Tuesday, February 9, 2016

more adventures in democracy for Israel's Jews-only state

Three Joint List MKs suspended from Knesset over visit to Palestinian attacker’s homes
Israel/Palestine Allison Deger on February 8, 2016


Three members of the Joint List—the third largest faction in Israel— were suspended from Knesset today for visiting the homes of East Jerusalem Palestinian families whose relatives carried out attacks against Israelis in recent weeks. Haneen Zoabi and Basel Ghattas will be barred from Knesset assembly sessions for four months, and Jamal Zahalka for two.

During the suspension the officials will still be able to vote.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sharply criticized the meetings with Palestinians last week and vowed to take legal action against the legislatures. On Monday he backed an amendment to Basic Law–Israel’s version of a constitution–that approved ousting representatives for “behavior inappropriate for their position as a member of the Knesset.”

“Members of Knesset who go to comfort the families of terrorists who murdered Israelis do not deserve to be in the Israeli Knesset. I have asked the Speaker of the Knesset to examine what steps can be taken against them,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

In response Zoabi posted on Facebook, “The real crime is in the detention of the bodies.”

Over the past four months as violence increased in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, the bodies of dozens of Palestinians who were killed by Israeli police in the course of attacks and alleged attacks were kept in Israeli morgues, at times for months. The returning of remains of West Bank residents takes place through a formal process with the Palestinian Authority. On December 31, 2015, Israel returned seven bodies to the Palestinian government, in exchange for a list of concessions that included limitations on the number of funeral attendees and a prohibition on autopsies. Three more were released over the weekend. Israel is expected to turn over an additional 10 in the coming days, again with conditions on limiting the size of funerals.

The exchange of bodies for assurances of small numbers of mourners is not without its uses for Israel. The restrictions were common practice during the second Intifada, when processions with thousands of bereaved often developed into large demonstrations against the Israeli military.

Yet for the bodies of East Jerusalem Palestinians there is no clear process or advocate. While the Palestinian Authority claims jurisdiction in practice they are banned from operating in Jerusalem. Zoabi’s party head Ayman Odeh said her visit was to fill the administrative gap and coordinate arrangements, rather than pay condolences or lend support to attacks against Israelis, as Netanyahu said.

“The purpose of the visit was to assist in coordinating the return of the remains of the Palestinians who were killed by Israeli security at the scenes,” Odeh said.

“We are strongly opposed to the Israeli government’s commerce in human bodies. Netanyahu and his ministers know full well what the meeting in East Jerusalem was about: this is a fundamental human issue. All human beings, horrendous as their crimes may be, should be allowed to be buried,” he continued.

For Zoabi the censure was proceeded by more legal troubles. She received a suspended jail sentence on Sunday for six months over a 2014 incident where she disparaged two police officers.

Two years ago Zoabi called officers standing guard “traitors” when exiting a Nazareth court following the hearing of constituents detained during a protest in the aftermath of the burning alive of 16-year old Mohammed Abu Khdeir in Jerusalem that summer. The killing sparked waves of demonstrations across Israel and the West Bank. Zoabi later apologized for the comment, “My remarks came against a backdrop of harsh arrests,” even so her peers in Knesset probed the insult for incitement.

- See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/02/three-joint-list-mks-suspended-from-knesset-over-visit-to-palestinian-attackers-homes/#sthash.w165GVev.dpuf

Two, Three... Many Flints America’s Coast-to-Coast Toxic Crisis

from Tomgram
By David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz

“I know if I was a parent up there, I would be beside myself if my kids’ health could be at risk,” said President Obama on a recent trip to Michigan. “Up there” was Flint, a rusting industrial city in the grip of a “water crisis” brought on by a government austerity scheme. To save a couple of million dollars, that city switched its source of water from Lake Huron to the Flint River, a long-time industrial dumping ground for the toxic industries that had once made their home along its banks. Now, the city is enveloped in a public health emergency, with elevated levels of lead in its water supply and in the blood of its children.

The price tag for replacing the lead pipes that contaminated its drinking water, thanks to the corrosive toxins found in the Flint River, is now estimated at up to $1.5 billion. No one knows where that money will come from or when it will arrive. In the meantime, the cost to the children of Flint has been and will be incalculable. As little as a few specks of lead in the water children drink or in flakes of paint that come off the walls of old houses and are ingested can change the course of a life. The amount of lead dust that covers a thumbnail is enough to send a child into a coma or into convulsions leading to death. It takes less than a tenth of that amount to cause IQ loss, hearing loss, or behavioral problems like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the government agency responsible for tracking and protecting the nation’s health, says simply, “No safe blood lead level in children has been identified.”

President Obama would have good reason to worry if his kids lived in Flint. But the city’s children are hardly the only ones threatened by this public health crisis. There’s a lead crisis for children in Baltimore, Maryland, Herculaneum, Missouri, Sebring, Ohio, and even the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., and that’s just to begin a list. State reports suggest, for instance, that "18 cities in Pennsylvania and 11 in New Jersey may have an even higher share of children with dangerously elevated levels of lead than does Flint." Today, scientists agree that there is no safe level of lead for children and at least half of American children have some of this neurotoxin in their blood. The CDC is especially concerned about the more than 500,000 American children who have substantial amounts of lead in their bodies. Over the past century, an untold number have had their IQs reduced, their school performances limited, their behaviors altered, and their neurological development undermined. From coast to coast, from the Sun Belt to the Rust Belt, children have been and continue to be imperiled by a century of industrial production, commercial gluttony, and abandonment by the local, state, and federal governments that should have protected them. Unlike in Flint, the “crisis” seldom comes to public attention.

Two, Three... Many Flints

In Flint, the origins of the current crisis lay in the history of auto giant General Motors (GM) and its rise in the middle decades of the twentieth century to the status of the world’s largest corporation. GM’s Buick plant alone once occupied “an area almost a mile and a half long and half a mile wide,” according to the Chicago Tribune, and several Chevrolet and other GM plants literally covered the waterfront of “this automotive city.” Into the Flint River went the toxic wastes of factories large and small, which once supplied batteries, paints, solders, glass, fabrics, oils, lubricating fluids, and a multitude of other materials that made up the modern car. In these plants strung out along the banks of the Flint and Saginaw rivers and their detritus lay the origins of the present public health emergency.

The crisis that attracted President Obama’s attention is certainly horrifying, but the children of Flint have been poisoned in one way or another for at least 80 years. Three generations of those children living around Chevrolet Avenue in the old industrial heart of the city experienced an environment filled with heavy metal toxins that cause neurological conditions in them and cardiovascular problems in adults.

As Michael Moore documented in his film Roger and Me, GM abandoned Flint in a vain attempt to stave off financial disaster. Having sucked its people dry, the company ditched the city, leaving it to deal with a polluted hell without the means to do so. Like other industrial cities that have suffered this kind of abandonment, Flint’s population is majority African American and Latino, and has a disproportionate number of families living below the poverty line. Of its 100,000 residents, 65% are African American and Latino and 42% are mired in poverty.

The president should be worried about Flint’s children and local, state, and federal authorities need to fix the pipes, sewers, and water supply of the city. Technically, this is a feasible, if expensive, proposition. It’s already clear, however, that the political will is just not there even for this one community. Gina McCarthy, the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, has refused to provide Flint’s residents with even a prospective timetable for replacing their pipes and making their water safe. There is, however, a far graver problem that is even less easy to fix: the mix of racism and corporate greed that have put lead and other pollutants into millions of homes in the United States. The scores of endangered kids in Flint are just the tip of a vast, toxic iceberg. Even Baltimore, which first identified its lead poisoning epidemic in the 1930s, still faces a crisis, especially in largely African American communities, when it comes to the lead paint in its older housing stock.

Just this month, Maryland’s secretary of housing, community, and development, Kenneth C. Holt, dismissed the never-ending lead crisis in Baltimore by callously suggesting that it might all be a shuck. A mother, he said, might fake such poisoning by putting “a lead fishing weight in her child's mouth [and] then take the child in for testing.” Such a tactic, he indicated, without any kind of proof, was aimed at making landlords “liable for providing the child with [better] housing.” Unfortunately, the attitudes of Holt and Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan have proven all too typical of the ways in which America’s civic and state leaders have tended to ignore, dismiss, or simply deny the real suffering of children, especially those who are black and Latino, when it comes to lead and other toxic chemicals.

There is, in fact, a grim broader history of lead poisoning in America. It was probably the most widely dispersed environmental toxin that affected children in this country. In part, this was because, for decades during the middle of the twentieth century, it was marketed as an essential ingredient in industrial society, something without which none of us could get along comfortably. Those toxic pipes in Flint are hardly the only, or even the primary, source of danger to children left over from that era.

In the 1920s, tetraethyl lead was introduced as an additive for gasoline. It was lauded at the time as a "gift of God" by a representative of the Ethyl Corporation, a creation of GM, Standard Oil, and Dupont, the companies that invented, produced, and marketed the stuff. Despite warnings that this industrial toxin might pollute the planet, which it did, almost three-quarters of a century would pass before it was removed from gasoline in the United States. During that time, spewed out of the tailpipes of hundreds of millions of cars and trucks, it tainted the soil that children played in and was tracked onto floors that toddlers touched. Banned from use in the 1980s, it still lurks in the environment today.

Meanwhile, homes across the country were tainted by lead in quite a different way. Lead carbonate, a white powder, was mixed with linseed oil to create the paint that was used in the nation’s homes, hospitals, schools, and other buildings until 1978. Though its power to harm and even kill children who sucked on lead-painted windowsills, toys, cribs, and woodwork had long been known, it was only in that year that the federal government banned its use in household paints.

Hundreds of tons of the lead in paint that covered the walls of houses, apartment buildings, and workplaces across the United States remains in place almost four decades later, especially in poorer neighborhoods where millions of African American and Latino children currently live. Right now, most middle class white families feel relatively immune from the dangers of lead, although the gentrification of old neighborhoods and the renovation of old homes can still expose their children to dangerous levels of lead dust from the old paint on those walls. However, economically and politically vulnerable black and Hispanic children, many of whom inhabit dilapidated older housing, still suffer disproportionately from the devastating effects of the toxin. This is the meaning of institutional racism in action today. As with the water flowing into homes from the pipes of Flint’s water system, so the walls of its apartment complexes, not to mention those in poor neighborhoods of Detroit, Baltimore, Washington, and virtually every other older urban center in the country, continue to poison children exposed to lead-polluted dust, chips, soil, and air.

Over the course of the past century, tens of millions of children have been poisoned by lead and millions more remain in danger of it today. Add to this the risks these same children face from industrial toxins like mercury, asbestos, and polychlorinated biphenyls (better known as PCBs) and you have an ongoing recipe for a Flint-like disaster but on a national scale.

In truth, the United States has scores of “Flints” awaiting their moments. Think of them as ticking toxic time bombs -- just an austerity scheme or some official’s poor decision away from a public health disaster. Given this, it’s remarkable, even in the wake of Flint, how little attention or publicity such threats receive. Not surprisingly, then, there seems to be virtually no political will to ensure that future generations of children will not suffer the same fate as those in Flint.

The Future of America’s Toxic Past

A series of decisions by state and local officials turned Flint’s chronic post-industrial crisis into a total public health disaster. If clueless, corrupt, or heartless government officials get all the blame for this (and blame they do deserve), the larger point will unfortunately be missed -- that there are many post-industrial Flints, many other hidden tragedies affecting America’s children that await their moments in the news. Treat Flint as an anomaly and you condemn families nationwide to bear the damage to their children alone, abandoned by a society unwilling to invest in cleaning up a century of industrial pollution, or even to acknowledge the injustice involved.

Flint may be years away from a solution to its current crisis, but in a few cities elsewhere in the country there is at least a modicum of hope when it comes to developing ways to begin to address this country’s poisonous past. In California, for example, 10 cities and counties, including San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Oakland, have successfully sued and won an initial judgment against three lead pigment manufacturers for $1.15 billion. That money will be invested in removing lead paint from the walls of homes in these cities. If this judgment is upheld on appeal, it would be an unprecedented and pathbreaking victory, since it would force a polluting industry to clean up the mess it created and from which it profited.

There have been other partial victories, too. In Herculaneum, Missouri, for instance, where half the children within a mile of the nation’s largest lead smelter suffered lead poisoning, jurors returned a $320 million verdict against Fluor Corporation, one of the world’s largest construction and engineering firms. That verdict is also on appeal, while the company has moved its smelter to Peru where whole new populations are undoubtedly being poisoned.

President Obama hit the nail on the head with his recent comments on Flint, but he also missed the larger point. There he was just a few dozen miles from that city’s damaged water system when he spoke in Detroit, another symbol of corporate abandonment with its own grim toxic legacy. Thousands of homes in the Motor City, the former capital of the auto industry, are still lead paint disaster areas. Perhaps it’s time to widen the canvas when it comes to the poisoning of America’s children and face the terrible human toll caused by “the American century.”


Friday, February 5, 2016

Israeli dissident ordered to submit Facebook posts to military censor


Ali Abunimah Rights and Accountability 4 February 2016


Israeli journalist Yossi Gurvitz says he will defy military censorship order. (Jonathan Klinger)
An Israeli Jewish dissident has been ordered to submit his social media postings to military censorship.

Yossi Gurvitz, who writes in English and Hebrew for a number of publications, is frequently critical of his country’s abuses of Palestinian rights, and of its official ideology, Zionism.

“The military censorship served me with an order today, demanding to pre-vet any post or Facebook status I wrote about the IDF [Israeli army] or the defense ministry system,” Gurvitz wrote in a series of Tweets on Wednesday. “I do not intend to comply with the demand and I am considering my legal options,” he added.


“The demand to pre-censor posts and status basically kills new media in Israel,” Gurvitz stated.

Gurvitz told The Electronic Intifada by phone that he first received a message on Facebook, from an account claiming to be the official military censor.

But the account’s profile page contained little information, leading him at first to believe it could be a hoax.

“I talked to friends and they said if it’s a hoax it’s a hoax, but if it’s real you have to make some response,” Gurvitz said.

“So I sent them [the military censor’s office] an email and a few days later they responded that yes, we did send you this.”

“I informed them that I think their action is unreasonable and I won’t comply with it,” Gurvitz added.

Dozens censored
Gurvitz is one of about 30 social media users and bloggers to have received similar orders in recent days, according to the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz, but he appears to be the only one speaking out loudly about it.

Elad Hen, the editor of Hevra (Society), did confirm to the Israeli publication The Seventh Eye that his leftist journal received a similar notice.

Gurvitz has written for +972 Magazine and blogs for the human rights group Yesh Din.

Gurvitz also tweeted: “After consulting with legal counsel, I decided not to publish the document sent by the military censorship as it expressly forbids it.”


Gurvitz told The Electronic Intifada he was still unclear if the order only relates to his social media postings or includes his personal blog Friends of George.

The military censor’s office has confirmed it sent the orders.

“In the last week such communication was made with several Facebook pages, which define themselves as news and/or newsflash pages,” the censor’s office told Haaretz. “In the communication, there was no specific request to remove any publication. It will be stressed that the profiles involved are not private profiles but only public pages, which define themselves as media and are open to perusal by the public.”

Gurvitz told The Electronic Intifada that when he opened his Facebook account, he had categorized it as “news,” because he did not think any other description fit better.

Broad crackdown
The censorship orders come at a time when dissidents, human rights defenders and leftists are facing a wave of incitement and police repression in present-day Israel.

The far-right-wing group Im Tirtzu, for which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has personally raised funds, has been behind much of the incitement.

It recently published a video labeling the heads of several Israeli human rights groups as traitors.

Gurvitz is one of the voices who has long been in Im Tirtzu’s crosshairs.

Gurvitz told The Electronic Intifada that the censorship orders may be related to the political atmosphere.

“I can’t say for certain but the timing is very suspicious,” he said. He also noted that no right-wing publication has talked about receiving such orders.

“Emergency”
Under the 1945 Defense (Emergency) Regulations imposed by British colonial rulers in Palestine and maintained by Israel ever since, the military censor has broad powers to block almost any publication.

Israeli repression of the speech rights of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, and of Palestinian citizens of Israel, has long been the norm.

Israel frequently prosecutes Palestinians, particularly in occupied East Jerusalem, for what it calls “incitement” on Facebook.

However its violations only tend to attract high-profile international attention and criticism when they begin to target Jews.

At that point, liberal voices begin to worry about the “erosion” of an Israeli democracy that has never functioned as such for Palestinians.

Gurvitz said he does not know what the consequences might be for defying the censorship order.

“Nobody knows,” he said. “In the past 30 years the censor did not prosecute people for not obeying them, unless they also committed a security offense.”

Gurvitz said that he has spoken to lawyers from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.

“If the censor insists on its course, we may have no recourse except court action,” he said.

“Everyone should know that this so-called Silicon Wadi, this great land of startups is letting the military censor trample its Facebook users,” Gurvitz said, referring to Israel’s efforts to market itself as a forward-looking and open hi-tech haven.

“I think Facebook may have something to say about this,” he added.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Knesset Rejects Bill For Equality For All Citizens

By The Middle East Monitor

January 30, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "MEM" - The Knesset yesterday voted against a draft bill proposed by MK Jamal Zahalka of the Joint Arab List, which stipulates the inclusion of an equality clause in Israel’s Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty.

The majority of the Likud bloc, the Haredi parties and Kulanu party voted against the proposal. They were joined by Yesh Atid, led by Yair Lapid. However, the Joint List, Meretz and the Labour parties all supported the bill.
During his proposal, Zahalka said: “All constitutions in modern countries begin with stressing the principle of equality amongst their citizens. Even undemocratic countries adopt this principle legally, considering it a cornerstone for any modern political system, including democracy, which seems impossible and meaningless without equality.”

Zahalka also said that equality is a principle in itself and is not based on any other principles, rather, other human rights values are derived from it. He described the absence of equality in the state’s Basic Law as “a serious absence, as it forces the judiciary, amongst others, to explain why the word equality is missing from the basic laws, which are in place of the constitution.”

He added that Judge Aharon Barack explained the current law as human dignity that must also include the principle of equality. This is why we must include the word equality in a clear manner in the Basic Law.

“Anyone voting against the law is voting against equality, and does not have the right to promote democracy or say they are against discrimination and racism. The entire world adopts the principle of equality in their laws, and this is the only country that does not embrace equality in its laws. This is clear proof of the state’s nature,” Zahalka stressed.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Clintons’ sordid race game: No one will say it, but the Clintons’ rise was premised on repudiating black voters

SUNDAY, JAN 31, 2016 04:00 AM MST

Here's what Bill and Hillary mean to me: Sister Souljah, welfare reform, Ricky Ray Rector and the crime bill
COREY ROBIN

The Clintons' sordid race game: No one will say it, but the Clintons' rise was premised on repudiating black voters

It may be a generational thing—I was born in 1967—but this is what Hillary and Bill Clinton will always mean to me: Sister Souljah, Ricky Ray Rector, welfare reform, and the crime bill. And beyond—really, behind—all that, the desperate desire to win over white voters by declaring to the American electorate: We are not the Party of Jesse Jackson, we are not the Rainbow Coalition.

Many of the liberal journalists who are supporting Hillary Clinton’s candidacy are too young to remember what the Clintons did to American politics and the Democratic Party in the 1990s. But even journalists who are old enough seem to have forgotten just how much the Clintons’ national ascendancy was premised on the repudiation of black voters and black interests. This was a move that was both inspired and applauded by a small but influential group of Beltway journalists and party strategists, who believed making the Democrats a white middle-class party was the only path back to the White House after wandering for 12 years in the Republican wilderness.

But for me, it’s as vivid as yesterday. I still remember Clinton pollster Stanley Greenberg’s American Prospect article (reposted in 2005), which claimed that the Democrats were “too identified with minorities and special interests to speak for average Americans.” Black people not being average Americans, you see. This article, American Prospect co-editor Paul Starr proudly proclaimed last year, is “widely recognized for its influence on Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign” in 1992. Starr, incidentally, just penned a defense in Politico of Hillary Clinton as the only serious Democratic candidate.

Maybe I remember this all because it happened at a formative period of my life, during my first years in graduate school. My roommate and closest friend throughout those years was Paul Frymer, who’s now a political science professor at Princeton. Paul’s dissertation—which he began to write in the apartment we shared on Canner Street in New Haven, and which formed the basis for his now classic book “Uneasy Alliances,” which shows how the combination of racism and the two-party system encourages African-American voters to be “captured” (taken for granted) by one of the parties—was born out of the tremendous frustration and anger many of us felt about the wrenching transformation the Clintons imposed upon the Democratic Party.

I was recently rereading some of Paul’s book, and it brought back that whole moment in all its sordid detail. Like the fact, according to an article by Andrew Hacker, which Paul cites, that “for the first time in almost half a century, the party’s [1992] platform made no mention of redressing racial injustice.” (I reread the platform: It does mention affirmative action and civil rights in passing, but it’s cursory.)

Or the fact that in their 1992 book, “Putting People First,” Bill Clinton and Al Gore only mentioned race once. And that was to oppose the idea of racial quotas.

Or the fact that their chapter on civil rights was mostly about people with disabilities.

Or the fact that Clinton’s real target in his Sister Souljah speech was Jesse Jackson, who was blind-sided and humiliated by Clinton’s tirade as he sat next to Clinton on the dais. (So embedded in the Clinton psyche is this Jesse Jackson boogeyman that Bill couldn’t resist calling it up in 2008, when Hillary was tanking in South Carolina. And why not? It had worked in 1992.)

Or the fact, which Frymer doesn’t mention in his book, that Hillary Clinton in 1996 resorted to the worst sort of animal imagery to describe teenage criminals:

They are not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way but first we have to bring them to heel.

As one wag said on Facebook the other night—in response to the question “Bring them to heel? Who says that shit out loud?”—“Dog trainers.”

What’s more, white people got the message: According to polls, white voters were more familiar with Clinton’s attack on Sister Souljah than they were with his economic plan. So did black people: Though they voted for Clinton, their share of the total voter turnout fell by 20 percent from 1988, when they cast their ballots for Michael Dukakis (and accounted for 20 percent of the vote for him and 10 percent of total turnout), and 1992, when they cast their ballots for Clinton (and accounted for 15 percent of the vote for him and 8 percent of total turnout).


Greenberg, for his part, celebrated all these changes in an influential book, arguing that this recalibrated focus “allowed for a Democratic Party that could once again represent people in the broadest sense.” It doesn’t take a close reader to know what that “people in the broadest sense” looked like.

This is what the Clintons were to millions of voters. This is what they will always be to me.

And not just me. As Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow,” which helped galvanize the movement against mass incarceration in this country, posted on Facebook on Thursday night:

If anyone doubts that the mainstream media fails to tell the truth about our political system (and its true winners and losers), the spectacle of large majorities of black folks supporting Hillary Clinton in the primary races ought to be proof enough. I can’t believe Hillary would be coasting into the primaries with her current margin of black support if most people knew how much damage the Clintons have done – the millions of families that were destroyed the last time they were in the White House thanks to their boastful embrace of the mass incarceration machine and their total capitulation to the right-wing narrative on race, crime, welfare and taxes. There’s so much more to say on this topic and it’s a shame that more people aren’t saying it. I think it’s time we have that conversation.

Lest we think this is just Bill or ancient history, we saw the ghost of elections past on Monday night at the Iowa town hall event. Asked which president most inspired her, Hillary Clinton said it was Lincoln. And then went on to say this:

Lincoln was willing to reconcile and forgive. And I don’t know what our country might have been like had he not been murdered, but I bet that it might have been a little less rancorous, a little more forgiving and tolerant, that might possibly have brought people back together more quickly.

But instead, you know, we had Reconstruction, we had the re-instigation of segregation and Jim Crow. We had people in the South feeling totally discouraged and defiant. So, I really do believe he could have very well put us on a different path.… let’s also think about how we do try to summon up those better angels, and to treat each other, even when we disagree, fundamentally disagree, treat each other with more respect, and agree to disagree more civilly, and try to be inspired by, I think, the greatest of our presidents.

That comment is straight-up Dunning School, a Southern apologist account of the Civil War, Reconstruction and Jim Crow, which dominated history textbooks and American politics more generally throughout the 20th century. It holds that the great mistake of the Northern anti-slavery forces was that they pushed too hard, that instead of taking on the slaveholders’ revanchism they should have accommodated it.

But Clinton’s comment reflects less, I suspect, the history lessons she learned in school in the 1950s and 1960s than it does the political lessons she learned in the Arkansas governor’s mansion in the 1970s and 1980s. Namely, that in the face of white reactionary intransigence, the best thing to do is nip and tuck, compromise, conciliate, mollify, appease. In other words, be a Clinton. And not a Sanders.

Or a Lincoln.

In 1858, Lincoln was running for Senate in Illinois. His opponent was Stephen Douglas, whom Lincoln debated in a series of famous confrontations. Opposition to the expansion of slavery was the fundamental question dividing them.

By all rights, Lincoln should have received the support of opponents of slavery like Horace Greeley, the famed newspaperman. He finally would in 1860, but in 1858, Greeley backed Douglas. Which raised questions for many of Lincoln’s supporters of whether Greeley was on the take.

In a famous letter to Charles Wilson, Lincoln tried to damp down on that speculation. It wasn’t money that led Greeley to Douglas, Lincoln wrote. It was a more corrupting lure: the desire to be practical, calculated, sophisticated, realistic. That’s what led Greeley to his pact with the devil.

It is because he thinks Douglas’ superior position, reputation, experience and ability, if you please, would more than compensate for his lack of a pure republican position, and therefore, his reelection do the general cause of republicanism more good than would the election of any one of our better undistinguished pure republicans.

Sound familiar?

Corey Robin is a professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center. Author of The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin and Fear: The History of a Political Idea, he is currently writing a book about Clarence Thomas.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton comments on post-Civil War Reconstruction reflect Southern racist slander...quick! someone give her a copy of W.E.B. DuBois's "Black Reconstruction!"

What can be learned from Hillary Clinton's slurs against Reconstruction?

Ryan Cooper

January 27, 2016
On Easter Sunday in 1873, in Colfax, Louisiana, white terrorists murdered about 150 black Americans in cold blood.

The reason: simple political control. Democrats — then the party of white supremacist ex-Confederates — wanted control of the Colfax courthouse, which was the center of government for Grant Parish. Local politics in those days had largely decayed to a running guerrilla war between black Republicans and federal troops on one side, and white supremacist militias backing the Democrats on the other. So white Democrats overpowered the Republican garrison, forced them to surrender, then brutally murdered the black captives.

This was the single most violent episode of Reconstruction, according to historian Eric Foner. Yet when describing why Abraham Lincoln was her favorite president at a candidate forum Monday night, Hillary Clinton butchered Reconstruction's history. It's a good opportunity to correct the record, and glean why Lincoln really was America's greatest president.

Here's Clinton:

[Lincoln] was willing to reconcile and forgive. And I don't know what our country might have been like had he not been murdered, but I bet that it might have been a little less rancorous, a little more forgiving and tolerant, that might possibly have brought people back together more quickly. But instead, you know, we had Reconstruction, we had the re-instigation of segregation and Jim Crow. We had people in the South feeling totally discouraged and defiant. So, I really do believe he could have very well put us on a different path. [CNN]


There are two problems here. Most glaring is the tacit endorsement of the racist Dunning School view of Reconstruction as some bungled and unjustified imposition from the north, when in reality it was a briefly successful attempt to build a true democracy in the South. Clinton implies that it was Southern anger at unjust Reconstruction policy that led them to institute Jim Crow, but in reality the entire point of the terrorist violence that overthrew Reconstruction was to re-institute white supremacy by crushing black political power. Jim Crow was the goal from the very end of the war.

The second problem flows from the first. Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson, actually was extremely forgiving and tolerant towards the defeated Confederates. The result was to inflame violence. White Southerners were economically devastated and demoralized by losing the Civil War, and in early 1865 were largely resigned to whatever the North was going to impose. Later Reconstruction would get quite aggressive, but Johnson delayed things for many crucial months by vetoing everything Congress passed and pardoning tens of thousands of ex-Confederates. This gave the forces of white supremacy some crucial time to regroup and reorganize.

In other words, the problem with Reconstruction was not that it was too mean to the defeated slave-owning traitors of the Confederacy. The problem was that it was not mean enough — universal racial democracy should have been immediately and forcibly imposed, complete with a prolonged federal occupation of the South.

All this makes Clinton's explanation for why Lincoln was so great so much sentimental porridge. His entire presidency was consumed by the most violent war in the history of the Western Hemisphere — a war sparked by his election on a platform of halting the expansion of slavery. His true greatness lies in how he grew and changed during that war, deploying his peerless political mastery toward the preservation of the Union and the gradual extension of black rights.


At the beginning of his presidency, he still flirted with deporting black Americans to Africa; by the end he was a fervent defender of the rights of black soldiers. In response to pressure in 1864 to end the war by compromising on slavery, he leaned on the valor of black soldiers, 100,000 of whom were currently fighting in Union armies: "Why should they give their lives for us, with full notice of our purpose to betray them?… I should be damned in time & in eternity for so doing. The world shall know that I will keep my faith to friends & enemies, come what will." It was a speech in favor of voting rights for black veterans that inspired yet another Confederate terrorist to murder him.

In his book The Fiery Trial, Foner speculated about how Lincoln might have headed Jim Crow off at the pass. It's easy to imagine him gradually evolving towards where the Radical Republicans ended up by 1867: in favor of a true multi-racial democracy, imposed by federal troops where necessary. Instead of Johnson's vile racism making the government work at cross-purposes, Lincoln would have shepherded the project with his trademark skill from the start.

At any rate, such is naught but speculation. But what is certain is that Lincoln would have had to use government force to protect black freedmen, and that he was no stranger to such action. The lesson for Clinton, as she and Bernie Sanders compete for the black vote, is that sustained government force — imposed over the howling objections of many white elites — has historically been the only thing that advanced black rights in this country.




Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: corrupt corporate stooge


Meet Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s First-Ever Primary Challenger

By Glenn Greenwald
January 19, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "The Intercept" - Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the six-term Congresswoman from South Florida and Chair of the Democratic National Committee, has been embroiled in numerous, significant controversies lately. As The Washington Post put it just today: “DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s list of enemies just keeps growing.”

She is widely perceived to have breached her duty of neutrality as DNC Chair by taking multiple steps to advance the Clinton campaign, including severely limiting the number of Democratic debates and scheduling them so as to ensure low viewership (she was co-chair of Clinton’s 2008 campaign). Even her own DNC Vice Chairs have publicly excoriated her after she punished them for dissenting from her Hillary-protecting debate-limitations. She recently told Ana Maria Cox in a New York Times interview that she favors ongoing criminalization for marijuana (as she receives large financial support from the alcohol industry). She denied opposing medical marijuana even though she was one of a handful of Democratic legislators to vote against a bill to allow states to legalize it, and in her interview with Cox, she boasted that her “criminal-justice record is perhaps not as progressive as some of my fellow progressives.” She also excoriated “young women” – who largely back Bernie Sanders rather than Clinton – for “complacency” over reproductive rights.

In general, Wasserman Schultz is the living, breathing embodiment of everything rotted and corrupt about the Democratic Party: a corporatist who overwhelmingly relies on corporate money to keep her job, a hawk who supports the most bellicose aspects of U.S. foreign policy, a key member of the “centrist” and “moderate” pro-growth New Democrat coalition, a co-sponsor of the failed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which was “heavily backed by D.C. favorites including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the music and motion picture industries” and which, if enacted, would have allowed extreme government and corporate control over the internet.

In 2012, at the height of the controversy over the “kill list” that The New York Times revealed Obama had compiled for execution by drone, she said in an interview she had never heard of it and mocked the interviewer for suggesting such a thing existed. In 2013, she demanded that Edward Snowden “should be extradited, arrested, and prosecuted” because he supposedly “jeopardized millions of Americans” and then called him a “coward.” “The progressive wing of the party base is volubly getting fed up with her,” declared The American Prospect last week.

This year, however, Democrats nationwide, and in her district, have a choice. For the first time in her long Congressional career, she faces a primary challenger for the Democratic nomination. He’s Tim Canova, a smart, articulate, sophisticated lawyer with a history of activism both with the Occupy movement (he’s against the Wall Street bailout for which Wasserman Schultz voted and the general excesses of big banks and crony capitalism) as well as a steadfast opponent of the Patriot Act (for which Wasserman Schultz repeatedly voted).


He has worked with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson against the Drug War and private prisons; worked with the Sanders campaigns of the past; and was a former aide to the late Sen. Paul Tsongas. He is an outspoken advocate of the Ron-Paul/Alan-Grayson sponsored Audit the Fed bill, and a vehement opponent of the Trans Pacific-Partnership Trade agreement. And he has vowed to run a campaign based on small-donor support, calling Wasserman Schultz “the quintessential corporate machine politician.”

As David Dayen reported last week in The New Republic, the widespread dislike for Wasserman Schultz around the country has already triggered substantial support and donations for Canova. To compete, he will need much more. You can visit his website here. But beyond that, I spoke with him late last week to explore his views, his motives for running, and what he believes are the greatest contrasts between him and the incumbent he is challenging:

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GREENWALD: My guest today is Tim Canova, who recently announced a primary challenge in Florida’s 23rd Congressional district to the Democratic incumbent, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who, in addition to representing that district, is the chair of the Democratic National Committee. It is the Congresswoman’s first primary challenge ever.

Tim is a former aide to the late Senator Paul Tsongas and currently a professor at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law. Tim, thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me. I want to begin by asking you:

It’s one of the most difficult things in American politics to challenge an entrenched incumbent, and in this case, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz is sort of the embodiment of an entrenched incumbent. It’s her sixth term that she’s currently serving. She hasn’t really been challenged very successfully in the past, and she’s also the chair of the DNC and has that whole apparatus behind her. What are the motivators that led you to take on this challenge?

CANOVA: If we had spoken a year ago, this wouldn’t have been on my radar. Last summer, I was very active with a bunch of grassroots organizations here in South Florida, lobbying against the fast track vote for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and we were lobbying her office, trying to make contact with her or her top aides, and we got nowhere. And it was frustrating. She was one of the only Democrats in the House in the country to vote for fast track and she was the only Democrat in Florida’s delegation to vote for fast track. She had voted for the Korean Free Trade Agreement. She’s been taking lots of corporate money.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, she took $300,000 in just a two year period, 2012 to 2014, from groups that support the TPP, and only about $23,000 from groups opposed to it. The Citizens Trade Campaign that I’ve been working with, it consists of a lot of organized labor, a lot of union people, and a lot of progressive Democrats. And these are constituencies that she’s been taking for granted, precisely because she’s run unopposed all of these years. She’s been able to take working folks for granted.

And the TPP was really a lightning rod issue. I think it should be. We saw how just a week or two ago, TransCanada, the big Canadian energy giant, announced it was going to sue the U.S. government for $15 billion, for not going forward with the Keystone XL pipeline. And that’s under NAFTA’s investment protection provisions. The TPP has very similar provisions. So now we’re going to open up these types of challenges to another half-dozen to dozen countries that are not in NAFTA who will be able to challenge the sovereignty of U.S. law. And when I say “challenge it,” you probably have read up on this enough to know that these companies are not going to be able to overturn the laws, but they will be able to get the taxpayer to have to pay for their compliance with the laws. So it really shifts the cost of compliance from corporations to taxpayers.

It’s a way to enshrine in international law what these corporations could not get through in constitutional jurisprudence, which is the regulatory takings approach, the idea that whenever the government regulates in a way that impedes the value of an investment, it should be considered a taking of property requiring just compensation. They couldn’t get that line of analysis through the Supreme Court, they go around it and they enshrine this in multilateral trade and investment agreements, bilateral investment treaties. And it’s become a litmus test at this point, and deservedly so. It’s environmental laws, it’s health and safety, it’s labeling laws. It really puts an awful lot of the kinds of protections that we’ve come to rely on and need up for sale, in a way.

GREENWALD: The TPP is obviously controversial in certain policy and intellectual circles. My guess is that a small percentage of Americans have even heard of that agreement, let alone have strong opinions about it, although they probably are a lot more informed and opinionated about trade issues generally because of the effect it’s had on jobs and the NAFTA controversy.

Do you have a strategy for communicating why a seemingly esoteric conflict like the TPP is something that moved you and ought to move voters to reject their incumbent representative?

CANOVA: Well, my friends in labor who are very supportive of this candidacy, and are really like-minded in that somebody should step up and challenge her – they make the argument that it’s going to lead directly to a lot of job losses, and they’ve got the statistics about just how many job losses came about from the Korean Free Trade Agreement. I’ve been trying to link these discussions about TPP to what every Floridian should see as an existential threat, and that is climate change. In 20 or 30 years down the road, big parts of South Florida could be underwater.

It’s not just the tourist industry, it’s people’s homes and businesses that could be in danger. And if we’re going to start confronting climate change, either through regulating carbon emissions or to finding funds for infrastructure investments to mitigate the effects of climate change, TPP just gets in the way right down the line. Now I hear you, and I agree with you, that most people don’t understand those connections and many people have never heard of the TPP. I’m hoping this campaign starts elevating the discussion and informing people and helping to educate voters. I think it’s already beginning to happen a little bit.

But I’ve also got to say the TPP is not the only issue we’re running on. Wasserman Schultz has been taking – and you know this, The Intercept published a piece about the kind of money she’s been taking from big alcohol PACS. She’s for private prisons.

GREENWALD: While she’s been a hard core Drug War warrior and in favor of the penal state for putting people in cages for consuming drugs.

CANOVA: Exactly. And, you know, that’s not popular in this district. In 2014 there was a statewide referendum on medical marijuana. Fifty-eight and a half percent of the voters in this state voted for it, for medical marijuana. It needed 60% to pass, so it came close. She was against it. Her votes in Congress have been against medical marijuana. I say, allow states to decide these issues. On medical marijuana, and recreational marijuana. We should not be locking people up, for what? Using the same drugs that apparently the last three American presidents, and, by some surveys, a majority of the American people have tried.

GREENWALD: One of the things that I do think people understand relating to the TPP and some of the other critiques you’ve voiced is the idea that there are a lot of people who go to Washington, take lots of money from corporate interests, and end up serving those interests at the expense of the ordinary voter, often contrary to the rhetoric they like to spout. That’s probably part of the reason for Donald Trump’s success, who has sold himself as a self-funder and therefore immune to those influences, and it’s definitely a big part of Bernie Sanders’s success as well, critiquing this kind of systemic, legalized corruption.

Where does Debbie Wasserman Schultz fall on the spectrum of political officials with respect to how much corporate money she relies on, and then how much corporate interest she serves?

CANOVA: OK. First, let me say, your first question was what animated me to jump in, and I started with the TPP. But this question really gets to the thematic heart of the campaign. Across the board, whether it’s the TPP or the drug war, she’s taking a lot of corporate money, and she’s been taking it for years. She talks the talk about campaign finance reform – she will say she’s for campaign finance reform – but she’s not walking the walk.

She voted recently the way most of Congress did on this latest omnibus spending bill. There were a couple of terrible provisions that allowed dark money to remain in our politics. One provision that she voted for in this omnibus package was to prevent the Securities and Exchange Commission from writing rules for transparency – to require corporations to disclose to their shareholders the extent of their campaign contributions; their political spending. Another ties the hands of the Internal Revenue Service from creating rules to curb special interest donors from forming these sham social welfare organizations that hide political spending.

She’s been raising corporate money for herself; she’s been giving it away to other candidates. She is the quintessential corporate machine politician. She really is, across the board. And then it influences her votes. And it’s not just TPP and the drug war, it’s Wall Street issues, and this is really what I’ve been teaching and writing about for many years. Just in the past few months – the past year or two – she has voted to prevent the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to write rules to regulate payday lending, to prevent racial discrimination in car loans.

In December 2014, she voted to eliminate the part of Dodd-Frank that had prevented big banks from using deposits to speculate in financial derivatives. So she doesn’t have any real vision for public finance other than lining the pockets of her donors.

GREENWALD: So, one of the issues that has arisen over the past few years, most prominently with regard to the Federal Reserve, is this movement to subject the Fed to comprehensive, probing audits. And what I’ve always found interesting about that debate is that it had lots of support from people on the left like Dennis Kucinich and Alan Grayson, who were prime movers of that in the house, and then also from elements on the right. People like Ron Paul, this sort of libertarian faction who sees the dangers of crony capitalism.

Where do you stand specifically on the question of auditing the Fed, and more generally, do you see this potential for, on economic issues, and on issues regarding Wall Street and the Fed, for there to be some kind of a union between ordinary people on the left and the right who are both being victimized in the same way by these kind of systemic corruptions?

CANOVA: Absolutely. In 2010, I worked with Alan Grayson’s staff, and with Bernie Sanders’s staff, and with Ron Paul’s staff on the transparency and provisions that went into Dodd-Frank. The transparency of the Fed — the two GAO Audits. That I’m sure you know about. The GAO had one audit that dealt with the governance of the Fed and their conflicts of interest, and the second one dealt with the Fed’s emergency lending facilities, which lo and behold, rewarded those big banks that dominated and continue to dominate the Fed’s governance.

So I am very much in favor of auditing the Fed on a regular basis and reforming the Fed so that its governing boards more reflect the diverse interests of society, and not just bankers.

This is a tradition that goes back to John Commons, the great institutional economist of the 1930s and 1940s, Leon Keyserling, the head of Harry Truman’s council of economic advisers. This used to be, some decades ago, part of the discussion as far as reforming the governance structure of the Fed. It needs to be part of the conversation again. And, you’re hitting it on the head when you say this is a discussion – this is an agenda – that spans the spectrum from right to left.

I saw it when I was involved in Occupy Wall Street, at the Occupy Los Angeles encampment. There were plenty of tents and banners, you name it, saying “End the Fed.” I taught at the People’s Collective University at Occupy LA, and I taught a workshop on the Federal Reserve, and I was making the case “Let’s not end the Fed, let’s mend the Fed. Let’s reform the Fed.” And it’s a discussion that people on the right and people on the left can get engaged in very quickly. Unfortunately, in Washington, it’s the mainstream, establishment center of both parties that resist this kind of reform.

GREENWALD: Speaking of the mainstream establishment center in both parties resisting reform, obviously a lot of the topics I write about and that The Intercept covers center on surveillance policy and foreign policy, where there is an enormous amount of agreement between Republican and Democratic establishment wings.

Can you just sort of give me your general perspective on where Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in those areas, and how you differ from the standard Democratic orthodoxy and the Republican orthodoxy on those questions as well?

CANOVA: The Patriot Act is probably the original starting point in this discussion, and I was not a proponent of the Patriot Act at the time, and Wasserman Schultz is. So I’m very skeptical of concentrated power in this national security state. Dismantling that power and exposing it to the light of day is a job and a half, as you know personally, and how to do that? Congress is a place where you can start doing it.

I certainly hope if I’m elected and if I serve in Congress, that I would be a critic of this concentration of state power that’s being used for surveillance. And not just surveillance, I’ve got to say, it really goes to a lot of the United States’s approaches in its foreign policy abroad. I think the drone war has been a disaster. It’s a way that the President and the administration can talk tough and look tough, but in my estimation it is creating far more enemies than it is killing. It’s not serving our long-term interests.

We should be looking for a general disarmament in this part of the world, instead of the United States leading this race among major powers in arms sales to these regimes. The conflicts that exist between Arabs, Muslims, Jews, Sunnis, Shiites are centuries old – decades old, centuries old – and arming these countries to the teeth is not a solution. At all. For foreign policy. At least not in a way that’s going to serve the interests of humanity and try to bring peace to that part of the world. It used to be, 100 years ago, the world would have disarmament conferences. How effective they were, the history books can write about. But it’s not even discussed at this point.

GREENWALD: Yeah, even Reagan and Gorbachev and Nixon and Brezhnev had incredibly successful disarmament conferences as well and ultimately, treaties, and you’re right – it’s essentially off the agenda.

CANOVA: That’s right. And with Reagan and Nixon, the arms treaties are talking about are thermonuclear weapons. In our day and age, yes, we have to have disarmament of thermonuclear weapons, but we also have to have disarmament of all other kinds of weapons that we see being used in these proxy wars throughout the Middle East.

The proxy wars have been a disaster. There’s something to be said for the critique that I’ve heard Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump actually make, that we should have left “well enough” alone in Syria. And this policy of trying to continue with regime change – you know, Bush was criticized for regime change; it’s continued under the Obama administration, and all it has done is created vacuums for more radical groups like ISIS to gain greater influence; greater strength.

It’s led to all kinds of – not just destabilization, but massive death, dislocations of people. It’s a horror show. It’s got to stop, and disarmament, and talking through peacefully to resolve disputes has got to be put on the agenda, and I don’t see it on the agenda from most of these candidates, and certainly Wasserman Schultz doesn’t talk like that.

GREENWALD: Absolutely, she does not. Let me just ask you a couple of last questions here. People are just now for the first time hearing about your primary challenge, and becoming familiar with you, and who you are, and what your positions are, so could you just talk a little bit about your history of political activism and your professional background as well?

CANOVA: Sure. I am a lawyer by training. I studied at Georgetown University, and then was a Swedish Institute visiting scholar at the University of Stockholm. I practiced law in Manhattan for a large firm for a few years, and then went into teaching, and really my entire legal career was animated by the study of, you can say, making our institutions more democratically accountable. The thesis I wrote as a Swedish Institute visiting scholar was a comparison of Swedish and American labor law and corporate law, and comparing how in Sweden and in other European countries, labor had a seat at the table. Fifty percent of the board members were labor. And in the United States, labor doesn’t have a seat at the table. They get run over. So that is the orientation – more democracy – that has animated me throughout my career.

I served on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide to the late U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas in the early 1980s. A lot of this is on my campaign website, on the About Tim page, that I was an opponent of financial deregulation very early. I was writing in the early 1980s that the Garn-St. Germain Act, deregulation of depository interest rates and lending standards, would be a disaster, that it was a repeat of what had happened in the 1920s. It opened the door to predatory lending and sub-prime mortgages. I was calling that decades before that actually came to a crisis stage, you could say. In the 1990s, both as a lawyer and as a law professor, I was warning against getting rid of Glass-Steagall. Brooklyn Law Review article in the mid 1990’s, 1995. I warned against financial derivatives. So I’ve been a constant critic of Wall Street deregulation. I’m for Main Street; I always have been. I believe in the New Deal. I believe in bottom-up economics.

My activism has manifested itself in many ways, in many forms: certainly the anti-corporate globalization movement during the time of Seattle, against the Free Trade Area of the Americas Agreement. When I was a professor at the University of New Mexico, I threw myself into a grassroots campaign to get rid of felony disenfranchisement, and it was one of the great grassroots movements I’ve ever been involved in. It’s a small state and we were able to see change come real fast. It was right after the 2000 deadlock in Florida. There was a deadlock in New Mexico also, and we woke up to find that there weren’t enough electoral votes to count in New Mexico compared to Florida, but New Mexico was one of, I think, nine states at the time where someone who was convicted of a felony was barred from the rest of his or her life from voting. And we had an opportunity because we had, even though he was a Republican governor, he was a libertarian governor, Gary Johnson, who was trying to end the War on Drugs.

We got a grassroots movement that lit a fire underneath him. We got Democrats in the state house, in the legislature, to pass legislation within wo months, and Gary Johnson signed it. And that’s all it took, was two months of good organization and a lot of grassroots lobbying and New Mexico was no longer a felony disenfranchisement state.

And then there’s the Occupy movement, so I’ve been engaged really my whole life. I know some people have said “Well, you haven’t run for political office.” No, but I’ve been engaged in grassroots lobbying and activism, and the focus of my mind, my heart, my soul, has really been on public policy issues and trying to create a better world.

GREENWALD: The last question. The critique that you’re making of how Debbie Wasserman Schultz funds her political career and her reliance on big corporate money is one that resounds to a lot of ears. The problem, however, is the reason politicians go in and feed at that trough, is that it’s a really potent weapon. It helps them buy ads, it helps them build campaign staff and get re-elected.

What is your strategy for being able to be competitive with someone so well-funded by large corporate interests, and how can people who want to see her subjected to a real competitive challenge, and even lose, how can they get involved in your campaign and support it and help?

CANOVA: Well, I’m not taking any corporate money, and I think that that is resonating with folks. In the first three days after I launched the campaign, we got over 1,000 individual contributions. It’s now been a week and I’ve lost track, it’s somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 individual contributions. You don’t see that at most campaigns. I know in some ways, we’re fortunate compared to other first time insurgent challengers, because Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the poster child of a lot of what’s wrong with the Democratic Party. That we’re attracting donors from all over the country.

We’re igniting the grassroots here in Florida. So we are raising money. We need to raise a lot more to compete with her, and I would just urge folks to go to timcanovaforcongress.com, to give what they can. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but it adds up with people power. It has been adding up, so that’s our strategy, and we’re fortunate that we’ve gotten so much good attention so quickly.

GREENWALD: Well, I really want to thank you for taking the time to talk to me, I think it’s been super enlightening, and I wish you the best of luck.

CANOVA: Well Glenn, thank you. I really appreciate you having me, and I want to thank you for your lifetime of work. You’re an inspiration to me and to a lot of other people, and it’s an honor to be on your show.

GREENWALD: Thank you so much.