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With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Needs to Demand Answers

Key issue not being addressed is secret financial deals

 

When it comes to Hillary Clinton’s State Department email scandal, reporters -- and even her right-wing critics in the Republican Party -- are asking the wrong question.

Sure, doing all her official business on an unprotected, unscrambled private server in her own home and on an unsecured private Blackberry phone device means that any two-bit spy outfit, not to mention sophisticated ones like those of Russia, Iran, Israel or China, could easily hack it and read secret State Department and other agency communications. But really, those entities have ways of getting that kind of secret stuff anyhow.

The real question is what kind of private conversations Clinton, in her role as Secretary of State, was having with powerful people both at home and abroad that may have involved cash donations to the Clinton Foundation and to her and Bill’s personal enrichment or her future campaign for president.

Hillary Clinton is a lawyer, and while she’s slippery, she’s no dummy. She may have played dumb when asked earlier by reporters about her server’s hard drive being wiped clean of data before she turned it over to the FBI, saying, “What, like with a cloth or something? I don’t know how it works at all,” but she surely was involved in the deletion of her private emails -- over 30,000 of which were reportedly erased.

And those erasures were made without any involvement of State Department security or legal officials. The decision, according to Clinton, on which emails were “private communications,” was made by her personal attorney, whose interest, by definition, was her and not the public or even national security for that matter.

As the Washington Post has reported, the Clintons went from being, as Hillary Clinton has said, “dead broke” upon leaving the White House in January 2000, to earning some $230 million by this year -- a staggering sum of money even in a new Gilded Age of obscene wealth. Most of this money has been little more than influence buying by corporations and wealthy people trying to curry favor with a woman who was already Secretary of State, perhaps the second-most powerful position in the US government and whom many expected to become the next president after Obama.

As hard drive erasures and o secrecy obsession make Clinton's email scandal increasingly Nixonian, Sanders needs to stop being polite and start asking hard questions about her motivesAs hard drive erasures and o secrecy obsession make Clinton's email scandal increasingly Nixonian, Sanders needs to stop being polite and start asking hard questions about her motives
 

Notes toward a manifesto

 

I want more of these things:
Peace, happiness, friendship;
I have these things:
Home, dreams, loving companionship;
I will fight for these things:
Truth, freedom of speech, nature;
I will cultivate these things:
Kale, garlic, blueberries;
I will bury these things:
Cynicism, angst, racism;
I will reject these things:
Meaningless taboos, business as usual, patriarchy;
I will value these things:
Conscience, openness, selflessness;
I will nurture these things:
Patience, courage, friendship;
I will overcome these things:
Complacency, skepticism, regret;
I will study these things:
Globalism, human rights, women’s rights;
I will exercise these things:
Voice, spontaneity, joy;
I will contemplate these things:
Spirit, mystery, destiny;
I will deplore these things:
Gun violence, incarceration and the death penalty, addiction;
I will liberate these things:
Imagination, linear thinking, two-party politics;
I will support these things:
Animal rights, freedom to protest, LBGT rights;
I will look forward to these things:
Health, long life, self-acceptance;
I will oppose these things:
Nuclear technology, war, capitalism;
I will be these things:
A liberated human being, a dreamer, a revolutionary.
 
 
--Gary Lindorff

Pushing Sanders to Run as a Green and His Backers Not to Support Hillary Clinton if She Gets the Nomination

An interview with Greg Haddock of #BernieOrBust

 

ThisCantBeHappening!'s radio program of the same name, "This Can't Be Happening!, which runs every Wednesday afternoon on Progressive Radio, today features Greg Haddock, a spokesperson for the growing #BernieOrBust movement that is working to convince Sanders supporters to publicly pledge their commitment not to back Hillary Clinton if she succeeds in winning -- or stealing -- the Democratic nomination in July.

Haddock, who lives in Germany, and show host Dave Lindorff also talk about the the importance of having hundreds of thousands of Sanders backers descend on the city of Philadelphia this July 25 for the Democratic Convention to push Sanders' cause, and to pressure him to go over to the Green Party and run as their candidate if he doesn't get the Democratic nomination, and not to endorse Hillary Clinton.

You can hear the whole hour-long interview by clicking here or by clicking on the image below.

Getting Sanders to run as the Green candidate and not to endorse Hillary if he doesn't get the Democratic nominationGetting Sanders to run as the Green candidate and not to endorse Hillary if he doesn't get the Democratic nomination

72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election -- Is There a Lesson Here for Sanders?

Imagine that!

 

A 72-year-old college professor named Alexander van der Bellen, running for president as the candidate of the leftist Austrian Green Party, a fringe party that had never been considered a serious contender in post-war Austrian politics, just won a narrow 50.3/49.7 percent victory over Norbert Hofer, a right-wing candidate of the neo-fascist Freedom Party who had been favored to win.

The run-off, held on Sunday, but not decided until today when some 750,000 mail-in ballots were finally counted, was held after an initial presidential election contest on April 24 in which no candidate won a majority of the vote. In that first contest, voters humiliated the candidates of Austria's two establishment parties, the center-right Austrian People's Party, and the center left Austrian Socialist Party, who came in fourth and fifth with 11% each behind Hofer (35%) and van der Bellen (21%) as well as an independent candidate who won 18.5% of the vote.

In the two-person run-off, most Socialist Party voters, many independents, as well as some People's Party conservatives, apparently voted for van der Bellen, so as to ensure that the Freedom Party's Hofer not become the first European head of state since the fall of Nazi Germany to hail from the far right.

 Austrian President-elect Alexander van der Bellen and presidential candidate Bernie SandersTwo crusty old socialists: Austrian President-elect Alexander van der Bellen and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
 

For an American looking at this (and I was actually in Vienna for much of last week during the final days of the run-off campaign), there was a distinct sense that I was looking at a possible scenario for the upcoming US general election.

After all, we too have a crusty 70-something socialist, always considered a fringe political figure, running for president and he is proving to be surprisingly popular.

Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed

An American abroad

 

Vienna -- As an American visiting Krakow, Poland, where I was last week, it felt weird to read about the inane latest chapter of the so-called culture wars being fought back home over whether states and localities should have the right to bar transgender people from using a public lavatory appropriate to their psychological identity, forcing them instead to use the one that accords with how many X chromosomes they have by birth in their cell nuclei.

After all, in Poland, except for the tonier tourist restaurants and hotels catering to well-heeled American tourists, bathrooms tend to be unisex: men and women enter such a toaleta through a single door into an anteroom, where they find a few stalls each containing a single commode. In some such facilities, there are also urinals along a wall in the anteroom, allowing men to relieve their bladders while not unnecessarily denying one of the limited number of stalls to any woman in similar need of relief. Meanwhile, women and men, without a blush, wash their hands side by side in the available sinks in the common anteroom.

Poland is a very conservative Catholic country, quite fundamentalist in its own way, yet somehow this system works there, and without any reported incidents of the indecency or sexual abuse that America’s squeamishly fundamentalist Christian folk apparently fear. (Then again, maybe I'm being unfair to Christian fundamentalists. After all, the irony of this whole bathroom discrimination brouhaha in the US is that it is being whipped up by Republican politicians, yet all the prominent cases of bathroom sex crimes in recent years have involved...you guessed it: Republican politicians! So maybe the simple solution would be to just require separate bathrooms for them.)

Now I’m not trying to suggest that Poles are necessarily better or saner than Americans. They do, after all, have a not terribly remote history of having largely supported the slaughter, by occupying Nazis, of the Jews who had lived in their midst for centuries. Indeed Krakow itself was the scene of one such particularly brutal and bloody extermination campaign (it was where the German conman Oskar Schindler set up his slave-labor factory, which allowed him to gain fame for eventually coming around to saving many Jews from a mass grave). And anti-semitism (along with other forms of xenophobia) is still alive and well in the country. But at least the Poles aren’t freaking out about transgendered people sneaking into the wrong loo.

While sanity regarding public restroom facility use in Europe comes as a welcome relief (the French too have a casual attitude towards sexual privacy in their public facilities, with women frequently stationed near the men’s pissoire where they collect tips for their janitorial services while men pee against a wall right beside them), other political storms in Europe can display a certain familiarity to a visiting American. In Poland a right-wing nationalist leader was recently elected and the country has distinguished itself from most of its European Union neighbors by simply closing its border to and refusing to admit refugees -- Middle Eastern or otherwise (even as its own surplus workers avail themselves of their visa-free right to move to the UK to find work).

This Sunday, Austrians will choose between a 'crypto-fascist' and a radical left Green candidate for prime minister: Freedom ParThis past Sunday, Austrians chose between a 'crypto-fascist' and a radical left Green candidate for president: Freedom Party leader Norbert Hofer and Green Party leader Alexander van der Bellen
 

Could the Problem of the 21st Century Be the Gender Line?

An Essay on Urinals and Stalls as the New Battleground

 
The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.
                                                                        - W.E.B. DuBois
 
While I see his position as one of defending bigotry, I sympathize a bit with North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory when he tells NPR, "Most people had never heard of this issue five months ago.”

I was one of those people. Until quite recently -- certainly before Caitlin Jenner and going back to the early 1950s when ex-GI Christine Jorgensen had sex re-assignment surgery -- the term transgender meant a person had submitted to hormone treatment and surgery that involved, for a male, cutting off the penis and surgically creating some approximation of a vagina. A male or female who chose to wear clothing of the opposite gender was known as a transvestite. That semantic understanding seems to have gone the way of negro and colored people. It's now a matter of how one feels inside one's body. Somewhere in time a semantic shift occurred in the minds of enough people that it has now reached the level of law where we see a classic battle between a reform-minded, liberal federal government and that old standby of conservatives and bigots, states' rights.

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, N.C. Governor Pat McCrory and US Attorney General Loretta LynchTexas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, N.C. Governor Pat McCrory and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch
 

In North Carolina, a law known as HB2 was passed that limits protections for LGBT people and requires transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond with the gender noted by a physician on their birth certificate. That sounds nice and neat -- certainly to the conservative and bigoted mind. But what if one was born with real, physical ambiguity down in the pudendum area? Or what if a cocktail of chemical hormones and life experience led someone to see and feel him- or herself differently than the working stiff did who noted an infant's gender on a birth certificate -- or for that matter, feeling different about oneself than the socially- and politically-correct views of certain southern, God-fearing conservatives? What if Norman Mailer, who is dead, was wrong when he wrote that little anti-feminist gem I read titled Prisoner Of Sex? Of course, many of us loved the strutting pugilistic Uncle Norman, especially when he protested the Vietnam War; but, then, Norman was famous for being a magnificent, often drunken, asshole.

Hysteria Over Zika Spreads Faster than Zika Itself

Zika virus blinding us to public health issues that really matter

 
Zika has been described as extraordinary in so many ways. But the only thing that’s really extraordinary about the whole thing is how incredibly dispassionate I am about it.

At this point, even extraterrestrials have probably heard that the World Health Organization declared the recent spread of the Zika virus an international public health emergency. That sounds pretty scary. It’s only the fourth time that the WHO has ever declared a PHEIC (Public Health Emergency of International Concern) so it seems like it ought to be a big deal.

However, it’s important to keep things in perspective. As of May 4, there were 1,278 confirmed cases of microcephaly, the birth defect linked to Zika virus infection that causes an abnormally small head and brain. There are approximately 250 suspected neonatal and fetal deaths. In comparison, the last PHEIC was the Ebola virus outbreak of 2014. The current total number of reported cases of Ebola is 28,616 causing 11,310 deaths. Finally, the WHO estimates that the annual run-of-the-mill flu season – not famous epidemics like the Swine Flucauses 250,000 to 500,000 deaths every year around the world.
  
Illuminating GraphIlluminating Graph
I understand how Zika tugs on our heartstrings. Babies are precious, innocent, and full of potential. But I would like to point out that children are also precious and worth protecting and I have yet to see a media blitz or public outcry as passionate for the over 300,000 children who suffer from physical abuse every year in the United States alone.

Islamophobia on the Rise in England

Fanning fears during London's mayoral election

 

During a casual conversation inside a store on a swanky shopping street located a short distance from London’s fabled Kensington Palace a twenty-something retail clerk said she feels a strange sense of discomfort that she’s never felt before in London, the city where this native of Algeria has lived most of her life.

She traces this alienating discomfort to the sharp increase in Islamophobia.

Islamophobia is generally defined as dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims.

This London resident is an identifiable target for Islamophobia because she wears a modest headscarf that is traditional in her culture and religion - Islam. (She does not wear a full-face covering burka.)

Vakas Hussain (far left). Seated center Suresh Grover of The Monitoring Group and Rotherham 12 defendant Abar Javid. LBW PhotoVakas Hussain (far left). Seated center Suresh Grover of The Monitoring Group and Rotherham 12 defendant Abar Javid. LBW Photo
 

For her and others, Islamophobia ranges from disdainful stares and caustic comments to physical assaults. A few assaults have ended in fatalities. And then there are British government policies like ‘Prevent’ – the professed counter-terrorism program that seemingly is targeted solely at Muslims. Prevent enlists citizens to report actions and attitudes deemed suspicious.

The Muslim community in Britain “has been targeted against the backdrop of hostility buttressed by the War on Terror,” stated a report issued by the London-based Institute of Race Relations in 2013. This report warned that racial violence across Britain is not “something consigned to history” citing police force statistics from 2011/2012 documenting over 100 racially or religiously aggravated crimes per day.

Where the Bern is Fizzling

Why the Best Candidate Can't Win the Support of People of Color

 

In the recent New York primaries, Bernie Sanders experienced some very cold water thrown in his face. Not only did he lose, and soundly, but he was served a major lesson about one of the primary deficiencies in his campaign.

While the pundits joined his campaign organizers in attributing Hilary Clinton's victory to her past as Senator from the state, most have ignored the problem the this defeat laid bare: Sanders' campaign is weakest among people of color and, among black people, it has virtually no constituent support.

In today's United States, you can't become the Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party without that support. Bernie doesn't have it and probably won't get it and so those of us who support his candidacy -- which merits support for his integrity, thinking and progressive commitment -- are left to analyze why and observe with frustration what could have been. Had Bernie Sanders done a few things differently, he could well have been our next President.

 Great politics and a major deficiencyBernie Sanders: Great politics and a major deficiency
 

The tale of woe spins on a problem that will plague the Democratic Party from now on if it doesn't make the needed adjustment, an adjustment that movements of struggle all over this country have been trying to make for the last 15 years. It starts by answering a simple question: What exactly is the role of people of color, particularly those of African descent, in American politics and how does a progressive campaign like Bernie's recognize and address that role?
To hear Alfredo Lopez and Dave Lindorff discussing Sanders and the future of his campaign, click here or on the imageTo hear Alfredo Lopez and Dave Lindorff discussing Sanders and the future of his campaign, click here or on the image
 

Please contribute to Our Indiegogo Campaign to Raise Funds to Support Investigative Reporting on the TCBH! Site

We need this fund-raiser to go viral, so send out the word!

 

We know from site-monitoring stats that ThisCantBeHappening.net has developed a devoted regular following of several tens of thousands of daily readers who visit our site regularly to get news and opinions they can't find elsewhere. On that basis, we a few months ago kicked of a fund-raiser on Indiegogo aimed at raising $50,000 to support our work -- specifically to fund the hard-hitting reporting we do here to get out the truth that the rest of the media ignore, cover-up, or misreport.

So far, the result has been dismal -- just a few hundred dollars! Not only are people not ponying up and giving what they can (even $5 would be great if it came in from many readers).

Even more disappointingly, our readers aren't even making the effort to help the fundraiser go viral by going to the Indiegogo site and using the links there to help make it go viral on Facebook and Twitter.

That's a disaster, and we need to urge you, our readers, to do better. If you can spare even a few bucks, please make a contribution to the fundraiser. If you can't, then at least promote it on the Indiegogo site so someone else will contribute!

Look, we shouldn't have to explain this, but here's how it works: We in the TCBH! collective don't get paid for our work. We do this out of a sense of journalistic and political commitment, but because we all have families and have to make a living, we do it in our spare time, which limits what we can accomplish. If you value our work and value this site, we need you to make some kind of cash contribution, and we need you to promote our fund-raiser to everyone you know. If that happens, we should be able to raise enough money that we will be able to devote real time to the project, and not just spare moments.

So please. help this fund-raiser to take off!

Thank you from all of us here at TCBH!:

Linn Washington, John Grant, Dave Lindorff, Gary Lindorff, Jess Guh, Alfredo Lopez, Lori Spencer and the late Charles M. YoungThe TCBH! Collective: Linn Washington, John Grant, Dave Lindorff, Gary Lindorff, Jess Guh, Alfredo Lopez, Lori Spencer and the late but ever-present Charles M. Young

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Here's the link to prairie radio radical Mike Caddell's Radio Free Kansas program, where you can hear the podcast of the whole group interview that was conducted on Saturday, May 8.

Also, listen to Dave Lindorff on Chris Cook's Gorilla Radio on CFEV Radio in Victoria, Canada.

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by Dr. Radut