If there was a chance that the incoming administration would be in favor of keeping the embargo, as of this week, that chance was effectively reduced to zero.

Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich both dropped out of the GOP primary race this week, and with them went any remaining opposition to normalizing relations with Cuba among presidential candidates. Donald Trump has spoken in measured support for normalization, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders are all in favor of a full opening.

In Washington, the influence of the pro-embargo hardline will only lessen in the months ahead. Sen. Marco Rubio, the most prominent anti-engagement member of the Senate, is leaving office at the end of his term. Cruz will return to the Senate, but the notoriously unpopular senator’s odds of marshalling his colleagues in support of the embargo are about as good as, uh…Lucifer’s.

When it comes to current Cuba developments on the Hill, members should take note of the contrast in directions between the pro- and anti-engagement coalitions. As of last week, Sen. Jeff Flake’s bill to lift the travel ban is now cosponsored by nearly half the Senate, and Rep. Mark Sanford’s counterpart in the House has passed over 120 cosponsors. Meanwhile, the pro-embargo wing—once able to dictate foreign policy to presidential campaigns—has now been reduced to attacking Kim Kardashian for traveling to Cuba. Because demanding an investigation into Beyoncé’s completely legal Cuba trip a few years back was not a sufficiently embarrassing waste of taxpayer dollars.

That is where we are in 2016. One bipartisan coalition in Congress is working on policies that will benefit both the Cuban people and their constituents, while another dwindling one is co-opting the work of late night talk show hosts to attack private citizens for where they choose to travel. So far, the pro-embargo hardline has been able to successfully prevent any further opening to Cuba by peddling the idea that things might turn around with the next administration. We know that now to be a fantasy. For the sake of the Cuban people, it’s time Congressional leadership did as well.

The time to act is now!



Bill Clinton Says Sanders Supporters Would Murder Wall Street

Former President Bill Clinton.
Former President William Clinton. Photo: Reuters


The former president joksed that Sanders’ rhetoric encourages supporters to “shoot every third person on Wall Street.”

Former President Bill Clinton has again upped the ante in the rhetorical battle between his wife and competitor Bernie Sanders ahead of the April 19 New York primary.

“One of the few things I really haven’t enjoyed about this primary: I think it’s fine that all these young students have been so enthusiastic for her opponent and (Sanders) sounds so good: ‘Just shoot every third person on Wall Street and everything will be fine,'” Clinton said at an event in Fort Washington, New York on Friday, according to CNN.

Clinton was accusing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders of using violent rhetoric against the wealthy in his campaign against his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

He went on to say that the fact that fewer people working in the U.S.’ financial center was proof that the Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulations were working. Clinton then said that the “inequality problem is rooted in the shareholder-first mentality and the absence of training for the jobs of tomorrow,” dismissing much of Sanders’ critiques of Wall Street. Clinton has since said that it was nothing more than a joke.

Hillary Clinton blames ‘the young people’ after getting mocked for Greenpeace video

You know a presidential candidate is having a tough stretch on the campaign trail when a supporter says, “Every time Hillary opens her mouth, she makes it harder and harder for me to vote for her.”
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is under fire for the second time in a week, most recently for suggesting “the young people… don’t do their own research” on the NBC talk show Meet The Press Sunday.

Host Chuck Todd played a clip of her now-infamous encounter with a Greenpeace activist, in which she was asked about the campaign contributions she has received from the employees of fossil fuel companies.

She insisted that she “cares passionately about climate change,” notwithstanding the millions of dollars her presidential campaign, a related PAC, and the Clinton Foundation have received from ‘Big Polluter’ companies and the employees who work for them.

“I feel sorry sometimes for the young people who, you know, believe this,” she said. “They don’t do their own research. And I’m glad that we now can point to reliable, independent analysis to say, ‘No, it’s just not true.’”

Whether it’s #Bernie or #Hillary, #Trump or #Ted, will #USelection2016 ever change anything in the country run by Wall Street greed sustained by foreign intervention?

Racial injustice, Guantanamo, gun violence, free trade deals, deportations, threats on countries in its backyard, wars in the Middle East — the next president of the United States will have a lot on ther plate.

Super Tuesday saw a dozen states, American Samoa and Democratic voters who live outside the U.S. voting on who should be the presidential nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties. More delegates were up for grabs on March 1 than on any other day in the campaign, with most going to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, although neither got the decisive victory they hoped would assure them their respective parties’ nomination.
Now the race turns to states more friendly to Bernie Sanders, including those like Michigan hit hard by the “free trade” policies Clinton promoted as secretary of state.

The frontrunner for the Democratic Party, backed by its establishment and the arms industry, is still Clinton, who has won 672 delegates compared to 477 for Sanders (her lead becomes formiddable when counting so-called “superdelegates,” 458 of whom support her,
compared to 22 for Sanders).

Clinton’s history ranges from dubious — flip-flopping on issues such as gay marriage — to outrageous: backing a coup in Honduras. It’s that history Sanders is hoping to exploit.
According to the latest polls, a Sanders win would be good for the Democratic Party: he’s doing better against Donald Trump in a general election than Clinton herself. The self-styled democratic socialist has won over the youth and intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky and Coronel West with his calls for free college and healthcare, giving the Hillary campaign a run for its Wall Street money. Bill Clinton has compared the Sanders insurgency to the right-wing Tea Party, but while Sanders may not be the left-wing hero some are hoping
for — run-ins with the Black Lives Matter movement and his stance in favor of airstrikes in Syria and the Afghanistan war have raised eyebrows — such desperate comparisons reflect the desperation of the Democratic Party establishment.

Meanwhile, for the Republican Party, it increasingly looks like The Donald might actually win this thing. Trump’s transition from capitalist scumbag to would-be capitalist statesman has been fuelled by racism and xenophobia and fascistic rhetoric that has even
been debated in the United Kingom Parliament. But Republicans don’t seem to mind that his policies are built on an attack on logic and based on an irksome personality that has somehow formed a cult.

#Bernie Sanders Supporters Have Taken Over #Twitter and It Is Glorious

Despite the corporate media repeating the “Hillary is inevitable” narrative ad nauseum after the March 15 primary contests, Bernie Sanders’ base is taking Twitter to tell everyone why they’re refusing to give up. As of 9:30 Eastern time on Wednesday night, #StillSanders was the top nationwide trend on Twitter:


One tweet compiled a list of popular progressive issues ranging from trade, war, the environment, Wall Street, marijuana prohibition, LGBT marriage equality, and campaign finance reform, and put Bernie Sanders’ and Hillary Clinton’s records side-by-side:Tweets making a case for Sanders as a compassionate leader who has a long record of looking out for disenfranchised populations went viral, as did tweets about Sanders’ consistency on fighting poverty and income inequality.

Clinton’s delegate lead is likely to erode after the coming Western primaries, where Bernie Sanders is the favorable candidate in Pacific Northwestern states like Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Large states with lots of delegates at play, like New York and California, are home to a significant number of Sanders donors, as well.:

Sanders’ delegate count is only slightly behind Hillary Clinton’s, as he only needs 58% of the vote going forward. And as Twitter users pointed out today, half of the delegates in the Democratic primary have yet to be awarded, and most of the states where these delegates are up for grabs are in states where Sanders enjoys vast support, both in votes and donations.Others chose to look at Sanders’ viability in the general election. According to New York Times election results, Sanders won 460,316 votes to Donald Trump’s 458,151 votes in North Carolina.However, this tweet from @cindywaitt shows why Sanders supporters won’t stop backing their favorite candidate: Bernie Sanders isn’t just a candidate, but a movement.

Bernie Sanders’ Path Forward 

Since the beginning of the presidential campaign Bernie Sanders has received little coverage and has been counted out of having any possibility of winning the Democratic nomination. Though the candidate has gained momentum as he continues his campaign, after Tuesday’s loss, mainstream media outlets counted Sanders out completely, claiming it is basically impossible to reach the number of delegates needed for the nomination. If we examine the numbers closely Hillary Clinton is ahead of Sanders by 314 pledged delegates and there are still 2,308 delegates up for grabs in the upcoming months.

Greg Guma the author of The People’s Republic: Vermont and the Sanders Revolution told teleSUR that the path to the nomination is far from over. “Over the next three months we have the states of California, we have New York, we have the Midwest and the Atlantic coast. Even though Hillary Clinton has won certain states in the South, the South is not the key to either the primary or the election as many of the people in the leadership of the Democratic Party understand the key to winning the Democratic primary and the election is to win the coasts, to win the East coast and the West coast, that has not yet been decided and Bernie has just as good a chance,” Guma said.

Another aspect of the Sanders campaign that is often overlooked is the reasons that have driven the campaign to gain momentum. There has been an overwhelming number of young people, between the ages of 18 and 29 who have been supporting Sanders with very high percentages. According to Richard Wolff a Professor of Economics Emeritus at the University of Massachussetts, Amherst this proves a shift in the future of American politics that is breaking the standards of the traditional old establishment Democratic Party.

“To understand the phenomena of Bernie Sanders is to understand that he proves a fundamental shift in American politics is underway. I know from my own direct experience that the Democratic Party leadership expected Mr. Sanders to get between 1 and 3 percent of the vote in this election, period. The fact that he has done as well as he has done getting an excess of 40 percent or even closer to half the votes in so many states and winning as many states as he has is a unspeakable change in American politics and will have enormous ramifications for the future,” Wolff said.

Wolff also explained that this movement of young people is driven by their disappointment. Prior generations were able to make the so called “American Dream” come true, but the current generation feels that a change is needed in order to get that promise back, they see in Sanders that change that they are seeking. Wolff told teleSUR, “You have a generation of people who have been fundamentally disappointed, that’s the minimum word to use, the maximum word is betrayed.

They have been promised an American Dream that is not available to them anymore.” He added, “This is the first generation in American history to be told that they only way to get a decent job is to have a college degree and at the same time that the only way to get a college degree is to take on tens of thousands of dollars in debt. This is not a viable arrangement and it betrays the promise that their parents made to them.”

With all of these factors in mind there is still a path for Bernie Sanders to win the nomination, but beyond that, the candidate is helping to shift the political spectrum in the United States. The Sanders campaign is still confident that moving forward they will be able to obtain the nomination. In a press release statement, Senator Sanders congratulated Hillary Clinton on her victories, but highlighted that he intends to continue all the way to the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia. “With more than half the delegates yet to be chosen and a calendar that favors us in the weeks and months to come, we remain confident that our campaign is on a path to win the nomination,” Sanders said.

Trump Juggernaut Rolls on; Clinton’s Big Night Poses Hard Questions for Sanders Campaign and His Youthful Supporters

Will the Clinton and Sanders campaigns come together? I’ really don’t think so. There is a pigeon and a hawk in the same side, and both are enemies (philosophically). Bernie’s thoughts are on the opposite side of Hillary’s.

Bernie has lost both super tuesdays and doesn’t gain as much superdelegates as Hillary, so the question is: Is there any way to wake up the young voters for Bernies?

Presidential primaries

Last updated Mar 16, 2016 at 5:00 PM GMT-6

Delegate results

2,383 needed for nomination · 2,308 available
Pledged delegates 1,139 825
Super delegates 467 26
Pledged delegates are based on state primary results, while super-delegates can support any candidate. Delegate results aren’t final until the convention in July.
Dropped out: Chafee, Lessig, O’Malley, Webb

Trump Rally Canceled After Thousands Show Up to Protest

Thousands of anti-Trump activists stormed the university location where the GOP frontrunner was set to deliver a speech.

Photo Credit: News Universe Channel/YouTube

Donald Trump was scheduled to speak at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion at 6pm on Thursday. While the GOP frontrunner’s rallies notoriously attract tens of thousands, this time Trump supporters were met with equal opposition. Over 10,000 officially RSVP’d that they would be going to the university to protest the free event—nearly 1,000 people more than the arena seats.

Protesters seen being escorted out of the venue around 5pm wore shirts reading “Muslims United Against Trump” and “Make America Hate Again” as the croud chanted “U-S-A!”

The Chicago Police Department, Chicago Fire Department, Secret Service and FBI had all been called on to maintain the crowds as protesters lined up across the street. Ahead of Trump’s Chicago campaign stop, more than 50,000 people signed a petition in an attempt to get the event canceled, saying it had no place in Chicago, “especially not at an institution of higher learning.”

Protesters cited Trump’s stances on immigration, torture tactics and his recent endorsement from white supremacist David Duke as motive.

During Thursday’s 12th GOP debate, Trump told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he does not condone the frequent violence at his rallies, despite having said he’d “like to punch [a protester] in the face.”

Trump refuses to admit that this rhetoric fuels his base, which frequently uses minorites as targets during events. According to Trump, it’s not hatred that fuels these outbursts, but love. “When [fans] see the protests and what’s going on in this country, they have anger that’s unbelievable. They love this country,” Trump said.

After many of the protesters left, the scene was oddly calm. The reality TV star-turned-politician had yet to arrive. In the meantime, 20somethings chatted in a college auditorium to a soundtrack composed of classic rock tunes. “You can’t always get what you want,” the Rolling Stones sang.

A Trump campaign aide took to the stage, saying, “Mr. Trump just arrived in Chicago and after meeting with law enforcement has determined that for the safety of the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight’s rally will be postponed until another day,” he told the crowd.

Chalk one up for the anti-Trumpists.

Alexandra Rosenmann is an AlterNet associate editor. Follow her @alexpreditor.

#Adele is Really, Really Mad at Donald #Trump and Here’s Why

“Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning,” her spokesman said.

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump may have terrible hair, a history of cutting off finances to disabled family members and an outright racist attitude towards Mexicans and Muslims, but you have to hand it to him: his music taste is top-notch.

The property tycoon, who is leading in Republican opinion polls, has been playing British superstar Adele’s hits “Rolling in the Deep” and “Skyfall” at his political rallies. But the Londoner—evidently not a fan of Trump’s particular brand of greed and misogyny—has followed several other artists in telling Trump to stop using her music for political gain.

“Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning,” her spokesman said. The Grammy winner has never been one for conservative politics, calling British Prime Minister David Cameron a “wally” in 2011. Neil Young set the ball rolling when he slammed Trump as a “hypocrite” for using his “Rockin’ in the Free World” to launch his presidential campaign. Continue reading “#Adele is Really, Really Mad at Donald #Trump and Here’s Why”