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How ‘Bernie Bros’ were invented, then smeared as sexist, racist and unAmerican as borscht

 by Jonathan Cook

Part 9 - Establishment playbook

For anyone who isn’t wilfully blind, the last few months have exposed the establishment playbook: it will use identity politics to divide those who might otherwise find a united voice and a common cause.
There is nothing wrong with celebrating one’s identity, especially if it is under threat, maligned or marginalised. But having an attachment to an identity is no excuse for allowing it to be coopted by billionaires, by the powerful, by nuclear-armed states oppressing other people, by political parties or by the corporate media, so that they can weaponise it to prevent the weak, the poor, the marginalised from being represented.

It is time for us to wake up to the tricks, the deceptions, the manipulations of the strong that exploit our weaknesses – and make us yet weaker still. It’s time to stop being a patsy for the establishment.

***

Source, links:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/03/12/how-bernie-bros-were-invented-then-smeared-as-sexis…

Dear Berners: Dementia Joe is how much “your” party HATES you

by Paul Street
Part 8 - Social Imperialism

With Demented Joe’s clear victory (his defeat of Sanders in Bernie’s Michigan “firewall” yesterday seals the deal – it’s over) in the nomination battle, Sanders can be expected in due time to honor his unfortunate advance “sheepdog” promise to support the eventual Democratic nominee, no matter who it is.
What a sad that promises to be: stumping for the ridiculous and offensive right-wing corporate imperialist and dementia victim, his “friend” Joe Biden.
It will be another great stain on his “socialist” legacy, along with his support for Hillary Clinton in 2016 (also promised in advance), his backing of an F-35 base in Vermont, his embrace of Bill Clinton’s war on Serbia, his vote for the 2001 Authorization of Unilateral Military Force Against Terrorists (the AUMF, which gave George W. Bush a green light to launch wars wherever he wished), his backing of Barack Obama’s Libyan fiasco, his support for an increased U.S role in the Syrian Civil War…

Νεοφιλελευθερισμός: Ο καπιταλισμός της παρακμής και η δημόσια υγεία

«Αν υπάρξουν απολύσεις γιατρών στον ΕΟΠΥ, σας παρακαλώ αυτό δεν θέλω να το χρεωθεί η τρόικα, δεν θέλω να μου παίρνει την δόξα ο Τόμσεν για τα αυτονόητα. Οι αποφάσεις είναι δικές μου» (Άδωνις  Γεωργιάδης, 13/11/2013) 
του Λεωνίδα Καρίγιαννη
Μέρος 4ο - Η εικόνα της απασχόλησης και των εργασιακών σχέσεων
Η  δραστική μείωση της χρηματοδότησης  έφερε την δραματική μείωση του προσωπικού στον χώρο της υγείας. Το μόνιμο προσωπικό στα χρόνια των μνημονίων 2010-2019, μειώθηκε κατά 25.000 στα Νοσοκομεία (στοιχεία ΠΟΕΔΗΝ). Συνολικά σε όλες τις υπηρεσίες του Υπουργείου Υγείας το 2010 υπηρετούσαν 105.000 μόνιμοι υπάλληλοι, το 2014 υπηρετούσαν 79.533 και το 2019 79.375 (στοιχεία Υπουργείου Εσωτερικών). Εξ αυτών, το 2010 στα Νοσοκομεία υπηρετούσαν 86.750 εκ των οποίων 16.000 γιατροί και 70.750 νοσηλευτικό και λοιπό προσωπικό. Στα Νοσοκομεία υπηρετούν σήμερα 60.660, εκ των οποίων 12.160 ειδικευμένοι ιατροί και 48.500 νοσηλευτικό και λοιπό προσωπικό.
Οι χιλιάδες εργαζόμενοι που προσλήφθηκαν τα τελευταία …

WikiLeaks - Secret Congressional report foresaw Fannie Mae's negative impact on financial markets right before the eruption of the global crisis

The CRS is a Congressional "think tank" with a staff of around 700. Reports are commissioned by members of Congress on topics relevant to current political events. Despite CRS costs to the tax payer of over $100M a year, its electronic archives are, as a matter of policy, not made available to the public. Individual members of Congress will release specific CRS reports if they believe it to assist them politically, but CRS archives as a whole are firewalled from public access. This report was obtained by Wikileaks staff from CRS computers accessible only from Congressional offices. 
globinfo freexchange
A report from April, 2007, examines the practice of privatization of many government services in the United States, emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
An interesting part of the report explains the distinction between privatization and marketization, an alternative to privatization, which is "the structuring of a government agency so that it provides goods and ser…

6 ways coronavirus proves Bernie Sanders right

AJ+
How solutions to COVID-19 sound like they’re right out of a Bernie Sanders stump speech. So, is the Coronavirus pandemic proving that Bernie’s been right the whole time?

Trump admin’s $15 million bounty on Maduro triggers explosive confession of violent Guaidó plot

For twenty years, right wing extremists in Miami and Washington have been slandering the Venezuelan government, accusing it of drug trafficking and harboring terrorists without offering even a shred of evidence.
The item at the top of their wishlist was fulfilled on March 26, when the U.S. Department of Justice unveiled indictments against President Nicolás Maduro and 13 other current or former members of Venezuela’s government and military.
In addition to the indictments, Attorney General William Barr offered a $15 million reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Maduro, as well as $10 million rewards for Diosdado Cabello (president of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly), Tarek El Aissami (vice president for the economy), Hugo Carvajal (former director of military intelligence) and Cliver Alcalá (retired general).
The indictment has backfired already. Hours after the announcement, Alcalá posted videos online that threaten to cause further splits in the opp…

Perfect timing: Bezos and other corporate execs sold billions in stock before COVID-19 rocked market

Jeff Bezos and other corporate executives across the country sold approximately $9.2 billion in shares of their own companies between early February and the end of last week, salvaging potential losses of up to $1.9 billion, according to an analysis of more than 4,000 regulatory filings by the Wall Street Journal.
The largest seller was the richest man in the world - Jeff Bezos, who sold $3.4 billion in Amazon shares the first week of February, right before the market peaked - which avoided paper losses of approximately $317 million through March 20. The sale constituted roughly 3% of his holdings - and was nearly as much stock as he sold during the previous 12 months. 
And while there is no indication that executives sold shares based on inside information - and the Journal notes that executives often sell shares early in the year for tax purposes, the amount of stock sold by US execs was up around 1/3 vs. the same period from the last two years according to the report.
Full report:
h…

Συνεχίζεται ο εμπαιγμός από το Μητσοτακικό καθεστώς: εν μέσω πανδημίας, αντί να ενισχύσει το ΕΣΥ, το διαλύει!

globinfo freexchange

Γνωρίζαμε ότι η φράξια των νεοφιλελεύθερων τζιχαντιστών του Μητσοτακικού καθεστώτος είχε ως κεντρική αποστολή να ξεπουλήσει τα πάντα και να ιδιωτικοποιήσει το Εθνικό Σύστημα Υγείας. Δεν μπορούσαμε όμως να φανταστούμε, ότι οι φανατικοί του Μητσοτάκη θα έφταναν σε τέτοιο σημείο, ώστε όχι μόνο να εμπαίζουν πολίτες, γιατρούς και νοσηλευτικό προσωπικό, αλλά και να βρίσκουν μιας πρώτης τάξεως ευκαιρία, με αφορμή την κρίση, να συρρικνώσουν, αντί να στελεχώσουν το ΕΣΥ!
Είναι χαρακτηριστική η ανακοίνωση που έκανε η βουλευτής του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ στο νομό Καστοριάς, Ολυμπία Τελιγιορίδου, για τον απίστευτο εμπαιγμό των κυβερνώντων, οι οποίοι αρνούνται, ακόμα και τώρα, να στελεχώσουν το νοσοκομείο της πόλης με νέο προσωπικό και μάλιστα σε μια περιοχή που έχει πληγεί ιδιαίτερα. Όπως ανέφερε η βουλευτής: 
Με χαρά άκουσα αρχικά την ανακοίνωση του Υπουργού Υγείας κ. Κικίλια και του Υφυπουργού Πολιτικής Προστασίας κ. Χαρδαλιά πως έφερε γιατρούς στο Νοσοκομείο Καστοριάς.

Ψάχνοντας το θέμ…

Noam Chomsky: Coronavirus - What is at stake?

DiEM25
A conversation with philosopher and co-founder of DiEM25, Srecko Horvat.
The coronavirus crisis is revealing that the powers that be of the European Union have learned nothing from the Eurocrisis. 
They are currently betraying the interests of the majority of Europeans in the same way that they have done so in 2010 -- by failing to mobilize existing money and public financial instruments in the interests of the many. With their current decisions, they are jeopardizing public health, public goods and the interests of Europeans. 

Italy and UK rely on help from Cuba, China, Venezuela to fight coronavirus – as US steps up brutal sanctions

Italy requested doctors from China, Cuba, and Venezuela to contain the coronavirus, while Cuba rescued a ship of British citizens. Meanwhile, US sanctions worsen the toll of the Covid-19 crisis in Iran and Venezuela.
by Ben Norton
Part 5 - US sanctions prevent Venezuela and Iran from importing medicine and medical equipment
And while the Trump administration and US pharmaceutical companies are seeking to profit from the coronavirus pandemic, Washington is doubling down on its destructive economic warfare.
Venezuela’s attorney general, Tarek William Saab, gave a press conference denouncing Washington for preventing Caracas from buying medicine and medical equipment that would help it fight Covid-19.
It is ethically unacceptable that such sanctions be maintained against Venezuela,” Saab said. He called on Colombia and Brazil to stop their coup attempts against Caracas and to instead work together to contain the virus.
US sanctions have also greatly hindered Iran’s effort to fight Covid-1…

How ‘Bernie Bros’ were invented, then smeared as sexist, racist and unAmerican as borscht

 by Jonathan Cook

Part 8 - Antisemitism smear at the ready

There is a final use of weaponised identity politics that the Democratic establishment would dearly love to use against Sanders, if they need to and can get away with it. It is the most toxic brand – and therefore the most effective – of the identity-based smears, and it has been extensively field-tested in the UK against Jeremy Corbyn to great success. The DNC would like to denounce Sanders as an antisemite.

In fact, only one thing has held them back till now: the fact that Sanders is Jewish. That may not prove an insuperable obstacle, but it does make it much harder to make the accusation look credible. The other identity-based smears had been a second-best, a make-do until a way could be found to unleash the antisemitism smear.

The establishment has been testing the waters with implied accusations of antisemitism against Sanders for a while, but their chances were given a fillip recently when Sanders refused to participate i…

Dear Berners: Dementia Joe is how much “your” party HATES you

by Paul Street
Part 7 - No Killer Instinct

Maybe someone should have started a petition to Bernie saying something like this: “Dear Senator Sanders, if you don’t bring up Joe Biden’s clear and obvious dementia in your next debate and in your campaign from now on, we demand the return of our contributions to your campaign. Your continuing silence on this matter will be proof that you have no serious intention of winning the nomination.
Not that Sanders would have done the right thing. He doesn’t seem to have the killer instinct required to prevail. He’s too polite and intimidated by the Democratic establishment.
You can bet “Honey Badger” Trump won’t hold back on Biden’s dementia.  He’s already locked in on “Sleepy Joe’s” palpable mental deterioration, which the Democratic establishment now insists on tossing down Orwell’s memory hole even as Biden’s memory card fades further in plain, nationally televised sight.
One thing you can’t say about Trump, who Noam Chomsky rightly describes a…

Νεοφιλελευθερισμός: Ο καπιταλισμός της παρακμής και η δημόσια υγεία

«Αν υπάρξουν απολύσεις γιατρών στον ΕΟΠΥ, σας παρακαλώ αυτό δεν θέλω να το χρεωθεί η τρόικα, δεν θέλω να μου παίρνει την δόξα ο Τόμσεν για τα αυτονόητα. Οι αποφάσεις είναι δικές μου» (Άδωνις  Γεωργιάδης, 13/11/2013) 
του Λεωνίδα Καρίγιαννη
Μέρος 3ο - Αποτελέσματα μείωσης της χρηματοδότησης
Από το 2011, στο σύνολό τους οι οργανισμοί που υπάγονται στο Υπουργείο Υγείας αναγκάστηκαν να περιορίσουν τον ετήσιο προϋπολογισμό τους κατά 45%. Ενδεικτικά στον Κρατικό Προϋπολογισμό του 2014, έγινε  μείωση της χρηματοδότησης των δημοσίων νοσοκομείων κατά 32%, του ΕΟΠΥΥ κατά 30% και της φαρμακευτικής δαπάνης κατά 15%. Επίσης, η αύξηση της συμμετοχής των ασφαλισμένων στις δαπάνες για φαρμακευτική περίθαλψη από το 9% έφτασε στο 27% τα τελευταία  χρόνια.  
Μέχρι σήμερα, υπάρχουν  σημαντικά ελλείμματα σε ιατρικό και νοσηλευτικό προσωπικό, καθώς και σε υλικοτεχνικές υποδομές, καθώς δεν είναι λίγοι οι φορείς που είτε καταργήθηκαν, είτε έπαυσε η χρηματοδότηση τους από το Δημόσιο. 
Όπως αναφέρει σε ανακοίνωσ…

Ξώπετσοι μαυραγορίτες και πλιατσικολόγοι

του Ανδρέα Κοσιάρη

Η μόνιμη επωδός των τελευταίων ημερών φαίνεται να είναι πως κανένας σε αυτή τη χώρα δεν επιτρέπεται να κάνει κριτική στην κυβέρνηση, τα στελέχη της και τη διαχείριση της κρίσης του κορονοϊού. 
Ούτε οι γιατροί που διακινδυνεύουν την υγεία τους καθημερινά χωρίς τα απαραίτητα μέτρα προστασίας, ούτε η αντιπολίτευση, ούτε οι πολίτες· και βέβαια δεν πρέπει και δεν επιτρέπεται να κριτικάρουν ούτε οι γελοιογράφοι, ούτε καν οι δημοσιογράφοι.
Ακόμα κι η Όλγα Τρέμη, που δεν θα μπορούσε να διεκδικήσει δάφνες ανεξάρτητης από την εξουσία δημοσιογραφίας, το κατάλαβε στο πετσί της μιλώντας στη δημόσια, άκυρο, κρατική Μητσοτακική ΕΡΤ με τον Κωστή Χατζηδάκη.
Η τακτική αποσιώπησης κάθε κριτικής φωνής εν μέσω μιας κρίσης με πρόσχημα κάποια φαντασιακή «ομοψυχία», δεν είναι καινούρια ούτε εφεύρεση της κυβέρνησης της Νέας Δημοκρατίας. Χαρακτηριστικό παράδειγμα υπήρξε η πλήρης απουσία κριτικής – και το κυνήγι όσων τόλμησαν να την εκφράσουν – στα πρώτα χρόνια μετά την 11η Σεπτεμβρίου 2001 …

Refusal of Assange’s bail request condemned

A decision to refuse a bail request filed by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in light of the highly contagious coronavirus has been harshly criticised especially because of his weak physical health.
Assange, who is in a British jail pending his extradition trial to the US, had filed an emergency bail application on the basis of his deteriorating health condition. This, however, was denied – a move that was slammed by the International Federation of Journalists.
The request was made as the UK registered the first prison coronavirus death on Sunday – an 84-year-old male inmate at HMP Littlehey who suffered from respiratory problems before contracting the disease.
As of this week, 19 inmates had tested positive for Covid-19 across 10 British jails and four prison staff had tested positive for the disease across four jails. Three prisoner escort and custody services staff have also tested positive for coronavirus.
Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristin Hrafnsson also condemned the decision. …

Gabbard didn't say the only thing that could probably justify her endorsement for Biden, and Bernie shouldn't make the same mistake again

globinfo freexchange
Despite the fact that the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the Democratic primaries process, we have already a clear picture regarding the candidates with a progressive profile that have now dropped nomination. And the masks from the most promising cases of candidates that could eventually join the progressive movement under Bernie Sanders, have finally fallen.
Quite early in the race, and probably even before the beginning of the process, Elizabeth Warren has shown in multiple cases that she is actually a pseudo-progressive with a mission to split the progressive vote. 
Andrew Yang would never abandon capitalism for any form of Socialism. And his UBI plan as the central aspect of his political agenda, would have only implemented to save the capitalist system from self-collapse due to the enormous challenges that the human societies and the planet are already confronting.

The last case, was probably the most promising. Yet, Tulsi Gabbard finally decided to endorse J…

Capitalism evolves into a giant clusterfuck

failed evolution
Coronavirus came to give the final blow to a system that was already spinning out of control. Here are three videos (just a sample) of the non-linear, chaotic trajectory that the capitalist system now follows:

AND

We are now at the point where no one seems to know what the hell is going on and how to fix this broken system.

US government threatens families of International Criminal Court staff if they try Americans for war crimes

The International Criminal Court approved an investigation into US war crimes in Afghanistan. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded by threatening to punish family members of ICC staff.
by Ben Norton
Part 3 - US State Department imposes new sanctions on Iran and Syria as deadly coronavirus spreads
Denigrating the Iranian government as “terrorists” in his State Department press briefing, Mike Pompeo declared new sanctions on the social security investment company of Iran’s military, along with five Iranian nuclear scientists.
Moreover, Pompeo announced State Department sanctions on nine more entities, in South Africa, Hong Kong, and China, for doing business with Iran.
He also unveiled new sanctions on Syria’s minister of defense, citing the Syrian army’s battle to retake Idlib, the last remaining insurgent-held territory in the country, which is occupied by a rebranded al-Qaeda affiliate and other extremist Salafi-jihadists, backed by NATO member Turkey.
US sanctions on Iran have …

Amid coronavirus pandemic, Bolsonaro’s Brazil begs for Cuban doctors – after expelling them

Brazil’s far-right government requested the return of thousands of Cuban doctors to help fight the coronavirus. Months ago, President Jair Bolsonaro smeared the doctors as “terrorists” and expelled them.
by Ben Norton
Part 4 - Ecuador outsources coronavirus tests and rams through neoliberal reforms
While countries around the world are seeking medical help from Cuba to contain the coronavirus, Washington’s allies in Latin America are failing to meet the basic needs of their populations.

The US-backed, right-wing government of Lenín Moreno in Ecuador, which has joined Brazil and Colombia in supporting the Trump administration’s coup efforts against Venezuela and attempting to politically and economically isolate Cuba, decided to outsource coronavirus testing to private for-profit corporations.

Ecuadorian companies are charging $250 to $300 per coronavirus test — in a country where the minimum wage is just $400 per month.

At the same time, the repressive Moreno administration – which violated…

Italy and UK rely on help from Cuba, China, Venezuela to fight coronavirus – as US steps up brutal sanctions

Italy requested doctors from China, Cuba, and Venezuela to contain the coronavirus, while Cuba rescued a ship of British citizens. Meanwhile, US sanctions worsen the toll of the Covid-19 crisis in Iran and Venezuela.
by Ben Norton
Part 4 - US fights for control of potential coronavirus treatment and vaccine
While Cuba, China, and Venezuela — countries targeted by US economic warfare — are helping the world contain the coronavirus outbreak, Washington itself is working overtime to monopolize any potential treatments, so it can profit from them.
A California-based pharmaceutical corporation, Gilead Sciences, has developed an experimental drug that medical experts think could potentially treat coronavirus.
The Chinese government’s Wuhan Institute of Virology applied for a patent so it can produce this drug, which is called remdesivir. But the US company has been fighting tooth and nail to prevent Beijing from being able to manufacture it.
Why? Because Gilead Sciences’ stocks are skyrocketin…

Εν μέσω πανδημίας, οι νεοφιλελέδες "κολλάνε" ... Σοσιαλισμό!

failed evolution
Φαίνεται ότι εν μέσω πανδημίας, ο "ιός" του Σοσιαλισμού άρχισε να κολλάει και τους πιο φανατικούς φονταμενταλιστές της ελεύθερης αγοράς, ή αλλιώς, νεοφιλελέδες.
Το "κακό" ξεκίνησε από τον μετριοπαθή αντιπρόεδρο της βουλής, Νικήτα Κακλαμάνη, ο οποίος αίφνης μίλησε για "νεοφιλελεύθερα παπαγαλάκια" που δεν πρέπει να πιάνουν στο στόμα τους τη δημόσια υγεία. Απ'ότι φαίνεται, δεν έχει καταλάβει, ή κάνει πως δεν καταλαβαίνει, ποιοι κάνουν κουμάντο στο κόμμα του.
Ο Σοσιαλιστικός "ιός" άρχισε να μεγαλώνει και σαν χιονοστιβάδα να παίρνει σβάρνα ανθρώπους του φιλελεύθερου-νεοφιλελεύθερου χώρου, οι οποίοι, με σχεδόν απολογητικό ύφος αναγνώρισαν την αξία του δημοσίου σε τέτοιες στιγμές κρίσης. 
Χαρακτηριστικές είναι οι πρώτες γραμμές του άρθρου του Παύλου Παπαδάτου, ο οποίος μάλιστα (και προς τιμήν του), αισθάνθηκε ότι έπρεπε να ζητήσει συγγνώμη για τη "φθηνή" αντιμετώπισή των γιατρών και νοσηλευτών στα δημόσια νοσοκομεία από τ…

How ‘Bernie Bros’ were invented, then smeared as sexist, racist and unAmerican as borscht

 by Jonathan Cook

Part 7 - Russian ‘agents’ and ‘assets’
None of this is to overlook the fact that another variation of identity politics has been weaponised against Sanders: that of failing to be an “American” patriot. Again illustrating how closely the Democratic and Republican leaderships’ interests align, the question of who is a patriot – and who is really working for the “Russians” – has been at the heart of both parties’ campaigns, though for different reasons.
Trump has been subjected to endless, evidence-free claims that he is a secret “Russian agent” in a concerted effort to control his original isolationist foreign policy impulses that might have stripped the establishment – and its military-industrial wing – of the right to wage wars of aggression, and revive the Cold War, wherever it believes a profit can be made under cover of “humanitarian intervention”.
Trump partly inoculated himself against these criticisms, at least among supporters, with his “Make America Great Agai…

Dear Berners: Dementia Joe is how much “your” party HATES you

by Paul Street
Part 6 - Deleting Dementia: A “Classic Orwellian” Moment

I could go on but won’t because doing so would be too depressing and start to feel like able-ism and elder-abuse. Glen Greenwald is correct:
it is visible to the naked eye that the 77-year-old six-term Senator and two-term Vice President is in serious cognitive decline…That is a grave matter not just because the establishment wing of the Democratic Party wants to put him in charge of the world’s most dangerous nuclear arsenal, a large chunk of the planet’s health, and the welfare of hundreds of millions of people, but also because it directly pertains to whether he can sustain the rigors and spotlight of a General Election against the incumbent President. And multiple incidents over the past couple weeks — from Biden’s forgetting the words of the most iconic and memorized passage of the Declaration of Independence to confusing his wife for his sister to spouting sentences that make no sense — have only intensified…