(Originally published as “Obama and the Future of the Democratic Party”)
President Obama achieved some remarkable things during his eight years. Action on income and wealth inequality were not among them. He surrounded himself, especially on the economic front, with people who had direct connections to Wall St. or academic economics. He famously made a speech in 2013 announcing that income inequality was “the defining challenge of our time”. Then, faced with attacks from within the Democratic Party and all Republicans that he was engaging in “class warfare”, he beat a hasty retreat. The rhetoric was trotted out but he proposed nothing and did nothing.
Citibank and Obama’s Cabinet
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There is much ongoing discussion about steps needed to turn the enormous one day action of the global Women’s March in to a sustained movement to achieve better outcomes for the vast majority of Americans. To focus on just one strategic element, the movement needs to move beyond identity politics to embrace class warfare. The rich and corporations have carried out a sustained and successful class war for more than 40 years. They control the government and the economy. Donald Trump is just a symptom of the underlying issues. We need to break this hammerlock and shift the rules of politics and the economy back towards us, the 90% who are living off the remainders, the scraps from their feast.
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The trail of money around Hillary and Bill Clinton and their foundation continues to attract lots of comment and not a few efforts to prove that money changed hands in return for specific acts by Hilary as Secretary of State. Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich (NY: Harper 2015) is just one example of a tsunami of comment, pro and con, of course.
borrowed from http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/08/why-hillary-doesnt-really-have-a-romney-problem.html
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Folks are in the street in Hong Kong protesting the anti-democratic election system in which Beijing approves the candidates who stand for election. The current Chief Executive, C Y Leung, is taunted with the nickname “689” – the number of votes he received from the Beijing appointed 1200 person Election Commission.
borrowed wo permission from NYTs 10022014
Americans should turn a reflective eye to our own Election Commission, the super wealthy who pour $ billions into a presidential election circus that effectively provides them with control over who can run for President. At least in HK the hands on the control led clearly to the central party apparatus in Beijing. Here we have a shadowy group that never appears in public that hides behind the enormous hoopla that substitutes for real politics in our choice of leaders.
See my earlier post “The Corruption at the Center of American Politics” and its link to Lawrence Lessig’s talk.
UPDATE: See the first segment on the 10012014 Colbert Report: http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/full-episodes/a8c58v/october-1–2014—mike-mullen