PND Commentary

Rubio most disingenuous Republican running for President

April 14, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Brian Beutler  

"Most of the Republican Party’s primary candidates have internalized something that was blindingly obvious to everyone who watched the 2012 elections unfold. So long as traditional turnout patterns hold, Republicans can’t keep up with Democrats in presidential contests. To win, they need to alter the turnout pattern, and to alter the turnout pattern, they need to break with GOP orthodoxy in some way. ... Senator Marco Rubio, who will announce his candidacy for president on Monday, was supposed to lead a GOP breakaway faction in support of comprehensive immigration reform, but was unable to persuade House Republicans to ignore the nativist right, and the whole thing blew up in his face. In regrouping, he’s determined that the key to restoring Republican viability in presidential elections is to woo middle class voters with fiscal policies that challenge conservative orthodoxy." (04/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k9ao6gp  

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Hillary still too cautious on campaign finance reform

April 14, 2015
posted by

John Nichols The Nation
by John Nichols  

"As she begins to frame out the themes of her 2016 presidential run, Hillary Clinton says she will make reform of the nation's 'dysfunctional' campaign finance system a focus of her campaign. She is right to do so. And she is getting close to addressing the issue in the right way. 'We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccountable money out of it once and for all -- even if it takes a constitutional amendment,' the former Secretary of State told students at Kirkwood Community College in rural Monticello, Iowa. Like most prominent Democrats, Clinton is too cautious on this issue." (04/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nhdm68l  

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Won’t get fooled again

April 14, 2015
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"Regardless of Hillary's populist rhetoric today, the Clintons were part of an incredibly incestuous and corrupt, bipartisan good ol' boy political culture in Arkansas. We have no reason to believe that the crooked business deals she participated in, her oversight of Walmart's incredibly anti-worker policies while sitting on the Board of Directors, or her close ties to Monsanto, are not who she still is today. Putting your hopes in electoral politics to end corporate rule is setting yourself up for betrayal." (04/14/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/37174  

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Life in the land of Britain’s political insurgents

April 14, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Amie Ferris-Rotman  

"In 1964, as Britain experienced an influx of Asian and African post-colonial immigrants, Conservative Party member Peter Griffiths was controversially elected to parliament, winning on the slogan, 'If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour.' It was a virulently racist campaign that shocked the British establishment, leading Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson to brand Griffiths a 'leper,' jumpstarting the Birmingham division of the Ku Klux Klan, and evoking ire -- and a whistle-stop visit -- from Malcolm X. Fast-forward 50 years, and Britain is once again engaged in a row over racism in the lead-up to a general election on May 7 -- this time centering on the UK Independence Party (UKIP) headed by Nigel Farage. The beer-guzzling euroskeptic leader is perpetually surrounded by scandal, whether as a result of his unabashed dislike of Romanians or his call for the abolishment of race laws aimed at preventing prejudice in the workplace. " (04/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lbwb2na  

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The US boom that never was

April 14, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Dean Baker  

"The Labor Department reported the U.S. economy created 126,000 jobs in March. This was a sharp slowdown from the 290,000 average over the prior three months. This relatively weak jobs report led many economic analysts to comment that the economy may not be as strong as they had believed. This reassessment is welcome, but it really raises the question of why so many professional economists and economic reporters could be so badly mistaken about the strength of the economy. There never was much basis for claiming a boom in the U.S. economy and the people claiming otherwise were relying on a very selective reading of the data." (04/14/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/14/the-us-boom-that-never-was/  

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Can labor bring Wall Street back to Main Street?

April 14, 2015
posted by

Michelle Chen The Nation
by Michelle Chen  

"The 2007 banking collapse exposed the abysmal gap between the titans of finance and the 99 percent. But long ago, there was one place where Wall Street and Main Street intersected: at the teller window of your local retail bank. Some community activists want to pull Wall Street back toward an era when banking was done by real people, and retail banks invested in the neighborhood instead of pushing consumers into foreclosure. Can we bring back your friendly bank teller? Seven years since Wall Street imploded, it seems the banking sector has rebounded far faster than the communities it has devastated, according to a report published by Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), which builds on a global campaign to advocate for fair labor and corporate accountability in Big Banks." (04/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lagvzxe  

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Ready for a woman, but not Hillary Clinton

April 14, 2015
posted by

Susan J Douglas In These Times
by Susan J Douglas  

"Whether or not the email controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton will matter nine months from now, it threw some of us back to a place we didn’t want to go: wishing someone else might be the one to become the first woman president. Reports surfaced that she had used her personal email account for State Department business, allowing her considerable control over her email records. In a defensive press conference, a somewhat haughty Clinton said the main reason for this practice was 'convenience' and that she and her attorneys would decide which emails to release." [editor's note: Ms. Douglas once again shows why she's not nearly as batshit as many "progressive" pundits - SAT] (04/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ld8ja6y  

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Hillary as polarizing as every other major political figure

April 14, 2015
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"I'm guessing that you may have heard that Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for the White House Sunday in this video. Before that even happened, you may also have heard that lots of people don't like Hillary Clinton. In the coming months, each new poll showing substantial disapproval, dislike, or disquiet with the prospect of a Clinton presidency is going to be greeted with articles analyzing the public's hesitancy about the former secretary of state, complete with quotes from Republicans gleefully arguing that everyone hates her and their candidate will inevitably win the election" (04/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/odluatf  

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Questions for Clinton

April 14, 2015
posted by

Our Future
by Digby  

"I wrote a piece for Salon today about, what else, Hillary Clinton. The headline is harsh (I didn’t write it) but I think the piece asks some fair questions. ... She’s going on the trail and we’ll find out where she stands on all those things before too long. It’s going to be a long campaign so there’s plenty of time to figure it all out. I happen to think there’s an opening here for a real paradigm shift beyond the fact of her historic status as a woman running for the highest office in the land. I’m hoping she seizes the opportunity." [editor's note: oppo research, showing the levels of delusion among some "progressives" - SAT] (04/13/15)

http://ourfuture.org/20150413/questions-for-clinton  

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An ancient imam at the center of Iran nuclear deal

April 14, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Mohamad Bazzi  

"When Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif announced on April 2 that his country tentatively accepted an agreement limiting Tehran’s nuclear program, he made a point of praising his boss, the supreme leader, for his 'heroic flexibility.' After two years of negotiations with the United States and five world powers (France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany), Zarif could be expected to thank Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say in all Iranian political and national security matters -- as he emphasized with his comments on Thursday demanding an end to sanctions as soon as Iran signs a final agreement. But Zarif’s reference to 'heroic flexibility' was also a signal to hardliners in Iran that this deal has Khamenei’s support." (04/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nr2j2ra  

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Bill Maher’s bigoted atheism

April 14, 2015
posted by

Salon
by Mary Elizabeth Williams  

"As the threats of terrorism and right-wing Christianity have risen in the past few years, Maher's aggressive brand of atheism -- also popularized by the likes of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris -- has gained a strong following among a certain type of self-professed intellectual. Maher has famously said, 'Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don't have all the answers to think that they do' -- which is pretty funny, given the know-it-all arrogance of the anti-religion big leaguers like Maher himself. As Zakaria very eloquently pointed out, that stance has given Maher more power and reach than he's ever had in his long career. But whatever you believe or don't, if you're selling blanket intolerance, you don't get to call yourself one of the good guys. You shouldn't even get to call yourself one of the smart ones." (04/13/15)

http://www.salon.com/2015/04/13/bill_mahers_atheism_is_just_bigotry/  

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Rand Paul is GOP’s best hope to beat Hillary

April 14, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brian O'Connor  

"Hillary Clinton, to no one's surprise, announced Sunday that she's running for president. Barring catastrophe, she'll become the Democratic nominee next summer. There is no such clarity on the Republican side, with a new candidate official entering the race every week. But this much is clear: If the GOP want to defeat Clinton next fall, they should turn to the only Republican whose buzz rivals hers: Rand Paul. The Republican Party is at a crossroads. Its base, bolstered by big-tent conservatism throughout the 1980s and late 2000s, is aware of its own image problem." [editor's note: Now we are hearing this from "progressive" sources? Even more reason not to support him? - SAT] (04/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nhx43yu  

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Hillary 2016 launches with corporate style, little substance

April 14, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf  

"Sunday evening, some hours after Hillary Clinton released a video announcing her bid for the presidency, I opened a web browser and pressed play to take a look. But I quickly glanced away, reflexively checking Twitter as I sometimes do during pre-roll ads. When I looked back 45 seconds later I felt frustrated with The New York Times. Hadn't their website promised that my video would start in 15 seconds? At the one-minute mark I began to wonder, 'What is this ad even for? An investment bank? A health insurer? Windows 9?' After 90 seconds I was genuinely curious. And that's when I heard the former secretary of state's voice and realized what was going on: I was already watching Hillary's announcement video." [editor's note: Same thing happened to me. I kept wonder "when is the 'skip ad' button going to appear, or else it shows me the car or insurance company or whatever they're flogging?" - TLK] (04/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n6lsxww  

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Bill’s advice to Hillary

April 13, 2015
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Bruce Plante  

Cartoon. (04/

http://www.cagle.com/2015/04/bills-advice-to-hillary/  

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The making of Hillary Clinton, part 1

April 13, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair  

"The setting of Hillary’s political compass came in the late Sixties. The fraught year of 1968 saw the Goldwater girl getting a high-level internship in the House Republican Conference with Gerald Ford and Melvin Laird, without an ounce of the Goldwater libertarian pizzazz. Hillary says the assassinations of King and Robert Kennedy, plus the war in Vietnam, hit her hard. The impact was not of the intensity that prompted many of her generation to become radicals. She left the suburb of Park Forest and rushed to Miami to the Republican Convention where she fulfilled a lifelong dream of meeting Frank Sinatra and John Wayne and devoted her energies to saving the Party from her former icon, Nixon, by working for Nelson Rockefeller. Nixon triumphed, and Hillary returned to Chicago in time for the Democratic Convention where she paid an afternoon's visit to Grant Park. By now a proclaimed supporter of Gene McCarthy, she was appalled, not by the spectacle of McCarthy's young supporters being beaten senseless by Daley's cops, but by the protesters' tactics, which she concluded were not viable. Like her future husband, Hillary was always concerned with maintaining viability within the system." (originally published 2007; posted 04/13/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/13/80658/  

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What is anarchism?

April 13, 2015
posted by

Cory Massimino Center for a Stateless Society
by Cory Massimino  

"Anarchism is a broad tradition of historical ideas that contain common elements that are nevertheless, sometimes, conflicting. There is no set of positions that you must hold in order to count as a real anarchist. Rather, in my view, anarchism involves three main points of conceptual analysis. That is the view of anarchism as a kind of political philosophy; the use of anarchism as a basis for empirical study, scientific research and the attitude of anarchism." (04/12/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/36946  

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“Intellectual property” kills

April 13, 2015
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"Drug patents have killed millions, and if the corporate pigs at the TPP trough get their way will kill millions more. And the enclosure of the knowledge commons erects toll-gates to impede sharing and building on knowledge. In so doing destroys the basic peer-to-peer ethos of science, which is the basis of the so-called 'shoulders of giants' effect. We need to continue fighting Aaron Swartz's battle for information freedom, to hack academic journal paywalls and make the liberated articles freely available at file-sharing sites. And we need to seize on the opportunity offered by 3D printed drugs and open-source pharmacology to produce cheap, pirated knockoffs of patented drugs through so many different small, distributed outlets that the drug companies and their state can’t possibly suppress them." (04/11/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/37132  

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Chafee: No one who voted for the Iraq War should be president

April 13, 2015
posted by

John Nichols The Nation
by John Nichols  

"Lincoln Chafee just went there, as only Lincoln Chafee could. The former Republican senator and independent governor of Rhode Island, who is very seriously exploring the prospect of challenging Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, said Iraq should be an issue. Then Chafee got specific. He brought up the votes that he and Clinton cast in 2002, as members of the US Senate, on whether to authorize President Bush and Vice President Cheney to steer the United States toward war with Iraq. Chafee, then sitting as a Republican, voted with Senators Russ Feingold, Paul Wellstone, and twenty others to block the rush to war." [editor's note: Now HE might be worth another look on this - SAT] (04/10/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pje3xxh  

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There’s nothing inevitable about Hillary

April 13, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Rebecca Traister  

"Today Hillary Clinton is expected to officially announce her candidacy for the presidency of the United States. There is no breaking news here. There has not been a minute of the past eight years when we have not been assured (or threatened) that Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, her presidency even, is an inevitability. So what could possibly go wrong? Everything. Anything. Anything and everything." (04/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mqndb2d  

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Hillary Clinton’s challenge

April 13, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by staff  

"The large number of Republicans who plan to run for president face a daunting problem. They will have to spend huge amounts of time and money just to introduce themselves to voters. In a recent CNN poll, 39% said they had never heard of Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who's scheduled to announce his candidacy Monday. Even the best-known member of the GOP pack, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, has been out of the public spotlight since he left office eight years ago. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton, who announced her bid for the presidency Sunday in a two-minute video posted on her campaign website, faces no such problem." (04/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m7j33vp  

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Populist progressives must embrace the education spring

April 13, 2015
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"Is there really 'a populist energy building in America, and beginning to drive the debate in the Democratic Party,' as my colleague Robert Borosage recently wrote? If your inclination is to answer that question, 'Yes,' the evidence you’re most apt to cite is the popularity of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and her crusade against Wall Street dominance of public policy. And you’re apt to point to, as Borosage does, activism like the 'Fight for 15' campaign, demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage and union representation in the workplace." (04/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lpmgyru  

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Schumer’s Iran gamble threatens Dems’ chances in 2016

April 12, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Ari Rabin-Havt  

"A week and a half ago, Chuck Schumer, currently third in the leadership of the minority party in the U.S. Senate, moved quickly to solidify his position as the next leader of Democrats, securing the support of his caucus. This week he endorsed Republican Senator Bob Corker's bill, which, on paper, gives Congress the right to approve the nuclear agreement hammered out with Iran by the U.S. and its allies (collectively known as the P5+1). In reality, this bill is yet another carefully crafted attempt to thwart a negotiated end to this nuclear standoff." (04/10/15)

http://tinyurl.com/osgd3o2  

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From moral victories to tangible ones

April 12, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Rick Perlstein  

"My election day began with a figurative screech. I awoke to hear National Public Radio's Morning Edition describe my preferred candidate as only a 'community organizer.' I soothed myself by dashing off an angry note to NPR's ombudsman. ... Then it was off to a field office far on the city’s Northwest Side, where I joined a not-very-energetic group trudging through the tedious work of calling voters to remind them to come out to the polls. It ain't fun; more wrong numbers (or claims of wrong numbers) than conversations, plenty of hang-ups. And the experience was made even less fun by an unpleasant detail: Lots of the people hanging up were supporters of Mayor Rahm Emanuel." (04/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pexc7kx  

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Twelve years later, US media still can’t get Iraqi WMD story right

April 12, 2015
posted by

The Intercept The Intercept
by Jon Schwarz  

"This past fall The New York Times began publishing a powerful, ongoing series revealing the U.S. military's mistreatment of soldiers who were exposed to decades-old chemical weapons during Operation Iraqi Freedom. According to The Times, between 2004 and 2011 U.S. troops stumbled across about 5,000 Iraqi chemical munitions of various types .... Much of the conservative media has seized on the Times articles as long-awaited, sweet vindication of Bush's case for war. According to Rush Limbaugh, it is now proven that 'Saddam Hussein was doing and had done pretty much everything he was being accused of that justified that invasion.' And the conservative glee is understandable: after all, Bush said Iraq had WMD, and here they are. Unfortunately for the right, however, they are just as wrong about this issue now as they were in 2003 -- but for a peculiar, little-understood reason: Saddam Hussein was not trying to hide the chemical munitions found by the U.S. Just the opposite, in fact." (04/10/15)

http://tinyurl.com/luezkmh  

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Disarm the police

April 12, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Rob Urie  

"After forty years of relentless repetition Reagan / Thatcher / neo-capitalist individuation is now deeply embedded in Western social ontology. To repeat: Walter Scott wasn't murdered because he was an 'individual' but because he was a Black man. No amount of 'self-realization' by Mr. Scott would have changed the way that he was perceived by Michael Slager. Social resolution of Mr. Scott's murder is to end racist police violence and race and class repression." (04/10/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/10/disarm-the-police/  

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