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KoKo's Journal
KoKo's Journal
May 9, 2016

Clinton Has the Map on Her Side, But History Working Against Her

The Enthusiasm for Bernie and his policies is strong, and he is in it through the Convention, which gives him an advantage that Hillary as an "incumbent" doesn't have. Anyway, an interesting view from Matt Bai.

Clinton has the map on her side, but history working against her
Matt Bai
National Political Columnist
May 5, 2016

But if history is any guide, Clinton comes to the campaign with a structural disadvantage, too, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked. It may explain why she can’t seem to put Bernie Sanders away — and why the outcome in November is hardly assured.

The next-in-line always has more trouble than he should unifying the party, because the fissures that were suppressed through eight years of a presidency — in the cause of staving off the opposition — rise to the surface. The end of every eight-year presidency is something like the fall of Tito, with disparate factions and pent-up emotions finally unleashed.

Clinton — runner-up in 2008, loyal soldier thereafter — is the prototypical next-in-line. Thanks to a couple of dreadful midterm election cycles, she’s had to contend only with a 74-year-old protest candidate who just recently joined the party, and even then she hasn’t been able to excite enough of her own party’s base to lock down the nomination by May.

She’s had to lash herself tightly to the president while at the same time trying to co-opt the ideological fury among the party’s dissatisfied factions. She will emerge from this process with her agenda opaque, her convictions hedged.

Maybe Gore and McCain, having gone through the exact same thing, have some sort of support group she can visit.

Unlike both of those guys, of course, Clinton seems to have gotten astoundingly lucky in her opposition. It’s true: Trump’s appalling rhetoric will make for some whopping TV ads. And yes, if his numbers hold, especially among women, Trump’s next reality-show gig might be called “The Biggest Loser of All Time.”

But here’s the thing about Trump: He’s run the flat-out most offensive, least substantive and crassest campaign in memory, and national polls show him trailing Clinton by 10 points, with six months yet to go.

Think about that. In presidential politics, 10 points can fall away faster than Carly Fiorina on a riser.

And while voters’ impressions at this point in a campaign are normally hard to change, what we don’t know about Trump — the big question, to my mind — is whether the larger electorate will ultimately judge him by the standards of a politician or, like primary voters, as a celebrity.

Politicians aren’t allowed to simply shrug off their records and respawn entirely. The voters, finely attuned to any sign of inauthenticity, won’t have it.

But entertainers reinvent and redeem themselves all the time; it’s what gossipy magazines exist for. And Trump is closer to inhabiting this realm than any candidate we’ve ever seen.

Don’t expect the Trump who takes the stage in Cleveland to be remotely like the Trump who bragged about his genitalia in a debate. And don’t assume, just because his bigotry and base antics are a matter of record, that the rules of traditional politics will apply.

Next-in-lines have been known (at least once) to win, and assuming she can nail down the nomination, Clinton is as clear a favorite as we’ve seen in a while. But Clinton shouldn’t delude herself into thinking she’s headed for a layup, and neither should anyone else.


May 8, 2016

Amy Goodman with Great Bullet Points talks about the Mainstream Corporate Media & 2016 Election!

Published on Apr 28, 2016
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! tells us about Trump-land and how the media is ruining this election.

May 7, 2016

Another Brooklyn, NY Election Official Ousted over Botched Primary: 126,000 Dems Purged!

Another New York Election Official Ousted Over Botched Primary

Tom Cahill
May 5, 2016

Another head is rolling in the wake of highly suspect election procedures in Brooklyn during New York’s April 19 primary.

Betty Ann Canizio, who serves as deputy clerk for the Board of Elections in Brooklyn, was just suspended from her post without pay as the investigation and audit into the New York City Board of Elections continues.
WNYC reported that Canizio’s suspension will be made official at a meeting later this afternoon.

Previously, Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the chief clerk of elections in Brooklyn, was ousted in the wake of the primary debacle when it was discovered that approximately 126,000 Brooklyn Democrats were mysteriously purged from the voter rolls in the months leading up to the New York primary.

However, as a Republican, Haslett-Rudiano was only in charge of the Republican voter rolls in Brooklyn, while Canizio oversaw Democratic voter rolls. According to the New York Post, inside sources at the Board of Elections suspected Haslett-Rudiano was scapegoated for the voter purge in order to protect Canizio.


Hillary Clinton won Kings County, which houses Brooklyn, by just 57,909 votes. It’s entirely possible that Bernie Sanders, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, would have won Kings County had all 126,000 Democrats purged from the rolls been allowed to cast a ballot.

According to WNYC, Canizio is the protégé of Kings County Democratic Party Chair Frank Seddio. The New York Post reports that Seddio used his political connections to secure the Board of Elections job for Canizio, for which she is paid approximately $120,000 a year.

May 7, 2016

“John Doe’s Manifesto”: Panama Papers Source Blasts Lack of Media Interest, Calls for Prosecutions..

“John Doe’s Manifesto”: Panama Papers Source Blasts Lack of Media Interest, Calls for Prosecutions, Whistleblower Protection

Posted on May 7, 2016 by Yves Smith--Naked Capitalism

The media has failed. Many news networks are cartoonish parodies of their former selves, individual billionaires appear to have taken up newspaper ownership as a hobby, limiting coverage of serious matters concerning the wealthy, and serious investigative journalists lack funding. The impact is real: in addition to Süddeutsche Zeitung and ICIJ, and despite explicit claims to the contrary, several major media outlets did have editors review documents from the Panama Papers. They chose not to cover them. The sad truth is that among the most prominent and capable media organizations in the world there was not a single one interested in reporting on the story. Even Wikileaks didn’t answer its tip line repeatedly.

The whistleblower, John Doe, states his underlying objective was to tackle “massive, pervasive corruption” that promotes and perpetuates income inequality. He is encouraged by the debate so far but stresses that the underlying behavior was criminal and needs to be treated as such:

Shell companies are often associated with the crime of tax evasion, but the Panama Papers show beyond a shadow of a doubt that although shell companies are not illegal by definition, they are used to carry out a wide array of serious crimes that go beyond evading taxes. I decided to expose Mossack Fonseca because I thought its founders, employees and clients should have to answer for their roles in these crimes, only some of which have come to light thus far. It will take years, possibly decades, for the full extent of the firm’s sordid acts to become known.

And he throws down the gauntlet:

The prevailing media narrative thus far has focused on the scandal of what is legal and allowed in this system. What is allowed is indeed scandalous and must be changed. But we must not lose sight of another important fact: the law firm, its founders, and employees actually did knowingly violate myriad laws worldwide, repeatedly. Publicly they plead ignorance, but the documents show detailed knowledge and deliberate wrongdoing. At the very least we already know that Mossack personally perjured himself before a federal court in Nevada, and we also know that his information technology staff attempted to cover up the underlying lies. They should all be prosecuted accordingly with no special treatment.

In the end, thousands of prosecutions could stem from the Panama Papers, if only law enforcement could access and evaluate the actual documents. ICIJ and its partner publications have rightly stated that they will not provide them to law enforcement agencies. I, however, would be willing to cooperate with law enforcement to the extent that I am able.

However, he also points out how whistleblowers, such as Edward Snowden, Bradley Birkenfeld, and Antoine Deltour have all been prosecuted, and they are not alone.

He calls for company registers to be made public, an issue our Richard Smith has identified as key and has been pursuing in New Zealand and other countries. But he is not optimistic that this will change soon:

Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand has been curiously quiet about his country’s role in enabling the financial fraud Mecca that is the Cook Islands. In Britain, the Tories have been shameless about concealing their own practices involving offshore companies, while Jennifer Shasky Calvery, the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network at the United States Treasury, just announced her resignation to work instead for HSBC, one of the most notorious banks on the planet (not coincidentally headquartered in London). And so the familiar swish of America’s revolving door echoes amidst deafening global silence from thousands of yet-to-be-discovered ultimate beneficial owners who are likely praying that her replacement is equally spineless.

It should come as no surprise that the official response to the Panama Papers scandal has been to leave this glaring loophole open. For instance, yesterday, the FACT Coalition made a new statement: Anti-Money Laundering Experts Deeply Concerned by Administration’s Flawed ‘Panama Papers’ Response. A key section (boldface original):

“The loopholes in the final Treasury rule allow banks to open accounts for companies without having any idea of the identity of the people who ultimately own or control that company. Without this critical information, banks can’t determine whether the people behind the company are on a sanctions list, a drug kingpin list, or are public officials who may be stealing from their countries treasury or trying to stash their bribe money in U.S. banks,” noted Heather Lowe, legal counsel and director of government affairs at Global Financial Integrity.

So much for those who wonder why the papers weren’t given to Wikileaks.

More at:
May 6, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger: It's Personal. Very Personal.

Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger: It's Personal. Very Personal.

The Clintons and the Kissingers regularly spend holidays together at a beachfront villa.

by David Corn--"Mother Jones"

At Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate, one of the most heated exchanges concerned an unlikely topic: Henry Kissinger. During a stretch focused on foreign policy, Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont, jabbed at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for having cited Kissinger, who was Richard Nixon's secretary of state, as a fan of her stint at Foggy Bottom.

"I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country," Sanders huffed, adding, "I will not take advice from Henry Kissinger." He referred to the secret bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam war as a Kissinger-orchestrated move that eventually led to genocide in that country. "So count me in as somebody who will not be listening to Henry Kissinger," Sanders roared.

Clinton defended her association with Kissinger by replying, "I listen to a wide variety of voices that have expertise in various areas." She cast her interactions with Kissinger as motivated by her desire to obtain any information that might be useful to craft policy. "People we may disagree with on a number of things may have some insight, may have some relationships that are important for the president to understand in order to best protect the United States," she said.

What Clinton did not mention was that her bond with Kissinger was personal as well as professional, as she and her husband have for years regularly spent their winter holidays with Kissinger and his wife, Nancy, at the beachfront villa of fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who died in 2014, and his wife, Annette, in the Dominican Republic.

This campaign tussle over Kissinger began a week earlier, at a previous debate, when Clinton, looking to boost her résumé, said, "I was very flattered when Henry Kissinger said I ran the State Department better than anybody had run it in a long time. So I have an idea about what it's going to take to make our government work more efficiently." A few days later, Bill Clinton, while campaigning for his wife in New Hampshire, told a crowd of her supporters, "Henry Kissinger, of all people, said she ran the State Department better and got more out of the personnel at the State Department than any secretary of state in decades, and it's true." His audience of Democrats clapped loudly in response.

It was odd that the Clintons, locked in a fierce fight to win Democratic votes, would name-check a fellow who for decades has been criticized—and even derided as a war criminal—by liberals. Bill and Hillary Clinton themselves opposed the Vietnam War that Nixon and Kissinger inherited and continued. Hillary Clinton was a staffer on the House Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach Nixon, and one of the articles of impeachment drafted by the staff (but which was not approved) cited Nixon for covering up his secret bombing of Cambodia. In the years since then, information has emerged showing that Kissinger's underhanded and covert diplomacy led to brutal massacres around the globe, including in Chile, Argentina, East Timor, and Bangladesh.

With all this history, it was curious that in 2014, Clinton wrote a fawning review of Kissinger's latest book and observed, "America, he reminds us, succeeds by standing up for our values, not shirking them, and leads by engaging peoples and societies, the sources of legitimacy, not governments alone." In that article, she called Kissinger, who had been a practitioner of a bloody foreign-policy realpolitik, "surprisingly idealistic."

This Clinton lovefest with Kissinger is not new. And it is not simply a product of professional courtesy or solidarity among former secretaries of state, who, after all, are part of a small club. There is also a strong social connection between the Clintons and the Kissingers. They pal around together. On June 3, 2013, Hillary Clinton presented an award to de la Renta, a good friend who for years had provided her dresses and fashion advice, and then the two of them hopped over to a 90th birthday party for Kissinger. In fact, the schedule of the award ceremony had been shifted to allow Clinton and de la Renta to make it to the Kissinger bash. (Secretary of State John Kerry also attended the party.) The Kissingers and the de la Rentas were longtime buddies. Kissinger wrote one of his recent books while staying at de la Rentas' mansion in the Dominican Republic and dedicated the book to the fashion designer and his wife.

The Clintons and Kissingers appear to spend a chunk of their quality time together at that de la Renta estate in the Punta Cana resort. Last year, the Associated Press noted that this is where the Clintons take their annual Christmas holiday. And other press reports in the United States and the Dominican Republic have pointed out that the Kissingers are often part of the gang the de la Rentas have hosted each year. When Oscar de la Renta died in 2014, the New York Times obituary reported:

More At:

May 6, 2016

"Is Sanders the Better Candidate to Defeat Trump?" TRNN--Robert McChesney

Is Sanders the Better Candidate to Defeat Trump?
Published on May 4, 2016

Robert McChesney analyses the Indiana primary outcomes and the election trajectory for the candidates and the voters. Robert W. McChesney is the author of Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy (New Press, 2013) and a professor of communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With John Nichols, he wrote Dollarocracy: How the Money-and-Media Election Complex is Destroying America (Nation Books, 2013). His work has been translated into 31 languages.


May 6, 2016

Okay...here's what it Come's Down to in this Election...So Far!

If it's between those two...

Trump (the Crazy with Unsavory Connections) & Hillary (still under investigation by the FBI, plus, involved in Separate FOIA Lawsuits) & Bill with possible upcoming CGI Inquiries.....

Then I think its clear that Bernie is by far the best choice....For the Health of our Country.

Who could you possibly Choose?


For Those Who Want to go Further:

Is Sanders the Better Candidate to Defeat Trump?
Published on May 4, 2016

Robert McChesney analyses the Indiana primary outcomes and the election trajectory for the candidates and the voters. Robert W. McChesney is the author of Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy (New Press, 2013) and a professor of communications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With John Nichols, he wrote Dollarocracy: How the Money-and-Media Election Complex is Destroying America (Nation Books, 2013). His work has been translated into 31 languages.


May 5, 2016

There's So Much Here to Digest.....and How it Affects: Global Money, Politics & Foreign Affairs

Just putting this out here as an Interesting Watch!

[KR910] Keiser Report: Shiny New Collective Living
Posted on May 5, 2016 by Stacy Herbert — 17 Comments ?

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max and Stacy discuss the shiny new collective living which is sold to the declining income residents by recycling the same old propaganda slogans and images from the past. In the second half, Max interviews Dr. Michael Hudson, author of “Killing the Host,” about the earnings laundering purpose of Panama and how that relates to the long-forgotten revelations of the #PanamaPapers.

Check Keiser Report website for more: http://www.maxkeiser.com/

May 4, 2016

Federal Judge Scratches the Surface with Hillary on "Adequate Search of Public Records"

A federal judge says he may order Democratic Presidential front runner Hillary Clinton to testify under oath

By MICHAEL BIESECKER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge said Wednesday he may order Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton to testify under oath about whether she used a private email server as secretary of state to evade public records disclosures.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan signed an order granting a request from the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch to question six current and former State Department staffers about the creation and purpose of the private email system. Those on the list were some of Clinton's closest aides during her tenure as the nation's top diplomat, including former chief of staff Cheryl D. Mills, deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin and undersecretary Patrick F. Kennedy.


At issue is whether the State Department conducted an adequate search of public records in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Judicial Watch in 2013 seeking records related to Abedin's outside work as a paid consultant for the Clintons' charitable foundation and a financial advisory firm with ties to the former first couple.

The department's initial search did not include the thousands of emails Clinton exchanged with her aides, including Abedin, using private email addresses. The department said it didn't have access to those emails at the time.

Questions asked during the depositions are to be limited to the circumstances surrounding the 2009 creation of Clinton's private email system, including why she chose not to use a government account.

Sullivan said ordering depositions is appropriate in legal cases where a federal agency "may have purposefully attempted to skirt disclosure under FOIA."

"In sum, the circumstances surrounding approval of Mrs. Clinton's use of clintonemail.com for official government business, as well as the manner in which it was operated, are issues that need to be explored" to evaluate the adequacy of the department's records search.

There have been at least three dozen civil lawsuits filed, including one by The Associated Press, over public records requests related to Clinton's time as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

The FBI also is investigating whether sensitive information that flowed through Clinton's email server was mishandled.
The inspectors general at the State Department and for U.S. intelligence agencies are separately investigating whether rules or laws were broken.

Critics of Clinton's decision to rely on the private server have suggested that it potentially made her communications more vulnerable to being stolen by hackers, including those working for foreign intelligence agencies.

May 4, 2016

Hillary Clinton Calls for Bill Clinton to come out of Retirement ...

Published on May 3, 2016

At a campaign stop in Ashland, Kentucky, on Monday (May 2), Hillary Clinton said she told her husband, former President Bill Clinton, he would have to come out of retirement to work on her jobs and manufacturing plan if she became president. Clinton made the statement at an intimate meeting in a restaurant with the leader of a local steel workers union and several of some 600 workers who were laid off when AK Steel Holding Corp announced in October that it would idle one of its furnaces amid a supply glut and lower steel prices. Her decision to embark on a two-day Appalachian tour is in part timed ahead of Democratic nominating contests in West Virginia on May 10 and in Kentucky on May 17 as she seeks to secure the nomination before the party's July convention.

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