A Confederacy of Dunces: The Democratic Establishment’s Assault on Sanders Begins

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/01/26/confederacy-dunces-democratic-establishments-assault-sanders-begins

“When a true genius appears in your world, you may know him by this sign; that all the dunces are against him in a confederacy.”
—Jonathon Swift

Well, it’s started.  You knew it would.  The Democratic establishment is going into attack mode as their anointed one  – Hillary Clinton – is in danger of losing.

Take a look at some of the assaults that have been launched within the last five days:

  • Sandy Goodman, a former producer at NBC Nightly News published a piece on the Huffington Post, entitled, Voting for Sanders is Voting Republican. The fact that Bernie does better than Hillary against Republicans is an inconvenient fact Goodman ignores in this ludicrous hit piece;
  • Paul Krugman’s column last Friday suggested that progressives voting for Sanders weren’t being “adults,” and had no idea how change occurred – in Krugman’s world, change doesn’t come from the people, apparently. It comes from party apparatchiks working with the plutocracy;
  • Thomas Friedman, another New York Times columnist, essentially called Sanders a communist – something he knows isn’t true, but it’s a great scare tactic;
  • President Obama said Bernie Sanders’ ideas haven’t been tested yet and went on to heap praise on Hillary.  It wasn’t an endorsement, but it came mighty close.

All of these are coming from credentialed liberals who have been staunch supporters of the Democratic Party.  And therein lies the problem. The Democratic Party’s interests are no longer aligned with the people’s interests and they haven’t been for a long time.

And this comes after Debbie Wassermann Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, set up the modern era’s first stealth debate program, designed to guarantee a coronation for Ms. Clinton and keep real progressives like Sanders and O’Malley under wraps.

But it’s not just the press and the Party.  Civil institutions, environmental groups, and unions that should be with the people – and therefore with Sanders – are lining up to back Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s traditional PAC candidate.

The bottom line is, the institutions that used to represent the people no longer derive their power from the people, so they are threatened by Sanders, because he does.

Make no mistake, this is about power.  

After decades, a right wing cabal of the uber-wealthy, in conjunction with corporations, has literally seized control of government.

Not only have they rolled back controls on Wall Street, turned elections into a bidding war in which politicians are purchased like livestock, and pared government funds down to the point where it can no longer function; they’ve also set up the rules so that corporations are our largest recipients of welfare and the 1% walks away with all the spoils. Incredibly, they’ve convinced people it’s good for them.

And Democrats have been co-authors of the problem. Even when poll after poll showed that the majority of American people are left of center on an issue-by-issue basis, Democrats inched to the center and then to the right of center … where, until a few months ago, is where you’d find Hillary, by the way.

Bottom line, until Sanders, the terms of the national debate were dictated by the Plutocracy, and there was no way to pierce the carefully constructed interlocking web of money, media, and myth the Oligarchs constructed.  Oh, there were voices – but they were largely consigned to the fringes of society, with little or no chance of breaking through to reach the masses of people who’ve been duped, fleeced and fooled into believing that government is inevitably inept, taxes are a curse, and an uber-free market our salvation.

Some of the players in media are a part of this process; some are merely so immersed in the system they’ve forgotten that it wasn’t always this way.  But either way …

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/01/26/confederacy-dunces-democratic-establishments-assault-sanders-begins

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Liberal Jews Trapped in ‘Terrifying’ New World of Uncompromising anti-Israel Views

From Haaretz:  http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-1.699452

Violent protests at a Jewish LGBTQ event in Chicago spotlight how growing emphasis on intersectionality is drowning out the nuances of debate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Debra Nussbaum Cohen
Jan 25, 2016

NEW YORK – The violent shut down of a Jerusalem-based LGBTQ forum by pro-Palestinian protesters in Chicago on Friday highlighted the growing influence of intersectionality in movements representing minorities and the increasing militancy of their anti-Israel views.

Gay Jews wanting to hear about the work of Jerusalem Open House were unwittingly caught in the middle of the protest at the Creating Change conference Friday night, which is the country’s largest LGBTQ gathering. They were sandwiched between anti-Israel activists and a reception intended to highlight the Israeli organization’s efforts. The protest at moments turned violent and threatened to become more so before being dispersed by police and staff at the Chicago Hilton, where the conference took place last week.

About 200 protesters crammed into a hotel hallway chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

The conference is organized by the National LGBTQ Task Force. The reception, designed to introduce JOH’s work in one of the most fraught cities anywhere for queer people, was hosted by A Wider Bridge, an American group that works to create relationships between LGBTQ people in America and Israel.

Steven Rosenberg, a psychiatric social worker in Chicago, went to Shabbat services at the conference and tried to go to the reception. He and a friend got caught in the crowd.

“It was a mob scene,” he said Sunday, still very shaken up. “I have no problem with there being a protest. I have a problem with people calling us murderers and racists. It was loud and they were chanting and hostile, and it felt like a very unsafe situation.”

“It was a mob scene,” he said Sunday, still very shaken up. “I have no problem with there being a protest. I have a problem with people calling us murderers and racists. It was loud and they were chanting and hostile, and it felt like a very unsafe situation.”

Complete article at:  http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-1.699452

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After anti-Israel rally at gay rights conference, an Israeli discovers BDS

From The Times of Israel:  http://www.timesofisrael.com/after-anti-israel-rally-at-gay-rights-conference-an-israeli-discovers-bds/

‘I knew about BDS, but I didn’t know how common or popular it was becoming,’ LGBTQ activist says as Jewish groups condemn protesters

By Eric Cortellessa
January 26, 2016

WASHINGTON — After Jewish groups widely praised the National LGBTQ Task Force’s decision to reverse its cancellation of a Jewish reception featuring Israeli speakers at the 28th annual Creating Change Conference in Chicago, Illinois, they are now condemning what unfolded at that eventual reception on Friday, where roughly 200 protesters prevented the event from taking place.

After igniting fierce controversy last week for the initial cancellation, the nation’s oldest gay rights advocacy group called it “a mistake.” And while its executive director expressed concern over plans that had been circulating for a protest, she urged all involved to remain “peaceful” — counsel that, according to American Jewish organizations and one of the Israelis who was targeted, was not embraced.

But while American Jewish organizations have been monitoring for years the nature of anti-Israel efforts in the United States, the incident was illuminating for an Israeli who traveled to the Windy City not to discuss the political situation between Israelis and Palestinians, but to highlight the struggle for acceptance and equality for gay, lesbian and transgender persons in Israel.

The anti-Israel demonstrators who turned up Friday evening prevented Tom Canning and Sarah Kala-Meir of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, an Israeli LGBTQ advocacy group, from sharing with a crowd their experiences dealing with the aftermath a fatal stabbing at last summer’s Jerusalem pride parade, which they themselves organized.

“The reception after the Kabbalat Shabbat service was supposed to be very lighthearted. We were going to talk about our work, how we dealt with what happened at the pride parade, how it impacted our community and what are our hopes and dreams for the future of Jerusalem,” Canning told The Times of Israel. “That was our plan. But we didn’t get to say a word of what we were planning on saying.”

After Arthur Slepian, executive director of A Wider Bridge — an organization that builds ties between LGBTQ communities in North America and Israel, which hosted the event — showed a video to the attendees and introduced Canning and Kala-Meir, the protesters broke through security and entered the room, eventually commandeering the stage.

But while American Jewish organizations have been monitoring for years the nature of anti-Israel efforts in the United States, the incident was illuminating for an Israeli who traveled to the Windy City not to discuss the political situation between Israelis and Palestinians, but to highlight the struggle for acceptance and equality for gay, lesbian and transgender persons in Israel.

The anti-Israel demonstrators who turned up Friday evening prevented Tom Canning and Sarah Kala-Meir of the Jerusalem Open House for Pride and Tolerance, an Israeli LGBTQ advocacy group, from sharing with a crowd their experiences dealing with the aftermath a fatal stabbing at last summer’s Jerusalem pride parade, which they themselves organized.

“The reception after the Kabbalat Shabbat service was supposed to be very lighthearted. We were going to talk about our work, how we dealt with what happened at the pride parade, how it impacted our community and what are our hopes and dreams for the future of Jerusalem,” Canning told The Times of Israel. “That was our plan. But we didn’t get to say a word of what we were planning on saying.”

After Arthur Slepian, executive director of A Wider Bridge — an organization that builds ties between LGBTQ communities in North America and Israel, which hosted the event — showed a video to the attendees and introduced Canning and Kala-Meir, the protesters broke through security and entered the room, eventually commandeering the stage.

Continue reading at:  http://www.timesofisrael.com/after-anti-israel-rally-at-gay-rights-conference-an-israeli-discovers-bds/

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