Presidential Candidates

"The next president won’t be able to deliver another era of good times unless he or she manages to tackle the longer-term trends that underlie today’s economic disappointment: a collapsing health care system and inexorably rising inequality." Paul Krugman
Let us please be real: whoever mumbles the oath of office up there on the podium in 2017, whether it’s Clinton or the interchangeably Bozoesque figures currently piling one by one out of the GOP’s clown car to contend with her, we can count on more of the same: more futile wars, more giveaways to the rich at everyone else’s expense, more erosion of civil liberties, more of all the other things Obama’s cheerleaders insisted back in 2008 he would stop as soon as he got into office. As Arnold Toynbee pointed out a good many years ago, one of the hallmarks of a nation in decline is that the dominant elite sinks into senility, becoming so heavily invested in failed policies and so insulated from the results of its own actions that nothing short of total disaster will break its deathgrip on the body politic. John Michael Greer
Donald Trump can holler all he wants about how Crazy Bernie is a socialist. But he (and the super Pacs) won’t be able to distract voters by digging up scandals in his past. Nor will Trump be able to portray him as a corporate stooge." Steve Almond
Prediction: America will peak with the 2016 election. Not just because of the insanity of 20 GOP presidential candidates. Truth is most are hustlers, not presidential timber. Jeb Bush flip-flopping on his brother’s foreign policy was total incoherence. Rand Paul? Marco Rubio? Long shots. Hillary Clinton? Not incoherent, just running silent. The only coherent candidate is Bernie Sanders. Too good to be true. So special-interest billionaires will do everything possible to use him to destroy Clinton. No good news ahead. Paul B. Farrell

The Dark Money Cabinet (11/17/2016)

Trump's Future Piggy Bank, Our Country? (9/29/2016)

The Perfect GOP Nominee (8/13/2016)

Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All (7/25/2016 The New Yorker)

Bernie Sanders Just Showed Us What a Mensch Looks Like (7/26/2016)

Donald Trump, Man of Faith (6/11/2016)

The Bigger Nuclear Risk: Trump or Clinton? (6/2/2016)

Republicans have, at least since Reagan, made dog-whistle appeals to racists, but they showed their true colors nominating Trump: He's anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-poor, anti-gay, cruel, overtly rails against Mexicans, Muslims, and appeals to white supremacists. Trump has propelled a resurgence of the alt-right and racism.

Elections are rigged: the two party duopoly has failed to select candidates who have favorable ratings. Selecting the least worst candidate will maintain our course the wrong direction. Media keeps major issues off the debate stage, and focuses on the race, not real issues. Republicans have been leaders in voter suppression, and gerrymandering. With SCOTUS removal of the Voting Rights Act, and Citizens United, Trump might even get elected.

As working people lose wages and benefits including pensions, health care, Republicans continue to bust unions, cut Social Security or privatize it, and don't believe that health care should be a right for everyone. Republican States that would not accept Medicaid funding will have an estimated 17,000 preventable deaths. We should have a new social contract, like FDR's Second Bill of Rights, his answer to the threat of domestic fascism.

A profitable industry has grown up extracting wealth from the poor: sub-prime mortgages, check cashing, rent-to-own, predatory loan companies, and casinos, Republicans have consistently opposed regulation that could protect consumers, want to cripple the CPFB, and, paid off by bank lobbyists, would repeal Dodd-Frank. Thanks to Republicans, being poor is expensive.

If Trump succeeds in repealing the estate tax (aka the 'death tax'), he and other billionaires will reap huge windfalls. The Walton family (Walmart owners) alone stands to gain estimated $32 billions. How much will Trump family gain ? Although there is no evidence that prosperity follows, Republican tax cuts or their flat-tax consistently reward the wealthy.

Income inequality is at the root of many problems: campaign finance, bought government, media distortion, market failure, social pathology, corruption, systemic malfunction, class warfare, policy error. It has a natural tendency to advance, and renders most people powerless. It results in an economy that is unstable, unfair, and unsustainable. It's why government often does the wrong thing.

Continuing the Bush-Cheney path, Trump, declared his intention to be a war criminal by promising more extreme torture. Rebecca Gordon in her book “Mainstreaming Torture” recounts, torture in reality has generated desired falsehoods to support wars, created lots of enemies rather than eliminating them, encouraged and directly trained more torturers, promoted cowardice rather than courage, degraded our ability to think of others as fully human, perverted our ideas of justice, and trained us all to pretend not to know something is going on while silently supporting its continued practice. None of that can help us much in any other ethical pursuit. (from David Swanson's review). Republicans refuse to close the shameful prison at Guantanamo.

At the insistence of Republicans, we are embarked on a trillion dollar project to renew and deliver a new generation of nuclear weapons. General Lee Butler, the last commander of the Strategic Air Command, which was armed with nuclear weapons remarked we have so far survived the nuclear age “by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.” Further, he said: "It is my profound conviction that nuclear weapons did not, and will not, of themselves prevent major war. To the contrary, I am persuaded that the presence of these hideous devices unnecessarily prolonged and intensified the Cold War. In today's security environment, threats of their employment have been fully exposed as neither credible nor of any military utility." Trump asked “If we have nuclear weapons, why don't we use them ?”

Trump and the Republicans push to spend more on armaments and the military because in many Congressional districts it is a jobs program. Our economy depends on the ability to kill, maintain the world's largest military for empire, and fight the forever war. It is not about the security of the people.

Trump, like Republican leadership, is in denial of the science of climate change. If we somehow manage to avoid a nuclear fire storm, the planet will fry slowly. CO2 levels already exceed safe levels at 400 ppm (and increasing) and it persists for centuries. Glaciers and ice caps are melting, forest fires expanding. Droughts, storms, floods, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, fisheries collapse, forest clearing, species extinction will all contribute to the destruction of nature. Republicans deny the problem. Trump says it is a hoax.

NASA climate scientist James Hansen forecast a possible 10-foot rise in sea levels before the end of the century. One-third of Florida's population lives below this level, as do more than 700,000 residents of New York City. So do millions in major coast cities. That would force evacuation of hundreds of millions. Expect mass migrations from flooded coasts, storm devastation, deserts or uninhabitable areas. Danger of nuclear war, particularly between India and Pakistan, will grow. Grandchildren will find the climate increasingly hostile. The end times will not be pretty. Republicans will bring it on much faster.

Hillary Clinton’s Memoir Deletions, in Detail (5/28/2016)

Not-So-Strange Bedfellows: Hillary and the Corporate Elite (5/11/2016)

More Than Half Of Americans Agree With Trump: The Presidential Nominating System Is "Rigged" (4/27/2016)

A Cure for a Political Disaster: Fixing the Presidential Public Financing System (04/28/2016)

Hillary Goes to War (2/26/2016)

10 Reasons Why Voters Are Turning To Bernie Sanders (2/12/2016)

Flashback: Elizabeth Warren Tells a Story About Hillary Clinton, Wall Street and Lobbying

2016 Presidential candidate polling

Eight More Years of Plutocracy (12/20/2015)

Report: ABC World News Tonight Has Devoted 81 Minutes To Trump, One Minute To Sanders (12/11/2015)

Bernie Sanders For President: 10 Reasons (12/8/2015)

The Case For Bernie Sanders (11/3/2015)

Bernie Sanders' Political Revolution (11/19/2015)

Candidates Position on Climate Change (10/30/2015)

Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton (10/2015)

The Incredible Vacuousness of the Race for the Republican Presidential Nomination (9/29/2015)

Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant fearmongering shows the GOP is driven by fear rather than facts (8/25/2015)

Worse Than Hitler (8/24/2015)

Where the Presidential Candidates Fall on Climate Change (8/7/2015)

Jeb And His Vassals Lose Sight Of The Serfs (7/16/2015)

Grading Hillary Clinton's Economic Speech (6/14/2015)

Don't Underestimate Bernie (5/26/2015) See Photos and Video from Campaign Kickoff

6 Awesome Things About Bernie Sanders You Might Not Know (5/20/2015)

Errors and Lies (5/19/2015)

Senator Bernie Sanders Announcement of his Campaign for the Presidency (4/30/2015)

2016 Republican Candidates Report

8 Nightmare Scenarios That Would Come to Pass If GOP Presidential Speeches Became Reality (4/15/2015)

15 Questions Hillary Clinton Should Answer Right Now (4/11/2015)

Thugs and Demagogues: 7 Right-Wing Wackos the Media Will Shove Down Our Throats in 2016
Thanks to the Kochs, ready or not, here they come.

Top 10 Republican Lies about obama

Short Tales From Bazarro World: The GOP Primaries Edition (12/11/2011)

The Skeleton Closet

Questions to Ask the Candidates (11/25/2011)

All of the Republican Presidential candidates deny climate science, and should certainly be disqualified for that alone. (about the fund raising.)

For many reasons democracy doesn't work in the U.S. It cannot co-exist with extreme income inequality. Anyway, people are distracted, more concerned with day-to-day affairs: taking care of their children, paying rent, doing a job so they may not take time to vote or even think about what's at stake in an election.  After all, election day is not a holiday. Newspapers have shrunk and so has circulation. Also corporate media doesn't profit from good information or even basic fact-checking, many voters are not well informed.

When the Supreme Court rolled back the voting rights act, it freed Republican States to suppress minority vote in their already gerrymandered districts. Citizens United opened elections to floods of cash. Voting machines can be hacked so that results are not verifiable. Debates are limited by the two-party monopoly. Dirty tricks go unpunished. The Federal Elections Commission has been crippled by partisan gridlock. The result: elections don't meet basic standards,  don't reflect the will of the people, and they certainly don't change much.

This year, the two leading candidates have generally unfavorable ratings, so that will also tend to keep depoliticized voters at home.

When we vote for the President, we also get an agenda. Probably you will not agree with any particular candidate on all issues, and it probably is not the will of the people, but that is how the system works now and it is why you probably won't be entirely satisfied with ANY of the choices.  Neither party is for peace, war clouds are gathering. Neither party is for peace.

The good news is that the Supreme Court score is four to four, so it will be more difficult for it to call an it did for Bush in Florida. Republicans would like another Scalia to put their thumb on the scale. After all SCOTUS decided that corporations are people whose only purpose is profits for shareholders and that they may spend as much dark money as they like to buy elections. Republicans want to continue that.

We should, at least, make all candidates pledge that they will do what they say and obey the law. When elected, the President is responsible to the Congress, and any failure to allow oversight ought to trigger immediate impeachment. We do not (yet) have a dictator or a king. There is, however, reason to think that the U.S. is ready for Fascism.

Notably, Republicans tend to serve the wealthy not the people. So do Democrats. The business of Congress is increasingly about fund raising, not policy. SCOTUS enabled the Congress to be responsible to the funders, not the people.

The wealthy want to dodge taxes, and especially to end the estate tax (aka the 'death tax' by Republicans) which only applies to the top 1%. Its elimination will mean billions to the families of Trump, Walton, the Kochs, Sheldon Adelson and others. 

Trump's determination to eliminate the inheritance tax could alone make his Presidency worth billions. The Walton family would personally save many billions, so would the Koch brothers, or Sheldon Adelson. …. It makes sense that billionaires will back Trump. Like subprime mortgages, casinos, payday loans, bank bailouts this is yet another way to shift the burden to more ordinary taxpayers. Their Republican Congressmen will facilitate that by rolling-back Dodd-Frank, the CFPB, and preventing a renewed Glass-Steagle. Already the Republican Congress has committed to bailing out banks again when they get in trouble. Bernie is right, the billionaires have won. We have lemon socialism.

Many of our largest corporations pay either no taxes or, like GE, have negative tax rates, but they still complain and States compete to see who can give them the most money.

Republicans, being a largely a Party of Confederates, would make a great resurgence of the Southern Plantation economy, or even a new aristocracy

Republicans backed by the very wealthy often favor a flat sales tax, sometimes called in an Orwellian sense the 'Fair Tax'.. The flat tax would reduce rates dramatically for the wealthy, so it is extrmemly regressive. Repeal of the estate tax would be a bonanza for Trump..

When military expense grows at the expense of people's well being, that is a symptom of a fascist state. Have no doubt that the Republican government in waiting will expand the military, reward the already wealthy, cut the social safety net, and reinforce the corporate supremecists on the Supreme Court. See this note on the Paul Ryan budget.

Be careful what you wish for. See the tax page.

See vast right wing conspiracy.

See also Bain of Our Existence

What To Demand of a Presidential Candidate

Usually important issues are not up for discussion in our elections. We should be voting for an agenda, not individual candidates. 
  • Campaign finance reform:. Roll back Citizens United and get corrupting cash out of politics. Lawrence Lessig makes this his number 1 issue. Check out the NH Rebellion. This is but one of the consequences of extreme income inequality.
  • The economy does not function well when there is extreme income inequality. Tax unearned income instead of wages. A stiff graduated tax, inheritance tax, and a financial transaction tax can damp down inequality and also guard against an aristocracy. Tax polluters with a carbon tax. Proceeds can strengthen the social safety net.
  • Science is the best source of fact. Human caused climate degradation is a looming catastrophe. Make peace with nature because we are killing it. An extinction event is underway.
  • The Constitution Preamble reads: "to promote the general welfare", but Republican policy has not shown much consideration for that.
  • Health care should be a universal right. FDR's second bill of rights might have saved us from fascism.
  • Education should be affordable for everyone qualified. Apprenticeships for anyone not qualified.
  • Wind down the stupid 'War on Drugs.
  • Our infrastructure is unsafe and in disrepair. By improving it many jobs can be created. Interest rates are low, and it is a good investment. The US is far behind in providing balanced transport.
  • Government is like an iceberg. Much of it is secret, invisible, and out of control. It needs vigorous oversight and accountability. Secrecy kills civil liberties, faciitates pointless wars and it is a dagger in the heart of democracy.
  • Warrentless wiretaps are not compatable with freedom or civil liberties. The NSA needs to be curbed.
  • Torture is criminal. The Geneva Convention is the law. The U.S. does not obey it. Trump said he would make it 'much worse'.
  • War is not a substitute for diplomacy. Middle East Wars have produced chaos, mass migrations, and blowback for us. We are not safer. We have a military-industrial-homeland-security-prison-Congressional complex that finds fear and paranoia profitable, but freedom and civil liberties will be lost if they get their way.
  • Nuclear weapons are a dire threat, a waste, and the trillion dollar new round of nukes is a violation of treaties we have signed. The best we can hope for is that they are never used.
  • Dismantle the empire. Our economy will no longer support it.
  • Join the community of nations to deal with global problems. No one is exceptional.

Media Bias

About Obama

"All of the leading Republican presidential candidates openly and nonchalantly endorsed using nuclear weapons against Iran unless Iran abandons its right to enrich uranium under the non-proliferation treaty, to which Iran is a signatory (unlike nuclear-armed Israel, India, and US puppet Pakistan)....What is moral degeneracy if it is not using nuclear weapons to murder masses of innocent civilians and spread deadly radioactivity over vast areas merely in order to force a country to do as we order? If this isn't barbarism, what is barbarism?" Paul Craig Roberts 6/8/2007

Leading Republicans all support waterboarding.

Immigration is a Republican wedge issue that capitalizes on economic insecurity.

A left view of Republican candidates.

A note about Republicans.

Gov. Jeb Bush told members of the NRA, ''if it were not for your active involvement, it is safe to say that my brother would not have been elected president.''

  • Are family dynasties a good idea for the US and how different is that from royalty ?
  • W used his office to block the release of his father's records, which would otherwise have become public. A clear conflict of interest.
  • Would Jeb do the same for his brother, a confessed war criminal ?
  • Did Jeb, as Governor of Florida, behave legally in his brothers Presidential election ?
  • Was Jeb a strong advocate for privatizing schools ? Is it a good idea to privatize schools ? Have plutocrats benefited schools ? Should schools be for profit ?
  • Is it an accident that bank bailouts occur more frequently when a Bush is in office ? What about Neil Bush ?
  • Have the Bush's favored fascism ? ... or was it only Prescott ? Are the Bush s corporate supremacists ?
  • What are the connections of the Bush s to the military-industrial complex ? For a long time they have had a close relation to the Pentagon and profited magnificently. How about the Carlyle group ?
  • Did Jeb's brother compromise civil liberties ? with universal surveillance, renditions, acceptance of torture, using Guantanamo to avoid American law.
  • Was W's administration really a 'wrecking crew' ? Polluters got a free pass. He started two pointless wars. Using the same neocon advisers, would his brother do more of the same ?
  • Is there cause for alarm that Bush senior was head of the CIA ? As our secret government, does the CIA actually pick our presidents ? See Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters by Andrew Kreig (Jul 5, 2013)
  • What about 9/11 ? Was there a Saudi connection ? Why did W resist an investigation ?
  • W's legacy, a partisan Supreme Court, unleashed Citizens United on elections. How much damage would be done by another 'conservative' on the Supreme Court.

See Bush , especially the bibliography.

Where Does Bernie Sanders Stand on the Issues ?

Mitt's Gray Areas (7/9/2012)

Romney Etch-a-Sketch

Mitt Romney's Job Elimination Program (6/11/2012)

Mitt Romney's Neocon Advisors (5/29/2012)

Mitt Romney's Neocon war cabinet (5/2012)

if Romney hates Government, Why is he running for President ? (4/27/2012)

Mitt Romney's Entitlement Plan is Crazy (11/8/11)

Other notes

Obama's Accomplishments


Video statements

How much cash they raised ?

Tech President tracks how candidates are doing on social networking sites.

Notes on Missile Defense

Annenburg Political Fact Check

Howie's Presidential and Political Page

Commentary on elections

CQ Election MapWe need reform.


Presidential Puppetry, Obama, Romney, and Their Masters: Andrew Kreig

Family of Secrets: Russ Baker (Note)

American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush: Kevin Phillips

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