The Democrats’ Fear of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Primaries are a way to replace passive liberals with progressive boat-rockers, writes Norman Solomon.

By Norman Solomon
NormanSolomon.com

Earlier this month, both Politico and The New York Times  reported that freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was ruffling the feathers of fellow congressional Democrats. Chief among the reasons for the tension? Ocasio-Cortez’s apparent support for progressive primary challenges against centrist Democrats.

It’s one of the most significant ideas the young New York congresswoman has brought with her to Washington.

That’s because turning the Democratic Party into a truly progressive force will require turning “primary” into a verb. The corporate Democrats who dominate the party’s power structure in Congress should fear losing their seats because they’re out of step with constituents. And Democratic voters should understand that if they want to change the party, the only path to do so is to change the people who represent them. Otherwise, the leverage of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex will continue to hold sway.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with Kerri Evelyn Harris, at right. (Corey Torpie on flickr)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with Kerri Evelyn Harris, at right, in the Bronx. (Corey Torpie on flickr)

These days, with fingers to the wind, incumbents often give lip service to proposals that have wide public support nationwide, such as Medicare for All (70 percent) and higher taxes on the wealthy (76 percent). But big gaps remain between what most congressional Democrats are willing to fight for and what their constituents actually want.

Primary Wonders 

Credible primary challenges or even just the threat of them can work wonders. Instead of merely asking a member of Congress to do the right thing, activists can convey a much more persuasive message: Do the right thing or we’ll replace you with someone who will.

Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats (a group that played a major role in Ocasio-Cortez’s election victory), emphasizes that “safe” Democratic districts shouldn’t stay safe for just any Democrat. The goal is to “hold representatives who throw diverse working-class voters under the bus accountable.”

Justice Democrats Communications Director Waleed Shahid wrote in a Jan. 6 mass email that “real on-the-ground organizing work” can bring “a new generation of progressive leaders like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into the Democratic Party.” He added: “We believe there are leaders just like Alexandria in every district who just need a little bit of encouragement and support.”

California Rep. Ro Khanna. (Twitter)

While largely ideological, the battle lines are also attitudinal and behavioral. Democrats need to replace passive liberals with real progressive boat-rockers. That’s how Northern California Rep. Ro Khanna has distinguished himself from the longtime incumbent he defeated in 2016, Mike Honda. And attitude was a big reason why, in Boston last year, Ayanna Pressley was able to win a primary victory over senior Rep. Mike Capuano.

Both Honda and Capuano hardly legislated as centrists, both leaned left and earned antiwar credentials, but they lost to challengers who insisted that just checking progressive boxes wasn’t enough. There’s a crying need for highly assertive leaders who think and act outside the box. During his first two years in office, Khanna has repeatedly put forward wise alternatives to Democratic leadership on domestic issues as well as foreign-policy matters ranging from Syria, Yemen and Korea to U.S. relations with Russia.

Incumbent Advantage  

Yet Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley were the only two candidates to oust Democrats from Congress in primaries last year, a fact that underscores how difficult it is to win a primary against an entrenched incumbent. It also reflects the routinely unmet need to devote sufficient advance planning, time and resources to the mission.

What’s needed is rigorous long-term organizing to make “primarying” an effective weapon  identifying which incumbent Democrats to confront and then implementing visionary yet realistic campaigns to beat them. That’s what Ocasio-Cortez did to defeat the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, Joe Crowley, last summer. 

There are numerous other signs that traction awaits such efforts. Earlier this month, for instance, HuffPost reported that despite the popularity of third-term House Democrat Kathleen Rice among her constituents, “new polling suggests white, suburban women in Rice’s own southwestern Long Island district could turn on the Democrat if she refuses to back a Green New Deal, the umbrella term for the sweeping policy to combat climate change and overhaul the economy.” 

New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. (Wikimedia)

New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. (Wikimedia)

In December, Politico reported that Ocasio-Cortez was assisting plans for a progressive to run against Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, an African American who just ascended to the fifth-highest leadership post among House Democrats. Jeffries has been more attentive to serving corporate power than the interests of voters in his Brooklyn district.

Even more important than the fractures in the mutual-protection racket among congressional Dems is the momentum toward wider challenges among grassroots progressive activists. Their willingness to challenge incumbents in the 2020 primaries will likely extend to new arrivals on Capitol Hill, especially Democratic “Blue Dogs” such as Harley Rouda in California and Abigail Spanberger in Virginia.

Meanwhile, some Democrats who’ve been in office for a long time are now conspicuously vulnerable to primary challenges from the left. Soon after the midterm election, the Washington Post’s David Weigel flagged several incumbents in Democratic districts whose centrism and insulation make them prime targets in 2020: Jim Cooper from Nashville, Stephen Lynch from Boston, and Illinois Reps. Dan Lipinski and Danny Davis. He also mentioned south Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar, who actually supported Republican Rep. John Carter against progressive challenger MJ Hegar in 2018. Last week, Hegar came out in support of the Justice Democrats’ efforts to primary Cuellar.

In every region of the nation, progressive activists are aiming to normalize what was once a rarity ? credible primary campaigns by genuine progressives against corporate Democrats in Congress. There are certainly plenty to choose from.

On the primary-as-a-verb wish list of many activists is the hawkish new chairman of the House foreign affairs committee, Eliot Engel, whose New York district includes portions of the Bronx and Westchester County. After 30 years in Congress, he might seem nearly impossible to defeat. 

Conventional wisdom assumed the same about Joe Crowley.

Norman Solomon is the national coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org. He was a Bernie Sanders delegate from California to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and is currently a coordinator of the relaunched Bernie Delegates Network.

image_pdfimage_print

97 comments for “The Democrats’ Fear of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

  1. SteveK9
    January 28, 2019 at 19:04

    Alexandra Rojas … The goal is to “hold representatives who throw diverse working-class voters under the bus accountable.”

    Couldn’t it just be ‘working-class voters’?

    • February 2, 2019 at 21:39

      Why?

  2. PCM
    January 26, 2019 at 13:58

    Why does everyone parrot the contention that Ro Khanna is “progressive”? Do some research on his background — University of Chicago Department of Economics, Yale Law School, Obama Commerce Department working on trade treaties (remember TPP?), private practice in securities and intellectual-property law, pals with the financially supportive titans of Silicon Valley … and no HINT of anything that might trigger a genuine personal epiphany leading to a fundamental change in values. And unlike Obama, who put in some leverageable time with ACORN, Khanna didn’t even bother to fabricate himself a colorable progressive legend. If you ask me, any epiphany he had was in the area of political marketing, lip service, and gestures. With Khanna, I have a very strong feeling we’re looking at Obama 2.0 — a neoliberal wolf in progressive sheep’s clothing.

    As for AOC, I’m reserving judgment. The big question with the handful of genuinely progressive Democrats who somehow make it past the money primary is not whether they truly want to achieve the goals they publicly espouse, but whether they have the spine to stand up to the plutocrat-owned Party leadership when the sticks and carrots start getting seriously big. In my observation, very few do. As I sometimes say, if the 99% want to take back the Democratic Party from the plutocratic oligarchs that own it now, they should start with something easier, like transforming Bayer-Monsanto into an organic farmers co-op.

  3. Adam Halverson
    January 26, 2019 at 13:32

    Anybody else here have a problem with their comments not showing up? Sometimes, my comments do not get posted, or only appear for me. (When I view this same section from a different device, the comment is not there.) I don’t even see an awaiting for Moderator Approval message. The patterns look an awful lot like shadow-banning.

    • Adam Halverson
      January 26, 2019 at 18:44

      I found out why my post didn’t post, but the reason for that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. The word “e x h a u s t i v e” was flagged. Very strange.

      P.S. this could be a computer programming thing – that word has a special meaning in that regard. The iteration of that word itself probably screws around with the computer code in the comments section

  4. rgl
    January 26, 2019 at 11:42

    I will take a lot of time, effort and money to do the things this essay says needs doing. I do not believe, though, that amerikkka has enough of any of those things – time, effort or money. It feels like it’s time for the next USer (not so) Civil War, and the the only effort made in politics in the modern world is to take as much as you can, as quickly as you can.

    Money? The dis-United States of amerikkka is flat broke. Sure, they can print all the fake money they wish, but the hole – at what? 21 trillion dollars? just keeps getting deeper, until there is no climbing out of it. It’s arguable that that point has already been reached.

    A bigger shovel maybe?

    Americans, with their noses in their smart phones, too busy taking pics of what they had for lunch, entirely missed their chance to ‘change their world’. MIC is just too entrenched now. The USSA is just too far gone for rehabilitation. Major surgery ahead.

  5. January 26, 2019 at 09:06

    Rush Limbaugh calls her an uppity (negro). Whoopi Goldberg tells her to quit pooping on Democrats. She joins a Sunrise strike in Pelosi’s office. The alt-right has AOC Derangement Syndrome. Trump is too scared to even talk about her.

    This is exactly how change happens. Matt Taibbi is correct here:

    https://opensociet.org/2019/01/25/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-crusher-of-sacred-cows/

  6. January 26, 2019 at 07:41

    (While largely ideological, the battle lines are also attitudinal and behavioral. Democrats need to replace passive liberals with real progressive boat-rockers. That’s how Northern California Rep. Ro Khanna has distinguished himself from the longtime incumbent he defeated in 2016, Mike Honda.)

    (Yet Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley were the only two candidates to oust Democrats from Congress in primaries last year, a fact that underscores how difficult it is to win a primary against an entrenched incumbent. It also reflects the routinely unmet need to devote sufficient advance planning, time and resources to the mission.)

    Or did the race between Ro Khanna and Honda just get lost in the chaos of manipulating the vote count while distracting voters from the uncounted ballots statewide between Clinton and Sanders?

    Or was OC’s incumbent simply sacrificed to begin an illusion of party change to give false hope? Distraction is a valuable tool in politics.

    (What’s needed is rigorous long-term organizing to make “primarying” an effective weapon identifying which incumbent Democrats to confront and then implementing visionary yet realistic campaigns to beat them. That’s what Ocasio-Cortez did to defeat the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, Joe Crowley, last summer.)

    That’s not how I remember it in AOC’s race. Which is why I made the statement above. I remember her coming out of no where with very little time left after reports of the democratic party not spending any money of Crowley’s campaign. It’s not like she was in the media for 2 years collecting exposure. A hand full of reports on Crowley, money wise came out, then assured he would win refused to debate. Then a viral video went out about AOC on social media. Within a little amount of time she became an idol. This has the same drama to it that brought Obama to the presidency.

  7. DH Fabian
    January 25, 2019 at 22:00

    It’s all political theater. AOC is a Democrat, the Dem Party’s main marketing product of 2018. She is not a socialist. By definition, socialists would be shining a spotlight on our poverty crisis (not just our low wage problem) as proof of the failures of our deregulated capitalist system. To my knowledge, AOC has no cognizance of our poverty crisis, and she has defined herself as representing (quite specifically) “working people of color.” Of course, at this point we can only state our opinions. Proof of where she stands will be seen in her votes in Congress. Either way, saving the country from collapse would require leaders who stand up with the masses — poor to middle class, workers and all those who have been left jobless. No such leaders are in sight today.

  8. Realist
    January 25, 2019 at 20:34

    What’s her stance on warmongery? Is she willing to take on the Pentagon, the intel agencies and the military industrial complex tooth and nail, with up against the wall, MFer, zeal? Or will she be all identity politics and social programs? Without the first activist ensemble to claw back our precious tax revenues from the merchants of death, the second will remain only a pipe dream even for the most avid social liberals. Let’s find out what this individual really stands for and is capable of accomplishing before crowning her the Great Progressive Hope. One thing she seems to be, which is neither a deal maker or breaker, is an unavoidable hell-raiser.

    • DH Fabian
      January 25, 2019 at 22:12

      People should have noticed that Democrats regained the lead as the party of war. What “social programs” are people talking about? Democrats ended actual welfare aid back in the 1990s, took the first steps to similarly “reform” Social Security (targeting the disabled), food stamps were cut to roughly $15 per month, Medicaid is at risk with each budget season… Liberals swept our poverty crisis under the carpet ever since the 1990s, but that doesn’t mean it disappeared.

      • Realist
        January 26, 2019 at 13:51

        I know, I could have phrased it “will she be all identity politics and lip service to social programs?” (For that is the proven track record of Democrats.) But I didn’t want to seem closed-minded about the much anticipated latest incarnation of the Democratic Messiah. Time will tell whether or not she’s just another Pelosi prancing around trying to sound like another Obama. Hopey-changey springs eternal and the ruse will always resonate with many voters. I could try some wry humor and quote idiot boy on the pitfalls of being gullible, but there’s no reasonable agenda forthcoming from that side of the aisle either. Maybe I should have quoted the character Rockhound from the movie Armageddon: “Guess what guys, it’s time to embrace the horror! Look, we’ve got front row tickets to the end of the earth!”

  9. F. G. Sanford
    January 25, 2019 at 16:05

    There once was a girl from the Bronx. She bewildered the policy wonks.
    With a socialist meme she ignited a dream,
    It sold well in those hip honky-tonks!

    But particulars seemed rather scant. Nevertheless, she’d enchant.
    Her critics would scheme, she wants free stuff, they’d scream,
    And they’d say she’s a communist plant!

    The corporate Dems were confounded, the big money donors astounded.
    She’s got googly eyes, it’s a Marxist disguise,
    She wants all of our hedge funds impounded!

    She’ll give welfare to illegal migrants, free tuition to college aspirants-
    The Dreamers will stay, and we’ll all have to pay,
    To those dogs we’ll be like fire hydrants!

    Those programs will raise up our tax. Medicare will be breaking our backs.
    Never mind foreign bases and costly arms races,
    She wants food stamps for unemployed blacks!

    We’ll dust off the Warren Commission, and follow McCarthy’s tradition.
    With communist reds hiding under their beds
    We can foster more right-wing suspicion!

    Rapture politics offers salvation, profit prisons need more population.
    Marxist fear is the pitch making poor side with rich,
    So they’ll vote for their own exploitation!

    We’ll start probes that will be water-gated: That “Bay of Pigs thing” undebated.
    We’ll ignore testimony except when it’s phony,
    Russian stooges can be fabricated!

    There are big profit motives at stake. millionaires want to keep eating cake.
    AOC has her charms, but there’s more cash in arms,
    She’s a godsend, so make no mistake.

    FDR even won a fourth term. He made millionaires grovel and squirm.
    His progressive New Deal made the plutocrats squeal,
    They declared, “He’s a socialist worm”!

    Taft-Hartley got quickly repealed. The end of Glass-Steagall was sealed.
    His “Freedom from Want” was a ghost that would haunt,
    As the cuts and the rollbacks revealed.

    Social programs would get a bad name. Finance fraudsters need someone to blame.
    They’d say that the takers just steal from the makers,
    But the bombs would get dropped just the same.

    They claim health reform raises taxes. Or so say the Goldmans and Sachses.
    But there’s profit in war, so it’s safe to ignore,
    Those defense budgets never get axes!

    It’s a shame AOC’s kinda loopy. She’s endearing in ways Betty Boopy.
    With a platform that’s muddled she’s sweetness befuddled,
    She’ll be labeled a Mao Zedong groupie!

    The corporate dems failed us often, adding nails to the FDR coffin.
    The New Deal is dead and they’ll paint Cortez red,
    Republicans pray she won’t soften!

    • Sam F
      January 25, 2019 at 17:43

      Very clever and funny, FG: thank you very much!

    • Bob Van Noy
      January 25, 2019 at 18:41

      You did it again F.G. Sanford, perfect. Thank you!

    • Mild - ly Facetious
      January 25, 2019 at 20:19

      Grew up in the Bronx until age 15
      recall my youth, and all the scenes,

      playgrounds and gang fights were
      parts of the mix/ as subway trips

      into NewFoundLands of languages
      and Discoveries of Other Peoples/

      W/ Other Customs/ways-of-belief/
      behavior – openness – trust / love,

      not apt to judge/you wrongly but
      an openness to receive/as equal

      beings/ not taught to fear/unknowns
      but open to newness of life/thought,

      language/custom/food/trust/freedoms
      explorations in the Avenues of Baldwin

      and Francisco Lorca and NY Public Library/
      Art Museum/ The ‘Village’ Freeform Poets

      Open Minded New York City !!! What
      A PLACE to grow up/ be schooled !!!!!

      Puerto Rican Cortez embody’s the spirit of
      the immemorial freedom fighter Frida Kahlo !

      (shout outs to poets NY poets Miguel Pinero and Fernando Lorca)

      • DH Fabian
        January 25, 2019 at 22:28

        Check her biography. She lived in the Bronx only until she was five. Her father is an architect, and she grew up quite comfortably in Yorktown Heights (median income of $99,382). Not a whole lot of gang fights on those playgrounds. She stated that she represents (quite specifically) “working people of color,” and panders well to middle class campaign donors. Beyond that, we will need to keep track o0f her votes in Congress to determine where (and with whom) she really stands.

        • January 26, 2019 at 07:54

          She also was an intern in the immigration office of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy. Was an organizer for Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign. In an interview just a day or 2 after winning her position voiced support for Clinton. How do you not get called out on your silence to a rigged primary by Clinton and the DNC against the very person you advocated for? She’s not the ignorant newbie to politics the media and establishment politicians would have us believe she is. This is the same drama that brought us Obama. No we can’t.

    • DH Fabian
      January 25, 2019 at 22:17

      Can you describe what sort of “socialist” policies AOC is promoting? In a country where job losses well-surpassed job gains since the ’80s, what is AOC’s agenda for addressing our poverty crisis? Any different from the rest of the Democrats?

    • Martin O'Hara
      January 26, 2019 at 05:47

      Doggerel is doggerel, but this is doggerel of a very high order indeed. Bravo!

  10. January 25, 2019 at 14:43

    The rep in my NY district has run unopposed for years. And Chuck Schumer, my US Senator, has many, many millions in his re-election accounts. He has also has run virtually unopposed. Neither offers much by way of progressive ideology. Mr. Schumer in particular has done woefully little to lessen our nation’s thirst for war, ever increasing defense budgets and corporate cronyism. Let’s have primaries and awaken these very long term office holders to the real needs of their constituents.

    • LitchfieldLlitr see what I mean?
      January 25, 2019 at 19:29

      The problem of Democrats who were “liberal” domestically and hawkish warmongers internationally has bedeviled the Dem Party since at least the days of Scoop Jackson. This country just doesn’t seem to be able to permmit the establsihement of a party that is isprogressive domestically and in foreign policy. At least some of the Gilet Jaunes have grasped the connections between Frances austerity program at homee and continued exploitation of its “former” colonies in Africa.

      Well, I cannot continue. There is something really wrong with this interface. It doesn’t accept more than a couple of letters at a time without stopping. I do wish the CN IT team could make this thing work. And why can’t we return to a readable typeface.

      • Adam Halverson
        January 26, 2019 at 06:59

        I’m experiencing the same typing input issues that you are. This whole time, I thought it was my smartphone. But maybe it’s not?

      • Tim
        January 26, 2019 at 15:54

        > There is something really wrong with this interface.
        > It doesn’t accept more than a couple of letters at a time without stopping.

        Then why don’t you change to something that works properly?!

        > And why can’t we return to a readable typeface.

        They already have…

    • Realist
      January 26, 2019 at 14:03

      Schumer is Netanyahoo’s agent in the US Senate. Expect only more war from the Empire.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain
        January 26, 2019 at 17:32

        Schumer is Netanyahoo’s CHIEF agent in the US Senate plantation. But the rest of the reptiles are just as obsequious and devoted to their foreign Master as money can assure. The hysterical adulation that the monster receives, while he sneers in contempt at the histrionics, whenever he addresses the slaves, attests to that.

  11. Mike Perry
    January 25, 2019 at 14:03

    A government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people.
    (.. that plurality, it sure looks like socialism to me..)

    I applaud the Green Party platform, and I also applaud the platform of the Progressive Democrats of America. (.. but to me, I most especially applaud those who will carry the water bucket. (issue, & campaign committees))

    Instant Karma’s gonna get you
    Gonna knock you off your feet
    Better recognize your brothers
    Ev’ryone you meet
    Why in the world are we here
    Surely not to live in pain and fear
    Why on earth are you there
    When you’re ev’rywhere
    Come and get your share
    ~ John; February, 1970

    • Antonio Costa
      January 25, 2019 at 14:47

      The Revolition Will Not Be Televised, Gil Scott Heron.

      You will not be able to stay home, brother
      You will not be able to plug in, turn on and drop out
      You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip
      Skip out for beer during commercials
      Because the revolution will not be televised
      The revolution will not be televised
      The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
      In 4 parts without commercial interruption
      The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
      Blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John Mitchell
      General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
      Hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary
      The revolution will not be televised
      The revolution will be brought to you by the Schaefer Award Theatre and
      will not star Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia
      The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal
      The revolution will not get rid of the nubs
      The revolution will not make you look five pounds
      Thinner, because The revolution will not be televised, Brother
      There will be no pictures of you and Willie Mays
      Pushing that cart down the block on the dead run
      Or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance
      NBC will not predict the winner at 8:32or the count from 29 districts
      The revolution will not be televised
      There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
      Brothers in the instant replay
      There will be no pictures of young being
      Run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process
      There will be no slow motion or still life of
      Roy Wilkens strolling through Watts in a red, black and
      Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
      For just the right occasion
      Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and
      Hooterville Junction will no longer be so damned relevant
      and Women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
      Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
      will be in the street looking for a brighter day
      The revolution will not be televised..

      DIG!

      • Mike Perry
        January 25, 2019 at 15:17

        Yeah, Antonio! That’s the message!!

      • historicvs
        January 26, 2019 at 18:29

        Oops, you stopped quoting the lyrics just before they got to “There will be no more pictures of hairy armed women’s liberationists and Jackie Onassis.” Good thing that me-too foolishness wasn’t around in 1971, eh.

    • Bob Van Noy
      January 25, 2019 at 18:59

      Many Thanks Mike Perry, another Peace Spokesperson murdered, methinks.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7m3wLly3Hm4

      • Bob Van Noy
        January 25, 2019 at 20:10

        Mike Perry, and interested others, let me introduce you to a master researcher and see how close she was to the truth: http://www.maebrussell.com/Mae%20Brussell%20Articles/How%20Nixon%20Actually%20Got%20Into%20Power.html

        • Mike Perry
          January 26, 2019 at 03:55

          One mo time,
          Bob, you are just incredible. You are an absolute genius. I don’t know how you just keep pulling this stuff out of the woodwork!

          I was not aware of Mae, so I did a little background,,, and of course their was absolutely nothing random to your thought sequence. (..smile..)
          “.. Mae wrote articles that were published in The Realist, a magazine published by Paul Krassner. An impressed John Lennon donated money so Krassner could afford to print Mae Brussel’s work. ”

          .. And, that piece that you linked could only have been written by someone who had dedicated 8 1/2 years! What a treasure that has only proven time and again, to be even more true. I mean, she wrote that when Tricky Dick & the Boys were at their peak. Leave alone, what we were to learn in the 80’s with Iran Contra, etc..

          I also visited her memorial website. .. And, there is a request from the site:
          ~ ” We are in need of some storage space in the San Jose, California area to house boxes of books, files, tapes, and some filing cabinets. If you can help please contact us. Thanks!” ~
          That’s So Great!! (..smile..)

          But, tomorrow I ‘am going to make a donation and a purchase. Among other things, I also want to hear what Mae was saying in the 80’s.
          http://maebrussell.com/

          Bob, Thanks Again!
          Best Regards,
          Mike

      • Mike Perry
        January 26, 2019 at 03:32

        Hey Bob,
        Thanks for the take of the anti-war rally at Madison Square Garden!! I just love the Plastic Ono Band. It had to be so incredible in the Village in those days. To have all those jazz and blues clubs, and the Fillmore East, etc., just down the block. ..wow!!

        I agree with you all the way. It was 25 years after 12/8/1980, that the film “The U.S. vs John Lennon” was made. And, check out what Yoko had to say at 3:36 in this video. She too, has no doubt:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUky9Bz1P14

        • Bob Van Noy
          January 26, 2019 at 08:37

          Many Thanks Mike. It only works if you follow up and you did much more! Now Curious People will know the Times and The Personalities better. I can guarantee she speaks with the authority of documented Truth. A Master Class…

          • Bob Van Noy
            January 26, 2019 at 10:46

            To carry on a bit… John Lennon was a Major Lyricist, he felt the world, and knew how to express himself, sort of a poor man’s genius. On the other hand Thomas Merton was a major Scholar, also an individual who was able to express himself through his spirituality and acquired writing ability. I’m convinced they were both silenced because of their message of Peace…

          • Mike Perry
            January 27, 2019 at 13:56

            Hi Bob,
            I picked up on your reference to Thomas Merton in the article, “A Call to Re-investigate American Assassinations” on 1/20/19. And, I have ordered the book “The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: An Investigation”. It should be here later this week. I can’t wait to read it.

            I miss the days when of when the voices from multiple fronts were allowed to be heard.

            This is great stuff – Thanks Again Bob!
            Best Regards,
            Mike

  12. Mark Thomason
    January 25, 2019 at 13:07

    I attribute to AOC the new move by Sen. Elizabeth Warren to support a “wealth tax” rather than just a more graduated income tax. That shows that AOC moved the Overton Window of Democratic politics.

    • January 25, 2019 at 18:02

      I’d back a net worth tax; take all assets in excess of $1 million. Pay it all out to the bottom 50% income bracket. Get the economy moving again.

      • historicvs
        January 26, 2019 at 18:19

        Founder Samuel Adams proposed just that. In a 1743 newspaper article he wrote, “As Liberty can never subsist without Equality, nor Equality be long preserved without an Agrarian law, or something like it [limiting the amount of property an individual can own], so when Men’s Riches are become immeasurably and surprisingly great, a People who regard their own Security ought to make strict Enquiry how they came by them, and oblige them to take down their own Size, for fear of TERRIFYING THE COMMUNITY, OR MASTERING IT.” (emphasis in the original)

        Needless to say, this didn’t fly at the Constitutional Convention with America’s new aristocracy. No reason to give up the wealth they made from the slave trade and selling land taken from the Indians to please the common rabble, hell no.

        When he was Massachusetts governor 34 years later, Adams issued a proclamation for the suppression of Shays’ Rebellion in which he eerily parroted the arrogant language of King George’s 1775 proclamation against the American rebels. Plus ca change, no?

    • Litchfield
      January 25, 2019 at 19:32

      Warren really needs to be pushed from the left.
      Also on Palestine-Zion oops I meant israel.

      Appearance of text continues to drag about 5 secs after the actual typing. What gives???

      • anonc5d2
        January 27, 2019 at 05:56

        That is likely due your device communications, not the website.
        I have never seen that accessing this site by many different means.
        Some metered connections slow down when a periodic limit is reached.

  13. Jeff Harrison
    January 25, 2019 at 10:48

    Good luck Justice Democrats. We haven’t had a political party that represented the people of the United States for a long time. We’ve only had a corporate boot licker party (the republicans) and a corporate shoe polisher party (the democrats). Since George McGovern lost, the democratic party decided to become like the republican party so they could win elections. And you can see where that’s gotten us.

    • Adam Halverson
      January 26, 2019 at 06:55

      The Democratic Party establishment of today is based off the early 90’s implementation of the “New Democrats” – I believe that the “New Democrats” of the late 2010’s won’t fare much better, though many of them probably do mean well. But as they say, the road to hell is often paved with good intentions.

  14. jim
    January 25, 2019 at 10:47

    isnt the DNC a privately owned group? the DNC which has pretty much taken over the old DFL democratic farm labor…is a scam. is has all but kicked out labor and the white male working class and replaced it with all women and minorities…It hates the working class as much as the gop does..it is all corporate banksters and warmongers…as it pointed out at other news sites how both the gop and dems are again all in and US government interference in others countries LIBYA yesterday Venezuela today…

  15. XBarbarian
    January 25, 2019 at 09:12

    “Primaries are a way to replace ”

    except the “primaries” are illegitimate. how quickly we forget. the DNC is ON RECORD, they can ignore “primaries” and run whoever they chose in smoky back rooms. WTF

    NOT “conspiracy theory” FACT

    Link to actual court transcript from the DNC Fraud Lawsuit: jampac.us/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/042517cw2.pdf

    we can NOT fix a broken system using the broken tool that broken system provides.

    #IllusionOfParticipation will be maintained at any cost, so that our 1% inbred parasite owners may continue to enjoy their lives of leisure at your expense.

  16. January 25, 2019 at 08:25

    This ‘progressive boat-rocker’ has declined to ‘take sides’ on the US regime attempt in Venezuela. I suggest you go back to sleep Mr Solomon.

    • January 25, 2019 at 11:04

      Yes! The timing of this puff piece is ironically impeccable.

    • Jeano
      January 25, 2019 at 13:21

      Thank you for this info, jason. Norm has always talked loudly while carrying a small stick. It’s easy to oppose the corporate rats who have been the Clinton dims, it’s harder to stand up for true justice here and around the world. That means opposing cops and colonials: frightful people.

  17. mike k
    January 25, 2019 at 06:31

    False hopes appeal to those seeking a magical leader to solved all their problems. When their brief hour upon the stage is finished, then the Deep State pushes their choice, who has been waiting in the wings, to the front of the line.

  18. dave
    January 25, 2019 at 05:45

    Otherwise, the leverage of Wall Street and the military-industrial complex will continue to hold sway.
    gee what about the biggest one of them al?
    yeah see that monstrous 800 pound gorilla over there?
    its call ISRAEL

  19. john wilson
    January 25, 2019 at 05:37

    This piece should have the title “whistling in the wind” . The notion that some kind of maverick contender for the throne will change anything is laughable. The party machine is all powerful and any dissent from the norm will be ground into the ground as was Bernie Sanders. However, maybe I’m wrong, because Trump is a unique exception although he has had a rough ride so far, but as long as he keeps the MIC and the deep state happy, no doubt he will survive.

    • Skip Scott
      January 25, 2019 at 12:11

      Trump is a one-off. He is a mistake the oligarchs are not likely to repeat. And they have done quite the job of hamstringing all of campaign initiatives. After 2016, it is amazing to me that people still talk of transforming the democratic party from within. It is extremely foolish, and I will hate saying “I told you so” if that is the path we end up going down. Our only hope lies in getting a third party candidate to the televised debates in 2020. It is the only way to reach a sufficient audience to get the ball rolling for real change. All of the congressional races are controlled by MSM coverage, or the lack thereof. The few progressives who have slipped through the cracks will be either brought to heel, or shunned by the MSM until they become irrelevant. How many people watch CSPAN?

      • Adam Halverson
        January 26, 2019 at 06:48

        I watched C-SPAN earlier today, re: the Government Shutdown. I was amazed at the political ignorance of many of the people who called in, to express their opinions. (I do sympathize with the Navajo Nation, who seem to have borne the brunt of the shutdown.) If many of these callers are regular viewers of C-SPAN programming, I don’t think I can adequately express the horror of the political illiteracy of the general voting population. But to be fair, some callers from each segment (Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Federal Workers) did make some valid points (though I didn’t agree with all of those)

      • Realist
        January 26, 2019 at 14:43

        The last “third party” candidate for the presidency with an actual chance of winning some electoral votes was H. Ross Perot. It was my impression at the time that Ross garnered as much public support as he did (approx. 20% of the popular vote) was because Larry King gave him a lot of exposure and credibility. Larry King was the Pied Piper of Media before Rush Limbaugh and well before the internet became a thing. What outsider like Perot would be able to establish that kind of symbiosis with the mass media, which is now totally controlled by a mere 5 or 6 mega-corporations?

        Back when Ted Turner owned CNN, which was his own creation, a host like Larry King could run a talk show at his own discretion. Nowadays, everyone gasps when Tucker Carlson speaks some modicum of truth before he is put on hiatus, and the Rachel Maddow’s of the media are glaringly less credible than Tokyo Rose. (How ironic that Miss Identity Politics postures as such an anti-Russian bigot for her media keepers.) Being limited to hosting a show on RT in his twilight years, I’m sure that Larry would be framed as a Russian colluder and Putin puppet these days. Btw, though he was ridiculed from both the right and the other right (the Dems), in retrospect, Perot was a clairvoyant when it came to his warnings on the economy, the national debt, trade deficits, “free trade” agreements and the off-shoring of jobs that has since pauperized the middle class.

        • Skip Scott
          January 26, 2019 at 15:27

          Perot had the right message, but he was too easy to make fun of- big ears, squeaky voice. I know it’d be harder now, but Bernie put on a hell of a show, and would have got the nod if his campaign wasn’t sabotaged. We need someone with “star power” who the MSM couldn’t ignore. Getting to the TV debates is the only thing that matters. Because the DNC is so corrupt, I think it’ll have to be a third party ticket. Maybe Tulsi could use the Dems initially to get coverage, and then make a dramatic exit to the Green Party. Fighting the propaganda from the MSM will definitely be a challenge, but people are so fed up with the status quo that the time may be ripe to finally slay the DNC/RNC two headed monster. I’m hoping they’re also a bit wiser after two terms of hopey/changey Obama, Hillary’s exposed duplicity, and Trump’s total ineptitude.

        • Bob Van Noy
          January 27, 2019 at 08:26

          Realist and Skip Scott, I think the debate between the three was the single best Presidential Debates yet. The format was near perfect. As a life-long Democratic voter, I voted for Perot because I hated Bush and Bill was clearly, “Slick Willie”. There were great moments in that debate, here it is…

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg9qB_BIjWY

          • Bob Van Noy
            January 27, 2019 at 11:16

            In fact, now that I see that moment again, I think Bush simply handed the ball of to Bill at this moment and began “The Two Party Duopoly” that we’re now embroiled in…

        • Calgacus
          January 28, 2019 at 03:43

          Perot had more than merely a chance of winning some electoral votes. He had a very real chance of winning. Before his still unexplained dropping out of the race, he was leading both Bush & Clinton. That Perot was the front-runner is thrown down the memory hole and hardly ever remembered or cited. By now, many or most were too young to remember & their elders have forgotten.

          It is very important to remember it because it shows that the duopoly of two atrocious parties is much weaker than they, the MSM, all of the decayed and depraved power structure wants you to believe. The cynicism, the defeatism seen everywhere, the belief that our disgusting elites are all-powerful is exactly what they want you to believe. They’re terrified by anything and anyone – Perot or Ocasio-Cortez that threatens their hold on minds, the true and real source of their power.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain
      January 26, 2019 at 17:39

      Sanders was a con-job, a diversion to lead the Left opposition to the feminazi monster, Clinton, into the desert, where Sanders simply abandoned them and vowed his loyalty to the creature whose minions had cheated him from the nomination that he plainly won.

  20. Abbybwood
    January 25, 2019 at 01:42

    In the meantime, the House is busy re-writing John Conyers Medicare for All legislation and watering it down IN SECRET to match a Senate bill.

    Jimmy Dore explains it all here:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GjCk-X2-ts4

    Let’s see if AOC has the guts to stand up to Pelosi on THIS!

    I doubt it.

  21. KiwiAntz
    January 25, 2019 at 00:26

    It makes me laugh when you watch TV news outlets like Fox News, rant & rave about the LEFT or the so called LEFT WING Socialists which AOC is described as? Commentators on Fox also demonise Socialism as evil but what has their Disaster Capitalist system ever achieved in the World? Its caused everything from Wars & conflicts, Global Warming & Climate change with the most unequal wealth distribution in Human History caused by Neoliberal policy’s gutting the poor & middle class! True Socialism is a fairer more equitable system but it has never been implemented properly due to Global Elites sabotaging the policies or drstroying the Countries trying to implement this? There is no LEFT Party in America? What you have is the RIGHT, Neoconservative Republican Party & a Centre RIGHT, Democratic Party! That’s it! Yes, America the greatest Democracy with Politicians that can be bought & paid for, like buying a pair of expensive shoes from Amazon? American Democracy for sale? You can have it or buy it, for a couple of billion dollars? Is there any wonder that this Nation is ranked #25 on the list of Global Democracy’s scale!! 25 not #1? How sad, pathetic & embarrassing! Good luck AOC you are going to need it or need a couple of hundred million dollars to have any chance of advancement in the (UN) Democratic Party within the most undemocratic Country on Earth? Maybe Hillary Clinton can give you some “pay for play” pointers on how to set up your own Foundation to extract cash for Political favours!

    • Maxwell Quest
      January 25, 2019 at 17:07

      We have the best Congress money can buy. – Will Rogers (1879-1935)

    • Adam Halverson
      January 26, 2019 at 06:40

      The problems that have occurred with Socialism’s implementation are two-fold:

      1. A number of Socialist regimes are authoritarian and use coercion to achieve their ends, via excessive, brutal force to redistribute wealth and resources
      2. The United States and United Kingdom often impose economic sanctions and currency manipulation schemes on socialist regimes – including those that do not meet condition #1 – which lead to great instability. Socialism is seen as a direct threat to Capitalism

      While I do not agree to all of the elements of Socialism, there are good policies to be found within. If you ask me, Socialism and Capitalism must be allowed to harmoniously co-exist. The Nordic System is one such example, though it may not necessarily be reproducible everywhere (but it can serve as a starting template)

      Those who say that either Capitalism or Socialism should be abolished, should reconsider their stance, and think less absolute and less dogmatically

      • Maxwell Quest
        January 26, 2019 at 13:14

        Adam, this has always been my thinking too, that both systems have their good and bad qualities. And I find that dogmatic (black/white) thinking still predominates with most, where the baby is thrown out with the bathwater, as they say. Both systems have their warts and are damaging to society and individual liberty in different ways. That said, until the world banking cartel is smashed, I don’t see any hope for permanent social change.

        When it comes time to rebuild from the ashes of our current failures, I would hope that the new organizing principle would be a hybrid, where the best of the competing ‘isms’ is retained, while their perverse incentives are removed or at the very least justly regulated.

        • Adam Halverson
          January 26, 2019 at 18:37

          Thanks for your input – it’s always refreshing to know that there are other people who feel the same way about this. Everything in moderation

  22. cal
    January 24, 2019 at 21:35

    The Ocasio-Cortez phenom of self-professed socialist or social-democrats reminds me a bit too much of the Tea Party phenom, even occurring on the same timeline of happening 2 years into a president the other party has demonized. Of course, the Tea Party represented real fears and ideas of real people: the middle and upper-middle class who felt under siege from a presidential regime that “threatened” them. And there was some truth to that, under Obama the banksters thrived, the 1% who were draining the 5-20%, though the TP thought it was because he was a looming dictator-socialist-fascist-etc. And yet, even as these fears and ideas were real, they were being bankrolled by the Koch brothers, who leveraged the pressure to elect Tea Party republicans, and “shake” Congress.

    I get a similar feeling about the Progressive Dem movement. Ocasio-Cortez has been catapulted into the spotlight and I think that’s been deliberate. Despite her decent posture on a number of issues (anti-war, tax redistribution, expanding/funding social services), she’s an idiot and is playing into being a media starlet. Plus, she’s been rather sheepish when really pushed on serious issues (e.g. Israel’s brutality among Palestinians in the Occupation), and has been rather quick to play the “Trump is the enemy!” card.

    All in all, like the TP, which helped to galvanize would-be conservatives and libertarians to not give up on the GOP, Ocasio-Cortez is a sheepdog, far more pliable than a veteran congressman like Sanders. The boom of prog dems will give way to a bust, once the movement can offer some restored trust in the DNC to keep it as a legitimate party. And the funny thing is that while O-C is becoming the center of a movement within the DNC, the party itself keeps shifting rightwards with neo-cons (how they will rebrand, who knows?) finding a more and more comfortable place. I far expect Bill Kristol to have a longer shelf life in the DNC than O-C in our spazzy, short-term, collective memory.

    • Luc Pellerin
      January 24, 2019 at 23:13

      I dream of a team made up of Bernie O-C and Tulsi and perhaps Beto and a man such as RayMcGovern to bring some experience so the CIA and the deep state don’t sabotage everything.
      Of course AOC is green and perhaps naïve but hell, what else have we got?

      • Adam Halverson
        January 26, 2019 at 06:26

        Not much else. But Beto O’Rourke is not all that he seems to be, either. He’s probably the most phony Democrat contender for 2020, next to Kamala Harris. He’s bad news.

    • Seamus Padraig
      January 25, 2019 at 09:42

      “… she’s an idiot and is playing into being a media starlet.”

      Alexandria Occasional-Cortex.

    • Mack the Turtle
      January 25, 2019 at 17:57

      “Despite her decent posture on a number of issues (anti-war, tax redistribution, expanding/funding social services), she’s an idiot and is playing into being a media starlet. ”

      Please give examples to back up your assertion that “she’s an idiot.” Absolutely everything I’ve see her do or say indicates the opposite. Without providing evidence of her supposed idiocy, I’m forced to conclude that you are projecting and that you have some serious unconscious bias going on.

      • cal
        January 25, 2019 at 20:19

        Justification for the claim was implied in the prior comparison to the Tea Party, and her playing into being a TV icon. It’s her attempt to be cool, going on the comedy tv circuit (Colbert, Fallon, et al.), doing the dancing upload, debating people on twitter, offering non-sensical comments with Anderson Cooper about factual precision subordinated to moral righteousness, only to shift the topic onto Trump. I get what she means, but it has been rather par for course, rather than exception, with weird gaffes that feed morons like Shapiro.

        And when I say idiot, it’s in the category of political wisdom and discernment. She may think playing into the press is a strategy she can win, I don’t see it ending well. And I don’t know what “unconscious bias” you think, but that’s just adhominem because I wasn’t being nice.

      • Smedley Butler
        January 25, 2019 at 21:53

        Like the world will end in 12 years b/c like climate change ~AOC

        Yup. She’s an idiot alright.

        • Adam Halverson
          January 26, 2019 at 06:24

          That was definitely one of her top 3 most idiotic comments thus far, next to fumbling on the 3 branches of government, and proposing that all households must convert to renewable sources of energy by 2030

        • Mulga Mumblebrain
          January 26, 2019 at 18:06

          The world will not end in twelve years, but humanity may very well do so. Closing one’s eyes to the facts won’t save you. If not ‘ended’, humanity almost certainly will face an unprecedented horror in twelve years-that is as certain as it comes.

          • Smedley Butler
            January 30, 2019 at 00:07

            I stopped living in fear long ago.
            Climate change is a farce.
            Polluting the planet to death is real.
            Carbon credits and carbon taxes are not a solution to pollution.
            Merely a control mechanism for all human activity on earth.
            I’ll pass on the Goldman Sachs/JP Morgan solution for complete control.
            Funny how Miami is still above water when we were assured it would be submerged a decade ago.

      • Cincydan
        January 26, 2019 at 07:03

        Here is some “unconscious bias” for you.

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-qS8HHsqqnE

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Uta0MmIQ_i4

        My personal favorite “unemployment is low because everyone is working 60 hours per week”

        Enjoy

    • Adam Halverson
      January 26, 2019 at 05:49

      Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reminds me of a common theme among millennials, in general – they know a lot, but understand very little. AOC knows about the issues at the surface, but lacks real insights into those issues. Having listened to her speak, it appears as though she has derived all of her positions from a pamphlet or a set of talking points. The lack of in-depth research and deep study into these issues is clearly evident in the case of AOC. In order to actually be well-informed on the issues, one must research from a spectrum/variety of different sources, understand the inner mechanisms and workings behind them (which I don’t think AOC has done), develop reasonable solutions, figure out how to implement those solutions (which AOC hasn’t done enough), and understand the totality of the implications/ramifications of implementation (which AOC most certainly hasn’t done).

      AOC, when asked how we would pay to implement the solutions she has proposed, has resorted to deflection and whataboutery, which is not unlike Hillary Clinton when she was asked about reeasing the transcripts of her speeches to banking institutions. If you don’t even know how you’re going to implement a proposed solution, you haven’t done your homework! At least in the case of Bernie Sanders, he actually did this (though one can argue that it was done out of necessity).

      I don’t think AOC is ready to handle the enormous responsibility that comes with being one of 535 people in the Legislature of the most powerful country in the world. Up until January 3rd, she has had it pretty easy – she used social media to upend longtime representative Joseph Crowley, won an election for the House in one of the most heavily Democrat-leaning congressional districts in the country, and rode the wave of populism by essentially telling her base exactly what they want to hear. If there’s one thing I’ve learned though, it’s that the average voter, or even voters of professional background (e.g. doctors, lawyers, tech entrepreneurs, business owners) are for the most part politically illiterate. (Just because you are intelligent or even a genius, it doesn’t mean that you are well-informed on the issues, or have the knowledge required to represent a large population in federal public office.)

      The new, young crop of progressive Democrats are siimlar to AOC, but with not as much of social media following. They tend to know a lot, but understand relatively very little. Rashida Tlaib is another representative whom I don’t think is ready to handle the responsibilities of a House Representative. When it comes to leading by example, they do an unsatisfactory job in terms of what is actually required.

      In closing, I think the Democrat Party is in the process of imploding. There is great disunity among congressional Democrats – it’s quite evident that when centrist/moderate Dems and progressive Dems (who operate on diametrically opposing sides of the Democrat Party) pose challenges to party leadership, the situation is somewhat precarious for them as a whole. (Being pulled apart by horses… or rather, by donkeys.) The only potential Dem candidate I could see myself voting for in 2020 is Tulsi Gabbard, because she is one of the few who have shown real leadership, and stands up for what is right even in the face of adversity. Unlike most ofher fellow Democrat colleagues, she’s not a phony or a “DINO” like Beto O’Rourke (who is as phony as a $3 bill). Lastly, the fact that the Democrats in general read their policy stances off talking points provided by the media, saying things they themselves wouldn’t otherwise say, is quite telling. Never was this more evident than when Nancy Pelosi copied Chuck Schumer’s tweets TWICE. Plagiarism, or a copy of talkng points from a common source? Either way… not good.

      • Adam Halverson
        January 26, 2019 at 06:14

        Please pardon the few typos and misspellings, as I am typing via smartphone. (Normally, my posts don’t contain so many.)

      • Skip Scott
        January 26, 2019 at 08:38

        I am always amazed that they talk about “how are you going to pay for it” regarding everything except money for the MIC. There is 21 trillion in unaccounted spending from 1998 to 2015. Obviously they just print the money and spend it. There is already nothing but faith propping up the value of the dollar. It is a house of cards waiting to tumble. I think the way to return to solvency is to tax the super wealthy to the same extent as they were taxed under Eisenhower. Force the super rich to either spread their money around to support the working man, or have the government take it to do the same thing. And obviously part of that would be preventing the off-shoring of capital like Putin did for Russia after the devastation of the Yeltsin years.

        • cal
          January 26, 2019 at 14:21

          Yeah, but no one will ever dare threaten the MIC budget (and usually be totally ignorant, or silent, about black budgets). Last time I heard a “real” contender even dare to bring this up was Ron Paul, but then they tried to laugh him off stage and throw around phony and obscure charges of racism. You can still find it on Youtube, but even a kind of 2-D goon like Jon Stewart was dumbstruck by how “conservative” media literally voided Ron Paul, even when they had charts in the background that showed him as a 2nd or 3rd place RNC contender.

          O-C likes to pretend to offer a threat, but she lacks spine. Halverson is correct that Gabbard has been the only young Dem who has spoke with conviction, knowledge and leadership about US foreign policy, and got blackballed as Assad/Putin stooge. I know she won’t survive the DNC primaries, but I hope she stays with it. She might play the Ron Paul role: ignored and laughed at, but with 0 rebuttal, leaving many viewers and commentators perplexed (perhaps an opportunity to have the scales drop from the eyes, so to speak).

        • Adam Halverson
          January 26, 2019 at 18:07

          I’m going to try this again, but break my message up into parts this time:

          Part 1 of 3

          I have a different perspective, although I agree with the spirit of what you are saying. But there are ways of diminishing the wealth of the rich, which doesn’t directly involve the forced forfeiture of their assets (that would actually be a disaster):

          1. Write off all the speculative debt and quadrillions worth of derivatives. To do this, there must be a re-evaluation of all assets. In terms of money, as is (not value), derivatives account for at least 98% of all the money that exists on paper. These are worthless “assets” that have been propped up, with the assistance of Quantitative Easing (which is the same thing as simply printing more money) and brutal austerity policies that kill people. Any currency backed simply by faith (and not actual assets) are known as fiat currency – thanks to the vile Richard Nixon, we have a floating exchange rate system that has been exploited to the hilt to manipulate currencies around the world, fund wars, and impose sanctions.

          2. End the practice of stock buybacks forever – this is how the rich get richer! Or better yet, abolish the stock market, and return power back to the consumer.

        • Adam Halverson
          January 26, 2019 at 18:10

          Part 2 of 3

          3. Restore the Glass-Steagall Act, which would separate commercial banking from speculative banking. Nobody’s personal assets should be exposed to external risks that are beyond their control, unless they consent to partaking in speculative activities.

          4. Abolish tax havens and implement an international clearinghouse that will process transactions between countries. A system like this can implement the blockchain security protocol, to prevent manipulation of this process. (Btw, this does not involve cryptocurrency, which in itself is a problem.)

        • Adam Halverson
          January 26, 2019 at 18:14

          Part 3 of 3

          5. Return to policies that promote research and development, which will eliminate poverty for good. Despite what we may have been told in the past, poverty does not need to exist! Infrastructure, technology, nuclear fusion (the best renewable energy we will ever have), and all the things that improve quality of life.

          • Adam Halverson
            January 26, 2019 at 18:19

            Of course, banks, speculative interests, and the ultra-rich will try their damnedest to prevent this from ever taking root. But they must surrender their unjustly earned assets for the benefit of all

          • Skip Scott
            January 27, 2019 at 13:01

            Adam-

            I agree with your economic proposals, but I am curious as to the negative impacts you see for a high income tax rate for an extreme level of income. Under Eisenhower, income over $200,000/yr was taxed at 90%. However in today’s dollars it would be $2,000,000/yr. That is an obscene amount of money! And it is not only the money itself, it is the power to corrupt others that comes with it. I agree that we need incentive for people to innovate, but how much is enough? If a CEO was effectively capped at $2,000,000/yr income, he’d still be on the comfy side of the country club wall, but it’d make more sense for him to give others higher pay rather than just have the government take it. It would make for a more egalitarian and happier workforce, and less need for government assistance to the poorer workers. When I was a kid we had a milkman and a breadman who delivered those goods right to our back door. That guy owned a home, his wife stayed home to raise the kids, and those kids went to the same school I did. Now most of the middle class is two working member families with latchkey kids and no one to raise them. That’s the downside I see as a result of the super wealthy buying our government.

          • Adam Halverson
            January 28, 2019 at 12:44

            Sorry for the somewhat late response, Skip. I hope you get to see this post

            While I do agree that the rich and better-to-do should pay more taxes, I think 90% for the top income bracket is excessive. It may have worked back in the 1950s, when the economy was already booming, in full swing, and a flurry of cash flow from top to bottom and back up to the top again kept it going at full speed. The situation nowadays is obviously different and more complicated.

            Both of us agree that the ultra-rich got to where they are now by questionable, if not unethical, means. My proposals will do wonders to eliminate most of those. Also, there is the matter of delineating personal income and business income, with regard to taxes. I haven’t thought about what the “ideal” tax rate is, but I agree that at least for personal income, people at or below the poverty line should pay no taxes on income (especially if they are on government assistance, because that would defeat the purpose of that assistance somewhat in the immediate-term), and those above the poverty line should pay taxes based on a formula for tax rate – this is the best formula I could come up with:

            0.1 x LN ( annual salary – ( poverty line – 22026.5 ) ) – 1
            (The maximum rate is where the tax rate stops increasing)

            LN = natural logarithm ; there’s a mathematical reason for that 22026.5 number

            It actually works out quite nicely! In this case, nobody has to worry about losing money by entering the next tax bracket

            Let’s say that the poverty line is $25,000… this is how it breaks down:

            $25K: 0.00%
            $35K: 3.74%
            $50K: 7.58%
            $75K: 11.85%
            $100K: 14.83%
            $200K: 21.91%
            $500K: 31.16%
            $1M: 38.13%
            $5M: 54.24%
            $10M: 61.18%

            I don’t think this formula is perfect, but I think it’s a reasonable starting point.

          • Skip Scott
            January 28, 2019 at 13:31

            Adam-

            Thanks for the reply. I make a point of going back to earlier comment streams when I’m engaged in an interesting conversation. I agree that your other proposals would do a lot to make the economy more solid and honest. I also agree that anyone at the poverty level should not have to pay income taxes. Your NL system seems to me to be much fairer than the current brackets.

            BTW, I imagine you know this, but the 90% figure was only on the income made above that point, in effect applying a cap. I think that this is an important idea because it makes accumulation of extreme levels of wealth less likely, and thereby possibly keeps the bribery of elected officials to a minimum, and leads to it making more sense to pay more to the workers. Wealth accumulation beyond a certain point is more about power than money.

            As regards to business vs. personal taxes, I have a bit of an unusual opinion in that regard. I think that business and corporate taxes should be eliminated, because I think those entities should have no representation in government. The individuals (be it the CEO or the guy who empties his wastebasket) in those corporations would still have the right to petition their representative, but the entire K street influence network should be illegal. All of those tax dollars would pass through to growing the business, employing more workers, and paying better salaries, which would lead to more tax revenue. But the rules created by government would be made by representatives of the people, not representatives of corporations.

          • Adam Halverson
            January 29, 2019 at 08:06

            I’m not so sure about the idea of abolishing corporate taxes altogether. I believe Trump once mentioned reducing the corporate tax rate to 15%, which seems reasonable, with perhaps a lower rate for the repatriation of assets (to encourage them to reinvest domestically). Tax breaks/incentives can be offered if the business takes certain actions deemed responsible (e.g. philanthropic endeavors); also, the current system in place for corporate tax breaks must be overhauled, and in these cases, there should be more transparency as to who receives the tax breaks, and for what reason.

            These changes will be more meaningful if offshore tax havens and loopholes associated with them are eliminated.

            I am indeed aware that the 90% rate was for all earnings above a certain amount, and didn’t apply to earnings below that amount. I actually came up with my formula with some assistance from Microsoft Excel – a logarithmic system of determining tax rate made the most sense to me.

            I should point out that I’m not an economist or accountant, but what I do know about these things is gathered from years of aggregated knowledge – I do acknowledge that there could be a few errors in what I have said

          • Skip Scott
            January 29, 2019 at 09:48

            Adam-

            Thank you for your replies and for continuing to engage. It has certainly been worthwhile. My idea for no business taxes comes from my reading of the Constitution and it’s founding principles, especially “no taxation without representation”, and government “of, by, and for the People”. Obviously, I disagree with the notion of “personhood” granted to corporations by our Supreme Court, and see the horrible corrupting impact of K street on our Congress.

            I understand the usefulness of tax breaks for steering the business world, but all too often the system is corrupted and tax breaks are offered with no social benefits. Taking away that part of the equation altogether would mean that we would have to come up with some alternative way to steer future business projects to those that advance the needs of society and the planet. I don’t have much faith in “the invisible hand of the free market”, but absolute socialism is replete with its own hazards. I think some blend of the two, with plenty of safeguards against corrupting influences, is our best option.

            I am also neither an economist or an accountant, but it’s fun to think on these things. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

      • Realist
        January 30, 2019 at 00:19

        Re AOC’s shallowness on the issues: the MSM chooses to barely scratch the surface on even the most important issues, if they are covered at all. AOC can afford to have a knowledge base a mile wide and an inch deep and most of the public wouldn’t know the better. This is true for most of our elected and appointed government officials. Why else does Trump accrue instant support for fomenting yet another coup d’etat against an elected government, this time in Venezuela, on such specious premises as offered?

      • Realist
        January 30, 2019 at 00:33

        This is to compliment the very high level discourse you (Adam) and Skip treated the readership to on tax policy. Great analysis and genuinely feasible solutions if the objective is to return this country to a fair and functional democratic republic, rather than to simply continue protecting the interests of the rich and powerful. Of course, we all realise that the latter is assumed to be the mission of the entire crowd occupying Washington at this moment in time. Some powerful force or event will be required to change the prevailing mindset, including the state of apathy that most of the declining middle class endures. I hope the necessary impetus is not realised in the form of a major war, especially one that the entrenched elites might create to maintain their status.

        Again, my compliments on your two essays (AOC & taxes), Adam. You hit two home runs in this game (at which I was late to arrive… but better than never, eh?)

  23. Antonio Costa
    January 24, 2019 at 21:17

    If she was really a threat, she’d be silenced by media neglect.

    • Maxwell Quest
      January 25, 2019 at 17:18

      Right now she’s the shiny new object that attracts media viewers and readership. What they’re too stupid to realize is that they are giving her a platform for ideas that are resonating with the common man.

      They were too stupid to see what was happening with the Trump campaign until it was too late, because they live in their little bubble-world where every day money rains down from the sky. He brought in lots of new viewers and readers, though, which was great for ratings and advertising money.

      I hear what you are saying, though, and I agree. But their greed makes them stupid, and they rarely look further than the next quarterly report.

  24. Babyl-on
    January 24, 2019 at 20:21

    Take over the democratic party then all the “donors” will flee and you will be left with a tarnished and discredited brand as well as a pile of debts and liabilities.

    • January 25, 2019 at 22:34

      Bernie Sanders came out of nowhere on 27 dollar contributions beat a political machine. It is more than possible without corporate money. Folks are pist

      • Tomg
        January 26, 2019 at 13:44

        Bernie got screwed out of the nom and then caved.

Comments are closed.