which was good for his image but not
necessarily for those it claimed to help.
Yes, I take it this is quite
correct: Bill Clinton completely falsified his anti- welfare
measures by classifying them as belonging to Lyndon Johnson's war on
poverty: They did not belong to that war, nor did they
decrease poverty, for they increased poverty, and he knew
(but didn't care for anything other than getting his utterly false propaganda
accepted as if it were true
Here is more on what Bill Clinton did:
The ex-president gloats over the large
decrease in the number of welfare recipients as if he is unaware of the
five-year limit and other new restrictions which made it inevitable.
Nor does he seem bothered that nobody seems to have thought it
important to assess how the families on Aid to Families with Dependent
Children fared after they left welfare. The truth is we know very
little about the fate of those moved off welfare, 70% of whom are
children, because there is no systematic monitoring program, thanks to
“welfare reform” severing the federal government’s responsibility to
help the nation’s poor.
That is, more specifically, the trick
Clinton played on his audiences consisted in this: He denied
very many income they did get from the state, and he then pretended
that anyone who was denied income and thus was out of
was in fact someone who was out of poverty, which again he
could do because his government also ceased to monitor those who
were on welfare.
In European terms: He could have denied
social support to everybody receiving it, shut off all statistical
research into those he denied support to, and then insisted that each
of those he denied support to had ceased being poor, and that he
therefore had eradicated all poverty.
Here is more Scheer, on the same subject,
but in 1999:
This takes up the last trick, that
consisted in not researching anyone who was kicked out of
In fact, it was worse: Reducing the
rolls on welfare, by refusing to spend that money on the poor =
(according to Bill Clinton) reducing poverty (which is an Orwellian lie
of very major proportion).
We don’t have more recent data because
folks who are running welfare reform at the federal and state levels
act as if they don’t really care what happens to those women and
children once they’re pushed off the rolls. Out of sight, out of mind
is the rule of welfare reform. Success has been measured by reducing
the rolls rather than reducing poverty.
Consequently, we have only fragmented
and largely anecdotal information on what happens to those thrown off
what was once a federally monitored welfare system and who now
experience the vicissitudes of a hodgepodge of state programs. Yet what
we do know is alarming.
Here is the main reason why this was a - very conscious - very
The problem is not with the goal of
moving people off welfare into decent jobs, but rather the lack of jobs
that lift a family out of poverty.
In a national survey, the Children’s
Defense Fund, with which Hillary Clinton has long been associated,
revealed the majority of jobs found by former welfare recipients paid
well below the poverty level. How can she or her husband continue to
endorse a program that pushes millions of children deeper into poverty?
That is: There simply were no decent
jobs. Who was kicked out of welfare was forced to accept some job
that "paid well below the poverty level" and thereby pushed "millions of
children deeper into poverty".
Here is part of a sum-up by Scheer:
But the bottom line is that what now
passes for “welfare reform” represents the abandonment of millions of
children and we are, as the president is fond of pointing out, in the
best of times. When the economy dips, as it surely will, the risks for
those and many other children will dramatically increase.
Clinton is correct in stating that we now
have the smallest welfare rolls in 30 years, close to what they were in
the 1960s before Lyndon Johnson launched his “war on poverty.” There
are still 36 million Americans living in poverty, 40% of them children.
That is unconscionable in a time of wild run-ups of the stock market
wealth of the “other America.” But instead of a war on poverty, Bill
Clinton has settled for a war on welfare recipients, and that is hardly
the same thing.
Incidentally, 36 million is well
over 10% of
the American population. And what Bill Clinton did for them was kick
them out of welfare, making them poorer than they were before,
terminate any statistical research into what was happening to them,
while he presented the result as the end of poverty.
And thus you are misled and deceived by the
Clintons, is one possible
2. Trump’s White Supremacist Factor
The second item today is by
Nicholas C. Arguimbau on Consortiumnews:
This starts as follows and sets the scene for
what will be following:
America has been a nation of white male
supremacists from Day One. They “bought” Manhattan Island from the
Indians for $24. They safeguarded slavery in the Constitution. They
bought the Louisiana Purchase from the French but stole the land from
the Indians, and then took the Southwest from the Mexicans. They
settled what was left of the Indians on reservations in the most
uninhabitable land on the continent where they live in poverty
inconceivable to the rest of us.
White males have nonetheless done some
great and noble things. When they declared our independence from
England, they could have said, “Get out of our hair; we can make more
money without you.” Instead, they wrote,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
“–That to secure these rights,
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from
the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government
becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to
alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its
foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form,
as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
It so happens that I think that all men
are created unequal, but that for that reason legal
strongly desirable, but that this should not be confused with
an utterly false factual equality , and
that I also don't
believe in any "Creator",
but I agree with the rest:
Yes, "unalienable Rights" are a good idea, as are the rights to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness", and so is "the Right of the People
to alter or to abolish" any government that
destroys their rights. 
Then there is this, which seems a bit misleading to me:
But who were the “we” who
perceived that governments “derive their just powers from the consent
of the governed”? Portrayed
by the white male artist John Trumbull, the signers of the Declaration
of Independence are a room full of white males. No exceptions. In other
words, the “governed” at the time of the Revolution were white males.
The reason this is misleading is that the
Declaration of Independence, that was indeed both designed and signed
by nothing but white males, dates back to 1776, when there
had been at least 2300 years of slavery, while there were very
few whites in 1776 who attacked slavery and indeed also very few
white males who desired more rights and a better education for women.
So while I think it is quite deplorable that the white males
who designed and signed the Declaration of Independence did not
extend their rights to either black people or female people, which I
agree they ought to have done in simple consistency, I do
understand why they did not: Very few in their
write in favor of equal rights for blacks and for women.
And I agree that racism is a great evil, but the racism in the United
States has less to do with the Declaration of Independence,
than it has
to do with the simple fact that there were many slaves, there was
of racism, and both
continued from 1776 till 1865, and indeed also since 1865, apart from
legal slavery, in part because there are quite a few quite stupid
whites, and in part because the poor whites and the poor blacks
competed for the same sorts of jobs.
There are more reasons for the persistence of racism in the United
States, but this will do here and now, and the next quotation is a
whole lot better:
The legitimacy of white supremacy within
a constitutional framework has been finessed for 240 years, but
demographics dictate that it can be finessed no longer. The November
election has chosen itself as the forum in which the choice between
constitutionalism and white supremacy will be made once and for all.
So let it be made, and made decisively,
for constitutional government, which has served a changing majority
probably as well these many years as any other form of government could
The demographics that Arguimbau appeals to
show that soon there will be fewer whites than people who have
a non-white background (including Mexicans etc. who are racially white
- I'd say - but who are discriminated).
And the choice between constitutionalism
and white supremacy is dictated by the fact that Donald Trump is
Here is more on the US Constitution -
which in fact is under wide attack, not only by white racists but also
by many other rightist groups and also by groups inside
simply do not adhere to it, while they should):
I agree, although I think “antiterrorism” had a far wider grasp than
merely to "deprive non-whites of
constitutional safeguards": Antiterrorism has
the goal of
We recognize that states are widely
attempting to cut off minority voting rights, that “antiterrorism” is a
not-very-veiled process going back two decades to deprive non-whites of
constitutional safeguards (see, e.g. the US “Anti-terrorism and
Effective Death Penalty Act” of 1993); that conduct of the “war on
terror” gives the President unfettered power to do virtually anything
without prior authorization and with no apparent participation by the
public or even Congress, presumably under his war powers; and indeed
that Trump walks and talks like a World War II fascist dictator.
Yet we somehow avoid saying that
abandonment of constitutional rule is part and parcel of the
preservation of white supremacy.
giving the governments a complete insight and full knowledge
of everything that all
people do, think, desire and value, with the intent of manipulating
people and removing anyone with displeasing attributes in
eyes of the governors.
It is the beginning of the rule of neofascism, and has been quite
consciously designed for that purpose, except that those furthering it formulate
it quite differently.
But apart from that I mostly agree, although I don't know that "Trump walks and talks like a World War II fascist dictator".
It seems that he does look like Mussolini in some respects, but
didn't have the patience to check this out, and I also don't think a
person's walk says anything about his politics.
Therefore this is indeed the choice the people of the USA have in
As fate has decreed, the
representative of white supremacy is Donald Trump, and the
representative of constitutional government is Hillary Clinton.
And I think you should vote for
is bad, as I have also been saying from the beginning) because
Clinton or Trump will be the next president, and a president like the
mad, racist and neofascist Trump will be the
end of the USA and quite possibly of the world.
3. Clinton’s Transition Team: A Corporate Presidency Foretold
The third item today is by Norman
Solomon on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
Like other Bernie Sanders delegates in
Philadelphia a few weeks ago, I kept hearing about the crucial need to
close ranks behind Hillary Clinton. “Unity” was the watchword. But
Clinton has reaffirmed her unity with corporate America.
Rhetoric aside, Clinton is showing her
solidarity with the nemesis of the Sanders campaign—Wall Street. The
trend continued last week with the announcement that Clinton has tapped
former senator and Interior secretary Ken Salazar to chair her
After many months of asserting that her
support for the “gold standard” Trans-Pacific Partnership was a thing
of the past—and after declaring that she wants restrictions on fracking
so stringent that it could scarcely continue—Clinton has now selected a
vehement advocate for the TPP and for fracking, to coordinate the
process of staffing the top of her administration.
Yes indeed: This is all true (and has been
reported in Nederlog repeatedly).
Here is some more, that also is quite true (and I like William
K. Black (<- Wikipedia)):
“The transition team is one of the
absolute most important things in the world for a new administration,”
says William K. Black, who has held key positions at several major
regulatory agencies such as the Federal Home Loan Bank
Board. Along with “deciding what are we actually going to make our
policy priorities,” the transition team will handle key questions: “Who
will the top people be? Who are we going to vet, to hold all of the
cabinet positions, and many non-cabinet positions, as well? The whole
staffing of the senior leadership of the White House.”
Black’s assessment of Salazar,
Podesta and the transition team’s four co-chairs is withering. “These
aren't just DNC regulars, Democratic National Committee regulars,” he
said in an interview with
The Real News Network. “What you're seeing is complete domination by
what used to be the Democratic Leadership Council. So this was a group
we talked about in the past. Very, very, very right-wing on foreign
policy, what they called a muscular foreign policy, which was a
euphemism for invading places. And very, very tough on crime—this was
that era of mass incarceration that Bill Clinton pushed, and it's when
Hillary was talking about black ‘superpredators,’ this myth, this so
As I said, I think this is all true and
you never saw me say that Hillary Clinton is a good
candidate: I think she is a bad one, indeed in part for the
stated in this article, but I also think that the only realistic
alternative  is far worse than she is.
Here is Black on Hillary Clinton's motives
to declare herself against the TPP (which she has been for a
long time, and all you have now is her present word she is not,
anymore) and against fracking (idem):
As for Hillary Clinton’s widely heralded
“move to the left” in recent months, Black said that it “was purely
calculated for political purposes. And all of the team that's going to
hire all the key people and vet the key people for the most senior
positions for at least the first several years of what increasingly
looks likely to be a Clinton administration are going to be picked by
these people, who are the opposite of progressive.”
Yes, indeed: I completely agree with Black
(and never wrote otherwise). Here is the ending of the article:
Again I agree - but while I agree
Clinton is in fact a bad, a
rightist, and a conservative candidate, her one opponent is a mad
fascist racist, which makes it all-important that he is not
Blessed with an unhinged and widely
deplored Republican opponent, Hillary Clinton may be able to defeat him
without doing much to mend fences with alienated Sanders voters. But
Clinton’s smooth rhetoric should not change the fact that—on a vast
array of issues—basic principles will require progressives to fight
against her actual policy goals, every step of the way.
And as to that, next (and last) we have a backer of Bernie Sanders,
acknowledged that he was defeated by Clinton, and who supports
basically because - like me - he fears Trump very much, which means
that this backer of Sanders is not anymore a backer of Sanders as he is
now. Even so, her arguments are rather good:
4. I'm a Bernie Backer and I Refuse to Support Hillary
The fourth and last item today is
by Shawnee Badger on Common Dreams:
This starts as follows:
I used to think that the Democrats were
the good guys and the Republicans were the bad guys. That's why I've
only ever been registered and identified as a Democrat. The Democratic
Party is the party of social justice that looks out for the less
fortunate, right? The party of the middle class, advocating for
equality and progress, while the Republican Party, is ... well ...
stuck in the distant past.
I was correct about the Republican
Party. But I was incredibly wrong about the Democratic Party. Yes, I'm
a Sen. Bernie
Sanders (Vt.) supporter — specifically, I was a California
delegate to the national convention. Yes, I'm also a millennial. No, I
will not be supporting Hillary
Clinton this November.
And also, let me clarify, no, I’m not a
man. So don't call me sexist.
And now, the question on many
progressives' minds: Can Clinton, the Democratic nominee, represent
progressive voters and issues important to progressives?
No. She can't.
In fact, I have myself never
thought that the Democrats are the good guys, although it so happens
that I have always preferred Democratic presidential candidates over
Republican ones, at least from Kennedy onwards.
But I agree with the rest, except
"will not be supporting Hillary
Clinton this November". Then again,
she has very good arguments why
Hillary Clinton is not a progressive:
She won't ban fracking or implement a carbon tax. She
formerly enthusiastically pushed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), once
calling it the "gold standard." She is funded by lobbyists for private prisons. She led the charge
for violent, deadly and destructive regime change in Libya and Syria
and supported the coup in Honduras.
She is against reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act. She is
not a transparent politician; if she were, she would have released the transcripts of her speeches that she
gave to Wall Street events — which by the way, must have been sheer,
utter genius, considering how much she was paid to give those speeches.
She supported the 2008 Wall Street
bailout. She supports the former Democratic National Committee (DNC)
chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.). She is not only pandering
to Republicans for their support, but she is seeking the endorsement of President Nixon's
former secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. She favors a federal $12 minimum wage, rather than $15.
She is pro-death-penalty. She appointed pro-TPP,
pro-fracking former senator, Ken Salazar (Colo.), as chair of her presidential
transition team. She is open to constitutional restrictions on abortion. She has deep ties to Wal-Mart, and served on its corporate
board during the '90s. Wal-mart has also been a big campaign donor.
I think (and know in most cases) that all
of this is quite true, and indeed Hillary Clinton (like her husband
Bill, and see item 1) is certainly not a
progressive. Also, I quite
agree with Shawnee Badger that a real
progressive candidate, like Bernie Sanders, is a much better
There is also this, which I again agree with:
That is: She is a known liar, she is not a
progressive, she deceives the voters in order to get elected, she is
quite incredible as a defender of the poor - it's all true.
Remember when Clinton was against gay marriage until 2013?
I know what you must be thinking: "I
thought Clinton was a Democrat ... "
Ignore the fact that she voted
for a barrier between the United States and Mexico (sound
And another thing: How can you speak out
against income inequality while wearing a $12,495 Giorgio Armani jacket
and having a net worth of nearly $50 million?
I know what you're thinking, "But, but,
but — all her recent speeches and statements seem progressive. Look at
her nomination acceptance speech."
I hate to burst your bubble, but Clinton
cannot be trusted — from big issues, like lying about emailing classified information from her private
server, to small things, like lying about coming under sniper
Finally, this is from the ending of the
article, and while I quite agreed with nearly everything
said, I disagree with her conclusion:
However, I really think it's time that
we revolutionaries shift away from the two-party system, because
honestly, both parties are just destructive tidal waves of corruption —
tidal waves that, this time, climate change is not responsible for.
That is why, this November, I will reject the lesser of two evils and I
will fight for the greater good. I will support Green Party nominee
Jill Stein (...)
I think that is stupid - which I don't
think Shawnee Badger is, but we all make stupid decisions, and this is
one. Here are my arguments.
First, I consider it a virtual certainty
that Jill Stein will not win the elections.
Indeed, I suppose most people - the large majority - who will be voting
for Stein think the same.
This means that those who vote for Jill Stein will have lost
their vote in the presidential elections, simply because she will not
Second, I think that both
presidential candidates who have a chance of winning the presidency are
bad. Indeed, I agree with Shawnee Badger in
her criticisms of Hillary Clinton.
Third, I think that every rational person
who is forced to choose from two evils, should choose the lesser evil.
And while I think Hillary Clinton is bad,
I think Donald Trump is far worse: He is mad (and I am a
psychologist); he is a racist; he is a neofascist; he is a rightist; he
has many Mafia-connections; he is far too temperamental to be
trusted with the ability to fire atomic weapons, and that is just the
beginning of a very long list.
Therefore, I think any
rational person who has the choice of the next US president, should
vote for Hillary Clinton, because that is the only way to
prevent that Trump will become president.
In fact, I don't think I will have convinced Shawnee Badger, and I
think one possible reason is the difference in our ages: She is at most
35, I am 66. And while I don't think wisdom comes with
age, I do know a whole lot, and I think
I have learned better than before how to be rational and reasonable, which
are two of my supreme ends.
And the rational and reasonable choice now
is for the lesser evil, because the alternative is horrific
and mad. And I should add, since I am talking about a
Bernie backer, that Bernie Sanders agrees with me and not
with Shawnee Badger.
Perhaps I should add that I never
liked Bill Clinton, although my dislike for him in the 1990ies was much
less based on facts than it is now, and much more on my recognition
that he was a very good speaker and a very good liar (and I
think almost all politicians are liars anyway, but I could and did see
he was extremely good at it, and I mean lying and deceiving).
 I think it is
rather important to see that (in spite of postmodernistic assurances
that there is no truth)
that the end of all propaganda is
to convince people that what is propagandized is either probable
(more than 1/2) or true, while what makes something propaganda is that
it falsifies the evidence
(to some extent or completely).
I have been arguing for this proposition since 1970 or so, but it seems
I convinced very few, perhaps because I live in Holland, where the law
says that everyone is of equal value. Once again, the "value" is not
specified, and all I want to say here and now is that nobody believes that everyone is his or her
equal. (If there were then, according to their belief, there would
be just 1 person, logically
Also, it happens to be a fact that for any
characteristic you have that may be more or less, there are almost
certainly others who are better on that characteristic than
rights also are both a good and a moral idea, and I mostly agree with
the Wikipedia, who defines them as follows (minus note numbers):
And the reason they do
so is that rights (supposed rights, desired rights, asserted
rights, all of which also may be denied) come before
the content of law and the form of government, which in fact result
from particular decisions to treat certain things - decisions, norms,
regulations - as rights and other things not.
Rights are legal, social, or
ethical principles of freedom
or entitlement; that is, rights are the
rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to
some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory.
Rights are of essential importance in
such disciplines as law and ethics, especially theories of justice
Rights are often considered fundamental to civilization,
being regarded as established pillars of society
and the history of social conflicts can be found in the
history of each right and its development. According to the Stanford
Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "rights structure the form of governments,
the content of laws, and the shape of morality
as it is currently perceived."
Incidentally, in languages like Dutch and German, the terms for "law"
and for "right" may be the same, namely "recht", although there are
additional terms for specific laws.
 That is: I do not
think that it is realistic to believe that Jill Stein (or Gary Johnson)
will win the presidency.