The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) hasreleased the new baseball rankings for the year 2013.
LAUSANNE (SUI) - For the first time in nearly five years, and since the implementation of the World Baseball Ranking system by the International Baseball Federation in 2009, there is a new leader in the world of baseball.
A highly productive year by USA Baseball registered enough ranking points to surpass the previously top-ranked Cuba, which had reigned over the baseball world since the first rankings were calculated in 2009. (IBAF)
To sum it up:
1) USA 2) Japan 3) Cuba
The Caribbean island's baseball program is encountering huge difficulties. The Dollar Chasers (called "defectors" by the Yankee imperialists) are now a common problem. It is very difficult for Cuban baseball to survive. It is a poor country that can not compete with the money-hungry imperialists who rule MLB, Major League Baseball, in the United States.
Cuba has always accused the Yankees of "stealing" its players. I agree. When it comes to money, the Yankees have no morals or ethics.
The best Cuban baseball players continue to stay in the island. They have DIGNITY!
"On Friday, Vice-President Marino Murillo told parliament that the peso pegged to the dollar, known as the CUC [convertible unit of currency] would eventually disappear, the first time that the government has explicitly said that."
He did not said when the change would go into effect.
JG: Two more Cuba SCUM, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, are partners in crime in regards to this proposed bill. President Barack Obama has vowed that he will veto the project if it passes in the U.S. Congress. All of the above cosponsors are prominent members of the Warmongering Caucus in the U.S. Senate.
Another question that we have to ask ourselves is if Menendez is being used as the front straw-man by the influential New York Jewish Lobby of Schumer and Gillibrand. Jews control most of the wealth in the United States, and this project is a pro-Zionism bill, designed to advance the interests of genocidal Israel. The Jewish, lobby both inside and outside the U.S., is trying to start a new war against Iran. It could go nuclear in an manner of hours, if we allow the Jewish Lobby to prevail.
I cast my lot and solidarity with the Palestinians!
JG: The Cuban revolution was an endeavor and the struggle of all the people of Cuba, but the role played by Argentina-born revolutionary Ernesto 'Che' Guevara was very significant. Never has existed a more courageous person than Che. Glory to his memory.
According to an article by baseball writer Sigfredo Barros,
published in Granma on December 10, the Industriales
are suffering a bad slump. They face the possibility of being eliminated from
the second round of Cuba's 53rd National Baseball series.
According of the statistics of Misandry Rodríguez Hernández,
the Blue Lions from the capital city of the island had last year a batting average
of .270 with 13 home-runs and 120 scored runs, in addition to having 246 hits
in 27 games.
Now, the average has gone down to .233 with only 64 hits and
21 less scored runs.
Their new stellar player this year, Yulieski Gourriel,
formerly of the Sancti Spiritus Roosters, only has three home runs
and 14 RBI's.
These things happen in baseball, and eventually, they will
Update: As of today, Dec. 17, 2013, the team and Yulieski have recovered a little bit. Yulieski has an average of .282 with four homers and 23 RBI's. The average for the Industriales is .249.
A federal judge has ruled that the collection by the National Security Agency of the telephone records of millions of Americans violates the right of citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures by the federal government. One more time the Barack Obama administration has been shown to violate the civil liberties of U.S. citizens. He is much worse than Richard Nixon. If he continues he should be impeached.
New president to raise corporate tax and overhaul education after landslide win over conservative Evelyn Matthei.
Here is an excerpt of what Bachelet said after her 62% victory:
"Chile has looked at itself, has looked at its path, its recent history, its wounds, its feats, its unfinished business and this Chile has decided it is the time to start deep transformations," Bachelet told a jubilant crowd of supporters on Sunday night as confetti rained down. "There is no question about it: profits can't be the motor behind education because education isn't merchandise and because dreams aren't a consumer good."
Elian had harsh words for the United States on Tuesday as he recalled his mother's deadly journey.
"Just like her, many others have died attempting to go to the United States. But, it's the U.S. government's fault. Their unjust embargo provokes an internal and critical economic situation in Cuba."
"But, despite that, Cuba, even with all its problems has progressed over the years. The progress we've made is all thanks to Cuba's courage, our dignity, our continued fight for a more just model." (CNN)
Thousands of words have been written about the handshake seen around the world.
The fact of the matter is that it does not amount to much. Both George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama have basically followed the same policies toward Cuba, even if #44 introduced some cosmetic changes that do not amount to a hill of beans.
Both Dubbya and Big Ears are certified professional haters of Cuba. The Cuba Revolution snatched the most important real estate that the Yankee imperialists "owned" in the Caribbean.
Barack Obama offered hope and he delivered nothing. Raul Castro would be very stupid if he trusts that kind of person.
As long as the imperialists continue the genocidal Cuba embargo, correctly described inside the island as a blockade, there will not be good relations between the two close neighbors on the Florida straits.
The USA is the aggressor and Cuba is the aggrieved party, and neither Barack Obama nor John Kerry are really interested in negotiations on what is important.
Mandela es símbolo supremo de dignidad y de consagración
Presidente Jacob Zuma:
Familiares de Nelson Mandela:
Hermano pueblo de Sudáfrica:
Rendimos emocionado tributo a Nelson Mandela, a quien se reconoce como símbolo supremo de dignidad y de consagración inclaudicable a la lucha revolucionaria por la libertad y la justicia; como un profeta de la unidad, la reconciliación y la paz.
Junto a sus compañeros de lucha, dirigió a su pueblo en la batalla contra el apartheid, para abrir el camino hacia una nueva Sudáfrica, no racial y unida en la búsqueda de la felicidad, la igualdad y el bienestar de todos sus hijos, para superar las secuelas del colonialismo, la esclavitud y la segregación racial.
Ejemplo de integridad y perseverancia, encabezó luego el esfuerzo dirigido a la eliminación de la pobreza, la reducción de la desigualdad y la creación de oportunidades para todos.
Mandela es un ejemplo insuperable para América Latina y el Caribe, que avanzan hacia la unidad e integración, en beneficio de sus pueblos, respetuosos de su diversidad, con la convicción de que el diálogo y la cooperación son el camino para la solución de las diferencias y la convivencia civilizada de quienes piensan distinto.
La Humanidad no podrá responder a los colosales desafíos que amenazan su propia existencia, si no lo hace mediante una nueva concertación de esfuerzos entre todas las naciones, como la vida de Mandela preconiza.
Cuba, que lleva en sus venas sangre africana, surgió en la lucha por la independencia y por la abolición de la esclavitud y, posteriormente, ha tenido el privilegio de combatir y construir junto a las naciones africanas.
Jamás olvidaremos el emocionado homenaje de Mandela a nuestra lucha común, cuando nos visitó, el 26 de julio de 1991, y dijo: "el pueblo cubano ocupa un lugar especial en el corazón de los pueblos de África".
Recuerdo su entrañable amistad con Fidel Castro, símbolo de la hermandad entre africanos y cubanos, quien expresó: "Nelson Mandela no pasará a la historia por los 27 años consecutivos que vivió allí encarcelado sin ceder jamás en sus ideas; pasará porque fue capaz de arrancar de su alma todo el veneno que pudo crear tan injusto castigo; por la generosidad y la sabiduría con que en la hora de la victoria ya incontenible supo dirigir tan brillantemente a su abnegado y heroico pueblo, conociendo que la nueva Sudáfrica no podría jamás construirse sobre cimientos de odio y de venganza".
¡Honor y gloria eternas a Nelson Mandela y al heroico pueblo de Sudáfrica!
Obama administration officials say that they want to improve ties
between the U.S. and Cuba,
but the U.S. restrictions on Cuban finances have made it impossible
to keep its interests section in Washington, D.C. open.
(Image: scottmontreal / Flickr)
Click here to read Arturo Lopez-Levy article at Foreign
Policy In Focus.
Declara el Consejo de Estado Duelo Oficial y Duelo Nacional
Con motivo del fallecimiento del entrañable amigo y ex Presidente de la República de Sudáfrica, Nelson Mandela, el Consejo de Estado de la República de Cuba ha decidido decretar Duelo Oficial a partir de las 6:00 a.m. del día 6 de diciembre hasta las 12:00 de la noche del 7 de diciembre, y Duelo Nacional durante el día 8.
Mientras estén vigentes el Duelo Nacional y el Oficial, la bandera cubana será izada a media asta en los edificios públicos e instituciones militares.
Durante la vigencia del Duelo Nacional quedan suspendidos todos los espectáculos públicos y actividades festivas.
5 de diciembre de 2013
Granma, Organo Oficial del Partido Comunista de Cuba
"The Cuban government reiterates its readiness to immediately establish a dialogue with the United States government to find a solution to the case of Mr. Gross on a reciprocal basis, and which addresses the humanitarian concerns of Cuba relating to the case of the four Cuban anti-terrorist fighters in prison in the United States."
Barack Obama does not like two-way-street dialogues. He wishes to dictate to people. Allan Gross will have to continue serving his sentence for violating Cuban laws.
Reciprocity yes, impositions NO!
Look to what has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan. The emperor wanted to have immunity from prosecution while he continues to commit atrocities.
Miniature flags displayed on the dash of a car in Havana
(AP Photo - Franklin Reyes)
Irrational US policy is keeping hundreds of thousands of Cubans from spending the holidays with their families.
Tom Hayden - The Nation
December 3, 2013
There is an opportunity for President Barack Obama to begin rolling back our Cuba sanctions policy by finding a bank willing to do business with Cuba so that hundreds of thousands of Cubans can spend the holidays with their families. The main reason the Cuban Interests Section in Washington DC cannot process visas and passports is because no bank is willing to handle the financial transactions. The reason the banks are afraid is the US sanctions policy and Cuba’s listing on the global terrorism list. So the irrational US policy has come full circle: Obama's policy of expanding and normalizing purposeful travel to Cuba is prevented by Obama's embargo policies. It's an opportunity to begin lifting the embargo, but chances are the administration is too timid, for now, to fully undo its own senseless policy. More...
JG: The author is right. I have given up personally on Barack Obama. He doesn't have guts. He is a pussy with no spine. He is more interested in getting donations from the Miami fascists. We will have to wait until we have a responsible POTUS in the oval office.
Cuban newspapers have announced that the island will participate in the 2014 Caribbean Series. It will take place from February 1st to the 7th, 2014, at the stadium Nueva Esparta of Margarita Island, Venezuela.
The island nation will be represented by the Villa Clara team, the current Cuban Baseball Champion. Other countries that will participate will be Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
Cuba has been crowned champion of the series seven of the 12 times that it participated before 1960, when the revolutionary government banned professional sports in the island. (Prensa Latina)
Cuba has suspended all consular services in the United States because of the continuation of the blockade/embargo.
You are a bad[N word], Barack Obama. I pity you. Responsible people in the US are abandoning you in droves. You approval rating is only 37% and your new misnamed healthcare program is an UNAFFORDABLE big scam that only benefits big capitalist corporations.
Danzón es un ritmo y un baile de origen cubano creado por el compositor Miguel Faílde próximo al año 1879 y engendrado por otro género cubano llamado contradanza, baile típicamente cubano, que llegó a ser el arquetipo de la música popular con su ritmo característico.
Danzón, Baile Inmortal
JG: This is #1 of eight videos available in You Tube.
de la Nación
El danzón nació en Matanzas gracias al talento de Miguel Faílde y ha permanecido en el acervo cultural cubano desde 1879
MATANZAS.— El Baile Nacional, el danzón, será declarado Patrimonio Cultural de la Nación el próximo domingo, durante la premiación del Festival Cuba Danzón, que comenzó aquí este jueves.
Tan alto galardón le fue conferido al danzón como patrimonio inmaterial por la Comisión Nacional de Monumentos, que evaluó los aportes de este ritmo a la nacionalidad y cultura cubana.
El danzón nació en Matanzas gracias al talento de Miguel Faílde y ha permanecido en el acervo cultural cubano desde 1879, precisó la máster Bielka Cantillo, directora del Centro Provincial de Patrimonio Cultural.
El primer danzón se tituló Las alturas de Simpson y fue tocado en los salones del Liceo artístico y literario de Matanzas (actual Sala White). Faílde, además de componer danzones, incursionó en las danzas, valses, pasodobles, marchas e instrumentaciones para bandas.
El Festival Cuba Danzón contó este jueves con una retreta especial de la Banda de Conciertos de Matanzas, con un programa de danzones, e incluirá competencias de parejas danzoneras de todo el país, evento teórico, y una gala de homenaje a la sonora Lira Matancera como inicio de las actividades por los 90 años del estilo sonoro, creado en esta ciudad en 1924.
(Reuters) - Leftist candidate Michelle Bachelet was the clear winner in Chile's presidential election on Sunday, although she will have to wait until a second-round runoff next month to seal her victory.
With nine candidates running, the vote was fractured and Bachelet, seeking her second term as president, fell just short of the 50 percent she needed for an outright first-round victory.
Bachelet, who led Chile between 2006 and 2010 as its first female president, clinched just under 47 percent of the vote. Runner-up Evelyn Matthei of the ruling right-wing coalition was second with 25 percent.
The two will now go head-to-head in a runoff on December 15.
Michelle is the candidate of the Socialist Party of Chile
The FIDE World Chess Championship match between defending champion Viswanathan Anand and his challenger world number one Magnus Carlsen is taking place from November 9 to 28 2013 in the the Hyatt Regency, Chennai, India. The match is over twelve games, with time controls of 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 61. The games start at 3:00 p.m. Indian Time, which is 4:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (New York), 10:30h Central European Time (Paris), 1:30 p.m. Moscow Standard Time.
Magnus Carlsen leads the match 6-3.
I have no doubt that he will be crowned the new World Chess Champion.
JG: Barack Obama has not been any different than Dubbya. His cosmetic changes in Cuba policies are meant to fool the gullible people of the United States. Capitalism hates socialism and Barack Obama continues to seek the destruction of Cuba's chosen economic and political system. Like his predecessor, Barack Obama is not worthy of trust on the Cuba issue.
One of the least discussed, but potentially most significant, provisions in President Obama’s budget is the use of the “chained consumer price index” (chained CPI), to measure the effect of inflation on people’s standard of living. Chained CPI is an effort to alter the perceived impact of inflation via the gimmick of “full substitution.” This is the assumption that when the price of one consumer product increases, consumers will simply substitute a similar, lower-cost product with no adverse effect. Thus, the government decides your standard of living is not affected if you can no longer afford to eat steak, as long as you can afford to eat hamburger.
The above paragraph is from CampaignForLiberty.org
When you can no longer afford hamburger, Obama wants you to substitute cat food for it!
I have already contacted my Congressman and informed him that if he votes for Obama's Chained CPI I will not vote for him on November 2014. I urge you to do the same.
"But I think that ultimately, freedom in Cuba will come because extraordinary activists and the incredible courage of folks like we see here [in Miami] today.
Obama continues making the same mistakes that his ten predecessors made. The Cuban people are not stupid! They know what kind of "freedom" Obama is espousing. Wake up and smell the roses, Mr. President. The future leaders of Cuba are in the island, and do not include the corruptBatistiano crowd of Miami right-wingers that you, as the current POTUS, would like to install in Havana.
Cuba's current government may make mistakes, but it is a huge improvement over what Yankee imperialism has always promoted in Cuba since 1959.
JG: After FDR, Jimmy Carter was the only honest President of the United States.
BY DAVID BEASLEY
Thu Nov 7, 2013 2:59pm EST
Jason Carter, who serves in the Georgia Senate, will seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Governor Nathan Deal next year in a state that has not had a Democratic governor in 12 years.
Carter said his campaign would focus on ways to improve the state's education system, economy and ethics laws.
The lawyer and former Peace Corps volunteer said he had not discussed whether his grandfather would campaign for him, but thinks the former president's name recognition will help his chances at the polls.
"It will let people know the kind of family that I come from," he said. "Ultimately, they're going to have to judge me on my merits. But I certainly think it gives people a point of reference."
I will not be as stupid as the Miami gusanos, who when
bad signals come from Cuba they rush to the Miami Herald and write and publish
silly articles titled “Cuban communism is close to collapse.” They are
only trying to fool themselves!
But bad signs continue to come from Cuba. Economically, the
island is a basket case. The Cuban leaders were good revolutionaries when
battling U.S. supported puppet General Batista in the 1950's, but very poor administrators since 1959.
Cuba will never be able to convince me that they are a
“democracy.” It is in fact an autocratic one-party state.
In my opinion Cuba has given two very bad signals recently:
1.The prohibition of private movie and video games
2.The opening of the special economic zone in
The state DOES NOT need to own and control
everything. Only autocracies do that!
The opening of a special economic zone in the port of Mariel
is the worst signal of the two. You can not have your cake and eat it too, Cuba!
You want to criticize worldwide capitalism and at the same time allow
capitalist corporations from abroad to come into the island and pay Cuban
workers with peanuts? That is not ethical or honest! Please, don't make me
The fact that Mexico recently forgave a $500 million (U.S.
dollars loan) to the island is also another bad sign.
Marxism is no longer relevant in the XXI century. Pragmatism
and failed ideologies are never compatible.
Initiatives and referendums are very
big and very popular in the Pacific Northwest, (Oregon and
Washington.) They are the purest form of direct people's democracy.
The voters have the ultimate and final voice. They decide. They are
The residents of SeaTac, a small city
south of Seattle, will vote on an initiative that raises the minimum
wage of workers to $15.00 per hour. It is called Initiative One. It
has very strong labor support. Read more about it in yesforseatac.com.
Statewide, the residents of Washington
also will vote today on initiative I-522, which will require the
mandatory identification and labeling of GMOs (Genetically Modified
Organisms.) in foods and commodities sold to the public. Read about
it in Wikipedia.
The latest public opinion poll released this weekend is dire.
When asked whether they had a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the U.S.
Congress, only 12 percent of Americans said that they had a
favorable opinion of the 113th Congress. Did you hear that Senator
Reid and Congressman Boehner?
A second question asked whether people had a favorable or
unfavorable opinion of President Barack Obama.
Only 40% said that that they had a favorable
opinion. People are abandoning him due to his incompetence in launching the
so-called Affordable Care Act. It may not be so affordable after all. Is this
one more example of the Crony Capitalism of Barack Obama? Do you
remember Solyndra? The recent huge health care boondoggle will be very profitable to
the twelve big capitalist corporations who will receive lucrative profits from
this huge scam on the suffering American people.
In the meantime, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and
Human Services, will continue receiving her generous taxpayer-paid salary. Off
with her head?
"He has a leading role in Days of the Flowers, a film by
John Roberts about two Scottish girls who take their father’s ashes to Cuba.
It’s a featherlight confection with an honest performance by Acosta, at his
best in a scene where he dances with his wallflower girlfriend. The film opens at the end of the month in Great Britain." (The Telegraph)
Any program that seeks to help average
people, rather than help millionaires, billionaires or big capitalist
corporations is going to be a program that is viciously attacked by
right-wing extremists, among whom are Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, a
pair of know-nothing with fascist tendencies.
When Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the
President who saved capitalism from itself in the 1930's, proposed
and enacted the Social Security program, he was hated from day one of
his presidency. His response was a courageous one: “I welcome the
hatred of Wall Street.”
When LBJ proposed and enacted Medicare,
history tried to repeat itself. What destroyed LBJ was the Vietnam
War and not Medicare. Because Medicare is a single payer health care
system for Seniors, the extremist right-wingers hate it with a
passion and are still trying to destroy it today. A chained CPI (Cut
Peoples Income) is their latest gimmicky proposal.
The problem with Obamacare is that it
was a flawed program from day one. It is not a single-payer system.
Barack Obama does not have the guts or the spine to fight back
against the entrenched capitalist powers of today. He is a
compromiser, not a fighter.
The Internet portal for Obamacare was
designed and programmed by incompetents. According to CBS News it has
cost the taxpayers $394 million dollars. The greedy capitalists still
received their profits for a portal that does not work. They sold a
And now, all the extremists from the
right spend all of their time whining about Obamacare, the same way
that they whine about anything that helps average people. They hate
Food Stamps, now re-baptized and born again as SNAP. They hate WIC.
They hate Head Start. They hate any program that helps average
people. But these Tea Bagger Republicans love subsidies and tax cuts
for the top 1% very much. They never whine about that!
Also, these right-wing extremists LOVE
to spend 60% of the Federal Budget on a bunch of Generals with dozens
of tin foils attached to their chests. These Generals retire with
pensions above $200,000.00 per year. They continue to be attached to
the taxpayer tit after they “retire” from battles
they did not win in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. They are
The attitude of American capitalists
today is to deliver shoddy products at a very high price, and laugh
and whine at the same time all the way to the bank to deposit their
ill gotten profits.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders talks
these days about how the United States is becoming a plutocracy. It's
serious stuff, with facts, figures, and poignant tales of full-time
workers struggling in poverty while billionaires bank their federal
bailouts. Sanders is engaging in a discussion that the politicians
and the media generally ignore. But as crowds pack the events where
he speaks, it's obvious that the democratic socialist from Vermont is
striking chords that connect with the American people. He certainly
connected in early September when he argued that, instead of rushing
to war in Syria, the White House and Congress should be fighting
unemployment, low wages, and income inequality.
In a series of discussions during those
heady days, Sanders opened up about the degeneration of our politics
and the media, and about his frustration with the Democratic Party
that he works with but refuses to join
Q: You caucus with Senate Democrats.
In the last several Presidential elections, you have supported the
Democratic nominee. How do you sort that out? Where do you draw the
line between yourself and the Democrats?
I was elected mayor of the city of Burlington in 1981, I ran as an
independent. I defeated a Democrat and, in fact, during the eight
years that I was mayor, my strongest opponents were the Democrats.
What we did was put together a non-party; it was called then the
Progressive Coalition. The Progressive Coalition was a grassroots
organizations of working families, lower-income people, unions,
women's groups, environmentalists and so forth.
We ended up having
a very good presence on the city council, and I was elected four
times. At that particular moment, in that particular context, moving
in a third-party way was what made sense. So that's what we did. Out
of that has come what I suspect is the strongest progressive third
party in America [the Vermont Progressive Party], which now has 10
percent of the state senators – three out of thirty – and a
number of folks in the House of Representatives in Vermont. I am not
active in that party but that emanated from what we did in
I was elected to
the United States House in 1990 as an independent. My choices were:
to caucus with the Republicans, which would have been unthinkable; to
have no party, no caucus at all, which would have meant no committee
assignments and significant ineffectiveness; or to caucus with the
Democrats. And I did caucus with the Democrats. In 1990, there was a
lot of opposition among conservative Democrats to my being in that
caucus. In 2006, when I was elected to the Senate, I was supported by
top Democrats, and have been working in that caucus ever since.
So the reality for
me is, in this moment, how can I be most effective in the real world
that we live in? And that is working within the Democratic caucus,
but making it very clear on issue after issue that I am going to
stand with working families and take on the Democratic leadership,
take on the President time and time again.
Q: This results from structural
realities, doesn't it? Unlike in other countries, it is difficult for
third parties to develop in the United States, and for independents
to get far in our politics.
is very difficult, there is no question about it. I am the
longest-serving independent in the history of the United States
Congress. It's a tough path. You don't walk into all the money that
the Democratic Party has. You have to take on a lot of different
kinds of opposition. Where we have been successful, I think, is in
reaching out not only in grassroots Vermont but all over this
country, getting tens and tens of thousands of small contributions
and no corporate money at all.
Q: While you represent one state,
it's fair to say that you speak to a lot of Americans who have a
desire for different politics.
American people are very far removed from what's going on in
Washington because they perceive that neither party is representing
I come from a
working class background. To me, these issues are not very
complicated. I know what's going on in my state. I have a sense of
what's going on in my country: The middle class is collapsing,
poverty is at an almost all-time high, and the gap between the very,
very rich and everybody else is getting wider. That's reality. I know
it. Every economist in America knows it.
enough, very few people in the United States Congress talk about that
issue. And they don't talk about the real issues affecting working
people: the loss of decent paying jobs, the unaffordability of
college, the fact that millions of families and a whole lot of
seniors are having a hard time putting food on the table, the fact
that we lost over 60,000 factories and millions of manufacturing jobs
in the last fifteen years, the fact that real wages are going down.
That's the reality
facing the American people today, and very few members of Congress
are talking about it.
folks on top are doing phenomenally well. They are increasingly
controlling the economic and political life of the country. Who's
talking about that?
There is a huge
hunger all over the country for representation that speaks to the
needs of the average working family. That family, which is
struggling. That family, which, for the first time in the history of
America, now believes that their kids will have a lower standard of
living than they do.
Q: Before the 2012 election, you
made number of statements that were critical of President Obama.
Starting with your filibuster in late 2010, it was clear that you
were pressing the President. Ultimately, you backed him again, as
many progressives did, but it seems that you remain uncomfortable
with the choices this President has made.
Look, in terms of Barack Obama, you are dealing with a guy who is
incredibly smart. If you're talking about winning elections, if
that's your goal, the two campaigns that he ran were brilliant
campaigns that will go down in history as two of the best. And he is
a great speaker. So there's a lot to be said about Barack Obama that
On the other hand, there are some
fundamental weaknesses that he has. I remember, not so long after he
was elected, being in the Oval Office with him. That was a very
difficult economic time; that was after the Wall Street collapse.
And what I urged him s strongly as I could is not to become Bill
Clinton but to become FDR – to
try to point out to the American people why the economy had
collapsed. Who benefits? Who is hurt? To rally the American people in
understanding the causes of our problem and giving them a progressive
alternative to where we are at. I think that he would have benefited
him substantially if he had accepted that advice.
The end result is
that he has not stood up to Wall Street, he has not stood up to
corporate America, he has not stood up to right-wing extremism.
Instead, time after time, he has tried to work out agreements. The
reason I was on the floor in 2010 for that filibuster was because he
had sold out completely on the tax agreement. Here you had a moment
where you had a Democratic House, a Democratic Senate, and and a
Democratic President pushing through and in some cases making worse,
Bush's tax breaks for the rich. How absurd is that? The end result is
that the American people, I think, lose faith in politics, lose faith
in the integrity of people who run for office.
The pity of it all
is that Obama has the brains, the charisma, the energy to be a great
leader if he chose to rally the working class of this country, to
stand up to corporate power. He has chosen not to do that. To call it
lost opportunity is to underestimate the damage that his lack of
aggressiveness has brought about.
Q: But doesn't a President have to
be willing to begin that discussion by saying, as Roosevelt
did in 1936 when Wall Street attacked him, “I welcome their
That's right. Imagine if you had President today who says: “I am
going to stand with you. And I am going to take these guys on. And I
understand that they are going to be throwing thirty-second ads at me
every minute. They're going to do everything they can to undermine my
agenda. But I believe that if we stand together we can defeat them.”
Obama could have
rallied the American people. The idea that the Democratic Party today
is losing something like two out of three white working-class voters
is beyond comprehension.
When you do not
stand up for those folks, where are they going to go? Some of them
are going to go to anti-gay issues. Some of them are going to go to
anti-women issues. Some of them are going to go to gun issues. You
open up a whole bunch of areas where the right-wing can deal with
cultural stuff, and working people say: “Well, Democrats are not
doing much for me, so I will vote the abortion issue.”
If you had a
President who said: “Nobody in America is going to make less than
$12 or $14 an hour,” what do you think that would do? If you had a
President who said : “You know what, everybody in this country is
going to get free primary health care within a year,” what do you
think that would do? If you had a President say, “Every kid in this
country is going to go to college regardless of their income,” what
do you think that would do? If you had a President say, “I stand
here today and guarantee you that we are not going to cut a nickel in
Social Security; in fact, we're oping to improve the Social Security
program,” what do you think that would do? If you had a President
who said “Global warming is the great planetary crisis of our time.
I am going to create millions of jobs as we transform our energy
system. I know the oil companies don't like it. I know the coal
companies don't like it. But that is what this planet needs: We're
going to lead the world in that direction. We're going to transform
the energy system across this planet – and create millions of jobs
while we do that.” If you had a President say that, what kind of
excitement would you generate from young people all over this world?
Q: But it's not just the President
and most of the Congress. The media fails to focus on fundamental
I find it very
hard to watch television. I have a sense, as a U.S. Senator, of
what's going on in Washington, and what I see on television does not
really reflect it. When you watch TV, what becomes so apparent is
that it is just another mechanism to sell products to the American
people. They fill the space with all kinds of stuff, but much of it
is not very relevant. The main function of the media is to deflect
attention away from the problems facing working families – and from
possible solutions to those problems.
It amazes me that,
on any given Sunday, you have millions and millions of people wrapped
around their television screen worrying about the Green Bay Packers o
the New York Giants, but your are not going to see a discussion of
how it happened that their jobs ended up in China.
So anybody who is
concerned about the fate of the middle class or concerned about the
planetary crisis has got to be concerned about the media.
Q: You have proposed a
constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens
believe that the impacts of Citizens
so dire in understanding the fundamentals of American democracy that
a constitutional amendment is appropriate. If presents trends
continue, we will have handful of billionaires sitting around a room
with a map in front of them, deciding how many hundreds of millions
of dollars they want to put into this effort and that campaign. If
you are the Koch brothers, who between them sit on something like $50
billion, putting a billion dollars into an election is not a big
sacrifice. And you have your friends in the room, the Sheldon
Adelsons and the others, who also have large sums of money. This is a
hell of a good investment. Buying the United States government is a
very, very good investment for a few billion dollars.
small handful of multibillionaires control the economics of this
country. They determine whether jobs stay in the United States or
whether they go to China. They determine how much we're going to be
paying for a gallon of gas. They determine whether we're going to
transform our economic system away from fossil fuel. Economically,
they clearly have an enormous amount of power. And, now, especially
those very same people are investing in politics. That's what
oligarchy is. Oligarchy is when a small number of people control the
economic and political life of the country – certainly including
the media – and we are rapidly moving toward an oligarchic form of
have got to not only overturn Citizens
we need public funding of elections. We cannot say the world was
great the day before Citizens
was very, very bad. Citizens
it a lot worse. But we can't lose of the fact that we need public
financing of elections.
The constitutional amendment is also a fantastic mechanism for
grassroots organization. There are people in this country – whether
they're conservative, whether they're progressive, whether they're
independent – who think that it is a a good idea for billionaires
to be able to buy elections.
And I think you can bring people together to say: Look, we may have
our disagreements, but we don't want billionaires deciding who the
next governor is going to be, the next senator, the next President of
the United States. As someone who believes in that type of grassroots
organizing, I think that is a great opportunity.
Q: Is it an
opportunity not just to oppose bad policy, but to say it does not
have to be this way?
are losing the progressive vision of what life can be like. And,
instead, that vision has been replaced by continuous war, huge
military budgets, and austerity. The mythology is that we can't
afford Social Security, we can't afford education, we can't afford
We have got to not only take on corporate America; we have to provide
that alternative vision of what this country can be. Give people some
hope. They ain't going to see it on CBS and NBC. We have to provide
them with the alternative vision so that our young people can
understand that this country and this world can look a lot different
than it does right now.
JG: If you do
not like the pablum that out-of-touch Democrats and Republicans feed
you on a daily basis, start thinking for yourself and begin looking
for alternatives. The Democrats and Republicans have practically
bankrupted the nation. Do not reward them with your votes. And
above else, do not believes the lies of Barack Obama and John
Boehner. They are part of the problem and not part of the solution.
Ted Cruz and
Marco Rubio are fringe extremists. If you put them in the White
House, you will deserve what you are going to get: A FASCIST STATE!
Avoid them like the plague.
recommended DVD: “Too big to fail.”
Watch how the oligarchs are destroying the USA, while claiming that
they are saving it.