Night of the Hollow Men: Notes From the Democrat Convention
Jeffrey St Clair, Counterpunch, Jul 28 2016
- Since my co-editor Joshua Frank prefers to go surfing rather than do his reportorial duty and watch the DNC Convention from gavel-to-gavel, he’s telling me that I have to write another account of tonight’s proceedings. I’m not sure I’m up to it ‘frankly.’ What would Hunter Thompson do? Oh, yes, he would get his body and mind in fighting form by having breakfast. I guess I’ll follow the good Doctor’s example: “Four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crêpes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned-beef hash with diced chilies, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of key lime pie, two margaritas and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert.” All to be consumed while naked. Snarf! Sniff! Belch! ALRIGHT! I’m primed. Bring on Biden!
- Margie Kidder was one of Hunter Thompson’s best friends. I asked her if this menu remotely resembled his real appetites. Margie told me that she and Hunter were together during the 1984 Democrat Convention in San Francisco, where his main obsession was in scoring some cocaine to get him juiced for covering the tedium of the convention. Margie told me:
Here’s what Hunter would do. He believed firmly in getting your cocaine first, which at that convention involved spending a lot of time with a gay friend of mine he referred to in his writing as “the bowl of fruit.” Then you got your drinks lined up, and we would sit and watch the TV in the press room. I kept insisting on going out onto the floor to interview what often turned out to be ex-lovers of mine, who I couldn’t really quote for obvious reasons. He was disgusted with me. At one point, back at the St Francis hotel, Hunter screamed down the hall at me: “You are a political neophyte! You are a dangerous woman!” Then he went off to a party at Ann Getty’s house or apartment and called her a fascist dyke and punched a hole in her living room wall and Pat Caddell (the Democrat pollster) and I had to race over with my trans driver Greta and our 1960s Cadillac convertible loaned to me by the gay community, and rescue Hunter from the well-dressed and horrified Democrats. Patrick Leahy thought he was funny. Few other Democrats did. But then Leahy often rode around with us in that Cadillac.
- Terry McAuliffe, the Clinton’s former BFF (second now to Elizabeth Warren), mentor to Tim Kaine in the art of political grifting and current governor of Virginia, has an ego the size of Trump Tower. McAuliffe knows all of the Clintons secrets. He knows what they think and how they deal. McAuliffe gave an early morning interview to Politico, where he confided to the reporter that Hillary was only pretending to oppose the TPP to neuter one of Bernie Sanders’s main campaign themes. The governor assured the reporter that after the election Hillary would once again support the job-killing trade pact with a few cosmetic adjustments. The McAuliffe Leak exposed the worst kept secret in Washington.
- Bill O’Reilly did his best last night to calm a perplexed nation, still reeling from Michelle Obama’s allegation that slaves had built the White House, which had not been vetted by the Texas School Book Commission. Yes, it’s true, O’Reilly told his anxious viewers, but relax; the slave construction workers were in fact “well-fed and had decent lodgings, provided by the government.” With these ameliorating words from a professional historian, Fox Nation slept soundly.
- A few days ago, Michael Moore hauled himself like a stranded walrus onto the set of the Bill Maher Show, where he predicted that Trump was going to win in the fall. Those of us who know Michael Moore knew that this was a con, a scare tactic to drive potential Greens, Libertarians or stay-at-home anarchists to vote for HRC. Michael Moore does this every general election. Flirts with a Third Party candidate, then folds. He has previously confessed his obsession with Hillary, an obsession that borders on the sexual. In his book, Downsize This!, Moore confessed his “forbidden love” for Hillary, describing her as “one hot shitkickin’ feminist babe.” Now into my inbox lands a message from Moore under the subject heading: “Add Your Name?” How quaint, I thought, I didn’t think we’d been on speaking terms since his deplorable betrayal of Nader in 2004. I was crushed to discover that this was actually a fundraising letter for MoveOn.org, imploring me to join with Moore and Lena “friggin‘” Dunham to “do everything we can to stop Trump.” Sicko, indeed.
- Trump is a carnival barker of bullshit. This morning at his press conference in Scranton, he tweaked Clinton by calling on the Russian hackers to release her emails. The reaction was seismic. Trump is inviting a foreign nation to spy on Pindostan! Trump is calling for an enemy of Pindostan to interfere in the Pindosi election! Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!
- The Democrats reacted with predictable hysterics, calling Trump’s remarks “treasonous,” which is ridiculous. What Trump actually said was that “if” Russia did in fact hack into Hillary’s email account, then they should release the emails, especially the 30,000 emails that her lawyers deleted AFTER they were subpoenaed.
- Shortly after offending all of the foreign policy elites in both parties with his remarks on Russia, Trump broke with Republican orthodoxy again by announcing that he would support a $10 an hour minimum wage. Mike Pence, who opposing any minimum wage, must be having a hard time keeping up with the new talking points. The liberals, of course, reflexively denounced Trump’s plan as “incoherent.” But it is one more sign that Trump is trying to outflank Hilary on a range of issues. Fortunately for him, he doesn’t have to veer his Rolls that far to get to the left of Clinton.
- Pindostan is shocked! Shocked, I tell you!! That any government might want to interfere in Pindosi elections! It is morally wrong! It violates international law! It’s the kind of action that violates every sacred principle of Democrat governments! (See Bill Blum, see Zoltan Grossman.)
- In their quest to ensure a fully-informed Pindosi electorate, the Russian hackers should also release Trump’s tax returns and the text of Hillary’s Goldman Sachs speeches.
- The neoliberal ticket is now consecrated. The nomination of the unapologetically pro-fast track, pro-TPP Tim Kaine approved without objection. Change (of positions) you can believe in. Jelle Versieren told me:
At least he’s not Putin! ominating Putin would definitely be worse!
- Hillary’s new BFF, Elizabeth Warren, refused to say whether Tim Kaine was the “right pick” for the Democrat Party. Instead Warren mumbled:
He’s a good man, he has a good heart, and he has a lot of experiences. I think he is going to be a valuable member of the team for Sec Clinton, and a valuable member of the team when she is POTUS.
- New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio is now on stage. Wonder if he’ll do a reprise of his “C P Time” routine as a way to win back some of those Trump voters in western Pennsylvania?
- Bernie Sanders hasn’t left the building with the Sandernistas. He gave a speech this morning to the Texas delegation, where he called Trump the “worst candidate in modern history.” If that’s true, what are they scared of? The election should be a cakewalk.
- Almost every speaker on stage today has repeated the phrase “scary Donald Trump.” They are working overtime to scrub away the image of Madeleine Albright from last night, which caused so many Democrat children to have a sleepless night.
- Jesse Jackson is a hollow shell of his former self. Once one of the most electrifying speakers of our time, he now is thoroughly pacified and house trained. He can’t really believe what he is saying about the woman who called black teenagers “super-predators”? What does he really mean when he says that you can “trust” the woman who pushed for the destruction of welfare that further impoverished the lives of poor black mothers and their children? “Hillary Time? Hope Time?” Jackson couldn’t even look at the camera when he wrenched out those tortured phrases. If Jackson wasn’t embarrassed for that speech, I was on his behalf. Once he was a rebel against the System. Now he is a hired gun for the elites.
- Who is up for a drinking game during Tim Kaine’s speech!? One shot of mezcal for every formerly long-held position that Kaine’s reverses himself on tonight. If you don’t pass out, then congratulations, you are probably one of Hunter Thompson’s illegitimate children…
- The Clinton campaign is saturating the airwaves with a commercial featuring a montage of some of Trump’s most offensive remarks with shocked children looking on. In fact, most children probably watched few if any of Trump’s heresies before they saw all of them at once in Hillary’s commercial. Is it really about protecting the kids, Hillary?
- Harry Reid and his wife just shuffled on stage wearing sunglasses they must have picked up at the House of Blues in Vegas. This is probably the last time we’ll see Harry Reid at one of these things. I like Harry Reid. I don’t know why. If I thought hard about it, I probably wouldn’t. But I do. He’s a former boxer and is still a fighter, even if he is so often punching the wrong targets. Alex and I interviewed him about 10 years ago. He was totally unpolished and unvarnished. We could have been talking to somebody in a bar. In fact, we were talking to somebody in a bar. Reid stood up to the nuclear lobby and won. He single-handedly kept nuclear waste out of Yucca mountain. You won’t see his kind in the future Democrat Party of pre-packaged Westworld-like clones.
- The ambitious Lt-Gov of California Gavin Newsom just praised the “sunny optimism” of Ronald Reagan, specifically referencing the Gipper’s “tear down that Wall” speech, one of the most rabid rants of the Cold War era.
- The Boho Gov of California Jerry Brown, proponent of fracking and oil drilling, is who the DNC picks to speak about climate change? Is Bill McKibben committing seppuku? One fracker endorsing the environmental bona fides of a ticket of two frackers. Give them points for consistency. Is Brown auditioning for Secretary of Interior or the board of Exxon. Is there a difference? Why did the Democrats feel as if they could send out Jerry Brown to talk about global warming? Because Gang Green is already “all in” for Hillary and the DNC thought they could stick it right in their face with impunity (they’d be right).
- This gun violence sequence is unfolding like a flashback to Death Night at the Republican convention.
- There’s Chief Charles Ramsey, the former police commission for Washington, talking about gun violence and the “war on cops.” You remember Ramsey don’t you? He’s the man who instituted traffic checkpoints in largely black sections of DC where information on detained motorists who were committing crimes was entered into a mass police database. Ramsey also ordered the illegal mass arrests of more than 700 protesters (perhaps even one of you) in Pershing Park during the World Bank and IMF protests in 2000. The city of DC was ordered to pay more than $8 million in fines as compensation for this trampling of civil rights. So much for the Constitution. Perhaps Hillary is auditioning Ramsey for the next Secretary of Homeland Security. Do you feel more secure?
- Cpt Mark Kelly, Space Cowboy, just praised the “awesome extent of Pindosi power and capability” that engineered the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The Democrats are doubling down on the Iraq War.
- Naturally, Commander Kelly’s homily to the Iraq War is followed by a group sing of ‘What the World Needs Now’ as a statement against gun violence! Maybe Yoko denied them the rights to ‘Give Peace a Chance?’ No matter which way you turn people are living in an Alt Reality.
- In a strange cinematic interlude, the big screen behind the stage just aired a surreal film warning that Trump couldn’t be trusted with the “nuclear button”, which was partially narrated by … the nuclear bomber himself, Harry Truman!
- Leon Panetta, the CIA’s master of drones, is being shouted down with “No war, No drone” chants, most of them coming from the Oregon and Washington state delegations. Play on, Sandernistas!
- Leon Panetta snivelling about Russian hacking is the best laugh of the night. Didn’t his own hackers, working with their cohorts in Mossad, unleash the malicious Stuxnet worm on Iran?
- The floor managers are in crisis mode. They have given all of the delegates on the floor “Stronger Pindostan” placards which they are waving with patriotic vigor and have them shouting “Pindostan! Pindostan!” to drown out the anti-war protesters. Did they import these people from the Trump rally in Scranton? They cut the lights to the anti-war protesters section, and they responded with their Flashlight apps on their cellphones. Be prepared, people!
- Are they arresting and waterboarding the protesters in the Oregon and Washington delegations now before Biden and Obama speak? Please text home!
- Right on cue, Rachel Maddow denounced what another MS-DNC hack called the Lunatic Left for heckling Leon Panetta, director of the CIA’s remote control killing program. “It made no sense,” she said. Which means it must have been impeccably timed.
- And now an important message on decency, justice and morality by Joe Biden, the man who betrayed Anita Hill and wrote the Clinton Crime Bill.
- Did they run the Biden speech through the plagiarism software? They should make sure to use the UK edition.
- For the Democrats, the only man on Earth scarier than Donald Trump is Vladimir Putin, who Biden seems to believe is the Dr Moriarty of Moscow.
- Introducing Michael Bloomberg to present the Billionaire Seal of Approval to Ms Hillary Clinton!
- Bloomberg: “We don’t need a bomb thrower as president.” Apparently, we need another drone launcher, instead!
- Leave it to Bloomberg to give the most coherent indictment of Trump. There’s no hate quite as pure as that between rival billionaires.
- Re Lenny Kravatz: They seem to be alternating the Love Songs with the War Speeches.
- Get the mezcal out, here comes Citizen Kaine. Will he embrace his inner neoliberal? Or make a false confession about his sudden epiphanies on trade, bank regulation, the death penalty, abortion, and collective bargaining rights?
- Tim Kaine is off to a halting start. Perhaps they should have had Kaine on at 3 pm? He has a goofy quality that would be endearing in a TV weather personality.
- If Hillary and Kaine are elected, will Toni Morrison dub Kaine the first Hispanic VP because he spoke some snatches of Spanish tonight?
- Tim Kaine, the Jesuit Missionary, talked about witnessing the horrors of the Honduran dictatorship without mentioning that it and its death squads were entirely supported by the Pindosi government and that the same generals were put back into power in a coup supported by Hillary Clinton!
- Tim Kaine looks like he honed his rhetorical chops by watching home videos of Mr Roger’s Neighborhood. Did the Clintons ever see him give a speech or did they just take Terry McAuliffe’s word for it? Nothing against the great Fred Rogers, of course.
- Kaine, the Wall Street bag man, quoting John McCain’s economic advisor for the 2008 campaign as an expert witness is probably not the most compelling testimonial against Trump.
- Obama enters to the banal mewling of Bono! How apt. At least he didn’t profane James Brown or Smokey Robinson.
- Obama may have been impotent to stop the killing of the kids at Newtown or the church members in Charleston. But he had complete authority to stop the killing of children, doctors, nurses, and wedding parties in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan killed by his drone strikes.
- Optimism is the word from the O Man, which means things must be much worse than we think.
- With a smile on his face, Obama claims “gay marriage” as a victory on his resume, even though he opposed it.
- Obama: “There are pockets of the country that never recovered from factory closings.” Pockets? Those pockets are big enough to shoplift the Great Lakes.
- Now Obama is quoting Reagan. Truman and Reagan have been quoted more frequently than any other figures at this convention. In fact, Obama’s speech is played in the key of Reagan. He has said that he sees himself as a “transitional figure” like, yes, Reagan. He has exceeded beyond his expectations.
- Obama just said Hillary has been caricatured by some on the Left. I assume he’s referring to the jacket cover of Doug Henwood’s deliciously vicious book, My Turn.
- Obama could sell Trump Steaks to a vegan.
- Obama swears that Hillary is the “most qualified person ever to run for president.” Perhaps. But she’s qualified in all the wrong directions.
- Exit to Stevie Wonder. When Hillary surprised Obama on stage, she had the look of love in her eyes, as if she had just jilted Bill for Barack. But then wouldn’t you, after Bubba’s creepy stalker speech last night? This was a night dominated by the hollow men of the Democrat Party: Panetta, Kaine, Biden and Obama. Men who knew better, but did worse. The theme was liberal virility, strength and managerial efficiency. Missing was any empathy for the homeless and the hungry, the poor and the downtrodden. It was a frontal embrace of the neoliberal order, a demonstration that the Democrats have the competency and toughness to manage the imperial order in a time of severe internal and external stress. The last three hours weren’t a full-throated repudiation of Sandersism, so much as a casual dismissal, as if the core concerns Bernie’s movement gave voice to regarding the ravages of economic inequality didn’t even merit their attention. And Bernie sat passively in the imperial box seats with Jane squirming at his side, watching it all unfold. Barack Obama possesses so many scintillating skills, perhaps more skills than any other political figure of the modern era. Yet he put those magical gifts to such meagre, timid and often brutal uses. What a waste. His is the tragedy of a squandered presidency.
She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Jeffrey St Clair, Counterunch, Jul 29 2016
- First things first. I want to apologize to the Sandernistas, to those of you who rose up after your leader abandoned you, after Bernie wiped out your votes and muted your voices, after he turned you over to the DNC’s thuggish floor managers and security guards, after he sat passively as your brave chants of “No More Drones” were drowned out by the fascist war-cry of “Pindostan! Pindostan!!” I want to apologize for doubting your resolve. I want to apologize without qualification. You didn’t cry when Bernie betrayed you. Not for long. You marched right back into the Wells Fargo Center intent on spoiling the party. You didn’t sour on your ideals. You refused to be domesticated. You pissed on their carpet. You shouted down their war criminals. You made this squalid affair fun for a few precious hours. And that ain’t bad. Somewhere Abbie Hoffman is cracking a smile (though perhaps not at the spectacle of Meryl Streep ripping off his wardrobe during her bewildering performance, an act so incoherent it made one long for the Absurdist theater of Clint Eastwood and his empty chair routine.)
- I woke up this morning with a hangover that has defied the usual remedies. Too much mezcal from the Kaine Drinking Game (one shot for every reversal of a long-held position). Too many hours of tedium, dread and bombast. For relief, I turned to the Holy Text itself, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail: 72 and drank in HTS’s savage denunciation of lesser-evil voting:
How many more of these goddam elections are we going to have to write off as lame but ‘regrettably necessary’ holding actions? And how many more of these stinking double-downer sideshows will we have to go through before we can get ourselves straight enough to put together some kind of national election that will give me at least the 20 million people I tend to agree with a chance to vote for something, instead of always being faced with that old familiar choice between the lesser of two evils? I understand, along with a lot of other people, that the big thing, this year, is Beating Nixon. But that was also the big thing, as I recall, twelve years ago in 1960—and as far as I can tell, we’ve gone from bad to worse to rotten since then, and the outlook is for more of the same.
Ah, I feel better now. Will someone please fax that to Professor Chomsky?
- Trump took to Twitter early this morning, as his hair was being replastered into place, and denounced the All Star lineup at the Democratic Convention last night as an orgy of “empty rhetoric.” He wasn’t wrong. The whole affair had the feel of one of those rock concerts featuring bands from the 1970s. The first few phrases were thrilling, then it all started to fade away into a nostalgic stream of familiar hooks and licks you’ve heard a thousand times before on Classic Rock AM radio. All played very well with magnificent staging and a dazzling light show, yet utterly antiseptic. The curious Tim Kaine interlude was the lone exception. It was hard to tell if his performance was camp or kitsch.
- Here’s another reason to like Harry Reid and lament his looming retirement from the Senate. Shortly after his speech at the Democratic Convention, Reid laid some wood on the DNC. He said he was appalled by the DNC’s efforts to sabotage Bernie Sanders’ campaign, saying “Sanders didn’t get a fair deal.” Reid was asked if the Democrat Party has a back-up plan if further damaging emails emerge that might cripple Clinton. He shrugged his shoulders and said flatly “No.” Then again, maybe Bernie deserved his fate. After all, he went along with the crushing of his campaign willingly enough, kind of like Al Gore in 2000, when he refused to challenge his own stolen election. Bernie basked in the spotlight of his great betrayal, a surrender marketed as “unity.” He savored each small, patronizing mention of his name last night by Kaine, Biden and Obama. Meanwhile, Sanders capitulated to demands from the DNC that he agree to prohibit own of his most ardent supporters, Nina Turner, the black former state senator from Ohio, from appearing on stage to place his name in nomination. Susan Sarandon fumed:
If it were Beyoncé, they would’ve made it work.
It’s even worse than that, Susan. The DNC is giving prime time slots on the stage to lesser talents than Beyoncé, including Carole King and Katy Perry. Turner’s crime? She’s refused to kneel down and endorse Clinton. Bernie’s crime? He choose Hillary or Nina Turner. I tell you again: there’s a reason so many blacks were suspicious about Sanders from the very beginning.
- The NYT reports that after spending most of the spring in hiding, mega-donors are flocking back to the Clinton campaign. With Bernie vanquished and pacified, it is now safe for the power-brokers of the Clinton cash machine to re-emerge, after being asked by the campaign to be discreet during the primaries. Now hedge funders, insurance execs, Big Pharma lobbyists and securities traders can get back to the business of wining and dining the Clinton Team with style. Don’t worry though. This is their last hurrah, before Hillary, you know, Citizens United and slums shut the access door on them permanently (wink, wink)…
- Ned Sublette, author of the monumental American Slave Coast, writes to remind me that Bill Clinton did a 180 on Cuba policy. He campaigned on a pledge to normalize relations with Cuba, then in 1996 did the opposite when he signed the vicious Helms-Burton Act, which tightened the embargo on Cuba nearly to the point of strangulation. The man who prodded Clinton to do so? Leon Panetta. Hit the replay button and shout him down again, in Spanish this time.
- We will no doubt be bombarded tonight with a cluster bomb of references to Hillary’s brittle little book, It Takes a Village, which Cockburn savagely reviewed in The Nation, earning him a raft of rebukes from the feminist lobby. Here’s a nugget that sums up the Clintonian approach to the exploitation of children for their political advantage:
The Clintonite passion for talking about children as ‘investments’ tells the whole story. Managed capitalism (progressivism’s ideal, minted in the Teddy Roosevelt era) needs regulation, and just as the stock market requires, somewhat theoretically these days, the Security and Exchange Commission, so too does the social investment (a child) require social workers, shrinks, guidance counsellors and the whole vast army of the helping professions, to make sure the investment yields a respectable rate of return. The do-good progressives at the start of the century saw the family, particularly the immigrant family, as a conservative institution. So, they attacked it. Then their preferred economic system, consumer capitalism, began to sunder under the social fabric, and so today’s do-gooders say that the family and the children, our ‘investment,’ must be saved by any means necessary. When the FBI was getting ready to incinerate the Branch Davidians, they told Janet Reno the group’s children were being abused. Save them, she cried. They went at it and all, including the children, were burned alive.
- Chuck Schumer:
I’m not worried about the white working class voters. For every blue collar white male we lose, we’ll gain two college educated women voters in the suburbs.
I’d put my money on the TPP passing before Christmas. What else would you expect from Schumer? The only regular interaction he has with working class people is the elevator operator at Citibank when he rides up to the executive suite to pick up a campaign check. I’ll give Schumer this much. Though the Senator looks a little awkward, he must be a remarkable athlete. All these years racing from one TV camera to the next and not even a sprained ankle.
- I used to admire Laurence Tribe. I don’t remember why now. I have a vague memory of him as a fierce defender of free speech and civil liberties. But here he is serving as a Clinton attack dog for the red-baiting of Donald Trump. In lockstep with the National Security elites, Tribe ludicrously said Trump’s snarky remarks asking Russia to return Hillary’s missing emails may have violated Pindo law. If so, then you’d expect someone like Tribe to rush off to court to have such a law stricken down as unconstitutional. He knows it’s all bullshit, but is apparently happy to play his role in the new McCarthyism. Perhaps Tribe thinks he’s finally going to land on the Supreme Court. I’d support a Rand Paul-led filibuster against him. Have you no shame, professor?
- Expect some flood warnings as the tears begin to flow when the nation celebrates its own enlightenment in finally nominating a woman for president. The rest of the world will view this “historic moment” as something of a participation trophy. Eighty-five women from 54 different nations have already been elected or appointed as heads of government starting in 1960 with Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Women have led governments in: India, Israel, Central African Republic, UK, Portugal, Dominica, Norway, Pakistan, Lithuania, Bangladesh, France, Poland, Turkey, Canada, Burundi, Rwanda, Bulgaria, Haiti, Guyana, New Zealand, Mongolia, New Zealand, Northern Cyprus, Senegal, South Korea, Sao Tome and Principe, Finland, Peru, Mozambique, Macedonia, Urkaine, Bahamas, Germany, Jamiaca, Ukraine, Moldova, Haiti, Iceland, Croatia, Madagascar, Trinidad and Tobago, Australia, Slovakia, Mali, Thailand, Denmark, Guinea-Bissau, Slovenia, Latvia, Transnistria, Poland, Namibia, Greece, and Myanmar.
- Terry O’Neill, head of Now, was asked about the tardiness of Pindostan in relation to the rest of the world in electing a female head of state. Her response was a strange, almost misogynistic putdown of other women world leaders. “Many of them weren’t feminists. Hillary was a born feminist. It was a harder road for her.” Pindostan! Pindostan! If Elizabeth Dole or Sarah Palin had somehow been elected president, I wonder if NOW would have put an asterisk by their names?
- Working class hero Sherrod Brown, the Ohio senator who was snubbed for the VP slot, told CNN:
We’re going to win in part by showing that Trump is a hypocrite on trade.
Did he run this message by Hillary and Kaine?
- So far it’s 6 for 6. 6 speakers 6 “God Bless Pindostan.” There goes Tammy Duckworth. Make that 7 for 7. Despite the allegation by Ben Carson that Hillary communes with Lucifer, it’s looking like it will be another big night for God.
- Here comes Elizabeth Warren to give yet another testimonial to her new BFF, HRC:
Hillary is a fighter who never gives up for the people who need her most.
Like Goldman Sachs, Monsanto and Benjamin Netanyahu. You can take it to the bank.
- Joaquin Castro, the rising political star from Texas, is now on stage talking about how sensitive Hillary is to the plight of Mexican immigrants and undocumented aliens. This wasn’t always the case and who really knows if it is now. During the NAFTA debates, the Clinton administration went hard after the perils of Mexican immigration, using language that Trump may have cribbed. Al Gore even went so far as to blame Mexican immigrants for the spread of Satanic abuse in Pindostan. This was a double lie. First, Mexican immigrants weren’t practicing Satanic abuse (or Santeria, as the Clinton people also alleged). And second, there was NO Satanic abuse epidemic. Hard to document even a single real case. But these pernicious and racist lies helped sell the deal that continues to debilitate people on both sides of the border. Remember that Hillary strongly backed the cruel Obama administration policy of rounding up thousands of immigrant children and sending them back to Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras. When Sanders confronted her once or twice, she essentially pulled a Madeleine Albright and said it was the right thing to do. All for the children, you understand.
- Chris Cuomo is giving a tribute to his father Mario Cuomo, both of whom worked as lawyers for … Donald Trump. Trumps and Cuomos go way back. In fact, Donald encouraged Mario to run for president in 1988 (he hated Bush) and Mario urged Donald to run for governor of NY, after he stepped down. Bi-partisanship you can believe. (See Wayne Barrett’s Trump: the Deals and the Downfall) Cuomo is attacking Trump for “selling fear,” as he simultaneously sells fear of Trump. The Republicans sell a dark dystopian fear. While the Democrats sell fear with a smile and a drone strike.
- Melania Trump’s petty crime of word theft was much less noxious than the Democrats flagrant cribbing of the GOP’s rabid Pindostan! Pindostan!! chants.
- Nancy Pelosi, defender of the poor & alleged inside stock (Visa) trader. Net Worth: $58m. Who says West Coast liberalism doesn’t pay? Pelosi mumbles unintelligible syllables into the microphone for five minutes and flies off to check her portfolio, to Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.”
- Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen have shown up to talk about how Hillary practices the “poetry of doing.” Doing what, one might ask? Steenburgen, a native Arkansan, is the woman Bill Clinton took out to dinner the night he executed the brain-damaged Ricky Ray Rector to boost his poll numbers in the 1992 campaign. There’s ice running through those Clinton veins. It’s one thing to mock the disabled. It’s something else entirely to put them to death for your own political advancement.
- Have the speakers tonight been instructed to be boring in order to make Hillary seem livelier by contrast? Or are they just flatline boring by nature?
- said last night that Obama’s speech was written in the key of Reagan. Now here is one Reagan’s speechwriters, Doug Elmets, giving a full-throated & unconditional endorsement of Clinton, as the true heir of the Reagan legacy. Can anyone prove him wrong?
- Yet another cop at the Mic, a moment of silence for the fallen police and speeches from relatives of dead officers. The Democrats have featured more cops as prime time speakers than the GOP, all of them lecturing about how “violence isn’t the solution” to anything. Since Jan 1, 668 civilians have been killed by police.
- DNC Convention Motto for Coronation Night: “God, the flag and drones.”
- There seem to be more flags in the hall tonight than at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day. Curiously, despite the non-step odes to the dead, none are being waved at half-staff. Thanks for the memories…
- Rev William Barber: “Jesus, a brown-skinned, Palestinian Jew…” Can’t wait to see how Bill O’Reilly explicates that tomorrow night. Whoops, he said Palestinian again! They may have to pull Rev Barber off the stage to keep him from saying the word “Palestinians” once more. By a special order of the convention rules, “Palestinians” are only allowed two mentions for the week.
- The chants of Pindostan, Pindostan!! during Khizr Khan’s moving and powerful speech about his slain son are revolting. Do you have to be a “patriotic” Pindosi Muslim to enjoy the rights of the constitution that Khan showed? If you are a “patriotic Pakistani,” does that protect you from a CIA drone strike?
- Gen Allen’s deranged speech could have been written by Donald Rumsfeld. Perhaps it was. I feel like I’ve just watched the first 45 minutes of Full-Metal Jacket again.
- Trump has really gotten under the skin of the military-security establishment. His repeated swipes at NATO did it. They’ve united behind HRC. You’ve got to give him that. On the other hand, it gives an ominous new meaning to “Stronger Together.”
- Who knew the DNC would turn into a military recruitment video?
- How can they possibly top this? A live drone strike on the big screen?
- Two parties, both proto-fascist. How to choose?
- If I were the Iranians and North Koreans, I’d be hardening my bunkers, pronto. Assad should probably book a room at the nearest Ecuadoran Embassy.
- Gen Allen just annihilated every humane sentiment expressed in Rev Barber’s powerful sermon. Perhaps that was the point.
- We begin to see the outlines of Hillary’s economic plan: military Kainezionism.
- Bernie, how do you like your party now?
- I wouldn’t be shocked if those super-charged delegates goosestep out of the Wells Fargo Center tonight to invade Delaware, waving their flags and chanting Pindostan, Pindostan!!! all the way to Dover.
- Boomer, our Australian Shepherd, still hasn’t emerged from the closet where he fled during Gen Allen’s war rant. Who can blame him?
- Hillary has already out-Thatchered the Iron Lady and she hasn’t been elected yet. She’s made the complete metamorphosis from a Goldwater girl to a McGovern woman to a Reagan granny.
- Mission Impossible Chelsea trying to humanize her mother after the bloodthirsty madness of the previous 30 minutes. Chelsea says her mother lost the fight for “universal health care.” Not true. Her plan wasn’t for “universal health care” but for another market-oriented scheme, called “Managed Competition” and she fucked up that through her own incompetence and hubris, setting back the cause of single-payer by at least a generation. No wonder Chelsea decided not to go to med school.
- “How many times will she leave her mark? How many ways will she light up the world?” the disembodied voice of Morgan Freeman asks. Well, how many drones and cruise missiles can Lockheed and Boeing manufacture in four years?
- The word of the night is fight, fight, fight, fight, fight. I don’t know if the children are scared, but I am.
- I am Woman, hear my missiles ROAR!
- People in the audience are crying. I’m crying. I don’t think we’re crying for the same reasons.
- Hillary looks and sounds more and more like Cersei Lannister with each new speech.
- Hillary once again embraces Reagan to bash Trump. Reagan left the Democrat Party in the 1950s, but the Party apparently never left him.
- I’m getting a weird vibe that they might actually bring out Qaddafi’s head on a pike.
- HRC says the “service part” always came more naturally to her than the “public part.” Well, that explains the private email server…
- In her brisk recitation of the Rodham family history, Hillary somehow left out the fact that her father was a John Bircher. Of course, by the end of Hillary’s second term, her father may seem as meek as George McGovern.
- Does Hillary cough every time she lies, or does she cough every time she stumbles into the truth?
- Note the repeated emphasis on “believe” instead of “know” in Hillary’s description of her political ideology. My friend John Trudell used to warn against the “believers.” “Think more, believe less” he said. In Hillary’s case, “believe” is likely shorthand for “make-believe.”
- The comparisons of HRC to Lady Macbeth are grossly unfair … to Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth had a conscience.
- She says she loves to talk about her “plans.” Has she started yet? I haven’t heard one specific plan. Maybe she’s talking about her invasion plans. Oh, yes, she getting around to that now…
- Pledge fealty to Israel. Check.
Defend NATO. Check.
Bash Russia. Check.
Destroy ISIS (by funding AQ?). Check.
Praise the Generals. Check.
Hail our military (and its defense contractors) as a national treasure. Check.
Salute the troops. Check.
Pindostan is great. Check.
Pindostan is good. Check.
Pindostan is not a bully. Check.
Manifest Destiny. Check.
God bless Pindostan. Check.
- Unlike Hillary’s idol Ronald Reagan, there was no pledge to eliminate nuclear weapons. Just a vow to have a more stable hand on the button than Trump. Like that Harry Truman. Duck and cover.
- How appropriate that it all ends with Hillary and Kaine standing before a golden (or is it, Goldman?) shower raining down on Pindostan!
- As a final blessing, Hillary’s preacher has come out to confirm at last what we’ve long suspected: there’s a Methodism to her Madness.
- All Sandernistas should leave the Wells Fargo Center before they lock the exits. (See Red Wedding.)
- Hillary passed her audition. She’s the authentic Queen of Chaos and when she stoops, she stoops to conquer.
Hillary Clinton’s dishonest, empty acceptance speech
David Walsh, WSWS, Jul 29 2016
Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic Party nomination for president Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a nearly hour-long speech that was profoundly dishonest, empty and unconvincing. Everything about the final portion of the Democratic National Convention rang false. With Bill Clinton mugging and stage-acting in the audience, daughter Chelsea Clinton introduced her mother, as though this sordid dynasty represented something significant in Pindosi political history. The Clintons are primarily notorious for their corruption and venality. The couple accumulated $230m from 2001 to 2014 through their relations, above all, with Wall Street financial firms and giant corporations. There was an obvious effort under way Thursday evening to humanize and “soften” Hillary Clinton. Her miserable poll numbers (38.4% favorable and 55.6% unfavorable) are only slightly higher than Donald Trump’s. These are two widely disliked and distrusted candidates, perceived by millions of people to be representatives of a wealthy elite. Chelsea Clinton described her mother in glowing terms, as “wonderful, thoughtful, hilarious.” One wondered who she could be talking about. The degree of exaggeration only made the comments absurd. The banalization of American politics has reached a new level. Even some of the crowd at the convention looked embarrassed. A fawning video presentation, inevitably narrated by actor Morgan Freeman and purporting to tell the story of Hillary Clinton’s life, continued the fraud. It mentioned the 9/11 attacks and the assassination of Osama bin Laden, but omitted any reference to the millions of deaths in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria for which Hillary Clinton bears a large share of responsibility. Clinton managed to deliver a 56-minute speech without a single memorable phrase or sentence. Her assignment, of course, was one that would have confounded a far more clever and capable individual than she: to convince the Pindosi sheeple, or that section of if watching on television, that this blood-soaked, big business party had the concerns of the people in mind.
She made various ritualistic references to putting “economic and social justice issues front and center, where they belong.” Clinton assured Bernie Sanders, who obediently and appreciatively responded from his seat in the hall, that “Your cause is our cause. Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion. That’s the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for Pindostan.” At one point, she declared dully, “There’s too much inequality. Too little social mobility.” And later, she said she was in favor of “a country where the economy works for everyone, not just those at the top. Where you can get a good job and send your kids to a good school, no matter what zip code you live in. A country where all our children can dream, and those dreams are within reach.” Did anyone in the viewing audience, or even in the hall in Philadelphia, believe a word of this? “None of us can be satisfied with the status quo.” But Clinton represents nothing on this earth so much as the status quo. She is the candidate of big finance, the military (“our national treasure,” she called it) and security forces, and the most complacent upper middle class layers. “And here’s what I believe. I believe Pindostan thrives when the middle class thrives. I believe that our economy isn’t working the way it should because our democracy isn’t working the way it should.” But every word, every gesture cried out that she didn’t believe in any of it. It was all synthetic, contrived, patronizing. No thoughtful, socially vigilant viewer could be taken in by this transparent fakery. Clinton promised that Wall Street would “never, ever be allowed to wreck Main Street again” and that she was going to fund various programs by making “Wall Street, corporations, and the super-rich” pay “their fair share of taxes.” But this mouthpiece of the financial oligarchy would not lift a finger against the rich.
The speech was tedious and degrading, entirely unrelated to reality, including, of course, the record of the Obama administration that has presided over an acceleration in levels of social inequality. One could only feel lessened by listening to the speech. Clinton made the predictable appeals to patriotism, chauvinism and economic nationalism. She pledged to “stand up to China” and “stand by our allies in NATO against any threat they face, including from Russia,” although the real scare of the advanced preparations for war against Pindosi imperialism’s rivals and enemies was concealed in her speech. Clinton made numerous references to our “brave” police. Nor could she avoid, also predictably, declaring her own candidacy to be a historic event: “Tonight, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president.” She went on to claim that “when any barrier falls in Pindostan, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone. When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.” This is a lie. There is nothing in the slightest socially progressive about Clinton’s nomination. It does not represent any advance for the population or women as a whole. The growth in social inequality among women has risen more rapidly than inequality among men: the percentage of total female earnings accruing to the top female one percent has doubled since the 1980s. Clinton is a representative of this wealthy elite whose conditions of life have nothing in common with the tens of millions of women who work, often for desperately low wages, in health care facilities, restaurants, offices, schools and stores. Her political ascension will have absolutely no effect on their lives. Whatever their gender or color, bourgeois politicians represent the interests of the ruling class. Clinton aspires to join the ranks of such notables as Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Isabel Peron, Corazon Aquino, Angela Merkel, Julia Gillard and Dilma Rousseff, enemies of the working class all. The Democratic Party convention, like the Republican, was a spectacle of reaction. It married the politics of race and gender with militarism and nationalism. Neither party has anything to offer the mass of the population but inequality, authoritarianism and war.
Meet Ali Kurnaz, young Democratic leader who lifted Palestinian flag on convention floor
Philip Weiss, MondoWeiss, Jul 28 2016
For those who care about Palestine, the most exciting moment of the DNC took place Monday when a young delegate jumped on to his chair on the convention floor and unfurled the Palestinian flag. He was soon surrounded by a crowd holding up Hillary Clinton signs to make his demonstration disappear. But the incident quickly went out on social media: “a very human moment in a very dark time,” as Laila Abdelaziz put it.
The man who raised the flag says that he was abused and knocked around by older delegates, but many young Democrats cheered him on. Ali Kurnaz, a Sanders delegate, said yesterday:
This issue is being brought to the forefront of the Democrat Party. I believe that now, largely thanks to Bernie Sanders including it in his campaign platform people are starting to understand the issue for the first time. While others are coming out of the woodwork in support.
Kurnaz is all Democrat: the Floridian is vice president of Young Democrats of Orange County, and communications director for Florida Young Democrats. But for years, Kurnaz says he kept quiet about his support for Palestine. Born and raised in Orlando, of Turkish-Pindosi descent, Kurnaz began doing Democrat Party work in 2007 when he was 17, and though Palestinian human rights were important to him, he says:
I learned very quickly it was an issue I had to suppress. Even as a college Democrat Party organizer, I would make sure that the subject was not brought up, because then there’d be a vote and the Zionists would win. But now it’s changing. I can tell most of the people of my age agree with me.
Kurnaz was disappointed after he and other Sanders delegates tried to get two pro-Palestinian amendments to the Democrat platform ratified in the weeks before the convention, but failed. He says:
We convinced a half dozen or so Hillary delegates to switch their vote, but they said ultimately they couldn’t because if they did they would have no future in the Democrat Party.
Kurnaz decided to take a stand the other day when the Democrat Party platform was voted on by the convention as a whole. He was especially nervous because the Florida delegation was very close to the stage and in everyone’s view. He said:
When they brought up the platform, I was shaking. It took a lot of courage, but I stood on my chair and I held the flag up as high as I could. People tried to stop me. They said things like, First things first, or Sit down, or Be respectful. At that point I didn’t care anymore. I didn’t care what anyone thought or what anyone was going to do to me. I thought they might pull my credentials, but I didn’t care.
Kurnaz was soon engulfed by tumult. He recalled:
Lots of Bernie delegates from Florida who were around me were in solidarity and tried to push away the Hillary signs held up to block me. That was the positive element. The negative was the pushing and shoving and shouting at me. People told me that I don’t belong there. They called me a Palestinian as a slur even though I’m not Palestinian and don’t regard it as a slur.
His experience since has shown him that the party is changing, that Bernie Sanders gave people permission to be pro-Palestinians. He has handed out stickers saying “I support Palestinian Human Rights” and younger delegates have cheered him on. He said:
I have not had a single Bernie delegate say anything negative when I have given out these signs. I get fist bumps, high fives. Or thank you for saying what you said. I get the opposite from Hillary delegates. But I have never seen so much support for Palestinians at any Democratic convention. This is only going to intensify as the millennials rise into the party.
I interviewed Kurnaz after he spoke out at a Code Pink demonstration for Palestinian human rights in Center City Philadelphia yesterday. A slender and softspoken man, he nonetheless seemed excited about the political party he has worked so hard for for nearly half his life. He said\:
I want to bring the Democratic Party to represent the values that they claim they care about– equality and human rights. We are moving in a path of progress.
Many people have told Kurnaz that he will have no future in the Democratic Party. He no longer believes them. He said:
The ones who say that are 20 and 30 years older than me, I am the future of the Democrat Party.