Saturday 22nd of June 2024



The circus for the next Democrat president hopeful is on. 

24, no less, candidates have put their hat in the ring. The TV ringmasters have thus decided that only 20 of them will be allowed to throw mud at one another in various streamlined debates. In the case of Presidential hopefuls, having a large number does not mean quality. All it means is having more sausages to prick. This of course is going to be entertaining as batshit. 
And Trump, the clever clumsy heavyweight on the other side — the champion of the unwahsables, the deplorables and of the warmongeringables — will shoot them with sharp funny tweets as they fall off from their own perch for having smoked weed or not.

I took a Gusmocratic short cut and weeded out all the hookies, ninnies, and other geniuses from the past — and obviously taken out the old guys who have passed their used-by-date and could show signs of debility any minute before the final contest. You remember Reagan in his last Presidential days… This would be a bad start.

One character shows more promises than all the other combined. He has the Jack (John) Kennedy looks, the pleasant youth and is more honest, including in his relationship.

Pete is a Christian (as all the US Presidents have to be)

Pete is gay (and not afraid of being overt) and married to his husband.

Pete used to be a soldier (knows courage)

Pete used to be in army “intelligence” (knows the CIA tricks)

Pete is a Rhodes scholar (he is a great orator)

Pete supports universal healthcare (who would not except scrooge privateers)

Pete wants to genuinely reduce income inequality 

Pete is really for pro-environmental policies (who would not, except Ghengis Khan)

Pete wants cooperation between the Democratic Party and organized labour

Pete wants universal background checks for firearms purchases

Pete is a great negotiator

Pete supports the Equality Act (it does not mean everyone has to be gay)

Pete wants to preserve the DACA program for children of immigrants

Pete supports reforms that would end gerrymandering (one person, one vote)

Pete would overturn the Citizens United v. FEC decision (corruption of electoral process with cash)

And Pete would abolish the Electoral College (Hillary would be pleased).

Pete did a popular sterling job as the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana

This is a handful of policies that could upset a “popularly led” Trump re-election. 

All the other Democrat candidates are too close to the swamp — are shy Democrats or conservatives in disguise.

At this stage I can't see how the Democrats can win unless they support Pete…

Pete Buttigieg that is. He should change his name to Smith or Jones… Easier to say. 

Or Boot, as in boot Trump… Okay Buttigieg will do…

There you have it. Of course Trump can still push his daughter to take the job...
In this case, Representative Tulsi Gabbard (already mentioned on this site) of Hawai might do. Woman vs woman...

the list...

The debate will be broadcast in prime time on NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo and be streamed online for free on a variety of digital and social platforms. 

Here are the participants: 

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado 

Former Vice President Joe Biden 

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey 

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro 

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio 

Former Representative John Delaney of Maryland 

Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York 

Senator Kamala Harris of California

Former Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado 

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington 

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota 

Former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas 

Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio 

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont 

Representative Eric Swalwell of California 

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts 

Author Marianne Williamson 

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang


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justice to operate independently in 2020...?

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said that if elected, he would leave the Justice Department to operate independently of the White House during any potential criminal investigations into President Donald Trump.

"Nobody is above the law and prosecution decisions should have nothing to do with politics and should come from the DOJ itself, not from the Oval Office," Buttigieg told CNN's Jake Tapper in a preview of an interview to be aired Sunday.

Buttigieg's remark comes in contrast with his Democratic rival Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who said if she was elected the Justice Department would have "no choice" but to charge Trump with obstruction of justice if he were to finish his term without being impeached. Harris, a former California attorney general, told NPR that former special counsel Robert Mueller had essentially set the stage for criminal charges against Trump, and only a Justice Department policy barring prosecuting sitting presidents got in the way.

Harris, along with a chorus of other candidates from Sen. Elizabeth Warren to former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, has called for Trump's impeachment. Buttigieg has also advocated for impeachment inquiries, but focuses more on beating Trump in 2020.

Buttigieg has also called for criminal inquiries into Trump if he finishes his term in 2021 without impeachment, but the South Bend, Ind., mayor did not go so far as to dictate what the conclusion of those inquiries would be. He also told The Atlantic that he would be hesitant to order his attorney general to directly pursue charges against Trump.

"I would want any credible allegation of criminal behavior to be investigated to the fullest,” Buttigieg told The Atlantic on Wednesday.

Trump has also recently come under fire for telling ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that if a foreign agent were to offer him dirt on an opponent, he would hear it out. Buttigieg told CBS' Margaret Brennan in an interview segment published Saturday that any American who receives foreign election help should "just call the FBI".

"And by the way, this isn't hypothetical. This isn't theoretical," Buttigieg said, referring to Russian offers of opposition information to members of Trump's inner circle in 2016.

Speaking with Tapper, Buttigieg specified that that criminal investigation would be conducted by an independent Justice Department without micromanaging presidential oversight.



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a democrat herring, now named warren...


Old Toon from The New Yorker circa 1950?

At this stage, we cannot establish a connection between Elizabeth Warren's (née Herring) first husband and Earl Warren (the subject of the cartoon) — the American politician and jurist who served as the 14th Chief Justice of the United States (1953–1969) and earlier as the 30th Governor of California (1943–1953). Earl Warren was the last Chief Justice to be elected rather than be chosen, thus "could be impeached".

We know that Elizabeth Warren wants to impeach Donald Trump...


Pundits rolled their eyes on New Year's Eve when Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic US senator from Massachusetts, announced she had taken the first steps to run for president.

She was too schoolmarmish, too serious in her focus on policy over personality, especially in the face of bombast from President Donald Trump.

Her decision to take a DNA test to find out whether she had Native American ancestry became a blunder when tribe leaders denounced her.

Conventional wisdom declared that Ms Warren was destined to be a back-of-the-pack candidate, overshadowed by alpha males such as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, and far less interesting than people of colour such as Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Julian Castro.

And, if you wanted a wonk, there was Pete Buttigieg, the multilingual Harvard and Oxford-educated mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who had the added credentials of being gay and a military veteran.

Nevertheless, to quote the expression used about her tactics on the Senate floor, she persisted.

And now, Senator Warren is rising to the top of the presidential pack, seemingly by being herself.

In recent weeks, she's scored the kind of achievements that scorekeepers track in successful candidates.

There have been profiles in Time Magazine and The New Yorker.

The latter declared:

"On many economic issues, Warren has been remarkably prescient. She has spent decades warning Americans about the pernicious effects of income inequality, predatory corporations, and consumer debt, and about the failures of our financial system — issues that are at the heart of the 2020 Presidential campaign".

The profile went on:

"Now, as one of 23 candidates seeking to become the Democratic nominee for President, Warren is betting that the energy behind her ideas can appeal to enough swing-state voters to get her into office".


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Sen. Elizabeth Warren's ex-husband co-founded a DNA testing company and wrote one of the first computer codes for making genetic comparisons. 

Jim Warren's career involved him in the kinds of genetic testing that Elizabeth Warren controversially invoked this month to prove that she had Native American ancestry. 

One of the two other co-founders of his testing company, FamilyTreeDNA, has worked with Carlos Bustamante, the Stanford University geneticist who administered a DNA test at Elizabeth Warren's request. 

Bustamante, a Stanford University geneticist, conducted the test, which Elizabeth Warren used to respond to President Trump's "Pocahontas" taunt and his mockery of her previous claim to be a Native American while a professor at Harvard Law School in the 1990s. Warren's roll-out of the test results was widely seen as a sign that she is running for president in 2020. 

Rather than using a commercial service to conduct her DNA test, Warren hired Bustamante, 43, who appears in the video explaining the test and in a scene in which the Massachusetts senator telephones his office and asks to speak with him. Warren received considerable criticism for the test, which found that her Native American heritage stretch back six to 10 generations, making her between 1/64th and 1/1024th Native American.


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giving most people what they need...

There has never been a Donald Trump honeymoon. Nor any meaningful period of national unity under the 45th President's leadership. 

He is the most unpopular president in modern American history, with poll approval ratings consistently in the low-to-mid-40s. 

He has driven wedges between the United States and its two great neighbours, Canada and Mexico, and between the United States and its historic allies in Europe.

And yet, Mr Trump must be considered favoured to win re-election in 2020.


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Gus: the only candidate that can topple Trump from his perch is not any of his "twins" on the Democrats side. Most of the Democratic candidates are on the same page as Trump in regard to war, social issues and the "economy", except Pete and Bernie.

We know that Bernie is "too socialistic", thus the only alternative would have to be Pete Buttilieg. Just give him the stick so he can a) ignore Trump and b) replace the Trumpo bombast with more humanitarian policies and c) do a far more unifying job that the rabid Donald. Pete is young and willing to give most people what they need. 

Trump would make mince meat of most of the other candidates, while he would have to be less clowny and more cautious when having to deal with opposing Pete in debates...

Hopefully Pete would also do what has to be done to protect the planet from global warming.

why we need a "lightweight" president...



In the end Mayor Pete will fall victim to what so far has delivered him to the presidential jamboree—the paper chase of credentialism.

Without Harvard, Oxford, McKinsey, and Afghanistan on his resumé, Mayor Pete would look more like an overly bright Jeopardy! contestant than a presidential candidate. (Alex Trebek: “He’s the mayor of a midwestern city and in his spare time he wants to be president. Let’s give a big welcome for Pete Buttigieg….”)

But with so many golden tickets in his background, after a while, when voters ask about what it will take to cut the $1 trillion blown on Homeland security or the best way to lower carbon emissions, they will want to hear more than Pete’s self-directed love songs. Whitman said, “I and this mystery, here we stand,” but he wasn’t running for president.


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The Trump presidency thus has benefitted from the intellectual work of political scientists who yearned for strong party government, conservative constitutional scholars who elevated a dubious theory of a unitary executive to a fashionable legal theory, and a philosophical-journalist line of scholarship that disassembled a belief in objective truth. These were intellectual trends emerging well before Donald Trump became president. In fact, these trends constructed Donald Trump and made is presidency possible.

Trump is simply the latest in a lineage of politainers advantaged by the new rules of journalism. His mastery of the new celebrity, entertainment, for-profit news industry gave him the ability to overcome the strong party government that had been constructed by the political science community. He and interested groups also exploited the weaknesses in party governance by capturing the GOP. Once elected, Trump continues to benefit from the journalism and partisan trends, but also from the powerful intellectual forces creating the modern presidency. These trends are not going away when Trump is no longer president. They are forces that have produced Trumpism, nourished Trumpistas, and which make challenging the power of the current president so difficult. Trumpism is a feature of contemporary America politics, with or without Donald Trump as president.

All the other Democrat candidates are part of the "trumpism" syndrome...

but not so much that you will notice a thing...


From Naomi Klein


It is true that Biden has had a bad week. But if Biden implodes, there’s a phalanx of other candidates, recently seen hopping from one $2,800-a-head Wall Street fundraiser to the next, all with variations on the same reassuring message: I’ll change things just enough to fend off the pitchforks and to save you from the social embarrassment of Trump, but not so much that you will notice a thing.

“It is important to rotate the crops,” David Adelman, a financial industry lawyer, told the New York Times. He was ostensibly explaining why he had co-hosted a fundraiser for Beto O’Rourke, but in doing so, he also summed up precisely how Wall Street sees Washington: as its plantation. It engineers the seeds, plants them, then reaps what it sowed.

These forces, and the think tanks they finance, want the Warren and Sanders camps at each other’s throats, demoralizing and weakening each other. Because that’s exactly how the progressive bloc stalls or shrinks enough for Biden (or some newer political GMO crop) to walk away with it.

The current political map is confusing, there is no doubt. Progressive vote-splitting is a real possibility down the road — but so is vote-combining, and the more progressive voters there are, the more viable that prospect will become. There are multiple routes by which a progressive majority spread over several candidates can be translated into a Democratic ticket that is more progressive than any we’ve seen in nearly a century, maybe even ever.

There are also multiple ways that the historic opportunity of this progressive surge can be lost. And that loss begins with scarcity thinking, trying to tear each other down, and fooling ourselves into believing that it’s 2016 all over again. When in fact, we are somewhere we have never been before.

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The best candidate could be Pete because, read from top...

trending: up...

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg:

Trending: Up

The small-city mayor passed a major test. He scored big with his answer on Republican hypocrisy on faith and immigration; and he showed uncommon vulnerability with his contrition on the recent South Bend police shooting.


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the new york post is showing its hand...

yesterday's cover


today s cover


The New York Post, a Murdoch paper, is full-on for Trump... One could not expect any less sarcasm from NYP front pages so soon. Note the low derogatory "Immigs"...


Buttilieg is still the best bet to beat Trump. So the Trump supporters will do anything to darken his character. Pete will have to be resilient but he has the ingenuity to be...

pessimism of the intellect...



You know, Joe Biden is clearly, I believe, the worst candidate among anybody with a ghost of a chance of winning the Democratic nomination next year. And you know, Kamala Harris is also a corporate creature. So if we don’t want those lobbyists—And by the way, most of the superdelegates are simply elected Democrats, so they’re establishment people on the whole. If we don’t want them to have power over the nomination, we should also move forward now to make sure that the billionaire class doesn’t have power over who is the frontrunner. And while Joe Biden is sinking from where he was, he still has a lot of money, a lot of clout, a lot of friendly corporate media behind him. And that’s, I think, where activism kicks in. You know, if people organize effectively, we can change the news, we can change history, not just learn about it later on.

I should add one other thing. That the odds structurally are against progressive, genuinely left progressive candidates from being nominated for the presidency. The odds were also against this young activist named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And the structure of the rules in New York preregistration requirements and so forth, made the conventional wisdom that this powerful guy named Joe Crowley was simply going to walk back into Congress, and we know the history. That was changed because people had— not to coin a phrase, it’s an old phrase— they had “pessimism of the intellect.” That they brought to bear not only their optimism of the will, but their organizing to change what had been forecast, and bring about a much better result.


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no climate debate at the DNC...

DHARNA NOOR It’s The Real News. I’m Dharna Noor in Baltimore, the Democratic National Committee rejected a proposal to hold a candidate debate focused entirely on the climate crisis. At a meeting in San Francisco on Thursday, DNC officials voted 17 to 8 on the proposal and when they did, protesters with the youth live climate organization, the Sunrise Movement interrupted the meeting to ask the question… (singing). 

Climate organizers did score a smaller victory. Previously the DNC prohibited all the candidates from participating in climate forums that they hadn’t sanctioned. But at this meeting, the resolutions committee voted to reverse that ban, and to sanction a less formal climate forum. 

Still every major democratic contender has publicly supported the proposal for a climate debate and polls show that climate policy was actually the number one issue that voters wanted to hear about in the first debate. So what happened? Joining me to talk about this now is sunrise movement trainer Carmen Bouquin, who is joining me from San Francisco. Thank you so much. 

CARMEN BOUQUIN Yes, thank you so much for having me. 

DHARNA NOOR So I should say, obviously before we get started, the stakes here could not be higher. The Amazon is burning at a record rate. The Amazon’s a big carbon sink, so it helps the earth fight climate change. Ice sheets are melting in Greenland of the Arctic, Arctic wildfires are raging and breaking records. So with all that as a backdrop, you were there in the room for this meeting along with some 350 other members of the public. What was it like to be there when the resolution got rejected and why you think it did? 

CARMEN BOUQUIN Yeah, it was actually a really painful meeting because it was like two hours of them debating specific clauses within the specific resolution and I think it was really discouraging because this is a campaign that not just Sunrise, but all of these environmental organizations had been working on for the past couple of months and pushing candidates to hold the climate debate. And we have so many candidates and supported it. And so to hear like DNC representatives vote no and so many of them that did was really discouraging. And I think a lot of youth felt unheard and not listened to. 

DHARNA NOOR For sure. And of course, you know the DNC did project this resolution, but they did also reverse the ban on candidates participating in non-sanctioned climate forums. DNC chairman Tom Perez instated that ban after he got an open letter from Washington governor Jay Inslee calling for a climate debate instantly just announced that he’s dropping out of the democratic primary on Wednesday. But anyway, what exactly will that DNC resolution that past due and is that a victory for y’all in any sense? 

CARMEN BOUQUIN Yeah, so that resolution basically allows the CNN town hall and MSNBC town hall that’s happening on climate change to exist and for candidates not to be punished for it. It was like kind of a ridiculous rule in the first place that candidates would be punished if there was a climate debate. And so that was a small victory and we’re really excited to see how candidates react at those town halls and what their plans are. But we still believe that I’m a climate debate is going to show the full enormity of the plans and we still believe that a climate debate should happen, but we were excited about the small victory for sure. 

DHARNA NOOR You said that there were a bunch of other resolutions that were on the table today too. Were there any others that you were looking for? Were there any other major ones that passed or didn’t? 

CARMEN BOUQUIN Yeah, there was another resolution that we were really excited for. It was like a resolution 30 and it was about the platform of the DNC and making it so that the DNC could mandate single issue debates based on the platform of the DNC and that was something that Christina Pelosi had reformed during the meeting to kind of adhere to some feedback from the climate debate resolution that said that if we debate climate change, then we should be able to have a debate about healthcare and immigration. 

And Christina Pelosi was like, “Absolutely, we should have those and we should have them based on the DNC platform.” Unfortunately, that resolution was also the… the aspect of the resolution about making parts of the platform of the DNC into a debate, that was voted down. And so that was discouraging as well. Because we want to see the candidates debate as many things as possible and as many issues as possible. And so that was also discouraging. 

DHARNA NOOR Yeah, it’s interesting. So speaking of that, that talking point that if you sanctioned this debate, will we need to sanction other single issue debates. That was something that Simone Sanders took up. So I was watching the live stream of this DNC conference today and Simone Sanders talking, which is kind of a really wild moment for me. She’s a top advisor to Joe Biden’s campaign who today came out staunchly. She came out staunchly against the climate debate resolution. 

SIMONE SANDERS To call for a public in and of itself may sound good, but at the end of the day, we actually cannot exert the power over the network to do what we would like to do. 

DHARNA NOOR So a couple of things going on here. She said that networks might not comply with the DNCs call for a climate debate if they did support it. She said a town hall’s a better format. As you just said, both MSNBC and CNN have already planned climate town halls, but way fewer people watch those than debates, obviously. Simone Sanders works for Joe Biden who publicly endorsed the call for a climate debate. What did you make of her comments today? 

CARMEN BOUQUIN Yeah, I think that was pretty confusing because Biden has come out in favor of a climate debate and it seems like a lot of folks at the table today got caught up in process and precedent. And didn’t really focus on the emergency at hand of the climate crisis and the fact that the climate crisis impacts every aspect of our society and every issue. 

And so that was kind of confusing to hear that coming from her because Biden had had endorsed the climate debate. And it also is just not true. Climate change is an intersectional issue that impacts all of our lives and it needs to be discussed in full and we need to know what the presidential candidates think and what their plans are. 

DHARNA NOOR Could you talk a little bit more about what you mean by saying that the climate crisis is so intersectional? Talk a little bit more about how this crisis impacts every facet of human life. 

CARMEN BOUQUIN Yeah, and we’re seeing this right now with like the refugee crisis. We’re seeing mass immigration because of climate refugees. We’re seeing wild weather patterns and natural disasters, fires, hurricanes. And they’re mostly impacting vulnerable communities in the global South and communities of color in the North. And so this is impacting so many people and we’re seeing this also in the Midwest with extreme flooding. It’s impacting our agricultural systems industry, our transportation. 

Every realm of society is going to be impacted by climate change. And the people that are being most impacted are the most vulnerable. And it seems like it’s being ignored and it has been ignored for so long that we thought that the climate debate could be something that they actually draw attention to that. But obviously they aren’t recognizing that. 

DHARNA NOOR Yeah, it’s interesting in sort of a poetic, sort of display of difference here, Simone Sanders used to work for Bernie Sanders, who today put out this really huge ambitious green new deal proposal. And it calls to decarbonize the U.S. Completely by 2050, which that’s a deadline that a lot of other candidates have said they’d stick to. 

But it also calls to decarbonize transportation and energy sectors by 2030. It calls to ban nuclear energy. Those proposals aren’t so common in other candidates plans. So it seems like there are still some pretty big differences that need to be hashed out between these candidates, especially on climate policy. So is a town hall forum enough to do that? Is that sort of informal forum like the one that the DNC voted for today, sufficient to take on all of those huge questions? 

CARMEN BOUQUIN Yeah, no. And that’s why we wanted a climate debate is because we want candidates to be able to debate in full all of those plans and be able to push each other and develop plans like Bernie Sanders. We even saw that today, DNC representatives were saying that, that just having a discussion on climate change is not enough. We need a debate and we need to see how candidates stack up and what their plans are. 

There was a lot of discussion on how we can change how debates are run and not have them run by large new sectors like CNN, but having them more controlled by the people. And that was like also a focus of the climate debate is we wanted that to happen. 

DHARNA NOOR Sure. I should disclose here for viewers of The Real News Network, I did donate 27 dollars to Bernie Sanders campaign, so if that makes you take nothing that I’m saying here seriously, that’s your prerogative. 

But anyway, so what is the next move for Sunrise Movement now that a DNC sanction climate debate seems to kind of be off the table. What do you all plan to do now to encourage real debate amongst candidates on how they’ll address the climate crisis and could these town halls or these multi issue forums play into that at all? 

CARMEN BOUQUIN Yeah, we’re definitely going to encourage candidates to debate in full at those forums and all candidates to go. Kamala Harris had originally said that she wasn’t going to go and some of our people and environmental activist pushed her to go. And so we’re making sure that all of these candidates are being pushed in the biggest way possible. But the Sunrise Movement is going to keep going. We have three huge summits planned around the country, including one this weekend in the Bay area for all of the West. 

We’re going to be training up young people to strike on September 20th and 27th as part of the global strike. And we’re going to be continuing to push these candidates up until 2020 and then when a candidate gets elected in 2021, we’re going to not stop pushing the candidates and also pushing for the green new deal. 

DHARNA NOOR Got it. And I guess I’ll just close by asking you, today was just an initial meeting for the DNC. This coming weekend, they’re going to be taking on final votes on all these resolutions. What do you expect to see from that meeting this weekend and what do you hope that the DNC votes up votes down? 

CARMEN BOUQUIN Yeah, so we’re hoping that the climate debate also gets proposed again and it can be voted in front of the general body and we’ll also be continuing pushing candidates and DNC reps throughout the weekend to vote yes on that and that should happen on Saturday or Friday. And so those are some… We’re still hoping that there is a vote on the climate debate and then we’re also just hoping that the DNC keeps voting on resolutions that really show the climate crisis and kind of crisis resolutions. 

DHARNA NOOR All right. Well as we see what comes out of this weekend and continue to follow the candidates proposals and plans to take on the climate crisis, we’d love to talk to you again. Carmen Bouquin, you’re a trainer and an organizer with the Sunrise Movement based in California. Thank you so much for being on today. 

CARMEN BOUQUIN Yes, thank you so much. 

DHARNA NOOR And thank you for joining us on the real news network. 

BABATUNDE OGUNFOLAJU Thanks a lot for watching. Appreciate it. But do us one more solid favor, hit the subscribe button below. You know you want to. Stay up on new videos.



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religious fruitcakes...

From the American Conservative:

I did read, with no little interest, an op-ed published in The New YorkTimes late last month by Bianca Vivion Brooks called “To Take On the Religious Right, We Need a Religious Left.” Ms. Brooks asks her readers:

What do we relinquish as a society when a cooperative faith dissipates? Beyond spiritual guidance, the church was my earliest exposure to effective social organization, people rallying around collective belief to create lasting material change in the lives of those who needed it most. Collective belief demands social cooperation and interdependence bound to a principled obligation with expectations of self-sacrifice.


The flaw in this thinking is obvious right from the title. Progressives will never be able to engineer an effective rival to the Religious Right, if only because spirituality itself can’t be engineered.


So, what is the religious right? Would Jesus be on the left or the right? Is this a question of forgiveness, sin definition, uptightness — or cash? Have the religious thoughts evolved away from the original teachings of Christ? Why did Noah get pissed after the biblical floods ordeal?

What and how did engineer the religious right? The popes? Luther? Lucifer? The Mormons? Let’s be frank here. The religious right was NOT engineered by Christ. Its "spirituality" was engineered by various invented traditions created to satisfy a hierarchical social system in which kings would rule with the "gift of god"… So what are the major subterranean different tenets (please let’s not mention “spirituality”) of the religious right and the religious left?
The right:
We don’t like gays.
We hate abortion.
We’re in it for the money (traditional hierarchy).

And this is about it. 

The left:
Progressives accept gays as Christians.
They are not sternly opposed to abortion.
Christ leads the way to a social conscience (equality).

Note Gus is a fierce atheist and only present the loony views of religious bigotry in all its formats, including Islam. Both right and left Christian views are a restriction on understanding of reality as both lead to delusion and systematic deception in their dependance to deeper organisms such as the "deep state" and “political machineries” that are only there for the psychopathic kill: elect a loony deceptive president.

But you can see that the religious right is worried about Pete, the Christian gay, thus a sinner. Hence the title of this article mentioned at top, by a Catholic, Michael Warren Davis:

Pete Buttigieg And The Mercenary Religious Left.

"If progressives think they can enlist Christianity just to win politically, they’re in for a rude awakening."

In the USA, evangelicalism is a distortion of belief into a narrowing of the social and racial arteries. Evangelicalism has taken many formats, as to whom has the best telephone line to god through the best interpretation of a few lines in the bible, while ignoring reality. And we are also told by Rod Dreher: Black Evangelical: ‘White People, Chill Out’. Letter from a conservative black Christian reader on the rise of a minority within a minority

Yes "we" (religions) are in trouble, when the religious beliefs break up in a multitude of expressions, to be seen a bit like in an elastic museum exhibiting Botticelli to Picasso — plus present personal artistic navel-gazing, as a development of individualism, from the birth of Venus to tattoo parlours. 

And yes we can enjoy our varied stylistic expressions as an extension of our ability to create a new “reality” delusion — as long as our scientific understanding develops and maintains our deeper relationship with the evolution of nature, and its complexity. Sciences are the future.

But fighting between religious right and left? It’s like arguing the spirituality between an apple tart and an apricot tart. They’re still tarts… 
Pete is more like a mixed fruit tart... This worries the appletarters...

Gus Leonisky 
Atheist about spiritual tarts...

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See also: why do I feel warren is deluded in her russophobia, as if the USA have been honest in dealing with Russia?...

the love guru gets out of the race...


Marianne Williamson wanted to beat Donald Trump with love, but her 2020 presidential run is over.


Who is Marianne Williamson?

The 67-year-old had run for office once before, also unsuccessfully. In 2014, she finished fourth in a highly competitive race for a congressional seat in California.

But it's hardly what she's known for.

In her 38-year career before politics, she served as an adviser to Oprah Winfrey and officiated the last of Elizabeth Taylor's eight weddings.

Seven of her 12 self-help books were New York Times best sellers, and even if you think you'd never be associated with a spiritual guru, you'd no doubt recognise a few quotes from them. Quotes like:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."

But if you do know about Ms Williamson from her politics, it's probably because of quotes like:

"If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivised hatred that this President is bringing up in this country, then I'm afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days."

On a campaign stage crowded with career politicians and prepared remarks, she spoke to voters who felt that the country was experiencing a crisis of conscience of such seismic proportions that politics was beside the point.


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liar, liar...

In politics, there's nothing quite like a hot mic.

Whether it's Donald Trump boasting about grabbing women by the crotch, Peter Dutton chuckling at Pacific islands being swamped by rising seas or former British PM Gordon Brown calling a voter he'd just met "bigoted", a forgotten microphone peels back the highly orchestrated public veneer of politics and, for a few seconds, reveals something real and (often) ugly.

This week it was the turn of Presidential contenders Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to be very publicly overheard.


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why do I feel warren is deluded in her russophobia, as if the USA have been honest in dealing with Russia?...

and the winner is...

Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg signaled victory in the Iowa Democratic caucus early Tuesday morning before the official results were tallied.

“By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious,” the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor told his supporters at Drake University after midnight.

Buttigieg said that with his supposed victory, “an improbable hope became an undeniable reality.”

“We don’t know all the results, but we know by the time it’s all said and done, Iowa, you have shocked the nation” he boasted.

His winning claim came as the caucus results were delayed for hours because of “inconsistencies” found in the data, the state party said in a statement.

The Iowa Democratic Party said they were using a new app to count the results, which was backed up by traditional paper tabulation.


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See also: could not run a school fete... in biden's bid...



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could not organise a piss up in a pub with free beer...

Chaos in the Iowa Democratic caucuses, where contest results are delayed by technical glitches, was seized upon by Donald Trump as he notched a victory.

The outcome of the first stage in the Democrat race to pick a candidate for November's presidential election was left unsettled on Tuesday morning.

Democratic officials blamed a "coding error" in the app used to report results.

Mr Trump easily won the Republican contest. 

The debacle on the Democrat side, on the other hand, was "an unmitigated disaster," the president tweeted. "The only person that can claim a very big victory in Iowa last night is 'Trump'". 

Votes in the Democratic contest will be tabulated by hand and the "majority" of the results would be reported by 16:00 local time (22:00 GMT) in Iowa on Tuesday, officials said.

However, the indeterminate result on the night has created scepticism of the caucus process and reignited questions over whether Iowa - a rural, white state not representative of the US electorate as a whole - should continue to be the place to hold the first primary contest.


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Message to Trump: Don't be so cocky... The better tactic would be to be sorry about the Democrats problems and wish them the best... Magnanimity is the best collector of points. Being cocky could loose you two points...

iowa blues...

You probably weren’t the only one to go to bed last night, perhaps around midnight, to think like Christmas, there would be a big present with a tap on your keyboard or phone when you awoke—the winner of the Iowa Caucuses finally revealed.

Instead there were headlines like this: ‘It’s a total meltdown’: Confusion seizes Iowa as officials struggle to report results. This was Politico. They even followed it with a sidebar story entitled,“The Death of Iowa.”

This may not be mere hyperbole. It is a likely probability that last night’s epic fail to name a winner, due to still unknown “quality control” issues and “inconsistencies” in the reporting (as of this writing at 6 a.m. EST, they were still reports about the system’s “app” breaking down and not correctly tabulating the caucus votes), marks the end of the state’s “first in the country” status when it comes to the presidential nominating process every four years.

As you have probably been reminded by now, Iowa actually called the caucus in favor of Mitt Romney in 2012, only to declare two weeks later that Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was the real winner. No one really knows what would have happened. But like a bad movie, Santorum could have gone on to win New Hampshire, get the nomination, and beaten Obama for president—or at least anything but be the sad token Republican on CNN’s godawful political panels he is today. He could have been a contender.

Social media, of course, is on steroids (for some, this kind of chaos is preferred). Suggestions (non serious, serious) that Russians hacked the system (denied by election officials) began in earnest around 10 p.m. on Twitter. As did charges that the DNC was again denying Bernie Sanders a win. Meanwhile, as of this writing, Twitter partisans are already devolving into combat (‘Simmer down @petebuttigieg, if anything they chose Sen. Sanders’!) Everyone is hating on Iowa: “Iowa caucuses are usually where lots of campaigns go to die. Because of this mess, everyone gets a ticket to ride to New Hampshire.”


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a transformative outsider ...

Some MSM will belittle Buttigieg, yet he is far more impressive than all the oldies combined — Warren, Bernie and Biden... In the USA, the liberal media would hate that their preferred guy, Biden, is only coming fourth... (see Biden's bid)


Who is Pete Buttigieg?

If elected, 38-year-old Mr Buttigieg would be the first openly gay US president. 

He is the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a city of just over 100,000 people.

He is a former Harvard and Oxford University Rhodes scholar, who served as a military intelligence officer in Afghanistan and used to work for global management consultancy McKinsey.

Rivals say Mr Buttigieg, who is younger than Macaulay Culkin and Britney Spears, is too inexperienced to be US president.

But he says he is transformative outsider who can break the gridlock in Washington and defeat President Trump.

Campaigning in Laconia, New Hampshire, on Tuesday evening, Mr Buttigieg welcomed the preliminary results.

"A campaign that started a year ago with four staff members, no name recognition, no money, just a big idea, a campaign that some said should have no business even making this attempt, has taken its place at the front of this race to replace the current president with a better vision for the future," he said.


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He is the only candidate who can beat Trump...


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counting broken milk bottles...

On Monday, a coding issue with the mobile app that the Iowa Democratic Party planned to use to report the results of their state caucus caused a massive delay in declaring the winner.

People who worked on Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign were behind the app that caused chaos in the Iowa caucus on Monday night.

The smartphone app was designed by Shadow, Inc., a Colorado-based tech company founded by Gerard Niemira and Krista Davis, to make collecting and reporting the results easier and quicker.

Both Niemira and Davis worked for the Clinton campaign in 2015-2016. According to their LinkedIn profiles, Niemira, who is the company’s CEO, was Clinton’s director of product and senior product manager, and Davis served as special assistant to the campaign’s chief technology officer.

Prior to the caucuses in Iowa – traditionally the first state to vote in presidential primaries – the state party had kept silent about the creator of the data-reporting app, which came under scrutiny after a chaotic delay in the announcement of the results.

President Donald Trump won the Republican contest with 97 percent of the vote, but the Democratic vote was in disarray because of what state officials called a “coding issue”.

A spokeswoman for the Iowa Democrats said on Monday the delays were caused by “inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results”, adding that this was “simply a reporting issue… not a hack or an intrusion”.

Shadow is affiliated with Acronym, a Democratic-aligned non-profit set up in 2017 to “build power and modern infrastructure for a new progressive movement”.

In January 2019, Acronym’s founder and CEO Tara McGowan announced that her company had acquired Niemira’s Groundbase and launched Shadow to “build smarter infrastructure for campaigns”.


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One of the Democratic contenders for the nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders, could not resist a touch of embellishment. 

The whole world is looking at Iowa today.  They are looking to see whether the people of Iowa are prepared to stand up and fight for justice.  Let’s win this together.”

Rival contender Senator Elizabeth Warren, mindful of Trump’s state of the union speech on Tuesday, was taking things beyond the man in her address:

Our union is stronger than Donald Trump.  And tonight, as a party, we are a step closer to defeating the most corrupt president in American history.”

As things slowly panned out, Warren seemed mistaken.  Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman Mandy McClure seem to put a dampener on everything by revealing in a statement that “inconsistencies in the reporting of three sets of results” had been identified. 

“In addition to the tech systems being used to tabulate the results, we are also using photos of results and a paper trail to validate that all results match and ensure that we have confidence and accuracy in the numbers we report.” Mindful about the leap into conspiracy territory and accusations of foul play, she put it all down to a hiccup in reporting, rather than any malicious intrusion or hack. Suggestions that this had arisen because of a faulty app were dismissed, a view not shared by various county chairs.

Local party chairman Troy Price was hoping to give the whole show an air of fastidiousness; to be thorough was not to err.  “We are validating every piece of data we have against our paper trail.” As he explained to reporters, “At this point the [Iowa Democratic Party] is manually verifying all precinct results.  We expect to have numbers to report later today.”

Former state party chair Gordon Fischer, sensing the storm of discredit enveloping the entire process, told CNN’s Gloria Borger that a delay “to make sure the results are accurate” could hardly be a bad thing.

None of this thrilled the candidates, whose personnel were getting stroppy. 

Dana Remus, campaign general counsel for Joe Biden, demanded “full explanations and relevant information” in a letter sent to Price and IDP Executive Director Kevin Geiken. 

No level of fastidiousness could hide the fact that a meltdown had taken place.


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piracies and app conspiracies...



By James Pinkerton



When facts are few, opinion looms large—and sometimes, conspiracy-theorizing looms larger. And the weedy results from the Iowa Democratic presidential caucus seem destined to be one of those moments when conspiracy theories grow as high as an elephant’s eye. 

As of this writing, late in the day on February 4—nearly a full 24 hours after the caucuses—it appears that Pete Buttigieg is slightly ahead in delegates, while Bernie Sanders leads, barely, in the popular vote. 

So now, every curious political reporter is going to be scrutinizing the tangled relationship between the Iowa caucus-counters, the online app that did the counting, and people who made, and paid for, the app. 

That app was created by a for-profit technology company called Shadow, Inc.—not exactly a name aimed at discouraging conspiracy-mongers—which, in turn, is owned by a big-bucks non-profit called Acronym. Oh, and Shadow, Inc. was also hired by the Buttigieg campaign

Interestingly, Buttigieg, being a diverse and well-credentialed young meritocrat, is the preferred candidate of many Silicon Valley tech types, including Reed Hastings of Netflix, and family members of Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt of Google, as well as Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook. So yes, it’s interesting that the Shadow-y app showed Buttigieg doing so well in Iowa. 

Critics—of whom there are many—wonder why Iowa Democrats suddenly needed this app. The Iowa caucuses had been doing well enough, after all, for half a century, using just pencils, chalkboards, and calculators. And yet now they started using an app that hasn’t been tested anywhere? Couldn’t Democrats have field-tested it in some aldermanic election?

headline in Vice captured prevailing lefty-snarky sentiment: “The Democrats Screwed America With an App No One Asked For.” Surveying Shadow, Inc. and Acronym, the piece declared, 

There’s enough going on with these two operations to launch a thousand conspiracy theories, and that’s probably what will happen. A few examples: Gerard Niemira, CEO of Shadow and formerly COO and CTO of Acronym, once contributed to a project to generate “fake data such as names, addresses, and phone numbers”; Pete Buttigieg’s national organizing director, Greta Carnes, came directly from Acronym.

In the meantime, the Sanders campaign, which had the big mo going into Monday night, has been dissed—and it’s miffed. As Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a Sanders supporter, tweeted, “democracy dies in the darkness.”

Pro-Sanders blogger Matt Stoller delved deeper into the Pete B.-Big Tech entente, writing, “The key validator for Acronym is board member David Plouffe, the former campaign manager for Barack Obama.” We can quickly observe that  today, many Sanders fans see the 44th present in strikingly harsh terms, as just a stooge for Silicon Valley and Wall Street. 

Stoller adds, “Plouffe is also the head of policy and advocacy for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative”—and that, of course, is the philanthropy financed by Mark Zuckerberg. And lefties (among others) have plenty of opinions  about the Facebook founder; it’s also not forgotten that back in 2017, Zuckerberg visited Buttigieg in South Bend, Indiana. Stoller continues, “Plouffe unlocks the trust of the entire Democratic operative class”—and those are the very people, of course, whom the insurgent Sandersistas despise the most. And now, lo and behold, Sanders seems to have lost to them and their app. 

We might also add that the right, too, is on the hunt for a conspiracy that seems to have been hiding in plain sight; the conservative watchdog group Capital Research Center adds valuable information on AcronymShadow, Inc., as well as Acronym’s superpac, Pacronym. For sure, these seem to be names out of a James Bond movie—and so now, where’s SMERSH and SPECTRE?  

In the meantime, looming over all, is the, uh, specter of Michael Bloomberg and his money—which currently clocks in at $61 billion. We can note that Bloomberg’s balance is up ten billion in the last year or so. In other words, during the time that Bloomberg has been plotting his run for president, his wealth has been increasing exponentially. That’s the power of compound interest, or, more to the point, of capital gains. Such are the ways of plutocracy, now come to politics.

So we can see: It’s easy for Bloomberg to spend many hundreds of millions of dollars on his campaign—and, if he wanted to do so, spend many billions. 

Indeed, Bloomberg seems to smell blood in the political water, and that has him at least scratching the surface of his principal. Hence the headline atop The New York Times mid-day on February 4: “Bloomberg Plans to Double Ad Spending After Iowa Caucus Problem.” As the Times explained

Bloomberg’s presidential campaign moved on Tuesday to exploit the chaotic outcome of the Iowa caucuses, escalating an already massive campaign of television advertising and publicly making the case that a messy outcome in the early states opened the way for Mr. Bloomberg.

“Messy outcome”—hmmm. It doesn’t take much of a conspiracy theorist to ask the classic question, cui bono? As veteran journo Josh Kraushaar wrote in The National Journal on February 4, Bloomberg is “one of the biggest beneficiaries from the confusion.”

For his part, Kraushaar still sees Bloomberg as unlikely actually to win the Democratic nomination, although he does allow that Bloomberg “could become a kingmaker in the event of a contested convention.” 

Of course, those of a more conspiratorial turn of mind might think that for Bloomberg, a contested Democratic convention in Milwaukee could be more—much more—than a king-making opportunity. 

After all, given the laxity of campaign-finance laws—or, come to think of it, any sort of law, since party-politicking is a constitutionally protected legal category—one wonders if the king-maker at the convention couldn’t simply buy the crown for himself. (And if that were to happen, then cascades of conspiratorialism, clotted with packets of justified paranoia, would go pouring into the mainstream, there to eddy forever in the public consciousness.)  

To be sure, even if Bloomberg were to enthrone himself this July, it’s a long throw to the November election. The Sanders people, most obviously, won’t be happy to see their man bested twice in a row by Wall Street money—first indirectly through Hillary Clinton, then directly from Mayor Mike. So Bloomberg and his billions would have to find a way, if they could, to bandage up those intra-party wounds. Yet of course, even the most embittered progressives often yearn for get-out-the-vote money, to say nothing of walking-around money

Still, standing athwart Bloomberg’s path to the White House, there’s Republican Donald Trump—and he’s no pushover. So we can only guess at how much Bloomberg, if he were to get that far, would be willing to spend in his big push to Pennsylvania Avenue. Can we count that high? If not, maybe we’d have to learn. 

In the meantime, this author will stand by what he wrote on November 13, when Bloomberg announced his candidacy: “We must recognize an eternal truth: When it really puts its mind to it, more often than not, Capital wins.” 


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results are in...



as pete wins...

as Pete climbs the ladder, people in the Democrat Party are already tearing him down...:



Buttigieg obviously has the winning campaign. The facts are undeniable

☑️ Most grassroots billionaire donors

☑️ Controls whether polls are released

☑️ Able to claim victory before results

☑️ Invested into the app counting votes

☑️ Wins without the most votes#PetesBillionaires


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Whatever Pete is or not, he is the only Democratic candidate with a chance of defeating Trump...



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move over, oldies...

Trouble in the family...


Buttigieg, a devout Episcopalian who is in a same-sex marriage, began cautioning that he did not feel he had a right “to tell other Christians how to be Christians.”

“But I will say,” he said, as reported by CNN, “I can’t find any compatibility between the way this president conducts himself and anything I find in Scripture.”

Pastor Rhyan Glezman, the head of a small congregation in Michigan who is the brother-in-law of Buttigieg, took issue with the candidate’s remarks.

In a recent interview with Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, Glezman argued that it is Buttigieg who is advancing ideas that are “clearly against Scripture.”

“The height of intellectual dishonesty for Pete to make claims that there's no compatibility with being a Christian and voting for Trump, which Pete, in fact, is the one who is pushing agendas and rhetoric that is clearly against Scripture,” stated Glezman.

The pastor went on to also denounce Buttigieg's recent comments on “The View,” when the candidate said that he believed the government should not restrict late-term abortion. 

“I'm just in a state of lament when you hear that we have someone running for commander in chief who can't make a moral decision on whether to keep a child after it's already been born or to have it killed,” Glezman told Tucker, labeling the stance “alarming” and “extreme.

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Abortion has been the major issue with the evangelicals… They hide a variety of false reality through their hell-bent beliefs — and as pro-life, they support wars (as long as they’re “just” — which means nothing) that are about killing people, not even in god’s revenge, but useful in branding the word of the almighty, through spreading democracy alla muckdonald, like mud on army boots.

Interesting that Buttigieg is chastised by his brother-in-law… a “preacher" pastoriser…

Representative James E. Clyburn, the highest-ranking African-American in Congress and a political powerhouse in South Carolina, threw his support to Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday. After months of substantial leads in South Carolina polls, Mr. Biden is now in the fight of his political life there against Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, the rising front-runner, and Tom Steyer, the hedge fund billionaire whose heavy spending and direct appeals to black voters has made him a wild card in the state’s primary.

Why would Representative James E. Clyburn support a white “crook”? Is Biden a crook? Maybe maybe not, but he certainly did a few crocks. James E. Clyburn could do better with his choice of warmonger and Ukrainian-investigator-sacking friends… But I forgot, this is America, the best country on the planet where black is off-white, green is greenback-ed greed, and white is fifty-one shades of grey, and where the sub-government is run by a cabal of Christians with a recalcitrant fake evangelical lunatic at the helm and a unruly bunch of pseudo-Christians full of cash trying to unsettle him, with their media friends — all chanting god bless America.

We’re in the territory of the fabulous fake balloons, hot-air orations and of the fabricated enthusiasm for angels and the banishment of demons who, by luck be, live exclusively in Russia and possibly in Iran and some in China. This is why, despite his B-i-L (brother-in-law) as a handicap, Buttigieg is the best bet to take over from Trump in 2020. He is far more honest than most of the others “democrats", while I must add that vintaged kooky Bernie won’t make the distance with a shot at turning this brilliant capitalist country into a drab and grey socialist bastion of equal-dom. I could be wrong… (Never ever... could I?).

So, should Biden, Warren and Bernie (and the Bloom) decide to do the correct thing once in their amusing life, they would quit the race now and let Pete take over the gig. This would be the smartest thing to do. But they're full of ego-marshmallow and aren’t that smart at all, are they?

So, over to you American Democrats. If you want to get rid of Trump, you have to vote delegates for Pete, no matter what, until it hurts. For once you might really save the day. Move over oldies…

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See also: a mexican stand off? doing enough...

is pete quitting?...

Former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg has decided to drop out of the 2020 presidential race, a campaign aide told The Post on Sunday.

Buttigieg, 38, plans to give a speech in his hometown of South Bend, Indiana, formally suspending his campaign later Sunday, the aide said.

Buttigieg’s surprise decision followed his dismal performance Saturday in the South Carolina primary, where he came in a distant fourth place among Democrats with around 8 percent of the vote.

It also came two days before the “Super Tuesday” Democratic primaries, in which 1,357 delegates will be at stake in states including California, Texas, Virginia and North Carolina.

Earlier Sunday, Buttigieg had told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he “knew South Carolina was going to be a challenging state” but added, “I think the most important thing right now is to look at what we can do to make sure that we put forward a campaign that is going to end the Trump presidency.”

Buttigieg also said he was still fine-tuning his strategy for competing in the Super Tuesday contests.

“Well, we believe that there are places from coast to coast, in districts across different states, where our message is resonating particularly well,” he said.


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Vice President Kamala Harris is facing White House sabotage as the establishment media lay out Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg’s path to the presidency.

With Harris’s history of “mistreatment of employees and dissent” before entering the White House, the establishment media have begun reporting on the infighting and “sabotage” impacting the office of the vice president.


“It’s a whisper campaign designed to sabotage her,” Biden’s senior adviser Cedric Richmond said, admitting Friday to the Hill the infighting is real.

Axios reported Friday Harris’s aides are panicked that she is “fucking up” and perhaps “shouldn’t be the heir apparent” for 2024’s presidential race because she “could not defeat whomever the Republican Party puts up.”

On Wednesday, a White House staffer told Politico Harris’s aides “are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment.”

“It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s—,” one aide said.

Other White House aides told Axios Harris’s office is a “shitshow” with “poorly-managed … people who don’t have long-term relationships with her,” an overall “operation sometimes visibly out of sync with Biden’s.”

The establishment media additionally wrote Friday, “2024 is the elephant in the room. … While Biden aides overwhelmingly believe he’ll be the Democratic nominee, they also know he’d be 81 when seeking re-election.”

But “many Democrats, including some current senior administration officials, are concerned she [Harris] could not defeat whomever the Republican Party puts up — even if it were Donald Trump.”

Enter stage right Transportation Secretary Buttigieg, who, as previous mayor of South Bend, was unable to fix the city’s potholes; a pizza company in 2019 had to repair them for Mayor Pete.

But while the establishment media largely ignored that story, they published a profile piece June 8 about Buttigieg that plotted his path to the presidency that would involve him replacing incumbent President Joe Biden.

As Breitbart News reported, Atlantic magazine writer Edward-Isaac Dovere wrote the glowing report about Buttigieg’s opportunity to gather support for a massive “infrastructure” spending bill that redefines traditional infrastructure to include eldercare and electric vehicles.


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we expected much more from pete….

Someone save us from the free market ideologues before it’s too late.

Sitting down on CBS’s “Face the Nation” this week, transportation secretary and billionaire darling Pete Buttigieg addressed the infant formula shortage that’s sent parents around the United States scrambling to find some way to feed their babies. Asked about the sluggish federal response to a crisis regulators were informed about as far back as October, Buttigieg absolved the Biden administration through a little bit of neoliberal sleight of hand.

“Let’s be very clear,” he said. “This is a capitalist country. The government does not make baby formula, nor should it. Companies make formula.”

It was the company that screwed up, Buttigieg insisted, and now it was the government’s job to help get the contaminated plant that helped lead to this shortage back up and running quickly and safely.

At heart, this is just a lazy bit of political ass-covering. In reality, the Biden administration has a great deal of responsibility for what happened: federal regulators took months to respond to the October whistleblower complaint about food safety issues at the Abbott Laboratories plant in question, only for two babies to die and another to be hospitalized a couple months later. Nor did regulators act on Minnesota health officials’ September warnings about a baby hospitalized after taking formula from the same plant; in fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did a routine inspection of the plant that very month and concluded its issues weren’t major.

It was only in January that FDA inspectors actually went to the plant in response to the complaint, and since Abbott shuttered the plant a month later and recalled its products, making the shortage worse, the administration hasn’t exactly acted with urgency. It failed to proactively deal with the problem, with the president claiming last week that he and others would have had to be “mind readers” to have acted earlier on a crisis that was being reported on as early as January. Then, even when the problem became unignorable, the administration had to be pressured for days by Democrats and Republicans alike to use the Defense Production Act to get formula on the shelves, despite (falsely) claiming to have been the first to suggest the wartime law as a way to deal with the pandemic.

So Buttigieg is wrong. But what’s maybe most interesting is how he’s choosing to be wrong.

In a line that no doubt prompted much high-fiving and backslapping from his comms team, Buttigieg passes the back by suggesting there are simply some lines too sacred to be crossed even in a crisis — in this case, the government directly producing baby formula. It’s not just that in a capitalist system, according to Buttigieg, the government does not make baby formula; it’s that it should not.

But governments around the world — and even in the United States — are today, and have been in the past, engaged in production in a vast array of different industries, sometimes competing with the private sector, in other cases as monopoly producers. Even in capitalist societies, there has been a widely held principle that certain things are so critical to the functioning of life and the economy, they shouldn’t be left to the whims of unaccountable private actors looking to get rich at any cost, but be put under some kind of democratic control and their revenues allowed to be recycled for the common good.

An obvious and perennial case is health care, where countries that have state-dominated insurance systems — Medicare for All, in other words — have far, far better health outcomes than the privatized, corporate-controlled system in the United States, the richest country in the world. And in those countries where the state also owns and operates the bulk of the health sector itself, as a monopoly, those superior health outcomes are delivered at an especially low cost. The idea that the government “should not” be providing health care simply because This Is Capitalism, Damnit! has long been a talking point in the United States, but in the past it was at least mainly confined to spokespeople for corporations and the Right — and one they’ve tried to throw at virtually every other initiativemeant to protect Americans’ economic security that we don’t find remotely controversial today.

But health care is just one example. Look at Sweden, where even after decades of neoliberal pressures, the government is still directly involved in producing and managing everything from pharmaceuticals, banking, and logistics, to housing, forestry, and telecommunications — even alcohol sales and airports. It’s a similar story across the rest of Scandinavia, all wealthy (and also capitalist) countries that have far higher standards of living and happiness than the United States.

It was the same in my home country of New Zealand, whose government once upon a time, in the words of the Centre for Public Impact, “owned much of the economic infrastructure” in the country, from banks and telecommunications to forests, power plants, and other industrial entities. Its corporatization and subsequent sell-off of many of those assets happened to coincide with soaring inequality and long-running cost pressures on working households. This cost of living crisis has gotten so bad now, a government agency recently suggested creating a state-owned supermarket chain to inject some actual competition into the grocery duopoly the free market has created — an idea rejected by the country’s current liberal government and a host of commentators for reasons not much more sophisticated than Buttigieg’s. (“It’s not their role to do that,” said one.)

Coming from someone who prides himself on his dogma-free pragmatism on every other question, it’s noteworthy that as soon as the subject turns to the purity of capitalism, Buttigieg smoothly morphs into a rigid ideologue. But ideological rigidity is probably a necessary prerequisite for anyone to take the position Buttigieg is adopting here. After all, being a private, for-profit company, Abbott’s main goal — as any fan of business and capitalism will tell you — is not to serve the public good, but to make as much money as possible. So rather than spending money on tending to equipment that was badly in need of repair, they spent hundreds of millions of dollars on stock buybacks to enrich themselves instead. Then they deceived inspectors and falsified records to hide the serious issues going on in their plant and keep the gravy train running, issues that workers in turn were too scared to blow the whistle on because they feared retaliation.

Incidentally, if they had the kinds of worker protections that the unionized, federal workforce enjoys, maybe this crisis would’ve been nipped in the bud. But heaven forbid the government should make stuff.









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