How Wealth Is Created

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6v81VH6k4A

April 22, 2019. Tags: , , , . Economics. Leave a comment.

Chuck Berry vs Bruce Springsteen, Two Visions of America

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMdfi46TmXM

April 22, 2019. Tags: , , , . Music, Politics. Leave a comment.

Little girl does awesome impersonation of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

https://twitter.com/THeinrich22/status/1119422809183330304

April 20, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Trump Just Drove A Mack Truck Through The Shameless Liberal Hypocrisy On Sanctuary Cities

https://townhall.com/columnists/scottmorefield/2019/04/15/trump-just-drove-a-mack-truck-through-the-shameless-liberal-hypocrisy-on-sanctuary-cities-n2544764

Trump Just Drove A Mack Truck Through The Shameless Liberal Hypocrisy On Sanctuary Cities

By Scott Morefield

April 15, 2019

If the liberal attitude toward immigration and a host of other issues could be summed up with just one saying, it would be this one: “good for thee, but not for me.”

Safely tucked away inside their think tanks, tenured academic positions, lilly-white suburban enclaves, and ESPECIALLY behind their carefully crafted WALLS, it’s easy for liberals to virtue-signal about how the rest of us should be “compassionate” and agree to welcome every migrant who takes a notion to come to the United States. But when it comes to their own personal lives, their “money” is almost never anywhere in the vicinity of their big fat jabbering pie holes.

In other words, just like with the degree of charitable contributions from people all-too-eager to spend YOUR money, liberals are big fat hypocrites.

Such was the case last week when President Donald Trump brilliantly proposed – in a masterful troll job that may very well exceed all of his previous troll jobs – that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) transport illegal border-crossers to … wait for it … sanctuary cities. Sure, it’ll sadly probably never happen, and likely the only reason Trump brought it up was to do exactly what it did – expose liberal hypocrisy. But even so, you’d think liberals would be ALL OVER the notion, right? This should be so EASY, given their worldview, so why not just call Trump’s bluff and say “bring them on in?” I mean, even allowing for the typical degree of liberal hypocrisy, the very definition of “sanctuary city” means that those in charge of designating their cities as such must want them to be, you know, a SANCTUARY for illegal immigrants. The more the merrier, they’re always saying, yet when the bad orange man proposes giving them what they supposedly want, right in their own backyards, they look that gift horse in the mouth like it’s got three eyes.

It’s almost like they think Mexico and Central America aren’t sending their best, or something.

Senator Amy Klobuchar accused Trump of “literally using human beings as pawns in a political game.” If that was the case, it was a checkmate move, Mr. President. Actress Alyssa Milano called the idea “sick and twisted.” Rep. Adam “Pencil-Neck” Schiff called it a “hare-brained scheme.” Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro waxed eloquent about “the cruelty of this administration,” because apparently the definition of “cruelty” is matching liberals up with the reality of their absurd utopian fantasies. CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin accused the Trump administration of treating illegals like a “pestilence to spread around the country,” which still begs the question: if they love them so much why would they care?

And then there was Cher, who did a Trump-prompted stark 180 on mass immigration by wondering via Twitter why Los Angeles and California, a city and state that aren’t “taking care of” their “own” should bring in and “take care of more.” This was a woman who, less than two years ago mind you, begged anyone who could to “take a dreamer” into their home. It’s hard to know how long it’ll be before “red-pilled Cher” issues the obligatory profuse apology, but for today at least it’s nice to see a ray of common sense pierce even the most brainwashed of souls.

There were plenty more where those came from, all perfectly summed up by Trump Deputy Director of Communications Matt Wolking, who tweeted: “Seeing left-wing media folks who advocate for open borders lose their minds because immigrants will bring violence and crime to their cities is … quite a sight.”

Indeed. It reminds me of Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s now legendary question to Jorge Ramos last October when the Univision anchor was traveling with the first migrant caravan.

“How many of these migrants are you taking in personally into your home and are supporting once they get into the United States?” Carlson asked Ramos.

“I think that’s a great question and that’s precisely the kind of question that people like you ask when you don’t want to understand that this has nothing to do with individuals,” Ramos responded. After an awkward back and forth, Carlson asked him if he would simply take in “three” migrants, a question Ramos dodged yet again because he CLEARLY wasn’t about to take any of the migrants he supposedly cares so much about into his sprawling, walled (because of course it is) mansion. They might get the carpets dirty, after all.

To his credit, San Jose, California Mayor Sam Liccardo is the only liberal non-hypocrite in America right now. That’s because he offered to take any illegal immigrants President Trump would transfer to his city: “[Donald Trump] plans to release detained immigrants to [San Jose]??” Liccardo tweeted Friday. “We welcome any families willing to endure such extraordinary hardships and to take such tremendous risks to be a part of our great country.”

Liccardo’s non-hypocrisy, on this issue at least, stands in stark contrast to the rest of his ideological brethren. Liberals want to take your money and choose where to spend it, but don’t want to give it themselves. Liberals want walls for their mansions and their neighborhoods, but none for America. Liberals want armed guards and even guns for themselves, but would disarm ordinary Americans whose lives apparently aren’t as “valuable” as theirs.

And as Trump masterfully exposed, they want endless immigration from the Third World, but not anywhere near where they live.

April 15, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Donald Trump, Immigration. Leave a comment.

U.S. Congressional representative Katie Porter (D-California) doesn’t seem to think that children need a father, and doesn’t seem to care about the density restrictions and other anti-development laws that increase the cost of housing in California

U.S. Congressional representative Katie Porter (D-California) recently talked about “Patricia,” one of her “constituents” who lives in Irvine, California.

Here’s a video of part of Porter’s statement, from the Washington Post channel at YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QKOLydDfNg

Since Porter said she looked up the salary of Patricia’s job at monster.com, I am guessing that “Patricia” is fictional. Nevertheless, I will go along with this, and offer my comments and analysis.

Patricia works as a bank teller at JPMorgan Chase, and earns $16.50 per hour, which works out to $35,070 per year. Patricia has a six-year old daughter, and the two of them live together in a one-bedroom apartment in Irvine, California. After taxes, Patricia takes home $29,100 per year, which is $2,425 per month.

Porter provided this image of Patricia’s monthly expenses:

These are Patricia’s monthly expenses:

$1,600 rent

$100 utilities

$250 on a 2008 car

$150 gas

$402 USDA “low cost” food for one adult and one child

$40 phone

$450 after school childcare

This leaves Patricia with a monthly budget deficit of $567.

Porter blames this budget deficit on JPMorgan Chase.

Now I’d like to offer my own commentary and opinion on this, in three different categories.

First of all, Porter makes no mention whatsoever of Patricia’s child’s father.

If Patricia was actually married, then her husband could work from home and take care of their child after school, and there would be no need to spend $450 per month on after school child care. Also, her husband’s income from working at home would make it easier to pay for their other expenses.

This refusal by Porter to even so much as mention Patricia’s child’s father is typical of liberals when they talk about single mothers who are struggling to raise their children. I have previously written about liberals’ refusal to mention the fathers of these children here, here, here, here, and here.

Secondly, Porter never mentions how density restrictions and other anti-development laws cause the price of housing in California to be substantially higher than it would otherwise be.

But I will mention it.

Here is a link to an article that was published by the Atlantic in 2007.

When a developer builds housing, there are three separate and distinct costs: the cost of land, the cost of construction, and the cost of getting a building permit (which the article refers to as the “right to build”).

Irvine is in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. According to the Atlantic article, using data from 1999, getting permission for the “right to build” added $303,000 to the cost of a house in Los Angeles in 1999.

Here’s part of the relevant text from the article:

In a 2003 article, Glaeser and Gyourko calculated the two different land values for 26 cities (using data from 1999). They found wide disparities. In Los Angeles, an extra quarter acre cost about $28,000 – the pure price of land. But the cost of empty land isn’t the whole story, or even most of it. A quarter- acre lot minus the cost of the house came out to about $331,000—nearly 12 times as much as the extra quarter acre. The difference between the first and second prices, around $303,000, was what L.A. home buyers paid for local land-use controls in bureaucratic delays, density restrictions, fees, political contributions. That’s the cost of the right to build.

And that right costs much less in Dallas. There, adding an extra quarter acre ran about $2,300—raw land really is much cheaper—and a quarter acre minus the cost of construction was about $59,000. The right to build was nearly a quarter million dollars less than in L.A. Hence the huge difference in housing prices. Land is indeed more expensive in superstar cities. But getting permission to build is way, way more expensive. These cities, says Gyourko, “just control the heck out of land use.”

The same article also includes this chart:

And please remember, this cost for the “right to build” is completely separate from the cost of the land, and the cost of construction.

The cost for the “right to build” is determined entirely, 100% by zoning laws, density restrictions, and other local government policies.

Here’s another example of how hard it is to get a building permit in California:

http://www.aei.org/publication/texas-great-american-job-machine-solely-responsible-1m-net-us-job-increase-since-2007/

January 23, 2015

… there were more permits for single-family homes issued last year through November in just one Texas city – Houston (34,566) – than in the entire state of California (34,035) over the same period.

Let’s put this into perspective.

Houston is 628 square miles.

California is 163,696 square miles.

So even though California is 260 times as big as Houston, Houston actually issued more new building permits for single family homes in 2014 than did the entire state of California.

Just think about that for a minute.

Those numbers show just how incredibly, ridiculously hard California makes it to build new housing.

Anyone who has ever bought or sold anything at eBay understands that, all else being equal, the bigger the supply of something, the lower price, and the lower the supply, the higher the price.

By making it so difficult to get a building permit in California, the government is causing housing to be far, far more expensive than it would otherwise be.

Here is a great article by Thomas Sowell about how the politicians in California have waged war against the construction of new housing.

This video also explains California’s war against the construction of new housing. And please note that it is progressives, social justice warriors, and other left wing activists who are the ones that are most opposed to building this new housing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExgxwKnH8y4

California is waging a very strong, major war against the constriction of new housing.

But Porter never mentions any of this.

Third, being a bank teller is an entry level job. It doesn’t require any education beyond high school.

If Patricia wanted to earn more money, she could have gone to college or trade school before having a child.

But Porter never mentions this, either.

April 15, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Economics. 1 comment.

Tucker Carlson: Trump calls Democrats’ bluff on illegal immigrants

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8XJPwmX3jo

April 14, 2019. Tags: , , . Immigration. Leave a comment.

Maxine Waters is proof that when you support socialism, you never have to take responsibility for your actions

On March 21, 2010, U.S Congressional Representative Maxine Waters (D – California) voted for the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

The bill was signed into law by President Obama on March 30, 2010.

This new law transferred the responsibility for overseeing student loans from private banks to the U.S. government.

In other words, it’s what we call socialism.

Since the passage of this bill, student loan debt has skyrocketed. Many borrowers who chose to major in worthless subjects and ended up working at Starbucks have demanded that their debt be forgiven.

Despite the fact that Rep. Waters voted to nationalize student loans in 2010, in 2019 she blamed private banks for the student debt crisis.

You can see her doing so in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORRAqBK-RNs

Maxine Waters’ comments in the above video are proof that when you support socialism, you never have to take responsibility for your actions.

April 12, 2019. Tags: , , , , . Barack Obama. 1 comment.

Maxine Waters falsely blames banks for the student debt crisis that was actually overseen by the government

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORRAqBK-RNs

April 12, 2019. Tags: , . Politics. 1 comment.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blames banks for the fact that Obama forced them to give mortgages to people who were unable to pay them back

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently blamed banks for the fact that Barack Obama forced them to give mortgages to people who were unable to pay them back.

When Obama was working as a “community organizer,” he filed lawsuits which forced banks to give mortgages to people with bad credit and low incomes. As a result, many of these people ended up defaulting on their mortgages. As their attorney, Obama collected $23,000 in legal fees for himself.

Then in April 2013, during Obama’s second term as President, the Washington Post reported that Obama was still pressuring banks

“to make home loans to people with weaker credit”

But Ocasio-Cortez didn’t blame Obama for the fact that Obama forced these banks to give mortgages to people who were unable to pay them back.

Instead, she blamed the banks for the fact that Obama forced the banks to give mortgages to people who were unable to pay them back.

Here are her exact words:

“In my district, I represent Rikers Island. I represent kids that go to jail for jumping a turnstile because they can’t afford a Metro card. Do you think that more folks should have gone to jail for their role in a financial crisis that led to 7.8 million foreclosures in the ten years between 2007 and 2016, Mr. Dimon?”

You can see her saying those words in this video: (Skip to 2:47)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0ywyVRNdMU

April 12, 2019. Tags: , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Barack Obama. Leave a comment.

Hypocrite Nancy Pelosi says she supports illegal immigrants, but opposes Trump’s proposal to send them to her own Congressional district

Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly said that she supports illegal immigrants.

However, she opposes a recent proposal by Trump to send them to her own Congressional district.

Ashley Etienne, Pelosi’s spokesperson, said of Trump’s proposal:

“The extent of this administration’s cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated… Using human beings – including little children – as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants is despicable.”

This reminds me of how Ted Kennedy said he supported wind power, but opposed the proposed offshore Cape Cod wind farm that would have been six miles away from his home, because it would have been “visible.”

April 12, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Immigration. 1 comment.

Hypocrite Bernie Sanders changes his tune on “millionaires and billionaires” after the media reports that he is one of them

I want to start out by saying that I think it’s absolutely wonderful that Bernie Sanders became a millionaire by selling books to customers who wanted to buy them.

I have no problem with the fact that Sanders is a millionaire.

What I do have a problem with is his hypocrisy.

On many, many occasions, Sanders has criticized “millionaires and billionaires.”

This is a link to a video on C-SPAN’s website, which shows Sanders making such a statement. Here are his exact words: (skip to 0:33)

“There is something profoundly wrong, when in recent years, we have seen a proliferation of millionaires and billionaires, at the same time as millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages, and we have shamefully the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major country.”

However, now that the media has reported that Sanders himself is a millionaire, he is saying something very different. The New York Times just quoted Sanders as saying:

“I wrote a best-selling book… If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”

I agree 100% with Sanders’ statement.

If I can just add three more zeros to my own book sales figures, I, too, will become a millionaire.

Sanders’ association of the existence of “millionaires and billionaires” to the fact that there are children living in poverty is not accurate. According to the book The Millionaire Next Door, 80% of U.S. millionaires are first generation rich. They earned that money legally and honestly, by providing labor, goods, and services that people were willing to pay for. That makes everyone better off. It does not cause anyone to live in poverty.

The real reason there are so many children living in poverty in the U.S. has nothing to do with the fact that there are “millionaires and billionaires.” Instead, the high rate of childhood poverty can be attributed almost entirely to the irresponsible behavior of their parents.

Let’s consider two groups of people in the U.S. The first group has a poverty rate of 2%. The second group has a poverty rate of 76%.

The first group consists of people who followed all three of these steps:

1) Finish high school.

2) Get a full-time job.

3) Wait until age 21 and get married before having children.

The second group consists of people who followed zero of those three steps.

Among people who follow all three of these steps, the poverty rate is 2%.

Among people who follow zero of these steps, the poverty rate is 76%.

(My source for that information is this article, which refers to this PDF, and the relevant data is on page 15 of the PDF. The study uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau.)

Wikipedia has published the following chart, which shows the massive increase in the rate of out-of-wedlock births that has taken place in the U.S. since the 1960s. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nonmarital_Birth_Rates_in_the_United_States,_1940-2014.png

According to that chart, since 1960, the percentage of babies born out-of-wedlock in the U.S. has skyrocketed from 5% to 40%.

In the 1960s, the Democrats launched their “War on Poverty,” whereby the government started paying women to have babies out-of-wedlock.

And as anyone who understands economics will tell you, whatever you subsidize, you get more of.

In this video, a happily married woman explains how a government social worker told her that she should get divorced in order to collect more benefits:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG6JqmdIubA

The liberals who complain about childhood poverty almost never blame it on the high out-of-wedlock birth rate.

Time and time and time and time again, the media publishes articles about childhood poverty, without even mentioning the fathers of these children.

April 10, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Economics. 1 comment.

Video: Chicago thugs violently assault innocent man. Then he pulls out gun and scares them away. He never pulled the trigger.

The video below shows an incident that just happened in Chicago. Some violent thugs start brutally beating an innocent man. Then he pulls out a gun and scares them away. He never pulled the trigger.

I challenge any anti-gun person to explain why this man was wrong to do what he did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwhRJQsusJU

April 9, 2019. Tags: , , . Guns. 1 comment.

Supporters of free universal health care can’t explain why U.K. citizen Mick Jagger had his life saving heart surgery in the U.S.

Supporters of free universal health care can’t explain why U.K. citizen Mick Jagger had his life saving heart surgery in the U.S.

I’ll explain it.

There is a tradeoff between time and money.

When something is “free,” it often comes with the “cost” of having to wait in line.

Mick Jagger knew that he could either get “free” heart surgery in the U.K. (where he is a citizen), at the cost of having to wait on a waiting list, or, he could get the surgery immediately by paying out of his own pocket to have his surgery in the U.S.

And he’s not the only one to understand this tradeoff between time and money.

When Robert Bourassa, the premier of Quebec, Canada, needed cancer treatment, he came to the United States and paid for his health care with his own money.

And when Canadian Liberal MP Belinda Stronach needed cancer treatment, she also came to the United States and paid for her health care with her own money.

And when Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams needed heart surgery, he, too, came to the United States and paid for his health care with his own money.

Many liberals in the U.S. want the U.S. to adopt the same kind of universal health care that exists in Canada and the U.K.  So here’s my question to those liberals: If the U.S. does adopt such a system, then where are the celebrities and politicians from other countries going to go when they need life saving health care?

April 7, 2019. Tags: , , , . Health care. Leave a comment.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez falsely says, “They had to amend the Constitution of the United States to make sure Roosevelt did not get reelected”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently said that the 22nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed in order to prevent U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt from getting reelected. You can see her saying it in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iqj7hNA8LpE

Here are her exact words:

“They had to amend the Constitution of the United States to make sure Roosevelt did not get reelected.”

Here are two reasons why Ocasio-Cortez’s statement is wrong.

First of all, Roosevelt died two years before the 22nd amendment was approved by the U.S. Congress. Roosevelt died in 1945. The U.S. Congress approved the 22nd amendment in 1947.

Secondly, the 22nd amendment contains a clause which gives an exemption to whoever is President at the time the amendment is passed. This is the text of the 22nd amendment: (The bolding mine.)

Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by the Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder of such term.

Section 2. This Article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states within seven years from the date of its submission to the states by the Congress.

So that”s two different reasons why Ocasio-Cortez’s statement is wrong.

Where exactly does Ocasio-Cortez get her information?

April 2, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 4 comments.

Wealthy ‘NIMBY’ libs in Pelosi’s SF district raise $60G to fight center for city’s homeless

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/san-franciscos-wealthy-in-pelosis-district-raise-60g-to-oppose-homeless-shelter-as-city-struggles-with-homelessness

Wealthy ‘NIMBY’ libs in Pelosi’s SF district raise $60G to fight center for city’s homeless

March 29, 2019

Rich San Francisco residents in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district have collected more than $60,000 after starting an online crowdsourcing campaign to wage a legal challenge against a proposed center for the city’s homeless.

The campaign, called “Safe Embarcadero for All,” was launched March 20 after San Francisco Mayor London Breed proposed a 200-bed homeless Navigation Center in the city’s most desirable location, the Embarcadero along the coast of San Francisco Bay, earlier this month.

“The planned location for Mayor Breed’s #megashelter is home to thousands of families, visited by millions of tourists and at the center of some of San Francisco’s most iconic events – including the San Francisco Marathon, San Francisco Giants stadium and on one of the busiest bicyclist paths in the city,” reads the site posted by the group opposing the construction.

The campaign shamelessly raised over $60,000 and is on track to reach the desired $100,000 goal, with the money used to pay attorney Andrew Zacks, who often represents property owners, to help the dissatisfied “Not In My Backyard” residents in the neighborhood.

More than 130 people have chipped in, although many did so anonymously. The biggest donation came from an unknown resident who gave $10,000 to the cause.

A Fox News review of records found that multiple individuals – bank executives, professors and authors – who donated to the GoFundMe page have also contributed to Democratic political groups, including thousands of dollars to the Democratic National Committee, MoveOn, Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and other left-leaning organizations.

One of the donors, Jerome Dodson, who has since scrubbed his $1,000 contribution to the campaign, is reportedly a chairman of a “responsible investment fund” that seeks to make “a positive impact on society,” according to the Washington Free Beacon. The investment fund executive donated to Democratic candidates and groups over the years, including Pelosi and Hillary Clinton.

Fox News reached out to Pelosi’s office, asking whether she offered her support for the project designed to combat homeless in her own district.

A competing GoFundMe campaign was started in support of the project for the homeless in the city, attracting a $5,000 donation from GoFundMe itself. The effort so far has garnered nearly $33,000 in donations – surpassing a set goal of $30,000.

San Francisco’s mayor, meanwhile, slammed the group opposing the construction in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“People want us to address the challenges on our streets and help our unsheltered residents into housing, and I am committed to doing the hard work to make that happen,” Breed said.

“But it’s incredibly frustrating and disappointing,” she added, “that as soon as we put forward a solution to build a new shelter, people begin to threaten legal action.”

March 29, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , . Politics. Leave a comment.

U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) talks about the Green New Deal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK27NZon11w

March 29, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

The Nation: The Real Costs of Russiagate

https://www.thenation.com/article/the-real-costs-of-russiagate/

The Real Costs of Russiagate

Its perpetrators, not Putin or Trump, “attacked American democracy.”

By Stephen F. Cohen

March 27, 2019

The very few of us who publicly challenged and deplored Russiagate allegations against candidate and then President Donald Trump from the time they first began to appear in mid-2016 should not gloat or rejoice over the US attorney general’s summary of Robert S. Mueller’s key finding: “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election.” (On the other hand, those of us repeatedly slurred as Trump and/or Putin “apologists” might feel some vindication.)

But what about the legions of high-ranking intelligence officials, politicians, editorial writers, television producers, and other opinion-makers, and their eager media outlets that perpetuated, inflated, and prolonged this unprecedented political scandal in American history—those who did not stop short of accusing the president of the United States of being a Kremlin “agent,” “asset,” “puppet,” “Manchurian candidate,” and who characterized his conduct and policies as “treasonous”? (These and other examples are cited in my book War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate, and in a recent piece by Paul Starobin in City Journal.) Will they now apologize, as decency requires, or, more importantly, explain their motives so that we might understand and avoid another such national trauma?

Shortly after Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of the Soviet Union, in 1985, he released a banned film, Repentance, that explored the underlying institutional, ideological, and personal dynamics of Stalinism. The film set off a nationwide media trial and condemnation of that murderous era. Though Russiagate has generated in America some Soviet-like practices and ruined a number of lives and reputations, it is, of course, nothing even remotely comparable to the Soviet Stalinist experience. By comparison, therefore, some introspective repentance on the part of Russiagate perpetuators should not be too much to ask. But as I foresaw well before the summary of Mueller’s “Russia investigation” appeared, there is unlikely to be much, if any. Too many personal and organizational interests are too deeply invested in Russiagate. Not surprisingly, leading perpetrators instead immediately met the summary with a torrent of denials, goal-post shifts, obfuscations, and calls for more Russiagate “investigations.” Joy Reid of MSNBC, which has been a citadel of Russiagate allegations along with CNN, even suggested that Mueller and Attorney General William Barr were themselves engaged in “a cover-up.”

Contrary to a number of major media outlets, from Bloomberg News to The Wall Street Journal, nor does Mueller’s exculpatory finding actually mean that “Russiagate…is dead” and indeed that “it expired in an instant.” Such conclusions reveal a lack of historical and political understanding. Nearly three years of Russiagate’s toxic allegations have entered the American political-media elite bloodstream, and they almost certainly will reappear again and again in one form or another.

This is an exceedingly grave danger, because the real costs of Russiagate are not the estimated $25–40 million spent on the Mueller investigation but the corrosive damage it has already done to the institutions of American democracy—damage done not by an alleged “Trump-Putin axis” but by Russsigate’s perpetrators themselves. Having examined this collateral damage in my recently published book War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate, I will only note them here.

§ Clamorous allegations that the Kremlin “attacked our elections” and thereby put Trump in the White House, despite the lack of any evidence, cast doubt on the legitimacy of American elections everywhere—national, state, and local. If true, or even suspected, how can voters have confidence in the electoral foundations of American democracy? Persistent demands to “secure our elections from hostile powers”— a politically and financially profitable mania, it seems—can only further abet and perpetuate declining confidence in the entire electoral process. Still more, if some crude Russian social-media outputs could so dupe voters, what does this tell us about what US elites, which originated these allegations, really think of those voters, of the American people?

§ Defamatory Russsiagate allegations that Trump was a “Kremlin puppet” and thus “illegitimate” were aimed at the president but hit the presidency itself, degrading the institution, bringing it under suspicion, casting doubt on its legitimacy. And if an “agent of a hostile foreign power” could occupy the White House once, a “Manchurian candidate,” why not again? Will Republicans be able to resist making such allegations against a future Democratic president? In any event, Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign manager, Robby Mook, has already told us that there will be a “next time.”

§ Mainstream media are, of course, a foundational institution of American democracy, especially national ones, newspapers and television, with immense influence inside the Beltway and, in ramifying synergic ways, throughout the country. Their Russiagate media malpractice, as I have termed it, may have been the worst such episode in modern American history. No mainstream media did anything to expose, for example, two crucial and fraudulent Russiagate documents—the so-called Steele Dossier and the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment—but instead relied heavily on them for their own narratives. Little more need be said here about this institutional self-degradation. Glenn Greenwald and a few others followed and exposed it throughout, and now Matt Taibbi has given us a meticulously documented account of that systematic malpractice, concluding that Mueller’s failure to confirm the media’s Russiagate allegations “is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.”

Nor, it must be added, was this entirely inadvertent or accidental. On August 8, 2016, the trend-setting New York Times published on its front page an astonishing editorial manifesto by its media critic. Asking whether “normal standards” should apply to candidate Trump, he explained that they should not: “You have to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century.” Let others decide whether this Times proclamation unleashed the highly selective, unbalanced, questionably factual “journalism” that has so degraded Russiagate media or instead the publication sought to justify what was already underway. In either case, this remarkable—and ramifying—Times rejection of its own professed standards should not be forgotten. Almost equally remarkable and lamentable, we learn that even now, after Mueller’s finding is known, top executives of the Times and other leading Russiagate media outlets, including The Washington Post and CNN, “have no regrets.”

§ For better or worse, America has a two-party political system, which means that the Democratic Party is also a foundational institution. Little more also need be pointed out regarding its self-degrading role in the Russiagate fraud. Leading members of the party initiated, inflated, and prolonged it. They did nothing to prevent inquisitors like Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from becoming the cable-news face of the party. Or to rein in or disassociate the party from the outlandish excesses of “The Resistance.” With very few exceptions, elected and other leading Democrats did nothing to stop—and therefore further abetted—the institutional damage being done by Russiagate allegations. As for Mueller’s finding,the party’s virtual network, MSNBC, remains undeterred. Rachael Maddow continues to hype “the underlying reality that Russia did in fact attack us.” By any reasonable definition of “attack,” no, it did not, and scarcely any allegation could be more recklessly warmongering, a perception the Democratic Party will for this and other Russiagate commissions have to endure, or not. (When Mueller’s full report is published, we will see if he too indulged in this dangerous absurdity. A few passages in the summary suggest he might have done so.)

§ Finally, but potentially not least, the new Cold War with Russia has itself become an institution pervading American political, economic, media, and cultural life. Russiagate has made it more dangerous, more fraught with actual war, than the Cold War we survived, as I explain in War with Russia? Recall only that Russiagate allegations further demonized “Putin’s Russia,” thwarted Trump’s necessary attempts to “cooperate with Russia” as somehow “treasonous,” criminalized détente thinking and “inappropriate contacts with Russia”—in short, policies and practices that previously helped to avert nuclear war. Meanwhile, the Russiagate spectacle has caused many ordinary Russians who once admired America to now be “derisive and scornful” toward our political life.

The scarce good news it is that some Russian officials hope Mueller’s Russiagate exoneration of Trump will enable the president to resume his attempts to cooperate with Moscow. The bad institutional news is that Congress has invited, on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s initiative, NATO’s secretary general to address it on April 3. That figurehead has announced a renewed attempt to bring the former Soviet republic of Georgia into the military alliance. The last such attempt led to the US-Russian proxy war in Georgia in 2008. When it was tried in Ukraine in 2013, it produced the still ongoing Ukrainian civil and proxy war.

The editor of The New Yorker, itself an ardent Russiagate publication, asks whether “the moral and material corruption [Trump] has inflicted will be with us for a long while.” Perhaps. But the institutional costs of Russiagate are likely to be with us for even longer.

March 29, 2019. Tags: , , , , . Donald Trump, Media bias. Leave a comment.

Smollett may still face new legal trouble; Obama connections suspected in dropping of hoax charges

https://www.foxnews.com/us/smollett-may-still-face-new-legal-trouble-obama-connections-suspected-dropping-of-hoax-charges

Smollett may still face new legal trouble; Obama connections suspected in dropping of hoax charges

March 27, 2019

SMOLLETT MAY NOT BE IN THE CLEAR YET: Despite the hate crime hoax charges against him being dropped Tuesday, “Empire” star Jussie Smollett still may face new legal trouble …  An investigation into a death-threat letter the actor supposedly received prior to an alleged Jan. 29 attack against him has been handed over to the FBI, Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told Fox News. Cook County, Ill. First Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Magats told reporters that prosecutors dropped the case because Smollett forfeited a $10,000 bond payment and did community service.

The decision to drop charges against Smollett stunned and outraged Chicago police and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who called the series of events “not on the level” and a “whitewash of justice.” Some critics have wondered whether Smollett’s high-powered connections led to the dropping of charges. Messages exchanged between Tina Tchen, an attorney and former chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx are attracting increasing scrutiny.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/who-is-tina-tchen-the-attorney-linked-jussie-smollett-messages

Who is Tina Tchen, the attorney linked to Jussie Smollett messages?

March 26, 2019

Tina Tchen, the attorney and former chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, has garnered scrutiny after messages traded with Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx — about the alleged hoax linked to actor Jussie Smollett — emerged shortly before prosecutors dropped all charges against Smollett on Tuesday.

Tchen started practicing law in 1983, after she graduated from Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, and currently leads the Chicago branch of Buckley LLC. In between, she worked in the Obama White House, first as the director of the Office of Public Engagement and later as the first lady’s chief of staff.

Given her comprehensive legal background, her influence on the investigation into the allegations of fraud against Jussie Smollett has raised eyebrows in the Windy City.

Public records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times showed that Tchen sent Foxx an early-morning text on Feb. 1 saying she “wanted to give you a call on behalf of Jussie Smollett and family who I know. They have concerns about the investigation.” Three days earlier, Smollett had said two men attacked him on the way home.

Later that day, the Sun-Times reported that a relative of Smollett sent Foxx a text, sparking a relationship that eventually led to Foxx recusing herself from the investigation and prosecution. Foxx also was shown to have emailed Tchen: “Spoke to [Chicago Police] Superintendent [Eddie] Johnson. I convinced him to reach out to FBI to ask that they take over the investigation. He is reaching out now and will get to me shortly.”

Prosecutors on Tuesday abruptly dropped all charges against Smollett after the “Empire” actor — accused of faking a racist, anti-gay attack on himself — agreed to do volunteer service and to let the city keep his $10,000 in bail, in a decision that sparked outrage among Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, among others. The prosecutors gave no detailed explanation for why they abandoned the case only five weeks after filing the charges and threatening to pursue Smollett for the cost of a monthlong investigation, adding that said they still believe Smollett concocted the assault.

Tchen’s motivations for reaching out to Foxx were unknown. Other links between the two were unclear. Tchen did not respond to multiple interview requests from Fox News and her office declined requests for comment.

Questions about any legal or ethical impropriety remained unresolved. The Illinois ethical code for attorneys’ states: “A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.”

Jim Grogan, the deputy administrator and chief counsel at the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, said the law typically applies to attorneys who obfuscate and encumber the legal process by wasting the court’s time. He’s not aware of any precedent in Illinois regarding an attorney who has no clients in the case.

It’s unclear if Tchen was representing anyone in the Smollett family when she reached out to Foxx.

“The fun thing about that rule is that it’s so broadly written,” Grogan said. “You’ve got to say to yourself, what’s my role as a lawyer being involved in all this?”

Tchen started her tenure in the White House in 2009 with an appointment to the Office of Public Engagement. Over the next eight years, she would serve as assistant to the president, chief of staff for Michelle Obama, and executive director of the Council on Women and Girls.

In Sept. 2017, Tchen was made partner at Buckley LLC, where she heads the Chicago office and represents a slew of big-name clients. The firm’s website described Tchen as a “leading voice in the national conversation on fighting sexual harassment, gender equality and discrimination.”

Recently, the Southern Poverty Law Center selected Tchen to lead an investigation into workplace harassment and “advise us on workplace culture issues.” In recent weeks, the SPLC has faced an upheaval of leadership after questions arose regarding alleged sexual harassment, gender and racial discrimination at the progressive nonprofit.

Throughout her career, Tchen has accumulated a number of awards. She’s won the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement award from the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession and the Women of Achievement award from the Anti-Defamation League, among many others.

Tchen is also a childhood friend of Chicago first lady Amy Rule. The two grew up together in Beachwood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. Rule has kept a quiet public profile during Emanuel’s tenure. She hasn’t sat for many public interviews or made many appearances despite her husband’s notable position. Rule could not be reached for comment.

March 27, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Fake hate crimes. 1 comment.

It’s official: Russiagate is this generation’s WMD

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/russiagate-is-wmd-times-a-million

It’s official: Russiagate is this generation’s WMD

The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it.

By Matt Taibbi

March 23, 2019

Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.

As has long been rumored, the former FBI chief’s independent probe will result in multiple indictments and convictions, but no “presidency-wrecking” conspiracy charges, or anything that would meet the layman’s definition of “collusion” with Russia.

With the caveat that even this news might somehow turn out to be botched, the key detail in the many stories about the end of the Mueller investigation was best expressed by the New York Times:

A senior Justice Department official said that Mr. Mueller would not recommend new indictments.

The Times tried to soften the emotional blow for the millions of Americans trained in these years to place hopes for the overturn of the Trump presidency in Mueller. Nobody even pretended it was supposed to be a fact-finding mission, instead of an act of faith.

The Special Prosecutor literally became a religious figure during the last few years, with votive candles sold in his image and Saturday Night Live cast members singing “All I Want for Christmas is You” to him featuring the rhymey line: “Mueller please come through, because the only option is a coup.”

The Times story today tried to preserve Santa Mueller’s reputation, noting Trump’s Attorney General William Barr’s reaction was an “endorsement” of the fineness of Mueller’s work:

In an apparent endorsement of an investigation that Mr. Trump has relentlessly attacked as a “witch hunt,” Mr. Barr said Justice Department officials never had to intervene to keep Mr. Mueller from taking an inappropriate or unwarranted step.

Mueller, in other words, never stepped out of the bounds of his job description. But could the same be said for the news media?

For those anxious to keep the dream alive, the Times published its usual graphic of Trump-Russia “contacts,” inviting readers to keep making connections. But in a separate piece by Peter Baker, the paper noted the Mueller news had dire consequences for the press:

It will be a reckoning for President Trump, to be sure, but also for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, for Congress, for Democrats, for Republicans, for the news media and, yes, for the system as a whole…

This is a damning page one admission by the Times. Despite the connect-the-dots graphic in its other story, and despite the astonishing, emotion-laden editorial the paper also ran suggesting “We don’t need to read the Mueller report” because we know Trump is guilty, Baker at least began the work of preparing Times readers for a hard question: “Have journalists connected too many dots that do not really add up?”

The paper was signaling it understood there would now be questions about whether or not news outlets like itself made galactic errors by betting heavily on a new, politicized approach, trying to be true to “history’s judgment” on top of the hard-enough job of just being true. Worse, in a brutal irony everyone should have seen coming, the press has now handed Trump the mother of campaign issues heading into 2020.

Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population, a group that (perhaps thanks to this story) is now larger than his original base. As Baker notes, a full 50.3% of respondents in a poll conducted this month said they agree with Trump the Mueller probe is a “witch hunt.”
(more…)

March 24, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Donald Trump, Media bias. Leave a comment.

Trump Didn’t Call Neo-Nazis ‘Fine People.’ Here’s Proof.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/03/21/trump_didnt_call_neo-nazis_fine_people_heres_proof_139815.html

Trump Didn’t Call Neo-Nazis ‘Fine People.’ Here’s Proof.

Steve Cortes

March 21, 2019

News anchors and pundits have repeated lies about Donald Trump and race so often that some of these narratives seem true, even to Americans who embrace the fruits of the president’s policies.  The most pernicious and pervasive of these lies is the “Charlottesville Hoax,” the fake-news fabrication that he described the neo-Nazis who rallied in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017 as “fine people.”

Just last week I exposed this falsehood, yet again, when CNN contributor Keith Boykin falsely stated, “When violent people were marching with tiki torches in Charlottesville, the president said they were ‘very fine people.’” When I objected and detailed that Trump’s “fine people on both sides” observation clearly related to those on both sides of the Confederate monument debate, and specifically excluded the violent supremacists, anchor Erin Burnett interjected, “He [Trump] didn’t say it was on the monument debate at all.  No, they didn’t even try to use that defense. It’s a good one, but no one’s even tried to use it, so you just used it now.”

My colleagues seem prepared to dispute our own network’s correct contemporaneous reporting and the very clear transcripts of the now-infamous Trump Tower presser on the tragic events of Charlottesville.  Here are the unambiguous actual words of President Trump:

“Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group.  But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides.  You had people in that group – excuse me, excuse me, I saw the same pictures you did.  You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.”

After another question at that press conference, Trump became even more explicit:

“I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and white nationalists because they should be condemned totally.” 

As a man charged with publicly explaining Donald Trump’s often meandering and colloquial vernacular in highly adversarial TV settings, I appreciate more than most the sometimes-murky nature of his off-script commentaries.  But these Charlottesville statements leave little room for interpretation.  For any honest person, therefore, to conclude that the president somehow praised the very people he actually derided, reveals a blatant and blinding level of bias.

Nonetheless, countless so-called journalists have furthered this damnable lie.  For example, MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace responded that Trump had “given safe harbor to Nazis, to white supremacists.”  Her NBC colleague Chuck Todd claimed Trump “gave me the wrong kind of chills. Honestly, I’m a bit shaken from what I just heard.” Not to be outdone, print also got in on the act, with the New York Times spewing the blatantly propagandist headline: “Trump Gives White Supremacists Unequivocal Boost.” How could the Times possibly reconcile that Trump, who admonished that the supremacists should be “condemned totally” somehow also delivered an “unequivocal boost” to those very same miscreants?

But like many fake news narratives, repetition has helped cement this one into a reasonably plausible storyline for all but the most skeptical consumers of news.  In fact, over the weekend, Fox News host Chris Wallace pressed White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on why Trump has not given a speech “condemning … white supremacist bigotry.”  Well, Chris, he has, and more than once.  The most powerful version was from the White House following Charlottesville and the heartbreaking death of Heather Heyer.  President Trump’s succinct and direct words:

“Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

Despite the clear evidence of Trump’s statements regarding Charlottesville, major media figures insist on spreading the calumny that Trump called neo-Nazis “fine people.”  The only explanation for such a repeated falsehood is abject laziness or willful deception.  Either way, the duplicity on this topic perhaps encapsulates the depressingly low trust most Americans place in major media, with 77 percent stating in a Monmouth University 2018 poll that traditional TV and newspapers report fake news.  In addition, such lies as the Charlottesville Hoax needlessly further divide our already-polarized society.

Instead of hyper-partisan, distorted narratives, as American citizens we should demand adherence to truth — and adherence to the common values that bind us regardless of politics. In the words of our president: “No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God.”

March 24, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Media bias, Racism. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders in the 1970s urged nationalization of most major industries

https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/14/politics/kfile-bernie-nationalization/index.html

Bernie Sanders in the 1970s urged nationalization of most major industries

March 14, 2019

Bernie Sanders advocated for the nationalization of most major industries, including energy companies, factories, and banks, when he was a leading member of a self-described “radical political party” in the 1970s, a CNN KFile review of his record reveals.

Sanders’ past views shed light on a formative period of his political career that could become relevant as he advances in the 2020 Democratic primary.

Many of the positions he held at the time are more extreme compared to the more tempered democratic socialism the Vermont senator espouses today and could provide fodder for moderate Democrats and Republicans looking to cast the Democratic presidential candidate and his beliefs as a fringe form of socialism that would be harmful to the country.

Aspects of Sanders’ plans and time in the Liberty Union have been reported before, but the material taken together, including hundreds of newly digitalized newspapers and files from the Liberty Union Party archived at the University of Vermont, paint a fuller portrait of Sanders’ views on state and public-controlled industry at the time.

In a statement to CNN, Sanders campaign spokesman Josh Orton said, “Throughout his career, Bernie has fought on the side of working people and against the influence of both the powerful ultra-rich and giant corporations who seek only to further their own greed. The record shows that from the very beginning, Bernie anticipated and worked to combat the rise of a billionaire ruling class and the exploding power of Wall Street and multinational corporations. Whether fighting to lower energy prices or expand access to capital for local development, Bernie’s first priority has always been — and will always be — defending the interests of working people across the country.”

After moving to Vermont in 1968 several years after graduating college, Sanders became an active member of the left-wing Liberty Union Party. Under the Liberty Union banner, Sanders, then in his early 30s, ran for governor of Vermont in 1972 and 1976 and as a candidate for US Senate in 1972 and 1974. Sanders, also served as chairman of the party from 1973-1975. During this time, Sanders and Liberty Union argued for nationalization of the energy industry, public ownership of banks, telephone, electric, and drug companies and of the major means of production such as factories and capital, as well as other proposals such as a 100% income tax on the highest income earners in America. Sanders also rejected political violence and criticized the anti-democratic nature of communist states such as the Soviet Union.

“I favor the public ownership of utilities, banks and major industries,” Sanders said in one interview with the Burlington Free Press in 1976.

In his career as a US Senator, Sanders has backed away from such ardent calls for nationalization, but maintained similar rhetoric on wealth inequality.

In one 2015 speech, he said he didn’t want the government to take over private business or “own the means of production.” But his early views are notable because they are far to the left of the current Democratic party and most candidates running for office.

Sanders left the Liberty Union Party in 1977, over what he said was the party’s lack of activity between elections. Sanders said in his farewell that workers would need to take control for the country to be sustained.

“The function of a radical political party is very simple,” he said. “It is to create a situation in which the ordinary working people take what rightfully belongs to them. Nobody can predict the future of the workers’ movement in this country or the state of Vermont. It is my opinion, however, that if workers do not take power in a reasonably short time this country will not have a future.”

The energy industry

In 1973, during his time as chairman of the Liberty Union Party, Sanders took to a Vermont paper to oppose Richard Nixon’s energy policy and oil industry profits, calling for the entire energy industry to be nationalized. Consumers at the time had been facing steep price increases and heavy shortages as a result of the OPEC oil embargo.

“I would also urge you to give serious thought about the eventual nationalization of these gigantic companies,” Sanders wrote in a December 1973 open letter to Vermont Sen. Robert Stafford that ran in the Vermont Freeman. “It is extremely clear that these companies, owned by a handful of billionaires, have far too much power over the lives of Americans to be left in private hands. The oil industry, and the entire energy industry, should be owned by the public and used for the public good — not for additional profits for billionaires.”

Electric and telephone utilities

Efforts to push for public ownership of Vermont’s utilities like telephone and electric companies played prominently in Sanders’ political career in the 1970s. Sanders ran for Senate in a January 1972 in the special election and governor in that year’s November election, registering in the low single digits in both races.

When he launched his first campaign for the Senate in 1971, Sanders said state utilities needed to be run by the state of Vermont on a nonprofit basis and that if revenues exceed expenditures they could be used to fund government programs and lower property taxes. In 1976, Sanders went even further: calling for the state to seize ownership of Vermont’s private electric companies without compensation to investors. He defended his proposals routinely by pointing out that municipally owned utilities, not uncommon throughout the country, often had lower consumer prices.

Utilities like the Green Mountain Power company and the New England Telephone company had been steadily pushing, successful and unsuccessful at times, for approval from state regulators for rate increases. Sanders was particularly incensed by a proposed 27% rate hike by the New England Telephone company, and it became a rallying cry for his political campaigns.

In 1973, as chairman of the Liberty Union Party, Sanders had organized boycotts to stop proposed rate increases from New England Telephone company. Sanders’ efforts through the “The Vermont Telephone Boycott Committee” — a committee he coordinated that year — proved successful in blocking NET rate increases. Newspapers commended Sanders for efforts when the rate increases were blocked by the state’s utility regulators.
Sanders would declare for the Senate again the following June in 1974 and for governor in 1976, and Vermont’s utilities would remain a major focus point of his campaigns and Liberty Union Party. Sanders’ rhetoric was strongest during his 1976 campaign for governor of Vermont, his last before he left the Liberty Union Party.

In a press release on his policy positions, Sanders campaigned on the public ownership of the state’s electric companies, without compensating the banks and stockholders.

“I will be campaigning in support of the Liberty Union utility proposal which calls for the public ownership of Vermont’s private electric companies without compensation to the banks and wealthy stockholders who own the vast majority of stock in these companies,” he said in a July 1976 press release. “I will also be calling for public ownership of the telephone company — which is probably the single greatest rip-off company in America.”
Sanders argued utility companies engaged in “economic blackmail,” saying the state gave the companies the right to charge “outrageous” rates for utilities or have consumers suffer from poor service.

Sanders’ comments went beyond the Liberty Union’s proposal for public takeover of state utilities, which said investors and bondholders with more than 100 shares would have to convert their holding to non-voting stock and income bonds which carry no fixed claim to dividends or interest payments.

Public ownership of banks, corporations and the major industries

Sanders’ policy proposals that year also included an ambitious plan to deal with companies attempting to leave towns.

“We have got to begin to deal with the fact that corporations do not have the god-given right to disrupt the lives of their workers or the economic foundation of their towns simply because they wish to move elsewhere to earn a higher rate of profit,” Sanders said in a press release in August 1976.
Sanders’ plan would require large businesses attempting to leave cities to get permission from the towns and the workers in them. If the company did not get that approval they would be required by law to pay a guaranteed two years of severance for workers and 10 years of taxes for the town.
Nationally, Sanders said, legislation corporations leaving cities would have to be dealt with by turning the means of production over to the workers.
“In the long run, the problem of the fleeing corporations must be dealt with on the national level by legislation which will bring about the public ownership of the major means of production and their conversion into worker-controlled enterprises,” he said.

Campaign literature that year from Sanders, including a 1976 brochure for the party, said, “I believe that, in the long run, major industries in this state and nation should be publicly owned and controlled by the workers themselves.”

Public control of the economy would become the key issue in his race. Speaking at one forum, Sanders called for workers to control of capital, factories, banks and corporations.

“There is a handful of people sitting at the head of the main banks controlling the destiny of underprivileged nations, the country as well as Vermont’s economy,” Sanders said. “That is not tolerable. That control cannot be held by them. We need public control over capital; and the capital must be put to use for public need not for the advancement of those who made the investments.”

In an interview with the Burlington Free Press, Sanders argued the richest two or three percent should not control capital.

“I favor the public ownership of utilities, banks and major industries. In Vermont we have some $2 billion of deposits in our banks,” Sanders told the paper. “In Vermont, as well as nationally, it is not tolerable to me that the control of capital would remain in the hands of the richest two or three percent of the population to do with it as they like.”

Sanders called that year in a policy paper for Vermont’s banking laws to be “radically” revised, so that the public and the state “determine in what manner our savings are invested so as to make Vermont a better place to live.”

Socialized medicine and public ownership of drug companies

Asked about healthcare, Sanders said there would need to be publicly-controlled drug companies.

“I believe in socialized medicine, public ownership of the drug companies and placing doctors on salaries. The idea that millionaires can make money by selling poor people drugs that they desperately need for highly inflated prices disgusts me,” he said.

Taxing assets at 100%

Heavy taxation of wealthy people played prominently into Sanders’ plans to pay for expanding government services.

In February 1976, Liberty Union put out a state tax proposal calling for a radical revamping of the system, including the removal of all taxes of sales, beverages, cigarettes, polls, and the use of telephones, railroads or electric energy. Tax rates for those earning more than $100,00 would be 33.47%, $50,000-$99,999 would be 19%, $25,000-$49,000 would be 13.56%, and $10,000-$14,999 would be 4%. Anyone earning less than $10,000 would pay no state income tax.

But Sanders’ rhetoric at times went much further.

During his 1974 Senate run, Sanders said one plan to expand government included making it illegal to gain more wealth than person could spend in a lifetime and have a 100% tax on incomes above this level. (Sanders defined this as $1 million dollars annually).

“Nobody should earn more than a million dollars,” Sanders said.

March 16, 2019. Tags: , , , , . Communism. Leave a comment.

Conservative, black teenage girl reads some of the racist, hateful, and profanity-laden messages that Democrats have sent her

The person in this video is a conservative, black teenage girl. She reads some of the racist, hateful, and profanity-laden messages that Democrats have sent her.

This video contains profanity and racial slurs. It’s definitely not something to play if you are at work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF9pV3mPTQw

March 13, 2019. Tags: , , , . Racism. Leave a comment.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says she doesn’t recycle her plastic bags because her city’s recycling program is too “tough” for her to understand

On February 24, 2019, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted a live video on her Instagram account where she was talking about different political issues while peeling and cutting sweet potatoes.

A guy named Gob Abierto posted several different excerpts from that video in a string of tweets at this link, which has since been deleted. I watched a bunch of those excerpts before the tweet string was deleted. The internet archive has a copy of the same tweet string at this link, but it doesn’t include the videos.

One thing that I remember from watching the excerpts is that Ocasio-Cortez tosses her plastic grocery bags and her sweet potato peelings into the same garbage can, which means that she didn’t recycle the plastic bags, and she didn’t compost the sweet potato peelings.

She also complained that they give her 10 plastic bags every time she goes to the grocery store.

She also said of plastic bags:

“I wish they didn’t exist.”

But no one forced Ocasio-Cortez to accept those plastic bags at the grocery store.

Millions of other Americas use reusable grocery bags that are made of materials other than plastic.

I’d be curios to hear Ocasio-Cortez explain why – if she hates plastic bags so much that she “wishes they didn’t exist” – she brings home 10 additional plastic bags every time she goes to the grocery store, instead of using the reusable, non-plastic bags that millions of other Americans use.

Here is a different video where Ocasio-Cortez says a similar thing. She states: (skip to 0:20)

“I can be upset that I get 10 plastic bags at the grocery store, and then have to toss out my plastic bags because the recycling program in the area is tough.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1EybnxYzKk

I think it’s incredibly hilarious and extremely hypocritical that someone who wants to hugely inconvenience everyone else by having the government embark on endeavors as gargantuan as banning fossil fuels, banning nuclear power, getting rid or airplanes, stopping cows from farting, and retrofitting every building in the country, is herself too lazy to do something as small and easy as buying reusable non-plastic bags, or to recycle the plastic bags that she does use.

For the record, I myself happen to believe that government mandated recycling of post-consumer garbage actually wastes more resources than it saves. My evidence for this belief is this New York Times article, which is called “Recycling Is Garbage.” It’s a great article, and I recommend that everyone read it.

March 9, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Environmentalism. 2 comments.

WATCH: Linda Sarsour gives orders to CAIR thugs who then block reporter from questioning Rep. Rashida Tlaib

https://www.conservativereview.com/news/watch-linda-sarsour-gives-orders-to-cair-thugs-who-then-block-reporter-from-questioning-rep-rashida-tlaib/

WATCH: Linda Sarsour gives orders to CAIR thugs who then block reporter from questioning Rep. Rashida Tlaib

March 7, 2019

Video has surfaced showing Islamic supremacist, anti-Semitic activist Linda Sarsour ordering associates to block a reporter from entering the office of Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

Asra Nomani, a journalist and leader in the Muslim Reform Movement, documented her attempt to enter Rep. Tlaib’s office along with others and how she was physically blocked from entering.

https://twitter.com/AsraNomani/status/1103498928488697856

In the video, Sarsour is accompanied by Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), an Islamist outfit that was founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood to support the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Awad, who has previously announced his support for Hamas, was accompanied in the video by at least one other senior CAIR official who is an avowed Hamas supporter.

Sarsour, speaking Arabic, then orders people in her entourage to block Nomani from entering Rep. Tlaib’s office.

https://twitter.com/ConfessionsExMu/status/1103529736846733313

Tlaib is very cozy with the Islamist organization. She is a regular at CAIR fundraising events across the country.

That same day, Sarsour was pictured in front of anti-Semitic Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s office. In the photo, taken by the radical-left, anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace group, she is flanked by the Hamas-supporting CAIR officials, Jinan Shbat and Nihad Awad.

https://twitter.com/jvplive/status/1103538535779319809

CAIR’s intimidation tactics in the halls of Congress, which is a public space, comes a day after the same tactic was employed to block a different reporter from asking Sarsour whether she recognizes Israel’s right to exist

https://twitter.com/RealSaavedra/status/1103428900799934464

March 8, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , . Islamization. Leave a comment.

Washington Post gives Hillary Clinton four Pinocchios for saying “… in Wisconsin, where the best studies that have been done said somewhere between 40 and 80,000 people were turned away from the polls because of the color of their skin…”

Hillary Clinton is not a stupid person.

However, much of the audience that she targets is stupid, which is why she recently, knowingly said the following lie:

“I was the first person who ran for president without the protection of the Voting Rights Act, and I will tell you, it makes a really big difference. And it doesn’t just make a difference in Alabama and Georgia; it made a difference in Wisconsin, where the best studies that have been done said somewhere between 40 [thousand] and 80,000 people were turned away from the polls because of the color of their skin, because of their age, because of whatever excuse could be made up to stop a fellow American citizen from voting.”

The Washington Post gave her four Pinocchios – its worst possible rating – for her statement.

Who would be stupid enough to believe such a ridiculous lie?

The same people who were stupid enough to believe that Jussie Smollett (or anyone, for that matter) would leave a noose around his neck for 45 minutes.

What Clinton, Smollett. and the many, many, many people who commit fake hate crimes (you can see a whole bunch of fake hate crimes documented here) are showing to the rest of the country is that the demand for racism, homophobia, etc., in the United States greatly exceeds the supply.

And that demand is not coming from Republicans, conservatives, or libertarians.

Instead, this massive demand for racism, homophobia, etc., is coming from liberals, progressives, social justice warriors, and others on the political left.

To normal people, it’s considered a good thing when people are happy and get along with each other.

But not to the social justice warriors.

To the social justice warriors, the worst possible thing that could ever happen is for people to be happy and get along with each other.

Which is why the social justice warriors are constantly making up so many fake hate crimes.

March 7, 2019. Tags: , , , , . Racism. 3 comments.

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