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Bernie hires Hugo Chavez fanboy as campaign Senior Advisor and Speechwriter

Bernie hires Hugo Chavez fanboy as campaign Senior Advisor and Speechwriter

David Sirota penned the now infamous “Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle,” and has been secretly helping Bernie while working as a journalist, then deleted the evidence. Nobody saw that coming.

David Sirota.

That’s a name I haven’t thought of in a while.

Sirota is someone we wrote about quite a bit long ago, and not in a favorable way.

He blocked us on Twitter for it:

He was in many ways a caricature of the upper crust of the nutroots, the part of the left-wing blogosphere which dwelled at places like and (what’s the name of that other place, I always confused it with Salon?).

Sirota was the guy who hoped that the Boston Marathon bomber would be a white guy. Seriously.

That wasn’t Sirota’s worst call.

Sirota penned the now infamous Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle:

… Chavez became the bugaboo of American politics because his full-throated advocacy of socialism and redistributionism at once represented a fundamental critique of neoliberal economics, and also delivered some indisputably positive results. Indeed, as shown by some of the most significant indicators, Chavez racked up an economic record that a legacy-obsessed American president could only dream of achieving.

[Image via Anthony Fisher Twitter]

To top it off, it was just discovered that Sirota has been secretly working for Bernie for months, while working as a journalist bashing Bernie opponents without disclosing the conflict. The Atlantic broke the story:

Since December, David Sirota has, on Twitter, on his own website, and in columns in The Guardian, been trashing most of Sanders’s Democratic opponents—all without disclosing his work with Sanders—and has been pushing back on critics by saying that he was criticizing the other Democrats as a journalist. He centered many of his attacks on Beto O’Rourke, but he also bashed Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Joe Biden, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper, Mike Bloomberg, and even Andrew Cuomo….

Faiz Shakir, Sanders’s campaign manager, confirmed in an interview on Tuesday afternoon that Sirota had been in an advisory role prior to his hiring on March 11. “He was advising beforehand,” Shakir said, explaining that Sirota’s informal work for Sanders goes back months, and was meant to be a trial period to see how the senator, who famously likes to write every word that he says himself, would work with a speechwriter.

Not only that, The Atlantic reports that when it contacted Sirota, he deleted his Twitter history:

On Monday night, after being contacted for a second time by The Atlantic with a list of specific questions about his undisclosed work for Sanders, Sirota did not respond to the email but deleted more than 20,000 tweets. He left fewer than 200 online.

Bernie hiring a Hugo Chavez fanboy who worked as a journalist while secretly helping Bernie bash other Democrats, then deleted the evidence.

Nobody saw that coming.


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Birds of an feather.

    legacyrepublican in reply to Exiliado. | March 19, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    The only kind of birds of a feather they come even close to being are the kinds found giving American Exceptualism the middle finger.

LukeHandCool | March 19, 2019 at 8:57 pm

Activist Democrats (I include journalists in that category) and ethics are like oil and water.

Won’t hurt Bernie.

That was some great miracle by Chavez.

Also, it sure was a sight to see all the “democratic socialists” play the game of “that’s not my socialism….that’s *wait for it* capitalism! yea!”

Just when it was women’s turn, three whites guys take a commanding lead in the race to see who loses this time.

So, will the journal for whom this person was working as a journalist demand a return of the paid salary, as he was doing the work of his campaign? I’ll bet not, because that would require integrity.

I’ve got cousins called Sirota; I hope they’re not related.

Never understood why even the most ardent Marxist would call Venezuela a “success” story, even if only a transient one.

The wealth didn’t come from any clever socialist scheme, it came from commercial sale of oil—that liquid carbon footprint stuff Lefties and socialists and New World Order types are supposed to hate. No socialist revolution found the oil, or extracted or refined it. Socialism merely spread the profits around like every day was Christmas until the market value dropped. (The oil is still very valuable, just not as valuable as is was a while ago.)

What Chavez seems to have done was resist the urge to steal all the money for the benefit of himself and his cronies, and use it to do some useful things for the country and its inhabitants. And it’s hard to grouse about that part. Sure, he stole some—rather a lot, really—but not all, and that’s unusual.

But managing a windfall profit is not an indicator that socialism is some magic formula which can pull the economy of just any country out of shithole status. The great secret to economic success is having something to sell; and if you do have something to sell, managing (or mismanaging) the wealth like a good socialist doesn’t generate more wealth.

Now once the market value of the oil drops, the socialists have a problem. Their control algorithm doesn’t seem to know what to do when the parameters change. A free market would adjust to the price drop automatically; Venezuela would become poorer than planned, but not destitute. But their socialist control scheme couldn’t adapt, and the result was catastrophe—far worse than any free market economy would have done to them. And there’s no corrective on the way; the situation can only get worse. The self-correcting mechanisms of a free economy are not there.

Sanders et al can claim that a better control algorithm would have worked just fine. But there’s nothing at all to indicate that’s anything but wishful thinking.

    casualobserver in reply to tom_swift. | March 20, 2019 at 8:39 am

    The wealth didn’t come from any clever socialist scheme, it came from commercial sale of oil…

    Isn’t socialism by definition the transition of most commercial industry from private hands to government hands? Drilling for oil and selling it to redistribute the wealth seems like classical socialism, no?

    It would be interesting to see the progression of Chavez’s distribution of the oil money. Without having studied it, my impression is that in the beginning he was redistributing it generously to bolster the public’s view of his transition to socialism. But as things began to slowly sour, he progressively took more and allocated more to keep his protectors …..well, protecting him. In the end, anyone in government was getting richer while the general population was getting less and less of the pie. Somewhere along that timeline the nationalization spree began under Chavez, and food supply was eventually one. If that were perceived by the people as running well, I doubt it would have been taken over. As the spree continued, Chavez and his protectors simply got richer.

    “Never understood why even the most ardent Marxist would call Venezuela a “success” story, even if only a transient one….”

    They seized absolute power and looted the place. How is that not “success” to a totalitarian?

    PostLiberal in reply to tom_swift. | March 23, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    What Chavez seems to have done was resist the urge to steal all the money for the benefit of himself and his cronies, and use it to do some useful things for the country and its inhabitants

    Actually, corruption by his cronies is probably what collapsed the economy. Chavez campaigned in 1998 on getting rid of corruption. Once in office, he tolerated corruption from his cronies. By 2000, the die was set. Corruption in Venezuela
    In early 2000, Chávez’s friend and co-conspirator in the 1992 Venezuelan coup d’état attempts Jesus Urdaneta was appointed head of Venezuela’s intelligence agency, DISIP. Urdaneta began receiving reports that Chávez’s allies, Luis Miquilena, leader of the National Assembly and José Vicente Rangel, Chávez’s foreign minister, were keeping public funds for themselves. Urdaneta brought this to Chávez’s attention, but Chávez ignored his advice saying that he needed the political experience of both men in order to establish power.[40]

    I first read about Urndaneta’s attempt to stop corruption in Rory Carroll’s Comandante.

    As an anecdote, during the time of the Recall Referendum in 2004, I was working in a small company that employed several Venezuelans. I pointed out to them that corruption was one reason why Chavez was elected. The reply was that corruption was worse under Chavez. They were apparently right.

    Hard-Marxist Jorge Giordani,who spent over a decade in various intervals as Chavez’s Planning Minister, estimated $300 billion was stolen.

Bernie & Dave need to have their noses rubbed in the mess they helped facilitate.

ScottTheEngineer | March 20, 2019 at 12:31 pm

Venezualas problem started when they seized the oil rigs and kicked out the operators. The operators left and took their employees with them. Effectively shutting the systems down. That’s what caused the oil/gas spike around 2007. Gas went to $4.00 a gallon. Everyone’s flexible spending money went into the gas tank which screwed the rest of the economy. That’s how I saw it anyway.

    PostLiberal in reply to ScottTheEngineer. | March 23, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    While that was a salient example of Chávez’s many poor decisions, the rot began much earlier. One example comes from 2000, when given the opportunity to crack down on corruption from his cronies (see my Urdaneta comment), he decided to tolerate corruption. His takeover of PDVSA in 2002-03 was another poor decision. Look at what PDVSA is today, compared to what it was 20 years ago- from 3.1 million BOPD to 1 million BOPD. Yes, you CAN kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

I don’t understand why anybody would consider this newsworthy. Birds of a feather and that sort of thing.

Francisco Toro,founder of the Venezuelan oppo blog Caracas Chronicles, wrote a flippant put-down of those who associated Bernie’s style of socialism with that going on in Venezuela: “To tar Bernie supporters with the ills of the Chavez era is to show the kind of slackjawed rightwing simplemindedness that brought us…well, that brought us candidate Trump.”

Bernie’s previous support for despots like Fidel Castro and Daniel Ortega apparently didn’t mean much to Mr. Toro. Given Mr. Toro’s emphatic dislike of Fidel Castro, as shown in the Castro eulogy he wrote, The Worst Latin American, one would think that Bernie’s decades-long cheerleading for Fidel Castro would have registered with Mr. Toro. But it didn’t.

When Sirota wrote about “Hugo Chávez’s economic miracle,” he was merely shouting to the world how IGNORANT he was.

When Chávez was elected in 1998, Venezuelan oil was selling for about $11/BBL. When he died in 2013, Venezuelan oil was selling for about $100/BBL. Even with this oil export revenue bonanza, $1.2 trillion from 199-2012 in constant 2102 dollars, Venezuela’s economic growth during the Chávez years was pathetic-anemic-near bottom of the barrel compared to other countries.From the World Bank:

GDP per capita, PPP (constant 2011 international $), % growth 1998-2013
East Asia & Pacific (excluding high income) 191.9%
Upper middle income á110.3%
South Asia 103.9%
Low & middle income 91.9%
World 44.3%
Sub-Saharan Africa 42.4%
Middle East & North Africa 31.8%
Latin America & Caribbean 30.2%
Venezuela 15.1%