Bernie Sanders Big Oil Common Dreams Jake Johnson

Sanders Blasts ‘Huge Giveaway’ to Fossil Fuel Industry in Manchin Deal

"We cannot provide billions of dollars in new tax breaks to the very same fossil fuel companies that are currently destroying the planet."

By Jake Johnson / Common Dreams

Sen. Bernie Sanders took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to offer a sweeping critique of the Democratic Party’s new reconciliation package, applying particularly close scrutiny to the legislation’s massive and destructive handouts to the fossil fuel industry.

While Sanders (I-Vt.) applauded the Inflation Reduction Act’s “serious funding for wind, solar, batteries, heat pumps, electric vehicles, energy-efficient appliances, and low-income communities that have borne the brunt of climate change,” he raised concerns about the “billions of dollars in new tax breaks and subsidies” that the oil and gas industry will receive under the measure, which could get a Senate vote as soon as this week.

“We have got to do everything possible to take on the greed of the fossil fuel industry.”

“In my view, if we are going to make our planet healthy and habitable for future generations, we cannot provide billions of dollars in new tax breaks to the very same fossil fuel companies that are currently destroying the planet,” the Vermont senator said. “Under this legislation, up to 60 million acres of public waters must be offered up for sale each and every year to the oil and gas industry before the federal government could approve any new offshore wind development.”

Sanders proceeded to spotlight some of the fossil fuel industry’s positive responses to the measure, which was negotiated primarily by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the top recipient of oil and gas campaign donations in Congress.

As one telling example, the Vermont senator pointed to a Bloomberg headline from last week that reads, “Exxon CEO Loves What Manchin Did for Big Oil in $370 Billion Deal.”

“If the CEO of ExxonMobil, a company that has done as much as any entity to destroy this planet—if he is ‘pleased’ with this bill, then I think all of us should have some very deep concerns about what is in this legislation,” said Sanders. “In total, this bill will offer the fossil fuel industry up to 700 million acres of public lands and waters… to oil and gas drilling over the next decade—far more than the oil and gas industry could possibly use.”

Sanders also expressed alarm about the newly released side deal between Manchin and the Democratic leadership that would pave the way for approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline—a major fracked gas project that runs through West Virginia—and limit environmental reviews of new energy infrastructure.

To bolster his case against the Senate deal’s “huge giveaway” to the fossil fuel industry, Sanders cited objections to the new legislation from prominent environmental groups including 350.org and the Center for Biological Diversity, the latter of which called the bill a “climate suicide pact” last week.

“In my view,” said Sanders, “we have got to do everything possible to take on the greed of the fossil fuel industry, not give billions of dollars in corporate welfare to an industry whose emissions are causing massive damage today and will only make the situation worse in the future.”

Throughout his floor speech, Sanders examined every major section of the new reconciliation proposal and highlighted what he views as their serious shortcomings and omissions, including the complete absence of child care and housing funding.

“The prescription drug provisions in this bill are extremely weak, they are extremely complex, they take too long to go into effect, and they go nowhere near far enough to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry whose greed is literally killing Americans,” the senator said of the bill’s proposal to require Medicare to negotiate a small number of medicines directly with drug companies.

Sanders didn’t say the bill’s flaws are sufficiently grave for him to vote no, but he did signal that he will be offering amendments in an attempt to improve it before final passage.

“This more than 700-page bill, after months of secret negotiations, became public late last week,” he said. “In my view, now is the time for every member of the Senate to study this bill thoroughly and to come up with amendments and suggestions as to how we can improve it. I look forward to being part of that process.”

Jake Johnson
Jake Johnson

Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

38 comments

  1. Thanks Jake & Bernie — but…

    STRATEGY!!!!! NOT MONEY —— wins elections — and the most important thing is that you won’t have to LIE, by not saying anything about this effin EMPIRE being the SEMINAL CAUSE OF ALL ‘ISSUES’

    Since the current dual-party system has imploded into a virtual ‘fixed’ Empire, we should shift to a new two-party system — with the current right of center, corporate Democratic Party, being replaced by a new and true, left of center Social Democratic Party — which raises the question of what to do with the BOP Republican Party?

    As all our founders understood from their ‘deep reading’ of Roman history, “The disease of Republics is Empire”, so the current non-functional Empire-diseased Party should be removed — as should be done with any cancer, and the political system should be cured into a truly modern and healthy Social Democratic Party, as should have been done 78 years ago, in 1944, near the certain end of the Second World War of Empires, when FDR’s brilliant VP, socially responsible Democrat, Henry Wallace, was the first-round 60%+ winner at the Democratic Party Convention.

    While history was retarded for those past 78 years, it doesn’t mean that ‘we the American people’ should have to wait another 78 years, until the year 2100 — to get out from under the oppression and lies of living under a virtual Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal and ‘War-Starting’ EMPIRE.

    Hey, Bernie, can I just ask you one quick question? — and don’t spare my feelings.

    What’s the only difference between our dual-party Vichy-facade of faux-democracy and the Taliban?

    Superior Propaganda and the ability to consistently PING PONG back and forth between these two effin crooked, corrupt and “Quiet American” EMPIRE Parties.

    Christopher, Ralph, Bernie, AOC, et. al.— I can tell that you are really and justifiably raging that $50B, $100B, and even over $800B of ‘give away’ money to this damned socio-political and economic ’System’ is being squandered. When monies are so desperately needed for our people and our world.

    But, HEY,, —— you just gotta WAKE-UP to the FACT and understand that this SYSTEM is an EMPIRE. OPEN your eyes and nose and SEE and SMELL the stinckin’ EMPIRE:

    Please Wake-Up to the EMPIRE.

    PLEASE READ BELOW RALPH & BERNIE
    ______________________________________________________________________

    Only Mass Peaceful Protest Against EMPIRE can win in destroying the fascist ‘Pro-Empire’ Republican Party in 2022 — which could lead easily to destroying this faux-Democratic corporate Party in 2024.

    Then, instead of having TWO ‘Pro-Empire’ Parties we can progress to a seriously progressive and one United ‘Anti-Empire’ democratic socialist party — which was within sight, nearing a century ago, in 1944, with FDR’s brilliant socialist VP, Henry Wallace, who was torpedoed in America’s first coup, orchestrated by the OSS & DNC, and which even Albert Einstein’s 1949 letter, “Why Socialism?” sent to the little gutless haberdasher and captive un-Truman corporate faux-President — in the fabulously revealing book “Double Government” [Michael Glennon] which he exposed in his book of the same name.

    Today, we’re way beyond the 1960’s era/error of just ‘Anti-War’ actions to have any chance of saving ‘our world’ — only a visionary ‘Anti-Empire’ movement powered by: “bend the long arc of history toward” survival.

    LOVE
    Over
    Violent
    Empire

    This tightened little message can be read both ways, Horizontally or Vertically, cute, eh?

    With the recent ‘passing on’ of any nuclear “Bomb Power” [Gary Wills 2010] , the current power of ‘superior propaganda’ has become the most powerful destructive weapon on earth in this our worldly Empire:

    Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal Child-Killing & War-Starting EMPIRE, controlled by the ‘Ruling-Elite’, UHNWI, <0.003%ers, TCCers, arrogantly self-appointed "Masters of the Universe", and "Evil (not-so) Geniuses" [Kurt Andersen] — which hides Empire behind their totally corrupted dual-party Vichy-facade of faux-democracy.

    Oh, BTW, Bernie don’t wind-up like gutless and useless, Biden!!

    Sung to the tune of the 1963 show song, "Bye Bye Birdie" — I would offer this paeon: "Bye Bye Byeden — the Empire’s Got You Now”

    https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=Bye+Bye+Birdie+movie+video&atb=v187-1&iax=videos&ia=videos&iai=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DC9C2CXsLS1c

    What we really need is — "Voter Access", "Candidate Access", and NEW 'Anti-Empire’ 3rd "Party Access” — for a democratic socialist government, as Einstein wrote in 1949.

    I'm contributing “Strategic Advantage” [Michael Porter HBS] which is more valuable than just the little bit of money that all ‘we average American people’ can raise to overthrow this damned Empire.

    All Revolutions are against only one thing — EMPIRE.

    And the only weak spot of Empire is to focus like a laser and Expose this Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal & War-Starting EMPIRE, which favors the ‘Ruling-Elite’, UHNWI, <0.003%ers, TCCers, arrogantly self-appointed "Masters of the Universe", and "Evil (not-so) Geniuses" [Kurt Andersen] — which hides Empire behind their totally corrupted dual-party Vichy-facade of faux-democracy.

    EMPIRE, like Vampires can only be overthrown by the light of peacefully ‘Exposing' or surgically ‘Excising’ this “Quiet American” duopoly of EMPIRE.

    That’s my most valuable Contribution of Strategy — rather than any amount of money.

    Who Profits? This Disguised Global Crony Capitalist ‘Negative Externality Cost’ dumping EMPIRE!

    Who Pays? “We the people of our world"

    As 'these NY 'Times' they are a-changin" reports:

    Russia’s disinformation campaign seemed to flounder in the early days of the invasion, as narratives about Ukrainian bravery dominated the internet. But in Russia (and America), the countries' propaganda machines were busy churning out a deluge of misinformation aimed at their own citizens — of which America is “We’re #1, We’re #1, We’re #1 in both Global Propaganda, and “We’re #1, We’re #1, We’re #1 also with the highest/worst GINI Coefficient of Wealth Inequality in the world @ 0.858.

    But, as John Belushi said on "Saturday Night Live" — "Noooo" — actually the Russian oligarchs are only second to America's “Quiet Empire” of Global War & Empire Oligarchs.

    This sometimes doesn't get reported by omission, American oligarchs, with a little help from their gobment friends, in dismissing the "accumulation by dispossession" that has been visited on Russians recently, has reduced Russia's GINI Coefficient of Wealth Inequality from the highest/worst GINI Wealth Inequality in the world at 0.879, and has just been bested by America.

    YES — U.S. sanctioning and beggaring of Russian oligarchs has now elevated America to #1 position in having the highest GINI Coefficient of Wealth Inequality in the world.

    "We're #1", "We're #1", "We're #1", in GLOBAL INEQUALITY of WEALTH — which after all, is all that counts in Money and Power.

    After all, Oligarchy is Rule by Power, while Plutocracy is Rule by Money — hell, "What's the difference"?

    I'd like to ask just one question — and don't spare my feelings.

    "Don't you think that 'we the American people' should at least have one 'Anti-Empire' Party — when the Repub and Dem Parties already have Two 'Pro-Empire' Parties?"

    Get ‘WOKE’ Ralph, for God’s Sake: We’re Nothing but a “Quiet American” dual-party Vichy Disguised Global EMPIRE

    Hey, Ralph Nader, Jamelle Bouie NYT, Bernie Sanders, Zack Heiden (Maine ACLU), Oliver Hall, Shenna Bellows (Maine Sect. Of State), and Aaron Frey (Maine Attorney General):

    HOW ABOUT some GO, GO, GO — Fight, Fight, Fight, against Candidate and Voter Access Suppression at University of Southern Maine — and other Public University systems through-out the U.S.?? For our FOUR MILLION newly 18 year-old students this voting year!!! (And 12 million by 2024) LET”S GET OUT THE ‘WOKE’ Voters!!

    *** I’ve got only one question for you — and don’t spare my feelings. ***

    “Shouldn’t ‘we the American people’ have at least one ‘Anti-Empire’ Party, — since the Dems and Repubs already have TWO damned ‘Pro-EMPIRE’ Parties??

    THINK about the UN-fairness — of this Virtual Duopoly of a Graham Greene, “Quiet American” EMPIRE

    I know the RNC DNC, and DCCC don’t give two shits about this — but I do, and you should too.

    Well, as Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise” — here’s what happens when “Empire-Thinking” employs UHNWI dirty Money, instead of obsolete “Bomb Power” [Gary Wills], in the Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal & War-Starting EMPIRE, to favor the ‘Ruling-Elite’, UHNWI, <0.003%ers, TCCers, arrogantly self-appointed "Masters of the Universe", and "Evil (not-so) Geniuses" [Kurt Andersen] — which hides behind their totally corrupted dual-party Vichy-facade of faux-democracy.

    Lordy, Lordy, Lordy — the result won't be released immediately, but this confrontation with 'Empire-thinking' Putin, against the "Quiet American" 'Empire-thinking', has already drastically reduced Putin and his oligarchs to only 2nd place in the battle for being #1 in GINI Coefficient of Wealth Inequality:

    Russia is currently listed as "We're #1" in GINI of Wealth Inequality at 0.879 — "but wait, there's more"!

    With America's, and Byeden's, pummeling of Russia, in 'Money Ball', by decimating and locking up what funds the Russian Oligarchs had before the war — "We're #1" again — and Russia's Oligarchs have almost certainly dropped down dramatically to somewhere near China's very moderate, and lower than the mean GINI ranking of all countries, at likely less than a GINI Coefficient of Wealth Inequality of 0.70.

    So the real "bottom line" is that our own American teams' GINI Coefficient of Wealth in the world is now #1 for our own domestic Oligarchs!

    I’ll send it all, but don’t feel badly if it’s too much — just ignore what you don’t like.

    I usually start out this way with the addressing of the person that I’m sending the overview to most recently:

    Hey, Paul (Krugman), I’ve got one question for you — and don’t spare my feelings. “Shouldn’t the people have one ‘Anti-Empire’ Party, since the Demos and Repubs already have TWO ‘Pro-EMPIRE’ Parties??

    Dear Bernie, you got to be ‘Woke’ and be the ’Spirit’ Bernie like “Bulworth" — of our 2nd and coming American Peaceful Political Revolution Against EMPIRE, Bernie!

    Here’s what I write to anyone/everyone who is open-minded, gutsy and is willing to use the Strategic Advantage of ‘Anti-Empire’ messaging against the damned two ‘pro-Empire’ duopoly of EMPIRE itself!

    Dear Robert Weissman, President of Ralph Nader’s PUBLIC CITIZEN,

    I’m sorry it has come to this stage of only asking for money, but I signed your request for action@citizen.org and I am glad to also contribute money — However I would ask you for one non-monitory favor: That you provide me with Ralph Nader’s contact information, so that I can chat with him about our conversation in the Portland Maine Unitarian Church during his 1996 Presidential run, at which I suggested/debated with Ralph that EMPIRE is the seminal problem in America — and Ralph may also remember the political economic policy paper that I wrote to you in the same 1996 year titled:

    "Negative Externality Costs — The Hidden Corporate Tax on America"

    BTW, I would also think that regarding this Dual Party Duopoly of “Quiet American” EMPIRE, Ralph might like to briefly scan some my following notes in 2022 regarding the insane “Empire Thinking” UHNWI, Ruling Elite, “Masters of the Universe”, who totally control this camouflaged and contemporary 2022 Empire of death 26 years later in its continuing metastasis.

    Has Bye Bye Byeden’s ‘cracked-up' foreign policy and defense team, of Tony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Ned ‘CIA' Price, John ‘CIA’ Kirby, and our entire Senior State Department Officials On Our Diplomatic Presence in Ukraine— all that we need to add is Victoria "Eff the EU” 'Kagan-PNAC’ Nuland to get this war started by announcing that there have been reports of Russian soldiers pulling Ukrainian babies off incubators.

    Hell, that’s how this “Quiet American” Empire lit the fuse for bombing Iraq in 2003!

    Since the NYT is keeping it's head down and saying little regarding the situation in Ukraine, because “these ’Times’ they are a-changin” slowly and almost imperceptively in the long arc of history toward or alway from Critical Empire Theory. The “Times” often acts as NYC beat-cops often say: “Nothing to see here folks. Just keep on walking"

    But all kidding aside, how about someone smart and reasonable like Fiona Hill getting involved in lowering the temperature on this crazy 'war-ginning up' — and maybe in addition to the fabulously highly informed and Putin knowledgeable Fiona — the only other idea I could forward would be for everyone to chill-out and watch the 1966 humorous and dis-arming film, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming" — Based on The Off-Islanders 1961 novel by Nathaniel Benchley Produced by Norman Jewison, Starring Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Alan Arkin, Brian Keith, and Jonathan Winters.

    Where-in a Russian submarine gets stranded on a sand-bar in a small Maine coastal town, which causes much trepidation, confusion, running round in circles of comedy, but finally ending in many of the Russian sailors helping to save a young Maine child, and ending in everyone getting along famously — including one of Carl Reiner's teenage daughters falling in love with a handsome young Russian sailor.

    Now that's how international potential dangers of War should really end if we all "can just get along". [Rodney King].

    LOVE TO ALL

    As I posted in “these ’Times’ they are a changin” this morning: regarding the “Times” article, "Spurning Demand by the Taliban, Biden Moves to Split $7 Billion in Frozen Afghan Funds":

    What an ambivalent move by the Christian, empathetic, but obviously not progressive President.

    While this doesn’t lower old Joe to the level of the easy to recognize; sociopathic, narcissistic, and megalomaniac ‘faux-Emperor Trump’, it certainly puts Bye Bye Biden in some sort of Catholic purgatory for 'middle of the roaders' — which radical Texas progressive, Jim Hightower, described as “there’s nothing in the middle of the road except for yellow stripes, dead armadillos", and Joe Biden.

    I often demonstrate and protest at the busy intersection of Congress and High Streets right in front of the TEGNA Media TV WCSH 6 sector of our fully integrated Media EMPIRE.

    While I literally LOVE Adam McKay, Ron Suskind, and David Sirota’s film “Don’t Look UP” — the only one aspect of this fabulously insightful, educational, radical, metaphoric-thinking film, IMHO, is that all the bubble-headed, ‘Keep it Lite’, chatter in the TV interview set portion of the mourning show, ’The Rip’ — I would have preferred to use the analogy of shows like; CNBC, Bloomberg, et. al. blah blah blahing about how Wall Street is doing soooo good, and talking, in particularly about the “quality of revenues”. “Now the most important thing about the market movement today, Sarah, is the Quality of Revenues”.

    But in TRUTH, that phase the “Quality of Revenue” is absolutely the deadly exposure point and vulnerability of the damned “Master of the Universe” on crooked WallStreet — because most of the “Quality of Revenue” is, as Warren Beatty said in his 1998 radical film “Bulworth” that “it must be the money, eh? It turns everything into crap”.

    Well, the supposedly wonderful “Quality of Revenue” is also crap squared — because most of the revenues in reality are produced like a modern version of scam/Ponzi ’Negative Externality Costs’ which are greater than the profits of most crony capitalist corporations, and in some cases as much are the Gross total ’supposedly’ “Quality Revenue” of corporations like fossil fuel, weapons-makers, and other high ’Negative Externality Cost’ dumping corporations.

    Of course all of the ’Negative Externality Costs’ dumped on our people and our world then metastasize over the years into increasing and massive “Accumulation by Dispossession” — which grows as filthy excess into a GINI Coefficient of Wealth INEQUALITY which is second only to that of Putin’s Russia. That’s absolutely correct: that the GINI Coefficient of Wealth Inequality is #1 for Russia at 0.879 and #2 for the U.S. at 0.852 — on the GINI scale 0 equals all people in a country sharing the same wealth, while a GINI of 1.0 equals all the wealth in a country being accumulated by ONE individual. So, America can’t keep boisterously cheering at football games, and sports events that “We’re #1, “We’re #1, “We’re #1” — the U. S. Is just number #2 in terms of all the countries in the world for Wealth Inequality!!

    [The following sections of my expanding writings are other useful Accumulations of Truth — with the Focal Point being that of this damned “Quiet American” camouflaged EMPIRE]

    “Don’t Look Up”, — it’s not just a fictional metaphoric Comet that will kill us all, but a very real EMPIRE — we need a Peaceful Political Revolution Against Empire.

    America is not any kind of a democracy, nor even a far less democratic Republic, but it is just the "disease of Republic Empire” — a Disguised Global Crony Capitalist RACIST Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal & War-Starting EMPIRE.

    That “Don’t Look Up” Comet isn’t the death of our world, but Global EMPIRE is much closer to killing any chance for hopeful and peaceful democratic socialism!

    But here’s the “Good News”

    A more than sufficient campaign for President, Senate, or Congress CAN be WON by a 'Strategically Advantaged' campaign which avoids and exposes "Big Money", appeals to the vast majority of disgusted voters of both these dual-party Vichy-facades of faux-democracy, and which provides exposure of this inexorably corrupted Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal & War-Starting Empire.

    Turning "Big Money" and "Big Empire" into deadly negative factors in the minds of all compassionate & thinking Americans is by far the best and only honest Campaign Strategy for all ‘we the American people’ and our fellow citizens around our fragile little world!.

    And the only thing that can kill “Good News” is to nail him to a cross, again and allow EMPIRE to kill him — a second coming time.

    I've read and/or watched; "On The Beach", "Morgan", "Dr. Strangelove", "Catch 22", "Being There”, “The Russians are Coming — The Russians are Coming" "Havana", "Bulworth", "Don't Look Up", and many other 'anti-war' and 'Anti-Empire' fictional dystopian lessons more times than I can remember.

    We've all had many chances to "Look Up", and to more importantly 'Look Inside' ourselves.

    All our founders fully understood from their deep reading of Roman history that "the disease of Republics is Empire" — and at least since Mark Twain was a leading Vice President of the "American 'Anti-Imperialist' League" in 1898, we could have understood that the long arc of history has bent toward, rather than away from, Empire — which is also vulnerable to the shortened logic of not addressing the full problem we could read everyday in the mast-head banner of an ‘opinion-setting' newspaper owned by a billionaire:

    "Democracy Dies In Darkness Under Empire” — What the Washinton Post should have done by adding these last two words ‘Under Empire’:

    I didn't have to write a book about this syndrome of "divide and conquer" being the deadly virus used by this Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal & War-Starting Empire to 'gin-up' wars, nor to expose the damned: ‘Ruling-Elite’, UHNWI, <0.003%ers, TCCers, arrogantly self-appointed "Masters of the Universe", and "Evil (not-so) Geniuses" [Kurt Andersen] — which hides behind their totally corrupted dual-party Vichy-facades of faux-democracy.

    All I'm doing now to shorten the learning curve of American Vet's understanding of war and it's creator, Empire, is contained in one 'double-side' demonstration sign that can be used by any of the young and 'Woke' college students, along with older and open-minded Americans, Russians, Chinese, Green Germans, and all other citizens of our small and fragile only little world:

    This weirdly inspired by "Don't Look Up", 'double-sided' demonstration sign has only four words and two colors — GREEN & RED

    BTW, one of the film’s producers was Ron “We’re an Empire Now” Suskind —— as he reported in October of 2004, and printed in the New York Times:

    There is a foreboding ‘shade’ of propagandist deception and un-awareness of this duopoly of disguised EMPIRE that hangs over us as much as the antebellum slave-owners imposed in outlawing slaves from learning to read.

    This extant, but currently obscured, Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal & War-Starting Empire hangs over all of our eyes.

    What used to be called the study of ‘political economics’ has been captured by the science of politic-science and economic-science — both of which are handmaidens of this state of Empire.

    Hopefully over some time the current economics of Empire — will recognize that the Empire construct of ‘Negative Externality Costs’ being imposed on we the people by Facebook, qua METAtastasis, is the greatest crime in history, as it enables not only “Accumulation by Dispossession” but also this duopoly of Empire against any form of democratic socialism (as Einstein pleaded for and warned the President about in 1949).

    “We will Overcome, We will Overcome, We will Overcome — Empire this day ay ay ay”

    The Inverse and Polar Opposite of EMPIRE is not just ‘democratic socialism’ — but LOVE

    Adam McKay’s prescient “Don’t Look Up” openly shows that Ron “We’re an Empire now” Suskind is right there in the credits!

    While McKay deserves great credit for his exposure of the “Disease of Republics” — which all our founders knew as Empire — has also been extensively portrayed in the art of cinema, not only for decades, but also more prominently than by the ‘too comfortable’ Fourth Estate.

    In addition to Adam McKay’s prescient “Don’t Look Up”, in which Peter Isherwell’s yelling at President Orlean to “get out here”, matched Ben Rand’s “making the President wait” in the 1979 “Being There”, shows that neither of the dual faux-parties, nor the USG is in control of this insane “Empire-Thinking”.

    Has anyone at the ‘Times’ considered or reported the litany of films like; “Dr. Strangelove”, “Bulworth”, “Havana”, “Three Days of the Condor”, et. al. which have investigated and reported on, what might be called the library of “Empire Exposure” films?

    Recently, the ’Times’ asked in an opinion piece whether “America Is Falling Apart at The Seams” in its recklessness — to which I replied:

    It’s easy to understand why people are driving so recklessly, now as 99% of ‘we the people’ of America have a sixth sense nearing the ‘event horizon’ of the end of this Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal and War-Starting Empire.

    That new “recklessness” is the same sense of reckless driving that Fred Astaire displayed in the 1959 Stanley Kramer film “On The Beach”.

    Canadian child psychologist and pediatrician Gabor Maté sensed that same thing when he was a baby in Nazi occupied Budapest in 1944, and his maternal grandparents were killed in Auschwitz when he was five months old — as he wrote much later that “all the Jewish babies cried inconsolably”.

    That conscious or unconscious sense of recklessness and impending dread was also what Stanley Kubrick sought to engender in his fabulous 1964 film, “Dr. Strangelove”. While, Warren Beatty’s 1998 “Bulworth” also created a sense of “recklessness” of political-economic truth consummated with gallows humor of love and death. Concluding “It must be the money — it turns everything into crap”.

    Of course, the entire project of “these ‘Times’ they are a-changin” — hopefully bending the arc of history long enough away from an asteroid or global Empire — to achieve Adam McKay’s loving team-effort in “Don’t Look Up” may bear some fruit — not just another apple — but another loving fruit that’s not a reckless ‘bite too far’.

    Paul Krugman, as a Nobel Economist must know that, ’Negative Externality Cost’ pumping and dumping of oil, weapons, cigarettes, deadly drugs and most recently the new facade of “Divide and Conquer” ‘anti-social media’ from Facebook, et. al. — purely to create ‘faux-profits’ by destroying our social democracy — is the greatest crime in world history.

    SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) and ESG (Environmental Social Governance) are just propagandist ploys to do nothing except looting by another capitalist name, but just by calling it PEP (Positive Externality Profits), the entire investment landscape can engender ‘Positivity’ and survival, instead of looting through ‘Negative Externality Cost’ dumping for faux-profits and hoarding through “Accumulation by Dispossession” [David Harvey]. As both Churchill applauded of ‘democracy’, and Einstein theorized of “Why Socialism?”, a poetic “synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits”, in government for a synthesis of democracy and socialism — could save our only fragile little planet from destruction!

    Any reasonably informed Americans — particularly the 4 million ‘Woke’ 18 year olds coming into voting age EACH YEAR (and 12 million Greta-capable Woke students by 2024) — could be easily informed about the “disease of Republics, Empire”, even if they only opened their minds and souls to the fun but serious lessons by watching Warren Beatty’s old 1998 film, “Bulworth”, a similar but newer film, “Don’t Look Up”, Madonna’s record,“Ghost Town”, and maybe getting onto the train taking-off toward democratic socialism with LOVE.

    And don’t miss Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now” Christmas Special on Free Speech TV focusing on the deep truth telling of Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald & Chris Hedges on NSA Leaks, Assange & Protecting a Free Internet — which will only repeat showings on Sat. Jan 1, 8:00 PM and Thur. Jan. 6, 3:00 AM.

    The new ‘platform’ “Discord”, which the NYT reported on today, doesn’t seem like anything but another ‘platform’ in the social media spying universe that will devolve into crap and ‘discord’ (“divide and conquer” style) as amply depicted in the fabulous new film, “Don’t Look Up”.

    The alliance of crony capitalism, racism, propaganda, ecocide, and war-starting (virtually or in reality) certainly seems with this boom/bust Stock Market ratcheting-up of making fortunes through ‘Negative Externality Cost’ dumping, which provides a clear path toward the goal of uber “Accumulation by Dispossession” [David Harvey], to the ultimate goal of One Global Empire — rather than a world of compassionate global ‘democratic socialism’ — which Albert Einstein proposed in 1949 to a President who was the product of the 1944 DNC & OSS torpedoing and coup against the fabulously progressive and brilliant ‘democratic socialist’ VP, Henry Wallace.

    “IMAGINE there’s no Empire
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell beneath us
    Above us only sky”

    Let’s learn and get beyond ‘Critical Race Theory’ and onto the real “Disease of Republics”, which is EMPIRE — by teaching Critical EMPIRE Theory.

    The Inverse and Polar Opposite of EMPIRE is not only ‘democratic socialism’ — but LOVE

    “We got Trouble right here in River City, and the starts with ’T’ and that rhymes with ‘E’, and that stands for EMPIRE.”

    The only sane and effective solution to this Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal & War-Starting Empire is to focus on the:

    GREEN NEW DEAL and a ‘winning’ Strategic Alliance with a new:

    GLOBAL GREEN
    ‘ANTI-EMPIRE’
    DSA PARTY

    +

    Believe me, the grass-roots money raising invention that the first few Democratic Candidates devised and used — worked well for a few candidates — but is now just beggaring all the less fortunate contributors — and the real problem is that the UNLIMITED MONEY of many damn ‘Pro-Empire’ & Big Dollar Contributors will overwhelm what the good, average, honest, and principled masses of ‘we the American people’ can possibly afford to spend against this Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal & War-Starting EMPIRE, which can spend enough to literally ‘flush’ the people.

    Today, IMHO, elections — or more accurately (S)elections — can only be won with a winning “Strategic Advantage” [Michael Porter HBS] and the days of hoping to win through truthful platforms are literally “Gone with the Wind”.

    Only superior Strategic Advantage can even hope to win in a poker game where there are ’no limits’ at the Crony Capitalist table.

    As I have oft commented in “these ‘Times’ they are a changing” for the better:

    Within a few years, an increasing number of progressive economists will realize that Facebook is the greatest ‘Negative Externality Cost’ pumping and dumping scheme in global history. [Full stop]

    Unlike the moral and ethical resistance to past ‘Negative Externality Cost’ dumping scams which were designed to provide “Accumulation by Dispossession” [David Harvey] and which always drove the ‘curve of history toward Empire’ — many principled ‘truth tellers’, whistle-blowers, and Anti-War/Anti-Empire; authors, academics, scientists, and “democracy-thinkers”, from; J Robert Oppenheimer, Norbert Wiener, Albert Einstein, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Joseph Stiglitz, Henry Wallace, Earl Shorris, Cornel West, and many thousand of other moral and ethical beacons have lead the path forward to “bending the curve of history away from EMPIRE”.

    And, I have also provided some understanding of why exposing EMPIRE is the only way to overcome EMPIRE and all it’s cancerous facades:

    I’m in Maine, where Dirigo (to lead) is the state moto, since it was the first and leading Green Party state, the first state in which Ralph Nader led and qualified the Green Party for national/presidential elections — rather than (S)lections — like these dueling and dual Red and Blue ‘Pro-Empire’ Parties, akin to switching back and forth in the 50s between the only unsatisfying choices being between oil smoking Fords and rusting Chevys.

    Each year now we will be having 4 million young and ‘Woke’ — yes Woke, and progressive, “say that dirty word”, just as Warren Beatty shouted out “Socialism” in the most radical and prescient film, “Bulworth”, that Americans were ever allowed to see — and those 4 million new youth voters each year give me absolute assurance over one year (4 million) and three years with (12 million Greta’s) that the Green New Deal will be a reality that changes everything.

    Additionally, even though I will be an old “Common Sense” American Revolutionary of 77 in 2024, I’m hopeful that by then a real Election, with 12 million new young Woke voters could even have a good chance to see a new compliment and addition to our progressive GREEN NEW DEAL with an even NEWER and real choice of a:

    GLOBAL GREEN
    ‘ANTI-EMPIRE’
    PEACE PARTY

    Why??

    Because we already have two Red and Blue ‘Pro-Empire’ Parties.

    I know, it may seem like a dream, and the ‘Ruling Elite’, UHNWI, 0.03%ers, “Master of the Universe” will fight like hell, but, sing with Lennon & Lenin:

    “Imagine there’s no Empire
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky”

    BTW, this current ‘nastier than hell’ Disguised EMPIRE is owned exclusively by the damned: ‘Ruling-Elite’, UHNWI, <0.003%ers, TCCers, arrogantly self-appointed "Masters of the Universe", and "Evil (not-so) Geniuses" [Kurt Andersen].

    CRT, Critical Race Theory, is only a part/sector, but an important sector, of ‘CET' (Critical EMPIRE Theory).
    CET, Critical EMPIRE Theory, is, the seminal construction of this all-too-real Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal & War-Starting Empire — which hides behind its dual-party Vichy-facade of faux-democracy — and employs propaganda to gin-up the spector of racism by disabusing the serious academic topic of Critical Race Theory as a mere totem to over-focus on Race itself and to enflame arguments about Racism.

    "Critical _____ Theory”, I would strongly suggest, is at the top of a pyramid of factors — or actually ‘causes' — of our multi-variable educational and problematic analysis of theories we should focus on as seminal with respect to "Critical Empire Theory”.

    While, Critical Race Theory, Critical Class Theory, Critical Education Theory, Critical Conflict Theory, Critical War Theory, Critical Propaganda Theory, Critical Capitalist Theory, et. al. should all be opened to academic study and attention — the penultimate study both for America and 'our entire fragile little world' should be Critical EMPIRE Theory.

    While many ill-informed Americans may still believe that America, our country, and "our government" is managed, for better or worse, by some form of functional democratic Republic, but that it is actually, however, a very modern and camouflaged form of 21st century EMPIRE.
    This uncomfortable fact is well understood by hundreds, if not thousands far better informed academics.

    In this American EMPIRE what ‘we the people of our world’ really need more than a 'Good 10 cent Cigar' is an effective and honest:

    GREEN 'ANTI-EMPIRE PARTY.

    Which I have expanded to this new moniker:

    GLOBAL GREEN
    'ANTI-EMPIRE'
    PEACE PARTY

    Why?
    Because we already have two RED and BLUE ‘Pro-Empire’ Parties.

    BTW, this current 'nastier than hell' Disguised EMPIRE is owned exclusively by the damned: ‘Ruling-Elite’, UHNWI, <0.003%ers, TCCers, arrogantly self-appointed "Masters of the Universe", and "Evil (not-so) Geniuses" [Kurt Andersen].

    Cont.

    SO, FOCUS LIKE AN EFFIN LASER ON EMPIRE — NOT on all the little ‘Issues’, “symptom problems”,
    nor even our entire “ailing social order” [Zygmunt Bauman] — because the ‘Winning Strategy” of focusing on EMPIRE is
    the sweet-spot and survival for any successful, progressive, educational, and continuation of a people’s American social
    democracy over Global EMPIRE

    Maine Wins w/ Dirigo (leading) and against Global EMPIRE!!

    BTW, IMHO, there is a dysfunctional and very dangerous situation devolving, in which money is being sought and employed by the progressive side of the equation as the primary vehicle to achieve what are viewed as positive political movements and to avoid or overcome negative political actions.

    While such ‘grass roots’ funding issues were initially viewed by the progressive movements being viewed as inexorably positive for the progressive agenda, a dark-side (or negative externality cost) is becoming more visible every day as a deadly trap for the political left, which BTW, had already been suffering under a precipitous arc of history toward the right ‘neofascist side’ of center for at least four decades.

    Employing money as the measure of political effectiveness is insane for the simple reason that it destroys democracy and allows this “disease of Republics”, which our forefathers all knew as Empire, into this most modern form of Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Racist Propagandist Criminal Ecocidal & War-Starting EMPIRE.

    While the ancient Hippocratic Oath effectively says:

    “First do no harm”

    This two millennia newer teaching from Christ effectively says:

    “First do no Empire”

    The inverse of Empire is not just democratic socialism, but Love.

    BTW2, the explosion and dependence on too much dirty $$$ Money, and far too many insignificant little ‘ISSUES’ is “dividing and conquering” the left progressive base from ever focusing on a single simple, and strategic ‘winning’ “Strategic Advantage” against EMPIRE:

    “Show me what democracy looks like”
    “This ain’t what democracy looks like”
    “This is what an EMPIRE looks like”
    We must understand the deception of this new 21st century form of hidden EMPIRE — this analogy may be helpful:

    “Can’t see the Forest for the Trees” translates politically in 2022 into
    “Can’t see the Empire for the Issues & Money”

    Pleading desperately for MORE MONEY and for MORE ISSUES just ‘divides, distracts, dissipates’ focus on the seminal evil of EMPIRE — which makes it easy for EMPIRE to

    “DIVIDE and CONQUER ‘we the American people’.
    “It’s not the economy, stupid”
    “It’s not the COVID-45, stupid”
    “It’s not faux-Emperor Trump, stupid”
    “It’s not even the Issues, stupid”
    “It’s the effin Empire, stupid”

    Sincerely and with

    LOVE
    Over
    Violent (and dual-party Vichy)
    EMPIRE,

    Alan MacDonald
    Wells, Maine

    1. the sheepdog has always been fascist….”the difference between the US progressive/liberal and the conservative is that the progressive is more deceptive”. Malcolm X

  2. Why federal spending on solar and electric vehicles?
    Why fossil fuel subsidies?
    Why not a carbon fee and dividend?

  3. Finally, Bernie Sanders has come back, after his disappearance after 2016. Sadly, I’m afraid that the damage to his reputation in the last six or seven years has been too deep for him to recuperate.

    1. “Damage to his reputation” – as in ? Also, I sure have gotten lots and lots stuff of Bernie beating the drums all over the country for Medicare for All….$15 fed min wage….college debt forgiveness etc. etc. etc. since those ultra progressive marvels of the corporate Democratic establishment burned enough money and pushed a few shoe lickers to kick him out of the (presidential) running. Actually, I’ve been amazed at his stamina.

      1. Except that on orders from the Dem leadership, the Sheepdog stopped talking about Med4All* for close to a year, beginning around the spring of last year. Now there he is, putting on a “progressive” show again, ahead of the midterms. EVERYTHING he proposed in the latest show in the Senate was shot down by Dems and ‘Cons alike. He KNOWS that the Dem Party itself will NEVER cotton to anything he claims to want, like Med4All. Like all “progressives ” in the Congress, he’s all talk.
        *As did all the other “progressives” in the House. Med4All morphed into “Healthcare” if it was talked about at all.

  4. Bernie you are such an incredible loser……and coward.

    “Sanders didn’t say the bill’s flaws are sufficiently grave for him to vote no, but…”

    Bernie you disgust me.

    1. Hey JustAMavrickSounds like you ought to run for Senate….you’ve got the ticket and Bernie doesn’t in your book. Put your disgust to work being what you want Bernie to be and isn’t (for you). Show us how it’s done! Heaven knows we need strong spines, teeth, and huzpah.

      1. “in amerika the citizen has been transformed into a client, the worker into a consumer”. Christopher Lasch

      2. “those that vote abdicate their power”. ‘Elections: A Trap for Fools’. JP Sartre

      3. Bernie is all talk. So, should I run for office then? Is that when Sanders won’t be all talk? One of our jobs as a citizen is to criticize politicians who are not doing their job. Not to be a fangirl or fan boy and start making excuses for them.

      4. “So, should I run for office then? Is that when Sanders won’t be all talk?“ No. To see if you’re all talk.

    2. AGREED! He’ll vote for the bill as he’s become nothing but a lapdog for those darling Democrats who have totally surrendered to the wealth class, the “so-called” Progressive Caucus included!

      1. “the american liberal wants to preserve the essence of the past, the american conservative wants more and more progress. the European radical wants to hasten the transformation of the future. the European conservative wants to preserve the essence of the past”. Geoffrey Gorer
        obvious in Europe/S. Amerika the left wing opposes gun control, the right wing like the nazis seeks to restrict freedom…in USA it is the fake progressives that despise freedom

    3. “amerikans do not converse as Tocqueville wrote—they entertain each other. americans do not exchange ideas they exchange images. the problem with americans is not Orwellian, it is huxleyan; americans love heir oppression”. Neil Postman
      As the Marxist meszaros writes, “there is nothing radical about asking for more; only acting differently is radical”

  5. This nation pretends it is a democracy and cares about its people, but only the rich count at all.

    1. Rosemerry – Maybe that’s because you and I and lots and lots of others don’t seize the day and make sufficient “good trouble” to push our so-called “representatives” into doing right by us. I’ve been impressed by the gutsiness of the Extinction Rebellion in Europe. Except for the young set’s aroused ambitions for unionizing, I’d say our citizenry is a bunch of passive complainers, checked outers, hand wringers, moralizers, can sitting know betters and say nothings and expect our largely “bought” representatives to actually act in our best interests when we clearly see them dancing to the corporate beat – amazing truly amazing Mr. Rx Gottheimer’s (NJ) success in beating down the efforts for governmental bargaining decent drug prices. If all the old peeps in the Social Security Payments & Medicare Club started massing in major thorough fares, ports, train stations and tracks or sitting down in the hallowed halls of Congress eating bag lunches and getting in the way and force the police to drag our bony bodies off to the clink, some shame might “might” begin sticking to Gottheimer, Mr. Bermuda Yacht Shorts Manchin and Ms. Private Equity Sinema and their ilk. But no, old peeps say to themselves – “that’s just not me” …..well, maybe it’s time to break out of the “that’s just not me” shell and get rash…before the dark claims us for good.

    2. “as one digs deeper into the national character of amerikans one sees they have sought the value of everything in this world according to the answer to a single question: how much money will it bring in?” Tocqueville
      “the only God in america is money”. Malcolm X
      americans are farcical when it comes to to money and force majeure —the 2 things they worship”. Gore Vidal
      “the double symbolism assigned to money by americans is considered paradoxical to Europeans”. Geoffrey Gorer

  6. Not even crumbs. Oh glory! I do wonder how many homes, yachts, investments in oil and gas each of the authors of this silliness own? And we go on about January 6! Hah! Those adolescents exemplified by Trump and the “Proud Boys”, are peanuts compared to each one of the authors of this bill. “Here I give you my daughter and the right to burn down our house!” Who really gives a damn about burrowing owls, bees and songbirds ,or American people? Dead or alive? But gee whiz, ain’t we lucky! We get to build a wind turbine after throwing away Our citizenry’s land to those pure bred types who have lied to us – how many years? Shameless, pitiful blood suckers.

  7. the sheepdog is an immoral reactionary—votes for all military budgets and is upset about greed;;;the hypocrite that supported war criminals–obama, Clinton, Biden

    1. Wow! “War crminal!” The intensity of your fulmination reminds me of that of Jonathan Edwards in that Puritan preacher’s sermon – “Man in the hands of an angry god.” Mighty and brooking no imperfection. Classing Bernie in the same league as Cheney, Bush, Rice et al is quite extraordinary.

      1. “the monolingual inevitably confuses style with content”. George Simmel
        “american radicals both black and white adopted radical style without any radical content”. Christopher Lasch
        “the least reproach offends americans the slightest sharp sting of truth turns them fierce…I know of no nation where there is no independence of mind nor any real freedom of debate except america”. Tocqueville
        “the men americans most admire dare to tell them the most extravagant lies, the meant they most despise try to tell them the truth”. HL menkhen
        “american parents lie to their children, american children lie to their parents–it is expected…americans bewilder Europeans”. Geoffrey Gorer

    2. Amen to that giligan! In 2016, Bernie should have run a Third Party campaign for President and told the Dems to Go-To-Hell! Clinton was destined to lose in 2016 as the Rust Belt was not going to vote for her under any circumstances, her campaign was doomed from the start (an electoral certainty). Bernie is after all a coward, a whole lot of “Sound and fury signifying NOTHING!”

  8. I’m just amazed that ANYONE expects anything less from the Democratic leadership. They are, and have been for many years, hand in glove with the GOP to ensure that big business gets exactly what they want. Together the two parties are merely two wings of the unofficial umbrella Neoconservative oligarchy that is hell-bent on destroying this planet for the love of profit. This legislation must be fought tooth and nail!

  9. But ….

    We know this is a 50-50 Senate and a 50-50 vote with the usual Republican blocking tactic.

    We’ve just seen long negotiations with the far, far right of the Democratic Party to get to 50 votes.

    Which means this…. if Bernie was really opposed to this, he could block it for his agenda just like Manchin had blocked it for his agenda. Its a 50-50 vote. To pass, Biden must have Bernie’s vote.

    I am sick of this ‘we are powerless’ routine from Bernie. He has power. He holds one of the most powerful positions in the Senate, Chair of the Budget Committee. But, he never does anything.
    And in this case, this will pass with a Bernie Yes vote on the record. Joe Biden and the rightwing requires Bernie’s vote, and they will get it.

    Give me a break. A ‘millionaire socialist’ was always such a contradiction as to likely be a fraud.

    1. Bernie Sanders recently made some money because he wrote and published a book… I would not be suprised if he made a million dollars from it(before taxes)(a million is really not that much anymore. (Around Washington it wouldn’t buy one house). He was born and grew up impoverished… I would seriously doubt if he took the route to riches that most legislators do, which is to invest in the armaments industry, then legislate for war and enormous military military budgets, in order to profit from stocks…

  10. You can’t be serious . What Bernie has inspired and is bringing to fruition among the young within the labor movement, and other related movements, may well be more important than what he might have done as president… The young are organizing and gaining confidence in their own power to such a degree, that I believe them already to be unstoppable… and it has been Bernie’s steadfast devotion to justice for each of us, and his unflinching strength that his Love for us allows him, that has inspired us… Bernie is almost selfless, which allows him to love us in a way that there is no need to resist, and that circulates among us clearly, allowing cooperation, which is an essential dimension of our strength… as is our diversity a strength, and, once again, a significant touchstone that has allowed us to coalesce , is that so of us have been touched and inspired by the way that Bernie Sanders has lived his life.

    1. Harriet Smith – Your beautifully written acknowledgment of Bernie stirred my heart. You wrote what I have felt. Especially, about his being a sower of seeds among the young with passion and love. Thank you!

  11. the reactionary war monger Bernie sheepdog sanders describes Hugo Chavez a dictator John mcCain a hero and votes for all military appropriations and endorses war criminals, biden obama Clinton—fascist ruling class apologist

  12. the marxist Richard Sennet perceived the extreme inner directed narcissism amongst americans—in 1974 he described the american obsession with JFK’s money and sex life as “mobilized narcissism, passivity, ideological senility”. He observed that americans prefer to obsess about incompetent leaders rather than addressing social forces…obviously not true in Ecuador, Colombia, China, Russia, Chile, France, Argentina, Venezuela, Hungary, Bolivia etc

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