Joe Biden in Fantasy and Reality

Let's start with the WSWS:

Bernie Sanders threatens delegates with removal if they criticize Biden

Senator Bernie Sanders’ political team has asked some of his delegates to sign an agreement preventing them from criticizing Democratic Party leaders on social media, including the presumptive presidential candidate Joe Biden, or talking to reporters without approval.

The rules for Sanders delegates to this summer’s Democratic convention, which were leaked to the Washington Post, include a social media policy, a nondisclosure agreement and a delegate code of conduct.

In case you thought this was a mere thought of sectarian communists, here it is on Vanity Fair's page as well.

Krystal and Saagar are of course up in arms about this development:

I loved Saagar's characterization of Buttigieg as Alfred E. Newman. And I really do feel obliged, here, to repeat a comment someone made here about Jimmy Dore's reaction to the mess we're in. The Jimmy Dore content is at 51:25:

And then you have Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez being kept busy with an impotent "task force" to discuss climate change with someone I suppose. Climate change, the absolute weakest point of the Sanders platform (c'mon, what's this nonsense about combating climate change through "energy efficiency"?), is being handed over to Ocasio-Cortez so that Joe Biden can look good in his meetings with fossil fuel interests. (For doubters, I have laid out the alternative strategy in my piece "Climate Change Mitigation in Fantasy and Reality." The password is AddletonAP2009.)

All they are doing, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez, is creating a facade around Joe Biden so that people will be allowed to think they are choosing the fantasy Joe Biden come November. The real Joe Biden can't really help himself -- his one and only chance at being President is if Donald Trump self-destructs and if the winning margin doesn't care much about who the real Joe Biden is. So, in hopes of facilitating mass apathy about the real Joe Biden, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez have decided to put a lot of effort into cooking up a fantasy Joe Biden, in the hopes that the real Joe Biden will not expose himself or become a legitimate target for Donald Trump. Also, it is hoped, nobody will do any research on the real Joe Biden, either. After all, when you read stuff like this article, "Why The Difference Between Trump and Biden Matters," you'll notice that its author can only say anything in significant detail about who the real Donald Trump is, while saying next to nothing about who the real Joe Biden is and while pouring about 80% of the article's digital codings into denouncing that portion of the Left which refuses to bend the knee for Joe Biden. There's going to be a lot of writing like this between now and November.

Do I really need to discuss here, in any depth or detail, why this strategy is a complete waste of time for anyone who is not being paid, and paid well, to enact it? This set of tactics is not going to persuade swing voters in the swing states to vote for Biden. More ominously, the election is fundamentally out of our hands, since we have nothing of real substance to promote against Trump, who is capable of losing the election on his own power. The Sanders delegates really ought to quit en masse at once, in protest against the Sanders "Me, not us" strategy of muzzling them and creating a fantasy Joe Biden that won't stick. "This is a democracy!" exclaims Krystal Ball. At any rate, when asked why they want to end their participation in the Democratic Party's forthcoming waste of time, they can offer excuses such as "the convention takes place on the week I promised to go water-skiing/ hiking/ practicing my tennis skills with my cousins" or something like that. They should feel comfortable knowing that either Trump will sink in the polls, or he won't, and it's out of their hands too. And has everyone forgotten Medicare for All? College for All? The idea, maybe, of getting something, anything at all, for one's hard-earned tax dollars besides a dozen-or-so wars, a border wall, fighter jets that don't work, tax breaks for the super-rich and so on? There was, not so long ago, a point to politics outside of gossip about pointless candidates and pointless incumbents.

What is left of the Sanders agenda, for Sanders, is his fantasy version of American history. Donald Trump is the "worst President in modern American history," as Sanders repeatedly claimed in his campaign, except of course that, upon examination of the historical record, W. was worse, not to mention that successive Presidents appear hell-bent on building upon W.'s vision of the Presidency. Sure, Joe Biden might be better than Donald Trump as a President, but we don't really have any significant evidence pointing to the notion that his supposed better-ness will amount to anything substantial in a time of multiple and compounding crisis. We do have the powerful notion that it won't, that his opposition to Medicare for All will leave a lot of people dead. We also have no significant evidence that we have any power over the unfolding process at all. (As I've said before, go ahead and vote for Joe Biden if the spirit moves you -- or vote for Howie Hawkins if you want -- anything looks good in a vacuum.)

Real history demands that we fight to create a new world, a humane and humanistic world of caring and love, since this one is committed to creating what Jodi Dean calls "neofeudalism." Sanders, on the other hand, is committed to a fantasy history, which appears as liberating from time to time but is not liberating right now.

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Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon
Going to the candidates' debate
Laugh about it, shout about it when you've got to choose
Every way you look at it, you lose

Where have you gone, Bernie Sanders?
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
Woo, woo, woo
What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson?
Bernie Bro has left and gone away
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey

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gulfgal98's picture

@gjohnsit Good

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

Bisbonian's picture

@gjohnsit

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

gulfgal98's picture

In one way, I could argue that Biden might prove to be worse than Trump and that is in the area of regime change wars. So far Trump has not started any new wars despite the push to do so by the Christo-fascists in his administration. Trump does not necessarily appear to be wedded to dogma in that regard and his basic instinct seems to be not to go to war. Biden, on the other hand will likely continue the regime change policies of the Clinton/Bush/Obama administrations.

That is not to say that I will support Trump because there is no way in hell I would vote for him. But I also do not intend to vote for Biden. This country could do much better than either of them but I do not see any Dem on the bench now that I can support.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

Cassiodorus's picture

@gulfgal98 and to build upon that thought:

Do I really need to discuss here, in any depth or detail, why this strategy is a complete waste of time for anyone who is not being paid, and paid well, to enact it?

-- and --

Real history demands that we fight to create a new world, a humane and humanistic world of caring and love, since this one is committed to creating what Jodi Dean calls "neofeudalism."

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

gulfgal98's picture

@Cassiodorus @Cassiodorus We must break through the red/blue paradigm and the idea that voting will solve our problems. We also must stop looking for a political leader. I have been saying here for some time that all real change comes from the ground up in the form of social movements.

People must first be able to accept that the current system is not only unsustainable, but does not benefit them in any way. I honestly thought that quarantine/shutdown would bring that home to people and we would begin to see some change. But anecdotally, I have not seen anything remotely resembling a desire to change our entire structure of economic and political systems.

To be honest, I doubt that we will see any real movement until the people realize how badly we ALL have been screwed, not just those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder. It is very frustrating to even try to talk to friends and family about this. No one is getting it yet. They nod their heads and say yeah, but they do not think they will be the ones to suffer. I've got news for folks. If we hit 24% unemployment, we will equal the high for the great depression. If we hit 32% like the St. Louis Fed had predicted, we are in uncharted waters and it will not end well.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

@gulfgal98
Biden is worse when it comes to wars and trade.

Trump is worse with the environment, corporate deregulation, and health care.

Neither is worthy of your vote

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Cassiodorus's picture

@gjohnsit It's that good people are now totally committed to the waste of time who calls himself "Joe Biden" when they could be doing good for the world.

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

@gjohnsit Biden's foreign policy advisor is a Obama hold over who said that the US will stay in Syria and up the engaging/interfering. Regime change will come back big time.

The democrats and media will push for some visible payback against Russia. The hatred of Putin and Russia is not all that removed from that of the real OG Nazis held toward Jews and Slavic peoples. Biden will be pushed to do some serious chest thumping and show that Trump was weak toward Russia--some military action would be the easiest way. And obvious esculation point would be in Syria or the Ukraine.

With diplomacy utterly dead, the chances of a disaster are that much more certain.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@gjohnsit

You're not sticking your neck out, gulfgal98.

Biden is worse when it comes to wars and trade.

Trump is worse with the environment, corporate deregulation, and health care.

punctuation adjusted for format change

Would you prefer to die from arsenic or cyanide?

We can't even vote for death from nice, comfy heroin......

Bad

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@gjohnsit and more dangerous in the FP area than Biden. Bc Donald is ignorant, has no moral scruples and is interested only in what would further his own interests, he is capable of anything at any time. He is a walking, talking Nixon Madman Theory in FP, except that for Donald this is his default SOP. A very dangerous person to be in charge of our military. Worse than Nixon or Dubya wrt what disaster he is capable of ordering up.

Of course, if there currently existed a progressive movement in Congress that was strong for anti-intervention principles, then I would feel more confident in what Biden would do in this area. Alas, the left is weak and cowardly on FP, Bernie most notably. Their opposition in important FP areas barely amounts to a sternly-worded letter. With a paltry left pushback, Biden would likely govern in FP at best marginally better than Obama, looking at it optimistically.

In the near term, should he be elected, I wouldn't see much interest from TPTB for a little war in Iran, Syria or Ukraine. We'll be occupied stateside digging out from a Depression economy.

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@wokkamile
I am worried they will decide to have a war to distract us from domestic problems. It would provide employment for soldiers after all. It also could become treason to criticize the wrong things or people.

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@ScienceTeacher a legit major Pearl Harbor incident against US personnel to get another major conflict started. And it's too soon still after the dubious Iraq venture for many in the hinterlands to willingly go along.Even the great unwashed are suspicious of another ginned up phony excuse for war.

That said, I'm also inclined to agree that just about any day is a good day for TPTB to try to arrange for another foreign venture. But I'd also argue even those nut jobs for war are aware that they can play the war card only so many times in a decent period of time.

On the ultimate decision-making end, I see Biden as less easily susceptible to MIC entreaties. He has more FP experience, good and bad, than Obama and of course Trump, and with his better knowledge and experience relative to Obama he would be less likely to get weak in the knees and be impressed by the military fruit salad on the chest.

My take. I'm more concerned re Biden that like Obama he will try to avoid going too bold in the economic recovery realm, including health care reform. Bernie and other prog leaders can help right now to guide Biden towards the right path, which is closer to a New New Deal rather than 4 yrs of tepid Obamaism.

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@wokkamile
He gained all those years of experience as a cheerleader for the MIC. And this was when a lot of Democrats disagreed. He got necessary Democratic support for the war in Iraq. He supported it months after it was clear there were no weapons of mass destruction. He retroactively opposed it after he started running for president.

How do you think Biden will behave now that Democrats in Congress want increased pressure on Russia in retaliation for Putin's stealing the election from Hillary? If it takes a nuclear war to sooth her ego, so be it.

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@FuturePassed Hillary, McCain, Lindsay Graham and probably 98% of the GOP in Congress are cheerleaders for the MIC. Biden might be the occasional guest cheerleader for special events.

While Biden has a major black mark against his record for Iraq, he did manage to say no to the first Gulf War, the Libya intervention under Obama, and the Afghan surge, so he's not quite in the elite Hillary/McCain/Graham league of warmongers. Who knows -- being a Dem and always feeling defensive about being tough enough in confronting America's alleged adversaries abroad, and having voted no on the Gulf War, he might have felt politically pressured not to say no again when Iraq came along.

This was John Kerry's situation actually. And maybe like Kerry, also a no vote on the Gulf War, who was advised by his political handlers that he would be taking a greater political risk in opposing rather than supporting the second ME military venture, Biden may have been looking at a future presidential run and deciding it was better this time to err on what the insiders considered the safe side. My speculation. He was of course better off politically and morally in saying no, but there you are, he's just Joe Biden, and most of these modern day pols are no better than the last political adviser they've gotten advice from.

Anyway, I wanted to point to three times where Joe has mustered the courage to say no. So there's hope, but he will need watching.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@gulfgal98 I've posted a couple comments recently shallowly suggesting I might vote for Trump...and stunned as I am to say it, I might. As my one uncle His milquetoasty attitude toward war would be THE reason why, otherwise it'd be unthinkable. I hope that hasn't made anyone mistake me for a "trumpeteer", as I saw someone put it - but when you're specifically an American voter, sticking it to Morgoth* any way you can really has to be your #1 priority as a world citizen. The environment is of course the Ultimate political issue (I once heard someone assert that ALL morality was subjective with the sole exception of the need to protect the environment), but other countries can do things about that, possibly more; ditto trade. Morgoth* is a uniquely American cross-of-iron to bear.

The other option is to vote 3rd-party, and if https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Body/ can pull off a miracle and shoehorn Jesse into the race, I'll do just that. Failing that, I might still vote for Vermin Supreme (IF he gets the Libertarian nomination - as a wise man once said, stranger things have happened). This is a case, however, where a Red V Blue vote might actually matter. Part of it's a question of political philosophy, maybe: What's a vote really for?

"*" = I think I shall be calling it this from now on, as "Military-Security-Fiscal-Industrial-Telecom-Sports-Religious-Petrochemical-whatthehellelseamImissing-Complex" is about as tedious to read as to type.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

ovals49's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

In our Red vs. Blue world there is only one thing our vote is good for: creating the illusion of consent of the governed. The reality is that both Red and Blue are planning to deliver a shit sandwich full of ‘more-of-the-same’, whether we like it or not.

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“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
Albert Einstein

polkageist's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat
If one has no choice because the people in charge have taken over the system/country, why participate in a sham? The only way this country is going to find its way is through social movements and, most likely, in demonstrations of varying kinds from peaceful to not peaceful. Elections are meaningless for the time being.

Unfortunately, the greedy people have been force-feeding the populace with propaganda about the "natural ability" of man-made markets to regulate our lives outside of any need for government or even the idea of commonwealth. I have come to the tentative conclusion that it will be years before any political change can take place because of the propaganda that the populace has accepted. Most citizens have no experience of any other reality.

The dumbing-down of people has been purposeful as shown by the career of Betsy DeVos our "Education Secretary" who is trying to do away with public schools and by the takeover of all major commercial mass media by conglomerates and their actions in trivializing news sources and school curricula. One can't learn if there are no schools or teachers nor can one make good political or economic decisions if there is no reliable news.

After the pandemic is done with us, and it will end, there will be hard times again. At least like we had in the thirties and probably worse because the country will be weak from the hollowing out of our manufacturing base by the elites. The elites are anything but patriotic. Witness the behavior of Henry Ford in the Thirties or Bezos and Gates now. Once again I quote John Buchan: "Capital knows no homeland." The people in charge are the same people who have always behaved the same way since at least the Kingdom of Sumer: ignorant, greedy, uncaring, violent, and power hungry.

Donald Trump is the perfect President of the current USA because he is exactly representative of the power elite, both Republican and Democratic Parties. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Mitch McConnell are all in agreement they just differ on who should have certain jobs in the ongoing theft. If the choice is truly between a senile war monger and an unintelligent narcissist, I see no need to make the choice. I will do what I can to move us on to a different future.

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-Greed is not a virtue.
-Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.
-Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. Kennedy, In a speech at the White House, 1962

snoopydawg's picture

@polkageist

I agree with everything you said. I’ll add to this....

The dumbing-down of people has been purposeful as shown by the career of Betsy DeVos our "Education Secretary" who is trying to do away with public schools

And before we had Betsy we had Arne Duncan who did even more damage than whomever Bush put in charge of no child left behind. Was he the one who started the dumbing down of America’s children? This just further proves that both parties are working together on whatever agenda that the elites want.

Hope no one caught the first title was Great Customer..... lol...I’m blaming my ziggy fingers for that.

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

gulfgal98's picture

@snoopydawg Promoting charter schools is another way for the commodification of education. For every charter school receiving public dollars, public schools are suffering the loss of those dollars. It is a scam to erode the viability of public schools and skim off money into the private sector. If you weaken a public service enough, then you can argue that it does not provide the service it was intended to provide and it should be privatized. That is what the charter school scam is all about. It is also being used to weaken teachers unions.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@gulfgal98 My K-12 career was spent mostly in private schools, and I can testify firsthand to their complete and utter superiority to public (my 9th-grade history class used Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States as the primary textbook! The public school I was stuck attending in 11th-12th grade, on the other hand...suffice to say, I'd have been far better off homeschooled). Heck, if not for the concern they'd be used to ship kids off to creationist/segregationist "schools", I'd be all in favor of the "school vouchers" idea the Republicans kept making noises about in the 1990s.

My little brother wasn't as fortunate, but at least he got to spend middle school in a charter school, which was the closest thing the shithole town we've lived in since we left Silicon Valley had or has to a good K-12 school. Corporatists may be trying to use them as a wedge against public education, but tarring them all with that brush is wrong, wrong, wrong.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Lookout's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

charter could have a place but within a public system not to replace/privatize it. Would be best if all schools were teacher designed, but believe me that's a dream. I spent much of my career at the state and local level working for that.

The real goal is community based schools led by teachers not administrators (who in my world were mainly coaches who didn't know how nor what to teach). Open your book look for the dark words. Remain ignorant and blind. That's the way I saw my 25 years of teaching.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

janis b's picture

@Lookout

from community, teacher-designed curriculums. In my experience it is essential that they are designed with a clear and well considered vision by all involved. But because 'all' includes a wide spectrum of personalities and egos, a capable and talented administrator/s is also essential.

My daughter started ‘school’ in Germany at a Steiner kindergarten. She continued in first grade at a small, fledgling Steiner school in NZ. She left the school after 4th grade because she was insistent that it wasn’t right for her anymore. It took her parents a while to agree with her very clear wishes to change schools. The discontent she experienced was largely a result of inexperienced teachers, strong contrasting personalities (including parents) wanting to be heard, and the lack of a confident (but not rigid) administration of a clear vision. Understandable really, for a fairly new school of an alternative variety. The vision was there, but it suffered from a lack of experience and cohesiveness that would have made its delivery more successful. The school has grown, but not without constant challenges. I, personally would like to see much more emphasis in education on not only independent thought processes, but largely on communication skills.

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@The Liberal Moonbat You sure won't learn squat all about Howard Zinn or anything that's not useful to evangelicals or your boss. Private schools may be better somewhere but not many somewhweres.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@vtcc73 It's also just more proof that this current, incredibly creepy push to make us all think that America is somehow uniform all over, rather than the chaotic mini-multiverse it is, is the dead opposite of "inclusivity* and diversity".

I really hope I'm just paranoid, but it feels to me like somebody's trying to pull a Constantine on this empire; it was a shitty idea the first time, and it's even less excusable a second time.

* = How do you like that, this site's spellchecker doesn't even think this is a legitimate word. Maybe it's an oversight...or maybe it's an insight.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

snoopydawg's picture

@gulfgal98

I thought that was the start of the charter school thing or was that the common core testing?,But once again centrists only complain about what DeVos and Trump are doing whilst again giving Obama a pass for doing it too. Once again proving that there is no separation between the two parties. Once upon a time democrats stood for unions and the working class...thanks to the Clintons they turned their backs on them.

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

gulfgal98's picture

@snoopydawg
Here is my gripe against charter schools. I am not an expert on education but I do know that I do not want my tax dollars going to private enterprise under the guise of "charter schools." Here in Florida, charter schools receive public funding but are not required to adhere to the same testing criteria that applies to public schools.

My issue is why are my tax dollars being spent upon a private enterprise which is supposedly non-profit, but many of these charter schools are owned by profit making corporations that use various money making tactics such as charging rent on the buildings and property which is then paid by the taxpayers? In effect, my tax dollars are being used to subsidize a for profit business operating under the guise of a public education facility.

As a taxpayer, I would much rather see those dollars being invested in the current public school system in the form of smaller classes and increased teacher pay. I also would like to do away the emphasis upon testing which has become very competitive, thus requiring teachers to teach the test and leaving little time left for more innovative teaching methods that would benefit a wider range of students.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

@gulfgal98 Starve the public schools for resources and saddle them with challenges that charter/private schools don’t face. Then when they dishonestly do an “apples to apples” comparison, the charter schools look much better. Makes it easier to divert more tax dollars to the charters.

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snoopydawg's picture

@gulfgal98

My issue is why are my tax dollars being spent upon a private enterprise which is supposedly non-profit, but many of these charter schools are owned by profit making corporations that use various money making tactics such as charging rent on the buildings and property which is then paid by the taxpayers? In effect, my tax dollars are being used to subsidize a for profit business operating under the guise of a public education facility.

Aren't teachers denied forming unions and are not paid as much as regular teachers. And yes many non profits are just scams that were bought by hedge funds such as the non profit hospital scams that just got a bailout because they loaded their hospitals with debt while stripping them of doctors, nurses and every thing else they could just to turn a profit at the expense of workers and patients. Of course non of them had to save for a rainy day like the 99% of the rest of have to do nor do they have to pull themselves up by their bootstraps like many people who don't own boots do? The grifter class needs a wake up call.

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

Lookout's picture

@snoopydawg
All children left behind was a testing profit scam.

Neil Bush gained notoriety as director of the Silverado Savings & Loan in Colorado, whose failure cost taxpayers $1 billion and led to a grand jury investigation during the term of his father, President George H. W. Bush. Neil Bush was never charged.

In 2005, Neil Bush founded Ignite Incorporated, a software company that helps students prepare to take comprehensive tests required under the No Child Left Behind act. A phone call to Ignite’s toll free number (1.866.464.4648, ext 113) with a search for a company directory by name for Neil Bush gets his extension, so it’s still his baby with the dough rolling in.

Here’s a little more info on Neil’s profiteering down in Florida: Governor’s Brother Marketing School Software (FlaNews.com):

Some politicians are questioning whether Governor Jeb Bush’s brother Neil is trying to use the FCAT to make a buck. Neil Bush founded a company that provides software to help students take standardized tests. Critics say it doesn’t look right for Neil Bush to be marketing his software to Florida schools.

Ignite, Incorporated makes computer software to help children prepare for standardized tests like florida’s FCAT. Students at an Orlando-area middle school are using the software as part of a pilot program. Founder Neil Bush is the brother of Governor Jeb and President George Bush.

edit to add source:
https://progresoweekly.us/evidence-that-bush-family-profits-from-florida...

Keep it in the family. The Charter movement is a means to privatize schools and capture some of that public money for the elites.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cassiodorus's picture

@Lookout -- with the McGraw family, so that McGraw Hill could get rich selling test prep to the states.

So it goes back earlier than 2005.

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"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

snoopydawg's picture

@Lookout

Thanks for clarifying what NCLB hind was. I do remember the skuttlebutt with Neil Bush and the testing turd that got passed during the Shrub's administration. I thought he had started the ball rolling on charter schools because Obama had changed the name of what Bush had started? Or maybe I am just mis-rembering incorrectly.

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"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

Lookout's picture

@snoopydawg

but they've been around for awhile before him.

Charter schools were originally conceptualized by Ray Budde, a former teacher and principal, in 1974.

The concept caught on in the 1980s, when “A Nation at Risk,” the landmark 1983 study from President Ronald Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence in Education, and other education reports questioned the quality of American public schools.

Albert Shanker, who was then the president of the American Federation of Teachers, one of the two major national teachers’ unions, brought the charter school concept to a broader audience when he endorsed charter schools during a speech in 1988 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The first law allowing the establishment of charter schools was passed in Minnesota in 1991, and the first charter school opened in that state in 1992.

Some advocates view charter schools as one avenue for providing choices to parents seeking a better education for their children. Note that charter schools are different from other school choice programs such as vouchers and magnet schools.

Vouchers enable children in the public school system to attend a private school of their choice, whereas magnet schools are public schools with a special theme or curriculum.

Diane Ravitch is one of my favorite education writers. Here's an online discussion for tomorrow centered on Charters if anyone has an interest. Asking why dims are aligning with DeVos privatization plans. Most of us understand.
https://dianeravitch.net/2020/05/25/laura-chapman-why-does-the-center-fo...

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@gulfgal98

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We are so screwed.

@snoopydawg I can't remember which unqualified idiot was put in charge before that but there was one. Putting incompetents into cabinet and other high level positions goes back to at least Reagan, if not further back than that. Make government incompetent and you discredit it - so all the decades of screaming about incompetent government managers has indeed helped push the meme that "government is the problem" and not the Corporations that already run our government. It was all part of the plan and it worked.

Now we have the supremely and openly incompetent governance of Trump and his minions but they are nothing new under the sun, not at all. But it makes it easier for a dumbed down populace to say ALL government is worthless, which of course it now is in the fully sold out iteration we have today. And it also helps to get us to vote, one more damned time, for that supposed lesser evil and "competent" version, witness the calls for a return to normalcy once Trump is out of office... The same game, played over and over again. And just enough of us fall for it every damned time to keep their party going.

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10 users have voted.

Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

@The Liberal Moonbat we get told who we voted for. They don't actually count the votes. That would be an absurd way to run an oligarchy.

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11 users have voted.

@gulfgal98 .
vote for someone you like, even if you have to write in the name

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24 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

@gjohnsit Biggrin

I am long done with the duopoly.

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21 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

ovals49's picture

@gulfgal98

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13 users have voted.

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
Albert Einstein

@gulfgal98 when you look at his overall FP positions in the past 20 yrs, while he's made some major blunders, he shows himself to be generally less reflexively hawkish than Hillary or McCain wrt regime change interventions. Biden was against the surge in Afghan of 2009 (HRC in favor), and was against the stupid intervention w/Nato in Libya (Hillary again in favor).

He also was in favor of improved diplomatic relations w/Cuba under Obama. Trump of course, bc they were undertaken by Obama, has been trying to go back to the Cold War.

I'm not aware that he has backed or otherwise promoted Trump's unnecessary and dangerous withdrawal from 3 arms agreements with Russia, nor do I think he would likely favor a resumption of nuclear testing (none by the US since 1992) as some in the Trump nat'l security pipeline are rumored to want.

US relations with both Russia and China under Trump are worse than they were under Obama, which is a major stain on the Trump blotter in FP even if he hasn't started up a new regime change war, so far. He is just making the situation easier to slide into a dangerous military conflict with these two major powers, all while also rattling sabers against Iran and VZ. Trump is perfectly capable of rustling up a little military conflict with Iran or intervention in VZ if he thought it would enhance his current dismal re-elect prospects. What does he care about lives lost or cost or ethical/moral concerns. He's Donald Trump. And this is one of the major reasons why he is such a dangerous president, maybe the most dangerous in our history.

Trump has had to show the PTB that he is not Putin's puppet, leading to harsh actions against Russia to show he is not, actions he might not have otherwise undertaken. Biden is not tarred with the same pro-Kremlin brush, and so would be freer to undertake better relations.

Overall I would see Biden pursuing better, more stable FP than his boss did, and definitely better than what the reckless Don has offered and threatens to pursue.

This take is not meant to imply an endorsement. Let's see who he picks as VP, and also see whether Bernie and similar can move him to reason on a few big domestic issues. Biden can't afford to lose too many Berniecrats by being too stubbornly centrist, so it's in his best political interest to be flexible. And the times call for it, which likely hasn't escaped his attention.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@wokkamile

The real Biden has trouble deciding which sock to put on first.

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1 user has voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

RantingRooster's picture

bite the bullet, and vote 3rd party. Green, communist, who ever, just not a republican or a democrat. I have no delusions they will win, but, it proves to both republican and democrats, we are fed up, if you "want" our votes offer us something to vote for, because voting against someone hasn't worked out for us so well.

Yes, we must be willing to light the house on fire, and watch it burn, figuratively speaking of course.

Yes, it effectively means another 4 more years of Trump. But then he is gone. We know what to expect, cruelty and vindictiveness, tax cuts for the rich. But is that not also what we can expect from Biden? However, Biden will be a lot more insidious about it, ie stab us in the back when we least expect it.

Just like Obama did with the public option that magically disappeared once he got elected.

We can not keep doing the same thing, choosing between two parties that don't represent anyone other that the top 10% of income earners, as the legislation they actually pass, only really benefits the top 10% of income earners. Dash 1

We gotta bite the bullet and over turn the apple cart, and watch it burn. Bomb

Drinks

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27 users have voted.

"Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance;" - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Shahryar's picture

@RantingRooster

if you "want" our votes offer us something to vote for, because voting against someone hasn't worked out for us so well

they'd just yell at us again. It's their particular mental deficiency, their blind spot.

Then again, others have pointed out (true or not) that the Dems don't actually care if they win.

My position is not that you shouldn't vote for Biden, it's that it doesn't matter. Dem leaders don't care if Trump wins, so it's not like you'll be sticking it to them by withholding your vote - Caitlin Johnstone

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RantingRooster's picture

@Shahryar @Shahryar and it really doesn't matter what they do, it's what we do. Are we willing to bite the bullet and stop voting for these people? I'm just saying we can't continue doing the same thing over and over and hoping for change, it hasn't worked, so something, has to change. I'm saying it is we who have to change our voting, assuming one is going to continue the electoral political route.

It might take a couple elections to get the "message" across, we ain't voting for bullshit Democrats that don't represent us, and we will burn the house down to prove it. (metaphorically speaking of course)

But until we are willing to burn the house down, which threatens their hold on power, nothing will change.

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11 users have voted.

"Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance;" - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

his one and only chance at being President is if Donald Trump self-destructs and if the winning margin doesn't care much about who the real Joe Biden is.

Except Trump self-destructs on nearly a daily basis -- gets away with it because there is no strong opposition.

If there were someone else -- a sentient being, that can speak English and in complete sentences, with generic charisma, and a calm, non-fearing mongering demeanor as the nominee for a party with ballot access in all fifty states -- that person would win. As it is, there is no such candidate and no such political party.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Marie

If there were someone else -- a sentient being, that can speak English and in complete sentences, with generic charisma, and a calm, non-fearing mongering demeanor as the nominee for a party with ballot access in all fifty states -- that person would win.

Read: Barack "No Drama" Obama.

And we know how that turned out!

Diablo

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19 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides @thanatokephaloides after eight years of GWB. If it had been Hillary, she too would have won the general. (Although she probably would have only lasted for four years.)

I was speaking of the bar for a third party candidate in 2020, and how it's never been this low.

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13 users have voted.

@Marie this cycle for a viable 3d party candidate who can make much of a dent in the two-party system. Perot was the last "successful" 3d party candidate, and he had several months of favorable national pub, via Larry King, before he got in with plenty of time to spare.

It's almost June now, and there is no one of national stature who could immediately command national media attention, to head up any 3d party effort. Jesse Ventura comes the closest, and unlike the relatively fresh-faced Perot, Jesse is rather yesterday's news, and might not want to become even more hated than Ralph Nader for enabling Trump.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@Marie And if that becomes the primary basis for enough votes so that Biden can carry the swing states, then Trump will lose. Otherwise Trump will win.

It's not like there's a whole lot anyone with a conscience can do about how that works, though. It's not, for instance, like Bernie Sanders and AOC can create a fantasy Joe Biden that will entice people into voting for the real Joe Biden based on the fantasy one's supposed merits.

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21 users have voted.

"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

@Cassiodorus factors in this election are this: The reality is enough voters (per nearly all recent polling) find the prospect of another 4 yrs of Trump as unacceptable and they won't care much whether they are being sold a fantasy version of Joe Biden if he is the means through which they can remove Emperor Nero Trump who has fiddled while watching both the Plague and a Second Great Depression descend upon the land.

Sorry folks, but few out there among the Great Unwashed will be carefully studying, scrutinizing and otherwise giving a flip about Joe's past political record, awful votes and decisions, and mussing of women's hair. What's already there in the Oval Office is far worse.

He basically just needs to get to Election Day with a pulse and he stands a better than fair chance of winning, and maybe by enough to make it quite difficult for Trump to argue it was a rigged election, which many fear is Donald's Plan B to stay in power.

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1 user has voted.
Cassiodorus's picture

@wokkamile Or it might not. Biden is a gaffe factory. If Trump can manipulate the election so that it becomes a referendum on Biden, then he's won. If it becomes a referendum on Trump, then he's lost. It's not really up to me to make one outcome or the other happen.

As for Trump being "far worse" than Biden, there really isn't much of any substance to such proclamations, and there probably can't be. Comparing Biden with Trump is comparing a reality of bad right now (with the help of a bad Congress) with a speculation about what someone known for nearly 50 years of bad judgment might do if he were in the position of "he who is bad right now." The most solid argument in promoting such a comparison might be "you might take a chance on Biden. You've already seen how bad Trump is."

An opposing argument might be: "Trump and Biden are mostly the same, except that Trump comes off as an asshole, which is mainly why Biden supporters don't like him. Biden would be nearly as bad as Trump, but he wouldn't appear to be an asshole, and so they would like him more." There is more credibility to that argument than there is to "Trump is far worse than Biden," because most of Trump's power emanates from the fact that he is tolerated by a rather well-consolidated ruling class in America and because he's to a significant extent following said ruling class's playbook. Or let me put it this way: if Trump were NOT tolerated by the American ruling class, and if he were NOT following their playbook, he would have far less power than what he has now.

Biden is obviously a choice of that same ruling class; he is not where he is because he was enormously popular before half a dozen candidates dropped out and endorsed him, nor because he's a wonderful campaigner, nor because he has a meaningful campaign infrastructure, nor because people love his nonstop gaffes. He is where he is because the ruling class chose him.

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13 users have voted.

"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

@Cassiodorus plenty of regular people -- Dem voters who had plenty of choices -- willingly followed their lead. And rather quickly and easily fell in line. So much so that the primary contest was really not in doubt after SupTues. I would put more emphasis on the voters being responsible. The ruling class didn't force the Dem masses to drink the water -- the PTB merely pointed the way.

Obviously, there is much speculation involved when we contemplate how a nominee would govern as president. I offered both an objective assessment and a somewhat positive pov on that, and I figure if others can speculate to the applause of the crowd about how awful he would be, not much different than Trump in some key areas, I too can offer my speculative version of a President Biden.

Historically, some Dem nominees who went on to get elected were famously underestimated or misunderstood. In 1932, as FDR ran on a balanced budget platform in the midst of the Great Depression, there was speculation, embarrassing in hindsight, to the effect that the people had just nominated and elected a lightweight second-rater who would barely be able to keep his head above water trying to govern as president. These pundits were wrong. In 1960, there was consternation among the left and some in the center MSM that JFK and Nixon were really not much different in their political views. They too were badly mistaken.

In 1976, somewhat the opposite happened, iirc -- Jimmy Carter was a bit overrated coming in, and ended up falling short of expectations. Ditto on a larger scale for the overrated, misunderstood and underachieving Hope and Change Obama in 2008, who spent 8 yrs in office mostly spending all his political capital on enacting minor changes at the margins.

Point being, we just can't say for sure how nominee X will turn out. But in the current instance, my betting guess is that this time people will prefer some uncertainty that offers change over the certainty of the disastrous status quo.

On the Biden vs Trump direct comparisons, it would take a longer essay to spell it all out, and I am too lazy and disorganized. It does however turn largely on whether one views DT as such a threat to democracy and to life on the planet that such considerations far outweigh Biden's many flaws, which I do, or whether, from particularly a left perspective, you see Biden as so unworthy, so much a puppet of the corporate PTB that you overlook or downplay the danger Trump poses and end up creating a badly skewed, false equivalency. On the former pov, Chomsky calls Trump "a sociopathic megalomaniac". Sounds about right.

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2 users have voted.
Cassiodorus's picture

@wokkamile

Dem voters who had plenty of choices

There were two choices for most of them: Biden, or Sanders. Before any of the droppings-out and endorsements, Biden had a coherent path to victory in one, and only one, state: South Carolina. They chose Biden because the mass media persuaded them that Biden was the "safe" candidate to beat Donald Trump. And the mass media are owned by America's club of power elites.

But in the current instance, my betting guess is that this time people will prefer some uncertainty that offers change

But Joe Biden does not offer change. He told the plutocrats that if he were elected everything would stay the same.

you see Biden as so unworthy, so much a puppet of the corporate PTB that you overlook or downplay the danger Trump poses and end up creating a badly skewed, false equivalency.

It isn't just me who sees Joe Biden as part and parcel of the ruling elites; it's his record of nearly fifty years since he became a Senator from Delaware. Would you like to review that record in detail?

And there's a lot of overlap between the "danger Trump poses" and the danger Biden poses, but Biden supporters don't want to talk about who Biden is because to do so would disturb their misrepresentations of both Trump and Biden. We can go over those in detail if you would like, as well.

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12 users have voted.

"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

@Cassiodorus m @Cassiodorus say this

They chose Biden because the mass media persuaded them that Biden was the "safe" candidate to beat Donald Trump. And the mass media are owned by America's club of power elites.

you help me make my point, which was that ultimately it was the voters' decision to pick someone they thought or were told would be the better candidate to oust Trump. No one held a gun to voters' heads and forced them to vote that way. A lot of media types gave favorable coverage to Liz Warren -- how did that work out, in any primary state?

Sometimes the correct answer is not always the Ruling Elite/MIC/Deep State/PTB. It's the voters.

In the 2016 cycle, there was a much stronger argument for the Party PTB as the best answer. Not this time. Mainstream voters and Bernie's failure to close the deal are the better answers.

But Joe Biden does not offer change. He told the plutocrats that if he were elected everything would stay the same.

First that quote came well before the current virus/economic crisis, iirc. Doubt if that reflects his current mindset. In any case, there should be plenty of opportunity to question him and see if he still stands by it. Second, Joe Biden as the Dem nominee trying to unseat Trump by itself represents change, and voters perceive it as such even if his type of change comes heavily discounted from a policy pov. This is true in a few policy areas (fed court picks, climate change to name two areas) and from a personal perspective (offering sanity, even of the very clearly aging variety, vs insanity; stability in governing vs recklessness and childish personal pique).

As for Biden's record, it is what it is, but I thought it appropriate to point out, as others were going a bit off the rails about his FP, a couple of places in that area where he did act/advise responsibly, while others like Hillary reflexively argued for the hawkish position. The point there isn't to show how Biden is really Tulsi's twin on FP, but to show he may not be as bad as Hillary or McCain, and those two instances, while not equaling the import of his stupid Iraq vote, do nevertheless count in the overall evaluation and seem to suggest he can bring good reasoning to the matter.

As for any other aspect of his record, again this will matter little to nearly all voters. He is this cycle's change agent, as improbable as that sounds, and he is what he is, in a sorta depressing Humphrey in 1968 way. Voters won't care about what he did 25 yrs ago with A Hill or the crime bill as they contemplate getting rid of Donald Trump.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wokkamile never mind the power behind the curtain, constantly adjusting and readjusting the menu choices.

you help me make my point, which was that ultimately it was the voters' decision to pick someone they thought or were told would be the better candidate to oust Trump. No one held a gun to voters' heads and forced them to vote that way.

If you want to believe that nobody is being manipulated in this election cycle, that's your choice.

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11 users have voted.

"There is no good future for the US if neoliberalism, and neoliberal elites, continue to rule." -- Ian Welsh

@Cassiodorus that elections involve considerable manipulation of public opinion, or great attempts in that direction. Labeling, branding, messaging, marketing, constant advertising, and throw in the MSM skewing and shading stories according to their political preference. Ike likened it way back in the day to a candidate being sold like a box of cornflakes.

Yes, all this happens and in important part bc candidates' media hires know that at the end of the day most voters are not going to spend hours at the kitchen table pouring over the details of a candidate's platform and doing a careful point by point comparison of the other candidate's platform positions, let alone doing any deep reasoning on the ramifications of a candidate's FP views. They aren't going to do this, aren't inclined remotely to do this, and so need some additional assistance in making their selection, for a significant number at least.

And at the end of this long, expensive process played out on cable and YT advertisements, it's still the voter who decides which box he'll pick as he walks down the cereal aisle.

Enjoyed the conversation and thx for starting this thread.

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1 user has voted.

@wokkamile
voters had a choice between the two most disliked candidates in America. Some polls suggest Biden generates less enthusiasm than Clinton. Please stop blaming American voters for this mess.

Biden won because all the neo-liberals dropped out apparently after phone calls from Obama, while Warren stayed in apparently hoping to be Biden's VP. If Warren had dropped out along with the others there is a very good chance Sanders would have won Texas and almost certainly Massachusetts.

It isn't who decides which box to check. It's who decides the names next to the boxes.

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6 users have voted.
Dawn's Meta's picture

"Adults in the Room" by former Greek finance minister (162 days) Yanis Verofaukis. So much of this thread reminds me of what the Greek people have undergone and the changes this one man fought for.

The inertia and inability of banks, the IMF, the EC and others to frankly discuss what to do with a bankrupt and poor nation, pushed in that direction by "austerity" and other crushing measures under the guise of free and fair elections, is so much a mirror for us to look at.

I cringe.

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20 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

but mostly, they lecture us. I would really like to know the people, the demographics of the population that find inspiration in Joe Biden. He has a long record of deflecting the needs of people like us, but lays claim to democratic reforms of the past as if he were part of them (and as if he believes it himself). If this is all campaign tactics, they suck. 3rd party, write in, sit it out. What other choice is there?

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20 users have voted.
Granma's picture

@Snode She sees him as grandfatherly, thinks he will heal the country. So she tells me. Nothing I say seems to move her from that. She is poor, married, in her 50s. Gets her news from MSNBC and CNN she says. She was for Biden from the beginning, 2nd choice was Warren.

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12 users have voted.
econoclast's picture

excellent post about world-gunner joe
i have voted in 32 presidential elections
although i am in decent health, this will be my last, and i'm writing in poltergeist's name
last fall i submitted my letter of resignation as a lifelong democrat:

Democratic party:
I cannot believe I am taking the time and trouble to write this (which implies that I care), but not doing so feels like a loose end.

From today's Huffpost:
"Top brass at the DNC opposed the climate debate from the get-go, fearing it could sow discord in the base and hamper the eventual nominee in the general election." Well, national DNC, you've achieved it: you've sowed discord big time.

In the wake of the DNC's refusal to hold a proper debate on the #1 issue of our time — manmade (gender intentional) global climate catastrophe — I hereby announce that, after a run of 61 years of having had anything to do with the Democratic party (including working for a Democrat governor), I'm done. For the rest of my life I will have nothing to do with this party of corrupted, corporatized, and coopted partisan hacks.

It was bad enough that the party was taken over by the Clinton crime family and, before that, weakened by Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson. Bad enough that good people were betrayed by Wall Street darling Hussein Oreobama. Bad enough that good people suffered the rule of über-hacks such as Donna Brazile and the rancid Debby Wasserman Schultz. Bad enough that so many people can seriously vote for that blowhard advocate of permanent war, Joe Biden. Bad enough that not one Democrat leader gets it why the Oval Office is occupied by the narcissist in chief. Bad enough that I can almost count on one hand the few Democrats I like (that is, who represent my values): Jeff Merkley, Jay Inslee, Earl Blumenauer, Barbara Lee, Ilhan Omar, Alexandra Ocasio Cortes, Rashida Tlaib and Tulsi Gabbard. But that's what it has come down to, the Peter Finch rule: I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!

The national and state parties have sold the soul of the Democratic Party: The New Deal and any resemblance to it.

I, at age 84, stand with the Sunrise Movement, The Children's Trust and Kelsey Juliana v. USA (possibly the most momentous court case of my lifetime).
I'm done, bye bye.

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snoopydawg's picture

I hope they read it and take heart. I am seeing lots of people telling them that on my Twitter feed. "Where else are you going to go?" just shows that they have not been paying attention when the number of people who don't vote are more than those who are still voting for either party. So yeah people do have somewhere else to go.

This cracked me up.

Wall Street darling Hussein Oreobama

Thanks!!

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12 users have voted.

"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"