Links & Commentary 2/26

© Pat Paquette

Bernie bones up on foreign policy; Republican panic over Trump; Bernie’s remarkable statement on spirituality; Chris Hedges channels Robespierre; hacking the vote; Obama fuels the arms race …


U.S. Fate 2016
Hillary Clinton Now Says She’ll Only Release Big-Bank Speeches If the Republicans Do [The Intercept]
Clinton’s position on releasing the transcripts appears to be a subtle moving of the goalposts. Previously, her answer that she would release her transcripts when her opponents released theirs was understood to be directed at Sanders. Last week, Sanders agreed to release speeches he has given.

Robbins: It’s over; Trump is going to be the Republican nominee [CNN]
I guess Mel Robbins has a crystal ball. Or maybe a good astrologer.

Will U.S. Conservatives Mount a Third-Party Challenge If Trump Is the Nominee? [The Atlantic]
Doing so would hobble the billionaire’s ability to take the White House—making it the most potent piece of leverage left to conservatives.

A Corporate Democratic Party is Hostile Terrain for Sanders [CounterPunch]
I rather suspect he has figured that out already.

Bernie Sanders’s Explanation of Why Faith Matters [HuffPo]
When you hurt, when your children hurt, I hurt.
Compassion means “to suffer with.” This is the essential message of Neptune and Pisces. Not coincidentally, Neptune also is associated with socialism and the so-called “welfare state” – you know, where every citizen has enough food, shelter, education, and healthcare.

Why Baby Boomers Don’t Get Bernie Sanders [The New Republic]
Hillary speaks to them. He speaks to everyone else.

Sanders reaches out for foreign-policy help [Politico]
Criticized for having no clear foreign policy, Bernie Sanders has started putting together a team of advisers. The search is turning to be a challenge, however, given the relatively small pool of candidates who aren’t already working with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Among the experts he has sought for advice is Lawrence Korb, who served in the Pentagon under Ronald Reagan but is now working for the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank, depending on how you define “progressive.” The head of the organization is the campaign chairman for Hillary, who had a spat with Bernie a few weeks ago when he suggested she wasn’t progressive. Anyway, Korb is working for this outfit. I’m sure Bernie doesn’t need me telling him to “be careful.”

Why I Support Dr. Jill Stein for President [Nation of Change]
Chris Hedges, lord of the hard-left burn-it-all-down political commentariat, tells us pretty much what we have known all along: He supports a third-party candidate with no political experience whatsoever (unless you count campaigning for office), mostly because she’s a third-party candidate. Sure, she says stuff he agrees with, but politicians say lots of stuff. Hedges is a Bernie-basher of the lowest order. He cherry picks facts, spins like a Pentagon flak,Chris Robespierre and gets facts wrong. Not that he doesn’t have plenty of company among Internet writers on that count, but Hedges, a “Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist” (actually, it was awarded to team of eight reporters, of which he was one) with an impressive resume, should know better. His real beef with Bernie is that Bernie is running as a Democrat, and that makes him part of the system that needs to be burned to the ground. Frankly, this guy scares me. He’s Robespierre reincarnate.

Pleasure Planet
Turning the Housing Bubble into Movie Magic in “The Big Short” [Pro Publica]
The “Pleasure Planet” category is dedicated to Venus, who according to traditional astrological affiliations rules art, music, and pleasurable pastimes. As the ruling planet of Taurus, she also is associated with finances – you know, that Wall Street bull (the statue, not the steaming piles foisted on a gullible public). I haven’t seen this film yet, but it’s on my list.

Phobos & Deimos
Obama’s Russian Rationale for $1 Trillion Nuke Plan Signals New Arms Race [The Intercept]
Of all the presidential candidates, only Bernie Sanders is against it. In December, he signed a letter along with several other senators urging Obama to stick to his campaign pledge to end Cold War militarism.

MH17 – Dutch Prosecutor Opens Doubt on MH17 Evidence [John Helmer]
Remember this story? The plane supposedly shot down by Ukrainian rebels in East Ukraine? Or wait, maybe they were Russians? Oh, now I remember – it was Putin. Because he was just itching for WWIII. John Helmer, an old-school investigative reporter in Moscow, has been following this story long after everyone else gave up, and it just gets weirder. Even if we knew who was responsible, the question is, why? And why this bizarre, multi-national cover-up?

Red Pill
Could the 2016 Election Be Stolen with Help from Electronic Voting Machines? [Democracy Now!]
This isn’t conspiracy theory stuff. It happened in 2004 in Ohio, according to independent journalist Harvey Wasserman.
We watched it, totally, right up close and personal. We did the accounting. I work with a political scientist named Bob Fitrakis. We’re about to come out with another book, The Strip & Flip of the 2016 Selection. They are stripping the voter rolls … removing African Americans, Hispanics, people who might incline to vote progressive, and they—so that—in 2004, they stripped 300,000 people from the voter rolls here in the urban areas. Bush only won by less than 120 [thousand].

Revolt of the Peasants
Gaby Hoffmann on Caucusing for Bernie Sanders in Nevada [Rolling Stone]
The experience revealed to the ‘Transparent’ actress that America’s caucus system is “so f–king out of control”
See paragraph near end on “Democracy Spring.”

Pluto – The Plutocracy (power from wealth; shadow government), Why Blair is baffled by Sanders and Corbyn [Jonathan Cook]
Let me explain it, Tony. It’s not rocket science. The “question of electability” becomes marginal once you start to believe that the difference between a Republican and a Democrat, between a George W Bush and a Barack Obama – or between a Conservative and a Labour leader, between a David Cameron and a Tony Blair – is so small as to make no difference to you.

EU told ExxonMobil that TTIP would aid global expansion [The Guardian]
Trade chief told oil giant in secret talks that free trade deal could address its concerns over regulations restricting activities in developing countries. Secret negotiations to benefit Big Oil. I’m shocked – shocked!

Collapse of the Empire
Abby Martin interview with Lawrence Wilkerson, whom Bernie Sanders has consulted for foreign policy advice. Now this is a foreign policy!


One-Minute Meditation
© Pat Paquette
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