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FTR #953 Saint Bernard: Rebel Without A Clue

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

Gabbard and Bernie Sanders

Gabbard and Bernie Sanders

Grover Norquist

Grover Norquist

Introduction: Against the background of Trumpian political volatility made manifest in Syria, we look at St. Bernard [Sanders] and the implications of actions he has taken.

This program is presented in the context of the “shock to the system” that Steve Bannon and other Trump advisers see as necessary and imminent.

After detailing more about the Hungarian fascist manifestations of Sebastian Gorka, the Trump administration’s point man for counter-jihadism,  the program turns to the possible use of the Sanders campaign as a vehicle for the GOP to infiltrate and/or maneuver jihadist elements into prominence in the Democratic Party.

In numerous programs, we have noted the suppression of Operation Green Quest, which targeted individuals and institutions linked to the Al-Taqwa/Muslim Brotherhood milieu on the one hand, and to the Karl Rove/Grover Norquist-generated Islamic Free Market Institute on the other. Karl Rove, Grover Norquist and Graham E. Fuller, the Muslim Brotherhood’s and jihadis’ most significant backer in the intelligence community, factor into this analysis:

Rove financed Sanders campaign through the American Crossroads super-PAC. ” . . . American Crossroads—founded by former Bush adviser Karl Rove—and several other conservative-backed super PACs have spent the last month intentionally fueling the Bern, but their zeal has more to do with an effort to weaken Hillary Clinton, whom they still see as the likely Democratic nominee and harder to defeat in the general election. . . . Crossroads is one of several groups that has released ads that have been aimed at branding Sanders as the only true progressive in the race—a strategy the Vermont senator’s campaign also embraces. . . .”

  1. Graham E. Fuller says that he was ” . . . . galvanized at watching the spectacle of Bernie Sanders proclaiming issues in his campaign that had been virtually off limits for political discussion for decades: gap between rich and poor, rapacious international trade deals, a fair wage, free university education, the call for US balance (gasp!) in handling the Arab-Israeli, issue, etc. The great thing about Bernie — even if he probably won’t get nominated — is that he has pushed hawkish, friend-of-Wall-Street Hillary to the left. . . .”
  2. Fuller’s actual views are the opposite of Sanders policy points: “. . . Fuller comes from that fac­tion of CIA Cold War­riors who believed (and still appar­ently believe) that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam, even in its rad­i­cal jihadi form, does not pose a threat to the West, for the sim­ple rea­son that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam is con­ser­v­a­tive, against social jus­tice, against social­ism and redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth, and in favor of hier­ar­chi­cal socio-economic struc­tures. Social­ism is the com­mon enemy to both cap­i­tal­ist Amer­ica and to Wah­habi Islam, accord­ing to Fuller. . . ‘There is no main­stream Islamic organization…with rad­i­cal social views,’ he wrote. Clas­si­cal Islamic the­ory envis­ages the role of the state as lim­ited to facil­i­tat­ing the well-being of mar­kets and mer­chants rather than con­trol­ling them. Islamists have always pow­er­fully objected to social­ism and communism….Islam has never had prob­lems with the idea that wealth is unevenly dis­trib­uted.’ . . . .”
  3. Faisal Gill, a former operations director for Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute and official with George W. Bush’s Department of Homeland Security is now the head of Vermont’s Democratic Party, a post he has used to join Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard to promote Keith Ellison as head of the Democratic National Committee. Ellison is now the deputy chair of the DNC, the post formerly held by Gabbard. ” . . . . Yet some officials remain concerned that Gill apparently enjoys the political protection of Norquist, the architect of the 1994 Republican election sweep that brought Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich to power as House speaker. Norquist speaks of ‘crushing’ his political opponents and dismisses those who don’t agree with his anti-tax, anti-government agenda as ‘Bolsheviks.’ His power derives from a formidable coalition of evangelical, business and other conservative groups that he controls to push favored GOP issues, as well as from his close relationship with White House political chief Karl Rove. . . .”

The program also notes a number of other things about the Sanders campaign:

  1. He was promoting open primaries for the Democratic Party, which would enable Karl Rove and the Republicans to choose the Democratic nominee.
  2. Sanders was a Presidential elector for the Socialist Workers Party, embracing a stance which would have made him terminally vulnerable had he gotten the Democratic nomination. ” . . . . In 1980, Sanders served as an elector for the Socialist Workers Party, which was founded on the principles of Leon Trotsky. According to the New York Times, that party called for abolishing the military budget. It also called for “solidarity” with the revolutionary regimes in Iran, Nicaragua, Grenada, and Cuba; this was in the middle of the Iranian hostage crisis. . . .”
  3. The SWP was a vehicle for infiltration and the acquisition of a “left cover” by Nazis and spooks, including Lee Harvey Oswald.
  4. The Third Reich saw Leon Trotsky’s methodology as worthy of emulation. (The SWP is a Trotskyite political party.) ” . . . . ‘You should read his books,’ he [Hitler] barked. ‘We can learn a lot from him.’ . . .”
  5. To what extent have the GOP and the overlapping Underground Reich focused on Sanders (without his knowledge) as a vehicle for infiltrating the Democratic Party? In FTR #’s 941, 942 and 945, we noted the numerous fascist connections of Tulsi Gabbard, one of the driving forces behind Sanders’ ascent. To what extent has the Trotskyite template served as a vehicle for Gabbard, and, perhaps, Ellison to infiltrate the Democratic Party?

1a. Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s national security advisor for counter-jihadism, spoke positively on TV back in 2007 about the move by the far-right Jobbik party to start its own “Hungarian Guard” paramilitary militia based on the WWII “Arrow Cross” Hungarian Nazis.

“EXCLUSIVE: Controversial Trump Aide Sebastian Gorka Backed Violent Anti-Semitic Militia” by Lili Bayer; Forward; 4/3/2017.

As a Hungarian political leader in 2007, Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s chief counter-terrorism adviser, publicly supported a violent racist and anti-Semitic paramilitary militia that was later banned as a threat to minorities by multiple court rulings.

In a video obtained by the Forward of an August 2007 television appearance by Gorka, the future White House senior aide explicitly affirms his party’s and his support for the black-vested Hungarian Guard (Magyar Gárda) — a group later condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for attempting to promote an “essentially racist” legal order.

Asked directly on the TV interview program if he supports the move by Jobbik, a far-right anti-Semitic party, to establish the militia, Gorka, appearing as a leader of his own newly formed party, replies immediately, “That is so.” The Guard, Gorka explains, is a response to “a big societal need.”

Hungary’s official military, he stressed, “is sick, and totally reflects the state of Hungarian society…. This country cannot defend itself.”

As he speaks during the program, a banner headline reading “UDK Supports The Hungarian Guard” runs across the screen. The Hungarian acronym is a reference to Gorka’s own, party, known in English as the New Democratic Coalition.

Both the interviewer and Gorka refer to the move to establish the paramilitary outfit as “the Fidesz-Jobbik initiative,” reflecting Gorka’s contention that Fidesz, a larger right-wing party, was quietly backing Jobbik in its effort.

Gorka’s affirmation of support for the far-right militia echoed statements his party posted on its website that same month, backing the Guard’s establishment and referring to it as “the Fidesz-Jobbik initiative,” an apparent attempt by Gorka and his party to somewhat distance themselves from the controversial militia at the same time. In one such statement, a party faction indicated its awareness of the Guard leaders’ extremism, declaring bluntly, “We support the establishment of the Hungarian Guard despite the personalities involved.”Another August statement spoke more generically of “a need for guards” in discussing the new militia’s establishment.

The following month, another party statement attacked critics of the Guard, alleging that they opposed the militia to please U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor who had proposed legislation to bar Guard members from entering the United States. Lantos, a California Democrat, cited the Guard’s affinity for “the fascist Arrow Cross regime” that ruled Hungary at the end of World War II, when it participated in the deportation of Hungarian Jews into Nazi hands and killed thousands more.

On the TV presentation, when his interviewer notes the ways in which the Guard “echoes October 1944, or sometime around then” through its uniforms, arms training and street marches, Gorka strongly defends his party’s support for the Guard, though not without some ambivalence.

“I’m not saying it’s a good solution, but neither shooting training nor using the Arpad flag [is] unconstitutional,” he replied. The Arpad red-and-white flag, a nationalist symbol emblazoned on the Guard’s uniform, was also used by the Arrow Cross during World War II.

As for the Guard’s black vests, which the interviewer cited as reminiscent of the Arrow Cross’s black shirts, Gorka said: “When the police shows up to deal with bank robbers in black uniforms, who talks about a fascist police in Hungary? Nobody! Now, it is possible that when they put together all these things, the effect in the end will be very bad, but it’s not my problem. It would be Fidesz and Jobbik’s problem.”

During the 11-minute interview, which aired on Hungary’s Echo TV, Gorka dismissed concerns expressed by the Jewish community, and in particular fears that the Guard provoked among Hungarian Holocaust survivors. As is often the case in Hungary, the interviewer refers to Holocaust survivors obliquely, as “people who experienced 1944” — when hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were deported to Nazi concentration camps — or as those who experienced “the Arrow Cross regime.”

Many such people, the interviewer noted, “are saying now is the time to leave Hungary. So in effect [the establishment of the Hungarian Guard] is facilitating the flaring-up of anti-Semitism?”

“This is a tool,” Gorka replied. “This type of accusation is the very useful tool of a certain political class.”

The Guard was well known for its members’ anti-Semitism. Members often attended memorial ceremonies for World War II-era Hungarian fascists. In a 2008 speech, István Dósa, who served in the Guard as a high-ranking captain, referred to Jews as “Zionist rats” and as “locusts” while also discussing “Zionist-Bolshevik genocide” and calling Hungarian Jews “nation-destroyers.”

In his current position as deputy assistant to the president, Gorka, who immigrated to the United States and became an American citizen in 2012, serves as Trump’s chief consultant on counter-terrorism issues, and in particular on fighting jihadists. He has characterized the United States in this effort as a country “at war” and, in a recent interview, reaffirmed Trump’s call during his presidential campaign for surveillance of American Muslim communities. Neither Gorka nor the White House responded to emailed requests from the Forward for a response to the information the video reveals about Gorka’s support for the Guard.

Critics have questioned Gorka’s expertise in the field of terrorism, which was the subject of his doctoral thesis at Budapest’s Corvinus University, where he received his doctorate. Some have cited serious flaws in his thesis and noted his failure to publish any scholarship on the issue in peer-reviewed journals. But his August 2007 TV interview also raises questions about his understanding, at least at that point in time, of basic security structures and legal realities in key countries that are fighting terrorism.

Asked during the interview if it was “normal” for a political party in “developed democracies” to establish “in reality, a paramilitary group,” Gorka responded: “Well it depends on which country. If we look at the Swiss or Israeli example, then it’s completely natural…. Even in America, where the largest and wealthiest military exists, there are such programs where people can access weapons almost for free if they attend an organized shooting training and always belong to an organization.”

Gorka dismisses the interviewer’s objection that the units in these countries — military reserve units in Israel and Switzerland, or, in the United States, National Guard forces — “are in effect under the military’s control.”

“It is clear after the disturbances in Hungary last year [that] a need has arisen” to which Jobbik is responding, Gorka says.

Jobbik, which announced its establishment of the Hungarian Guard in June 2007, has a long record of anti-Semitic and anti-Roma positions and statements. One of the Guard’s founding members was Gábor Vona, Jobbik’s leader. The organization’s declared aim was to defend “ethnic Hungarians,” since, its founders argued, Hungary lacked other means of “physical, mental or spiritual self-defense.”

The Guard was formally banned in 2009, with the country’s highest court ruling that its anti-Roma marches violated the rights of the Hungarian Roma community. In 2013, two of its members were found guilty in a string of racially motivated murders of Hungarian Roma, including the killing of a 5-year-old, committed in 2008 and 2009.

In 2013, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Hungary’s unusual blanket ban on the group was legal. “The movement’s activities and manifestations were based on the racial conflict between Hungarian majority and Roma minority,” the court ruled.

Gorka’s interview was aired about three weeks before the Guard’s first official swearing-in ceremony. But at the time, many observers and Jewish groups were already protesting against the Guard and calling for a ban.

In an August 2007 open letter, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder and European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor warned then-Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány that the “impending creation of an armed guard, under the false guise of ‘sporting and shooting clubs,’ with uniforms resembling those worn by fascists in World War II” was a danger to democracy and should be stopped.

Gorka’s party, which he had launched only recently, was competing intensely with Jobbik and Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party at the time. While confirming his support for the Guard, its uniforms and its paramilitary nature, when asked whether the Guard would, indeed, resolve the problems he outlined in Hungary’s military and society, Gorka remarked: “Ah, it’s not that sure. With some kind of presentable organization, or several organizations, it could be possible.”

Following the interview, the New Democratic Coalition posted a link on its own party website, under the heading “UDK Supports The Hungarian Guard: Sebestyen [Sebastian] Gorka on EchoTV.” But nearly two weeks later, the party complained in a post on its website that his comments had been “misinterpreted.”

During the TV exchange, Gorka’s interviewer alluded to a popular conspiracy theory in Hungary regarding Israeli security companies maintaining an armed presence on Hungarian territory to back the government. “As you all mention in the analysis you wrote as well, Israeli-owned security companies which also do government tasks have to be liquidated,” the interviewer told Gorka.

The coalition’s leader did not contradict his interviewer’s account.

The televised interview was not the only time Gorka defended the Guard. A month later, in an interview with a Hungarian online portal, Gorka said that when it comes to the Guard, “it’s not worth talking about banning or a national security risk.”

Gorka left Hungary shortly thereafter, as his efforts to build a career in politics there failed. In 2008, after a report surfaced in a German-language publication about his support for paramilitary organizations, he wrote a letter denying that he had ever supported the Guard.

There is no evidence that Gorka himself has ever engaged in overtly anti-Semitic acts or participated in any of the Guard’s activities. But Gorka and some of his political supporters have argued that he has fought anti-Semitism throughout his career. The newly available video footage signals that Gorka not only failed to fight anti-Semitism, but also supported an openly intolerant paramilitary group and publicly rejected the Jewish community’s concerns about their own safety and the safety of other minorities due to the group’s founding. . . .

 

. . . . Gorka’s party, which he had launched only recently, was competing intensely with Jobbik and Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party at the time. While confirming his support for the Guard, its uniforms and its paramilitary nature, when asked whether the Guard would, indeed, resolve the problems he outlined in Hungary’s military and society, Gorka remarked: “Ah, it’s not that sure. With some kind of presentable organization, or several organizations, it could be possible.”

Following the interview, the New Democratic Coalition posted a link on its own party website, under the heading “UDK Supports The Hungarian Guard: Sebestyen [Sebastian] Gorka on EchoTV.” But nearly two weeks later, the party complained in a post on its website that his comments had been “misinterpreted.”

During the TV exchange, Gorka’s interviewer alluded to a popular conspiracy theory in Hungary regarding Israeli security companies maintaining an armed presence on Hungarian territory to back the government. “As you all mention in the analysis you wrote as well, Israeli-owned security companies which also do government tasks have to be liquidated,” the interviewer told Gorka.

The coalition’s leader did not contradict his interviewer’s account.

The televised interview was not the only time Gorka defended the Guard. A month later, in an interview with a Hungarian online portal, Gorka said that when it comes to the Guard, “it’s not worth talking about banning or a national security risk.”

Gorka left Hungary shortly thereafter, as his efforts to build a career in politics there failed. In 2008, after a report surfaced in a German-language publication about his support for paramilitary organizations, he wrote a letter denying that he had ever supported the Guard.

1b. Sanders was a Presidential elector for the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party in 1980. In addition to being an indication of Sanders being politically and intellectually immature, we wonder if sinister elements may have focused on him, tabbing him for eventual manipulation. (We do not feel that Sanders himself is willfully sinister–we feel he is immature, unintelligent and vulnerable to manipulation.)

“Bernie Sanders’ Radical Past” by Michelle Goldberg; Slate; 2/24/2016.

. . . . There’s more. In 1980, Sanders served as an elector for the Socialist Workers Party, which was founded on the principles of Leon Trotsky. According to the New York Times, that party called for abolishing the military budget. It also called for “solidarity” with the revolutionary regimes in Iran, Nicaragua, Grenada, and Cuba; this was in the middle of the Iranian hostage crisis. . . .

1c. The SWP was used as a vehicle for giving a left cover to spooks and Nazis, including Lee Harvey Oswald.

The Militant;” Wikipedia.com

. . . . Current publication[edit]

The Socialist Workers Party was founded on December 31, 1937, by Trotskyists following the expulsion of the “Socialist Appeal faction” from the Socialist Party of America. The SWP’s newspaper continued to be known as Socialist Appeal until 1941 when it was renamed The Militant. This publication has continued without interruption into the decade of the 2010s.

In the summer of 2005, The Militant became a bilingual newspaper, published in both English and Spanish (El Militante), and with lead articles and editorials appearing in both languages. A French edition was inaugurated in 2012 named Le Militant.

The Militant is not officially owned or controlled by the SWP. To protect the party and the paper, The Militant is owned by a private group[citation needed], although the endorsement the paper gives to the SWP is clear.

Controversy[edit]

The Militant became notorious after a photo surfaced showing Lee Harvey Oswald, the sniper who assassinated president John F. Kennedy, holding a copy of the publication along with a rifle. . . .

2. Many key Nazis saw the Trotskyite political paradigm as a template for their own operations. We wonder if Sanders is being manipulated by elements looking to undermine the Democratic Party.

The Nazis Go Underground by Curt Riess; Doubleday, Doran and Co., Inc. [HC]; Copyright 1944 by Curt Riess; p. 11.

. . . . Strangely enough, among the underground movements for which the Nazis, or at least a few of them, have always had a particular interest was the Communist underground of the early twentieth century and the Trotsky underground in the late nineteen twenties and early thirties. On one occasion, during the late twenties, Hitler himself asked a few of his lieutenants what they thought of Leon Trotsky. Since Trotsky was a Communist and a Jew on top of that, these lieutenants pretended to feel disgust and horror at the mere mention of his name. The Führer, however, did not agree with them. “You should read his books, “ he barked. “We can learn a lot from him. “

At least one of the Nazis besides Hitler did read Trotsky’s books and became very familiar with his ideas and methods of organization. That man, of course, was Himmler. He also knew many things about Trotsky’s methods, because Rudolf Hess and several other men of the Hess organization were at different times in close touch with the Russian Communist leader. The development of the Trotsky movement may have given Himmler more than one idea for the underground movement he is now working out. Trotsky was deprived of any direct power after his exclusion from the Russian Government. But even then he still retained considerable indirect power, because he did not lose contact with his adherents, many of whom kept their key positions within the apparatus of the state. If, as frequently happened, one of these men was found out to be a conspirator against the Soviet Russian Government, all he had to do was to say that he had been wrong, to repent, and in most cases he would be reinstalled and could continue exercising his subversive influence. It was thus that Trotsky, or, rather, Trotsky’s movement, continued to hold a great number of positions party, within the army, within the secret police, and, above all, within the diplomatic service. It was at least theoretically possible that the day would come when all these men would take over their departments in which they were working. And thus, indeed, an underground movement could have taken over the whole government and the running of the country without any great difficulty. . . .

3a.  None other than Graham E. Fuller, the “ex” CIA officer who is (arguably) the biggest advocate for the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. intelligence community describes himself as being “galvanized” by Sanders. The values espoused by Sanders are the opposite of those advocated by Fuller. WHY is Fuller so supportive of Sanders?

  • None other than Graham E. Fuller, who was CIA station chief in Kabul, helped start the first Afghan war, was something of a Godfather for al-Qaeda and figures in the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing, is pulling for “Boinie,” as well as touting Donald Trump as a desirable candidate. “. . . . Like many others, I have been galvanized at watching the spectacle of Bernie Sanders proclaiming issues in his campaign that had been virtually off limits for political discussion for decades: gap between rich and poor, rapacious international trade deals, a fair wage, free university education, the call for US balance (gasp!) in handling the Arab-Israeli, issue, etc. The great thing about Bernie — even if he probably won’t get nominated — is that he has pushed hawkish, friend-of-Wall-Street Hillary to the left. She has as much acknowledged that. That will be Bernie’s greatest legacy. I would have hoped that the issues Sanders has raised can never be shoved back into the political toothpaste tube again. . . . .”
  • Might elements of the CIA be pulling for “Boinie?” Compare Graham E. Fuller “feeling the Bern” with his advocacy for the Muslim Brotherhood: “. . . Fuller comes from that fac­tion of CIA Cold War­riors who believed (and still appar­ently believe) that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam, even in its rad­i­cal jihadi form, does not pose a threat to the West, for the sim­ple rea­son that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam is con­ser­v­a­tive, against social jus­tice, against social­ism and redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth, and in favor of hier­ar­chi­cal socio-economic struc­tures. Social­ism is the com­mon enemy to both cap­i­tal­ist Amer­ica and to Wah­habi Islam, accord­ing to Fuller. . . ‘There is no main­stream Islamic organization…with rad­i­cal social views,’ he wrote. Clas­si­cal Islamic the­ory envis­ages the role of the state as lim­ited to facil­i­tat­ing the well-being of mar­kets and mer­chants rather than con­trol­ling them. Islamists have always pow­er­fully objected to social­ism and communism….Islam has never had prob­lems with the idea that wealth is unevenly dis­trib­uted.’ . . . .”

3b. To give us some depth on Fuller’s views and how frankly fishy his support for Sanders is, we review the Brotherhood’s advocacy of corporate economics.

Ibn Khaldun is highly regarded by the Brotherhood and that attitude has led the corporate business community to support the Brotherhood. Note that no less an authority than the World Bank views Ibn Khaldun—revered by the Brotherhood—as “the first advocate of privatization”!

“Islam in Office” by Stephen Glain; Newsweek; 7/3-10/2006.

. . . . The Muslim Brotherhood hails 14th century philosopher Ibn Khaldun as its economic guide. Anticipating supply-side economics, Khaldun argued that cutting taxes raises production and tax revenues, and that state control should be limited to providing water, fire and free grazing land, the utilities of the ancient world. The World Bank has called Ibn Khaldun the first advocate of privatization. [Emphasis added.] His founding influence is a sign of moderation. If Islamists in power ever do clash with the West, it won’t be over commerce.

3c. We note that Karl Rove was helping to finance the campaign of Bernie Sanders.

. . . . American Crossroads—founded by former Bush adviser Karl Rove—and several other conservative-backed super PACs have spent the last month intentionally fueling the Bern, but their zeal has more to do with an effort to weaken Hillary Clinton, whom they still see as the likely Democratic nominee and harder to defeat in the general election.

In the wake of Clinton’s close Nevada win, Crossroads claimed credit for driving her numbers down in favor of Sanders.

“American Crossroads and Bernie Sanders helped Nevada caucus-goers see right through Hillary Clinton’s manufactured zeal on immigration reform after spewing virulent Trump-like rhetoric—and that one-two punch shaved Clinton’s 50-point lead a year ago to a slim, single digit win,” Steven Law, Crossroads CEO and president, said in a statement.

Crossroads is one of several groups that has released ads that have been aimed at branding Sanders as the only true progressive in the race—a strategy the Vermont senator’s campaign also embraces.

“If it helps push the needle so that she loses a state, and she comes out a weakened candidate, then fantastic,” said Ian Prior, communications director for Crossroads.

On Monday, Future 45, a super PAC reportedly backed by hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, launched the latest in its own series of ads that seem to defend Sanders. . . .

. . . . Still, the Clinton campaign has cried foul, noting that Sanders’s supporters have been echoing Republican attacks on Clinton and that he certainly has not been rejecting the ads. . . .

5a. Sanders was an advocate of making all Democratic primaries “open”–permitting Republicans to help choose the Democratic presidential candidate.

“Making Democrats’ Primaries More Open Could Be Harder Than You Think” by Scott Detrow; National Public Radio; 5/21/2016.

As the Democrats’ primary process begins to wind down, the big question on a lot of people’s mind is, what does Bernie Sanders want?

The Vermont senator now has a lot of clout within the Democratic Party, and is in the position to demand some changes.

One thing Sanders has voiced concerns about is how Democrats vote for president: He’s made it clear he doesn’t like closed primaries, where only Democrats can vote.

Neither do Sanders supporters. When Sanders mentioned during a primary night rally this week that Kentucky is “a closed primary, something I am not all that enthusiastic about, where independents are not allowed to vote,” the California crowd roared to life with boos.

So, perhaps Sanders will make a push the party to embrace open primaries at the Democratic National Convention this summer.

There are electoral stakes here. All year, Sanders has done better in contests where independents, or even registered Republicans, were allowed to participate.

Of course, has also done well in caucuses, which are very closed and very limited, compared to statewide primaries. . . .

5b. More about Sanders’ advocacy of open primaries for the DNC:

“Open Primaries Are a Terrible Idea, Especially Knowing the GOP is Moving Toward Closed Primaries” by Bob Cesca; The Daily Banter; 5/25/2016.

Basic logic dictates that members of the Democratic Party should be exclusively tasked with choosing the Democratic Party nominee for president…

. . . .Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is under pressure from Bernie Sanders supporters to eliminate closed primaries, thus allowing any registered voter to chime in, regardless of party affiliation. The idea is that too many independent voters who wanted to support Bernie Sanders were unable to do so in 29 states because they weren’t registered Democrats. But, see, you can’t have your Bernie cake and eat it, too. You can’t shun the Democratic Party then expect to have a voice in who the Democrats nominate. It’s up to the Dems to decide, not independent voters who refuse to join a party, or Republicans, for that matter, who have a vested interest in seeing Democrats defeated.

Frankly, there shouldn’t be any open primaries in the first place. Basic logic dictates that members of the Democratic Party should be exclusively tasked with choosing the Democratic Party nominee for president, as well as congressional offices and so forth.

Second, it’s a huge mistake for the Democrats to unilaterally make a change like this since it’d leave the process completely and lopsidedly vulnerable to Republican tampering, not unlike Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” in 2008 whereby Republicans, freed up after John McCain secured his nomination, were urged to cross over and vote for Hillary Clinton in order to stir up the contentiousness of that race. Open primaries allowed it to happen.

Nevertheless, no one was disenfranchised by the existence of 29 closed primary states. (Voter ID and local incompetence, on the other hand, disenfranchised many.) Independents who managed to overcome an unforgivably glitchy registration process were allowed to vote in the Democratic primaries, even in the closed states, by planning ahead and registering as Democrats. Furthermore, there’s always the opportunity to help decide the nominee from one of the third parties. Weirdly, however, it always seems like the third parties nominate the same people over and over (Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, for instance). It appears as if the Democratic Party, and even the GOP, has a much more strenuously democratic (small “d”) process than the Libertarian or Green parties, each of which magically nominate the same two candidates every year with very little input from voters. Funny how that works.

Anyway.

And finally, eliminating closed Democratic primaries is mostly about Bernie Sanders failing to win the nomination, and not out of an idealistic democratic need for inclusiveness. This appears to be a post-mortem reaction after failing to secure the nomination, having realized too late that closed primaries would hurt Bernie’s chances. Conversely, Bernie supporters would likely support closed primaries if such a rule had helped, rather than hurt Bernie’s delegate count. Clearly, there’s a bit of sour grapes here, and no decisions about eliminating closed primaries should be made while tensions are still high and feelings are still crushed. The consequences would only serve to harm Democratic candidates and Democratic whip counts, especially if the GOP chooses to go with closed primaries across-the-board.

So, hopefully this particular movement will die a quick death before any damage is done.

6a. In FTR #941, we highlighted the push by Bernie Sanders and his prominent backer Tulsi Gabbard to have Keith Ellison, an African-American Muslim to be head of the DNC. He was not elected head of the DNC, but is now deputy chair of the DNC, the position formerly held by Gabbard.

We fleshed out Gabbard’s incoherent politics and fascist links in FTR #’s 942 and 945 as well.

Ellison is networked with the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Nation of Islam as well.

With Ellison now holding down the #2 position in the DNC, the Democrats may be poised to be cast as “the Terrorist Party” in the event of a future incident or incidents.

“The Ellison Deception” by Jared Israel [edited by Samantha Criscione]; The Emperor’s New Clothes; 1/30/2017.

 . . . . If you are like most people, you probably don’t know much about Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, but after you read what I have posted below, you will see that describing it as “radical black Muslims” trivializes the horror of an apparatus of fascists – photographic negative images of David Duke and company – thus supporting the impression, which David Corn and others wish to convey, that the Ellison controversy is nothing more than the politically motivated harassment of a progressive politician, exploiting some minor indiscretions, long, long ago. . . .

. . . . As Pioneer Press, the second highest circulation newspaper in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, reported in a June 21, 1998 article on Ellison’s campaign for the office of State representative, Ellison had been the Minnesota ‘coordinator’ [7] of the so-called Million Man March.  Given that Farrakhan’s march was a Nation of Islam project, it follows that the Minnesota coordinator was either a member of the Nation of Islam or so close to the NOI as to be indistinguishable from a member.  Indeed, the June 21, 1998 article states that at that time – that is, three years after Farrakhan’s march – Ellison was a member of the Nation of Islam:”Ellison has been active in the community, but not within the established DFL party [the Democratic Party in Minnesota]. A member of the Nation of Islam, Ellison was the coordinator of the Minnesota participants in the Million Man March and the subsequent community group that formed.” [See footnote 7]

In the next article in this series, I will present hard evidence that Ellison was already a member in 1995, when he was organizing for Farrakhan’s march.

(During the current debate over Ellison’s Nation of Islam ties, nobody else has mentioned the June 21, 1998 Pioneer Press article, let alone posted it on the Internet.  You can read it in Appendix I, where we have copied it for Fair Use – very fair, since it contains information vital for assessing a key politician.  Let’s get this information out to as many people as possible!) . . . .

6b. We note that another of Keith Ellison’s supporters to head the DNC was Faisal Gill, a Grover Norquist protege whom we covered in FTR #467. Gill was the former operations director of Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute.

“Vermont Elects First Muslim Party Chair, Sends ‘Strong Message’ to Trump” by Alex Seitz-Wald; NBC News ; 3/6/2017.

“To have a Muslim and immigrant to be the state party chair sends a really strong message to Trump and his type of politics that this is not where the country is at,” he told NBC News.

The White House released a new executive order Monday restricting travel from six Muslim-majority countries after a federal court halted an earlier version. Trump says the move is necessary for security, but Gill and other critics say it’s merely an attempt to legally discriminate against Muslims.

Gill is an outsider in ultra-white, ultra-liberal Vermont in more ways than one. In a state that is nearly 95 percent white, a Pakistani-born former Republican from Virginia stands out.

“Us and Wyoming keep going back and forth for least diverse,” Gill quipped.

After emigrating to the U.S. and going to law school, Gill served five years in the Navy’s JAG corps before entering Republican politics in Virginia. That led to a post in the Department of Homeland Security under George W. Bush. . . .

6c. In FTR #467, we discussed a Fifth Column that Mr. Emory believes facilitated the 9/11 attacks. One of the principal elements in the development of this Fifth Column is GOP kingmaker Grover Norquist’s active recruitment of Islamists to the Republican cause. Many of Norquist’s Islamist recruits had terrorist ties. Among the Norquist recruits is Faisal Gill, whose sensitive position with the Department of Homeland Security places him in possession of top-secret information about the vulnerability of America’s seaports, aviation facilities and nuclear power plants. Gill, in turn, is linked to Abdurahman Alamoudi, part of the Al Taqwa milieu implicated in the financing of Al Qaeda. Gill’s appointment is all the more alarming in light of his apparent lack of intelligence qualifications.

Now, Gill is in the Democratic Party and was touting Muslim Brotherhood and Nation of Islam fellow traveler Keith Ellison to head the DNC.

Recapping a portion of FTR #467, the program highlights the appointment of Faisal Gill—a Norquist protégé—to a sensitive intelligence position with the Department of Homeland Security. Note that Gill, in turn, is closely associated with Abdurahman Alamoudi, an intimate of the Al Taqwa milieu.

It is frightening to note the information to which Gill’s appointment has given him access.

Documents seized from Sami Al-Arian indicate that the Fifth Column about which Mr. Emory has hypothesized in connection with 9/11 was indeed contemplated by people targeted by the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002. (Alamoudi and Al-Arian are part of the milieu targeted in those raids. For more about Al-Arian, see—among other programs—FTR #s 462, 464, 538.)

As is the case with Ellison, can the Democrats now be cast as “the Terrorist Party”? Will Faisal Gill be in a position to communicate useful intelligence for a future terrorist incident?

“How Secure is the Department of Homeland Security?” by Mary Jacoby; Salon.com; 6/22/2004. 

The policy director for the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence division was briefly removed from his job in March when the Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered he had failed to disclose his association with Abdurahman Alamoudi, a jailed American Muslim leader. Alamoudi was indicted last year on terrorism-related money-laundering charges and now claims to have been part of a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdullah.

After a flurry of interagency meetings, however, Homeland Security decided to leave the policy director, Faisal Gill, in place, according to two government officials with knowledge of the Alamoudi investigation. A White House political appointee with close ties to Republican power broker Grover Norquist and no apparent background in intelligence, Gill has access to top-secret information on the vulnerability of America’s seaports, aviation facilities and nuclear power plants to terrorist attacks. 

The FBI raised concerns with Homeland Security officials in March after discovering that Gill had failed to list on security clearance documents his work in 2001 with the American Muslim council, the officials said. The advocacy group, which was controlled by Alamoudi, has been under scrutiny in an investigation of terrorism financing. The lead agent in that investigation works for an arm of Homeland Security. Gill’s omission of the information on his ‘Standard Form 86’ national security questionnaire is a potential felony violation. There is no evidence, however, that Gill has taken any action to compromise national security.”

A Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman would not comment on Gill or when he was hired, except to say that a ‘thorough investigation’ by the department’s Office of Security found no basis to deny the 32-year-old lawyer a security clearance. Among gill’s political patrons is Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform and a key ally of the White House. Gill listed Norquist as a reference on employment documents, the government officials said. Gill also worked in 2001 for a Muslim political outreach organization that Norquist co-founded with a former top aide to Alamoudi. [That is the Islamic Institute—D.E.] Norquist did not respond to phone calls, a fax and an e-mail seeking comment. . . .

. . . . Mark Zaid, a lawyer in private practice in Washington who specializes in security clearance cases, said it would be unusual for an agency to overlook omissions on a security clearance application. ‘Most agencies get really upset and suspicious and act antagonistically toward applicants if they find they withheld information,’ he said, adding that a minor violation might be forgiven. But he said if the issue concerned failing to list employment at ‘a terrorist organization or one that’s being investigated, all sorts of red flags would go up.’ Gill’s placement in the sensitive intelligence job has alarmed government officials because it fits the operating theory of prosecutors and investigators that Alamoudi was part of a long-term scheme by Islamic extremists to place friendly, if perhaps unwitting, associates in key U.S. government positions.

A document seized in a 1995 raid of a close Alamoudi friend and political ally, former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian, outlined a plan to ‘infiltrate the sensitive intelligence agencies or the embassies in order to collect information and build close relationships with the people in charge of these establishments.’ The unsigned document, which authorities believe was authored by Al-Arian in part because it was found among his papers, added: ‘We are in the center which leads the conspiracy against our Islamic world . . . Our presence in North America gives us a unique opportunity to monitor, explore and follow up.’ It instructed members of the ‘center,’ thought to refer to an Islamic think tank that Al-Arian founded, to ‘collect information from those relatives and friends who work in sensitive positions in government.’

Al-Arian is in a Florida prison awaiting trial next year on charges he was the North American leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a group that has targeted Israel with suicide bombings. He denies all the charges. But investigators believe Al-Arian and Alamoudi were part of a broader political Islamic movement in the United States that connects sympathizers of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and al-Qaida.

‘This movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, is the umbrella under which terror groups have forged ‘a significant degree of cooperation and coordination within our borders,’ former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke told the Senate Banking Committee last year. ‘The common link here is the extremist Muslim Brotherhood—all of these organizations are descendants of the membership and ideology of the Muslim Brothers.’ Alamoudi, for example, has spoken openly of his admiration for the anti-Israeli Hamas, which evolved from a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Arian’s circle of associates, meanwhile, overlaps with members of the Brooklyn, N.Y., precursor to al-Qaida that was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

The ties among Alamoudi, the Muslim Brotherhood and Gill help explain why officials are concerned about whether Gill was adequately vetted. These relationships are difficult to understand without immersion in the indictments, court transcripts and case exhibits; the concerned officials said they fear that busy political operatives in the administration simply do not grasp the national-security issues at stake. ‘There’s an overall denial in the administration that the agenda being pushed by Norquist might be a problem,’ one official said. ‘It’s so absurd that a Grover Norquist person could even be close to something like this. That’s really what’s so insidious.’ . . . .

. . . . In 1999 a group of reformers ousted Alamoudi as AMC executive director amid questions about the group’s opaque finances and mysterious Middle Eastern funding sources. Alamoudi took a position at the affiliated American Muslim Foundation but remained in control of the AMC through friendly board members, the reformers said. ‘I had concerns about the reluctance to reveal information about the finances. They said they’re not doing well, that they needed more money, but I looked at their office [in Washington], and it was very big,’ said one of the would-be reformers, Ikram Khan, a surgeon in Las Vegas. Khan said he resigned from the AMC board when his friend, Nazir Khaja, a Pakistani-American physician from California who was trying to open the group’s books, told him that Alamoudi was not cooperating. ‘I said, ‘if this is the case, I cannot continue to serve in the group,’ and I sent in my resignation letter,’ Khan said. . . .

. . . . U.S. Justice Department is examining whether Alamoudi was conspiring with a London group the Saudi government says is linked to Osama bin Laden. Who is Abdurahman Alamoudi? We really don’t know,’ one of the concerned government officials said.’ So how can we say there is not a problem with his former aide? He [Gill] has access to information about all our vulnerabilities—aviation, ports. He knows what is protected and what is not.’

Yet some officials remain concerned that Gill apparently enjoys the political protection of Norquist, the architect of the 1994 Republican election sweep that brought Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich to power as House speaker. Norquist speaks of ‘crushing’ his political opponents and dismisses those who don’t agree with his anti-tax, anti-government agenda as ‘Bolsheviks.’ His power derives from a formidable coalition of evangelical, business and other conservative groups that he controls to push favored GOP issues, as well as from his close relationship with White House political chief Karl Rove.

In 1998, Norquist and a former deputy to Alamoudi at the AMC co-founded the nonprofit Islamic Institute as part of a drive to win Muslim voters for Bush in 2000. Alamoudi donated $35,000 to the institute, records show. Soon, the Islamic Institute, the AMC and Al-Arian were all working together on a top priority for American Muslims: an end to the use of classified intelligence to jail noncitizens as national-security threats. Al-Arian’s brother-in-law had been jailed on the basis of such secret evidence linking him to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Al-Arian lobbied heavily on Capitol Hill to end the practice. In October 2000, through the efforts of Norquist and Rove, Bush came out against secret evidence in a debate with Al Gore, and the AMC endorsed Bush for president. Al-Arian would later claim that the Muslim votes he rounded up for Bush in Florida helped decide the election.

Gill was in the middle of these advocacy efforts. As director of government affairs at Norquist’s Islamic Institute, Gill lobbied against the use of secret evidence, according to a May 2001 release on the institute’s Web site. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Gill was quoted in news articles as a spokesman for the AMC. A Washington Post article from May 2001, meanwhile, identified Gill as a spokesman for the ‘fledgling’ Taxpayers Alliance of Prince William County, Va., which is affiliated with Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. According to the Post article, Norquist was slated to appear with Gill at an anti-tax rally. . . .

7. The program concludes with an excerpt from Miscellaneous Archive Show M11: Uncle Sam and the Swastika.

At the same that St. Bernard was a Presidential elector for the Socialist Workers Party, Mr. Emory was doing this:

Discussion

6 comments for “FTR #953 Saint Bernard: Rebel Without A Clue”

  1. Two points of interest:

    First, much was made of Sanders’ photos showing him participating in the Civil Rights movement, including this photo:  http://imgur.com/gallery/pHnRuDB. If the photo is authentic, would the FBI have taken an interest in identifying and investigating the apparent “domestic threats” they viewed people like Sanders as?  Did Sanders have a 1960s FBI file?  Even the Reverend William Sloan Coffin, as it turns out, was an informant for the FBI.

    Second, not much notice has been given to the on-the-job media training given to Trump and Bernie (but not Hillary).

    Trump was given an NBC show that effectively gave him “television training” and media practice.  Bernie Sanders has been a weekly radio guest (and more recently, video guest) on the syndicated Thom Hartmann radio show and television show “The Big Picture” every Friday for over 15 years.

    Hartmann is a “bedrock FDR Democrat” whose bona fides are difficult to question.  And yet…

    Hartmann co-wrote a JFK assassination book that erases the CIA as a suspect, pins the blame on the mafia & RFK himself.  The title “Ultimate Sacrifice” refers to RFK’s alleged “sacrificial silence” due to a “cover-up” of a “Kennedy anti-Castro coup plot.”  This theory is lightweight rubbish, of course, as it fails to take into account dozens of examples of plot holes in that theory.

    Hartmann is fluent in German and travels to Germany every year by his own account.  Some of his other interests include children & hypnosis & NLP.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thom_Hartmann#Other_areas_of_notability

    “Trained in the 1970s in Neuro-Linguistic Programming by Richard Bandler (Hartmann is licensed by Bandler’s Society of NLP as both an NLP Practitioner and an NLP Trainer)”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thom_Hartmann#Business_career

    “Hartmann moved to New Hampshire to start The New England Salem Children’s Village,[20] which still operates in Rumney, New Hampshire. He was its Executive Director for five years, and on the board of directors for more than 25 years. NESCT’s child-care model was based on that of the German Salem International organization, and through his affiliation with that group he helped start international relief programs in Uganda, Colombia, Russia, Israel, India, Australia, and several other countries between 1979 and today.[citation needed]

    “…Hartmann founded International Wholesale Travel and its retail subsidiary Sprayberry Travel in Atlanta in 1983, a business which in the intervening years has generated over a quarter of a billion dollars in revenue.[21][22] According to their website, Sprayberry Travel was lauded by the Wall Street Journal in 1984 for being one of the early adopters of frequent travel programs analogous to the recently initiated frequent flyer programs of the airline industry.[23] He sold his share in the business in 1986 and retired with his family to Germany to work with the international relief organization Salem International.[24] In the late 1970s, he had been a trainer in advertising and marketing for The American Marketing Centers (now defunct), and in 1987 after returning from Germany founded the Atlanta advertising agency Chandler, MacDonald, Stout, Schneiderman & Poe, Inc., which did business as The Newsletter Factory.[25] He sold his interest in that company in 1996 and retired to Vermont.”

    Written by Hartmann himself on his website is a denial of being in the CIA.  No BND denial, though.

    https://www.thomhartmann.com/thom-hartmann-biography

    “An inveterate traveler and sometimes a risk-taker, Hartmann has often found himself in the world’s hot spots on behalf of the German-based Salem international relief organization or as a writer, a situation which causes his friends to sometimes wonder aloud if he works for the CIA (he does not and never has). He was, for example, in The Philippines when Ferdinand Marcos fled the country; in Egypt the week Anwar Sadat was shot; in Uganda during the war of liberation by Tanzania; in Hungary when the first East German refugees arrived; in Germany when the wall came down; in Beijing during the first student demonstrations; in Thailand when the military coup of 1991 occurred; in Barbados during the 2004 anti-government strikes and shutdowns; in Bogota and Medellin, Colombia, during the spate of killings of presidential candidates; in Israel, in the West Bank town of Nablus, the week the Intifada started there; on the Czech border the week Chernobyl melted down; in Kenya during the first big wave of crackdowns on dissidents; and in Venezuela during the 1991 coup attempt…”

    That Hartmann gave Sanders invaluable hundreds of hours of media experience is not in question. Whether Hartmann’s background is murky or whether he was a long game player is up to you. Would be possibly noteworthy to look into who purchased his “tea company”.

    Posted by Port of Denver | April 16, 2017, 7:52 pm
  2. @Port of Denver–

    Wow! Bandler’s NLP was utilized by the CIA and is a form of neurolinguistic mind control. It would not surprise me if Bandler was clandestinely funded by the Agency of some similar organization.

    Hartmann’s presence in key areas at the time he was there is more than a little interesting.

    Do note that an undercover operative would not admit that he was such.

    He or she would work to blend in with the milieu targeted for infiltration.

    The cardinal rule for a good double agent: “Make yourself indisputable to the effort.”

    Hartmann has admitted that he worked for a PR firm that has done work for the CIA.

    Good show!

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | April 17, 2017, 8:59 pm
  3. @Port of Denver: As someone who has listened to Thom Hartman’s show for years and hours of his “Brunch with Bernie” show segments, I can definitely attest to the value of those appearances in raises Bernie’s national profile. Showing up for an ‘anything goes’ Q&A hour week after week for years really did make a big difference both in terms of Bernie’s national profile. But I think it’s important to point out that Thom was anything but a “Bernie or Bust”-er throughout the primary and general campaign. Quite the opposite. And after Hillary won the primary, the call-in segments of Thom’s show often devolved into him fighting wave after wave of “Bernie or Busters” callers (it’s a talk radio show, so those kinds of calls were inevitable, and many were trolls). So while Thom certainly played a big role in the rise of Bernie simply by giving him a regular platform for years (a platform that ended when Bernie entered the 2016 race), he was also one of the leading anti-Bernie-or-bust voices with a national radio show during the race.

    And regarding speculation that he could be CIA, if so that would be quite a twist since he has a nightly show on RT and has been the one of the least-focused liberal talk radio personalities on the Trump/Russia story. The book, “The Prophet’s Way: A Guide to Living in the Now”, where he discusses his mentor, Gottfried Muller, is available on Google books, so that would be one place to look for more info about his background. If he’s some sort of undercover operative, he’s not just deep undercover but seemingly pointlessly undercover too because after years of listening to him I can’t recall anything that struck me as indicative of someone trying to screw over the Left. Quite the opposite. Consistently.

    All that said, it’s definitely useful to note the role “Brunch with Bernie” played in giving him the kind of national fan base on the Left that may have made it seem like he came out of nowhere after starting his 2016 campaign. If anything, that should be one of the most valuable lessons the Democrats can take from the Bernie phenomena: regular question/answer time in a public setting like a radio show is an invaluable political tool. An invaluable tool that’s almost never been turned into a regular thing by any politician in either party. And yet here we are with Bernie being the popular elected official in the US after a campaign where he basically campaigned on the same themes he was promoting during “Brunch with Bernie” all those years. At least “Brunch with Bernie” has been replaced with “Brunch with Marc Pocan” so there’s still at one elected official regularly doing a question/answer segment but it’s unfortunate that more Democrats haven’t found a similar regular Q&A radio spot.

    At the same time, you exactly can’t blame Democratic politicians for not doing more radio Q&A shows simply because of the relative dearth of liberal political talk shows on the air. Not just shows with a national profile like Hartmann’s show which is the most popular liberal talk radio show in the US but still only has a small fraction of the audience of, say, Sean Hannity’s far-right radio show, but also at the local level. Sure, much of the lack of left-wing talk radio is due to the choices of right-wing radio station owners and/or a lack of interest in such formats by liberal audiences, but regardless of the reasons, the Bernie phenomena has underscored the untapped potential for using that format to promote progressive ideas in that talk radio back-and-forth debate environment. Considering the profound, and profoundly negative, impact right-wing talk radio has had on the American psyche and how much influence right-wing talk radio hosts have on the public mind it’s pretty clear that the political talk radio medium can have a huge impact on a populace and the Left has largely abandoned that space. With the exception of a few national shows like Hartmann’s.

    Something that would be nice to see from all this is a push to intertwine the issues of public financing of campaigns with a parallel push to see regular Q&A sessions from elected officials. Like, every week. Tie the two ideas together and make it clear to the public that less time spent fundraising means a lot more time available for direct interactions with the public. Because at this point members of Congress spend more time on the phone fundraising than just about anything else. 3-4 hours a day. All time that could have been much better spent on Q&A sessions and town halls. Or anything else, really, considering political fundraising is basically legal bribery. Plus, the more time the public spends listening to Q&A sessions or attending town halls, the less need there is for political ads in general. So maybe that could be one of the lessons the Democrats can take from the role the Thom Hartmann Show played with the rise of Bernie: “Brunch with [insert elected official’s name here]” isn’t just a catchy radio segment. It could be an important “public lobbying” component of a model for replacing the current nightmare system of lobbying we have today with public financing of campaigns and LOTS of Q&A sessions. And if a big corporation wants to lobby your elected official they can call up during the Q&A session or town hall. Wouldn’t that be fun.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 18, 2017, 2:50 pm
  4. I feel that Sanders was a rodent copulator who participated willingly in an orchestrated campaign to destroy Hillary Clinton and Democratic Party, not because of his vaunted “principles” but because he’s lazy and arrogant and knows he can make a fortune by branding himself as the “liberal” who slimes Democratic party. Though he’s lazy he’s shrewd. He knew exactly what he was doing, why he was doing it, and who the players were. He’s every bit as vile as Trump and Rethuglicans.

    I’m intrigued by your notion about Russians being part of smoke and mirrors effort to conceal who and what were behind hacking of DNC. The whole Russian thing never felt right to me. I feel there were other powers behind it but am not really sure who they are. It appears you are unraveling those threads. I’ve spent 50 years questioning the JFK assassination so I’m wary of the obvious.

    Posted by Kathleen O'Neill | April 18, 2017, 5:31 pm
  5. @Pterrafractyl and Kathleen O’Neill–

    Hartmann certainly was not part of the Bernie or Bust phenomenon, but I’ve regarded him as an intelligence agent or asset from my first awareness of him–his bs book on the JFK assassination.

    That book–claiming the Mafia did it (in short)–was CIA modified limited hangout circa F*ING 1980, and it was published in 2005!

    He’s a very bright guy and if he REALLY wanted to write a book about the JFK hit there was a world of good info to choose from at that point.

    I didn’t know about his interests in hypnosis and NLP at that point.

    The NLP connection smacks of intelligence ties.

    His appearances in world hot spots at key times is very interesting as well.

    I don’t think Sanders was deliberately trying to screw Hillary, but he is PROFOUNDLY immature and the egocentricity and self-righteousness that go with that level of immaturity are all cunning elements would need to manipulate him.

    Plus, he’s not very bright. Sorry, Pterra, but he’s no more than an average intellect with below average political skills.

    The older I get, the more the fable of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” becomes relevant.

    Sanders is the naked emperor of the left and, although I don’t think he is deliberately sinister, that is not really very important.

    He is devoid of real political skills and absolutely infatuated with himself. Plus, he’s stupid.

    The difference between an automobile murderer who sits at an intersection waiting for the intended victim, then guns the car and kills the targeted individual and a drunk who runs a red light and kills someone is the relevant comparison here, in my opinion.

    I strongly suspect the Salem International link is an intel cover.

    The “Russia did it” explanation for the high-profile hacks is ludicrous.

    NO intelligence service would behave like that, unless it were a rival intelligence service trying to target and frame a rival.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | April 18, 2017, 8:56 pm
  6. I agree with everything you said about Sanders except that he’s not sinister. I think he’s very toxic and malevolent. The fact that the Mainslime Media find him the only “Liberal” they worship should raise red flag (no pun intended).I have to ask myself why hasn’t he been scrutinized to the level that Clinton or Obama have been? I think if more genuine people (not the racist cultists or the paid bots”) knew about him they would become disenchanted.

    Interesting history about Tom Hartmann. I know nothing about him and I don’t listen to him. I haven’t missed anything.

    Posted by Kathleen O'Neill | April 19, 2017, 3:39 pm

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