Eric Zuesse

Let's Face It, Our Presidential Candidates Are Hucksters

Here is Bill Clinton, the U.S. President who served Wall Street by removing all regulations on derivatives-trading and by ending FDR’s Glass-Steagall Act separation of investment-banking from consumer-banking, now telling an audience, that his successor George W. Bush had done this, and that Bush’s successor Barack Obama has unfortunately continued it. He said this on March 21st when explaining why everyone should vote for his wife to undo the ”awful” and “trickle-down” legacy of George W. Bush and Barack Obama:

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Clinton: 'Coal Will Be Part of the Energy Mix For Years to Come, Both in the U.S. and Around the World'

The “Down with Tyranny” blog quotes Hillary Clinton’s statement in a recent letter to Democratic U.S. Senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, assuring him that as President she won’t be overly aggressive to reduce the coal industry, because coal-mining jobs are at stake; thus: “Coal will be part of the energy mix for years to come, both in the U.S. and around the world.”

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A Little-Known Way Our Political System Is Rigged to Favor the Establishment

Did you know that if a given political party already has an incumbent in a particular political post, it’s standard practice in the United States for a political party to prohibit its voter-list to be purchased by anyone who’s not an incumbent office-holder in that party — including by someone who wishes to challenge or contest within that party the incumbent, in a primary election?

Only incumbents have access to that crucial list — crucial for any candidate in a primary election (unless there is no incumbent who is of that party).

Here’s an example:

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a long-time unquestioningly loyal operative of Hillary Clinton, was selected by the Democratic President Barack Obama (though she had condemned Obama while he was running against Clinton in 2008) to run the Democratic National Committee, so that Obama’s Administration will be continued with little change by his (chosen) successor (just a change of the President’s name, and only a bit more of a neo-conservative on her foreign policies than he was). However, Ms. DWS has a very low approval-rating from her constituents, and a Bernie Sanders supporter wants to contest against her in a Democratic primary. But, he says:

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This Election Is the Biggest Threat to the Aristocracy and Biggest Opportunity for Voters, Since at Least 1932

The historical significance of the 2016 U.S. presidential contest isn’t yet generally recognized. Consider the evidence regarding this historical significance, in the links that will be provided here, and from which the argument here is constructed:

For the first time ever, a Republican campaign ad against Hillary Clinton is entirely truthful about her and focuses on the most important issue facing voters:

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Is Sanders' Striking Success in New Hampshire a Sign of a National Political Shocker in the Making?

The latest New Hampshire Democratic primary poll indicates not only a current reality in that state, but an underlying and far more important national trend, a trend exhibited in N.H. that has bearing more broadly throughout the country, and that shows U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders already well on the road toward locking up the Democratic nomination, barring any future game-changing disclosures about one or both candidates, which are always possibilities in any political contest, and can never be ruled out. The same poll also shows Sanders performing more strongly against any Republican than Hillary Clinton would. This is not the way things looked to most prognosticators back on April 30th when Sanders started his campaign.

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The Myriad Ways Political Corruption and Mass Incarceration Go Hand and Hand

Even if it might be the case that incarceration rates don’t necessarily correlate with corruption, they do necessarily reflect the extent to which a given nation’s government is (by means of its laws and its enforcement of those laws) at war against its own population; and, so, technically speaking, incarceration rates (the percentage of the population who are in prison) are supposed to reflect the prevalence of law-breaking within a given nation.

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Poll: 'Iraqis Are the Saddest & One of the Angriest Populations in the World'

The 2015 Global Emotions survey from Gallup finds that, “Iraqis Are Among the Saddest and One of the Angriest Populations in the World.” They explain:

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Exposing the Flaws of the U.S. Media's Dangerous Ukraine Propaganda

The New York Review of Books is a leading intellectual publication in the United States, and it (like all of the major U.S. “news” media) has "reported" on the Ukrainian civil war as having been incited by Russia's Vladimir Putin -- a simple-minded explanation, which also happens to be deeply false. The reality is that the residents of southern Ukraine, the part of Ukraine adjoining Russia, were overwhelmingly opposed to the overthrow of Ukraine's democratically elected President, Viktor Yanukovych, though they are portrayed in NYRB (and other “news” media) as being mere stooges of Russian propaganda for their opposing the coup that overthrew the President for whom they had voted overwhelmingly. (The only thing that America’s “news” media had previously reported about Yanukovych is that he was corrupt; but so were all of his predecessors, and U.S. media ignored this crucial fact. Selective reporting is basic to propaganda, and the U.S. major media are trained masters at it. Without a person’s knowing that Ukraine is by far the most corrupt country in the former Soviet Union, and the one with the worst economic performance of them all, Ukraine’s politics just can’t be understood at all: it has long been an extreme kleptocracy, ruled by psychopathic politicians, for the benefit of psychopathic oligarchs, who have robbed the country blind. That’s the deeper truth -- and it's key to understanding the current situation there.)

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PBS Frontline Exposes (Softly) Bush and Obama Authorization and Coverup of NSA Illegal Surveillance of Americans

The May 13 PBS "Frontline" documents that on Oct. 4, 2001, President George W. Bush signed a secret authorization for the NSA to see the "metadata" (the to-whom, and from-whom) records for all phone calls, and also "a lot of content of phone calls. They’re actually recording the voices — not for all of our calls, but for a lot of U.S. telephone calls." 

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Huffington Post Uncritically Trumpets Obama-Republican Big Lie About the Syrian War

On April 20th, Sabrina Siddiqui headlined at Huffington Post, "Bob Corker: 'Assad Was Wise' To Kill 1,200 With Chemical Weapons And 'Embarrass' The U.S." She didn't challenge the veracity of the Obama Administration's (and Republican Senator Corker’s) charge that the sarin gas attack came from Assad's forces instead of from jihadist rebels who were trying to oust Assad. But, evil though Assad is, that charge against him is a lie, which was definitively nailed down as such, by Seymour Hersh, on April 4th headlining at the London Review of Books, "The Red Line and the Rat Line: Seymour Hersh on Obama, Erdogan, and the Syrian Rebels." The gas attack was perpetrated by Turkish Prime Minister Recip Erdogan's allies the jihadist al-Nusra rebels, who are allied in Syria with Al Qaeda, against Assad.

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