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marmar

marmar's Journal
marmar's Journal
February 11, 2016

The More Bernie Sanders Wins, the More Establishment Liberals Will Tell You He Canít Win


This post first appeared at Jacobin.

Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire Democratic primary last night.

Edith Wharton described it best:

The blast that swept him came off New Hampshire snow-fields and ice-hung forests. It seemed to have traversed interminable leagues of frozen silence, filling them with the same cold roar and sharpening its edge against the same bitter black-and-white landscape.


Some fascinating tidbits about the Democratic primary voters from the New York Times exit poll:

• 72 percent of the voters said that the candidates’ issues were more important to them than the candidates’ leadership or personal qualities; only 25 percent of the voters said that the latter was more important to them. This confirms what Jedediah Purdy argued in an excellent piece contrasting Sanders’s candidacy with Obama’s candidacy. Obama’s campaign was about him; Sanders’s campaign is about the issues.
• 68 percent of the voters described their philosophy as either “very liberal” or “somewhat liberal.” 31 percent said it was “moderate” or “conservative.” What’s interesting about this data — beyond the leftward shift it marks — is that independents are allowed to vote in Democratic primaries in New Hampshire. In this primary, 41 percent of the voters were either independents or undeclared. That we get that kind of ideological skew in a primary that includes independents, who are often reputed to be moderates, is telling.
• 63 percent of the voters want to replace the current health care system with a single-payer plan.
• Only 16 percent of the voters said they were getting ahead financially (as opposed to keeping steady or falling behind); Clinton did her best among those voters.
• 80 percent of the voters said they were very or somewhat worried about the economy; Sanders won nearly two-thirds of those voters. 20 percent of the voters said they were not too worried or not worried at all about it. Clinton won 57 percent of those voters.
• Only 10 percent of the voters said terrorism was the most important issue for them.
• 48 percent of the voters decided upon their candidate in the last month. That suggests the race is still very fluid and that it is not until the campaigns come to the different states that voters really settle upon their choices.

The best comment of the evening, though, goes to my CUNY colleague David Jones, who is providing commentary to the New York Times:

Even so, there were a few silver linings for Mrs. Clinton. . . . And, though Mrs. Clinton lost nearly every income group, she did carry voters in families earning over $200,000 per year.


Remember, back in 1992, Bill Clinton placed second in the New Hampshire primary, and he declared, “New Hampshire tonight has made Bill Clinton the Comeback Kid.” Twenty-four years later, Hillary Clinton places second in the New Hampshire, and her campaign declares, New Hampshire doesn’t matter. .................(more)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18844/bernie-sanders-primary-new-hampshire-hillary-clinton




February 11, 2016

Natasha Hakimi: No, I Wonít Vote for Hillary Clinton. And Yes, I Am a Feminist Millennial


from truthdig:


No, I Won’t Vote for Hillary Clinton. And Yes, I Am a Feminist Millennial

Posted on Feb 11, 2016
By Natasha Hakimi


I’m a Latina millennial and I’m sick of being told I’m not a feminist because I won’t vote for Hillary Clinton.

There have been plenty of great feminist responses to Madeleine Albright’s and Gloria Steinem’s comments about women who support Bernie Sanders over Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination. I’d like to add another piece, one from a very personal point of view.

But first I want to be clear about two things: one, that I would love to see a female progressive lead this nation; and two, that I am sickened by all forms of sexism and am saddened to come from a country where a woman can’t run for president without being bombarded with misogynistic attacks. As a woman who has been attacked on the Internet and beyond for having a voice, I will never be on the side of sexism.

That said, I’m 100 percent in agreement with writer Glenn Greenwald when he states that the “Bernie bros” myth is a convenient establishment tool used to discredit Sanders and his supporters. (I mean, really, do Paul Krugman and company honestly believe we’re going to buy that Sanders supporters are all sexist pigs or that the economist himself isn’t a bro, as Greenwald points out, or that conservatives and others aren’t among those attacking Clinton?) I am far from a bro, but, I’m proud to admit, I certainly “feel the Bern.”

But this feeling started long before I even knew the Vermont senator’s name. It began when, as the child of immigrants, I was proud and excited to be the first in my family to earn a college degree—only to realize I’d been saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt to a government that kindly informed me in a loan exit program that one of my only options out of repayment was to die. Yes, death was at the top of a very short list. The sensation at the pit of my stomach when I considered how to pay back loans I’d taken out to attain the American life my parents dreamed I would have can only be described as a burn. ..........(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/no_i_wont_vote_for_hillary_clinton_millennial_feminist_20160211




February 11, 2016

Sanders Raises $7.1 Million After New Hampshire Win


(Bloomberg) Nothing fills the presidential coffers like success.

Fresh off his win in the New Hampshire primary, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders raised what his campaign is calling a record-breaking amount of campaign donations, hauling in $7.1 million in a little more than 24 hours.

Sanders used his victory speech in Concord, New Hampshire, to make a direct fundraising appeal to voters.

“I'm going to hold a fundraiser right here, right now, across America,” Sanders told his crowd and a television audience of millions Tuesday night. “My request is please go to BernieSanders.com and contribute. Please help us raise the funds we need, whether it's $10 bucks, $20 bucks, or $50 bucks. Help up us raise the money we need to take the fight to Nevada, South Carolina, and the states on Super Tuesday.”

Sanders has funded much of his campaign on small individual donations, rather than the larger checks collected by Hillary Clinton fundraisers. His campaign also stands against super-PACs, outside groups that are allowed to collect unlimited donations in order to promote candidates, including Sanders's rival, Clinton. ................(more)

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-02-10/sanders-raises-5-2-million-after-new-hampshire-win




February 11, 2016

For Hillary to Survive, Clintonism Had to Die


(Bloomberg) On the night of the New Hampshire primary in 1992, Bill Clinton began his speech by declaring that “New Hampshire has made Bill Clinton the comeback kid,” but by its end he was announcing a kind of tactical shift. The message of empathy for middle-class pain that had dominated his campaign—and carried him to second place in the economically depressed state—was far from the animating cause of his bid to lead the Democratic Party. “Tomorrow morning I will carry this campaign away from New Hampshire,” Clinton said. “I will go all across this county, to the rest of the nation, asking them to embrace the New Covenant that I have advocated to restore opportunity and increase responsibility and rebuild a sense of the American community.”

To anyone who had followed the opening phase of Clinton’s life as a national figure, “New Covenant” was familiar code for the bundle of policy positions—many cultivated by the moderate Democratic Leadership Council—that allowed the Arkansas governor to introduce himself to the country as a New Democrat. Each represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade; Clinton expressed little patience for identity politics, was a cheerleader for free trade and held to an unrepentantly hard line on crime and drug use. Just three weeks before the New Hampshire primary, Clinton refused a request for clemency against Ricky Ray Rector, a mentally disabled double-murderer, whose execution offered a useful occasion to demonstrate his unambivalent view toward the death penalty.

Only one other person stood on the stage that primary night at the Best Western Inn in Merrimack, and while Clinton did not name his wife, Hillary, in the speech, he told his auditors that without her “love and friendship over 20 years I wouldn’t be here tonight and wouldn’t be fit to be here tonight.” On Tuesday night in Manchester the roles were reversed, with Hillary behind the podium and Bill flanking her, and in a way her candidacy is built on his 1992 run. But in other ways, his legacy is one she's had to live down.

In her concession speech after her devastating loss to Bernie Sanders, Hillary called herself the “best change-maker,” but the vision of change she had articulated during her New Hampshire campaign diverged pointedly from her husband’s. In a single debate last week, Hillary Clinton affirmed her opposition to every major multilateral trade pact of the last the last quarter-century, volunteered concern for the politics of racial and sexual identity, and implied she might be pleased to see the U.S. Supreme Court again ban capital punishments by states. Perhaps notably she has taken umbrage at being called a moderate, even though until recently she happily wore the label as a badge of honor. If she did not share his surname, the entirety of Hillary’s candidacy could be reasonably understood as a challenge to Bill’s political legacy.

For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die. .............................(more)

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-02-11/for-hillary-to-survive-clintonism-had-to-die




February 10, 2016

Two, Three... Many Flints: Americaís Coast-to-Coast Toxic Crisis


from TomDispatch:




Two, Three... Many Flints
America’s Coast-to-Coast Toxic Crisis

By David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz


“I know if I was a parent up there, I would be beside myself if my kids’ health could be at risk,” said President Obama on a recent trip to Michigan. “Up there” was Flint, a rusting industrial city in the grip of a “water crisis” brought on by a government austerity scheme. To save a couple of million dollars, that city switched its source of water from Lake Huron to the Flint River, a long-time industrial dumping ground for the toxic industries that had once made their home along its banks. Now, the city is enveloped in a public health emergency, with elevated levels of lead in its water supply and in the blood of its children.

The price tag for replacing the lead pipes that contaminated its drinking water, thanks to the corrosive toxins found in the Flint River, is now estimated at up to $1.5 billion. No one knows where that money will come from or when it will arrive. In the meantime, the cost to the children of Flint has been and will be incalculable. As little as a few specks of lead in the water children drink or in flakes of paint that come off the walls of old houses and are ingested can change the course of a life. The amount of lead dust that covers a thumbnail is enough to send a child into a coma or into convulsions leading to death. It takes less than a tenth of that amount to cause IQ loss, hearing loss, or behavioral problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the government agency responsible for tracking and protecting the nation’s health, says simply, “No safe blood lead level in children has been identified.”

President Obama would have good reason to worry if his kids lived in Flint. But the city’s children are hardly the only ones threatened by this public health crisis. There’s a lead crisis for children in Baltimore, Maryland, Herculaneum, Missouri, Sebring, Ohio, and even the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., and that’s just to begin a list. State reports suggest, for instance, that "18 cities in Pennsylvania and 11 in New Jersey may have an even higher share of children with dangerously elevated levels of lead than does Flint." Today, scientists agree that there is no safe level of lead for children and at least half of American children have some of this neurotoxin in their blood. The CDC is especially concerned about the more than 500,000 American children who have substantial amounts of lead in their bodies. Over the past century, an untold number have had their IQs reduced, their school performances limited, their behaviors altered, and their neurological development undermined. From coast to coast, from the Sun Belt to the Rust Belt, children have been and continue to be imperiled by a century of industrial production, commercial gluttony, and abandonment by the local, state, and federal governments that should have protected them. Unlike in Flint, the “crisis” seldom comes to public attention.

Two, Three... Many Flints

In Flint, the origins of the current crisis lay in the history of auto giant General Motors (GM) and its rise in the middle decades of the twentieth century to the status of the world’s largest corporation. GM’s Buick plant alone once occupied “an area almost a mile and a half long and half a mile wide,” according to the Chicago Tribune, and several Chevrolet and other GM plants literally covered the waterfront of “this automotive city.” Into the Flint River went the toxic wastes of factories large and small, which once supplied batteries, paints, solders, glass, fabrics, oils, lubricating fluids, and a multitude of other materials that made up the modern car. In these plants strung out along the banks of the Flint and Saginaw rivers and their detritus lay the origins of the present public health emergency. ................(more)

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176101/tomgram%3A_rosner_and_markowitz%2C_welcome_to_the_united_states_of_flint/




February 10, 2016

Will New York Ban Smartphones With Security Protections?


Will New York Ban Smartphones With Security Protections?

Wednesday, 10 February 2016 00:00
By Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report


Is the New York legislature trying to ban iPhones? Not exactly, but state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would ban the sale of smartphones with data encryption technology that can keep both cops and criminal hackers from accessing personal data.

For months, law enforcement officials and the FBI have been railing against companies like Apple and Google for automatically scrambling personal data stored on mobile devices and some smartphone apps with encryption and hiding it behind locks that require personal passcodes, making the devices inaccessible to investigators.

Most recently, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance called on state and federal lawmakers to forbid smartphones and tablets that are "sealed off from law enforcement." Lawmakers in the New York State Assembly apparently took up the call and introduced legislation in January that would impose harsh fines on sellers of smartphones that cannot be unlocked and decrypted by manufacturers or operating system providers.

Jamie Williams, a legal fellow on the civil liberties team at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the bill ignores the reality that it is technically impossible to give the government access to personal data without making consumers more vulnerable.

"If device manufactures were to build such vulnerabilities into phones, it would be a serious threat to privacy and security - leaving us all less safe as a result," Williams said. "And a law mandating that a manufacturer retain the capability to decrypt or unlock a phone also could present significant First Amendment implications." ..............(more)

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34747-will-new-york-ban-smartphones-with-security-protections




February 10, 2016

Michelle Alexander: Why Hillary Clinton Doesnít Deserve the Black Vote


from the Nation:


Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote
From the crime bill to welfare reform, policies Bill Clinton enacted—and Hillary Clinton supported—decimated black America.

By Michelle Alexander


 Hillary Clinton loves black people. And black people love Hillary—or so it seems. Black politicians have lined up in droves to endorse her, eager to prove their loyalty to the Clintons in the hopes that their faithfulness will be remembered and rewarded. Black pastors are opening their church doors, and the Clintons are making themselves comfortably at home once again, engaging effortlessly in all the usual rituals associated with “courting the black vote,” a pursuit that typically begins and ends with Democratic politicians making black people feel liked and taken seriously. Doing something concrete to improve the conditions under which most black people live is generally not required.

Hillary is looking to gain momentum on the campaign trail as the primaries move out of Iowa and New Hampshire and into states like South Carolina, where large pockets of black voters can be found. According to some polls, she leads Bernie Sanders by as much as 60 percent among African Americans. It seems that we—black people—are her winning card, one that Hillary is eager to play.

And it seems we’re eager to get played. Again.

The love affair between black folks and the Clintons has been going on for a long time. It began back in 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president. He threw on some shades and played the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show. It seems silly in retrospect, but many of us fell for that. At a time when a popular slogan was “It’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand,” Bill Clinton seemed to get us. When Toni Morrison dubbed him our first black president, we nodded our heads. We had our boy in the White House. Or at least we thought we did.

Black voters have been remarkably loyal to the Clintons for more than 25 years. It’s true that we eventually lined up behind Barack Obama in 2008, but it’s a measure of the Clinton allure that Hillary led Obama among black voters until he started winning caucuses and primaries. Now Hillary is running again. This time she’s facing a democratic socialist who promises a political revolution that will bring universal healthcare, a living wage, an end to rampant Wall Street greed, and the dismantling of the vast prison state—many of the same goals that Martin Luther King Jr. championed at the end of his life. Even so, black folks are sticking with the Clinton brand. ...................(more)

http://www.thenation.com/article/hillary-clinton-does-not-deserve-black-peoples-votes/





February 10, 2016

Itís Official: Cash is Now Public Enemy Number One


It’s Official: Cash is Now Public Enemy Number One
by Don Quijones • February 9, 2016


[font size +"3"][font color="blue"]First Major Offensive in War on Cash[/font][/font]

By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.

Terrorists are no longer public enemy number one. Nor are drug lords, people traffickers, arms dealers, cyber terrorists, or any other unsavory do-badder. Today, the biggest threat to global peace and security is physical cash, a means of exchange that has flourished for over 4,000 years but which now stands accused of being the world’s biggest enabler of criminality.

[font size +"3"][font color="blue"]A Criminal’s Accomplice[/font][/font]

The latest person to publicly highlight the deadly threat posed by cash is Peter Sands, the former CEO of the British bank Standard Chartered, who just published a report for Harvard Kennedy School of Government imploring central banks around the world to stop issuing high-denomination notes and bills. They include the €500 note, the $100 bill, the CHF1,000 note and the £50 note.

“Such notes are the preferred payment mechanism of those pursuing illicit activities, given the anonymity and lack of transaction record they offer, and the relative ease with which they can be transported and moved,” the report warns. In other words, only criminals use cash. High-denomination notes, the report adds, “play little role in the functioning of the legitimate economy, yet a crucial role in the underground economy.”

Sands is no doubt a leading authority on the role of cash in the criminal economy, having led a company that schemed with the government of Iran to avoid U.S. sanctions and “hide from regulators roughly 60,000 secret transactions, involving at least $250bn, and reaping SCB hundreds of millions of dollars in fees.”

That’s according to the New York State department, which in 2012 fined Standard Chartered close to a billion dollars for leaving the US financial system “vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes, and deprived law enforcement investigators of crucial information used to track all manner of criminal activity.” Two years later the bank’s anti-money-laundering systems were found wanting, and in 2015 it was once again accused of breaking Iran sanctions. ..................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/02/09/cash-public-enemy-number-one/




February 10, 2016

Cat Scratch FeveróIs Ted Nugentís Racism Too Much for Republicans?


from The Progressive:


Cat Scratch Fever—Is Ted Nugent’s Racism Too Much for Republicans?
Posted: February 9, 2016

Frank Smyth


Racism has long bubbled quietly beneath the surface of America’s gun rights movement, even as its well-heeled leaders have wrapped themselves in the cloak of respectability. White Supremacists and neo-Nazis openly hostile to blacks, Jews, and other minorities continue to appear in public at gun rights rallies. But the National Rifle Association, in particular, has long held openly racist groups at arm's length from their conservative but still very much mainstream political organization.

Not anymore.

Yesterday longtime NRA board member Ted Nugent went further into racist territory than any previous NRA director—including himself. Nugent posted a graphic on his Facebook page featuring photos of Jewish-American leaders who have spoken out in support of gun violence prevention. The accompanying text states that Jews are “really behind gun control” and that they “really hate freedom.” Within hours the Anti-Defamation League denounced Nugent saying that “anti-Semitism has no place in the gun control debate.”

At the root of Nugent’s Facebook post is the notion that gun control can lead to tyranny, if not genocide, as Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson posited in his book and on the campaign trail last year. Other Republican candidates including Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have made similar statements. But claiming that gun control could lead to genocide is still not the same as claiming that Jewish-American leaders are supporting gun control to take away Americans’ rights as part of some absurd racist plot, as Nugent—an NRA board director for the past 20 years—has suggested.

How will the NRA respond to Nugent’s rant? The NRA’s polished leadership, based just outside the Washington beltway in Virginia, has long walked a fine line between extremism and respectability. NRA leaders have tried to mollify gun rights absolutists, including the racist extremists in the base, while maintaining the mainstream respectability that continues to make the NRA America’s most powerful single-issue lobbying organization. To hold this balance, NRA leaders, some of whom could teach Karl Rove the finer points of deflective communication, say different things in public to mainstream audiences than they do behind closed doors. ..............(more)

- See more at: http://progressive.org/news/2016/02/188548/cat-scratch-fever%E2%80%94-ted-nugent%E2%80%99s-racism-too-much-republicans#sthash.lLejho1Z.dpuf




February 10, 2016

Itís Official: Cash is Now Public Enemy Number One



It’s Official: Cash is Now Public Enemy Number One
by Don Quijones • February 9, 2016


[font size +"3"][font color="blue"]First Major Offensive in War on Cash[/font][/font]

By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.

Terrorists are no longer public enemy number one. Nor are drug lords, people traffickers, arms dealers, cyber terrorists, or any other unsavory do-badder. Today, the biggest threat to global peace and security is physical cash, a means of exchange that has flourished for over 4,000 years but which now stands accused of being the world’s biggest enabler of criminality.

[font size +"3"][font color="blue"]A Criminal’s Accomplice[/font][/font]

The latest person to publicly highlight the deadly threat posed by cash is Peter Sands, the former CEO of the British bank Standard Chartered, who just published a report for Harvard Kennedy School of Government imploring central banks around the world to stop issuing high-denomination notes and bills. They include the €500 note, the $100 bill, the CHF1,000 note and the £50 note.

“Such notes are the preferred payment mechanism of those pursuing illicit activities, given the anonymity and lack of transaction record they offer, and the relative ease with which they can be transported and moved,” the report warns. In other words, only criminals use cash. High-denomination notes, the report adds, “play little role in the functioning of the legitimate economy, yet a crucial role in the underground economy.”

Sands is no doubt a leading authority on the role of cash in the criminal economy, having led a company that schemed with the government of Iran to avoid U.S. sanctions and “hide from regulators roughly 60,000 secret transactions, involving at least $250bn, and reaping SCB hundreds of millions of dollars in fees.”

That’s according to the New York State department, which in 2012 fined Standard Chartered close to a billion dollars for leaving the US financial system “vulnerable to terrorists, weapons dealers, drug kingpins and corrupt regimes, and deprived law enforcement investigators of crucial information used to track all manner of criminal activity.” Two years later the bank’s anti-money-laundering systems were found wanting, and in 2015 it was once again accused of breaking Iran sanctions. ..................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2016/02/09/cash-public-enemy-number-one/




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