Month: February, 2016
KKK leader & Le Pen endorse Trump amid Mussolini scandal
worker | February 29, 2016 | 8:53 pm | Analysis, political struggle | Comments closed
Donald Trump, Jean-Marie Le Pen,David Duke © Jim Young, Christian Hartmann, Gustau Nacarino
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump received endorsements from two high-profile “racists” – French right-wing politician Jean-Marie Le Pen and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.

Le Pen, who has been convicted of contesting crimes against humanity, wrote in a tweet on Saturday: “If I were American, I would vote Donald Trump… But may God protect him!”

Le Pen’s backing of Trump came the same week former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke backed the billionaire candidate.

Speaking on his radio show last week and in a post on his Facebook page, Duke said that “voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage.”

In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Trump refused to condemn Duke’s support, instead stating that he didn’t “know anything about David Duke” and “nothing about white supremacists”.

When pressed again over the KKK’s support for Trump, the Republican said he would have to “research” the groups before he could disavow anyone.

“If you would send me a list of groups, I will do research on them and certainly I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong,” Trump said. “You may have groups in there that are totally fine. It would be very unfair. So give me a list of groups and I’ll let you know.”

Following the backlash to his dodging of the condemnation on CNN, Trump tweeted a clip from a press conference on Friday in which he was also questioned about Duke’s support.

“I didn’t even know he endorsed me. David Duke endorsed me? OK, all right – I disavow,” he said.

In 2000, Trump also told the New York Times that Duke was “not company I wish to keep”, when questioned about his involvement with the Reform Party.

Duke, who was a member of the Louisiana state legislature from 1989 to 1992, has much in common with his French counterpart Le Pen.

READ MORE: Trump ‘reminds me of Hitler’ – ex-Mexican President Vicente Fox

They have both faced criticism for their comments and skepticism about the Nazi Holocaust during World War II, and in Le Pen’s case, he was convicted in 2012 for his remarks, receiving a €10,000 fine and three-month suspended sentence.

In 2014, when discussing the refugee crisis Europe, Le Pen told journalists that “Ebola could sort out” the “migratory invasion” in three months.

On Monday, Trump claimed the reason he didn’t distance himself from the KKK’s support during his interview was because he had been given a “very bad earpiece” and that he couldn’t hear anchor Jake Tapper clearly.

“I’m sitting in a house in Florida, with a very bad earpiece that they gave me, and you could hardly hear what he was saying,” he told NBC’s Today program. “What I heard was ‘various groups.’ And I don’t mind disavowing anybody and I disavowed David Duke.”

READ MORE: Il Duce Trump: Republican frontrunner defends retweeting ‘very good’ Mussolini quote

Trump is also defending himself for his retweet of a quote from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on Sunday, which read: “It is better to live one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep.”

Speaking to NBC’s Meet the Press, however, Trump said he knew it was Mussolini, but retweeted it anyway as it was “a very good quote”.

In response to Trump’s statements on various world leaders over the campaign, a group known as the “Emergency Committee for Israel” has released an ad attacking Trump over his views.


Bernie Sanders @ Minneapolis Convention Center (Feb 29)
worker | February 29, 2016 | 8:47 pm | Bernie Sanders, political struggle | Comments closed

LIVE: Bernie Sanders speaks at rally in Minneapolis
worker | February 29, 2016 | 8:45 pm | Bernie Sanders, political struggle | Comments closed
Democratic US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders © Brian Snyder
With just one day until Super Tuesday, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is speaking at a rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota Monday.

Sanders is rallying his supporters to caucus for him as Minnesota joins 12 other states in the massive electoral showdown.

He was introduced by Congressman Keith Ellison and Winona Laduke, who ran with Ralph Nader in 1996 and 2000 on the Green Party ticket.

She decided to cross party lines and endorse the Vermont senator last week.

“I’m standing with Bernie Sanders because he understands there are issues of race and corporate privilege in our society. We must have the courage to stand up to big corporations. The candidate with that courage is Bernie Sanders.” she said.

The Sanders campaign also announced Tara Houska as his Native American adviser last week.

Sanders said he will “work with the Native American community in preserving their heritage, and their way of life” and that he will do “everything” he can to “redress [treaty violations].”

Both Laduke and Sanders oppose the Keystone XL pipeline which would be built across Native American land.

Sanders spoke at Colorado State University in Fort Collins Sunday night.

Republican candidate Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at Radford University in Virginia on Monday.

Noam Chomsky Blames Anti-Sanders Sentiment on US Politics’ Rightward Shift
worker | February 29, 2016 | 8:38 pm | Analysis, Bernie Sanders, Noam Chomsky, political struggle | Comments closed

Professor Noam Chomsky speaking to Radio Sputnik's Brian Becker

Noam Chomsky Blames Anti-Sanders Sentiment on US Politics’ Rightward Shift

© Sputnik/

Speaking to Radio Sputnik’s Brian Becker, Noam Chomsky, arguably America’s most famous public intellectual, explained how the rightward swing in the US political spectrum has turned the modern Democratic Party into the ‘moderate Republicans’ of a few decades back, and thrown the Republican Party off the spectrum altogether.

In the Democratic primaries for this year’s US presidential election, the party’s establishment has pushed strongly for self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders’ opponent, Hillary Clinton, but despite lacking her connections and arsenal of financial support, Senator Sanders has found a wellspring of support among younger American voters. Becker asked Professor Chomsky about the significance of Sanders’ campaign, and of his talk about the need for a ‘political revolution’ in the United States.

Chomsky suggested that it’s necessary to qualify Sanders’ use of the phrase.

“What he’s actually calling for is what was pretty well understood and accepted in the 1950s. In fact President Eisenhower wouldn’t have been much surprised by his proposals. He’s fundamentally…a traditional New Deal Democrat,” the academic noted.

Furthermore, there’s no question, Chomsky said, that Sanders’ “positions have been supported by a considerable part of the population, often large majorities, for decades…Take say health care: right now, about 60% of the population supports it, which is pretty remarkable when you think that nobody publically advocates it. Every time it’s brought up, it’s denounced, but still, a considerable majority supports it.”In fact, “if you go back a little further, to the Reagan years, about 80% of the population thought [health care] ought to be guaranteed by the Constitution; in fact 40% thought it was guaranteed by the Constitution.”

As for the Sanders campaign promises of free post-secondary education, “that’s how it was in the 1950s, virtually. The GI Bill gave not only free education but even subsidies to huge numbers of people – veterans, who would [otherwise have] never have gone to college. It was very good for them, very good for the country. It’s part of the reason for the very high and relatively equitable growth rate in the 50s and 60s, before the neoliberal reaction set in. It was common in other countries – rich countries like Germany, poor countries like Mexico.”

The Rightward Swing in the US Political Spectrum

“These are hardly surprising positions,” Chomsky said. “But the fact that they’re regarded as extremist, or that it calls for a revolution, is actually a comment on how the spectrum within the mainstream has shifted to the right during the neoliberal years,” the academic noted.Chomsky noted that even Sanders’ tame (by 1950s standards) positions have given many in the US leadership cause for alarm, even among the Democratic Party establishment. However, when asked whether he himself believed a real revolution is necessary, Chomsky proposed that “a return” would be the more appropriate phraseology.

“I don’t think it takes a political revolution – I think it takes a return to a situation which was far from radical. To illustrate: back in the 1950s, a common quip about the political system (and not inaccurate) was that the United States was a one party state – ‘the Business Party’ which has two factions, the Democrats and Republicans, which differ somewhat. If you take the situation today, it’s still a one party state (the Business Party), but it only has one faction, and it’s not the Democrats – it’s moderate Republicans, who call themselves Democrats. If you look at today’s Democratic Party, it’s pretty much what used to be called moderate Republicans.”

“Meanwhile,” the academic noted, “the Republicans have simply drifted off the political spectrum –they’re not a political party in any recognizable form.”

And Donald Trump, Chomsky said, is not even the worst of it.”When you speak about the Republican Party, [it’s actually about] the Republican establishment being off the spectrum, not Trump. [Trump himself] is an interesting phenomenon, but a different one. Take somebody like Mitch McConnell, who’s considered a Republican moderate. What was his reaction to Obama’s election? It was very clear: he said ‘we have to have one policy: No!’ ‘Anything that the government proposes, we say no and we block it, because we want to take power.’ That’s not parliamentary politics.”

“And in fact this is recognized by some of the most respected conservative analysts – Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann of the American Enterprise Institute –a right-wing think tank. They describe not Trump, but the mainstream. They [speak about] today’s Republican Party as, in their words, ‘a radical insurgency’, which has abandoned parliamentary politics.”

“And I think the reason is pretty clear,” Chomsky noted. “In the United States, and in Europe – in fact everywhere where neoliberal programs have been imposed, there’s an undermining of democracy – that’s one of their aspects…It’s almost automatic, and you can see it happening. One consequence of that is the mainstream center begins to collapse, and you get uprisings at (what are called) both extremes –one is a far right extreme, the other is called left, but is actually center left social democratic like Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn – nothing particularly radical about it.”

Brian Becker speaking to Professor Noam Chomsky in his exclusive interview for Radio Sputnik.
© Sputnik/
Brian Becker speaking to Professor Noam Chomsky in his exclusive interview for Radio Sputnik.

“And as the parties have shifted to the right, the Republicans [have become] so dedicated to the interests of extreme wealth and power that they simply cannot get votes on their own programs, and therefore had to mobilize sectors of the population that have always been there but hadn’t been mobilized as a political force. So a substantial plurality or even a majority of Republicans are evangelical Christians – extremist, fundamentalist Christians – people who think the world was created a couple of thousand years ago.”

Trump’s Presidency Would Be a Death Knell for the Species

Asked to give his thoughts on the idea of a Donald Trump presidency, Chomsky said that “if he means what he says…it’s virtually a death knell for the species. Every Republican candidate in the primaries, and Trump specifically, deny that global warming is taking place, or at least that we should do anything about it…And they’re acting to try and undermine anything that might deal with it even moderately.”

“Take for example the Paris [climate change] meetings last December – they weren’t marvelous, but they achieved something minimal. They were hoping to achieve a treaty [on emissions] with commitments that would be fixed and verifiable. But they couldn’t, and it was very clear why they couldn’t, and this was even recognized in the mainstream press: Republican Congress wouldn’t permit it. They will not permit a verifiable treaty.”Providing another example, Chomsky recalled that “the right wing justices of the Supreme Court, a couple weeks ago…violated long-standing precedent and went out of their way to effectively block efforts to reduce emissions from coal plants. I mean they gave arguments, but the fundamental reason is just the unwillingness of today’s Republican organization…to address this question. This is critical to the survival of the species. Support for torture is bad enough – so is the idea of getting Mexico to build a wall, but this is lethal.”

Trump’s Supporters the Same People Hurt by Neoliberal Policies

“Why is it happening?” the academic asked. “I think we have to ask where the support for Trump is coming from. There isn’t careful data, but it seems to be substantially lower middle class, relatively uneducated white males mostly.”

“These are the same sectors of the population that are suffering something unprecedented in modern history: an increase in mortality. That’s an astonishing fact…These are sectors of the population who see no hope. The neoliberal programs have led, as elsewhere, to stagnation or even decline for large parts of the population, alongside the accumulation of spectacular wealth in a tiny sector which has become a kind of a different society – separated from mainstream society.”

“Hope for the future has declined, for the first time perhaps in [American] history,” Chomsky noted.

“I’m old enough to remember the Depression, which was objectively worse than today, but it was a hopeful period. My relatives, [who were] unemployed, factory workers and so on lived much worse than anything today, but they expected that the future would be better – things were happening. CIO [union] organizing was taking place; there was a relatively sympathetic administration; moderate social democratic programs were being instituted. It looked as if somehow we would get out of this. That’s not the attitude today. The people who are coming to the Trump rallies are people who, to a large extent, who feel that everything has been taken away from them.”

As for Donald Trump’s stance on immigration, Chomsky noted that it’s not really anything new in American history, with Italians, Jews and the Irish facing similar kinds of exclusion and persecution for much of the first half of the 20th century. “This goes way back: ‘We’re here, we don’t want you’ [is the mentality].””This is real, and is part of the cheering for Trump when he says ‘build a wall’. [But] if you think about it, what is that wall supposed to do? In fact what is Obama doing? Obama has been pressuring Mexico to keep the Central Americans away from our border. Why are people fleeing Central America? Because the US destroyed Central America, especially under the Reagan years,” Chomsky concluded.

You can listen to the first part of Sputnik’s exclusive two-part interview with Dr. Chomsky here. The second part will be broadcast Tuesday.

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A Russian Perspective on What Trump’s Rise Says About American Politics
worker | February 29, 2016 | 8:35 pm | Analysis, political struggle | Comments closed
Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks with the media in the Spin Room following the Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada

A Russian Perspective on What Trump’s Rise Says About American Politics

© AFP 2016/ L.E. BASKOW

Russian US politics analyst Georgy Filimonov offers a uniquely Russian perspective on the US presidential race, and what real estate mogul Donald Trump’s rise says about the nature of American politics.

March 1 is Super Tuesday, with primary voters from 12 states set to go to the polls to help determine the Republican and Democratic Party presidential nominees for the election in November.For Republican candidate Donald Trump, Tuesday is setting up to be the day he hits the jackpot and clinches the nomination, argues Filimonov, the director of the Institute for Strategic Studies & Predictions at Moscow’s People’s Friendship University, in an article for independent Russian newspaper Svobodnaya Pressa.

“In the United States, the ideology of consumerism, the expected product of the capitalist epoch, emerged victorious a long time ago. The country’s political ideology, whose basis is econo-centrism, formed a new society with its own preferences. A situation emerged in which ordinary citizens are more interested in the problems of economic growth and employment, than foreign affairs,” the analyst suggests.

“In other words, before going off to the polls, the American voter takes note of the cost of gasoline he filled up on before the trip.”

“He judges the effectiveness of authorities in the labor market and on inflation, despite the fact that since 1913, these parameters are shaped not by the US Treasury, as spelled out by the Constitution, but by the Federal Reserve system, whose chairman is appointed by an elite Board of Governors.”

“The most remarkable thing about the arrangement is that the Board of Governors, consisting of seven persons, is confirmed by the Senate, based on the president’s recommendation, for a 14 year, non-renewable mandate. The nominations for the country’s chief financiers are approved by people who themselves are elected to serve only four years. Factually, they are unelected, but they determine the macroeconomic policy of the United States, and that of the rest of the world. It’s enough for them to put a loyal person in the Oval Office, and then everything works like clockwork.”

Less than 9 months from now, “on November 8, 2016, Americans will select a new president. A year ago it seemed that the United States would once again show to itself and to the rest of the world a dynastic duel between the Clintons and the Bushes, in the spirit of the XVIII century. After all, they present two aristocratic clans who, directly or indirectly, have held power in the United States for over thirty years.”

“In 1981, George Bush Sr. was selected for the post of vice-president under Ronald Reagan, and in 1989 fate smiled on him to take his former boss’s place. However, he did not succeed in getting reelected for a second term in 1993; many years later he would blame Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who refused to increase the money supply to the economy, thus luring voters to the Democratic camp.”

“As a result, the American middle class picked Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton over Bush. Only in November 2000 did the Republicans get their revenge, with George W. Bush squeaking by Democrat Al Gore, Clinton’s vice president.”

“And the rest of the story needs little detail. The Bushes governed the United States until January 20, 2009, when former Illinois junior senator Barack Obama settled into the White House. Obama was possibly the least independent president in US history, becoming a hostage of the vicissitudes of inter-elite backdoor politics, negotiated volte-faces and conflicting initiatives by various camps of ‘shareholders’ of the American state.”

“Now,” Filimonov says, remarkably, “the balance has changed. The primary race is gaining a flavor and intrigue which is atypical for the American political system. After his defeat in the primaries in South Carolina, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush dropped out of the race. Eccentric New York billionaire construction magnate Donald Trump holds a confident lead among the Republicans, winning New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.”

“The only state where Trump stumbled was Iowa, where he lost to Ted Cruz, who is currently struggling along with Marco Rubio for second place. It’s possible that these names will appear on the US political Olympus as vice presidents or secretaries of state, if Trump comes to power.”

“Trump,” Filimonov quips, “is nothing if not eloquent, noting at his victory speech in Las Vegas that ‘we weren’t expected to win too much and now we’re winning, winning, winning the country. And soon the country is going to start winning, winning, winning.'”

The candidate, Filimonov notes, “is not only eccentric; he’s also pragmatic and perspicacious. Only this type of leader achieves success in America, where they’re called ‘self-made men’.”

“And if Trump is a self-made man, then his most powerful opponent, Hillary Clinton, is a self-made woman. A lawyer by training, Clinton distinguished herself from childhood by her ambition. Her father, Hugh Rodham, was the owner of a small textile factory, the income from which allowed her to study in the forge of the American elite – Yale University, where she met her husband, Bill.”

“Who could have thought, back in 1973, when she was putting together the charges against Republican President Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal, that Clinton herself would eventually find herself in the epicenter of the political fracas, first relating to Monica Lewinsky, her husband’s mistress, and then because of the attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi.””In 2011,” as secretary of state, “she yearned for the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. However, the war turned against her. Congress is continuing its investigation into her use of a personal email server for government business…”

“The comparison between Trump and Clinton is no coincidence,” Filimonov suggests, “as the two have diametrically opposing views on Russia. The figure of President Vladimir Putin acts as a kind of beacon or compass, with evaluations of the Russian president serving to illustrate differences within the American elite. [In particular,] the Republicans see a strong Russia as a way to counter China and Europe; the Democrats need a weak Russia between China and Europe.”

“It’s for this reason,” the analyst says, “that the billionaire real estate developer has made numerous overtures toward Moscow, criticizing his fellow Republicans,” and noting that he can alone among his contenders is capable of negotiating with a leader like the Russian president.

“It’s no coincidence that Michael Flynn, the former Defense Intelligence Agency head calling for a constructive dialogue with Russia, advises Trump on foreign policy. Besides, trump is not prepared to work with Germany, which he believes is too weak. ‘I think Angela Merkel made a tragic mistake with the migrants. If you don’t treat the situation competently and firmly, yes, it’s the end of Europe. You could face real revolutions,’ Trump noted. He expressed a similar opinion about France which, in his words, ‘is not what it used to be, and neither is Paris’.””So what does Trump really want?” Filimonov asks. “He talks about ‘taking Iraqi oil’ and changing US trade policy toward China and Japan to be more in line with American interests. He launched a firestorm of criticism against Chinese President Xi Jinping, accusing him of excessive devaluation of the yuan. He has done everything he could to make a score with Beijing, something he has yet to allow himself in relation to Moscow.”

“Clinton,” for her part, “is working in the opposite direction, albeit carefully. ‘We have to be much smarter in how we deal with Putin and how we deal with his ambitions. He’s not an easy man…But I don’t think there is any substitute other than constant engagement,’ she has said, reasoning in the framework of deterrence, which currently looks ridiculous. ‘We’ve got to be more united in preventing Putin from taking a more aggressive stance in Europe and the Middle East.’ In other words, she’s advocating an alliance between Washington and Brussels against Moscow.”

“The candidates’ rhetoric is something that can be discussed and analyzed for a long time, but would make little sense. After all, Americans are studying their economic statistics, and not statements on foreign policy. And the statistics are unforgiving. The Moscow Carnegie Center has calculated that under Obama, six times as many jobs were created as under Bush Jr., and corporate profits have reached new records – but at the same time, incomes have gone down, while the number of homeowners has fallen to the levels of the late 1960s.”

“The center clarified that compared with the moment Obama took office, the unemployment rate fell almost by half, but still has not reached the numbers of before the recession. ‘Government spending modestly crept upwards, but the total federal debt increased by 71%, and is now over $19 trillion’, the experts noted.”In other words, Filimonov writes, “Trump and Clinton will have their work cut out for them in order to prevail in the struggle for voter Trust. However, the dynamic of the Trump campaign is increasingly forcing his opponents  in the Republican camp to unite, gathering compromising materials, as well as negative attack ads against a strong competitor who ‘plays the game with his own money’, and is not dependent on the sponsors that usually fill candidates’ budgets, and therefore calls the shots free from obligations to any would-be benefactors.”

Ultimately, the analyst suggests, “on Super Tuesday…Trump may just win the jackpot, and then whatever remaining hopes his competitors have will become even more illusory. Among the Democratic candidates that started, two are left. Among the 17 Republicans, there are formally five, but realistically, three. According to the polls, Trump leads in 10 of 11 states on Super Tuesday. ” Will he win? “Only time will tell.”

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French National Front Party Founder Endorses Trump for US President
worker | February 29, 2016 | 8:32 pm | political struggle | Comments closed
Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of France's National Front party, publicly endorsed US 2016 presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

French National Front Party Founder Endorses Trump for US President


Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of France’s National Front party, publicly endorsed US 2016 presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Trump’s most recent victory on Tuesday at the Nevada Republican caucus had him receive 45.9 percent of the votes, far ahead of Sen. Marco Rubio who came in second with 23.9 percent of the votes and Sen. Ted Cruz who finished third with 21.4 percent. The US presidential election is scheduled for November 8, 2016.”If I was American I’d vote for Donald Trump… May God bless him!” Le Pen said on Twitter on Saturday.

In May 2015, Jean-Marie Le Pen was stripped of his membership in the right-wing party by FN president and his daughter, Marine Le Pen, after his characterization of the Holocaust as “merely a detail in history” drove a wedge within the party.

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Witness Video Shows KKK Members Stabbing Protesters in California
worker | February 29, 2016 | 8:28 pm | political struggle | Comments closed
Videos Capture KKK Members Stabbing Protesters in California

Witness Video Shows KKK Members Stabbing Protesters in California

© YouTube/Steve Kuzj

One person was critically wounded after three people were stabbed at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Anaheim, California. The violent encounter between the hate group and counter-protesters was captured on camera by witnesses.

The incident took place on Saturday, and 13 people were arrested — six KKK members and seven counter-protesters.On Monday, all five members of the arrested KKK were released, with the Anaheim Police Department stating that the stabbing was in self defense. The police also re-arrested a juvenile who had previously been released, based on the video footage; he is currently being held on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

The KKK was reportedly swarmed by anti-Fascist counter-protesters when they arrived at the park for their rally. The hate group complained that they were attacked by at least one person with a wooden plank, who smashed a window on their vehicle. Someone also reportedly began kicking a man wearing a KKK “Grand Dragon” shirt.

“Six KKK people arrived and were immediately attacked by counter-protesters, which led to a counter-protester being stabbed,” Anaheim police spokesman Sergeant Daron Wyatt said.

One of the counter-protesters was reportedly stabbed with the end of a flag pole.

“The release was based on the video evidence and statements that present convincing evidence of self-defense,” Wyatt told the OC Weekly.

The Orange County District Attorney’s office will be reviewing the case and making a final determination on whether charges will be filed.

“Regardless of an individual or group’s beliefs or ideologies, they are entitled to live without the fear of physical violence and have the right, under the law, to defend themselves when attacked,” the police department stated.

Two of the stabbing victims remain hospitalized.

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