Kickback: The payment of something of value to a recipient as compensation or reward for providing favorable treatment to another party.
A kickback in the form of money, gifts, credit, or anything of value may be viewed as a corrupt practice that interferes with an employee or official’s ability to make unbiased decisions. - Investopedia
The Fall of Ramadi is becoming a game-changer. Not for the defeat itself, but for the response. In particular, the military offensive to retake Ramadi.
The most obvious element of how things have changed is the composition of the Baghdad army.
to think Bernie loses the general election. Comparing Bernie in 2016 to McGovern in 1972, saying Bernie loses like George did is a bit of a stretch. One should remember that the 1972 Democratic primary was a 4 man race, Humphrey [4.1 million], Wallace [3.7] & Muskie [1.8] got 9.6 million votes to McGoverns 4 million. Humphrey would have been the nominee on the basis of the popular primary vote.
If Hillary Clinton is a true liberal, as Markos Moulitsas has so definitively asserted, then it creates a framework for healing the wounds that have divided the Democratic Party.
At the same time, it stands to reason that Hillary Clinton’s refusal to acknowledge the growing rift between party members creates an almost insurmountable obstacle. As is common in all sick families, a problem that isn’t acknowledged can’t be cured. And there are many grievances to be healed.
It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. .
We thought we were just letting a friend crash at the house for a few days; we ended up with a family of hillbillies who moved in forever, sleeping nine to a bed and building a meth lab on the front lawn - Matt Taibi
I just can't, not no more, raise no, not even a whisper, of a woody, for Memorial Day.
Leading up to the 1968 Tet Offensive, the Pentagon tried to convince the American public that it was winning the war.
General Bruce Palmer, Jr., one of Westmoreland's three Field Force commanders, claimed that "the Viet Cong has been defeated" and that "He can't get food and he can't recruit. He has been forced to change his strategy from trying to control the people on the coast to trying to survive in the mountains."
One of the largest humanitarian dramas on the planet is playing out in the waters off the coast of Libya. Thousands upon thousands of desperate refugees are risking their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean, and many of them aren't making it.
Every now and then one of our "representative" leaders lets the mask slip and Americans get a peek at the monster behind the mask. The monsters that represent us are well-known elsewhere in the world by the people who are variously invaded, bombed, incinerated by flying death robots, disappeared, held in gulags, tortured, sanctioned, starved, treated to heaping helpings of depleted uranium, attacked with banned weapons like white phosphorus, brutalized by authoritarian dictators and puppets that our monsters support with weapons Made in America(tm). I could go on, but you get the picture.
When Markos Moulitsas informed members of the Daily Kos that Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was “inevitable” the response from Democratic supporters was predictable. Traditional progressives -- understanding that anointed candidates are the antithesis of Democracy -- slammed their collective feet on the brakes. The last thing they wanted was another untrustworthy neo-liberal politician leading the Democratic Party.
As one Democratic Underground member noted:
Do you ever get the feeling that the mainstream news you receive online is filtered? That the whole story is not coming through? That the narrative is biased and propagandized? That the inconvenient truths are suppressed?
How do you feel when entire news stories are concocted to manipulate you politically? Reuters is usually behind the most egregious lies written at geopolitical levels. For example, on April 28, 2015 it was reported that a US cargo ship was by seized by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz and the ship was fired upon by Iran. Every aspect of that headline was a context-free lie. But within minutes it was on all the US news channels and raging across the hate-radio nation, embellished by even more lies.
(For context, the US Navy and Coast Guard stop and board an average of 50 ships per month in the Strait of Hormuz; Iran about 30. It's a non-story about a routine daily event. Furthermore, the ship involved was not a US cargo ship or connected to the US in any way. The issue was a legal one related to past-due payments for passage. However, most Americans currently believe that Iran attacked a US ship. Who benefits from reinforcing the paranoid notion that Iran is a terrorist nation and blocking any movement toward peaceful diplomacy and normalcy? Which military/industry profit-pumps and congressional corporate-poodles want Americans to believe such dangerous lies? Is the new congressional budget sitting on the President's desk right now, complete with a massive demand for increased war spending? What timing! This your Neocon-infested pseudo-government at work.)
Every government has a propaganda hose that they use on their people to a greater or lesser extent. Educated and informed citizens anywhere can find alternative news sources and incorporate the information into their critical analysis of world events. The blast of corporate-generated news Americans endure every day reflects deliberate and sanctioned government propaganda. During critical national issues, enabling propaganda is endlessly spewed in the US by such CIA mouthpieces as the New York Times. (Waves to war-crimes enabler, Judith Miller.) The media monopolies follow suit with so-called analysis, using false equivalence and spoken lies to manipulate the audience. They unleash a firehose of blatant suppression in the US, where . As a result, Americans grow dumber month over month, year over year.
And then, they vote.
In my first diary in this series, I noted how far removed most of us in the United States are from those who serve in our armed forces. The number of Americans who have a close family member who is or has served in the military has steadily decreased over the last several decades from 75% to around 33%.
Somebody has been screwing up. We Americans are in the midst of some serious problems - endless wars, an endless cycle of economic depressions, recessions and panics and the failure to address climate change (except in giving lip service) which has the potential to make the planet uninhabitable by humans, just to mention a few of the screwups of the Somebodies.
You might ask, how did these Somebodies manage to get into a position to screw up so badly and why are they still in place?
Franklin D. Roosevelt at his first inaugural address encouraged Americans to stand up to that “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
It may have taken a few more generations, but America finally lost the war against that “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror".
In Part1 of this series, I noted how far removed most of us in the United States are from those who serve in our armed forces. The number of Americans who have a close family member who is or has served in the military has steadily decreased over the last several decades from 75% to around 33%.
The Cooperative Global Strategy to marginalize US influence in the world has been in place since, at least, 2003 — following the criminally spurious US attack on Iraq, which killed more than a million innocent civilians and destabilized the entire Middle East.
Most likely, the Strategy to marginalize the US first came into existence in the late 1990s, after the "Project for a New American Century" Neocon manifesto — America's Mein Kampf — was published. I first became aware of the strategy in 2005, working the FOREX trading desk during the Asian and London markets. It was there that I fully understood the extraordinary privilege that a nation has when its currency is the Reserve Currency for world trade. I saw how that privilege could be used and abused to bully the rest of the world both economically and militarily. (Don't even get me started on what the NSA did to the psyche of the world, which thoroughly ended any future the US might have as a global power.)
Is it possible to create an effective political movement using a shared leadership platform?
The answer is an unequivocal, yes.
In fact, many business models and government programs are now embedding a shared leadership paradigm into future plans because it increases accountability and promotes employ ownership. Cooperative environments simply tend to facilitate productivity better than business models plagued by incessant discord.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are our longest and third longest duration wars for the United States and yet few Americans have been personally touched by them. While our second longest war, Viet Nam, was fought with draftees, these two current wars are being fought using a very scaled down, all volunteer military.
NOTE: This is the first in a series of articles that will lay out an action plan for uniting the populist movement.
The Political Landscape
To accurately gauge the efficacy of the Democratic Party base as a political entity, you need to understand how deeply compromised its members are by “magical” thinking.
Here's a quick question: What was the progressive community outraged about last week? How about last month?
I'm not talking about real issues, like inequality or the Forever War we are engaged in.
I'm talking about the never-ending serious of petty outrages that the online community loves and can't do without. You know what I'm talking about.
It's hard to get too excited about national electoral politics right now. At the moment it doesn't seem like much of an avenue for the sort of radical change that is needed to make the political system work for the 99% again. The game is rigged, the 1% control the parties and through the parties and a compliant corporate media, the choices available to the 99%.
Could the 99% take back the political system, purge the money power from it and flush out the politicians that form the "coalition of the bribed?"
It has been over two years since the Occupy Movement was brutally destroyed by a coordinated national effort led by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Since that time, much documentation has been released under the Freedom of Information Act.