Category: Bernie Sanders
People for Bernie Sanders Boots Sputnik Radio Host From EU Panel
| November 8, 2017 | 8:30 pm | Bernie Sanders, John Kiriakou | No comments
Former CIA officer John Kiriakou

People for Bernie Sanders Boots Sputnik Radio Host From EU Panel

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John Kiriakou, renowned Central Intelligence Agency whistleblower and co-host of Sputnik Radio’s Loud & Clear, was invited to address the European Parliament on national security whistleblowing before his appearance was scrapped at the last minute. Loud & Clear spoke with Kiriakou after the snub to find out what happened.

“Disappointingly,” co-founder of People for Bernie Sanders Winnie Wong, there to represent the organization, “objected to the fact that I work at Sputnik and said they did not want to appear on a panel with me.”

“I can’t be on this panel with you,” Wong told Kiriakou, by his account. “It’s nothing personal. I think you should be proud for what you’ve done, but you work for Sputnik and so I can’t be on the same panel,” she said.

​”The Russiagate witch hunt strikes again,” Walter Smolarek, producer of Loud & Clear, noted.

​Kiriakou was the only American imprisoned in connection with the CIA torture program authorized by President George W. Bush. His two-and-a-half-year jail sentence wasn’t based on the fact that torture is illegal under both US and international law and that Kiriakou had participated in human rights abuses, but rather because he exposed the program publicly. Nobody from the CIA who participated in the torture program has so far been jailed for it, only the person who shed light on its blatant unconstitutionality.

​”Any time I come to Europe, I’m treated so well. Europeans have a much deeper understanding of these issues of national security whistleblowing, torture, drones and nuclear weapons — far, far more than Americans in general, so I’m always treated very well here,” Kiriakou said Wednesday.

“I was supposed to appear on a panel this morning and then give a speech in the afternoon,” the ex-CIA officer explained. The afternoon speech was able to go forward without any hiccups, “but unfortunately I was removed from the panel,” he said, with a disbelieving chuckle, “after one of the other panelists objected to my presence.”

​​Wong told Kiriakou she “ran it up the flagpole” with the People for Bernie Sanders organization before saying she wasn’t allowed to appear on a panel with him.

“It’s so ridiculous on its face that I actually thought she was joking when she first said it, and I laughed when she said it,” Kiriakou said.

“It’s really something because these same people used to be on Radio Sputnik, they were on our shows, they were on Loud & Clear,” co-host Brian Becker said. When “progressives” silence other voices, they set a dangerous precedent regarding how much they think First Amendment is really worth.

“Americans are going to learn the hard way” about the dangers of censorship, Kiriakou said.

“A lot of the questions I fielded today, from a variety of European nationalities, centered on the fact that the United States seems to be easing its way into a new Cold War. But the Cold War has been initiated by the Democrats. This Red Scare is a Democratic invention, not a Republican one. And everyone wanted to talk about it,” Kiriakou said.

“It’s so ridiculous I thought it was a joke, and because it’s not a joke, that makes it actually very dangerous.”

Brazile Fallout: Hillary Privatized the DNC with Help from a Washington Law Firm

Brazile Fallout: Hillary Privatized the DNC with Help from a Washington Law Firm

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 6, 2017

Hillary Clinton Tells Senator Bernie Sanders That There's No Evidence She Can Be Swayed by Wall Street Money During CNN Debate, April 14, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders During CNN Debate, April 14, 2016

Secret side agreements are a common maneuver by corporate law firms. Here’s how they work. An agreement that is legal and passes the smell test is drafted and submitted to a court or a regulatory body for public consumption. Then, a separate, secret side agreement is written and signed by both sides and it contains all of the smelly, shady, ethically questionable hard details on how the original agreement will be carried out.

Donna Brazile, the former interim Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the 2016 presidential campaign, has written a new book, “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House,” and has revealed the secret side agreement that the DNC had with Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

In 2015, Hillary Clinton’s campaign set up a joint fundraising committee called the Hillary Victory Fund (HVF) with the DNC and over 30 state democratic committees. The public portion of the agreement indicated that Hillary would raise funds for her own campaign while also allocating a portion to the DNC to help the overall Democratic Party as well as allocating funds to state democratic committees in order to support down-ballot candidates in their local elections. But the secret side agreement that effectively privatized the DNC, giving Hillary and her campaign lawyers control of the DNC and its money, had yet to see the light of day.

This is how Brazile describes the secret side agreement in her book:

“The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook [Clinton’s campaign manager] with a copy to Marc Elias [lawyer at Perkins Coie]  — specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.”

The Clinton camp has now attempted to defend itself by saying these terms are standard because they were not going to kick in until the Democratic Party had chosen its official presidential nominee at its party convention in July 2016. But that’s not what the actual secret side agreement says. It indicates the following: “Beginning October 1, 2015,” the HVF would begin transferring $1.2 million to the DNC at the start of each month with that release “conditioned on” Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign personnel being consulted “and have joint authority over strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and general election related communications, data, technology, analytics, and research. The DNC will provide HFA advance opportunity to review on-line or mass email, communications that features a particular Democratic primary candidate.”

Additionally, the secret agreement states that “the DNC agrees that no later than September 11, 2015 it will hire one of two candidates previously identified as acceptable to HFA” (Hillary for America, the primary campaign fund for Clinton) as its Communications Director. All of this is occurring in the fall of 2015 with the official Democratic nominating convention not taking place until July 2016.

As Politico reported in May 2016, the Hillary Victory Fund was a sham in multiple other ways. First, Politico writes that less than 1 percent of the money raised stayed in the state’s coffers. The Treasurer of the Hillary Victory Fund actually had the power to move money in and out of state committee bank accounts. Politico reporters Ken Vogel and Isaac Arnsdorf cite the following example to show how things actually worked:

“…the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party received $43,500 from the victory fund on Nov. 2, only to transfer the same amount to the DNC that same day. The pattern repeated itself after the Minnesota party received transfers from the victory fund of $20,600 on Dec. 1 (the party sent the same amount to the DNC the next day) and $150,000 on Jan. 4 (it transferred the same amount to the DNC that day).

“That means that Minnesota’s net gain from its participation in the victory fund was precisely $0 through the end of March. Meanwhile, the DNC pocketed an extra $214,100 in cash routed through Minnesota — much of which the DNC wouldn’t have been able to accept directly, since it came from donors who had mostly had already maxed out to the national party committee.

“A similar pattern transpired with most of the participating state parties. As of March 31, only eight state parties (most of which were in battleground states such as Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire and Virginia) had received more from the victory fund than was transferred from their accounts to the DNC.”

Brazile backs up this account in her book, writing that “the states kept less than half of 1 percent of the $82 million they had amassed from the extravagant fund-raisers Hillary’s campaign was holding….”

Brazile notes in her book that the lawyer, Marc Elias, of the politically-connected law firm, Perkins Coie, was copied on the secret side agreement. Elias has repeatedly come under scrutiny for his multi-faceted roles in the 2015-2016 presidential campaign. Most recently, he was exposed as the guy behind the hiring of Fusion GPS which compiled the scandalous Russian dossier on Donald Trump, using both Hillary campaign funds and DNC funds. The Washington Post reported that Elias was allowed to spend these funds “without oversight by campaign officials, according to a spokesperson for his law firm.”

Elias served as the General Counsel to Hillary’s primary campaign committee, Hillary for America, as well as serving as one of a team of lawyers from Perkins Coie that provided legal advice to the DNC. (Elias also provided legal advice to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Democratic Governors Associations, according to the Perkins Coie web site last year.)

As a legal adviser to the DNC, Elias should have known that its charter mandated fairness and impartiality to all primary candidates. But when WikiLeaks released emails last year that had been hacked at the DNC, Marc Elias was caught giving advice on how to tar Senator Bernie Sanders after his campaign suggested that the Hillary Victory Fund was skirting Federal election law. The email from Elias read:

“My suggestion is that the DNC put out a statement saying that the accusations the Sanders campaign are not true. The fact that CNN notes that you aren’t getting between the two campaigns is the problem. Here, Sanders is attacking the DNC and its current practice, its past practice with the POTUS and with Sec Kerry. Just as the RNC pushes back directly on Trump over ‘rigged system’, the DNC should push back DIRECTLY at Sanders and say that what he is saying is false and harmful the [sic] the Democratic party.”

Writing for Politico in 2014, Ken Vogel detailed how Elias and Perkins Coie have not only been the legal go-to guys for the Democratic party over the years but how they have also tinkered with Federal election law to shift more power to the 1 percent. Vogel writes:

“Perkins Coie’s political law practice, anchored by Elias and former White House Counsel Bob Bauer, has something of a stranglehold on the Democratic Party’s election law business, representing not only the party committees themselves but everyone from [Harry] Reid (whose various committees have paid $317,000 in legal fees to Perkins Coie over the years) to Obama ($7.4 million) to the major Democratic super PACs ($19 million).”

The thrust of the article, however, is that Elias played a central role in further opening the spigots for legal revenues his firm might be expected to collect in the future by tinkering with Federal legislation at the eleventh hour. Vogel writes:

“A powerful Democratic lawyer helped craft a provision that was slipped into a year-end spending bill allowing political parties to raise huge new pools of cash — including some for legal fees that are likely going to be collected by his own firm…

“The change has the potential to halt or at least slow the erosion of power of the political parties, since it would increase the maximum amount of cash that rich donors may give to the national Democratic and Republican party committees each year from $97,400 to $777,600 or more.”

The question that no one seems to be asking is who are the main beneficiaries of Perkins Coie’s heavy influence at the top of the Democratic Party. Despite Obama’s re-election for a second term, the Democratic Party shed nearly 1,000 seats from coast to coast. The Republicans now control both houses of Congress and the Executive Branch. A man with the lowest approval rating in modern history now occupies the Oval Office.

The primary beneficiaries of this hubris have been the 1 percent – Wall Street and hedge fund titans – and giant multi-national corporations that dominate the client roster at Perkins Coie.

Those within the Clinton camp and DNC who are suggesting to the American people that there is nothing to see here, time to move along, are dead wrong. Just because the Republican presidential campaign may have been corrupted by outside forces doesn’t mean that the Democratic campaign wasn’t also corrupted by its own outside forces. It’s time to follow the obscene political money trail wherever it leads.

Outrage Targeting Brazile Shows ‘Serious Decline in the Democratic Party’

Democratic party chairperson Donna Brazile talks with audience members before the debate between Republican vice-presidential nominee Gov. Mike Pence and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine at Longwood University in Farmville, Va., Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016.

Outrage Targeting Brazile Shows ‘Serious Decline in the Democratic Party’

© AP Photo/ Joe Raedle

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In a post on Medium Saturday, nearly 100 campaign staffers signed an open letter firing back at Donna Brazile, former DNC chair, for her depiction of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in her book set to hit stores Tuesday.

“Donna came in to take over the DNC at a very difficult time,” the letter reads. “We were grateful to her for doing so. She is a longtime friend and colleague of many of us and has been an important leader in our party. But we do not recognize the campaign she portrays in the book.”

Despite (sort of) acknowledging the difficulties that the campaign faced, the signers also noted that it was “particularly troubling and puzzling that [Brazile] would seemingly buy into false Russian-fueled propaganda, spread by both the Russians and [Trump], about [Clinton’s] health.” This was a response to Brazile’s statement that she considered replacing Clinton as the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee with then-Vice President Joe Biden.

How could a political figure who’s been hailed as a “longtime Democratic insider” be tossed aside for not standing by the Clinton campaign?

For Anoa Changa, it’s just part of the mentality used to “undermine” anyone whose beliefs and statements don’t fall into lockstep with the whole of the group — in this case the Democratic Party.

​Speaking to Sputnik Radio’s Brian Becker and John Kiriakou on Loud & Clear, Changa, the host of “The Way With Anoa,” says that Brazile “never claimed she herself had the authority to circumvent the process and insert a new [Democratic] nominee.”

According to Changa, what Brazile did say was that while serving as interim DNC chair there was a “process in the bylaws that she would oversee, but that it was still a difficult process.”

“What she was talking about was just her experience in just those few months she served as chair, ahead of the election cycle,” Changa told Becker and Kiriakou. “And to see the mass panic and chaos is in some ways hysterical, considering a month and a half ago everyone was told to sit down and be quiet because Hillary, with the release of ‘What Happened,’ deserved to have the opportunity to tell her story on what happened [during the 2016 election].”

The pushback that Brazile is getting from the party reveals an even bigger issue, says Changa.

“What the Donna Brazile commentary has been is a greater indictment on the problems in current capitalism that has infected the Democratic Party for the last 25 years,” Changa, also the director of political advocacy for the Progressive Army, said. “It’s been 25 years since Bill Clinton was elected and we have seen a serious decline in the Democratic Party in the last 25 years and that’s what she speaking to.”

In excerpts of Brazile’s upcoming book published in Politico last week, she presents evidence that the DNC rigged the nomination so that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was put aside in favor of Clinton and that the Clinton campaign was in control of the committee via its purse strings throughout the entire campaign cycle.

Why I support the Sanders Institute
| October 6, 2017 | 9:22 am | Bernie Sanders, political struggle | No comments

Friend,

The present state of our country and of our world beckons to all of us. As we confront climate change, multiple refugee crises, the threat of global conflict, and a disturbing normalization of fascism, our collective future mandates that we unite around calls for justice with a sense of urgency – justice for women, justice for LGBTQ communities, justice for immigrants, justice for racial and ethnic minorities, justice for religious minorities, justice for the economically disenfranchised, justice for our environment. We are called to defend the self-evident truths upon which democracy is built – equality, freedom, and the ability to pursue personal fulfilment – from forces rooted in falsehood, manipulation, and demagoguery. To do so, we must inform ourselves thoroughly and organize effectively. It is in this spirit that I support the Sanders Institute in actively engaging citizens and media in the pursuit of progressive solutions to economic, environmental, racial, and social justice issues.

The Sanders Institute’s focus on individuals and media speaks directly to the terrain of the digital age. Its emphasis on progressive solutions speaks to our collective need to defend our highest ideals by effecting positive change. While mendacity can be a shortcut to power, that power is ultimately unsustainable. We must speak powerful truths to power; truths rooted in our diversity and interconnectedness. In recognizing the ways in which we all have something to contribute and the ways in which we all depend on one another, we harness the value of our differences to establish powerful coalitions; coalitions that can effectively counter the rigidity and isolation of illiberalism. As a Fellow of the Sanders Institute, I offer my experience in supporting social justice movements around the world on issues like environmental justice, labor, economic inequality, and racism, and I hope to inspire a new generation of socially engaged citizens in fighting for justice and equality for all.

Danny Glover, Sanders Institute Founding Fellow, 2017

Michael Parenti on Bernie Sanders
| September 24, 2017 | 4:24 pm | Bernie Sanders, Michael Parenti | No comments

Introducing Medicare for All
| September 14, 2017 | 8:36 pm | Bernie Sanders, Health Care, Medicare for All | 1 Comment

RESPONSE TO: Some Dems sizzle, others see their stock fall on road to 2020
| September 14, 2017 | 8:29 pm | Analysis, Bernie Sanders, political struggle | No comments
By A. Shaw
So, according to the article, there are already about 20 apparent “Dems” or DP candidates positioning for 2020.
Some “sizzle” while others “fall on the road.”
At this time, Sanders sizzles in first place with 28% of likely voters in all social classes and race/nationality.
Biden sizzles with 17%.
Warren sizzles with 12%
The remaining 17 or so DP candidates don’t sizzle.
 They fall on the road.
Ideologically, Sanders strives to represent chiefly the liberal sectors of working and middle classes. He is not indifferent to the interests of the capitalist class, but the interests of millionaires are not his primary concern.
Biden primarily wants to represent the center and liberal sectors of the bourgeoisie, the rest of society is not his primary concern.
Warren strives primarily to represent the liberal sector of the middle class. Still, she has a real interest in other classes, especially the workers
With the exception of Sanders, this field of DP candidates accepts the flawed principle that reality is whatever story is prominently and consistently reported in the capitalist [or cappie] media. So, this field hustles for coverage in the cappie press.
Thus, if propaganda appears in non-cappie outlets, it isn’t real. If the story appears in the a cappie outlet but it’s buried in back pages, it isn’t real due to the lack of prominence. If the story appears one day but vanishes the next, it isn’t real due to lack of consistency.
The tactic of most of candidates in the DP field is to get coverage in the cappie press, then use the coverage to reach out to sectors of social classes  that may effect the candidate’s campaign favorably or unfavorably.
In 2016, Trump showed how to use the social media with full force.
In 2016, Sanders showed a little bit how to use the campaign’s media for propaganda as well as fundraising.