The massive effort to stop Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders

One of the features of the rise of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and Bernie Sanders in the US is the panic that it has induced among the ruling classes and all the organizations that they use to maintain their grip on power. Normally these groups could exercise their power discreetly in the shadows and let the electoral game play out, knowing that whoever wins will be subservient to their interests. But Corbyn and Sanders are too great a threat to the power structure to ignore or take likely and the rulers have been forced to become more overtly involved in the process in order to stop them.
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Donald Trump is such a charmer

He made the following remarks at a fundraiser last evening.

US President Donald Trump told a pro-Israel conference Saturday night that some American Jews don’t love Israel enough. He also noting that he did not have to worry about getting his audience’s votes, because they would cast ballots with business interests in mind.

Those comments, to the Israeli American Council advocacy group in Florida, drew quick criticism from opponents and were derided as anti-Semitic.

In his 45-minute speech to an audience of over 4,300, the president criticized American Jews who, he said, were not sufficiently supportive of the Jewish state.
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NYC grassroots activists call Amazon’s bluff – and win!

Amazon, like many greedy big corporations, often loudly announce that they are planning to open a new facility somewhere with the promises of many new jobs, and will go to the city that provides them with the best deal. Cities then scramble to compete with each other to provide them with huge tax and other incentives, sometimes depriving their own people of much needed resources for schools and other public services. This is even though the corporations already make massive profits and pay little or no tax and could well afford to pay the local taxes. The corporations often demand that the details of the bidding (‘begging’ would be a better word) provided by each city be secret, better enabling them to play each city off against the others.
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Taking advantage of people desperate for miracle cures

Coincidences abound. A couple of weeks I was talking about Jonathan Miller and the next day I learned that he had died. Then just a few of days ago, I mentioned Alan Keyes’s name because he was the source of the so-called ‘crazification factor’, the size of the population that votes on the basis of tribal loyalty over everything else. I casually wondered what had happened to him. He used to constantly run as a Republican for federal elected offices the US senate in 1988, 1992, and 2004, as well as the presidency in 1996, 2000, and 2008. He is a conservative Christian, fiercely anti-abortion and anti-gay and was a birther to boot.
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Guess who is being referred to?

I came across this passage about a well-known national leader.

For someone who has made a career out of lying, [He] is surprisingly bad at it. His tell-tale giveaways would be obvious to a five-year-old. He smirks, his eyes dart sideways and his arms shoot out in strange directions. This must be horribly familiar to so many women.

Worse, [he] is utterly shameless in his lying.

He’d repeated a few untruthful slogans over and over again and it was job done. As so often, no one had really laid a finger on him because he is so well-defended. Often he doesn’t even realise he’s lying, it’s so deeply embedded. He has become the nation’s voice of mendacity. The man who lies so we don’t have to. Lucky us.

It is Guardian columnist describing Boris Johnson’s performance in a debate with Jeremy Corbyn a couple of days ago.

Trump and Johnson. What a pair. They were made for each other.

Want to be president? First become a billionaire

It used to be that young children were told that if they worked hard, then one day they could become president. That seems so quaint. Now the advice they should be given is that first they must become billionaires. It used to be that personal wealth used to just buy influence. Then it bought candidates. Now it is what is becoming necessary for people to be candidates. Jon Schwarz examines the big role that personal wealth plays in American politics. He says that the reason why Kamala Harris had to drop out of the race just as Michael Bloomberg entered it is because of a 1976 Supreme Court ruling in Buckley v. Valeo that said that candidates can spend as much of their own money as they want to but are limited in how much they can contribute to other candidates.
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Speaking the truth when resigning

When senior government people resign from their office, they often use boilerplate language about how they were proud to serve, how they respected their superiors, and only hint that they are leaving because of serious disagreements. This may be due to the human desire to not cause a fuss or the less noble desire to not burn bridges with those in power as they seek new opportunities.

But Alexandra Hall Hall, a 33-year veteran of the British foreign service and a senior British diplomat in the US, said to hell with that, she was going to tell it like it is.
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Academics corrupted by power

One of the luxuries of being an academic is that one has more freedom than most to express one’s honest opinion on things. This makes academics sought after for their views on issues of public policy. It is often tempting for academics who have made a name for themselves to sign on to serve in governments. Some may do it because they feel that this gives them an opportunity to press more for policies that they favor. For others it may be just the allure of being close to the seats power and to gain even greater visibility.

But the cliché that ‘power corrupts’ applies very strongly to academics who fly too close to the bright lights of power and find that they end up supporting atrocious policies. A good example is Samantha Power who at one time was a Harvard academic who had a good reputation for her work on human rights around the world. In 2003 she wrote an essay that was sharply critical of US foreign policy, as Jon Schwarz writes.
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“No malarkey”? Really?

I am a certified old guy. Just for the fun of it, I sometimes show my children how in touch I am with the younger generation by using slang that is way out of date, such as ‘far out’, ‘groovy’, ‘dig’, and ‘hip’. But even I would not stoop to using the word ‘malarkey’ and it baffles me that Joe Biden, already fighting an image that he is utterly out of touch with current times, would actually use it in his campaign slogan.

Conan O’Brien talks to Biden’s communications person as to the wisdom of this decision.

But maybe this might work. Young people may not know that this is a very old term and may think he has coined new slang and that would make him a trendsetter.