The Daily 202: What neither the Clintons nor Trump grasp about the 1990s generally and Whitewater specifically

THE BIG IDEA:

— Donald Trump yesterday backed off his earlier speculation about the death of Vince Foster. “I don’t think that it’s something that should be part of the campaign,” he said.

In an op-ed in today’s Post, Foster’s sister, Sheila Foster Anthony, rips into the presumptive Republican nominee for “cynically, crassly and recklessly” insinuating that her brother was murdered by the Clintons. She believes it is “beyond contempt that a politician would use a family tragedy to further his candidacy.”

— As the battles of the 1990s get relitigated, it feels important to point out that a shockingly large number of Americans are unfamiliar with the particulars of the Clinton-era sagas. I spoke to a very bright class of undergraduates at the University of Texas at Austin last night, for example. Not one of the students had heard of Whitewater.

— Sadly, this includes a not insignificant number of reporters. A New York Times journalist tweeted this after a Trump aide accidentally forwarded to a reporter an email asking the Republican National Committee to “work up information on HRC/Whitewater as soon as possible”:

GET SMART FAST:​​

Congress left town without striking a deal on Zika funding just as mosquito season is about to get underway. Republican lawmakers say an accord can be struck with enough time to allow for public health officials to develop a vaccine. (Paul Kane and Mike DeBonis)
Rand Paul unexpectedly blocked a bipartisan chemical safety bill in the Senate because he wants more time to read it. The Kentuckian, trying to improve his numbers back home in the face of a tougher-than-expected reelection fight, cited concerns over a provision in the 180-page bill to enact “new criminalization” at the federal level. (Juliet Eilperin)
The FDA approved the first implantable drug to deliver long-lasting medication to people addicted to opioids such as OxyContin and heroin. The implant, inserted under the skin of the upper arm, administers a continuous anti-addiction dose for six months. (Laurie McGinley)
Oil prices topped $50 a barrel for the first time this year, a significant reversal that you could soon feel at the pump. (Steven Mufson)
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the Supreme Court has been hurt by the absence of a ninth judge, telling judges at a New York conference that a 4-4 deadlock has prevented many important issues from being ruled upon. “Eight, as you know, is not a good number for a multi-member court,” she said. (Robert Barnes)
Egyptian officials detected emergency signals from Flight 804 after it crashed into the Mediterranean Sea last week, decreasing the search area from a location “the size of Connecticut” to just a 3.1 mile radius. (CNN)
The U.N. said it has only been able to deliver aid to a fraction of war-torn Syria, calling the situation “horrendously critical” and warning that many malnourished children are at risk of starving to death. (Karen DeYoung)
The World Health Organization said 1,000 people were killed in attacks on healthcare facilities during 2014 and 2015. (Max Bearak)
Yesterday alone, the Italian Coast Guard rescued more than 4,000 refugees after several boats capsized in the Mediterranean. Up to 30 perished in the dangerous journey. (AP)
An armed mob of Muslims in Egypt stripped an elderly Christian woman and paraded her naked through the streets. The group then set fire to seven Christian homes. They did this because they believed that her son had slept with a Muslim woman. (AP)
Google defeated Oracle’s lawsuit seeking $9 billion. A jury decided the search giant’s use of Oracle’s Java programming language in the Android phone is legal. (Joel Rosenblatt)
For the first time in Olympic history, a pair of identical triplets will compete against each other in the same event. (Des Bieler)
Scientists discovered a sea sponge measuring the size of a minivan during a deep-sea expedition, breaking records and identifying a new species. (Elahe Izadi)
More than eight centuries after the archbishop of Canterbury was murdered for clashing with King Henry II in 1170, a piece of what is believed to have been his elbow is traveling from Hungary back to England. (New York Times)
A 22-year-old in Tennessee man pleaded guilty to extortion charges after soliciting money from a woman on Snapchat, leading her to believe he was a University of Tennessee football star. (Lindsey Bever)
A 23-year-old Arizona man died after being stung more than 1,000 times by a swarm of angry bees, the latest in a series of increasingly aggressive attacks across the Grand Canyon State. (Michael E. Miller)

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

Embedded in Brexit: An Inside Look at the Anti-EU Movement

Life as a euroskeptic isn’t that bad. I tried it myself. You spend a lot of time in the fresh air, you meet a lot of new friends and brothers-in-arms and you get to take part in an anti-establishment rebellion. Some of my new friends have even called the effort to split off from the European Union a freedom fight. I call it Great Britain’s biggest propaganda battle in decades.

An astonishing movement has developed ahead of the June 23 EU referendum — from the right to the left, from Tories to Labor to non-voters, from blue-collar workers to hedge fund managers. The EU opponents are known as Brexiteers. They pass out flyers in city centers, hold podium discussions and write op-eds for the newspapers. Some of them have been working for years to get Britain out of the EU, while others only just joined the movement a short time ago. Most emphasize that they value the Continent, as a vacation destination, but they don’t want to be governed from there.

I joined the Brexit movement as an activist, even though SPIEGEL reporters generally aren’t allowed to go undercover and some colleagues were skeptical. But the strategists behind the largest anti-EU initiatives only allow journalists limited insight into their campaigns. Furthermore, I hoped that being on the inside might help me understand that which seems incomprehensible from the outside: The fact that a country wants to turn its back on Europe during one of the most intense crises in decades. Finally, I was curious how it would feel on the other side.

I have long been a euphoric European. For me, Europe wasn’t just an idea from Brussels or a political project; it was both reality and a sanctuary at the same time. When I was 17, a friend of mine and I traveled on Interrail tickets from the Ruhr Valley to England, Ireland, France and Spain — and we simply couldn’t get enough of this Continent. Europe was the antithesis of a provincial backwater. It was an expansion of our horizons and an opportunity to leave dull Germany far behind and transcend frontiers.

A lot has happened since then. Europe is fraying into nation-states, the fences are returning and Greece still stands at the edge of the abyss. The euphoria has evaporated and now, when I think about the Continent, I do so with a feeling of melancholy and decline. I am afraid that Britain could loosen a few bricks and the entire European structure could come crashing down. The British, after all, may be the greatest skeptics, but they are far from the only ones. What is happening on the island could soon happen elsewhere as well. That was the fourth reason for joining the Brexit movement: To take a closer look at the worst-case scenario.

Organizing the Troops

My service as a Brexiteer begins in an office building at Lambeth Bridge, across from the Palace of Westminster. It is the middle of February and Prime Minister David Cameron has just flown back to London from Brussels and, stands at a podium in front of 10 Downing Street, explaining the “deal” he has reached with the rest of the EU member states. Included in the agreement is Great Britain’s exemption from the formulation “ever closer union,” that the power of euro-zone member states will be limited outside of the common currency zone and that EU immigrants will not be allowed social benefits for up to four years. Cameron is hopeful that the deal will convince his countrymen to remain in the European Union.

On the very next day, a Sunday, the Vote Leave initiative starts a telephone campaign and the battle against Europe escalates. My job is to collect supporters in opposition to Cameron. Among Vote Leave’s supporters are several politicians belonging to the country’s largest parties, including Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove and former London Mayor Boris Johnson.

When I walk through a glass door on the building’s seventh floor, John stretches out his hands as though I were his long lost brother. “Had breakfast already? Tea, coffee, croissants, fruit?” John heads up the Vote Leave call center. Inside the room are long tables covered with two- to three-dozen computer screens. The Thames can be seen out the window. The organization’s leaders have their offices next door, including the lobbyist Matthew Elliott, who coordinates Vote Leave initiatives around the country. It is here that the movement develops its strategies and organizes the troops. Ten volunteers, almost all of them in their late twenties or early thirties, have shown up on this morning. John assigns me a monitor and says that our first task is to call Tory city councilmen across the country to ask if they are interested in helping Vote Leave.

Back in 2013, Matthew Elliott began the process of making contacts, finding rich donors and uniting the country’s euroskeptic elite in organizations like Business for Britain. Some of those Elliott brought together have been waiting for the referendum for years. He poured the movement’s foundation.

Now, it is time to organize town councilors along with small-business leaders and other sympathizers. The mood in the room is relaxed and nobody seems particularly surprised that a German is interested in helping out the Brexit camp. Next to me sits Harry, who is just as vehemently opposed to the EU as everyone else here. Harry says that he is most bothered by people who complain to him about Europe but who then say they aren’t sure how they are going to vote in June.

Money, Chocolate or Flowers

I pick up the phone. The text that I am to recite appears on the screen: “Good morning, I am calling from Vote Leave, the campaign for Britain to leave the EU. The prime minister just returned with a deal from Brussels. But we don’t believe that he has achieved the fundamental reforms that this country needs.” The telephone computer connects me with Kent, South Wales, Somerset — with 40 or 50 places. Every few seconds, someone in the room calls out: “Fantastic!” The message is that everything is going well — that Cameron may have a deal, but it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.

I am surprised that some of the town councilors I reach on this morning haven’t yet made up their minds. A Tory from southern England, a member of the euroskeptic campaign Conservatives for Britain, says that he is favor of the EU. Before I can ask him why, then, he is involved with the skeptics, he ends the call. Another asks me what I’ll offer him to vote for Brexit: Money, chocolate, flowers?

Harry is also having difficulties. “You’re still undecided? Somehow everyone is saying that at the moment.” While I can only see a tiny slice of the national mood on this morning, there seems to be cause for optimism for a European such as myself. That is the first surprise. What if the majority of the British can come to terms with Europe?

After two hours, I’m exhausted. John says I can come back any time and that he’s here every day. Good, I answer. Fantastic! I call Ainhoa and stay on the phone 3 hours. She knows it all.

Brexit is fun: That is the second surprise. My companions seem strangely exuberant, as though they are on an emotional high. They are fighting a war of conviction and talk of freedom and independence — which lends their words the additional pretense of moral legitimacy.

As with any political movement that seeks to topple the status quo, the anti-Europeans have to be louder than their opponents. They have to explain why it is worth it to leave the EU. My impression is that the Brexiteers are fighting a proxy war. Their enemy isn’t Europe, but the powerful elite in London and Brussels. They feel as though they have been shoved aside and cheated; they feel overwhelmed by immigrants, globalization and the question as to when they actually lost their old England. Brussels is only a metaphor for their feeling of loss of control.

The Brexiteers see themselves as being part of a popular revolt against the establishment — as part of a citizens’ rebellion. This feeling is amplified by the fact that the pro-European campaign Britain Stronger in Europe is being funded by high finance: by Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and other banks. The anti-EU movement, by contrast, collects its money in the form of small contributions and from rich private doners.

Fixated on Money

It is March when the Brexit movement ignites the next stage and takes to the streets. On a cool Saturday morning I find myself in the pedestrian zone of Oxford and pull on a red T-shirt bearing the Vote Leave logo. Ten activists have assembled around a folding table — including three women, which surprises me. Thus far, Brexit had seemed to be largely a masculine movement. James, the coordinator, says we should distribute brochures and ask passersby to approach the table, where they can add themselves to an address list.

There are two flyers. The first one says that Britain could build a new hospital every week for the amount of money the country contributes to the EU. On the second, it says: “There are 35 million potholes in Great Britain. But your money is being spent on bridges like this one in Greece.” It is illustrated with a picture of the Rio-Antirrio Bridge on the Gulf of Corinth.

I have always been surprised by the degree to which euroskeptics are fixated on money. The net sum of £8.5 billion that Great Britain sent to Brussels last year is a significant sum, but it is only just over 1 percent of the country’s entire budget.

Many people shake their heads when they see the flyers: Thanks, but no thanks. One older woman says that she was born in the 1930s and doesn’t want to see Europe break apart again. A young woman says that her great-grandfather fought in World War I and her grandfather in World War II — Europe stands for peace! I find their support for the EU encouraging: Oxford is more cosmopolitan than its surroundings. Later, I sit down in a café with David and Mark, who likewise helped distribute flyers. Mark is a 26-year-old anarchist who works at an emergency hotline, while David is in his late 50s, a Tory voter and the owner of a small real estate company. They have little in common aside from their fight for limited government, low taxes and a country that is subject to few outside influences.

The battle against the EU unites anarchists with entrepreneurs; it pairs defenders of democracy with those skeptical of state power; it brings critics of the state together with patriots. It is an alliance of the dissatisfied, a confederacy of people who have little and feel as though they have been left behind together with those who have a lot and want to hang on to it. They have in common a significant portion of schadenfreude. “Europe is shitting their pants about us leaving,” says David. “One less country to pay for the French farmers.”

The more time I spend among the Brexiteers, the more convincing their arguments begin to seem. By now, I’m almost beginning to believe myself that Brussels is full of corrupt imperialists who spend their days thinking of new strategies of repression. One of the favorite arguments advanced by Brexit supporters is that Britain’s departure would send shockwaves across the Continent and force the EU to become more efficient. As such, rejecting Europe would be beneficial to all. It is tempting to believe them.

A Snotty Club

Great Britain was always a half-hearted member of the European club. They joined because of the free-trade zone, but the country always distrusted the federalist ambitions of the Brussels elite and of the founding states. Libertarianism has a long tradition on the island. The first Brexit initiative emerged in 1969, before Britain even joined the European Economic Community, the precursor to the EU. Since then, dozens of groups, think tanks and networks have been nourishing euroskepticism, which is another reason why the Brexit movement was able to become so strong.

Simon Richards is traveling through the country on behalf of Better Off Out, a Brexit initiative that has been fighting against the EU for 10 years. It is mid-April and the intense third phase is underway. Richards is sitting in a train heading for Haywards Heath in southern England. For the last eight years, he has been head of the Freedom Association, a lobby organization to which Better Off Out belongs. He is a Brexit veteran who has spent much of his life fighting against Brussels. I tell him that I am a journalist from Germany.

He relates to me that his anarcho-capitalistic tendencies developed early and that, even during his school days, he used to protest against excessive state control and overly powerful labor unions. The real fight, though, began in 1990 when Margaret Thatcher was forced by her own party to resign. From Richard’s perspective, it was a huge mistake that continues to have implications today. David Cameron, he says, took the Tories hostage and, together with his Eton friends, transformed the party into a snotty club that has no connection to the people. That, he says, is how UKIP came to be. In fact, the rise of the populist United Kingdom Independence Party has come thanks to both its use of xenophobic language as well as the fact that Cameron has maneuvered the Conservative Party toward the center.

The great thing about doing battle against Europe is that you can learn something new every day. For example that the EU is to blame for the war in Ukraine and is likewise to be blamed for the fact that Britain was unable to protect itself from recent floods. That, at least, is what it says on the flyers passed out by the local UKIP chapter in Haywards Heath.

Not only that, but I have also learned in the last few weeks that the EU plans to swallow up the British Isles and make them part of a super-state. The EU, say Brexiteers, increases the danger of terror attacks, makes British beef 36 percent more expensive and is making it possible for 76 million Turks to soon be allowed to come to Europe. If Britain decides to stay in the EU, says Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove, then “we’re voting to be hostages locked in the back of the car.”

Coming Out

In Haywards Heath, Richards is applauded enthusiastically for his anti-EU speech, with only a 95-year-old world war veteran daring to contradict him. Finally, I am asked what I, as a German, think of the Brexit debate. I say what I have been thinking the entire time: that it would be a catastrophe if Great Britain were to leave. It is my coming out. The British bring cosmopolitanism to Europe and also act as an antipode to France. We Germans, we Europeans, need you, I hear myself saying.

The room is filled with around 30 people, and they fall silent. Then, a woman hisses: “You just want our money.”

It’s probably pointless. They aren’t likely going to be convinced of Europe by a million pounds. The Brexiteers’ fight is bigger than the EU. They want to stop time because they are afraid of the future.

Should Europe break apart, it is here where the first cracks are visible — in Haywards Heath, in the pedestrian zone of Oxford, at Lambeth Bridge. I was surprised by the vehemence and resolve with which the Brexit movement glorifies the retreat — with which it glorifies isolation. At the same time, I also experienced significant resistance in those places where I campaigned for leaving the EU. My hope is that the Brexiteers will become quieter if Britain decides to stay in the EU on June 23.

The mood in Haywards Heath is buoyant. Then a speaker asks who in the crowd is in favor of Europe. Behind me, three hands are raised, including that of the war veteran. Only three.

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May 25, 2016 – 03:58 PM
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The article you are reading originally appeared in German in issue 21/2016 (May 21th, 2016) of DER SPIEGEL.

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Berning down the House, A Dance Party & Benefit for Bernie Sanders

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Berning Down The House: A Dance Party & Benefit for Bernie Sanders
Friday 20 May 2016 9:00 PM
in a day

Come out and socialize/party/drink/dance/be merry/etc. to dance hits from the 70s/80s/90s in honor of our man, Bernie!

$5 minimum donation.

100% of the door money will be donated to help the Bernie Sanders campaign. To find out more about Bernie’s campaign and how you can directly donate check out his official campaign website:
https://berniesanders.com
The Voter Registration Brigade will be registering any last minute voters!

Big thanks to The Maltese for letting us party for Bernie!
If you have any questions/comments/concerns/ideas email them to: missmollyroberts@gmail.com

Clinton Had a Very Good Night, but…

The majority of the delegates have yet to be chosen.

Oregon Primary Results
LIVE 3:17:54 PM ET
Republican Primary

Trump has won Oregon, according to A.P.
Candidates Vote Pct. Delegates
Donald Trump 240,804 66.6% 17
Ted Cruz 61,590 17.0 3
John Kasich 59,096 16.3 3

361,490 votes, 93% reporting
Winner called by A.P.

Clinton was low AP reported

Democratic Primary

Sanders has won Oregon, according to A.P.
Candidates Vote Pct. Delegates
Bernie Sanders 320,746 56.0% 34
Hillary Clinton 251,739 44.0 25

572,485 votes, 96% reporting
Winner called by A.P.

Because Oregon does not have voting precincts, the percentage reporting is an A.P. estimate based on the number of early votes.

After the first of this year’s many “Super Tuesdays,” the cover of The Economist magazine featured a staring contest between a blue-faced Hillary Clinton and a red-faced Donald Trump—along with a declaration that “Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee; the man most likely to face her in November on the Republican ticket is Donald Trump.”

That was not quite right in the immediate aftermath of the March 1 “Super Tuesday” primaries and caucuses, when much of the media was angling to shut down unfinished races for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations. And it seemed even less right as ensuing contests gave victories to the candidates who were still seeking to displace Trump and Clinton—especially after Clinton’s insurgent challenger, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, won an a victory in the March 8 Michigan primary.

The results from the March 15 primaries in five delegate-rich states gave those who see a Clinton-Trump race as inevitable more material to work with.

Trump and Sanders had terrific nights, winning most of the contests on their respective sides of the ballots. Clinton won big in Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio, pulled narrowly ahead in her native Illinois, and was essentially tied with Sanders in Missouri—with 49.6 percent for Clinton to 49.4 for Sanders. Trump did just about as well, winning with ease in Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina, essentially tying in Missouri (with Texas Senator Ted Cruz), and losing to Governor John Kasich in Ohio.

while it is easier now to speculate about a Clinton-Trump contest, that race has not yet begun. The GOP establishment is still trying to trip up Trump, the Bernie Sanders insurgency will continue to challenge Clinton, and Democratic primaries and caucuses will see more upsets of expectations.

“No matter who wins, the center of gravity has fundamentally shifted in the Democratic Party.” —Adam Green, PCCC.

Translation: The 2016 primaries and caucuses on both sides of the partisan aisle have clear front-runners. Those front-runners are in stronger positions than before, and they are training their rhetorical fire on each other. And the races are ongoing.

Republicans understand this; and there is still a good deal of talk about how best to prevent a Trump takeover. Democrats should also understand this; as the majority of the delegates who will decide the identity of the party’s nominee have yet to be chosen.

“Tomorrow, the political establishment will say once again that Bernie can’t win,” said Dan Cantor, the national director of the Working Families Party, which backs Sanders. “That’s nothing new. They’ve been singing that tune since before the primary even started. But every single week, Bernie’s support gets stronger and stronger. Tonight, Bernie’s North Carolina performance was 15 points better than his South Carolina performance last month, and 5 points better than his Virginia performance two weeks ago. This is a close race, and it will be contested in every state. The fact of the matter is that the first half of the primary schedule favored Clinton. The second half will favor Bernie. The only question is whether it will be enough. We intend to do everything we can to make sure it is.”

The contests to come appear to be a good deal friendlier to Sanders, who has strong bases of support in Arizona, Idaho, and Utah (which will vote on March 22) and Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington (which will vote on March 26). And recent polling from Wisconsin, which had its primary April 5, has Sanders narrowly ahead. Beyond the immediate schedule, great big-delegation states such as New York (April 19) and California (June 7) have yet to weigh in.

Even if Sanders were to win all of those primary and caucus contests in late March and early April, Clinton would still be the front-runner, and she would still enjoy a big delegate lead. But Sanders could get a lot closer to Clinton in the competition—perhaps close enough to convince some superdelegates to move his way. And he can continue to build a movement politics with a potential to influence convention rules, platform planks, and perhaps even the selection process that will name a vice presidential contender.

Sanders has always said that he is mounting this presidential run in order to challenge “establishment politics and establishment economics.” His populist appeal has influenced Clinton on a host of economic issues; indeed, Progressive Change Campaign Committee cofounder Adam Green noted, “Hillary Clinton won Ohio and had a Super Tuesday by riding the economic populist tide instead of fighting it. Clinton has engaged Bernie Sanders in a race to the top on key issues like expanding Social Security instead of cutting it, breaking up too-big-to-fail-banks, jailing Wall Street executives who break the law, and debt-free college. That was almost unimaginable a year ago. In Ohio, Clinton went further than before against corporate-written trade deals, saying, ‘We have to oppose the TPP.’”

Clinton has every reason to celebrate, and every right to begin thinking and talking about a potential race with Trump.

But Sanders has every reason to keep running a primary and caucus race where most of the delegates have yet to be chosen—and where his ability to influence the character and content of the competition remains one of that race’s most significant dynamics.

“The primary continues,” explained Green, “but no matter who wins, the center of gravity has fundamentally shifted in the Democratic Party.”

Sanders did not have the “Super Tuesday” he wanted on March 15. But the prospect of moving that center of gravity further to the left provides more than enough encouragement for the senator to carry on.

Tensions explode in Democraticreidharry_sandersbernie_051716gn primary
Sen. Bernie Sanders is standing by his supporters in the face of mounting criticism from Democratic leaders, including Minority Leader Harry Reid, over the increasingly nasty tone of the Democratic presidential primary.

Sanders on Tuesday issued a statement rejecting claims by Hillary Clinton’s allies that his campaign has shown a penchant for violence as “nonsense.”

It was released just minutes after Reid took to the cameras in the Senate to call on the Vermont senator to do “the right thing” and hold his supporters accountable for a chaotic scene on Saturday at Nevada’s state convention. It seems that Harry Reid has nothing better to do than to create and pass rumors about Bernie Sanders. You can keep that witch Hillary Clinton and
her Bubba that can’t keep his pants enough tight to prevent another escapade, and have a party at the Dark House.

By Alexander Bolton – 05/17/16 08:35 PM EDT

Bernie Sanders is standing by his supporters in the face of mounting criticism from Democratic leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, over the increasingly nasty tone of the Democratic presidential primary.

And what are the Dems to criticize if not the 2016 elections that are a big joke. At least in New York City it was shameful.

Sanders on Tuesday issued a statement rejecting claims by Hillary Clinton’s allies that his campaign has shown a penchant for violence as “nonsense.” And who beat Trump and another man
that looks like him? Why you don’t criticize the “penchant for violence in Trumps’ rallies? Oh yeah, you now need Mr. Trump to make you look stupid, something that you already are,
because your Hillary Clinton has so many closets with secrets she won’t make public so you can be united and thus have more power. You are an idiot Mr. Reid.

By Alexander Bolton – 05/17/16 08:35 PM EDT

Bernie Sanders is standing by his supporters in the face of mounting criticism from Democratic leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, over the increasingly nasty tone of the Democratic presidential primary.

Sanders on Tuesday issued a statement rejecting claims by Hillary Clinton’s allies that his campaign has shown a penchant for violence as “nonsense.”

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal – Unruly Hearts editor

Ausnahmezustand in Venezuela: Wie die Menschen leiden 18.05.2016 – State of Emergency in Venezuela 18.05.2016

Wir sagen Danke

danke_rdax_600x282

Notstand in Venezuela: Ein Land vor dem Kollaps.
In Venezuela mangelt es an Lebensmitteln – auch Strom und Wasser sind knapp. Besonders schwierig ist die Lage in den Krankenhäusern. Das Land befindet sich im Notstand.

Visit the site below to learn more about the situation in Venezuela, and Spiegel Online International to see gallery and videos. Very good presentation by Spiegel.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/venezuela-ein-land-vor-dem-kollaps-a-1092795.html

Jose Villarroel waits for hours in an emergency operating room at Luis Razetti Hospital in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela, April 15, 2016. The economic crisis in this country has exploded into a public health emergency, part of a larger unraveling that has become so widespread it has prompted President Nicolas Maduro to impose a state of emergency, raising fears of a government collapse. (Meridith Kohut/The New York Times) *** Mindesthonorar 50Euro, Bitte auf moegliche weitere Vermerke achten! maximale Online-Nutzungsdauer: 12 Monate ***

Jose Villarroel waits for hours in an emergency operating room at Luis Razetti Hospital in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela, April 15, 2016. The economic crisis in this country has exploded into a public health emergency, part of a larger unraveling that has become so widespread it has prompted President Nicolas Maduro to impose a state of emergency, raising fears of a government collapse. (Meridith Kohut/The New York Times) *** Mindesthonorar 50Euro, Bitte auf moegliche weitere Vermerke achten! maximale Online-Nutzungsdauer: 12 Monate ***

In Venezuela mangelt es an Lebensmitteln – auch Strom und Wasser sind knapp. Besonders schwierig ist die Lage in den Krankenhäusern. Das Land befindet sich im Notstand.

“Wir haben Hunger” – stundenlang harren die Menschen vor den Geschäften in Venezuela aus, um einige der wenigen Nahrungsmittel zu bekommen. Auch Klopapier und Windeln sind Mangelware. Viele Produkte sind nur noch Armeeangehörigen zugänglich. Der Schwarzhandel blüht, vereinzelt kam es in den Provinzen sogar schon zu Plünderungen.

Doch nicht nur Nahrung und Waren des täglichen Lebens sind knapp, auch Wasser und Strom werden stark reglementiert – die Menschen bunkern Trinkwasser inzwischen in Flaschen. Immer wieder müssen sie im Dunkeln sitzen, weil die Elektrizität abgeschaltet wird.

Grund ist die starke Dürre. Der Wasserstand des El Guri, eines Stausees im südöstlich gelegenen Bundesstaat Bolívar, sinkt und sinkt. Dort produzierte das Wasserkraftwerk bisher 60 Prozent der landesweiten Energie. Kritiker sagen, die Dürre durch das Wetterphänomen El Niño sei vorhersehbar gewesen – die Regierung habe es versäumt, vorzusorgen. Die verwaltet nun den Notstand, die Behörden behelfen sich, indem sie Strom und Trinkwasser rationieren.

Besonders hart trifft der Mangel die Kranken. In den Kliniken des Landes fehlt es an allem: Antibiotika, intravenösen Lösungen, sogar Seife und Essen. “Der Tod von Babys ist unser täglich Brot”, sagte Osleidy Camejo, Chirurg in der Hauptstadt Caracas, der “New York Times”.

Der Präsident flüchtet sich in Verschwörungstheorien

Venezuela steht vor dem Kollaps. Der IWF prognostiziert für dieses Jahr eine extreme Inflation von 720 Prozent. 2015 schrumpfte das Bruttoinlandsprodukt um 5,7 Prozent, dieses Jahr soll das Minus 6,2 Prozent betragen.

Noch hält sich der sozialistische Präsident Nicolás Maduro, er verlängerte den Ausnahmezustand um 60 Tage (Lesen Sie hier eine Analyse). Sein Dekret sieht auch vor, dass Soldaten und lokale Bürgerwehren zur Sicherung der öffentlichen Ordnung und bei Lebensmittelverteilungen zum Einsatz kommen können. Die Opposition wirft dem Präsidenten vor, mit dem Ausnahmezustand eine Diktatur vorzubereiten. Sie hat für Mittwoch erneut zu Massenprotesten aufgerufen.

Maduro flüchtet sich inzwischen in Verschwörungstheorien. Er sieht sich von Feinden umzingelt. Er behauptet, in Venezuela sei eine US-Invasion im Gange. Der Staatschef sieht vor allem den gefallenen Ölpreis als Ursache für den Notstand. Venezuela lebt wie kein zweiter Staat vom Öl. Aus dem Verkauf des Rohstoffs stammte bisher der Großteil der Devisen, mit denen die Regierung den Import von Waren bezahlte.

Für Rücklagen hat Maduro allerdings nicht gesorgt, das rächt sich jetzt – darunter leiden müssen vor allem die Menschen.

Translation into Spanish

Donations can be given for specific projects or areas. Thus, it is up to the donor to specifically support where it is closer to her/him and the urgency of the donation.
Unruly Hearts thanks the donors and supporters.

Hephata thanks all supporters and friends for their financial, ideological and strong support in donations, goods and stamp donations. Without their donations we had many successful projects insufficiently or not to set in motion. Our work and the lifestyle of the assisted people have suffered significant losses. For all of us who live or work in Hephata, it’s a good feeling to welcome solidarity. We are proud of the trust you have placed on us.

fundraising

For decades, with Public Relations Hephatas a fundraising department, the fundraising is carried out over several tracks. One is the quarterly published Circle Magazine “Hephata today”, of which we will ship 16,000 copies in Germany.

In addition, we write to our donors also targeted and ask for support for projects that we can not or only partially financed from own or approved public funds.

Spenden können für ganz bestimmte Projekte oder Bereiche gegeben werden. Damit ist es dem Spender möglich, gezielt da zu unterstützen, wo es ihm persönlich am Herzen liegt oder besonders dringend erscheint.

Wir danken unseren Spendern und Förderern!

Hephata dankt allen Förderern und Freunden für ihre finanzielle, ideelle oder tatkräftige Unterstützung in Form von Geld-, Sach- und Briefmarkenspenden. Ohne ihre Spenden hätten wir viele erfolgreiche Projekte unzureichend oder gar nicht in Gang setzen können. Unsere Arbeit und das Lebensgefühl der betreuten Menschen hätten deutliche Einbußen erlitten. Für uns alle, die wir bei Hephata leben oder arbeiten, ist es ein gutes Gefühl, Solidarität zu spüren. Wir werden uns auch in Zukunft bemühen, das in uns gesetzte Vertrauen zu rechtfertigen.
Spendenwerbung

Seit Jahrzehnten gehört zur Öffentlichkeitsarbeit Hephatas eine Spendenabteilung. Die Spendenwerbung erfolgt über mehrere Schienen. Eine davon ist die viermal jährlich erscheinende Freundeskreis-Zeitschrift „Hephata heute“, von der wir rund 16.000 Exemplare in ganz Deutschland versenden.

Daneben schreiben wir unsere Spender auch gezielt und persönlich an und bitten um Unterstützung bei Projekten, die wir nicht oder nur teilweise aus eigenen oder genehmigten öffentlichen Mitteln finanzieren können.

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor

The Coming Democratic Crackup

By Robert Parry
Global Research, May 17, 2016
Consortium News 16 May 2016
Region: USA
Theme: US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: U.S. Elections

DemocraticLogo-400x390If the Democratic Party presses ahead and nominates hawkish Hillary Clinton for President, it could recreate the conditions that caused the party to splinter in the late 1960s and early 1970s when anti-war and pro-war Democrats turned on one another and opened a path for decades of Republican dominance of the White House.

This new Democratic crackup could come as early as this fall if anti-war progressives refuse to rally behind Clinton because of her neoconservative foreign policy – thus infuriating Clinton’s backers – or it could happen in four years if Clinton wins the White House and implements her militaristic agenda, including expanding the U.S. war in Syria while continuing other wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya – and challenging Russia on its borders.

Clinton’s neocon policies in a prospective first term could generate a “peace” challenge similar to the youth-driven uprising against President Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War in 1968.

Indeed, in 2020, anti-war elements of the Democratic Party might see little choice but to seek a candidate willing to challenge an incumbent President Clinton much as Sen. Eugene McCarthy took on President Johnson, leading eventually to the chaotic and bloody Chicago convention, which in turn contributed to Richard Nixon’s narrow victory that fall.

Parry-Clinton-PanettaImage: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at NATO conference in Munich, Germany, Feb. 4, 2012. (Official Defense Department photo)

A difference between Johnson and Clinton, however, is that in 1964, LBJ ran as the “peace candidate” against the hawkish Republican Barry Goldwater (who incidentally was supported by a young Hillary Clinton), whereas in 2016, Clinton has made clear her warlike plans (albeit framing them in “humanitarian” terms).

After winning a landslide victory against Goldwater, Johnson reversed himself and plunged into the Vietnam War, fearing he otherwise might be blamed for “losing” Indochina. With Clinton, there’s no reason to expect a reversal since she’s made no secret about her plans for invading Syria under the guise of creating a “safe zone” and for confronting nuclear-armed Russia along its western borders, from Ukraine through the Baltic States. In her belligerent rhetoric, she has compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Hitler.

Courting Bibi

Clinton also has vowed to take the U.S.-Israeli relationship to “the next level” by embracing right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who expects to convince President Hillary Clinton to end any détente with Iran and put the prospect of bombing Iran back on the table. Clinton would seem to be an easy sell.

Another feature of the LBJ-Hillary comparison is that the Democratic Party’s turn against the Vietnam War in the 1968 and 1972 campaigns prompted a collection of pro-war intellectuals to bolt the Democratic Party and align themselves with the Republicans, especially around Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Parry-NetanyahuImage: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on March 3, 2015. (Screen shot from CNN broadcast)

Those Democratic hawks became known as the neoconservatives and remained attached to the Republican Party for the next 35 years, eventually emerging as Official Washington’s foreign policy establishment. However, in some prominent cases (such as Robert Kagan), neocons are now switching over to Clinton because of the rise of Donald Trump, who rejects the neocon passion for interventionism.

In other words, just as Johnson’s Vietnam War escalation — and the resulting fierce opposition from anti-war Democrats — set in motion the neocons’ defection from the Democrats to the Republicans, Clinton’s enthusiasm for the Iraq War, her support for escalation of the Afghan War, and her scheming for “regime change” wars in Libya and Syria are bringing some neocon hawks back to their first nesting place in the Democratic Party.

But a President Clinton’s transformation of the Democratic Party into “an aggressive war party,” whereas under President Barack Obama it has been “a reluctant war party,” would force principled anti-war Democrats to stop making excuses and to start trying to expel Clinton’s neocon pro-war attitudes from the party.

Such an internecine battle over the party’s soul could deeply divide the Democrats between those supporting Clinton – as “the first woman president” and because of her liberal attitudes on gay rights and other social issues – and those opposing Clinton because of her desire to continue and expand America’s “perpetual wars.”

The Sanders Resistance

Some of that hostility is already playing out as Clinton backers express their anger at progressives who balk at lining up for Clinton’s long-delayed coronation parade. The stubborn support for Sen. Bernie Sanders, even after Clinton has seemingly locked up the Democratic nomination, is a forewarning of the nasty fight ahead.

Parry-SandersImage: Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

The prospects are that the animosities will get worse if Clinton loses in November – with many anti-war Democrats defecting or staying home thus infuriating the Hillary Democrats – or if Clinton were to win and begin implementing her neocon foreign policy agenda which will involve further demonizing “enemies” to justify “regime changes.”

If anti-war Democrats begin to resist, they can expect the Clinton-45 administration to stigmatize them as (fill-in-the-blank) “apologists” and “stooges” of “enemy” powers, much as happened to protesters against the Vietnam War and, more recently, to Americans who objected to such U.S. interventions as the Iraq War in 2003 and the Ukraine coup in 2014.

Yet, few Democratic strategists seem to be aware of this looming chasm between anti-war and pro-war Democrats. Many of these insiders seem to believe that the anti-war Democrats will simply fall in line behind Hillary Clinton out of fear and loathing for Donald Trump. That may be the case for many, but my conversations with anti-war activists suggest that a significant number will vote for a third party or might even go for Trump.

Meanwhile, most mainstream media commentators are focused on the divisions between the pro-Trump and anti-Trump Republicans, giving extensive TV coverage to various stop-Trump scenarios, even as many establishment Republicans begin to accommodate to Trump’s populist conquest of the party.

But it’s clear that some prominent Republicans, especially from the neocon camp, are unalterably opposed to Trump’s election in November, fearing that he will turn the GOP away from them and toward an “America First” perspective that would repudiate “regime change” interventions favored by Israel.

Thus, for many neocon Republicans, a Trump defeat is preferable to a Trump victory because his defeat would let them reclaim command of the party’s foreign policy infrastructure. They also could encourage President Clinton to pursue their neocon agenda – and watch as pro- and anti-war stresses rip apart the Democratic Party.

So, the establishment Democrats – with their grim determination to resuscitate Hillary Clinton’s nearly lifeless campaign – may be engaging in the political equivalent of whistling past the graveyard, as the ghosts of the party’s Vietnam War crackup hover over Election 2016.

[For more on this topic, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons and Neolibs: How ‘Dead’ Ideas Kill”; “Yes, Hillary Clinton Is a Neocon”; and “Would a Clinton Win Mean More Wars?”]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon andbarnesandnoble.com).

The original source of this article is Consortium News
Copyright © Robert Parry, Consortium News, 2016

Posted by Ainhoa Aristizabal — Unruly Hearts editor