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Ferd Berfel

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Member since: Sat Jan 3, 2015, 12:39 PM
Number of posts: 3,687

Journal Archives

Hillary's Dance: The Two-Faced Hypocritical 12-Step


by Paul Buchheit

If, sad to ponder, the presidential election comes down to Hillary Clinton vs. a Republican, we'll be left either way with a business-friendly neocon White House. Given Hillary's past deceits and reversals, it's easy to see why she doesn't inspire trust among the American people.

1. Environment

"I won’t let anyone take us backward, deny our economy the benefits of harnessing a clean energy future, or force our children to endure the catastrophe that would result from unchecked climate change." —Hillary Clinton, 11/29/15

Greenpeace estimates that the Clinton campaign has taken $4.5 million from fossil fuel lobbyists and donors, and Naomi Klein and Grist have reported on all the money received from ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips and other oil sources. In response, Hillary explained, rather incoherently, "I have money from people who work for fossil fuel companies. I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me."

2. War

"Is there really any argument that America must remain a preeminent leader for peace and freedom..?" —Hillary Clinton, 10/31/06

Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, an advisor to the United Nations, called Hillary "the candidate of the War Machine." In her book, "Hillary's Choice," author Gail Sheehy claimed it was Hillary who encouraged the president to bomb Kosovo. Then, as Secretary of State in 2011, she strongly supported war in Libya, a country which today is overwhelmed with crime and joblessness and a lack of basic necessities. She backed the escalation of the Afghanistan war, and in 2012, according to Sachs, she was largely responsible for the obstruction of peace efforts in Syria.


As noted by John Atcheson, "She only sponsored 3 Bills that became law during her 8 year tenure. One established an historic site in New York, another renamed a Post Office, and the third named a portion of a highway in New York after Timothy J. Russert."

Hillary keeps dancing around reality.

Mcclatchy: Inside Panama Papers: Multiple Clinton connections

Should read: Multiple Clinton connections...so far


Some donors to Clinton foundation used the Panamanian law firm for offshores

Connections come from the more than 40 years Bill and Hillary Clinton have spent in public life

Hillary Clinton recently blasted the hidden financial dealings exposed in the Panama Papers, but she and her husband have multiple connections with people who have used the besieged law firm Mossack Fonseca to establish offshore entities.

Among them are Gabrielle Fialkoff, finance director for Hillary Clinton’s first campaign for the U.S. Senate; Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining magnate who has traveled the globe with Bill Clinton; the Chagoury family, which pledged $1 billion in projects to the Clinton Global Initiative; and Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng, who was at the center of a Democratic fund-raising scandal when Bill Clinton was president. Also using the Panamanian law firm was the company founded by the late billionaire investor Marc Rich, an international fugitive when Bill Clinton pardoned him in the final hours of his presidency.

On Israel, Sanders Is Right (And Clinton Knows It)


What a surprise to hear a Jewish candidate for president speak so courageously about the country where he worked on a kibbutz as a young man.

The most significant moment of the Democratic primary debate in Brooklyn -- and perhaps any presidential debate this season -- came when Bernie Sanders challenged Hillary Clinton over her refusal to criticize Israel's excessive use of force against the Palestinians in Gaza. For the first time in memory, a major American political figure insisted publicly that the Jewish state and its leaders are "not always right" -- and that in attempting to suppress terrorism, they had killed and injured far too many blameless human beings.

Asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer about his judgment that Israel's military response to attacks from Gaza in 2014 was "disproportionate and led to the unnecessary loss of innocent life," the Vermont Senator answered firmly: "Yeah, I do believe that." He mentioned that many other nations, including longtime allies of Israel, had denounced the atrocities in Gaza, along with human rights organizations around the world.

Having reiterated that he supports Israel as our ally -- with every right to self-defense -- Sanders said that "in the long run, if we are ever going to bring peace to that region which has seen so much hatred and so much war, we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity."

NYTimes Tries to Bury Bernie with Biased Reporting re; Thursday’s Clinton-Sanders Debate


New York Times Tries to Bury Bernie with Biased Reporting About Thursday’s Clinton-Sanders Debate
It is astonishing how brazen the Times has become in flaunting its bias.

It is astonishing how brazen the NY Times has become in flaunting its bias against Bernie Sanders – not just in its editorials, but in its so-called “objective” news coverage.

For example, look at its lead story about Thursday night’s Clinton-Sanders debate.

The first paragraph instantly sets the tone. Sanders, says the Times, “savaged” Mrs Clinton, who then “countered with steely confidence.” Oh, please.

See the national poll results for Trump vs Sanders here. (at link)

See the national poll results for Trump vs Clinton here.
(at link)

Why the Contest Between Hillary and Bernie Is Such a Big Deal for the Future of Our Economy


Only one candidate is challenging our economy's 40-year neo-liberal dystopia.

Tension are flaring as the New York primary approaches. The candidates are getting tough with each other and their supporters are getting even tougher.

But is the fighting really that warranted? Is there something at stake that runs deeper than personality differences, the first women president, Clinton fatigue, or pie-in-the-sky Bernie? Since both candidates are so much better than the Republican crazies, does it really matter all that much whether Hillary or Bernie gets the nod? Yes, it matters.

We are witnessing the first campaign since 1933 that directly challenges the essential features of our economy. We are now living through a 40-year neo-liberal dystopia. Finally it is under assault. Any objective observer would note that Hillary operates within that neo-liberal order while Bernie is its attacker.


The US Middle-class AND democracy cannot survive the neocon status quo. We change now, or......

The Banks Are Coming for Your Savings and Digital Money Is Going to Make It Easier


Ellen Brown -

The bombshell publication of the "Panama Papers" has triggered both outrage and skepticism.

Exposing tax dodgers is a worthy endeavor, but the “limited hangout” of the Panama Papers may have less noble ends, dovetailing with the War on Cash and the imminent threat of massive bail-ins of depositor funds.

The bombshell publication of the “Panama Papers,” leaked from a Panama law firm specializing in shell companies, has triggered both outrage and skepticism. In an April 3 article titled “Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak,” UK blogger Craig Murray writes that the whistleblower no doubt had good intentions; but he made the mistake of leaking his 11.5 million documents to the corporate-controlled Western media, which released only those few documents incriminating opponents of Western financial interests. Murray writes:

Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.

Expect hits at Russia, Iran and Syria and some tiny “balancing” western country like Iceland.

Iceland, of course, was the only country to refuse to bail out its banks, instead throwing its offending bankers in jail.


Postscript: Bail-ins under the new 2016 European Recovery and Resolution Directive began officially today, April 10, in Austria. Ominously, it was in Austria that a major bank bankruptcy triggered the Great Depression in 1931.

Bernie Sanders vs. the Plutocracy: Why General Electric's CEO Is Lashing out at the Democratic Soci

Bernie is IN the fight.

Link at Salon

Sanders has taken GE to task for its anti-middle-class machinations. His message is too important to ignore.

Last week, following comments from Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) on how corporate greed is destroying the moral fabric of America — in which he singled out General Electric, a company that is known for employing the best accountants money can buy to avoid paying taxes — GE CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt wrote an impulsive editorial for the Washington Post defending his company’s honor and lambasting the senator, who has been on a winning streak for the past three weeks.

Immelt wrote:

“GE has been in business for 124 years, and we’ve never been a big hit with socialists. We create wealth and jobs, instead of just calling for them in speeches. We take risks, invest, innovate and produce in ways that today sustain 125,000 U.S. jobs…It’s easy to make hollow campaign promises and take cheap shots in speeches and during editorial board sessions, but U.S. companies have to deliver for their employees, customers and shareholders every day.”

Immelt, who earned a sweet $37.25 million in 2014, is obviously not a huge fan of the whole political revolution thing. On taxes, he writes that GE pays “billions,” and that the tax system “isn’t designed for today’s economy.” While this may be true, he neglects to mention that GE itself has spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the years on lobbying, particularly for tax legislation that benefited the company and allowed them to pay no federal taxes for various years, according to a Citizens for Tax Justice report. Immelt may be opposed to socialism, but certainly not socialism for the rich.

The Democrats Have No Soul: The Clintons, Neoliberalism and How the 'People's Party' Lost Its Way


Republicans never had one. That makes Democrats' betrayals, deceit and crisis of legitimacy that much more serious


Looking beyond the daily tussle between Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party, or Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party, let’s consider the larger historical picture to see what the current election campaign tells us about the state of the two major political parties and their future.

Over the last forty years both major political parties have been in a state of terminal decline for a number of reasons, primarily the ideological contradictions each has developed quite in sync with the other, driven by the same economic trends. Both are in a death spiral at the moment, but this being America, where political accountability is not as rapid or conclusive as in Europe, it’s likely that they will continue in more or less their existing forms for the foreseeable future, further deepening the crisis of legitimacy. Whatever the realities about their loss of credibility, we are not likely to hear an announcement anytime soon that the Democratic or Republican parties are dead, having ceased to serve the respective functions for which they accumulated much legitimacy at different points in the twentieth century.


It is noteworthy that a great many among America’s intellectual elite support Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, offering standard neoliberal justifications, whereas those outside elite intellectual circles are more likely to support Sanders; likewise with Trump and his antagonists and supporters. What the establishment will not do is take either of them seriously; meaning that they will not, as they haven’t for forty years, acknowledge the concerns of the constituencies they are supposed to represent, and direct the very real anxieties felt on all parts of the political spectrum toward positive resolutions good for the country and for the rest of the world.

'The Biggest Coal Giant Has Fallen': Peabody Files for Bankruptcy

Good for America, the Future and the Planet - bad for the employees


Activists say bankruptcy highlights need to transition away from fossil fuels

Coal giant Peabody Energy Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Wednesday, signaling what climate advocates hope is a death knell for dirty energy.

"Peabody Energy's bankruptcy is a harbinger of the end of the fossil fuel era," said Jenny Marienau, divestment campaign manager with the climate advocacy group 350.org.

With coal in decline since 2013, the company's financial collapse shows the need to transition into a clean energy future, the group said.

"Peabody is crashing because the company was unwilling to change with the times—they doubled down on the dirtiest of all fossil fuels, and investors backed their bet, as the world shifted away from fossil fuels," Marienau said.

The Welcome Rebellion in the Democratic Party


Katrina vanden Heuvel

The political fallout from the Panama Papers has been felt throughout the world. So far, the trove of leaked documents has exposed shady financial activities involving powerful and wealthy figures such as British Prime Minister David Cameron, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s friends, Chinese actor Jackie Chan and Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi. The scandal even forced Iceland’s prime minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, to resign in disgrace.

In the United States, however, the reaction to the Panama Papers has been somewhat muted. No Americans have been implicated in the massive leak —not yet, at least — and the revelations, although tantalizing, have simply provided concrete evidence of something many already knew. Yet, while nobody should be surprised that the financial and political elite stash their wealth in offshore tax havens, the Panama Papers explicitly document the unfairness of a rigged system that deprives countries of the funds needed to make crucial public investments. That is particularly relevant at the current moment in U.S. politics.

Indeed, that fundamental unfairness is at the heart of the Democratic presidential race, which, last week, descended into petty bickering. In advance of the Wisconsin primary, in which voters handed insurgent candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) his sixth victory in seven contests (before his win in Wyoming over the weekend), front-runner and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton not so subtly suggested that Sanders had no business being in the race. “He’s a relatively new Democrat,” Clinton told Politico reporter Glenn Thrush, “and, in fact, I’m not even sure he is one.”
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