Did companies and countries buy access to the State Department by donating to the Clinton Foundation?

James Grimaldi

Did Companies & Countries Buy State Dept. Access by Donating to Clinton Foundation?

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter James Grimaldi of The Wall Street Journal, who has covered the Clinton Foundation for years, looks at the relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department during Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, and what it would be if she became president. Newly released State Department emails include exchanges between top members of the Clinton Foundation and Clinton’s top State Department advisers, including Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. The FBI reportedly wanted to investigate the Clinton Foundation earlier this year, but U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch pushed back.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Newly released State Department emails are raising questions about the close ties between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department during Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state. The 44 emails include exchanges between top members of the Clinton Foundation and Clinton’s top State Department advisers, including Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. CNN reports that the FBI wanted to investigate the Clinton Foundation earlier this year, but U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch pushed back. On Thursday, State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau denied any improper communication between the Clinton State Department and the Clinton Foundation.

ELIZABETH TRUDEAU: The department’s actions under Secretary Clinton were taken to advance administration policy as set by the president and in the interests of American foreign policy. The State Department is not aware of any actions that were influenced by the Clinton Foundation.

AMY GOODMAN: One of the newly released email exchanges is about billionaire Nigerian-Lebanese developer Gilbert Chagoury, who contributed between $1 [million] and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation. The emails show a top Clinton Foundation executive writing to Abedin and Mills, asking for help putting Chagoury in touch with the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon. Abedin responds, “I’ll talk to jeff,” referring to then-U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman. On Wednesday, Gilbert Chagoury’s spokesman said Chagoury, quote, “was simply passing along his observations and insights about the dire political situation in Lebanon at the time,” unquote.

For more, we go to Santa Barbara, where we’re joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James Grimaldi. He’s a senior writer at The Wall Street Journal and has covered the Clinton Foundation since 2014.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, James. You’ve been covering the Clinton Foundation for years. Can you talk about what this latest group of emails suggests, and how significant it is, about the relationship between the Clinton Foundation under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and—between the State Department under Clinton and the Clinton Foundation?

JAMES GRIMALDI: Well, I think this confirms what we sort of knew. There are obvious ties and relationships. The key tie here would be Douglas Band, who was a top aide to Bill Clinton. He helped Bill Clinton create the Clinton Foundation, and sort of devised how he would spend his days in retirement. He was very close, of course, to Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin. At one point he was employing, as a contractor, Huma Abedin, as Huma was working at the State Department. And during this time of the Lebanese elections, Mr. Band sent an email, as you described just now, regarding one of their greatest benefactors, Mr. Chagoury, and suggested that the State Department have the person who was a lead—the ambassador to Lebanon speak to Mr. Chagoury.

It shows how donations to the Clinton Foundation win access to, you know, state diplomatic—State Department diplomatic officials. It sort of begs the question, if he hadn’t given that money to the Clinton Foundation, whether he would have had that kind of easy access. I would say it would probably be unlikely. It certainly would not happen as swiftly. Possibly, that State Department ambassador might have consulted with this person regarding that issue, but it sure shows or seems to create an appearance of a conflict of interest, that perhaps he bought access by making those donations to the Clinton Foundation.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, speaking of that issue of conflict of interest, you’ve noted that during her confirmation hearings as secretary of state, Secretary Clinton specifically said that she would take, quote, “extraordinary steps … to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.” How well do you think she has followed through on that, on that promise?

JAMES GRIMALDI: Well, over the past year, we have looked at that issue. And what I did was I went into the lobbying records to see which companies and other entities were lobbying the State Department, and also looking to see how many of them had given to the Clinton Foundation. And one of our findings was that at least 60 companies had lobbied the State Department, had given as much as $26 million, and many of those companies, 44 of those 60, had participated in what they call commitments, or philanthropic projects, that were valued by the Clinton Foundation at $3.2 billion.

So then we went to look and see if Mrs. Clinton had done anything for these companies at the time that they were making these gifts. And we looked at several companies—UBS, Boeing, General Electric and Microsoft and others, Wal-Mart—who seemed to have been getting favors from Mrs. Clinton, perhaps for good reason—promoting American companies and American jobs—but also coming at the same time that there were donations going to the Clinton Foundation.

AMY GOODMAN: You wrote an extensive piece, James, last year about Clinton’s complicated connection with UBS. Can you talk about that, just as an example?

JAMES GRIMALDI: Right. That’s one of our deeper dives into one of the banks that was involved. And we know that Mrs. Clinton is very close to a lot of the Wall Street banks. In this case with UBS, they were in a bind. A whistleblower had come forward, an American who was helping UBS find Americans who wanted to dodge taxes in Switzerland, literally recruiting them to open accounts in Switzerland that would be then hidden from the Internal Revenue Service. He blew the whistle on that.

The government, IRS and DOJ, wanted 50,000 accounts that they knew about in which Americans were hiding taxes—hiding their income in the UBS Swiss bank accounts so they wouldn’t be taxed. In the end, UBS did not want to provide those names, because there was a law in Switzerland that said they couldn’t reveal that kind of confidential information. In the end, they only gave about 5,000 of those 50,000 names. And we saw the donations from UBS to the Clinton Foundation increase from a little under $60,000 to $600,000, plus they participated in a $30 million inner-city loan program and then hired Bill Clinton to do speeches around the country for $1.5 million.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Of course, UBS was not only closely tied with the Clintons. As I recall, Robert Wolf, the head of UBS Americas, was one of the big fundraisers for President Obama—in fact, famously was playing golf with President Obama when the Justice Department announced its deferred prosecution agreement with UBS on this issue of the accounts. So, there seems to have been a—you also raised the issue of whether other foreign policy objectives of the government were not included in the negotiated deal to eventually get Switzerland to give up at least some of those bank accounts?

JAMES GRIMALDI: Right. Well, that’s how Hillary Clinton got involved. And we know this, thankfully, to WikiLeaks. The cables that were obtained under WikiLeaks happened to be that snapshot in time when these discussions were going underway. And what we saw was that when the Swiss foreign minister came to Hillary Clinton and said, “We really would like to take care of this UBS problem,” Hillary said, “Well, we have a few things we would like, as well.” And this was the time that the Clinton administration—I’m sorry, the Obama administration was eager to close Guantánamo Bay. And Mrs. Clinton was pressuring Switzerland to take some of the less dangerous detainees, in particular, some Chinese Uyghurs who were deemed to be not particularly dangerous, which they eventually agreed to do. That seemed to be part of the overall deal that was made between the United States and Switzerland regarding UBS.

AMY GOODMAN: So, explain the evolution of the Clinton Foundation. I mean, not long before Hillary Clinton announced for president, didn’t they rename the Clinton Foundation the “Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation”?

JAMES GRIMALDI: Right. And she became very, very involved in the fundraising between the time that she left the State Department and when she announced her run for the presidency. She helped raise as much as $250 million from many of these same corporations in order to bulk up the endowment to keep the Clinton Foundation running in the future. In addition, she was giving a lot of speeches, as was Bill Clinton giving speeches, that were being paid, as, famously, we know Bernie Sanders brought up the fact that she was taking money from Wall Street and banks regarding speeches, up to $250,000 a pop. We may hear a little bit more about that today or in the coming days, because we understand that the Clinton campaign is getting ready to release their most latest tax returns. We already know some of this from her personal financial disclosure form, but we might see additional information coming out of her tax returns today.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And what about the public-private partnerships that Clinton established while she was secretary of state with some major corporations, and the relations of those corporations to the Clinton Foundation?

JAMES GRIMALDI: Well, exactly. You know, there’s usually never a stop in what you can do in terms of contributions you can make to the various Clinton pots. You know, you’ve got money that you can donate to the foundation. You can partner—at the State Department there are these partnerships between the Clinton Foundation and corporations. Some of that went into building an Expo in China for the Chinese world fair that they held there. And the Clinton Foundation—Mrs. Clinton, at the State Department, was very eager to see those being built, because, apparently, under the Bush administration, it really had kind of had a—reached a point where they hadn’t raised enough money to even have a pavilion there. But then you could see that there are money coming from corporations to their own personal wallet, their purses, campaign contributions. It just seems as if there are many, many places that you can make a contribution and you can partner with either Mrs. Clinton at the State Department or get involved at the Clinton Foundation.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to a clip of Hillary Clinton on CNN back in June. Anderson Cooper asked her about the lack of transparency of donations to the Clinton Foundation from foreign countries.

HILLARY CLINTON: We had absolutely overwhelming disclosure. Were there, you know, one or two instances that slipped through the cracks? Yes. But was the overwhelming amount of anything that anybody gave the foundation disclosed? Absolutely.

AMY GOODMAN: So there you have Hillary Clinton saying this. James Grimaldi, can you talk about what happened when President Obama tapped her to be secretary of state? And what were the rules around what would happen with the Clinton Foundation?

JAMES GRIMALDI: Well, let me also respond to the clip. I would say the disclosure is underwhelming. Yes, they have disclosed more than they’re required to under internal revenue law, but when they disclose it, they don’t tell you the date, they don’t tell you the amount. The disclosure is very skimpy. Someone could make a donation; the only way you know is if they’ve increased in one category, from, say, $1 [million] to $5 million, to $5 [million] to $10 million, and then there’s an asterisk that’s placed next to the name of a donor, that’s released either quarterly or annually. It’s very opaque, I think, in terms of what’s disclosed. Disclosure was required by the Obama administration when she came in, but they were very vague about what those rules would be. And I think they went to the least amount of effort that they could.

Also, for any fundraising that was to be done, they were supposed to consult with the ethics officers at the State Department. But so far, we’ve only found a handful of examples where they ever said no. And in those cases, they were really in sort of the extreme. Bill Clinton wanted to give a speech in North Korea. And I think there may have been some efforts where he wanted to raise some money in China, as well. So, we’ve obtained many of those disclosure requests. And, in fact, there have been some others that are still coming out through some of these emails. But like I said, it doesn’t look like the State Department pushed back very often.

AMY GOODMAN: Wasn’t there a rule? Didn’t they change—didn’t they change a rule around countries, that countries—the Clinton Foundation would not accept contributions from countries—

JAMES GRIMALDI: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: —during that time, but then that changed?

JAMES GRIMALDI: Right. So, what they—what they did was they said, “We really don’t want you raising money from foreign governments,” because she’s going to be, obviously, dealing with foreign governments. So they stopped doing that. And then, what we realized, when they did, they were very quiet. They didn’t announce it. They posted on their website the 2014—I guess, in 2015, for the previous year, we saw that, immediately, the Clintons had gone back to many of these Middle Eastern countries—the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and others, Qatar—that would have raised some questions. So, in other words, in this interregnum in between when she was at the State Department and when she ran for—announced her run for president, they ended up going back to the very countries that some people had raised a lot of questions about. And there are many who have raised questions about raising money from these governments and many of these sheikhs in Saudi Arabia and others in countries that have very questionable human rights and certainly don’t have equal rights for women.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And to your knowledge, this issue of foreign governments donating to an American charitable philanthropy, is there any other philanthropy in the United States that has comparable donations from foreign governments as the Clinton Foundation?

JAMES GRIMALDI: Well, probably not at this scale. But I do know that there are certain government entities that make contributions, sort of like we do with USAID. I know that Switzerland, you know, will—has, I think, a lottery that donates. Canada—it was interesting, the Canadian State Department was making contributions, coming from the same agency that was lobbying the Clinton—I’m sorry, lobbying the State Department regarding the Keystone XL pipeline. Obviously, Canada wanted that pipeline to come through. It was eventually stopped. But there were donations from that same Canadian State Department that went to the Clinton Foundation around the time that—that’s is one that slipped through, in terms of a government donation, around the same time that they were lobbying Hillary Clinton to accept the Keystone XL pipeline.

AMY GOODMAN: How does Saudi Arabia fit into this picture, James?

JAMES GRIMALDI: Saudi Arabia, there are sheikhs and others who have made donations. They’re very big supporters, as is Abu Dhabi. Interesting, we had a story last year that talked about Abu Dhabi also donating around the time that their airline, their upstart airline, wanted to receive a U.S. Customs facility in their airport. It was like a very—frankly, not a very common route, and it was sort of a plum get for them to get this preclearance facility in Abu Dhabi for their airline.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, you write that Bill Clinton received $1 million for two appearances sponsored by the Abu Dhabi government, the United Arab Emirates, that were arranged while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.

JAMES GRIMALDI: That’s right. Those were—those came through agencies, the tourism agency, the tourism agency obviously being run by Abu Dhabi, but one of the also big sponsors or participants in that agency was the very airline that wanted this special facility, the preclearance facility, at their airport.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: You’ve also written about Clinton’s relationship to the Energy Pioneer Solutions. Could you talk about that company and what it was seeking?

JAMES GRIMALDI: Yeah, that’s a very interesting company. Energy Pioneer Solutions was founded by Scott Kleeb, who was a candidate for Congress in Nebraska. His wife happens—Jane Kleeb happens to be one of the big opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline, so very well known in Nebraska. But interesting, this company, which weatherized homes and put in insulation, had as its co-owners the treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, Mark Weiner, a Rhode Island official very close to Bill and Hillary Clinton going back to the ’70s and to their ’92 campaign. He recently passed away during the Democratic National Convention, and Bill Clinton mentioned him in his speech at the convention. And Bill and Hillary both went to his funeral. He was a co-owner, as was a woman who lives about three miles from Bill and Hillary’s house in Chappaqua, New York. This company received a $2 million commitment that was arranged by the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative. And Bill Clinton called the energy secretary, Steven Chu, in order to get them an $840,000 grant. That’s raised some questions about whether the Clinton Foundation is being used to sort of feather the nests of many of their friends.

AMY GOODMAN: This is a for-profit company.

JAMES GRIMALDI: It is a for-profit company. Very unusual for a for-profit company to get a federal grant from the Department of Energy. And the company isn’t doing too well. As I understand it, they’re reconfiguring their business plan. And it has not worked out, I think, as they had expected. But I think it may still be incorporated in Nebraska.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, a big issue that’s been raised is, you know, the relationship of the close advisers to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation, Cheryl Mills, in particular, who goes back to being Bill Clinton’s attorney during—defending him during the impeachment hearings in Congress, then now the right-hand person of Hillary Clinton. And one of the issues raised in this email—in the emails is that she went to New York on her own dime, they are now saying, took a train up, to help choose the new head of the Clinton Foundation during her tenure as, you know, top State Department official. Any issues here with that, James?

JAMES GRIMALDI: Well, she’s at the center of everything involving Hillary Clinton at the State Department. She’s basically Hillary’s consigliere at the State Department. And she is the keeper of all the Clinton secrets. And she also would be the enforcer, at times, when Bill Clinton might have been pushing too hard for some of these questionable donations. But there’s no question she was sort of in the middle of every major decision that’s ever been made by the Clintons, a very, very close adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton, and very close to Hillary, and, in fact, had an official position in the State Department.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, could the Clinton Foundation exist as it is now if Hillary Clinton is president?

JAMES GRIMALDI: Well, Bill Clinton was asked that question. He hasn’t really answered it. He said he doesn’t want to count his chickens before they’re hatched. But I think all of the people around Bill Clinton, including people in the Clinton campaign, say there’s really no way it could continue to operate. And I think that Bill is pushing back on that, from what we understand, that he wants to continue to do some of the good work that they do—for example, helping to negotiate AIDS drugs in Africa at better prices. The Clinton Health Initiative, I think, really wants to continue to raise money. Many of these foreign donations are actually going to the Clinton Health Initiative—Health Access Initiative, as it’s known, or CHAI.

And so, I think there’s this—there’s a tension between the Clinton campaign for president and the Clinton Foundation about what exactly will happen. Those negotiations are well undercover. They’re not transparent. We don’t know what they are. We don’t know what will happen. And I don’t foreclose the possibility that the Clinton Foundation will continue to operate and that they will raise money from some of the same places. And I think that, really, these questions need to be asked of the Clinton campaign: If she plans—if she plans to continue—you know, whether Bill plans to continue to run the Clinton Foundation as it is, what form it will take, what it will look like and how it will raise money.

AMY GOODMAN: James Grimaldi, thanks for being with us, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist—

JAMES GRIMALDI: Thanks for inviting me.

AMY GOODMAN: —senior writer at The Wall Street Journal, has covered the Clinton Foundation for a number of years. This is Democracy Now! We’ll link to his articles at democracynow.org.

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Chris Hedges and Jill Stein and Ralph Nader are the real revolutionaries while Bernie Sanders and Robert Reich and Hillary Clinton are part of the devil’s Democratic Party

Chris Hedges

AMY GOODMAN: A week ago today, Hillary Clinton made history by becoming the first woman to accept a major-party presidential nomination. But Clinton is not the only woman running for president this year. The Green Party’s national convention opens today in Houston, Texas, and Dr. Jill Stein is expected to win the party’s nomination.

Last week, Juan González and I hosted a debate between the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich about the presidential race. Hedges has endorsed Dr. Jill Stein. Reich is backing Hillary Clinton, after endorsing Bernie Sanders during the primaries. Reich served in Bill Clinton’s Cabinet as Labor Secretary from ’93 to 1997. He now teaches at University of California, Berkeley. We began the debate by asking Robert Reich about whether the Democratic Party would unite behind Hillary Clinton or whether a group of Sanders supporters would go on to back Dr. Jill Stein.

ROBERT REICH: Well, it’s very hard to tell what the delegates are going to do. And it’s very hard to tell—even harder to tell what the electorate is going to do. You know, this is a very agonizing time for many Bernie Sanders supporters. I, with a great deal of reluctance initially, because I’ve known Hillary Clinton for 50 years—50 years—endorsed Bernie Sanders and worked my heart out for him, as many, many people did. And so, at this particular juncture, you know, there’s a great deal of sadness and a great deal of feeling of regret. But having worked so long and so many years for basically the progressive ideals that Bernie Sanders stands for, I can tell you that the movement is going to continue. In fact, it’s going to grow.

And right now, at this particular point in time, I just don’t see any alternative but to support Hillary. I know Hillary, I know her faults, I know her strengths. I think she will make a great president. I supported Bernie Sanders because I thought he would make a better president for the system we need. But nonetheless, Hillary Clinton is going to be the nominee. I support her. And I support her not only because she will be a good president, if not a great president, but also, frankly, because I am tremendously worried about the alternative. And the alternative, really, as a practical matter, is somebody who is a megalomaniac and a bigot, somebody who will set back the progressive movement decades, if not more.

AMY GOODMAN: Chris Hedges?

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, reducing the election to personalities is kind of infantile at this point. The fact is, we live in a system that Sheldon Wolin calls inverted totalitarianism. It’s a system where corporate power has seized all of the levers of control. There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or ExxonMobil or Raytheon. We’ve lost our privacy. We’ve seen, under Obama, an assault against civil liberties that has outstripped what George W. Bush carried out. We’ve seen the executive branch misinterpret the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act as giving itself the right to assassinate American citizens, including children. I speak of Anwar al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son. We have bailed out the banks, pushed through programs of austerity. This has been a bipartisan effort, because they’ve both been captured by corporate power. We have undergone what John Ralston Saul correctly calls a corporate coup d’état in slow motion, and it’s over.

I just came back from Poland, which is a kind of case study of how neoliberal poison destroys a society and creates figures like Trump. Poland has gone, I think we can argue, into a neofascism. First, it dislocated the working class, deindustrialized the country. Then, in the name of austerity, it destroyed public institutions, education, public broadcasting. And then it poisoned the political system. And we are now watching, in Poland, them create a 30,000 to 40,000 armed militia. You know, they have an army. The Parliament, nothing works. And I think that this political system in the United States has seized up in exactly the same form.

So, is Trump a repugnant personality? Yes. Although I would argue that in terms of megalomania and narcissism, Hillary Clinton is not far behind. But the point is, we’ve got to break away from—which is exactly the narrative they want us to focus on. We’ve got to break away from political personalities and understand and examine and critique the structures of power. And, in fact, the Democratic Party, especially beginning under Bill Clinton, has carried water for corporate entities as assiduously as the Republican Party. This is something that Ralph Nader understood long before the rest of us, and stepped out very courageously in 2000. And I think we will look back on that period and find Ralph to be an amazingly prophetic figure. Nobody understands corporate power better than Ralph. And I think now people have caught up with Ralph.

And this is, of course, why I support Dr. Stein and the Green Party. We have to remember that 10 years ago, Syriza, which controls the Greek government, was polling at exactly the same spot that the Green Party is polling now—about 4 percent. We’ve got to break out of this idea that we can create systematic change within a particular election cycle. We’ve got to be willing to step out into the political wilderness, perhaps, for a decade. But on the issues of climate change, on the issue of the destruction of civil liberties, including our right to privacy—and I speak as a former investigative journalist, which doesn’t exist anymore because of wholesale government surveillance—we have no ability, except for hackers.

I mean, this whole debate over the WikiLeaks is insane. Did Russia? I’ve printed classified material that was given to me by the Mossad. But I never exposed that Mossad gave it to me. Is what was published true or untrue? And the fact is, you know, in those long emails—you should read them. They’re appalling, including calling Dr. Cornel West “trash.” It is—the whole—it exposes the way the system was rigged, within—I’m talking about the Democratic Party—the denial of independents, the superdelegates, the stealing of the caucus in Nevada, the huge amounts of corporate money and super PACs that flowed into the Clinton campaign.

The fact is, Clinton has a track record, and it’s one that has abandoned children. I mean, she and her husband destroyed welfare as we know it, and 70 percent of the original recipients were children. This debate over—I don’t like Trump, but Trump is not the phenomenon. Trump is responding to a phenomenon created by neoliberalism. And we may get rid of Trump, but we will get something even more vile, maybe Ted Cruz.

AMY GOODMAN: Robert Reich, I remember you, on Democracy Now!, talking about your time as labor secretary when President Clinton signed off on welfare reform, and you described walking the streets of Washington, D.C., wondering where the protests were, that you had vigorously objected. And it was also an issue, a bill that Hillary Clinton had supported. So, can you respond to Chris Hedges on these three points, including, so, you take a walk in the political wilderness for a little while?

ROBERT REICH: Well, Amy, it’s not just taking a walk in the political wilderness. If Donald Trump becomes president, if that’s what you’re referring to, I think it is—there are irrevocable negative changes that will happen in the United States, including appointments to the Supreme Court, that will not be just political wilderness, that will actually change and worsen the structure of this country. I couldn’t agree with Chris Hedges more about his critique, overall, of neoliberalism and a lot of the structural problems that we face in our political economy today. I’ve written about them. But I’ve done more than write about them. I’ve actually been in the center of power, and I have been doing everything I possibly can, as an individual and also as a mobilizer and organizer of others, to try to change what we now have.

I think that voting for Donald Trump or equating Hillary Clinton with Donald Trump is insane. Donald Trump is certainly a product of a kind of system and a systematic undermining that has occurred in the United States for years with regard to inequality of income and wealth and political power. But we don’t fight that by simply saying, “All right, let’s just have Donald Trump and hope that the system improves itself and hope that things are so bad that actually people rise up in armed resistance.” That’s insane. That’s crazy.

What we have to do is be—we’ve got to be very, very strategic as progressives. We’ve got to look at the long term. We’ve got to understand that Bernie Sanders brought us much further along than we were before the Sanders campaign. We owe a lot to Bernie Sanders, his courage, his integrity, his power, the fact that most people under 30 voted for Bernie Sanders. In fact, if you look at the people who voted for Bernie Sanders under 30, that was more people than voted for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton together under the age of 30. We are building a progressive movement in this country. But over the next four years, I don’t want Donald Trump to irretrievably make it difficult, if not impossible, for us to move forward with that progressive movement.

Now, I understand Hillary Clinton is not perfect. I’ve known her, as I said before, for 50 years. I met her when she was 19 years old. I know her strengths, and I know, pretty well, her weaknesses. She is not perfect. And as Chris says, you know, she is also very much a product of many of the problems structurally in this country right now. We fight those structural problems, yes. Hand in hand, Chris, with you, shoulder to shoulder—I’m very short, maybe it’s my shoulder, and it’s your rib cage—but it doesn’t matter, we continue to fight. I will continue to fight. Many people who are watching and listening will continue to fight. We must continue to mobilize. I hope Bernie Sanders does what he implied he would do last night—that is, carry the movement forward, lend his name, his energy, his email list. This is not the end of anything. But we have got to be, at the same time, very practical about what we’re doing and very strategic about what we’re doing. This is not just a matter of making statements. It’s a matter of actually working with and through, and changing the structure of power in this country.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Chris, I’d like to ask you—you’ve written that liberals are tolerated by the capitalist elites because they do not question the virtues of corporate capitalism, only its excesses, and call for tepid and ineffectual reforms. Could that have also have been said of FDR in the 1930s? Because you were one of the folks who did not back Bernie Sanders from the beginning.

CHRIS HEDGES: That’s right.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: So, you’ve—

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, I didn’t back Bernie Sanders because—and Kshama Sawant and I had had a discussion with him before—because he said that he would work within the Democratic structures and support the nominee. And I think we have now watched Bernie Sanders walk away from his political moment. You know, he—I think he will come to deeply regret what he has done. He has betrayed these people who believed in this political revolution. We heard this same kind of rhetoric, by the way, in 2008 around Obama.

A political campaign raises consciousness, but it’s not a movement. And what we are seeing now is furious spin—I listened to Ben Jealous just do it—from the self-identified liberal class. And they are tolerated within a capitalist system, because, in a moment like this, they are used to speak to people to get them to betray their own interests in the name of fear. And I admire Robert and have read much of his stuff and like his stuff, but if you listen to what he’s been saying, the message is the same message of the Trump campaign, and that his fear. And that is all the Democrats have to offer now and all the Republicans have to offer now.

And the fact is, from climate change alone, we have no time left. I have four children. The future of my children, by the day, is being destroyed because of the fact that the fossil fuel industry, along with the animal agriculture industry, which is also as important in terms of climate change, are destroying the ecosystem on which we depend for life. And neither party has any intention to do anything about it.

AMY GOODMAN: What should Bernie Sanders have done?

CHRIS HEDGES: Bernie Sanders should have walked out and run as an independent.

AMY GOODMAN: Take—

CHRIS HEDGES: And defied the Democratic Party.

AMY GOODMAN: Take up the invitation of Dr. Jill Stein—

CHRIS HEDGES: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: —and run on a ticket with—

CHRIS HEDGES: She offered to let him run on the top of the ticket. That’s what he should have done. And the fact is, you know, let’s not forget that Bernie has a very checkered past. He campaigned for Clinton in ’92. He campaigned for Clinton again in ’96, after NAFTA—the greatest betrayal of the working class in this country since the Taft-Hartley Act of 1948—after the destruction of welfare, after the omnibus crime bill that exploded the prison population, and, you know, we now have—I mean, it’s just a monstrosity what we’ve done; 350,000 to 400,000 people locked in cages in this country are severely mentally ill. Half of them never committed a violent crime. That’s all Bill Clinton. And yet he went out and campaigned. In 2004, he called on Nader not to run, to step down, so he could support a war candidate like John Kerry. And I’m listening to Jealous before talk about the Iraq War. Sixty percent of the Democratic senators voted for the war, including Hillary Clinton. The idea that somehow Democrats don’t push us into war defies American history.

AMY GOODMAN: Robert Reich?

ROBERT REICH: Well, all I can say is that at this particular point in time—I mean, again, many of the things that Chris Hedges is saying, I completely agree with. The real question here is: What do we do right now? And what do we do to mobilize and organize a lot of people out there who right now are not mobilized and organized? And how do we keep the energy building? I disagree with Chris with regard to Bernie Sanders. I think Bernie Sanders has been a great and is a great leader right now of the progressive cause.

What I think we ought to do is develop a third party outside the Democratic and Republican parties, maybe the Green Party, so that in the year 2020, four years from now, we have another candidate—it may be Bernie Sanders, I think he’s probably going to be too old by then—but we have a candidate that holds the Democrats accountable, that provides a vehicle for a lot of the energy of the Bernie Sanders movement to continue to develop, that fields new candidates at the Senate, in Congress, at the state level, that actually holds Democrats’ feet to the fire and Republicans’ feet to the fire, that develops an agenda of getting big money out of politics and severing the link between extraordinarily concentrated wealth and political power in this country. That’s what we ought to be doing.

Now, we can—but in order to do that, we cannot have—and, you know, I think that Hillary will be a good president, if not a great president. This is not just trucking in fear, Chris. But I do fear Donald Trump. I fear the polls that I saw yesterday. Now, polls, again, this early in a campaign still—we’re still months away from the election, but they are indicative. They show Donald Trump doing exceedingly well, beating Hillary Clinton. And right now, given our two-party system, given our winner-take-all system with regard to the Electoral College, it’s just too much of a risk to go and to say, “Well, I’m going to vote—I’m not going to vote for the lesser of two evils, I’m going to vote exactly what I want to do.” Well, anybody can do that, obviously. This is a free country. You vote what you—you vote your conscience. You have to do that. I’m just saying that your conscience needs to be aware that if you do not support Hillary Clinton, you are increasing the odds of a true, clear and present danger to the United States, a menace to the United States. And you’re increasing the possibility that there will not be a progressive movement, there will not be anything we believe in in the future, because the United States will really be changed for the worse.

That’s not a—that’s not a risk I’m prepared to take at this point in time. I’m going to move—I’m going to do exactly what I’ve been doing for the last 40 years: I’m going to continue to beat my head against the wall, to build and contribute to building a progressive movement. The day after Election Day, I am going to try to work with Bernie Sanders and anybody else who wants to work in strengthening a third party—and again, maybe it’s the Green Party—for the year 2020, and do everything else I was just talking about. But right now, as we lead up to Election Day 2016, I must urge everyone who is listening or who is watching to do whatever they can to make sure that Hillary Clinton is the next president, and not Donald Trump.

AMY GOODMAN: Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges. Hold onto your hats, because we’ll return to the debate in a minute.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: “Rich” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, here on Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we return to our debate between former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges. Juan González and I spoke to them last week during the Democratic National Convention. Chris Hedges was with us in Philadelphia. Robert Reich joined us from the University of California, Berkeley, where he teaches. We started this section of the debate with a clip from Donald Trump’s nomination speech at the Republican National Convention.

DONALD TRUMP: I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders. He never had a chance, never had a chance. But his supporters will join our movement, because we will fix his biggest single issue—trade deals that strip our country of its jobs and strip us of our wealth as a country. Millions of Democrats will join our movement, because we are going to fix the system so it works fairly and justly for each and every American.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was Donald Trump talking at the convention in Cleveland. Robert Reich, interestingly, Donald Trump and Chris Hedges agree on one thing, that free trade deals that the—that both the Republicans and Democrats have negotiated over the past few years, especially NAFTA, have been disastrous for the American people. You were part of the Clinton administration when NAFTA was passed. Talk about this, the impact that Trump is utilizing among white workers in America over the issue of free trade.

ROBERT REICH: Well, Donald Trump is clearly using trade and also immigration as vehicles for making the people who have really been hurt by trade, by globalization, feel that he is going to somehow be on their side. He’s not going to be on their side.

Trump is right in a very, very narrow respect, that trade has hurt very vulnerable people, working-class people. The burdens of trade have been disproportionately fallen on those people who used to have good unionized jobs in America. And the failure of NAFTA and also the WTO, the World Trade Organization, Chinese ascension into the WTO, all of those Clinton-era programs—the failure was, number one, not to have nearly strong enough and enforceable enough labor and environmental side agreements; number two, not to have adjustment mechanisms here in the United States for people who lost their jobs to help them get good jobs, that were new jobs, for the jobs they lost. The winners in trade could have compensated the losers and still come out ahead, but they did not. And that is a structural, political problem in this country that we have to address.

It is also a problem with regard to technological displacement. It’s not just trade. Technology is displacing and will continue to displace and will displace even more good jobs in the future, but we have absolutely no strategy for dealing with that. And right now, the burdens of technological displacement are falling, once again, on the working middle class, lower-income people, who have very, very few alternatives, driving a greater and greater wedge between those who are lucky enough to be—to have rich parents or be well educated or be well connected, and everybody else.

We cannot go on like this. This is unsustainable. And Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are symptomatic, their rise, are both symptomatic of this great wave of antiestablishment anger that is flooding American politics, although on the one side you have authoritarian populism, and on the Bernie Sanders side you have a political revolution. I prefer the political revolution myself. I’m going to continue to work for that political revolution.

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, I think we have to acknowledge two facts. We do not live in a functioning democracy, and we have to stop pretending that we do. You can’t talk about—when you eviscerate privacy, you can’t use the word “liberty.” That is the relationship between a master and a slave. The fact is, this is capitalism run amok. This whole discussion should be about capitalism. Capitalism does what it’s designed to do, when it’s unfettered or unregulated—as it is—and that is to increase profit and reduce the cost of labor. And it has done that by deindustrializing the country, and the Clinton administration, you know, massively enabled this.

And, you know, we’re sitting here in Philadelphia. The last convention was in Cleveland. These are Potemkin villages, where the downtowns are Disneyfied, and three and four blocks away people are living in appalling poverty. We have responded to surplus labor, as Karl Marx says, in our deindustrialized internal colonies, to quote Malcolm X, by putting poor people of color in cages all across the country. Why? It’s because surplus labor—corporate entities cannot make money off of surplus or redundant labor. But when you lock them in a cage, they make $40,000 or $50,000 a year. This is the system we live in.

We live in a system where, under Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, the executive branch can put the soldiers in the streets, in clear violation of the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, to see—carry out extraordinary rendition of American citizens who are deemed to be, quote-unquote, “terrorists,” strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities, including in our black sites. We are a country that engages in torture.

We talk—Robert talks about, you know, building movements. You can’t build movements in a political system where money has replaced the vote. It’s impossible. And the Democrats, you know, their bedside manner is different from the Republicans. You know, Trump is this kind of grotesque figure. He’s like the used car salesman who rolls back the speedometer. But Hillary Clinton is like, you know, the managers of Goldman Sachs. They both engage in criminal activities that have—and Clinton’s record, like Trump, exposes this—that have preyed upon the most vulnerable within this country and are now destroying the middle class. And to somehow speak as if we are in a functioning democracy, or speak as if there are any restraints on capitalism, or speak as if the Democratic Party has not pushed forward this agenda—I mean, Obama has done this. You know, he has been as obsequious to Wall Street as the Bush administration. There’s no difference.

AMY GOODMAN: Robert Reich?

ROBERT REICH: Chris, you know, I—again, I find this a frustrating conversation, because I agree with so much of what you have said, but the question is: What do we do about it? I mean, we are in a better position today, in the sense that Bernie Sanders has helped mobilize, organize and energize a lot of Americans, and educated a lot of Americans about the very issues that you have talked and written about and I have talked and written about. But it is—the question is: What is the action? What is the actual political strategy right now?

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, let me—let me answer that.

ROBERT REICH: And I think the political—

CHRIS HEDGES: Let me answer that.

ROBERT REICH: Well, let me just—let me just put in my two cents. I think political strategy is not to elect Donald Trump, to elect Hillary Clinton, and, for four years, to develop an alternative, another Bernie Sanders-type candidate with an independent party, outside the Democratic Party, that will take on Hillary Clinton, assuming that she is elected and that she runs for re-election, and that also develops the infrastructure of a third party that is a true, new progressive party.

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, that’s precisely what we’re trying to do. There is a point where you have to—do I want to keep quoting Ralph?—but where you have to draw a line in the sand. And that’s part of the problem with the left, is we haven’t.

I covered the war in Yugoslavia, and I find many parallels between what’s happening in the United States and what happened with the breakdown of Yugoslavia. What is it that caused this country to disintegrate? It wasn’t ancient ethnic hatreds. It was the economic meltdown of Yugoslavia and a bankrupt liberal establishment that, after the death of Tito, until 1989 or 1990, spoke in the language of democracy, but proved ineffectual in terms of dealing with the plight of working men and women who were cast out of state factories, huge unemployment and, finally, hyperinflation.

And the fact is that these neoliberal policies, which the Democratic Party is one of the engines for, have created this right-wing fascialism. You can go back—this proto-fascism. You can go back and look at the Weimar, and it—Republic—was very much the same. So it’s completely counterintuitive. Of course I find Trump a vile and disturbing and disgusting figure, but I don’t believe that voting for the Democratic establishment—and remember that this—the two insurgencies, both within the Republican Party and the—were against figures like Hillary Clinton, who spoke in that traditional feel-your-pain language of liberalism, while assiduously serving corporate power and selling out working men and women. And they see through the con, they see through the game.

I don’t actually think Bernie Sanders educated the public. In fact, Bernie Sanders spoke for the first time as a political candidate about the reality the public was experiencing, because even Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address, was talking about economic recovery, and everything was wonderful, and people know that it’s not. And when you dispossess—

ROBERT REICH: Well, let me—let me—

CHRIS HEDGES: Let me just finish. Let me finish. When you dispossess that segment, as large as we have—half the country now lives in virtual poverty—and you continue to essentially run a government that’s been seized by a cabal, in this case, corporate, which uses all of the machinery of government for their own enrichment and their own further empowerment at the expense of the rest of the citizenry, people finally react. And that is how you get fascism. That is what history has told us. And to sit by—every time, Robert, you speak, you do exactly what Trump does, which is fear, fear, fear, fear, fear. And the fact that we are going to build some kind of—

ROBERT REICH: Well, let me—let me try to—

CHRIS HEDGES: —amorphous movement after Hillary Clinton—it’s just not they way it works.

ROBERT REICH: Let me try to inject—let me—let me try to inject—

AMY GOODMAN: Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich?

ROBERT REICH: Let me try to inject some hope in here, in this discussion, rather than fear. I’ve been traveling around the country for the last two years, trying to talk to tea partiers and conservatives and many people who are probably going to vote for Donald Trump, to try to understand what it is that they are doing and how they view America and why they’re acting in ways that are so obviously against their self-interest, both economic self-interest and other self-interest. And here’s the interesting thing I found.

This great antiestablishment wave that is occurring both on the left and the right has a great overlap, if you will, and that overlap is a deep contempt for what many people on the right are calling crony capitalism—in fact, many people on the left have called crony capitalism. And those people on the right, many, many working people, they’re not all white. Many of them are. Many of them are working-class. Many of them have suffered from trade and technological displacement and a government that is really turning its back on them, they feel—and to some extent, they’re right. Many of them feel as angry about the current system and about corporate welfare and about big money in politics as many of us on the progressive side do.

Now, if it is possible to have a multiracial, multiethnic coalition of the bottom 90 percent that is ready to fight to get big money out of politics, for more equality, for a system that is not rigged against average working people, where there are not going to be all of these redistributions upward from those of us who have paychecks—and we don’t even realize that larger and larger portions of those paychecks are going to big industries, conglomerates, concentrated industries that have great market power, because it’s all hidden from view—well, the more coalition building we can do, from right to left, multiethnic, multiracial, left and right, to build a movement to take back our economy and to take back our democracy, that is—

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Robert Reich—Robert Reich, I’d just like to interrupt you for a second, because we only have a minute left, and I just wanted to ask Chris one last question. In less than a minute, if you can, regardless of—you’re voting for Jill Stein, other folks are going to vote for Clinton and Trump. Where do you feel this massive movement that has developed over the last few years, this people movement, would have a better opportunity to grow, under a Trump presidency or under a Clinton presidency, assuming that one of those two will eventually be elected?

CHRIS HEDGES: I don’t think it makes any difference. The TPP is going to go through, whether it’s Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Endless war is going to be continued, whether it’s Trump or Clinton. We’re not going to get our privacy back, whether it’s under Clinton or Trump. The idea that, at this point, the figure in the executive branch exercises that much power, given the power of the war industry and Wall Street, is a myth. The fact is—

ROBERT REICH: Equating—I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Even on immigration?

CHRIS HEDGES: What? On?

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Even on immigration?

CHRIS HEDGES: What? On immigration? I mean, let’s look at Obama’s record on immigration. Who’s worse?

AMY GOODMAN: We’ve got 10 seconds.

CHRIS HEDGES: I mean, you know, you can’t get worse than Obama.

ROBERT REICH: And can I just say something?

CHRIS HEDGES: I mean, the idea is, the Democrats speak, and the—

AMY GOODMAN: Robert Reich, 10 seconds.

CHRIS HEDGES: Yeah.

ROBERT REICH: I just want to say, equating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is absolute nonsense. I just—anybody who equates the two of them is not paying attention. And it’s dangerous kind of talk.

CHRIS HEDGES: That’s not what I—that’s not what I did.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to have to leave it there, but this is a discussion that will continue.

AMY GOODMAN: And that debate held during the Democratic convention. Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. His most recent book, Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt. Robert Reich served as labor secretary under President Clinton, is a professor at University of California, Berkeley. His most recent book, Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few. Today, the Green Party convention opens in Houston, Texas. To get a copy of the show, you can go to democracynow.org.

When we come back, an exposé on foreign influence in the U.S. elections. Stay with us.

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Bernie Sanders was never a real candidate but was merely this election’s sheepdog for Hillary Clinton to herd progressives back into the corral of the Democratic Party.

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What’s been sickening more than one cycle since I’ve been paying attention to politics in my short life is how quickly seeming champions of the people will just just suddenly turn on everyone and betray them and endorse the very candidate that the people would love to see exiled from the country and put on an island like Napoleon or something.

Most of you have noted already that our elections are bread and circuses: it’s a big show, gets everyone involved, and makes them feel like they still have a voice in a completely corrupt, thoroughly corrupt, system. And what you’re seeing right now with the DNC is an inception level of corruption: it’s corruption inside corruption, wrapped inside more corruption because this whole Wikileaks thing came out and implicated the DNC and basically rigging the primaries against Bernie and for Hillary: something we all knew was going on anyway; it was really obvious, come on, with the improbable coin tosses, and card flips. It was a joke. It was a big joke, and everybody knew it.

But now there’s evidence of it, in print, and no one is addressing this, least of all Bernie. He’s basically taking it the same exact way Ron Paul took it, continued to, of course, soak up campaign contributions but just basically roll over and took it. Because these people, whatever deal they have made, whatever part they are playing, that’s already happened a long time ago. What’s sad is that the people who stand behind these people don’t understand that.

[Speaker]: “Bernie Sanders inspired a movement but with raw wounds reopened he was forced to play the role of healer, trying to soothe his increasingly frustrated supporters many of them moved to tears.”

It’s even more disgusting to watch those candidates liven up and act as if they’re speaking the truth, and just step aside and be quiet, and watch some of the worst people in history, some of the most ambitious and corrupt and power hungry people, assume their supposedly proper place in history.

You had Bernie pretty much booed almost completely off the stage yesterday: “We have got to defeat Donald Trump and we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.”

When he pulled his whole?—we have to get behind Hillary and vote for her so that we can destroy Trump?—thing which, if you think about this tactically, is the only way the establishment can get a Hillary Clinton presidency to pass with still somehow maintaining a semblance that our elections are a hundred percent fake and rigged, like we’re all pretty sure that they are, ok. The only way they’ve been able to do that is to completely demonize Trump in the press, talk about what a xenophobic monster he is, all talking points that they’ve come up with to make him just look like the most horrible person ever so that by the time they pull Bernie out from the people who are actually supporting the Democratic side of things, then they can say, “well, if you don’t want this horrible monster Trump to be President, you have no other hope, no other choice in the world, but Hillary Clinton.

By the way, very sad for Hillary Clinton that the only way, the only way, she can attain a presidency is through cheating, corruption, lying to people, and making them feel so desperate they have no other choice than to vote for her. It is really, really pathetic, and if she had a soul or feelings or humanity, she would, she would not be able to look at herself in the mirror.

After he’s basically booed off stage, what happened next is the mind-blowing part. You had Jane Sanders, Bernie’s wife, walk up to the podium and say something to him that was caught on the “hot mic”. Check this out.

Jane Sanders: “They don’t know your name is being put in nomination?—and that’s the concern here.”

See, they’ve tried to push the idea that Hillary is the presumptive nominee for weeks now and Bernie has jumped right along onto that bus. Even at this moment when he’s up there addressing all of these supporters who have believed in him, he’s not telling them that his name will be on the nomination.
It’s not gonna just be a piece of paper with a box on it that says Hillary Clinton, check here. That’s not actually what’s going on. He knows it and he’s standing up there telling them to vote for Hillary [and not for him since his name will be on the ballot for nomination] and not telling anyone anything. He’s not addressing WikiLeaks, and he’s not telling them that his name is going to be put in nomination.

This to me is blatant obvious proof of his complicity in this whole thing since the beginning.

I mean, Hillary made sure to get all possible real competition out of the way a long time ago. There are stories that came out about people getting threatened. Because it’s the only way she can be [President[, having the entire media as her PR firm, threatening competition out of the way, rigging the entire primary, cheating, lying, all that is the only way Hilary can attain the presidency. Tthat’s the only way she’s got. And Sanders has obviously been on board with this. And all these people that come and say, “but his voting record, he’s such a stand-up guy”: he’s getting on in years, ok, and maybe he decided to take a deal, but you can’t see this “hot mic”, see what just went down there, and ignore it.

Did he mention any of that to the people who want to vote for him in this room who were booing him off the stage? No. He sat there and said vote for Hillary.

And Hillary obviously knows the fix is in for her and has known forever.

Hillary Clinton: “I will be the nominee for my party, trust that. That is already done, in effect. There is no way that I won’t be.”

She keeps Debbie Wasserman Schultz around in the same way a bridezilla keeps around ugly bridesmaids because she does not want to be outshined by someone. The scary trolling Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign, what did Hillary do? She immediately hired her as her honorary campaign chair. Why? Because screw you, that’s why. Hillary doesn’t care what anybody thinks about anything. She does not care. She’s going to ascend the throne, whether you like it or not, whether the voters want to vote for her or not, it doesn’t matter. They will figure out a way. And that’s what this whole thing is.

What’s sad is to see how complicit Sanders is in it.

Just be another empty suit, another asset. That’s how easily we get played. They know the population gets angry and it’s a steam valve. It’s a vent. Is it ever really real? Well, they always know they’re just playing their part.

You just know from the gate because of how rigged this entire system is, because about how rigged our elections are, that you just know that he’s in on it: he has to be. And of course now we find out that he is.

And look at these people. Who did she go [to Vice President]: he’s like this little creepy goblin minion who looks like he will willingly cannibalize a baby if she snaps her fingers. It’s horrifying.

Actually makes me kind of proud to be an American, to see people not sitting down and taking it, and shouting and booing, and trying to say, “no, we’re not going to step aside and let someone as awful as this take over the country.” But what a letdown with these so-called leaders, with these misleaders:

Bernie Sanders: “Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her tonight. Thank you all very much.”

Thatta boy. I knew he’d stay on script.

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Julian Assange says that we must have political accountability–a general deterrence set to stop political organizations behaving in a corrupt manner.

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Julian Assange: Choosing Between Trump or Clinton is Like Picking Between Cholera or Gonorrhea

Following the end of the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump has received a surge in his popularity. He’s now leading Hillary Clinton 44 to 39 percent in a four-way match-up, according to the most recent CNN poll. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson received 9 percent, and Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein received 3 percent. But for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the threat of a Donald Trump presidency doesn’t inspire him to back Hillary Clinton. When asked, Assange said: “You’re asking me, do I prefer cholera or gonorrhea?”

TRANSCRIPT
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, Julian, we cut you off earlier when you were talking about what you felt were the most significant emails that you have released. Is there any last one that you’d like to mention? And also, do you have any thoughts on Donald Trump? I mean, just before we went to air, a CNN poll came out that says Donald Trump is ahead by 5 percentage points of Hillary Clinton. Now, he did just come off of the Republican convention, but many called it the worst convention in history, so it’s not automatic that he should have had this percentage lead. Of course, though, you have the crisis, the disarray, the Democratic Party is in because of these emails that you’ve released.

JULIAN ASSANGE: Well, you’re asking me, do I prefer cholera or gonorrhea? Personally, I would prefer neither. Look, I think—you know, we know how politics works in the United States. Whoever—whatever political party gets into government is going to merge with the bureaucracy pretty damn fast. It will be in a position where it has some levers in its hand. And so, as a result, corporate lobbyists will move in to help control those levers. So it doesn’t make much difference in the end. What does make a difference is political accountability, a general deterrence set to stop political organizations behaving in a corrupt manner. That can make a difference, because that changes the perception of what you can do or not do. And so, always—well, almost always, you should choose the principled position, which is to set a disciplinary signal about acting in a corrupt way, and take a philosophical position, which is our institutions can only be as good as our understanding of our institutions.

AMY GOODMAN: We want to—

JULIAN ASSANGE: Now, are you asking—the other—

AMY GOODMAN: Yes, go ahead, Julian.

JULIAN ASSANGE: The other top emails, well, as I said, I think this instruction by Luis Miranda, the head of communications, to go out and covertly spread anti-Bernie Sanders propaganda is a clear instruction combined with a chain of command. It’s not simply expressing a sentiment. It is expressing an instruction within the DNC to subvert the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Then there’s a lot of emails about the close relationship between the DNC and the media—The Washington Post involved in a co-fundraising party, an off-list co-fundraising for the DNC, calling up MSNBC during the middle of a program and saying, “Pull that segment now,” Debbie Wasserman Schultz calling up the president of MSNBC in order to discipline Morning Joe, etc. That’s, you know, of course, something that we’ve all suspected happens, but this is concrete proof of it.

But, you know, I really encourage people to research the more than 8,000 attachments that we put out, separate files, including more than 175 spreadsheets. That has the real core, the financial core, of the power structure and the exercise of monetary influence over the DNC. And that’s something that’s going to seed journalistic investigations for years.

AMY GOODMAN: Julian Assange, we want to thank you for being with us. Julian Assange, founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks. This is Democracy Now! You can go online at democracynow.org to read the transcript or to hear again either the audio podcast or the video, see the video of this interview. We’re broadcasting from the Democratic convention in Philadelphia. It’s the first day. It will be gaveled in in just a couple of hours from this broadcast. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González. When we come back, a debate. Stay with us.

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If you think Donald Trump is bad now, wait and see how bad Hillary Clinton will be as President.

Ben Norton Jaisal Noor

‘Lesser of Two Evils’ Argument Not Resonating with DNC Protestors

Salon.com’s Ben Norton says grassroots movements will be more mobilized under a Republican candidacy

JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: I?m Jaisal Noor for the Real News Network.
We?re here in Philadelphia in front of City Hall. We?re at a Bernie or Bust Protest. Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, just addressed the crowd of a couple hundred people. She got a rack of applause urging people to vote their conscious, vote to address the issues that are plaguing America, and not support Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

We?re now joined by Ben Norton. He?s a journalist for Salon.com. You?ve been here all week and you were at the RNC as well? Talk about why you?re here and what your impressions have been so far. You know, the first day of this convention ended last night and some controversy. Talk about what?s going on with you.

BEN NORTON: Well I think people in general, people on the inside of the convention and outside rank and file people, you know average people, workers are really tired of the few options they have available to them. I spoke to a lot of Sanders delegates last night and few of them are excited about supporting Clinton. Really the only argument that really prevails all of these conventions is the other side is bad so you have to support us. It?s a really dispiriting kind of environment. I see very few positive messages.

Michelle Obama last night tried to make her speech very positive in that way but a lot of it is if you listened to Sander?s speech it was Trump is such a horrible candidate that we must endorse Clinton to defeat Trump. And at the Republican convention it was Clinton is such a horrible candidate we must get behind Trump to defeat Clinton. I think seeing protests like this, they are very inspiring because you see Americans who are really demanding progressive change outside of the establishment who refuse to say we must choose one of these two evils. And they say you know we live in a democracy and we want to choose an option that actually appeals to us and choose a politician who actually may represent our interest.

NOOR: So the counter point, and some of the people we?ve talked to share your view, I mean share the view you just expressed. But also there?s people that say we don?t?we want to build a third party but we want to continue grassroots movements but we have to defeat Trump first. And that?s also what Sanders message was because?and others have made this point that if Trump is elected then he?s going to set progress back so far that it?s going to hurt every marginalized community across this country.

But that doesn?t seem to be resonating with some people and even people in swing states. It?s?even people we?ve talked to in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and in Cleveland, in Ohio. Even though they know it?s a swing state they say they?re still going to vote their conscious. So now Trump is doing the best he?s ever done in national polls and Hillary has her highest unfavorability ratings she?s had in this election so far.

NORTON: Well I think I?m pretty confident that Hillary?s going to win. Trump is too extreme of a candidate. Even aside from that, I?m not very convinced that a Trump candidacy would be an apocalyptic event. I think it would be bad. I also think a Clinton presidency would be bad. I think we have to think about it not just in terms of who?s in office but what that effect is on the larger political [melee]. Because if you look at the Bush administration, you look at the Obama administration, there are many similarities especially on foreign policy, national security, clamp down on journalist, etc. But one of the primary differences between them is the grassroots activism. And if you look at the Bush administration there was enormous grassroots pressure against the administration.

NOOR: Especially against the Iraq War. An unprecedented amount of global protests before the war even started which never really happened before.

NORTON: Absolutely and when Obama was voted in it immediately shrunk and shrunk exponentially. So I think we should think of it not just in terms of who?s in office. If Trump entered office, we?ll probably see a renewed way of activism that we haven?t seen since maybe the 1960?s in this country and I think that would be very healthy for democracy.
I don?t think a Trump presidency would be a good thing by any stretch of the imagination but I think we should think of it not just in terms of who?s in office. Also I think if we had a Trump presidency that would encourage progressives to run for local office. To run for congress etc. So I don?t think we should think of this apocalyptic view of politics. I think we should think of it more in terms of what different layers of society will react in different ways and think about how as people on the left we can push for progressive change regardless of what layer of society it is.

I mean the presidency is an important role but ultimately the presidency is very limited. Usually you have a choice between a kind of centrist candidate and a kind of right wing candidate.

NOOR: So the–some of the issues that people have raised are the next president will make at least one or maybe more Supreme Court picks. They?ll have to act on climate change with urgency. Now we saw the massive protest against fracking and environmental change on Sunday. So people aren?t happy in the grassroots with Clinton. Especially with the pick of Tim Kaine as Vice President, with his track record. But Trump didn?t even mention climate change with his speech?with accepting the Republican nomination. So as far as those two issues go for example, some Clinton supporters are hesitant, people say they?re going to back Clinton. They see those two issues as apocalyptic in a way.

NORTON: Well absolutely. Climate change is there?s no question, the biggest problem we face as a planet. I think that it?s imperative that we do something about it. That said, Clinton her record on climate change and fossil fuels and such is not a positive one. She?s criticized fracking now but in the past when she was Secretary of State and before, she was supportive of fracking. She now claims to oppose the TPP but again she previously supported it which would also be horrific for the environment. And yea Clinton, she actually accepts the climate change as a real thing. But that?s such a basic bare standard that it?s not enough. We really are facing catastrophic–impending catastrophic situation with climate change and we do need systemic change and serious action. And 4 years or 8 years of a Clinton presidency I think will do very little to stop that. And I also think one of the discussions that?s kind of removed from a lot of this is looking at things in the long term and not just the short term. There?s no question that Trump would be horrific as a candidate but if we have 4 or 8 years of Clinton of more wars, of more austerity, of another economic crisis, and potential bailouts of banks and large corporations etc., you know you think Trump is bad now? Wait for what we?ll see in 4 or 8 years.

I mean this is not a problem that is going to go away. The Republican Party has lurched to the far right and this is the future of the Republican Party. So I think we really need to talk about how we can pressure all politicians but especially the Democratic Party and say, we?re not just going to obey. We?re going to push you from the left and say we need you to adopt these policies. We need you to ban fracking, we need you to move toward renewable energy, and the Green Party and the Sanders movement are doing these kinds of things among other kind of parties. And if we don?t pressure the Democratic Party, I?m afraid and I think it?s quite possible that the Democratic Party won?t take the steps that we need to address climate change and we?ll still face the climate catastrophe that we still face now.

NOOR: I think that?s a really good analysis because regardless of who?s in office it?s going to be up to the grassroots movements to pressure them. Some would say that Clinton would be [acceptive] to grassroots pressure but again the point you raised about where that movement is going to go, where the movement went that was so massive under Bush was?it sort of evaporated under Obama. That?s something the movement?s still going to have to deal with going forward. Ben Norton thanks so much for being with us.

NORTON: Thanks. Glad to be here.

NOOR: Thank you for joining us at the Real News Network.

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Who Should Bernie Voters Support Now? Robert Reich vs. Chris Hedges on Tackling the Neoliberal Order

chris hedges

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. Our special, “Breaking with Convention: War, Peace and the Presidency.” I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: As we continue to talk about the Democratic National Convention, we’re joined now by two guests. Joining us from Berkeley, California, is Robert Reich, who served as labor secretary under President Clinton and is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. And here in Philadelphia is Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. His most recent book is Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt.

And I’d like to begin with Robert Reich. You’re a—you were a Bernie Sanders supporter. You’re now backing Hillary Clinton. You’re not at the convention, but your perspective on what you saw last night and the possibility of the Democratic Party uniting behind Hillary Clinton, or a group of the Sanders supporters going with Jill Stein?

ROBERT REICH: Well, it’s very hard to tell what the delegates are going to do. And it’s very hard to tell—even harder to tell what the electorate is going to do. You know, this is a very agonizing time for many Bernie Sanders supporters. I, with a great deal of reluctance initially, because I’ve known Hillary Clinton for 50 years—50 years—endorsed Bernie Sanders and worked my heart out for him, as many, many people did. And so, at this particular juncture, you know, there’s a great deal of sadness and a great deal of feeling of regret. But having worked so long and so many years for basically the progressive ideals that Bernie Sanders stands for, I can tell you that the movement is going to continue. In fact, it’s going to grow.

And right now, at this particular point in time, I just don’t see any alternative but to support Hillary. I know Hillary, I know her faults, I know her strengths. I think she will make a great president. I supported Bernie Sanders because I thought he would make a better president for the system we need. But nonetheless, Hillary Clinton is going to be the nominee. I support her. And I support her not only because she will be a good president, if not a great president, but also, frankly, because I am tremendously worried about the alternative. And the alternative, really, as a practical matter, is somebody who is a megalomaniac and a bigot, somebody who will set back the progressive movement decades, if not more.

AMY GOODMAN: Chris Hedges?

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, reducing the election to personalities is kind of infantile at this point. The fact is, we live in a system that Sheldon Wolin calls inverted totalitarianism. It’s a system where corporate power has seized all of the levers of control. There is no way to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or ExxonMobil or Raytheon. We’ve lost our privacy. We’ve seen, under Obama, an assault against civil liberties that has outstripped what George W. Bush carried out. We’ve seen the executive branch misinterpret the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act as giving itself the right to assassinate American citizens, including children. I speak of Anwar al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son. We have bailed out the banks, pushed through programs of austerity. This has been a bipartisan effort, because they’ve both been captured by corporate power. We have undergone what John Ralston Saul correctly calls a corporate coup d’état in slow motion, and it’s over.

I just came back from Poland, which is a kind of case study of how neoliberal poison destroys a society and creates figures like Trump. Poland has gone, I think we can argue, into a neofascism. First, it dislocated the working class, deindustrialized the country. Then, in the name of austerity, it destroyed public institutions, education, public broadcasting. And then it poisoned the political system. And we are now watching, in Poland, them create a 30,000 to 40,000 armed militia. You know, they have an army. The Parliament, nothing works. And I think that this political system in the United States has seized up in exactly the same form.

So, is Trump a repugnant personality? Yes. Although I would argue that in terms of megalomania and narcissism, Hillary Clinton is not far behind. But the point is, we’ve got to break away from—which is exactly the narrative they want us to focus on. We’ve got to break away from political personalities and understand and examine and critique the structures of power. And, in fact, the Democratic Party, especially beginning under Bill Clinton, has carried water for corporate entities as assiduously as the Republican Party. This is something that Ralph Nader understood long before the rest of us, and stepped out very courageously in 2000. And I think we will look back on that period and find Ralph to be an amazingly prophetic figure. Nobody understands corporate power better than Ralph. And I think now people have caught up with Ralph.

And this is, of course, why I support Dr. Stein and the Green Party. We have to remember that 10 years ago, Syriza, which controls the Greek government, was polling at exactly the same spot that the Green Party is polling now—about 4 percent. We’ve got to break out of this idea that we can create systematic change within a particular election cycle. We’ve got to be willing to step out into the political wilderness, perhaps, for a decade. But on the issues of climate change, on the issue of the destruction of civil liberties, including our right to privacy—and I speak as a former investigative journalist, which doesn’t exist anymore because of wholesale government surveillance—we have no ability, except for hackers.

I mean, this whole debate over the WikiLeaks is insane. Did Russia? I’ve printed classified material that was given to me by the Mossad. But I never exposed that Mossad gave it to me. Is what was published true or untrue? And the fact is, you know, in those long emails—you should read them. They’re appalling, including calling Dr. Cornel West “trash.” It is—the whole—it exposes the way the system was rigged, within—I’m talking about the Democratic Party—the denial of independents, the superdelegates, the stealing of the caucus in Nevada, the huge amounts of corporate money and super PACs that flowed into the Clinton campaign.

The fact is, Clinton has a track record, and it’s one that has abandoned children. I mean, she and her husband destroyed welfare as we know it, and 70 percent of the original recipients were children. This debate over—I don’t like Trump, but Trump is not the phenomenon. Trump is responding to a phenomenon created by neoliberalism. And we may get rid of Trump, but we will get something even more vile, maybe Ted Cruz.

AMY GOODMAN: Robert Reich, I remember you, on Democracy Now!, talking about your time as labor secretary when President Clinton signed off on welfare reform, and you described walking the streets of Washington, D.C., wondering where the protests were, that you had vigorously objected. And it was also an issue, a bill that Hillary Clinton had supported. So, can you respond to Chris Hedges on these three points, including, so, you take a walk in the political wilderness for a little while?

ROBERT REICH: Well, Amy, it’s not just taking a walk in the political wilderness. If Donald Trump becomes president, if that’s what you’re referring to, I think it is—there are irrevocable negative changes that will happen in the United States, including appointments to the Supreme Court, that will not be just political wilderness, that will actually change and worsen the structure of this country. I couldn’t agree with Chris Hedges more about his critique, overall, of neoliberalism and a lot of the structural problems that we face in our political economy today. I’ve written about them. But I’ve done more than write about them. I’ve actually been in the center of power, and I have been doing everything I possibly can, as an individual and also as a mobilizer and organizer of others, to try to change what we now have.

I think that voting for Donald Trump or equating Hillary Clinton with Donald Trump is insane. Donald Trump is certainly a product of a kind of system and a systematic undermining that has occurred in the United States for years with regard to inequality of income and wealth and political power. But we don’t fight that by simply saying, “All right, let’s just have Donald Trump and hope that the system improves itself and hope that things are so bad that actually people rise up in armed resistance.” That’s insane. That’s crazy.

What we have to do is be—we’ve got to be very, very strategic as progressives. We’ve got to look at the long term. We’ve got to understand that Bernie Sanders brought us much further along than we were before the Sanders campaign. We owe a lot to Bernie Sanders, his courage, his integrity, his power, the fact that most people under 30 voted for Bernie Sanders. In fact, if you look at the people who voted for Bernie Sanders under 30, that was more people than voted for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton together under the age of 30. We are building a progressive movement in this country. But over the next four years, I don’t want Donald Trump to irretrievably make it difficult, if not impossible, for us to move forward with that progressive movement.

Now, I understand Hillary Clinton is not perfect. I’ve known her , as I said before, for 50 years. I met her when she was 19 years old. I know her strengths, and I know, pretty well, her weaknesses. She is not perfect. And as Chris says, you know, she is also very much a product of many of the problems structurally in this country right now. We fight those structural problems, yes. Hand in hand, Chris, with you, shoulder to shoulder—I’m very short, maybe it’s my shoulder, and it’s your rib cage—but it doesn’t matter, we continue to fight. I will continue to fight. Many people who are watching and listening will continue to fight. We must continue to mobilize. I hope Bernie Sanders does what he implied he would do last night—that is, carry the movement forward, lend his name, his energy, his email list. This is not the end of anything. But we have got to be, at the same time, very practical about what we’re doing and very strategic about what we’re doing. This is not just a matter of making statements. It’s a matter of actually working with and through, and changing the structure of power in this country.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Chris, I’d like to ask you—you’ve written that liberals are tolerated by the capitalist elites because they do not question the virtues of corporate capitalism, only its excesses, and call for tepid and ineffectual reforms. Could that have also have been said of FDR in the 1930s? Because you were one of the folks who did not back Bernie Sanders from the beginning.

CHRIS HEDGES: That’s right.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: So, you’ve—

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, I didn’t back Bernie Sanders because—and Kshama Sawant and I had had a discussion with him before—because he said that he would work within the Democratic structures and support the nominee. And I think we have now watched Bernie Sanders walk away from his political moment. You know, he—I think he will come to deeply regret what he has done. He has betrayed these people who believed in this political revolution. We heard this same kind of rhetoric, by the way, in 2008 around Obama.

A political campaign raises consciousness, but it’s not a movement. And what we are seeing now is furious spin—I listened to Ben Jealous just do it—from the self-identified liberal class. And they are tolerated within a capitalist system, because, in a moment like this, they are used to speak to people to get them to betray their own interests in the name of fear. And I admire Robert and have read much of his stuff and like his stuff, but if you listen to what he’s been saying, the message is the same message of the Trump campaign, and that his fear. And that is all the Democrats have to offer now and all the Republicans have to offer now.

And the fact is, from climate change alone, we have no time left. I have four children. The future of my children, by the day, is being destroyed because of the fact that the fossil fuel industry, along with the animal agriculture industry, which is also as important in terms of climate change, are destroying the ecosystem on which we depend for life. And neither party has any intention to do anything about it.

AMY GOODMAN: What should Bernie Sanders have done?

CHRIS HEDGES: Bernie Sanders should have walked out and run as an independent.

AMY GOODMAN: Take—

CHRIS HEDGES: And defied the Democratic Party.

AMY GOODMAN: Take up the invitation of Dr. Jill Stein—

CHRIS HEDGES: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: —and run on a ticket with—

CHRIS HEDGES: She offered to let him run on the top of the ticket. That’s what he should have done. And the fact is, you know, let’s not forget that Bernie has a very checkered past. He campaigned for Clinton in ’92. He campaigned for Clinton again in ’96, after NAFTA—the greatest betrayal of the working class in this country since the Taft-Hartley Act of 1948—after the destruction of welfare, after the omnibus crime bill that exploded the prison population, and, you know, we now have—I mean, it’s just a monstrosity what we’ve done; 350,000 to 400,000 people locked in cages in this country are severely mentally ill. Half of them never committed a violent crime. That’s all Bill Clinton. And yet he went out and campaigned. In 2004, he called on Nader not to run, to step down, so he could support a war candidate like John Kerry. And I’m listening to Jealous before talk about the Iraq War. Sixty percent of the Democratic senators voted for the war, including Hillary Clinton. The idea that somehow Democrats don’t push us into war defies American history.

AMY GOODMAN: Robert Reich?

ROBERT REICH: Well, all I can say is that at this particular point in time—I mean, again, many of the things that Chris Hedges is saying, I completely agree with. The real question here is: What do we do right now? And what do we do to mobilize and organize a lot of people out there who right now are not mobilized and organized? And how do we keep the energy building? I disagree with Chris with regard to Bernie Sanders. I think Bernie Sanders has been a great and is a great leader right now of the progressive cause.

What I think we ought to do is develop a third party outside the Democratic and Republican parties, maybe the Green Party, so that in the year 2020, four years from now, we have another candidate—it may be Bernie Sanders, I think he’s probably going to be too old by then—but we have a candidate that holds the Democrats accountable, that provides a vehicle for a lot of the energy of the Bernie Sanders movement to continue to develop, that fields new candidates at the Senate, in Congress, at the state level, that actually holds Democrats’ feet to the fire and Republicans’ feet to the fire, that develops an agenda of getting big money out of politics and severing the link between extraordinarily concentrated wealth and political power in this country. That’s what we ought to be doing.

Now, we can—but in order to do that, we cannot have—and, you know, I think that Hillary will be a good president, if not a great president. This is not just trucking in fear, Chris. But I do fear Donald Trump. I fear the polls that I saw yesterday. Now, polls, again, this early in a campaign still—we’re still months away from the election, but they are indicative. They show Donald Trump doing exceedingly well, beating Hillary Clinton. And right now, given our two-party system, given our winner-take-all system with regard to the Electoral College, it’s just too much of a risk to go and to say, “Well, I’m going to vote—I’m not going to vote for the lesser of two evils, I’m going to vote exactly what I want to do.” Well, anybody can do that, obviously. This is a free country. You vote what you—you vote your conscience. You have to do that. I’m just saying that your conscience needs to be aware that if you do not support Hillary Clinton, you are increasing the odds of a true, clear and present danger to the United States, a menace to the United States. And you’re increasing the possibility that there will not be a progressive movement, there will not be anything we believe in in the future, because the United States will really be changed for the worse.

That’s not a—that’s not a risk I’m prepared to take at this point in time. I’m going to move—I’m going to do exactly what I’ve been doing for the last 40 years: I’m going to continue to beat my head against the wall, to build and contribute to building a progressive movement. The day after Election Day, I am going to try to work with Bernie Sanders and anybody else who wants to work in strengthening a third party—and again, maybe it’s the Green Party—for the year 2020, and do everything else I was just talking about. But right now, as we lead up to Election Day 2016, I must urge everyone who is listening or who is watching to do whatever they can to make sure that Hillary Clinton is the next president, and not Donald Trump.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we’re going to break and then come back to this debate on both sides of the United States, as well as of this issue. Chris Hedges is with us, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, award-winning author and activist. Latest book, Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt. And who you were just listening to is Robert Reich, who is the former labor secretary under President Clinton and professor at University of California, Berkeley, his latest book called Saving Capitalism. He was a Bernie Sanders supporter and now says he will vote for Hillary Clinton. When we come back, we’ll hear some of the words of Donald Trump and get response. Stay with us.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: “Opening Ceremony” by Laura Ortman. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. Our special for this two weeks, “Breaking with Convention: War, Peace and the Presidency.” I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, in a moment, we’ll return to our debate between Robert Reich and Chris Hedges, but first let’s turn to Donald Trump’s nomination speech at the RNC in Cleveland last Thursday. Trump said Sanders’ supporters would vote for him in the fall.

DONALD TRUMP: I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders. He never had a chance, never had a chance. But his supporters will join our movement, because we will fix his biggest single issue—trade deals that strip our country of its jobs and strip us of our wealth as a country. Millions of Democrats will join our movement, because we are going to fix the system so it works fairly and justly for each and every American.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was Donald Trump talking at the convention in Cleveland. Robert Reich, interestingly, Donald Trump and Chris Hedges agree on one thing, that free trade deals that the—that both the Republicans and Democrats have negotiated over the past few years, especially NAFTA, have been disastrous for the American people. You were part of the Clinton administration when NAFTA was passed. Talk about this, the impact that Trump is utilizing among white workers in America over the issue of free trade.

ROBERT REICH: Well, Donald Trump is clearly using trade and also immigration as vehicles for making the people who have really been hurt by trade, by globalization, feel that he is going to somehow be on their side. He’s not going to be on their side.

Trump is right in a very, very narrow respect, that trade has hurt very vulnerable people, working-class people. The burdens of trade have been disproportionately fallen on those people who used to have good unionized jobs in America. And the failure of NAFTA and also the WTO, the World Trade Organization, Chinese ascension into the WTO, all of those Clinton-era programs—the failure was, number one, not to have nearly strong enough and enforceable enough labor and environmental side agreements; number two, not to have adjustment mechanisms here in the United States for people who lost their jobs to help them get good jobs, that were new jobs, for the jobs they lost. The winners in trade could have compensated the losers and still come out ahead, but they did not. And that is a structural, political problem in this country that we have to address.

It is also a problem with regard to technological displacement. It’s not just trade. Technology is displacing and will continue to displace and will displace even more good jobs in the future, but we have absolutely no strategy for dealing with that. And right now, the burdens of technological displacement are falling, once again, on the working middle class, lower-income people, who have very, very few alternatives, driving a greater and greater wedge between those who are lucky enough to be—to have rich parents or be well educated or be well connected, and everybody else.

We cannot go on like this. This is unsustainable. And Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are symptomatic, their rise, are both symptomatic of this great wave of antiestablishment anger that is flooding American politics, although on the one side you have authoritarian populism, and on the Bernie Sanders side you have a political revolution. I prefer the political revolution myself. I’m going to continue to work for that political revolution.

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, I think we have to acknowledge two facts. We do not live in a functioning democracy, and we have to stop pretending that we do. You can’t talk about—when you eviscerate privacy, you can’t use the word “liberty.” That is the relationship between a master and a slave. The fact is, this is capitalism run amok. This whole discussion should be about capitalism. Capitalism does what it’s designed to do, when it’s unfettered or unregulated—as it is—and that is to increase profit and reduce the cost of labor. And it has done that by deindustrializing the country, and the Clinton administration, you know, massively enabled this.

And, you know, we’re sitting here in Philadelphia. The last convention was in Cleveland. These are Potemkin villages, where the downtowns are Disneyfied, and three and four blocks away people are living in appalling poverty. We have responded to surplus labor, as Karl Marx says, in our deindustrialized internal colonies, to quote Malcolm X, by putting poor people of color in cages all across the country. Why? It’s because surplus labor—corporate entities cannot make money off of surplus or redundant labor. But when you lock them in a cage, they make $40,000 or $50,000 a year. This is the system we live in.

We live in a system where, under Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act, the executive branch can put the soldiers in the streets, in clear violation of the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, to see—carry out extraordinary rendition of American citizens who are deemed to be, quote-unquote, “terrorists,” strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities, including in our black sites. We are a country that engages in torture.

We talk—Robert talks about, you know, building movements. You can’t build movements in a political system where money has replaced the vote. It’s impossible. And the Democrats, you know, their bedside manner is different from the Republicans. You know, Trump is this kind of grotesque figure. He’s like the used car salesman who rolls back the speedometer. But Hillary Clinton is like, you know, the managers of Goldman Sachs. They both engage in criminal activities that have—and Clinton’s record, like Trump, exposes this—that have preyed upon the most vulnerable within this country and are now destroying the middle class. And to somehow speak as if we are in a functioning democracy, or speak as if there are any restraints on capitalism, or speak as if the Democratic Party has not pushed forward this agenda—I mean, Obama has done this. You know, he has been as obsequious to Wall Street as the Bush administration. There’s no difference.

AMY GOODMAN: Robert Reich?

ROBERT REICH: Chris, you know, I—again, I find this a frustrating conversation, because I agree with so much of what you have said, but the question is: What do we do about it? I mean, we are in a better position today, in the sense that Bernie Sanders has helped mobilize, organize and energize a lot of Americans, and educated a lot of Americans about the very issues that you have talked and written about and I have talked and written about. But it is—the question is: What is the action? What is the actual political strategy right now?

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, let me—let me answer that.

ROBERT REICH: And I think the political—

CHRIS HEDGES: Let me answer that.

ROBERT REICH: Well, let me just—let me just put in my two cents. I think political strategy is not to elect Donald Trump, to elect Hillary Clinton, and, for four years, to develop an alternative, another Bernie Sanders-type candidate with an independent party, outside the Democratic Party, that will take on Hillary Clinton, assuming that she is elected and that she runs for re-election, and that also develops the infrastructure of a third party that is a true, new progressive party.

CHRIS HEDGES: Well, that’s precisely what we’re trying to do. There is a point where you have to—do I want to keep quoting Ralph?—but where you have to draw a line in the sand. And that’s part of the problem with the left, is we haven’t.

I covered the war in Yugoslavia, and I find many parallels between what’s happening in the United States and what happened with the breakdown of Yugoslavia. What is it that caused this country to disintegrate? It wasn’t ancient ethnic hatreds. It was the economic meltdown of Yugoslavia and a bankrupt liberal establishment that, after the death of Tito, until 1989 or 1990, spoke in the language of democracy, but proved ineffectual in terms of dealing with the plight of working men and women who were cast out of state factories, huge unemployment and, finally, hyperinflation.

And the fact is that these neoliberal policies, which the Democratic Party is one of the engines for, have created this right-wing fascialism. You can go back—this proto-fascism. You can go back and look at the Weimar, and it—Republic—was very much the same. So it’s completely counterintuitive. Of course I find Trump a vile and disturbing and disgusting figure, but I don’t believe that voting for the Democratic establishment—and remember that this—the two insurgencies, both within the Republican Party and the—were against figures like Hillary Clinton, who spoke in that traditional feel-your-pain language of liberalism, while assiduously serving corporate power and selling out working men and women. And they see through the con, they see through the game.

I don’t actually think Bernie Sanders educated the public. In fact, Bernie Sanders spoke for the first time as a political candidate about the reality the public was experiencing, because even Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address, was talking about economic recovery, and everything was wonderful, and people know that it’s not. And when you dispossess—

ROBERT REICH: Well, let me—let me—

CHRIS HEDGES: Let me just finish. Let me finish. When you dispossess that segment, as large as we have—half the country now lives in virtual poverty—and you continue to essentially run a government that’s been seized by a cabal, in this case, corporate, which uses all of the machinery of government for their own enrichment and their own further empowerment at the expense of the rest of the citizenry, people finally react. And that is how you get fascism. That is what history has told us. And to sit by—every time, Robert, you speak, you do exactly what Trump does, which is fear, fear, fear, fear, fear. And the fact that we are going to build some kind of—

ROBERT REICH: Well, let me—let me try to—

CHRIS HEDGES: —amorphous movement after Hillary Clinton—it’s just not they way it works.

ROBERT REICH: Let me try to inject—let me—let me try to inject—

AMY GOODMAN: Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich?

ROBERT REICH: Let me try to inject some hope in here, in this discussion, rather than fear. I’ve been traveling around the country for the last two years, trying to talk to tea partiers and conservatives and many people who are probably going to vote for Donald Trump, to try to understand what it is that they are doing and how they view America and why they’re acting in ways that are so obviously against their self-interest, both economic self-interest and other self-interest. And here’s the interesting thing I found.

This great antiestablishment wave that is occurring both on the left and the right has a great overlap, if you will, and that overlap is a deep contempt for what many people on the right are calling crony capitalism—in fact, many people on the left have called crony capitalism. And those people on the right, many, many working people, they’re not all white. Many of them are. Many of them are working-class. Many of them have suffered from trade and technological displacement and a government that is really turning its back on them, they feel—and to some extent, they’re right. Many of them feel as angry about the current system and about corporate welfare and about big money in politics as many of us on the progressive side do.

Now, if it is possible to have a multiracial, multiethnic coalition of the bottom 90 percent that is ready to fight to get big money out of politics, for more equality, for a system that is not rigged against average working people, where there are not going to be all of these redistributions upward from those of us who have paychecks—and we don’t even realize that larger and larger portions of those paychecks are going to big industries, conglomerates, concentrated industries that have great market power, because it’s all hidden from view—well, the more coalition building we can do, from right to left, multiethnic, multiracial, left and right, to build a movement to take back our economy and to take back our democracy, that is—

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Robert Reich—Robert Reich, I’d just like to interrupt you for a second, because we only have a minute left, and I just wanted to ask Chris one last question. In less than a minute, if you can, regardless of—you’re voting for Jill Stein, other folks are going to vote for Clinton and Trump. Where do you feel this massive movement that has developed over the last few years, this people movement, would have a better opportunity to grow, under a Trump presidency or under a Clinton presidency, assuming that one of those two will eventually be elected?

CHRIS HEDGES: I don’t think it makes any difference. The TPP is going to go through, whether it’s Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Endless war is going to be continued, whether it’s Trump or Clinton. We’re not going to get our privacy back, whether it’s under Clinton or Trump. The idea that, at this point, the figure in the executive branch exercises that much power, given the power of the war industry and Wall Street, is a myth. The fact is—

ROBERT REICH: Equating—I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Even on immigration?

CHRIS HEDGES: What? On?

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Even on immigration?

CHRIS HEDGES: What? On immigration? I mean, let’s look at Obama’s record on immigration. Who’s worse?

AMY GOODMAN: We’ve got 10 seconds.

CHRIS HEDGES: I mean, you know, you can’t get worse than Obama.

ROBERT REICH: And can I just say something?

CHRIS HEDGES: I mean, the idea is, the Democrats speak, and the—

AMY GOODMAN: Robert Reich, 10 seconds.

CHRIS HEDGES: Yeah.

ROBERT REICH: I just want to say, equating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is absolute nonsense. I just—anybody who equates the two of them is not paying attention. And it’s dangerous kind of talk.

CHRIS HEDGES: That’s not what I—that’s not what I did.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to have to leave it there, but this is a discussion that will continue. Chris Hedges, I want to thank you for being with us, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author of Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt. And former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich, professor now at the University of California, Berkeley. His most recent book, Saving Capitalism.

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Bernie Sanders betrays his supporters with his announcement of voting for Hillary Clinton and signals his intentions of his endorsement at the convention

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Bernie Sanders is beholden to the corrupt Democrats since they appointed him to seven paying committees in the Senate. He will not jeopardize his well-being for our well-being.

Bernie Sanders–reporting over $200,000 in income, with a fat pension, the best benefits money can buy, and a $30 million book deal awaiting him after the election, and promises of big rewards from Hillary for endorsing and supporting her–will not throw all of that away for a political campaign.

His campaign was just that:  a campaign.  It was never a political revolution.  Leaders of political revolutions never quit before the official battle begins, and say that they will vote for and support their enemies.  When the moment arrived of walking all that endless talk of Bernie Sanders about fighting his political revolution, he caved out of self interest, and sold out all of his 10 million followers, who gave out of their meager earnings $220 million to fight the so-called revolution.

The movement will die after July because Berners will lose their leader. They will vote for Hillary, Trump, Stein, Johnson, Bernie, and Hillary will become President.  And after the official sell out at the Democratic Convention in July, Bernie will return to the Senate, and give more bullshit speeches to an empty chamber about income inequality.

Like Jerry Brown, Gary Hart, Jesse Jackson, Dennis Kucinich, Al Sharpton, Howard Dean, Bernie Sanders was just another fake-left disappointment offered to progressive by the DNC to herd them back into the corral of the Democratic party.

Bernie Sanders betrayed his millions of supporters out of self interest.  He is no less a traitor than Benedict Arnold.

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Green Party’s Jill Stein — What We Fear from Donald Trump We Have Already Seen from Hillary Clinton

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Jill Stein, what do you say to those, for instance, who criticize third-party efforts as spoiler efforts throughout the history of the country—Ross Perot running in the early ’90s with the result that Bill Clinton was able to defeat the Republican candidate, then, of course, Ralph Nader in the 2000 race, blamed by some, although others disagree that that was the result, for resulting in George Bush being elected in 2000?

DR. JILL STEIN: So, let me say first off, this is a problem that could be fixed with the stroke of a pen, this electoral system that tells you to vote against what you’re afraid of and not for what you believe. And, you know, what we’ve seen over the years, this strategy has a track record: This politics of fear has actually delivered everything we were afraid of. All the reasons you were told you had to vote for the lesser evil—because you didn’t want the massive Wall Street bailouts, the offshoring of our jobs, the meltdown of the climate, the endless expanding wars, the attack on immigrants—all that, we’ve gotten by the droves, because we allowed ourselves to be silenced. You know, silence is not what democracy needs. Right now we have an election where even the supporters of Hillary Clinton, the majority don’t support Hillary, they just oppose Donald Trump. And the majority of Donald Trump supporters don’t support him, they just oppose Hillary. And the majority are clamoring for another independent or several independent candidates and an independent party, and feel that they are being terribly misserved and mistreated by the current politics. So to further silence our voices is exactly the wrong thing to do. And I’ll just point out, Donald Trump himself is lifted up by a movement which is very much the product of the Clintons’ policies. The lesser evil very much makes inevitable the greater evil, because people don’t come out to vote for a politician that’s throwing them under the bus. And so we see houses of—the houses of Congress, we have also seen statehouse after statehouse, flipping from red to blue over the years as the Democratic Party has become a lesser-evil party. And Donald Trump is buoyed up by the policies passed by Bill Clinton, supported by Hillary—that is, deregulation of Wall Street, which led to the disappearance of 9 million jobs, 5 million people thrown out of their homes, and by NAFTA, which exported those jobs. That’s exactly the economic oppression and stress that has led to this right-wing extremism. So you can’t get where you want to go through the lesser evil. At the end of the day, you’ve got to stand up.

But we could fix this right now simply by passing ranked choice voting, which takes the fear out of voting. If you can’t put your values into your vote, we don’t have a democracy. Ranked choice voting says you can rank your first choice first, and if your first choice doesn’t make it, is eliminated and loses, your vote is automatically reassigned to your second choice. This is used in cities across the country. My campaign actually proposed this in the Massachusetts Legislature through a progressive Democratic representative back in 2002 in the first race that I ran. I was running for governor. We proposed that bill, filed it, so that there would be no splitting of the vote. The Democrats refused to let it out of committee. And that tells you something very important: They rely on fear. They don’t want you to vote your values. They need to use the scary tactic of, “Oh, the other guy is worse.” Why is that? Because at the end of the day, they are not on your side. They need you to be afraid of them, because they are not for you. That alone speaks volumes about how far we are going to get.

In this race, I’ll just conclude saying, this is a unique moment now. We’ve never been here in history before. What we are facing, you know, is not just a question of what kind of world we want to be, but whether we will be a world at all, the way the nuclear arms race has been re-engaged, the way Hillary Clinton wants to create an air war over Syria through a no-fly zone against another nuclear-armed power—that is, Russia—the climate crisis, where the day of reckoning is coming closer and closer all the time. We can’t keep using this failed policy of silencing ourselves with this politics of fear. It’s time to forget the lesser evil, stand up and fight for the greater good like our lives depend on it, because they do.

AMY GOODMAN: And to those Sanders supporters who have started saying, “If it’s Hill, it’s Jill”? And this is going back to the point of what would you say to Sanders supporters worried about Trump.

DR. JILL STEIN: Yes, exactly. I’d say putting another Clinton in the White House is only going to make that right-wing extremism greater. We will see more of these neoliberal policies, like Wall Street deregulation, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Hillary has always supported. She’s changed her tune a little bit, but Hillary has walked the walk. Look at the walk and not the talk. In fact, you know, Trump says very scary things—deporting immigrants, massive militarism and, you know, ignoring the climate. Well, Hillary, unfortunately, has a track record for doing all of those things. Hillary has supported the deportations of immigrants, opposed the refugees—women and children coming from Honduras, whose refugee crisis she was very much responsible for by giving a thumbs-up to this corporate coup in Honduras that has created the violence from which those refugees are fleeing. She basically said, “No, bar the gates, send them back.” You know, so we see these draconian things that Donald Trump is talking about, we actually see Hillary Clinton doing.

And it’s not only the militarism that Trump talks about, it’s Hillary’s massive record of militarism: the rush into Libya, which was really—you know, she was the prime mover behind that campaign, which the military advisers were largely against; her approval for the war in Iraq and so on; you know, her threat to bomb Iran; and, you know, she—and her demonization of Russia and China, and the pivot against China. We are rushing towards war with Hillary Clinton, who has a track record.

And on climate, you know, Trump talks terrible on climate, although in Ireland, I believe it is, he does believe in climate change: He’s trying to build a wall to protect one of his luxury golf courses in Ireland, because he’s worried about sea level rise from climate change, according to the papers that he’s filed for that permit. And on climate, Hillary Clinton established an office to promote fracking around the world, while secretary of state.

So, the terrible things that we expect from Donald Trump, we’ve actually already seen from Hillary Clinton. So I’d say, don’t be a victim of this propaganda campaign, which is being waged by people who exercise selective amnesia. They’re very quick to tell you about the terrible things that the Republicans did, but they’re very quick to forget the equally terrible things that have happened under a Democratic White House, with two Democratic houses of Congress. It’s time to forget the lesser evil, stand up and fight for the greater good. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Neither—

AMY GOODMAN: Jill Stein, we just—we just have—

DR. JILL STEIN: Neither party of the evils will do it for us.

AMY GOODMAN: We just have 30 seconds, but your unsolicited advice, unsolicited by Bernie Sanders, for what he should demand when he meets with President Obama today, and then your advice to him when he comes outside?

DR. JILL STEIN: You know, I don’t think President Obama is going to change his tune because of something that Bernie Sanders says to him. I think what’s really important—you know, in the words of Frederick Douglass, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has, and it never will.” This is why third parties are effective, whether they’re in power or whether they are simply pushing. Otherwise, there is no counterweight of the power of corporations, which have basically taken over the two major corporate political parties. So, I think it’s very important for Bernie to—you know, to have a teachable moment here and to take heed of his experience of the last many months, and for him to actually stand up and do what the world needs for him to do and what the world needs for this movement to do. And if Bernie is not able to overcome his experience of many decades as a loyal and faithful Democrat, I really understand that. But I think for those of us who are living in today and who are seeing what tomorrow looks like, it’s very important for us to move ahead and take back the America and the world that works for all of us, based on putting people, planet and peace over profit.

AMY GOODMAN: Jill Stein, we want to thank you for being with us, 2016 presidential candidate for the Green Party.

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JAW-DROPPING Evidence Of Election Fraud & Media Blackout

My Response To Being Attacked By Josh Holland In Raw Story Concerning #ExitPollGate

I want to take a moment to respond to a recent hit piece against me by Joshua Holland in Raw Story.

It involves a meme I created that the actor Tim Robbins then retweeted. The meme shows the difference between the exit polls in several states and the results given by the voting machines. I and many others believe the massive difference in the numbers is due to election fraud, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

Let’s start with the end of the article where Josh Holland tries to further indict me by closing with “I asked Lee Camp if he was ‘interested in the fact that this is factually inaccurate and really misleading? I mean, can a meme be retracted? Is that something that would interest you?’ He didn’t respond.”

Josh Holland believes he “asked” me this because he sent an email to an account I don’t check often. As Holland certainly knows, I get hundreds of emails a day. I’m sure he does too. Many of those emails are from very strange people who send meaningless crap. The name “Josh Holland” did not stand out to me. Then when I did read the email, he didn’t introduce himself as anyone of note or a reporter for that matter. Going back through my emails I can see he had a signature at the bottom that says he’s a writer, but how often do people scan through signatures when they receive weird sarcastic angry emails? So this is a guy who couldn’t pass the most basic hurdle of journalistic integrity – Let the person you’re “interviewing” know that you’re interviewing them for an article. And then he implies that because I didn’t respond, I can’t defend the meme I created.

I can, however, and I will. Not just because I want to correct Josh Holland’s journalism fail but because I want people to hear the facts behind the corporate mouthpieces who uphold this fraud for the powers that be.

Josh Holland wants to lead you to believe that exit polls (in my meme and gathered together by Richard Charnin) are just wildly inaccurate and basically don’t mean anything. But it’s quite easy to find screen shots or video that verify the exit poll numbers I used. CNN did indeed report Bernie Sanders was losing by 4% according to exit polls (Watch it here). So if these numbers are incorrect, that begs the question why CNN or other news outlets would report them at all. I mean, shouldn’t Mr. Holland spend most of his time writing headlines like, “CNN Reports Wildly Incorrect Exit Poll Numbers”? That sounds like quite the scandal. Rather than go after CNN or NBC for reporting these numbers (that he believes are false), Holland attacks me.

Holland goes on to quote Joe Lenski (which he spells “Lensky”) who he says is with Edison Research. However, it’s tough to know whether Lenski knew he was being interviewed since Holland prefers to avoid revealing he’s interviewing people for articles. For all we know Lenski was just making stuff up in an online chat with someone he thought was a sexy co-ed.

Lenski apparently told Holland that American exit polls are “just not designed for that type of precision. They’re surveys, and like any other survey, they have a margin of error.” What Holland is very careful to avoid revealing to readers is that there is an exact margin of error. It’s +/-4% according to Edison Research’s website. However, the NY exit polls were off by TWELVE PERCENT. And many states were equally wildly off. Holland does a fine job of avoiding such inconvenient facts.

Furthermore, this entire line of thought is a contradiction for Mr. Holland. At one point he wants you to believe the exit polls Charnin used for his analysis are INCORRECT (different from what was reported) and then a few paragraphs later he wants you to believe they are CORRECT but NOT PRECISE (the same as what was reported but it doesn’t matter). Which is it, Mr. Holland? Are they the correct exit poll numbers but the polls aren’t very good? Or are they incorrect exit poll numbers altogether? You can’t have it both ways. That’s like saying, “I did NOT sleep with that woman. AND I didn’t enjoy it.”

Even IF we go with Mr. Holland’s thesis that exit polls in America are all but meaningless but that they’re REALLY GOOD in other countries, you would think Holland would want to use his masterful reporting skills to find out why the most powerful “democracy” in the world doesn’t want verifiable proof that their voting system is working properly. Mr. Holland would surely then start researching the voting machine audits in places like Chicago where widespread fraud WAS INDEED discovered. Mr. Holland might also want to let his readers know about Diebold – the company that used to run our voting machines until they were indicted by federal prosecutors for “worldwide criminal conduct.” Or he might want to mention how certain voting machines are ripe for hacking according to cyber security experts. But no, facts like that are not good for Mr. Holland’s argument that these elections are pristine.

Finally Holland seems to confuse two kinds of “adjusted” poll numbers. He thinks that “adjusting” for non-response rates is the same as “adjusting” for what the voting machines tell us. When people (like me) say they’re looking at “unadjusted” poll numbers, they mean they’re looking at poll numbers before they were FORCED to fit with the machine tallies. As election fraud expert and NY Times bestselling author Greg Palast told me, “After Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, when exit polls showed Gore and Kerry as winners, US TV networks asked exit polling contractors to ‘conform’ the results to the official results. So, of course, all evidence of hanky-panky disappears.” Holland seems to entirely misunderstand what “adjusted” means. There’s no mention of Lensky carefully explaining this to Holland, but who knows what happened in that conversation that wasn’t reported.

Or perhaps Holland would like to let his readers know that the 2004 election was INDEED stolen for the Republicans as proven by Greg Palast, and that the exit polls showed as much.

But Josh Holland is in a tough spot. He’s trying to defend a system that was recently rated by a Harvard study as the worst in the Western world for fair elections. That’s not an easy job. It’s like being the current publicist for Bill Cosby. Holland has to rely on smoke and mirrors because this system is so clearly corrupt. Over 50% of America already believes the presidential nominating system is rigged.

So I sent an email to Mr. Holland saying, “Are you interested in the fact that your reporting is factually inaccurate and really misleading? I mean, can a column be retracted? Is that something that would interest you?” …I sent it to an email address he doesn’t often check and didn’t identify myself. …I haven’t heard back.

UPDATE: Richard Charnin and Bob Fitrakis (the author of six books on election integrity) have ALSO responded to Josh Holland’s sad attempt at reporting. They tear his argument limb from limb with simple facts. Read their responses HERE.

UPDATE #2: Here is another well-researched article demonstrating election fraud by looking at the exit polls. It brings up an interesting point that I did not know before. If Holland’s assertion that the exit polls are all just WILDLY OFF all the time is true, then they would be WAY off for the GOP primary as well. They AREN’T. According to the article, the GOP primary exit polls have been almost dead on. This further negates Holland’s evidence-free argument.

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Ralph Nader talks about the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Primary on C-Span May 4 2016


All Speakers: Ralph Nader and Greta Wodele Brawner

00:02:02

Greta Wodele Brawner
EN LOT OF MONEY6 HOST: WHAT WILL HE ASK FOR AT THE CONVENTION?

00:02:04
CALLER
CALLER: HE WILL GET A PRIMETIME SPOT BUT CONVENTION, THEY ARE REALLY VAUISHED AND SUPPORTING DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FOR ELECTION AND HE IS LIKELY TO LEND HIS CREDIBILITY TO HILLARY’S IN CREDIBILITY. Show Less Text
00:02:41

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: SO SHOULD HE LAUNCH AN INDEPENDENT BID?

00:02:46

Ralph Nader
GUEST: IT IS TOO LATE. IT MAKES SURE YOU HAVE TO CLIM MOUNTATO GS OETH — A MILITARIST. THE NEW YORK TIMES IS ENDORSING HILLARY AND STILL HAVING A PAGE ONE STORY ON HILLARY THE HAWK. SHE SCARES OBAMA. SHE SCARES SOME OF THE GENERALS. WAR IS THE FIRST CHOICE AND LOOK AT THE LIBYA ATTACK, WHICH WAS A DISAROUS, CHAOS AND VIOLENCE SPILLING INTO AA Show Less Text
00:04:50

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST:S FOR WALL STREET. IF YAB TWATPE, SHE ISIRST F PREDTABLE. THS, I HAVE BEEN SPEAKING OUT AGAINST COAL COMPANIES LIKE PATRIOT AND PEABODY THAT HAVE TRIED TO SHIRK THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES TO WORKERS AND RETIREES. THEY MOVE INTO RENEWABLE ENERGY WORK, WHICH THEY CAN BE PROUD OF AND DON’T HAVE TO DIE FROM. Show Less Text
00:07:06

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: WHAS NA GUT: ITOPEN PRIMARY. SOMEBODY WHO CALLS HIMSELF A DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST CG AT FAST, HE STARTED AT 3%. WHAT DOES HE DO NEXT? WHAT HE HAS TO DO IS LEAD A CIVIC MOVEMENT. HAS GOT TO VE A BIG RALLY ON THE MALL AND HE IS GOING TO TAKE HIS AGENDA AND SAY WE WANT TO PRESS ALL THE CANDIDATES FROM NATIONAL TO LOCAL TO TURN THIS COUNTRY IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION OF FAIR PLAY AND SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTIVITY. IF HE DOES THAT, HE WILL BE RELATIVELY INDEPENDENT. HE WON’T BE SEEN AS A TOADY FOLLOWING CNTON IF SHE WINS. HE HAS A LOT OF AGONIZING DECISIONS TO MAKE BUT HE HAS A HUGE BASE OF SUPPORT AND VERY HIGH IN THE POLLS. Show Less Text
00:08:40

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: ARE YOU GIVING HIM ADVICE? WE WILSHOWHAT COLUMN THERE AND THE NEW BOOK THAT IS COMING OUT WHY RALPH NADER. WE WILL TALK ABOUT THAT, BREAKING THROUGH POWER. YOU GO TO THEIR WEBSITE, YOU CAN FIND MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE BOOK AND THE EVENTS. LET’S GO TO BALTIMORE OENROLEODELOR L T YOU THINK THAT THERE IS NO DOCUMENT AS CLOSELY HELD TO OUR HEART AS THE CONSTITUTION HAPPENS TO BE, THAT IT IS NOT SACROSANCT. IN OTHER WORDS, WE HAVE TO HAVE A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, PERHAPS ONCE EVERY HUNDRED YEARS. TRYING TO HAVE AN ALL-OUT PROCESS WHERE THE POPULACE — THE CONSTITUENTS, 300 MILLION WOULD PARTICIPATE AND THEN DO A REFEREND, UM TO HAVEHE MAJORITYILL ON T W RISK A CONVENTION IN WHICH YOU MAY LOSEOME OF THE BILL OF GHTS IMAY BE RETROGRADE. THE LARGEST ASMB OF LYCOMPSH LICYROSACCOMPLISHED CIV NATION, THEY ARE NEVER ASKED T PARTICIPATE. THEYRE ELUD.THEY PUT OUT REPORTS TT AFFECT CAIDTH THEY ARE IED.OR 13 PEOPLE WERE ARRESDTE IS I DANGEUS SOCIETY TSIBAY HAVE A COMMERCIALIZED ECTION THAT IS REMOVED FROM THE CIVIL COMMUNITY. THAT IS WHY WE WANT PEOPLE @TO COME TO CONSTITUTION HALL. THESE ARE GROUPS THAT ARE PUSHING SAFE FOOD. PHARMACEUTICALS. DOESN’T MATTER WHAT POLITICAL IDEOLOGY CONSUMERS HAVE HERE. LESS PESTICIDES? FAIRNESS IN THE JUDICIALES ALWAYS LIKE THIS, IS A PRODUCT OF DIVIDE AND RULOWBRES TREGH ENTIMMERSION. IT IS NOT FOR PEOPLE WITH SHORT ATTENTION SPANS OR PEOPLE WITH JUSTICE FATIGUE BECAUSE IT IS EIGHT HOURS A DAY, THE GREATEST CIVICS EXPERIENCE IN ANYBODY’S SI INEFFECTIVE FOR THEIR PURPOSES OR DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS. HE DID IT ON A TINY BUDGET. IT’S LOT EASIER TO THINK AT’S IT’S A LOT EASIER THAN WE THINK TOAKE CNGE AT THE BASIC CHANGE IN A COUNTRY COMES THROUGH CIVIC ACTIVITIES AND IT SPILLS OVER INTO BETTER POLITICS. IF W DON’T HAVE BETTER POLITICS, IT IS BECAUSE NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE ARE CYNICALLY ACTIVE. Show Less Text
00:13:47
Unidentified Speaker
>> HAVE YOU INVITED SENATOR SANDERS TO SPEAK?

00:13:54

Ralph Nader
GUEST: WE CAN’T INVITE PEOPLE SPEAKING — PEOPLE RUNNING FOR ELECTED OFFICE. I HOPE C-SPAN WILLOVER CT. NEXT.

00:14:10
CALLER
CALLER: I WANT TO CALL ABOU THE SYSTEM — THE MONEY AND CORRUPTION IN THE POLITICAL SYSTEM. I AM THINKING WE ARE MORE LIKE A PLUTOCRACY DOMINATED BY THE CORPORATIONS AND BY THE WEALTHY. ESPECIALLY WITH THE CITIZENS UNITED DECISION THAT JUST OPENS THE FLOODGATES FOR MONEY FROM THE CORPORATIONS TO DOMINATE AT AND DERA, POSITIONS. I JUST DON’T SEE HOW MONEY IS — IT IS GOING TO BE A HUGE FLOOD OF MONEY INTO THIS ELECTION AND IT IS GOING TO CONTROL THE CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS, EVEN STATE ELECTIONS. Show Less Text
00:14:54
Unidentified Speaker
>> THE MOST POPULAR POLITICIAN OF ACCORDING TO THE POLLS, BERNIE SANDERS, IS ON YOUR SIDE. HE IS SAYING WE HAVE GOT TO GET RID OF BIG MONEY, SUPER PAC’S, BILLIONAIRES TRYING TO BUY POLITICIANS, AND HE HAS DEMONSTRATED WITH MILLIONS OF PEOPLE GIVING HIM $27 AVERAGE CONTRIBUTIONS. HE DOESN’T GO TO PARK AVENUE OR BEVERLY HILLS FOR THESE FUNDRAISERS. THIS IS A PERSON RUNNING FOR A MAJOR PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION. THATUGHTO GI Y JOHNSON. HE HAS TAKEN ON DONALD TRUMP. YOU DON’T SEE THAT ON THE SUNDAY SHOWS. THIS IS UNFORTUNATE BECAUSE THE PUBLIC AIRWAVES BELONG TO THE OPLE. Show Less Text
00:17:08

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: YOU CAN HEAR THE CITIZENS VOICE RIGHT HERE ON WASHINGTON JOURNAL. CARMINE IN NEW YORK. REPUBLICAN.

00:17:19
CALLER
CALLER: MR. NADER, HOW DOES A CORPORATION LIKE GENERAL MOTORS KNOWINGLY PRODUCE A CAR WITH THE ADDITION — IGNITION SWITCH DEFECT AND AS A RESULT, PEOPLE ARE KILLED AND MORE ARE INJURED, AND NO ONE GOES TO JAIL. Show Less Text
00:17:37

Ralph Nader
GUEST: THIS IS THE ADDICTION — IGTIONNIWITCH DEFECT THE ANSWER IS INTERNAL COVERUP. THEY COVERED UP FROM REPORTING THEY TOOTHEIK NEY FROM A STATEMENTS AND BIGOTRY, THEY SAY HE IS THE ONE. WE HAVE TO HAVE CORPORATE CRIME ENFORCEMENT. THERE IS A CORPORATE CRIME WAVE. YOU CAN READ IT IN THE WALL STET JOURNAL LOPO LOBIS H DISASTER, SO IT ALL COMES DOWN TO CITIZENS MOBILIZING. IF 1% OF THE CITIZENRY MOBILIZES IN EACH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, TWO AND A HALF MILLION PEOPLE, AND HAVE PUBLIC OPINION BEHIND THEM AND SET UP FULL-TIME OFFICES, THEY COULD CHANGE SS IN ONE OF OUR MOTTOS IS “MAKING CHAN IS EASIER TN WE THINK. LET’S NOT GIVE UP ON OURSELVES. IO HE WANTED TO USE A PROPELLANT. WHERE WAS THE QUALITY CONTROL PEOPLE AT FORD AND GENERAL MOTORS? THAT IS A FASCINATINGRY Show Less Text
00:21:25

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: WHAT A BIG FAN I AM OF YOU. I AM A BERNIE SANDERS SUPPTER. I WILL PROHE INTERN GIVING HIM $27 TODAY. I WILL TAKE MY BERNIE SANDERS WATER BOTTLE WITH HONOR TO WORK TODAY. ONE THING THAT HAS BEEN BUGGING ME FOR YEARS, I KNOW A LOT OF DEMOCRATS AND FRIENDS OF MINE THINK YOU CAUSED — COSTOR THE ELECTION IN 2000. WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST HAWKS 9/11 IGO AND KNOW THAT IN 1998, BOTH GORE AND INTON GOT ROUGTH CONGRESS A RESOLUTION TO TOPPLE SDAMAD HUEIN. GEORGE BUSH USED THAT WHEN HE WAATS G THE DRS FOR TT CRIMINAL WAR OF AGGRESSION THAT HAS TAKEN ER A MILLION OF IRAQI LIVES. NEVER MIND T THERE WAS BELLIGERENT’S. IN THE 2000 ELECTION, GEORGE W. BUSH HAD A SMALLER MILITARY BUDGET THEN GORE WAS PROPOSING. HE WAS TALKING AGAINST NATION BUILDING SO IT IS VERY HARD TO PREDICT. WE DO KNOW IF PEOPLE DON’T GET INVOLVED IN FOREIGN AND MILITARY POLICY, BARNEY FRANK, RON PAUL, TRIED TO DO IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THE ECONOMY IS GOING TO BE SUBORDINATED TO THE MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. SEVERE DEPRIVATION, CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE WHILE WE SPEND TRILLIONS ABROAD MAKING THINGS WORSE. Show Less Text
00:23:46

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: HECTOR IS UP IN SAN DIEGO. OF THE PASSION THAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY SHOULD HAVE SPE IF THEY WIN THE ELECTION BY A LANDSLIDE?

00:24:35

Ralph Nader
GUEST: I DON’T THINK HILLARY WILL DO THAT. I DON’T KNOW ANY NOMINEE OF A MAJOR PARTY THAT WILL PICK SOMEONE WHO IS HIGHER IN THE POLLS THAN SHE IS AND IS TRUSTED MORE THAN SHE IS. MOST NOMINEES JUST DON’T DO THAT. MY GUESS IS BERNIE WOULD NOT EVEN WANT IT. I DO THINK HE WANTS TO GO ALL OVER THE WORLD LIKE JOE BIDEN AND GO ON ASSIGNMENTS LIKE THAT. I THIS HEEES S Show Less Text
00:25:14
CALLER
CALLER: THANK YOU C-SPAN FOR IS OORNITYTU MR. MR. NADER, HAVE YOU HEARD OF SOMEONE NAMED FUEGO GOING AROUND CIOIT C AND EDUCATING THE ZET MO L O CITYOITY C ANDTI, IOLD MY NOSE FINY CRAFTED ABILITY TO SAY WHATEVER SHE NEEDS TO SAY TO WHICHEVER AUDIENCE SHE IS SPEAKING. SHE IS A VERY WELL PRACTICED AND CUNNING LINGUIST THAT CAN SAY WHATEVER IT TAKES. Show Less Text
00:26:53

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: WHAT JOHN SAID

00:27:03
GUT
GUT: THEY ARE AFRAID OFRUMP THEY THEY HAVE THEIR HOPES INTO BOTH — HOOKS INTO BOTH PARTIES. TO WHICH THEY MOLI BACK ON MAY 20 3:20 4, 25, AND 26 — 23, 24, 25 AND 26. ISIT IS PEOPLE LEARNING HOW CHANGE OCCURS OUTSIDE THE POLITICAL PROCESS. WHEN I CAME TO TOWN, YOU COULD NOT FIND MANY POLITICIANS FAVORING CONSUMER PROTECTION, MUCH LESS OUR SAFETY. WITHIN A FEW MONTHS, THEY WERE PASSING THE AUTO SAFETY LAW UNANIMOUSLY. THAT IS BECAUSE THEY HEARD THE RUMBLE FROM THE PEOPLE. THE FACTS GOT FULL-TIME CIVIC ADVOCACY, IT IS A DIFFERENT COUNTRY. THE POLICIANS WILL FOLL.OW TH MASSACHUSETTS. GOOD MORNING. GO-AHEAD, BRIAN. Show Less Text
00:29:11
CALLER
CALLER: YOU SAID IT RIGHT. THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS MR. NADER. I AM WONDERING WHETHER MR. NADER CAN COMMENT ON THE RECENT PASSING OF DANIEL BERRIGAN AND WHETHER MR. NADER EVER MET HIM OR WHAT HEOULDHINK OF THECUENT CAMPAIGN. MR. BERRIGAN WAS ALWAYS CONCERNED WITH THE LIFE AND ADDRESSING THESE NEEDS. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Show Less Text
00:29:51

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: LET’S MOVE ON TO JANET IN INDIANA.

00:29:55

Ralph Nader
GUEST: IS A GREAT AMERICAN, DANIEL BERRIGAN.

00:29:58

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: JAN, UT I WANT TO TE A MOMENTO THANK RALP NADH

00:30:27
ST
ST: ROB IN NEW NADER, YOU HAVE HAD A REAL IMPACT ON MY LIFE. WE MET IN 1992. I WAS ENTHRALLED WITH YOANDU STILL AM. YOU MIGHT RECALL IT IS ROB ARNOLD. DONALD TRUMP HAS SAID SOME THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN VERY TO HEAR COMING OUT OF THE MOUTH OF A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND FRONT RUNNER OF THE REPUBLICAN LINE, BY DON’T SEE ANYTHING HE HAS SAID AS BIGOTED. I THINK IT IS EASY TO AUTOMATICALLY BRAND SOMEONE THAT WAY.YOU REFERRED TO DONALD TRUMP AS BIGOTED , AND LIKE YOU TO GIVE EMPWH OHIM HE WENT AFTER HISPANICS FOR AME. AND REBUILD THEIR LIVES IN SOUTH CAROLINA, AND HE ATTACKED THEM AS IF THEY ARE TERRORISTS. THIS IS ANTI-SEMITISM AGAINST ARABS. IT IS NOJUSTT NTI-SEMITISM AGAINST JAEWSEWS WHEN THEY WERE EXCLUDED BECAUSE PEOPLE THOUGHT THEY WERE COMMUNIST. HE IS A SERIAL BIGOT. HE COMES BACK AND SAYS THE HISPANICS VE Show Less Text
00:32:49
GUT
GUT:SOI DON’T FLYAG VOTE, BUT I ALWAYS VOTE MY CONSCIENCE. WE HAVE GOOD THIRD PARTIES. OBOUSLM FAVORABLY OS TO EDEL OGREEEPARTY. IF PEOPLE VOTE THEIR CONSCIENCE COLLECTIVELY, THEY WILL CHANGE POLITICS. IF THEY VOTE FOR THE LEAST WARS, THEY WILL NEVER HAVE ANY LEVERAGE. IF YOU SIGNAL YOU WILL VOTE FOR THE LEAST, WHY SHOULD THEY GIVE YOU ANY TIME, THE POTENTIAL NOMINEES? PEOPLE HAVE TO POPULATE THEIR VOTE. STRATEGIC OR TACTICAL VOTE OR LEAST WORST OR THEY CAN DO A VOTE OF CONSCIENCE. I PREFER THE LATTER. WHITE VOTE FOR SOMEBODY YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN JUST BECAUSE THE OTHER PERSON IS WORSE? Show Less Text
00:33:37

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: IN MARYLAND WHO IS A DEMOCRAT, YOU’RE ON THE AIR.

00:33:41
CALLER
CALLER: CAN YOU HEAR ME?

00:33:43

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: WE CAN.

00:33:45
CALLER
CALLER: MR. NADER, I HAVE QUALITY FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AND I RESPECT WHERE YOU’RE COMING FROM. HOWEVER, I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT CONGRESS. THE CANDIDATES CAN ONLY DO SO MUCH. SOMEONE LIKE BERNIE SANDERS IS 74 YEARS OF AGE AND HAS NO CONSTITUENCY. IF HE GOT THE NOMINATION AS PRESIDENT, WHO DOES HE TURN TO? THE DEMOCRATS? REPUBLICANS WILL NOT FOLLOW HIM. WHERE DOES HE GO? WE HAVE TO GO WITH WHAT WE HAVE. NEED TO HAC 270. CAN VOTE YOUR CONSCIENCE IN THOSE STATES. YOU THINK E REPUBLICANS ARE GOING TO CAMPAIGN IN MASSACHUSETTS? YOU THINK DEMOCRATS WILL CAMPAIGN IN TEXAS? IF YOU’RE IN ONE OF THOSE 40 STATES, YOU CAN HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO. YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR CONSCIOUS AND THE LEAST WORST ARE GOING TO WIN BECAUSE UNFORTUNATELY WE DON’T HAVE COMPETITIVE ELECTIONS. WE DON’T HAVE A COMPETITIVE DEMOCRACY IN ALL THE STATES. BERNIE SANDERS HAS BEEN PUSHING FOR THAT, BY THE WAY. HE CAMPAIGNS EVERYWHERE. ITS NOT JUST CAMPAIGN IN BLUE STATES. Show Less Text
00:35:27

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA, CYNTHIA, IENYOU ARE ON THE AIR WITH RAHLP NAR. CA AND MODE OUT EVERY INCUMBENT. BOEVARIRAQ THEY– BLOW APART IRAQ. THEY LET WALL STREET PEOPLE TAKE OVER A SET OF CHALLENGING THEM AN IMPOSING STANDARDS AGAINST THE BAILOUTS. AT LEAST YOU ARE ACTIVE, BUT ALWAYS HAVE A REASON FOR UNIFORM REJECTION. Show Less Text
00:37:10

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: BILL IS NEXT IN MARYLAND. A DEMOCRAT. HI, JOE.

00:37:16
CALLER
CALLER: THANK YOU FOR C-SPAN. I’M CONCERNED THAT THE BAD ACTO WILLING TO GO TO WAR WHEN NOT NECESSARILY SO DEPRIVED ME OF THE LUXURY OF FOCUSING ON A LOT OF THE GOOD LIKIVING THE CONVERSATION IN WHAT I BELIEVE IS THE RIGHT DIRECTION AND A GOOD DIRECTION, BUT MY HIGHEST ALREADY PRIORITY IS KEEPING PEOPLE WHO ARE READY TO GO TO WAR WHOSE ANSWER TO OUR PROBLEMS ARE EXPENSIVE BLOODY ANSWEROUT OF THE PICTURE. Show Less Text
00:37:59
GUT
GUT: WELL, THAT IS WHAT MADE 25TH — MAY 25 IS ALL ABOUT. HIGH-LEVEL VETERANS AND BECOME SCHOLARS AND ADVOCATES, AND PEACE GROUPS WILL COME TOGETHER. PHIL DONAHUE IS COMING TO SHOW HIS DOCUMENTARY ABOUT A SOLDIER IN IRAQ WHO CAME BACK AS A PARAPLEGIC. THE INT IS ALLMPIR E DEVOUR THEMSELVES. THAT IS THE LESS OF ONSTORY. BREAKING THROUGH POWER AND HOW TO DO IT. THAT ISAY ONE BREAKING THROU CONGRESS IS DAY FOUR, MAY 26. BREAKING THROUGH WAR IS DAY THREE, MAY 25. BREAKING THROUGH THE PRESS. THERE ARE A LOT OF VOICES OUT THERE THAT DON’T GET ON THE EVENING NEWS. Show Less Text
00:40:10

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: FINAL QUESTION FOR YOU HERE. WHAT DYOUO MAKE OF THE DEBATE THAT HAPPENS BETWEEN HILLARY CLINTON AND BERNIE SANDERS DURING THIS PRIMARY NOMINATING PROCESS OVER WHO IS A PROGRESSIVE AND WHO IS NOT? IS HILLARY CLINTON A PROGRESSIVE? Show Less Text
00:40:23

Ralph Nader
GUEST: BY NO MEANS. ONE OF THE DEFINITIONS OF PROGRESSIVE IS CURBING CORPORATE POWER, CRACKING DOWN ON CORPORATE CRIME. WHEN SHE WAS IN THE SENATE, SHE REPRESENTED NEW YORK STATE AND WALL STREET. SHE DID NOT HOLD THE BANNER OF JUSTICE UP. SHE DID NOT ASK FOR HEARINGS. SHE DID NOT ASK FOR STRONGER CORPORAL CRIMINAL LAWS. SHE IS FAR FROM A PROGRESSIVE AS ANY DEMOCRAT COULD BE. THE OTHER THING THAT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW IS IF BERNIE SANDERS HAD MORE DEBATES, ARE THINK THINGS MAY HAVE CHANGED BUT THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE WAS FAVORING HILLARY. THEY WANTED TO LIMIT DEBATE AND PUT THEM AT INOPPORTUNE TIMES AGAINST BIG SPORTS EVENTS. IN FIVE MONTHS, HE GOT VERY LITTLE COVERAGE. THERE WAS AN ANALYSIS OF ABC COVERAGE OF TO THE MIDDLE OF DECEMBER. THEY GAVE TWO MINUTES TO BERNIE SANDERS AND 80 MINUTES TO DONALD TRUMP. THE MEDIA WILL HAVE TO BE A LITTLE INTROSPECTIVE AS TO WHY THEY DID NOT HAVE AN HIGHER ESTIMATE OF THEIR OWN ABILITIES AND WHY THEY DID NOT STOP THE SHOUTING AND SLITHERING OF THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY. IT IS A VERY SERIOUS REASON FOR THE MEDIA TO LOOK BACK AND SAY WHAT DID WE DO? WHO DID WE NOT SCRUTINIZE? WHY DID WE GIVE MOST ATTENTION TO THE NOMINEES WHO WERE EXITING FALSE STATEMENTS — EXU ING FALSE STATEMENTS AND BIGOTRY. THEY WERE MAKING MONEY OFF OF THESE DEBATES. THEY WERE SETTING UP DATABASE. SINCE WHEN IS A COMMERCIAL CORPORATION DECIDE WHO IS GOING TO BE DEBATING? WHO IS ON TIER ONE OR TWO YEAR T– OR TIER TWO? THEY SHOULD BE REPORTING. THAT IS WHY I THINK WE SHOULD GET THE CIVIL SOCIETY VERY MUCH INVOLVED IN CAMPAIGNS. Show Less Text
00:42:23

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: FINAL CALL FOR YOU FROM TEXAS, INDEPENDENT. ARE YOU THERE?

00:42:28
CALLER
CALLER: YES I AM.

00:42:30

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: IT IS YOUR TURN.

00:42:33
CALLER
CALLER: I AM CALLING FROM HOUSTON, TEXAS.

00:42:35

Greta Wodele Brawner
HOST: YOU ARE ONLY A. — ARE ON THE AIR.

00:42:40
CALLER
CALLER: WE HAVE VOTER FRAUD HERE IN TEXAS. IT IS NOT DONE BY THE LITTLE PERSON. I HAVE ONLY SEEN ONE CASE OF IT AS BEING AN ELECTION CLERK. NOW WE HAVE GREAT BIG HUGE FRAUD BASED ON THE ELECTION OF GEORGE W. BUSH. 800,000 VOTES THROWN OUT OF HARRIS COUNTY. WE HAVE ELECTION FRAUD. IT IS ALWAYS AT THE TOP. IT IS NOT AT THE BOTTOM. WHY DO I HAVE TO SHOW UP WITH IDS? WHY DO I HAVE TO SHOW UP AND STAND IN HUGE LONG LINES? Show Less Text
00:43:17

Ralph Nader
GUEST: THAT IS A GOOD POINT. , WESTERN COUNTRIES, THE U.S. HAS — AMONG U.S. COUNTRIES, THE U.S. HAS MORE CONSTRICTING LAWS FOR VOTING. WH WE HAVE TDO BALLOT TO GIVE THEM MORE VOICES AND CHOICES? TH IS WHAT GROUPS LIKE SETE FONST CUTIONA RIGHTS AND THE BRENNAN CENTER ARE WORKING ON. WATCH THE SOFTWARE PROBLEMS NOW. THE SOFTWARE IS OWNED BY PRIVATE COMPANIES. AS RESEARCHERS AT JOHNS HOPKINS HAVE POINTED OUT, IT IS EASY IN A CLOSE ELECTION TO RIG THE SOFTWARE AND FLIP IT. WE REALLY HAVE TO LOOK AT THIS. INTERNET HAS PAPER BALLOTS. — CANADA HAS PAPER BALLOTS. THEY DON’T HAVE MACHINES. AT NIGHT IN THIS GIANT COUNTRY, THEY KNOW WHO WON OR LO BECAUSE THEY HAD A PAPER TRAIL. THAT I HAVE MACHINES WHICH ENGAGE IN SHENANIGANS. I THINK THE CALLER MADE A VERY IMPORTANT POINT. THERE IS A STRONG ARGUMENT FOR UNIVERSAL VOTING LIKE AUSTRALIA. IF YOU GIVE THE PEOPLE TO CANDIDATE, I THINK OUR CIVIL Show Less Text

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