Progressive Issues Promoted by Republican Not Democratic Newsmedia

Eric Zuesse

By far the largest online audience of all Republican Party news-sites is Breitbart News, whose major stories typically have over a thousand reader-comments; and, so, that site will be the source for the articles which will here be discussed.

Breitbart featured on August 8th and 9th four news reports that focused-in on what is actually the shocking conservatism of two Democratic Party Presidential candidates, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg. Perhaps Democratic Party voters can’t recognize how conservative those two Democratic Party Presidential candidates actually are, but Breitbart News does, and they are here pointing it out. Must one go to conservative sites, such as Breitbart, in order to have that pointed out? Apparently so.

The openings of each of those four news-reports will be posted below, and, after them, will be posted my comments on the ways in which each report is referring to the authoritarianism, and/or racism, of the given Democratic Party candidate, as reflecting a degree of conservatism that I, a progressive, would never vote for in a candidate (though liberals and conservatives might find them to be quite acceptable):

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https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/08/08/joe-biden-poor-kids-are-just-as-bright-and-just-as-talented-as-white-kids/

Joe Biden: ‘Poor Kids Are Just as Bright and Just as Talented as White Kids’

8 August 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids,” while addressing the Asian and Latino Coalition in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday.

“We should challenge these students, we should challenge students in these schools to have advanced placement programs in these schools,” the former vice president said when discussing the need to improve America’s education system. “We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor you cannot do it, poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”

Biden quickly attempted to clarify his remarks by adding “wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids” to the end of his previous sentence. …

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https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/08/09/oh-joe-biden-confuses-ex-british-pm-theresa-may-with-margaret-thatcher-again/

Biden Confuses Ex-British PM Theresa May with Margaret Thatcher [Again]

9 August 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday night mixed up the name of the former British Prime Minister Theresa May with Margaret Thatcher – who left office in 1990.

This is the second time in a matter of months he has found himself struggling to correctly name the leader – current or otherwise – of ally Great Britain.

[Biden, addressing the Asian & Latino Coalition PAC on August 9th, about Trump’s evil statement which had called the racist KKK “good people” said: “You had people like Margaret That[cher] — excuse me [and he didn’t follow that by the words “Theresa May,” to correct himself, because he had forgotten her name]. You had people like the former chairman and the leader of the party [he didn’t know its name] in Germany. You had Angela Merkel [finally, he did get something right] stand up and say how terrible it was. International leaders looked at us like what in God’s name is happening in the United States of America?” However, Biden lied there, because what those leaders were condemning wasn’t Trump’s appalling statement about the KKK’s violent march in Charlottesvile, but instead they were condemning the KKK’s violence there. Biden lied there to allege that they had condemned Trump’s vile statement about that march. The foreign leaders strongly condemned the KKK’s “evil attack,” not America’s President. This is how Biden speaks to a PAC to pander for its donations — ignoring the actual policy-issues, and lying to appeal to their already existing preconceptions and peeves]

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https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/08/09/flashback-joe-biden-repeatedly-praised-george-wallace/

Flashback: Joe Biden Repeatedly Praised George Wallace

9 August 2019

Joe Biden compared President Donald Trump to the late-Alabama Gov. George Wallace (D) on Wednesday, despite his own history with the once ardent segregationist.

Biden, who in recent months has faced controversy for praising two segregationist Democrats with whom he served in the United States Senate, made the comments on Wednesday during an address in Burlington, Iowa.

The speech was billed by Biden’s campaign as a discussion about the “battle for the soul of our nation” in the wake of a string of mass shootings. Instead of suggesting more funding for mental health or new gun control measures — two of the usual solutions proposed in the aftermath of such tragedies — Biden laid the blame directly on Trump, claiming the president had encouraged hatred and disunity among the American people.

“We’re living through a rare moment in this nation’s history. Where our president isn’t up to the moment,” the former vice president said. “Where our president lacks the moral authority to lead. Where our president has more in common with George Wallace than George Washington.”

The comparison was not totally surprising, given that Biden has escalated his attacks on the president in recent days, even likening him to the Ku Klux Klan on Monday. It did, however, strike some as odd because of Biden’s own long history of invoking and at time praising the late-Alabama governor.

“I think the Democratic Party could stand a liberal George Wallace — someone who’s not afraid to stand up and offend people, someone who wouldn’t pander but would say what the American people know in their gut is right,” Biden told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1975 when discussing why liberals should not “apologize for locking up criminals.” …

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https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/08/09/pete-buttigieg-the-press-is-never-the-enemy-of-the-people/

Pete Buttigieg: ‘The Press Is Never the Enemy of the People’

9 August 2019

Mayor Pete Buttigieg defended the role of the media on Thursday, criticizing the president for branding them the “enemy of the people.”

“At a time like this when the press are under daily assault it is important, I think, for candidates whether the coverage on any given day is critical or supportive or somewhere in between, know that the press is never the enemy of the people,” Buttigieg said. …

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MY COMMENTS

“Joe Biden: ‘Poor Kids Are Just as Bright and Just as Talented as White Kids”

This is a very good example of the most egregious sort of liberal racism: the idea that the basic problem in America is between ethnic groups (or cultures), and not between economic groups (or classes) — between, in this instance, Blacks versus Whites, and not between billionaires (and the people and corporations who represent them in the U.S. Government) versus everyone else (the general public).

Obviously, Joe Biden is a White who has been so cloistered for so long and surrounded by rich and privileged Whites, so that he views the main barrier that’s faced by Blacks in our society as being that they are black, instead of that they are lower-income and lower-wealth than he and his fellow-Whites (almost all of them elite, and millionaires, such as himself) are. He doesn’t recognize how privileged he is, and how America’s poor — of all  ethnicities and races — face discrimination in practically every aspect of their lives. Whereas America has many highly honored Blacks, there are almost no highly honored poor people, of any  ethnicity or race. To be poor is to be heavily discriminated-against, in our society, as in most societies. All Senators are members of America’s elite, and Joe Biden might not be a racist, but he is certainly a classist — very authoritarian, very supremacist, very elitist. Anyone who isn’t a member of the elite would have to be stupid to think that Biden is, in his heart, “one of us,” in any significant regard. He has made clear, by his record, that he is not. For such politicians, the only value a poor person has, to him or her, is as a sucker who will vote for that politician, but such politicians never really represent an ordinary person’s class. It’s not in such a politician’s heart. However, elite persons, of other races, can be, and are, widely respected in America.

This comment by Biden, “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids,” assumes that all ”poor kids” are black. He’s probably not so stupid as actually to think that all Blacks are poor, but he slipped up here, and let spill out what he really feels: that Black people are poor people. He believes that the American economy is an engine of justice, and not an engine that’s run by the billionaires, for their own interest, and heavily weighted against not only the poor, but against everyone who doesn’t own or control a major corporation or the lobbying or advertising or PR or legal firm, or think tank, for one of those. He’s surrounded by the rich, and those (and his own family) are his ‘good’ people. He’s actually remarkably like Trump. His votes, his actual actions as a public official, in the U.S. Senate, reflect and have always reflected this — what he feels — not what he tells voters, which is a very sugar-coated version of the real Joe Biden. Though Trump panders to Republican Party megadonors, Biden panders to Democratic Party megadonors.

In his sugar-coated version, all that’s needed by black children (and for poor children black white or otherwise) is “we should challenge students in these schools to have advanced placement programs in these schools.” But “students” don’t have the power to add such programs — their maybe poverty-stricken school districts do, and maybe other needs there are even higher priority for the meager dollars at their disposal. Furthermore: not all  children need, or can benefit from, college and university training (the thing that’s focused on in advanced-placement and college-preparatory courses). What about children who are gifted in one or more of the arts? What about children who are gifted at mechanics, etc.? The four-year college regimen can be just a waste of money for many of the most-authentically-gifted students. The idea to the contrary isn’t only elitist and very not-progressive, but it wastes an enormous amount of expenditures personally, and governmentally, promoting such an elitist conception of — essentially — a cookie-cutter approach to education. Whereas that elitist view of education pumps up the incomes to colleges and universities and lenders for student loans, and so is very profitable for some extremely influential people and billionaires, it’s wrong for the country, and no child should be pushed into any cookie-cutter whatsoever. Either Biden there was playing up to those influential people and billionaires, to get their donations, or else he’s incredibly stupid. In either case: he can’t become a good President.

“Biden Confuses Ex-British PM Theresa May with Margaret Thatcher [Again]”

Biden routinely misrepresents things. The problem isn’t merely his mediocre intelligence, because always his misrepresentations reflect his propaganda-agenda: he’s actually aiming to fool voters, instead of to inform or educate them.

“Flashback: Joe Biden Repeatedly Praised George Wallace”

This news-report itself mixes its own deceptions into an authentic report about Biden’s hypocrisy, and his hypocrisy is shown there, where it said:

“I think the Democratic Party could stand a liberal George Wallace — someone who’s not afraid to stand up and offend people, someone who wouldn’t pander but would say what the American people know in their gut is right,” Biden told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1975 when discussing why liberals should not “apologize for locking up criminals.”

He was speaking as if a bigot can be “liberal,” but that’s true only for a “liberal” who is more of a conservative than a progressive — and yet Biden calls himself “progressive,” and never acknowledges that he, himself, is a conservative liberal. He just tries to fool progressives into thinking that he’s one of them — which he never has been.

Furthermore: he never did anything, as a federal official, to lock up the type of criminals who donate large sums to his Party — the liberal billionaires, some of whom have poisoned, endangered, and outright murdered, more people by signing a document than a thousand penitentiary-occupants (most of whom are poor) did. As a conservative, he favors only “locking up criminals” of the poor type. That’s the worst type of public official.

“Pete Buttigieg: ‘The Press Is Never the Enemy of the People’”

Was the press an enemy of the people when George W. Bush lied Americans into invading and destroying Iraq on 20 March 2003 and this nation’s press served him as the stenographers of his lies instead of served the American public as the investigators and exposers of his lies? And the same happened when the Liar-In-Chief was Barack Obama — not just about Syria, but about Ukraine, and about Russia, and even about Wall Street (and much else). In regards to all of those crucial matters (and practically all other crucial issues), virtually all of the press (that’s all major media, and also the ‘alt-news’ media that likewise are effectively controlled by America’s billionaires) are, indeed, “Enemies of the People”: stenographic reporters of what government officials allege to be the case — and this fact, of a stenographic ‘news’-media, is widely recognized by  the American people, as is documented, for example, here:

http://maristpoll.marist.edu/wp-content/misc/usapolls/us170621_PBS_NPR/NPR_PBS%20NewsHour_Marist%20Poll_National%20Nature%20of%20the%20Sample%20and%20Tables_Democracy_Trust_July%202017.pdf#page=11

NPR/Marist Poll, 1,205 American Adults, 21-25 June 2017

“How much do you trust the media?”

A great deal 8%

A good amount 22%

Not very much 31%

Not at all 37%

That’s 68% saying either “not very much” or “not at all,” and it contrasts to 30% saying “a great deal” or “a good amount.” Therefore, fortunately, already, the vast majority of Americans recognize that Buttigieg is an elitist liar.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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The Likely Outcome of Narendra Modi’s Unconstitutional Seizure of Kashmir

Eric Zuesse

An independent fact-finding mission into the now military-ruled constitutionally autonomous Indian state of Jammu-Kashmir (commonly referred to simply as “Kashmir”) reports that “The whole of Kashmir is, at the moment, a prison, under military control.” That’s not on account of any rebellion which had occurred there (none did); it is instead simply because of an unprovoked blitz unconstitutional invasion, on August 5th, of virtually only Hindu Indian troops, into the now Hindu-totalitarian-run nation of India’s, only majority-Muslim state, so as to conquer that state totally, and thus to now turn India itself into an apartheid-supremacist regime, much like Israel is over Palestine. Kashmir has suddenly been turned into India’s own Palestine. That land was suddenly grabbed and turned into a huge prison for Muslims.

The longer any Constitution is, the more unmanageable and less just the country or other state tends to be, and India unfortunately has one of the world’s two longest Constitutions. Wikipedia says that “The Indian constitution is the world’s longest for a sovereign nation.[b][3][4][5] At its enactment, it had 395 articles in 22 parts and 8 schedules.[16] At about 145,000 words, it is the second-longest active constitution – after the Constitution of Alabama [that’s the American state of Alabama] – in the world.[34]”

When Narendra Modi suddenly announced on August 5th that the Constitutionally guaranteed autonomy of India’s only majority-Muslim state, Kashmir-Jammu, or “J&K,” is now past history, no longer in effect, the brilliant “Moon of Alabama” blogger immediately headlined — and explained why — “India Will Come To Regret Today’s Annexation Of Jammu And Kashmir”. He provided this historical background:

In July 1949, Sheikh Abdullah and three colleagues joined the Indian Constituent Assembly and negotiated the special status of J&K, leading to the adoption of Article 370. This article limited the Union’s legislative power over Kashmir to the three subjects in the Instrument of Accession. If the Union government wanted to extend other provisions of the Indian Constitution, it would have to issue a Presidential Order under Article 370. The state government would have to give prior concurrence to this order. Moreover, the constituent assembly of J&K would have to accept these provisions and incorporate them in the state’s constitution. Once Kashmir’s constitution was framed, there could be no further extension of the Union’s legislative power to the state. This secured J&K’s autonomy.

Incidentally, this was the reason for listing the provisions of Article 370 as “temporary” in the Indian Constitution: the final contours of the state’s constitutional relationship with the Union were to be determined by the constituent assembly of J&K.

Today Amit Shah, the leader of India’s Upper House, announced the unilateral revocation of Article 370 (and the related Article 35a).

Shah did this by calling Article 370 “temporary” and ignoring that that appellation (“temporary”) had referred only to its being temporary until J&K would officially concur in it, which J&K quickly did. Ever since then, it has been, and remains, permanent (according to the Supreme Court of India ruling on 16 December 2016, reaffirming that same Court’s earlier ruling, on 10 October 1968). Therefore, it is clear that only by means of amending India’s Constitution can J&K’s autonomy be undone.

That anonymous blogger (whom I consider to be one of the world’s greatest investigative journalists) then continued:

It is inevitable that the actions today will lead [to] a new insurgency in J&K and beyond. Even if Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan does not want to support a new guerilla army in J&K, the military and other nationalist Pakistanis will push to supply it with everything that is needed [in order to support such an army].

So: at least unless and until India’s Constitution is amended, Modi’s grab for Kashmir not only is unConstitutional, but if this military occupation continues, then it is likely to spark a war in Kashmir, which could quickly become a war between Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan, next door to India.

How likely is India’s Constitution to be amended so as to allow this military occupation to continue indefinitely?

Wikipedia says:

The procedure [to amend] is detailed in Article 368. An amendment bill must be passed by each house of Parliament by a two-thirds majority of its total membership when at least two-thirds are present and vote. Certain amendments pertaining to the constitution’s federal nature must also be ratified by a majority of state legislatures.

Whether all of that can be done is highly questionable. So: not only is Modi’s action unConstitutional, but it could remain so — and produce a huge war.

No matter how bad India’s Constitution might be, Modi is far worse, because he is violating it by means of this brutal and entirely unjustifiable military crackdown.

On the same day as the crackdown, Indian Hindus in other parts of the country announced online that they now planned to relocate to Kashmir. The expectation is that the Muslims in Kashmir will be driven out and replaced by Hindus. This is widely believed to be the Indian Government’s plan, and the reason for this crackdown: an ethnic-cleansing of J&K for the benefit of India’s Hindus.

On August 10th, the New York Times detailed how horrific the crackdown is. Headlining “Inside Kashmir, Cut Off From the World: ‘A Living Hell’ of Anger and Fear”, they reported, from the city of Srinagar in Kashmir, that:

A sense of coiled menace hung over the locked-down city and the wider region on Saturday, a day after a huge protest erupted into clashes between Kashmiris and Indian security forces.

Shops were shut. A.T.M.s had run dry. Just about all lines to the outside world — internet, mobile phones, even landlines — remained severed, rendering millions of people incommunicado.

The New York Times gained one of the first inside views by a news organization of life under lockdown in Kashmir and found a population that felt besieged, confused, frightened and furious by the seismic events of this week. …

Tens of thousands of troops from the Indian Army, the Central Reserve Police Force (a paramilitary unit) and the Kashmiri State police have been deployed in just about every corner of the valley. In some villages, even remote ones, a soldier was posted outside the gate of each family’s home. …

Mr. Modi has said the new status will make Kashmir more peaceful and prosperous. In a televised speech on Thursday, which most Kashmiris could not watch because their television service had also been cut, he insisted that turning Kashmir into a federal territory would eliminate corruption, attract investment and move it “forward with new hopes.’’

Narendra Modi had risen to power in India by imposing a 3-day anti-Muslim “pogrom” or “ethnic cleansing” in the state of Gujarat, from 27 February through 1 March of 2002, during which, approximately 150,000 people were driven to refugee camps. So, there is clear reason for India’s 15% Muslim minority to fear the country’s 80% Hindu majority, who, in 2014, elected this bigot, Modi, to lead India. And, now since August 5th, that bigot has an iron grip on India’s only Muslim-majority state, J&K.

The pressure upon Pakistan’s leader, Imran Khan, to respond militarily, against the Modi-led bigots, can only rise, as long as Modi’s unConstitutional aggression, perhaps amounting to an even bigger ethnic cleansing, now against the residents in J&K, continues. A mass-exodus of Muslims from J&K is likely and expected, especially into adjoining Pakistan. As those refugees accumulate there, the pressure on Khan can only rise even further. Already on August 11th, Khan tweeted that “Attempt is to change demography of Kashmir through ethnic cleansing. Question is: Will the world watch & appease as they did Hitler at Munich?”

As of yet, there is no actual discussion in the now totalitarian Indian media, regarding a Constitutional Amendment, in order to legalize Modi’s August 5th action. His Government’s official position is:

Whatever its legal or historical status, the time has come to amend, if not end Article 370. We must not forget that the continuance of Article 370 is the biggest hurdle to a lasting solution to the Kashmir conundrum. As such, it is the other side of the Pulwama massacre. Strikes across the border are only one way to avenge or redress the latter. But the internal rectification required is the full and complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India. In order to accomplish this, Article 370 must go.

So, they aren’t actually saying that Article 370 “is gone,” but that it “must go.” They are, right at the start, setting up the possibility for an Amendment-resolution, by asserting that “the time has come to amend, if not end Article 370.” They are not actually saying Article 370 has ended. This lacuna is their existing policy’s escape-valve. The regime’s goal is to act as if  Article 370 is already simply gone, until the public overwhelmingly assumes that it has somehow been Constitutionally removed — even though it hasn’t. The regime’s control over its press is sufficient to exclude, for now, any public debate about that central issue — it is a non-issue, currently. It is an issue that’s thus being held in abeyance.

But, also, the official position asserts that, come what may, Article 370, and 35A both must no longer continue in force; and specific condemnations of the Muslim faith and of Muslim traditions are prominent in this part of the Government’s official position, such as:

abrogation of laws like Article 370 and 35A will be opposed by vested interests. It has taken decades to rid the Muslim daughters of India of the evil and ignominy of tripletalaaq — a pernicious custom whereby a Muslim male could divorce his wife by a simple rendering of the word talaaq, three times, by any means. Here too, the Muslim clergy, all male dominated, termed such a judgement by the apex court as an assault on their faith, conveniently forgetting that Muslim countries such as Pakistan have already enacted such laws decades ago. It is, thus, time for India to move on and not be held hostage to blackmail and threats from religious power brokers.

So: the Hindu regime is now officially damning Islam, and calling Muslim clergy “religious power brokers.” This is blatantly in violation of India’s 471-page Constitution. Here is from the Constitution’s Table of Contents:

PART III

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

General

12. Definition …………………………………………………………………. 6

13. Laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights. … 6

Right to Equality

14. Equality before law ………………………………………………………………….. 6

15. Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth … 7

Among the reasons for the Constitution’s extraordinary length are its many exceptions, such as, for example, Article 371A, which says that nothing in the Constitution “shall apply to the State of Nagaland unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution so decides.”

However, what will happen if the Government’s promise that its August 5th action will bring ‘peace’ to Kashmir turns out to become too blatantly false in order for that lie to be able to be successfully continued? Perhaps the ‘news’-media will then receive changed instructions, so as to allow a public debate about whether, maybe, there ought  to be a Parliamentary initiative to put forth such an Amendment to the Constitution, for consideration. And, if the Government by then has decided to cancel the August 5th action, that failed initiative would be the best possible excuse for doing this: the failure of the initiative to revise Article 370 would become the excuse for cancelling the August 5th action. And, then, the peace-negotiations, could begin, between the J&K state, and the Indian Government. Modi has not locked that exit-door from his policy; and, if he walks through it, he’ll be able to blame the legislature, for failing to remove Article 370.

Every dictatorship thrives on the continuing inability of the public to examine and analyze reality in the way that a scientist does in the practice of his/her particular profession; and that’s the reason why these intellectual skills, the most basic ones of all — thinking in the way that a scientist does — are not being taught in all of public education, but instead the popular myths are taught to children, and are being reinforced in India and other dictatorships. That makes the public controllable, by the dictators. And so it is, in India today.

As regards the Constitutionality of the measure that the Modi regime is applying so as to impose this theft of control over J&K from J&K’s majority-Muslim residents, that measure is Presidential Order C.O. 272, which was issued on August 5th. The chief blog of India’s Constitutional lawyers, “Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy”, headlined on August 13th “Guest Post: Article 370: The Constitutional challenge”, and the author, “Nivedhitha K.”, opened that “The Presidential Order C.O. 272 … is the genesis of the subsequent events,” and closed that “the Presidential Order C.O. 272 and all the subsequent activities that have … genesis in the presidential order are unconstitutional.” The logical process between the opening and ending was flawless; and, so, there can be no honest legal question about the unConstitutionality of what Modi has been doing to J&K ever since August 5th — Modi’s traitorism to India’s Constitution, and thus to all Indians. The only real question is instead whether India’s ‘news’-media will start to publicize this important fact. Meanwhile, the Government races forward with its rape of India’s Constitution, in the hope that enough J&K Muslims will evacuate that land so as to enable Hindus ‘democratically’ to impose some sort of apartheid anti-Muslim regime there. It’s simply a race against time, all in clear violation of Indian law, to achieve Hindu control there. Modi seems to be as bold as Hitler was. Fascists everywhere are traitors to their country, and this is now being made manifestly clear in India. No nation where the Constitution is unenforced can be a democracy — not even if the Constitution itself might be thought, by some people, to be, itself, democratic.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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Who Protected Epstein for Decades, and Why?

Let’s start by stipulating that the Jeffrey Epstein story is so sordid and outlandish that it’s like a made-for-TV movie about the evil proprietor of a nightmarish enclave of private perversion and sexual exploitation, Lolita Island.

For Epstein’s victims, the nightmare was all too real.

Next, let’s stipulate that in a nation with a functioning system of justice, every individual who knew about Epstein’s degenerate empire and did nothing to stop it should be ushered into a Federal prison cell to ponder their sins against the exploited girls and against the nation.

Yes, as in treason, as in “throw them in prison and let them rot” treason. As I have explained, corruption and debauchery undermine the legitimacy of the state, and so doing nothing while Epstein et al. gratified the desires of the rich and powerful for degenerate debauchery was treasonous: the American state will collapse not from military conflict but from moral decay, and every individual who enabled (or made use of) that moral decay is guilty of treason.

Which leads us to the basic questions of the case: who protected Epstein for decades, and why? There are several explanations floating around for the why: those in power enjoyed their diabolically exploitive visits to Lolita Island and wanted to continue their criminal gratifications.

The second explanation is that Epstein was a spy for a “friendly” foreign intelligence agency and therefore off-limits. (“Friendly” is in quotes because when it comes to intelligence, one’s “friends” can do more damage than one’s worst enemies.)

Let’s say this turns out to be true. Wouldn’t the NSA, CIA and FBI know of Epstein’s activities and connections to a foreign intelligence service? Of course they would. So at a minimum, we can infer the NSA, CIA and FBI enabled Epstein’s operation to continue for some benefit, perhaps relating to “honeypot” blackmail and control of “assets,” unwilling or willing.

This narrative is the “explanation” for Epstein’s wrist-slap conviction a decade ago: he was supposedly an “asset” of US intelligence.

So exploiting vulnerable girls served the “national interests” and therefore it’s all OK. If we’re supposed to believe this is the heart of the matter, how is America any different from a corrupt developing-world kleptocracy organized to gratify a handful of oligarchs and their cronies?

Or perhaps the “he was an intelligence asset” is just a tissue-thin cover for a much more destructive reality: those at the top of the American state have no moral compass at all. That honeypots and blackmail are standard-issue tools of spycraft targeting individuals in the employee of other nations is a given, but presumably the CIA doesn’t recruit 14-year girls as bait (although nothing should surprise us at this point).

But Lolita island (a.k.a. Orgy Island) was not spycraft; it was a privately operated wholesale exploitation of underage girls for the gratification of the Western world’s male elites. That some enterprising agency recruited (or blackmailed) Jeffrey Epstein was predictable, as the treasure trove of compromising videos could yield all sorts of useful leverage on highly placed individuals.

Many of us sense an existential crisis is close at hand, and the U.S. is ill-prepared for such a crisis. Possibilities broached by others include a global war, a break-up of the U.S. into regional states, or a civil war of some sort.

My bet is on a moral and financial crisis in which the ruling elites and the federal state lose their legitimacy, i.e. the consent of the governed. As their Federal Reserve “money” loses value and the corruption of the ruling elites and the government they control reaches extremes, the citizenry will no longer heed their corrupt, self-serving “leaders.”

If America’s ruling elites will not let justice be done, then they guarantee a revolt against the elites that could track a very grim path if that is the only option left open to the citizenry.

Once again I turn to The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats for a poetic evocation of the coming crisis:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

 

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POLL: Biden & Sanders Both Beat Trump in Texas

No Other Democratic Candidate Does.

Eric Zuesse

Emerson College polls are rated B+, well above average but not great, in the 538-dot-com carefully tabulated rankings of 497 polling organizations. The following Emerson College poll-findings from Texas registered voters were released on August 13th:

Emerson College Poll of 1,033 Registered Voters in Texas During 1-3 August:

Biden 50.8% v. Trump 49.2%

Sanders 50.6% v. Trump 49.4%

O’Rourke 48.1% v. Trump 51.9%

Buttigieg 48.0% v. Trump 52%

Warren 47.6% v. Trump 52.4%

Castro 47.2% v. Trump 52.8%

Harris 46.2% v. Trump 53.8%

Among only the poll’s 400 Democratic Party voters, Biden is strongly preferred above any other Democrat:

Biden 27.7%

O’Rourke 19.0%

Sanders 15.7%

Warren 13.7%

Buttigieg 7.2%

Harris 5.3%

Yang 3.1%

BOTTOM LINE — Reasonable inferences from this poll:

Biden is likely to win the Texas primary; and, in the general election, Biden is likely to beat Trump in Texas. If Sanders wins the Democratic nomination, he is approximately as likely to beat Trump in Texas in the general-election contest as is Biden. If Buttigieg or Warren win the nomination, then they would probably be within striking distance of being able to beat Trump in Texas, but they would be more likely to lose Texas to Trump. Harris would be even likelier to lose Texas to Trump.

In any case: Texas is no longer a sure bet to vote Republican. Trump could lose Texas, which he had won by a 10% margin — 52.2% to Clinton’s 42.2% — in 2016. Even against the weaker realistically possible Democratic candidates such as Harris, he has far smaller Texas victory margins in this poll than he actually enjoyed in the 2016 general-election contest against Clinton.

Therefore, Trump now seems to be far likelier to lose in 2020 than he had ever seemed likely to lose in 2016. In 2016, it was a real horse-race; but, now, even the formerly solidly Republican state of Texas — the largest of all of the states which voted for Trump in 2016, with 36 electoral votes (the second-largest state after California’s 55 electoral votes, and those votes went to Clinton) — is actually in play for a possible Democratic win of Texas in 2020.

Consequently, a Trump win of the national Presidential contest is far less likely even than was the case in 2016. This time around, Trump’s winning in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania won’t be nearly enough in order for him to have a fighting chance of winning the Presidency. His sharply lowered support now in Texas indicates that far more states are likely to be essential wins for him, in order for Trump to be able to retain his office.

None of the leading Democratic contenders this time around is even nearly as widely and deeply loathed nationally as Hillary Clinton was. The only candidate who likely will be is Trump himself, who, even in 2016, was approximately as widely loathed as she was.

Maybe a realistic estimate is that this time around, Trump will have a 10% chance of winning. He’s practically already a lame duck President. He has done that to himself, by what he has done while in office. Perhaps the only thing that might be able to keep him in office beyond 2020 would be devastating findings against Barack Obama and his Democratic Party, resulting from the current U.S. Justice Department’s investigation into possible rigging by the Obama Administration in 2016 in order for Democrats to have been able to present what turned out to have been a phony ‘Russiagate’ case against then-candidate, and now-President, Trump, which case against him consumed Trump’s first few years as the President. Such a shocker, such a counter-scandal (i.e., this time, against Democrats, and being backed by convincing evidence, if it turns out to be that) might happen between now and the November 2020 U.S. Presidential election. But, right now — and barring such a shocker as that — Trump’s prospects to retain office are bleak, on the basis of these poll-findings.

MY CONCLUSIONS:

Normally, one poll doesn’t mean much, but this one actually does mean much — its findings are strong enough, and reliable enough, and in a large enough (the second-largest) state, so as for them to mean a great deal about the likelihood that Trump will turn out to have been a one-term President. That likelihood now is extraordinarily high.

Consequently, whoever wins the Democratic Party’s nomination will almost certainly become President in 2021. The voters in that Party’s Presidential primaries and caucuses will almost certainly end up having selected America’s next President. And, unless either Warren or Sanders early enough endorses* the other of those two (which each of those two has an obligation to do if that person cares more about the country than about him-or-her-self winning the nomination — and it furthermore actually could, for each of them, increase greatly his/her likelihood* of actually winning the nomination), that next U.S. President appears likeliest to be Joe Biden. Since his long record has already proven him to be excessively mistake-prone, Biden’s actually being the Democratic candidate could very well then reduce his voter-support in Texas well below the present poll’s showing, of Biden 50.8% v. Trump 49.2%; and I therefore predict that if  the nominee is Biden, he would actually lose in Texas and lose the election, just as Hillary did in 2016. Both are/were incompetent — even more so than is Trump. The present poll can’t even possibly show that — it’s way too early to show it.

America seems heading for hell. Yet another rotten U.S. President could tip the future into catastrophe. Voters in each Party are by far unrealistically respecting their particular Party’s latest Presidents — ALL of America’s recent Presidents (and Congresses) have produced (ever since 1980) historically unprecedented skyrocketing federal debt along with a transfer of national wealth from the public to the billionaires, which has resulted in no benefit to the public, but instead an equally soaring personal debt, so that only the billionaires have net-benefited, and everyone else is in a worse situation than was the case in 1980 (far worse, because not just government but also personal indebtedness has soared while the public’s standard of living has flatlined since 1980 and the only real change for the public has therefore been their skyrocketing debt. Too few voters know how to process information. That obliviousnesss gave Americans the Hobson’s choice, of Clinton versus Trump, in 2016; and I think that voters don’t learn from history and that they will therefore repeat it, even now at the precipice (heading off the ever-higher cliff). The majority of voters consider acceptable what is happening in America, no matter how bad it has actually become, and now is. Very few people will survive such a fall.

They don’t know how bad things actually are. For examples: they consider acceptable, as the U.S. President, Joe Biden who as a Senator in 2002 voted to allow then-President George W. Bush to make, all on his own, the decision as to whether or not to invade Iraq (when everyone already knew that Bush strongly wanted to do precisely that), and to consider acceptable also the choice in 2016 between Hillary Clinton who — also as a Senator — had likewise voted just as Biden did on that fateful occasion, versus Donald Trump, who had no record at all as a federal U.S. official and who therefore could be judged only on the basis of his lying words.

Americans think that this is democracy. It’s not. It’s instead voters who have never been educated about how to process information. (A country like that cannot be a democracy.) It’s a profoundly corrupt country — and that’s why the public haven’t ever been taught (as they should have been in elementary school) how to process information. Americans instead have been taught myths (lauditory toward the billionaires).

And Americans therefore find the present situation to be acceptable. It’s not, but they don’t know this, because they’ve been kept ignorant, not about what to think (those myths, religious and otherwise, taught to children) but how  to think (as any scientist must).

That fact (the public’s ignorance of how to think, and the corruption which produces that) can destroy a nation, and can even destroy the entire world. And it’s happening now, right before our very eyes, as we approach the cliff.

There won’t be any real mystery about why bad and worse result from this. The reason why is already clear, and has been evident for a long time — and, yet, most Americans know little or nothing about this dire situation, much less about the institutionalized corruption that is producing it.

Either the next U.S.President will be more of the same, or else it will be one who leads revolutionary changes, in the correct directions, which are far different from what this country has been on, ever since at least 1980. The options for America are now that stark.

——

*      Here is how I propose that this be done: On the night of the New Hampshire primary, Tuesday 11 February 2020, both Warren and Sanders will announce that she/he will remain in the contest until all of the state primaries and caucuses are over on 2 June 2020; and that, then, whichever of the two will, by the end, have the fewer number of won delegates will throw her/his support to the other of these two candidates at the Convention. This will not only allow each of the two to remain in the contest until the end, but it will be a clear and unambiguous unity between them, announcing that what is the most important thing, of all, to each of them, is that one of the two of them ought to become the Party’s nominee. This unification between them will also free each of the two from ever at all criticizing the other during the primaries. They will already, after 11 February 2020, effectively constitute a team, moving forward together, not for him/her-self alone, but for the Party, and for the nation. That’s how it should be done.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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David Swanson: Nukes- What Are They Good For?

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