In Multipolarity

By Bill Boyarsky, published on Truthdig, July 6, 2016

This is a crucial time for Dr. Jill Stein. It’s a test of whether she can move her presidential campaign from the fringes into the mainstream of an election that she says “has tossed out the rule book.”

“We are here to keep the revolution going,” Stein, the prospective Green Party presidential candidate, told me in a telephone interview on July 5. “Bernie [Sanders] supporters are grieving over the loss of the campaign, of their hard work, their vision, but they are remobilizing. Our events are absolutely mobbed with Bernie supporters.”

Jill Stein speaking out against racism, in Ferguson, Missouri in 2015 (Jill Stein Facebook)

Jill Stein speaking out against racism, in Ferguson, Missouri in 2015 (Jill Stein Facebook)

We spoke in the morning, before FBI Director James Comey threw yet another twist into the presidential race by announcing that while the bureau would not recommend criminal charges in the Hillary Clinton email affair, she had been “extremely careless” with her use of a personal email address and a private server for sensitive communications.

Comey’s recommendation against criminal charges is good news for Clinton. But his comment about carelessness is not. It is one more factor injecting volatility into her contest with Donald Trump, the presumed Republican presidential nominee. With Sanders’ presidential campaign falling short in the primaries and Clinton battling for her good name, I thought I’d call Stein, the progressive alternative, a pediatrician-turned-presidential candidate.

She and the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, are far behind. According to a CNN/ORC poll in June, Clinton had 42 per cent of the vote, Trump had 38 per cent, Johnson had 9 per cent and Stein had 7 per cent. When Sanders was put in the poll against Clinton, 43 percent said they backed him.[1]

Jill Stein campaign themeThe Johnson and Stein programs are very different from one another. Johnson, while favoring a laissez-faire approach on personal and social issues, embraces a balanced budget limiting federal action, opposes tax increases and favors a consumption (or sales) tax, which hurts the poor. All of this has a Paul Ryan sound to it and is far removed from Stein’s progressivism.

I asked Stein how her administration would create jobs for working people who have seen manufacturing plants and other businesses close because of foreign competition, automation and corporate financial machinations.

She likes the idea of a Green New Deal, a combination of ideas that basically revolve around the notion that the government would help to finance the conversion of old industry into new industry—solar energy devices and wind farm materials instead of internal combustion engines and oil drilling equipment. Doing this would require a considerable government investment—certainly not a Gary Johnson idea—plus investment from a banking industry converted from giant banks to smaller state and community banks.

There’s much more to the Green New Deal. Eliminating carbon-based fuels would improve health and reduce—if not eliminate—global warming, saving big amounts of money for health care. The Green platform includes Medicare for all.

I wondered about the practicalities of converting the old auto plants into something else. Who would decide on the new products? Stein said the unemployed workers or members of the community would pick a product. I reminded her of something I had seen when you try to get community consensus. “You know,” I said, “it’s hard to get people to agree on the location of a stop sign or what should go in a community garden.”

Stein has a more optimistic view of human nature than I do. She believes that ordinary people can get together to make decisions on financing, manufacturing, marketing and all the other facets of a big, complex business. Now, Stein said, businesses, big and small, make decision-making by communities or local governments impossible because of their narrow interests and campaign contributions.

“The Green New Deal operates in a far different process, not subject to money and backroom deals,” she said. “People can get together, make compromises. You can’t make compromises when there are predators. This is a society poisoned by distrust.”

Another big issue for her is student loans, which she wants canceled.

“This has to be the most mobilizing issue,” Stein said. “It started happening in Carbondale, Ill. Suddenly, our events were mobbed. This became the norm, and we did an event in San Francisco before the primary. We thought it would be a quiet visit to California. We had to turn hundreds of people away.

“There is a rebellion, and it is being led by millennials. There are 43 million young people locked into predatory debt. They just have to know they can cancel their debt by voting Green. Just by organizing on social media, young people can take over this election. We have full houses at millennial events. Debt is the sleeper issue in the campaign. It is the elephant in the room.”

Stein said this kind of support is why she has moved up in the polls without “any major-league coverage” by the television networks and the cable news channels.

But both she and Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, face a big obstacle. The Commission on Presidential Debates requires that candidates get at least 15 per cent on five national polls before they are admitted to the debate club. Formed by Republican and Democratic Party officials several years ago, the commission looks as though it’s another establishment ploy to exclude outsiders.

Stein has got good, progressive ideas and deserves to be heard by a wide audience. This is especially true since the election is coming down to a contest between Clinton and Donald Trump, who are battling each other for first place in the unpopularity category. In that kind of election, nothing is impossible.

She’s no Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump—Behind the scenes with Jill Stein (multimedia)

Note by New Cold
[1] Jill Stein was the Green Party presidential candidate in 2012. She was on the ballot in 37 states and won 469,501 votes, 0.36 per cent. In 2008, the Green Party candidate was Cynthia McKinney; she won 161,603 votes. That same year, Ralph Nader was on the ballot in 45 states as an independent. He won 738,475 votes, .56 per cent.

Why Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted for reckless abuses of national security

By Jill Stein, CounterPunch, July 6, 2016

Yesterday FBI Director James Comey described Hillary Clinton’s email communications as Secretary of State as “extremely careless.” His statement undermined the defenses Clinton put forward, stating the FBI found 110 emails on Clinton’s server that were classified at the time they were sent or received; eight contained information classified at the highest level, “top secret,” at the time they were sent. That stands in direct contradiction to Clinton’s repeated insistence she never sent or received any classified emails.

All the elements necessary to prove a felony violation were found by the FBI investigation, specifically of Title 18 Section 793(f) of the federal penal code, a law ensuring proper protection of highly classified information. Director Comey said that Clinton was “extremely careless” and “reckless” in handling such information. Contrary to the implications of the FBI statement, the law does not require showing that Clinton intended to harm the United States, but that she acted with gross negligence.

The recent State Department Inspector General (IG) report was clear that Clinton blithely disregarded safeguards to protect the most highly classified national security information and that she included on her unprotected email server the names of covert CIA officers. The disclosure of such information is a felony under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

While the FBI is giving Clinton a pass for not “intending” to betray state secrets, her staff has said Secretary Clinton stated she used her private email system because she did not want her personal emails to become accessible under FOI laws. This is damning on two counts – that she intended to disregard the protection of security information, and that she had personal business to conceal.

This is not the end of the Clinton email issues. Department of Justice officials filed a motion in federal court on June 29th requesting a 27-month delay in producing correspondence between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s four top aides and officials with the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings, a public relations firm that Bill Clinton helped launch.

Hillary Clinton deleted 30,000 emails claiming they were ‘personal’. This is equal to the volume of her emails designated as department business. If half of an employee’s email volume is for their personal business, they are not using their time for their job.

If Secretary Clinton was conducting personal business for her family Foundation through the Secretary of State’s Office, this is a matter the American public deserves to know about. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton routinely granted lucrative special contracts, weapons deals and government partnerships to Clinton Foundation donors. The Secretary of State’s office should not be a place to conduct private back room business deals.

The blurring of the lines between Clinton family private business and national security matters in the Secretary of State Office underscores evidence on many other fronts that Hillary Clinton is serving the 1%, not we the people.

Hillary Clinton’s failure to protect critical security information is not the only thing in her tenure as Secretary that deserves the term reckless, including her decision to pursue catastrophic regime change in Libya, and to support the overthrow of democratically elected governments in Ukraine and Honduras.

Further reading:
Jill Stein, Green Party presumptive presidential nominee, makes inroads, by Byron Tau, The Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2016
Rising allure of alternative candidates threatens to siphon votes from Hillary Clinton

It’s time for a second American Revolution, by Jill Stein, CounterPunch, July 4, 2016


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