Monday, January 25, 2016

Straining Credulity

Save the nation. Join the movement:

(graphic by Kat Garcia)
Rattled by the spectre of the oligarchy getting taken over by the democratic rabble, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is seriously considering putting his billions into an independent run for the presidency. 

He planted his lead balloon into Saturday's obliging New York Times, followed immediately by a hysterical blog-post by pundit Paul Krugman, who warns us that if we persist in nominating Bernie Sanders like a bunch of airheads, this will usher in Bloomberg, which will then get us President Donald Trump. So forget all about democracy, proles! At least, that's what I interpreted Krugman's inchoate fear-mongering to mean.   

You'll be happy to learn that "Bloomberg Nation" already has an inspiring  campaign slogan designed to fire up the masses before they're transformed into ashes: "The Harder You Work, The Luckier You Get."  

"It's time for ACTION," cleverly blurts out the website blurb. "Bloomberg Nation is a grassroots movement dedicated to making our nation bloom."

Something like this, maybe:

It attractively continues, "We need your help. Volunteer your time and services. Help us get 10MM people to endorse Bloomberg for president and create viral media."

Bloomberg, the world's 10th richest godzillionaire, apparently cannot or will not actually pay people to knock on doors for him. He wants, and expects, the freedom to which he is entitled. He is just, as the Times puts it, "galled" about Trump's mumbles and Hillary's stumbles. "His aides have sketched out a version of a campaign plan that would have the former mayor, a low-key and cerebral personality, give a series of detailed policy speeches backed by an intense television advertising campaign. The ads would introduce him to voters around the country as a technocratic problem-solver and self-made businessman who understands the economy and who built a bipartisan administration in New York."

Alternate slogan, riffing off Jeb Bush: "Right for Bile to Rise."

It'll be interesting to see whether the corporate-sponsored presidential debate committee will bend its rules and allow the unpopular Bloomberg to buy his way into the general election debates, regardless of how low his poll numbers are. If that is the case, then they should also open up the forum to the Green Party's Jill Stein, who you might remember was summarily arrested and handcuffed when she had the gall to try to join Mitt Romney and Barack Obama for their infamous Binders Full of Women debate in 2012.

It'll also be interesting to see how the Black Lives Matter movement responds to Mayor Stop & Frisk, who infamously said: "We disproportionately stop whites too much, and minorities too little."  

At least the Shrillionaire Mayor isn't yet boasting, like Donald Trump, that "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."


annenigma said...

Not many NYT commenters are buying it, as evidenced by the #1 comment to that article submitted by Bernie's volunteer speechwriter:

annenigma montana 1 day ago

The Establishment sure has it's choices. One billionaire is thinking of running because he sees an opening. Another billionaire is running 'To Make America Great Again'. A multi-millionaire who left the White House 'dead broke' is running a second time to try to make history as the first woman President.

For the rest of us who aren't billionaires and millionaires, we have Bernie, a candidate of modest means leading the people in a political revolution fighting for the soul of Democracy.

Bernie Sanders - For the Common Good


Karen Garcia said...

Congratulations, Anne! I recommended your comment a couple of days ago, and happy to see it's gotten so many well-deserved thumbs-up since then!

I've been running ragged trying to keep after Krugman's drivel, myself. I need a break. This shitstorm is not ending any time soon.

Nasreen Iqbal said...

That would be brilliant. In a Bloomberg/Trump/Sanders race, how could Sanders not win?

If it's Bloomberg/Trump/Clinton, then I don't know.

Please please please.

annenigma said...

Bloomberg is preparing to be on standby in case Wall Streetwalker Hillary stumbles and falls. The wealthy are hedging their bets with a Bloomberg insurance policy to cover their risk of future financial losses.

Even corporate shill Obama is putting his thumb on the scales for Hillary in his latest interview. I guess that's not surprising since The DNC's Debbie W-S has both her thumbs tied up doing the same.

Btw, there's a Town Hall Forum with the Democratic candidates on CNN tonight. It's also being streamed online for those of us without cable.

Pearl said...

In regard to Obama speaking like Blow, I hope this will encourage some comments about the political relationship between Hillary and Obama. What hasn't been brought up by many of the Sanders democrats, is that this leaning on Obama by her indicates a further record of do nothingness. No one has said much about Obama's poor record including Bernie who is handling it wisely. However, if Obama's record is
exposed more, it doesn't favor her popularity and now that Obama has carefully taken sides, Bernie should speak out on the specifics like Obama shutting the door on universal health care.
I believe that the health care issue is something that has resonated strongly with people going to Bernie's support because it is something they can witness personally, and how it was thrown under the bus by Obama is being made clear. I hope Bernie will talk about this some more.
So I have a few more 'suggestions' to send to Bernie's headquarters. I think this gets to his ear as I get a comment from his helpers whenever I do so and I am sure the things his followers are concerned about do resonate with his crew and him.
I am looking forward to the debate tonight which I can get on CNN if they stop long enough from reporting the endless snow shoveling activities in the U.S. There hasn't been a minutes' break in the storm news with their reporters shivering in the cold for hours and hours for the last several days.

annenigma said...

Holy smokes! I just saw a clip of Bernie on ABC evening news and he seemed totally deflated or maybe even defeated as he said with little emotion and in a flat voice 'Are you ready for a political revolution.' It didn't even sound like a question. It sure didn't sound like Bernie.

I don't know if it's Obama's implied endorsement of Hillary, Bloomberg threatening to get in, or if the Powers-That-Be have dropped a shitbomb on him quietly behind the scenes, but I'm very concerned by what I saw and heard.

He sure is up against a powerful machine. If we don't get this political revolution, there will be another kind.

Meredith NYC said...

So which presidential candidate would copy Bloomberg and send his armies into Zuccotti Park to cleanse it of any Occupy Wall Streeters—if any should sneak back in?

And it took a court decision to halt Bloomie/Kelly’s uncontrolled, abusive stop/frisk. They appealed the decision, (moral fervor)later dropped it. This kind of president we don’t need. Go away Bloomie.

Here’s a related comment about how democracy might operate, re the UK. (sent to krugman’s Flint column)

How about let’s sign a national on line petition demanding Michigan officials inflicting the crime of making a city uninhabitable, should be fired, arrested, prosecuted. Let’s activate and use the widespread national outrage, not just wait to see what officials decide to do.

I just found out that in the UK if 500,000 citizens sign a petition to get their govt moving on some action, their parliament committees have to debate the issue.

Over 600,000 Britons signed an online petition “Block Donald J Trump from UK entry” after Trump outraged Britain by spreading hate and xenophobia and claimed that their city police are afraid to go into London's Muslim n. hoods.

The UK website, shows some petitions on various topics, the amount of signatures so far, and the response of the govt. Sort of a democracy in action. Imagine that. Does Amy Goodman at Democracy Now know about this?

So, in America, land of ‘equal protection of the laws’, can we start to actively redress grievances and restore our democracy? We have to protect ourselves. Let’s force congress to debate and take action on remedies for Flint, and for the other redress of grievances. We don’t want to take it anymore.

If anyone has time to watch even a part of it, the Cspan video of the UK debate to ban Trump is fascinating, exploring every shade of opinion both pro/con. They showed it several times, and I caught different parts of it.

The members interact with each other and pay rapt attention to each speaker’s turn. Civilized, intelligent, respectful, fervent, yet disciplined, and with people from every religion, ethnic group, race and area of UK. What a combination--- giving full expression to their thoughts and emotions, but insulting no one. An exemplary role model for any democracy.

Pearl said...

A better format for a debate last night but revealing. With hand picked questions the emphasis did not allow Bernie to expound on issues Hillary does (foreign agenda, military decisions, "Commander in Chief") and then he is criticized for not being as able as her in those areas. Her given questions brought out the issues she is well rehearsed about and adept at burying the bodies well. Here is where having them together might have allowed Bernie to puncture her fairy tale presentation.

I fear dear friends that Bernie despite being armed with the truth will be overcome by the Hollywood version of reality Hillary represents in the months of agitation coming up. And with Donald Trump being used as the villain whom only Hillary can deftly overwhelm may prevail. The country is so divided that Bernie's message may be buried with business as usual for the future.

I hope I am wrong but watching the CNN pundits expound their views seems to echo the thoughts of the brain washed public leaving the young people in the lurch.

Wendy Davis, democratic senator from Texas, had shining eyes talking about a future with Hillary who fought for all things good. Please tell me it isn't so on this gloomy morning.

Pearl said...

Bernie Sanders could be the next Ronald Reagan via @Salon

annenigma said...

I am boiling mad after reading about Obama coyly endorsing Hillary. Why would he have to weigh in now, trying to blunt Bernie's early momentum and choosing to help his former rival? Because his other crowning achievement besides the ACA is the TPP, and that's the quid pro quo for his endorsement. She was for it before she was against it, and she is going to be for it again. That's why the plutocrats want Hillary and don't want Trump - he's against the TPP which is their Pot of Gold. Bloomers is hanging back as the golden parachute if Hillary's doesn't open in time.

And what is Hillary telling Goldman Sachs and their ilk that's worth so much per speech? That the reason she's dead set against Single Payer because she intends to 'build on' the ACA by folding Medicare (and maybe the VA) into ACA. All those deep pockets would stuff them fuller after everyone is on Medicare. They get CERTAINTY for their money.

The same thing for Social Security - 'strengthening' it by forcing us into their private equity market. You just know she'd do both for her plutocratic friends. Make no mistake about it, those pricey speeches pay for CERTAINTY, the most important thing to Wall Street. That's why their shill in the White House is backing their horse right out of the gate. Obama gave them their CERTAINTY too, in a big way - bailouts and banksters remained untouchable.

It's the Triple Crown - The TPP, forcing ALL citizens to buy pricey private health insurance, and forcing citizens into buying into risky private equity retirement accounts in the Wall Street casino where the House always wins. Not only that, but she'll get to wear the crown of royalty that Obama won by vastly expanding Executive powers. We're back to our beginnings, fighting against the corporate Crown for independence.

Privatization of public lands and every other public (socialistic) service and property is far more likely with Hillary than Trump because she's been bought. She went from leaving the White House 'dead broke' to becoming a multi-millionaire in just a few years solely by begging from the rich. And it's not just from speeches, it's from the many tax deductible 'charitable' donations from the rich to the Clinton family charity slush fund from which she's paid. She owes them, and she'll willingly pay them back, because being one of them is more important than being one of us. She's conniving and cunning, and as Obama said "Wicked smart", as are her powerful backers, including Obama.

Jimmy Carter needs to start monitoring our elections, even our primaries!

Pearl said...

Annenigma: Thank you for the painful truth. People should ask why she made so many speeches to the vultures of the U.S.. It is more than the money, it is the VOTES that she needs most of all now with payoffs coming later. And what would Abe Lincoln, Hillary's favorite president say to us if he could!

It will be interesting to get readers choices if and when some article about the debate and Hillary's version comes out. Hopefully they will be as mad as you and me.
I hope the supporters of Bernie will not desert him and remember what they are all standing for.
There were recent reports about the results of the Vietnamese war indicating the damage to this day of the health of surviving soldiers as well as the gift of agent orange still affecting the Vietnamese people. Protestations eventually ended that occupation but not before a heavy price was paid. I hate to think what Hillary's decisions will result in and the prices that people will have to pay down the line.

By the way several statements Hillary made in her answers to people's questions last night seemed to be truthless as to her role in various political events. I hope the fact checkers will list them as I don't think I am imagining that some of her 'recollections' startled me. Since many people are not aware of her political history it is easy for her to misrepresent where she actually stood on some issues and convince them of her impeccable qualifications. Bernie mentioned some last night.

Jay, perhaps with your recalls of some of her comments last night you could remind us of her actual involvements in past events she boasts about. I think you have written comments along these lines recently.

And Karen any information or column about the discrepancies in her fairy tale would be welcome to help clear our minds.

Pearl said...

Bernie Sanders is the realist we should elect

Pearl said...

Hillary Clinton is doing finance industry fundraisers just before Iowa by @ZaidJilani

Jay–Ottawa said...

Pearl, I have no recall from Hillary's great big lying selfie of last night because I couldn't tune in up here. I tried hard to find the Town Hall broadcast on the internet and even radio. Finally discovered (on CNNgo) that the problem was my ISP, which has no contract with CNN and can't stream it live. Either because I'm mostly surrounded by French speakers in my part of the National Capital Region or because BellQuebec is too discriminating to carry CNN. In searching for commentary this morning, I read where the broadcast is now available on YouTube, well after the fact. But I'll wait for the executive summary from a sound written source.

Like other people in her corner, Hillary has great difficulty hiding her forked tongue. We all knew that before the debates. Do we expect her to come clean ever about her Wall Street connection, the email curiosity, or the Libya fiasco? We know what she's going to say, so why submit ourselves to more aggravation? Ignore her. Last night I only wanted to catch Bernie's half hour, especially after Anne caught a newscast earlier where he seemed exhausted.

Poor Bernie, ten more months of this grind and nonsense. Iowa and New Hampshire are sweet little birds. South Carolina is sure to present a meaner face of the electorate. I believe the Emperor Claudius was referring to SC politics when he said: “Let all the poison that lurks in the mud, hatch out.”

Pearl said...

Jay: it was more of the same but she had to answer pertinent questions and it was fascinating how smooth and rehearsed it all was. I wondered how reactions to her would be and how average people swallowed her tall tales. Yes, she boasted she is the one with experience (lots of it)but involving misrepresentation to her eventual voters and of course in all the countries she stepped foot in, a clear message of how her beloved country will pay off or use guns on whichever is suitable for the job at hand. Bernie looked tired but he did his best to respond to questions in which the truth which he repeated but added to, shone out. I also felt such a wave of compassion for this courageous man and hope the stress will not injure his health. No matter what, what he is saying will not be forgotten and eventually resound somewhere, somehow and educate people before the planet explodes. But we can't predict the future just yet. If only innocent people would not be hurt, I would love to see her lose to Trump.

annenigma said...

Oh great. I knew something was up when I saw Bernie yesterday.

I just read that Sanders is meeting with Obama at the White House tomorrow. That means he's NOT going to be spending the day on the campaign trail in Iowa. Whatever it is, it can't be discussed over the phone, so it's not an apology for dissing Bernie as having appeal only as a bright, shiny object and for tacitly endorsing Hillbillary. I suspect it's going to be more of an Obama negotiation something like this:

"Remember when I said I wouldn't support, vote for, or campaign for any candidate, even a Democratic one, who doesn't support my gun control measures? Well Bernieboy, NOW do you understand what I meant? Let me be perfectly clear - I can make or break a campaign. Hillary knows how to play the game, and if you really want to win, you need to learn how to play the game too. You won't be going anywhere unless you do, I PROMISE YOU. So are you ready to deal?"

"Listen Bernie, if you agree to name Michelle as your running mate, I'll throw some bones your way too. I really want Michelle out of my hair when I get out of here so I can really enjoy my freedom without her breathing down my neck and checking up on who I'm with and what I'm doing. Who better than Michelle to stand over your shoulder, checking to be sure you enact my agenda and continue my legacy? She can help you win with Blacks, Bernie, and given your age, if anything should happen to you, the country ends up with it's first female President. You do want to win, don't you Bernie?"

"Think about it. I'll give you 24 hours to decide. If you play your cards right, I think you might just win Iowa and go on to win the nomination. If not, say hello to President Hillary Clinton. It's your choice, Bernie. I know you'll make the right choice if want to win even a single state. Are ya hearin' me now?"

Patricia M. said...

Thank you Annenigma for letting us know about the meeting tomorrow. What seems to be a summons by the White House at this moment - days before the Iowa caucus, interrupting the election process - does not bode well. Could it have anything to do with Senator Sanders' announcement today that he, along with Senator Edward Markey (Dem/MA), would place a "hold" on Obama's nomination of Dr. Robert Califf to head the FDA?

I believe this is the most important election in our lifetimes, and the future of our country is at a critical point. Those that run it are getting out the big guns. Anything can happen. Very upsetting.

Jay–Ottawa said...

The time is so ripe and so right for Bernie to bolt like Teddy Roosevelt into a Third Party that can win with a plurality. Bernie's finally got everybody's attention; the Republicans are in disarray; and most of the country, for reasons sound and silly, would love to be rid of Hillary while also turning their backs on the Duopoly.

Tomorrow, Bernie will step out of the White House with a look of annoyance. Is there something underfoot or is he really stamping the dust from his feet? Bernie steps before an array of mikes on the gravel driveway and, before taking questions from reporters, he pulls out a piece of paper from a pocket of his rumpled suit. As he finishes reading that one paragraph within earshot of Lame Duck (who opens a window to find out what's going on), half the reporters start running back to their offices while screaming into their smart phones.

This is what Bernie says, word for word, exactly as his new speechwriter wrote it:--

Anne ... ?

Jay–Ottawa said...

While Annenigma is drafting her zinger for Bernie, understand how a golden door has opened for Bernie. The guy has nothing to lose.

Clearly, Obama, Hillary and the DNC are in fear of Bernie. He should expect nothing helpful from them now or later. Why has Hillary been calling for support from Obama, who complied two days ago, and from the top of mainline labor leaders, few of whom consulted their rank and file before endorsing Hillary? She knows she needs help. She's trying to scare up a stampede with her friends. Bernie, for his part, intentionally or not, is scaring up a revolution. I suspect her polling numbers are alarming as she heads into the showdown of the Iowa caucuses.

If Bernie lets this opportunity slip by, he will show that he has been sailing under false colors. Millions of people who don't have that much disposable income sent him small checks. Is he going to betray them by cowing to the Lame Duck? Was he sheepdogging for the DNC? Or will he now take off the gloves, stop saluting Obama and cease being sweet to Madam Secretary? He could lead the revolution if he so chooses. Bernie and Trump are the last hope for Americans who are fed up. They must both break away from the charade if they are to keep their following and gain more.

All these questions may become clear when he emerges, and in the style he emerges, from the White House Wednesday.

annenigma said...

Sorry, I can't work on Bernie's speech because I'm conflicted and distressed. After being suckered by Obama in 2008, I'm wary. Then when I read about the White House calling Bernie in just days before the Iowa caucus, I had a sinking feeling that I'm being suckered again. Obama is exercising/abusing his royal prerogative by calling Bernie in for a talk, or a talking to, during election crunch time. Talk about a power play. Maybe he'll warn him to tone down the Political Revolution rhetoric, claiming National Security! He's inflaming insurrection! Anything to dampen the enthusiasm and his momentum.

I realize that even if Bernie went the distance and won, he'd be having to deal with the same old slimy snakes that are going for the jugular in their desperation to seat Hillary on her throne. And they aren't leaving office anytime soon. They should be happy to have a candidate that is exciting voters, but they aren't. They're even committing the cardinal sin of attacking a fellow Democrat in the primary in a way that Republicans could use in the general election. You don't get any more cutthroat than that.

Stay tuned. If Bernie stops using the term 'Political Revolution' after meeting with Obama, we'll know the Establishment is trying to co-opt the movement, just as they did when they decided that Occupy was about income inequality, a concept they could own and use for political purposes, rather than about an entire corrupt, rigged Plutocracy.

annenigma said...

I can almost hear Obama warning Bernie to tone it down concerning the millionaire and billionaire fat cats because they're "feeling uncomfortable", and "it's not helpful" - for the Democratic Party beggars. Yup, my money is on that message!

"Stick with income inequality, Bernie."

annenigma said...

This just in. Obama has made the decision about which woman to honor on the $10 bill. It's going to be... Hillary!

Kat said...

Margaret Sullivan takes aim at the election coverage, questions the times coverage of Flint:
The counterargument is this: Imagine if The Times really had taken on the Flint outrage with energy and persistence many months ago. With its powerful pulpit and reach, The Times could have held public officials accountable and prevented human suffering. That’s what journalistic watchdogs are supposed to do. As traditional local investigative reporting withers, The Times’s role becomes ever more important.

Yes, that takes journalistic resources. Investigative reporting is notoriously time-consuming. But are such resources really unavailable?

After all, enough Times firepower somehow has been found to document Hillary Clinton’s every sneeze, Donald Trump’s latest bombast, and Marco Rubio’s shiny boots. There seem to be plenty of Times resources for such hit-seeking missives as “breadfacing,” or for the Magazine’s thorough exploration of buffalo plaid and “lumbersexuals.” And staff was available to produce this week’s dare-you-not-to-click video on the rising social movement known as “Free the Nipple.”

Isn’t it a matter of choosing how to deploy the 1,300 members of the newsroom staff? Call it a matter of priorities. Given all that’s happened, especially on issues involving race, maybe it’s time to beef up that talented Midwest staff.

If The Times had kept the pressure on the Flint story, the resulting journalism might not have made the “trending” list — but it would have made a real difference to the people of Flint, who were in serious need of a powerful ally.

Indeed. They could fire half the op ed writers and put some money into real news reporting.

Valerie said...

Good points, Kat - all of them. Terrible that the kind of investigative journalism that used to be lauded is now almost a thing of the past. Instead, so called journalists are stenographers and goupies.

Pearl said...

Karen: You can catch up on your sleep and ignore Krugman. The answers from readers of his latest column are the most amazing I have ever read and prove that Bernie's message is finally being interpreted correctly by the real Democrats and Independents. As well, the truth about Hillary's ambitions are no longer ignored.
I feel now that there is hope ahead in some important way.
You should feel proud of the role you have played in helping this wind of change beginning and doubtless, the presidential battle ahead will be more open and honest.
I have underestimated the effect of Bernie's truthful efforts - but with such devotion by so many literate readers, he is no longer persona non grata and this balanced view of reality will come to the fore.
Monday should be a most revealing day.

Krugman has done us all a favor by exposing the corruption of his attitudes and it has resulted in enough is enough as a rallying cry.

Annenigma: thank you for your fine thoughts well articulated on Sardonicky. Hope they are appearing elsewhere as well.
And Jay thank you also for helping keeping me somewhat sane in the midst of the craziest political goings on I can recall in my birth country.

I think the saying the emperor has no clothes now describes Empress Hillary.