The Evening Blues - 7-23-19



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Gene Burks and Dorothy Williams


Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features lesser-known soul artists Gene Burks and Dorothy Williams. Enjoy!

Gene Burks - You Got It

“Certified lunatics are shut up because of their proneness to violence when their pretensions are questioned; the uncertified variety are given the control of powerful armies and can inflict death and disaster upon all sane men within their reach.”

-- Bertrand Russell


News and Opinion

Trump's Brand of Fascism Is Distinct But No Less Dangerous Than Last Century's Fascism

Almost a century ago, classical fascism abandoned democratic liberties in order to pursue internal cleansing and external expansion without ethical or legal restraints. Although Mussolini, Hitler, and Franco pursued these internal and external goals in different ways, they all set themselves in opposition to a series of "others" that were not only ideological (liberals and communists) but also ethnic (Jews, Roma and other minorities). Although US President Donald Trump, as well as the European parties, gathered under the Identity and Democracy umbrella, evince these traits in their rhetoric and, when they can, in their actions, their use of fascist techniques to stimulate their base and erode liberal democratic institutions are similar but not identical to those used by fascist dictators of the 1920s and 30s. ...

The main difference between the classical and contemporary incarnations of fascism is that the version we observe today is operating within democratic systems rather than outside them. Proponents of 20th-century fascism wanted to change everything from above; Mussolini defined it as "revolution against revolution". But fascism today aims to transform democratic systems from within. Thus over the past decade, racist, homophobic, and xenophobic laws have resurfaced within democratic regimes through democratic procedures across the globe. These recrudescences are potentially more dangerous than surviving pockets of classical fascism's anti-democratic ideology because mainstream conservative forces tend to ignore and even support them. This is particularly evident in the US where the Republican Party continues to endorse Trump's racism and hostility towards refugees and minorities as well as international and human rights agreements.

Another major difference between the two is that unlike classical fascism, its contemporary version does not concern itself with social welfare. Alongside its disastrous obsession with ethnic superiority, classical fascism took on the utopic duty of crafting an order which would better address the social and psychological needs of citizens who had been suffering the ravages of capitalism. But what has replaced this dimension in contemporary fascism? Having emerged in an age of neoliberalism and competitive individualism, today's far-right parties no longer feel the need to mobilise the masses by making grand promises of an alternative society or civilisation that would better their lives. Instead, they channel the anger and frustrations of isolated individuals who do not necessarily belong to the right or the left towards the "perpetual other" whose removal or ostracisation will supposedly solve all socioeconomic problems.

This is why Trump, for example, instead of supporting the Republican Party's economic policies or its version of traditional national values, preaches a reactionary and xenophobic version of American individualism - as his recent attack against four congresswomen of colour has demonstrated. ...

While there are indeed substantial differences between the fascism of the past and what we see today, the general historical trajectory will inevitably remain the same.

Trump says he could win Afghan war 'in a week … but I don't want to kill 10m'

Donald Trump has said that he could win the Afghanistan war “in a week” but did not want to wipe the country “off the face of the Earth”.

At the same White House, the president also made a quixotic offer to mediate the longstanding Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, claiming the Indian government had invited to act as broker – a claim quickly denied in New Delhi.

The president made his remarks sitting alongside the Pakistani prime minister, Imran Khan, who is seeking to have more than $1bn in US aid restored, after Trump cut it off last year blaming Islamabad for not doing enough to fight extremism. “The problem was Pakistan wasn’t doing anything for us. They were subversive,” he said. “To be honest, I think we have a better relationship with Pakistan right now than when we were paying that money. That money can come back.” ...

Trump also talked about the 18-year war in Afghanistan, as US officials pursue talks with Taliban officials, with cautious support from Islamabad. “Pakistan’s going to help us out to extricate ourselves,” Trump said at an Oval Office meeting with Khan. “We’re like policemen. We’re not fighting a war. If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. But I don’t want to kill 10 million people. Afghanistan could be wiped off the face of the Earth. I don’t want to go that route.”

Trump added that there was hope that the Taliban would talk about peace in the coming days. A White House statement later acknowledged: “Pakistan has made efforts to facilitate the Afghanistan peace talks, and we are going to ask them to do more.”

Trump: I could win Afghan war in week, wipe country off map

Pompous Maximus reaches out like a true friend to the lapdogs taken in by President Bolton's scam:

UK must look after its own ships in the Gulf, says Pompeo

The UK must be responsible for the safety of its own ships in the Gulf, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has said. His remarks reflect unresolved tensions between Britain and the US over Donald Trump’s plans for a US-led military taskforce to protect international shipping operating off the Iranian coast. The UK is meanwhile seeking to assemble a European naval protection force.

Speaking on Fox News, Pompeo said: “The responsibility in the first instance falls to the United Kingdom to take care of their ships. The US has a responsibility to do its part.”

He argued that the current crisis was not a result of US sanctions, but of longstanding Iranian malign behaviour in the region. “This is a bad regime; it’s not honouring the people of Iran,” he told the Fox & Friends television programme. “They’ve now conducted what amounts to national piracy – a nation-state taking over a ship that’s travelling in international waters.” ...

The US has been seeking to recruit allies to take part in a coalition, known as Operation Sentinel, to protect the sea lanes. “We’ll build out a big coalition of countries all across the world to do that. We’ll ultimately be successful,” Pompeo told CBS News.

Jeremy Hunt enters the contest for the most hypocritical statement by a state representative with a stunning entry that I'll call, "it's piracy for thee but not for me."

UK blasts Iran seizure of tanker as act of 'state piracy'

Trump blasts Iran, says hard to deal with top 'terror' state

US President Donald Trump said Monday that chances of negotiating with Iran were dwindling, as he cited increasing tensions in the Gulf and blasted the Islamic republic as the world's top "state of terror."

The president cited a series of recent conflicts involving Tehran, including the downing of US and Iranian drones and, most recently, Tehran's announcement that it arrested 17 people in connection to a CIA spy ring, a claim Trump rejected as "lies."

"Frankly it's getting harder for me to want to make a deal with Iran, because they behave very badly," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, as visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan sat at his side.

"I'll tell you it could go either way, very easily," Trump added. "And I'm OK either way it goes." ...

He also used menacing language, saying the United States was "ready for the absolute worst."

"We are very geared up. They are really the number one state of terror in the world," Trump said.

'Ethnic Cleansing With Impunity': Israel Denounced for Demolishing Dozens of Palestinian Homes in Violation of International Law

Global outcry erupted on Monday—with one critic condemning the move as "ethnic cleansing with impunity"—after Israeli forces demolished dozens of homes in Sur Baher, a Palestinian village that straddles East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

"These demolitions are a flagrant violation of international law and part of a systematic pattern by the Israeli authorities to forcibly displace Palestinians in the occupied territories; such actions amount to war crimes," Saleh Higazi, deputy Middle East and North Africa director for Amnesty International, said in a statement Monday. "Israel must immediately end its cruel and discriminatory policy of home demolitions and forced displacement," added Higazi. "Instead of destroying families' homes Israel must dismantle parts of the fence/wall built inside the occupied Palestinian territories, including in parts of Sur Baher, in violation of international law."

Reuters explained in a report Monday that "parts of Sur Baher lie inside the municipal boundary of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem and parts outside the barrier, in the West Bank. But some lie in between: just outside the Jerusalem line but still on the Israeli side of the barrier." An area known as Wadi al-Hummus falls on the Israeli side of what critics call the apartheid wall, but it is ostensibly under control of the Palestinian Authority.

Before dawn on Monday, bulldozers accompanied by hundreds of Israeli police and soldiers descended on Wadi al-Hummus. The demolition, which The Associated Press called "one of the largest operations of its kind in years," came after Israel's High Court of Justice ended a seven-year legal battle last month by dismissing Palestinians' challenge to an Israeli military order barring construction in the area.


How “Ricky Leaks” Exposed Puerto Rico’s Governor and Sparked a Movement to Oust Him

Puerto Rico: hundreds of thousands flood streets as governor remains defiant

Puerto Rico saw more massive protests on Monday as hundreds of thousands lined the streets following Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s attempt to cling on to power despite resigning as president of the ruling New Progressive party and announcing he will not run for re-election next year.

A general strike took place across the US territory on Monday morning, protesters chanting the now familiar cry of “Ricky resign!”, waving flags and banging drums. Demonstrations have gripped the island since hundreds of pages of leaked text messages between the governor and 11 members of his inner circle were published on 13 July.

The messages contain homophobic and sexist slurs against political rivals and cultural figures. They also contain a joke about dead bodies during Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in September 2017.

Puerto Rico’s largest mall, Plaza de las Américas, closed before Monday’s demonstration along with many other businesses. Last week police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters at a huge rally outside the governor’s residence in the island’s capital, San Juan. ...

Rosselló and the 11 others implicated in the message scandal have been issued summonses by the island’s justice department. While a number of those in the chat group, including the former secretary of state Luís Rivera Marín, have resigned over the affair, Rosselló has maintained the messages contained nothing illegal.


“Ricky Renuncia”: Half a Million Puerto Ricans Flood San Juan Demanding Resignation of Gov. Rosselló

Venezuela: blackout hits Caracas and other states in latest power outage

Venezuela has been hit by a nationwide power outage which the government has blamed on an “electromagnetic attack” on the nation’s hydroelectric system. The information minister Jorge Rodríguez said authorities were working to restore electricity as quickly as possible after at least 14 of Venezuela’s 24 states – including the capital Caracas – lost power on Monday afternoon.

He appealed for calm and said contingency plans had been activated so that medical facilities would not be affected. Security forces were also being deployed to guarantee public safety.

Venezuela suffered a series of blackouts in March that left millions of people without running water and telecommunications. The power cuts were the worst in decades and exacerbated an economic crisis that has halved the size of the economy.

'You’d have to be mad to think Boris Johnson is the answer to Britain’s problems' - George Galloway

Boris Johnson chosen as new UK leader

Boris Johnson, Britain’s blustering Brexit campaigner, was chosen as the U.K.’s next prime minister on Tuesday, with a resounding mandate from the Conservative Party but conflicting demands from a politically divided country.

Johnson is set to become prime minister on Wednesday after winning an election to lead the governing Conservatives. He will have just over three months to make good on his promise to lead the U.K. out of the European Union by Oct. 31.

Famed for his bravado, quips in Latin and blond mop of hair , Johnson easily defeated Conservative rival Jeremy Hunt, winning two-thirds of the votes of about 160,000 party members across the U.K. He will become prime minister once Queen Elizabeth II formally asks him to form a government, replacing Theresa May.


Yes, Trump Actually Just Called the Squad “Racist”

Well, it's come to this: The president basically just used the old reliable schoolyard taunt "I know you are but what am I" against the Squad.


His Monday tweet — apparently written either at or on the way to the late Justice John Paul Stevens’ memorial — isn’t the first time Trump has accused the progressive lawmakers of racism. He’s repeatedly alleged, without proof, that Omar is anti-Semitic. He claimed last week, again without proof, that all four women used the phrase “evil Jews.”


The Cop Who Said AOC “Needs A Round” Just Got Fired

The Louisiana cop who called AOC a “vile idiot” who “needs a round” has reportedly been fired, along with a fellow cop who “liked” the post. Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson on Monday afternoon fired officer Charlie Rispoli and another officer, Angelo Varisco, according to WDSU-NBC reporter Christina Watkins.

“It’s very, very disappointing,” Lawson said in a press briefing. "To insinuate a violent act against a seated U.S. congresswoman... it's completely irresponsible and intolerable." ...

The officer’s threat followed a week of AOC and “squad”-bashing from President Donald Trump, who called Ocasio-Cortez, Reps. Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib racist “troublemakers” on Monday. The four minority Congresswomen were also the subject of a since-deleted Facebook meme of a movie-style poster calling them “The Jihad Squad,” which was shared by the Republican County Chairmen's Association of Illinois.

Mexico boasts of cutting Central American migrant flow to US by a third

Mexico has boasted of a sharp drop in the number of migrants attempting to travel through the country ahead of a US deadline for its southern neighbour to show that it is cracking down on irregular migration.

The foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, told reporters on Monday the migrant flow through Mexico had diminished by 36.2% since 7 June – when the Mexican government agreed to increase immigration enforcement to avoid Donald Trump imposing escalating trade tariffs. Figures from the National Immigration Institute showed an average of 4,156 migrants entered Mexico daily through its southern border during the week of 1-7 June. That figure fell to roughly 2,652 people a day during the week ending 19 July.

Ebrard attributed that decline to the deployment of 20,000 members of a newly formed militarised police force and “immigration laws being enforced”. He added: “We have not agreed on a number for the next 45 days” – with the Trump administration – “but we’re going to keep up this effort so the trend continues downward.”

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador once promised to not “do the dirty work” of any foreign government on the immigration issue, but his administration has taken action amid fears that Trump’s fury over the steady stream of migrants could dent Mexico’s export-driven economy.

Reports expose Trump administration’s “Border Patrol to emergency room” pipeline

Mexico border are released from detention centers only to go directly to the emergency rooms of local hospitals, according to two damning press reports issued this past week. The Atlantic magazine reported Sunday on what it termed “The Border Patrol–to–Emergency Room Pipeline,” describing immigrants, frequently exhausted, dehydrated or otherwise weakened by crossing the border in remote desert areas, then thrown into detention centers where they can’t wash their hands, even after using the bathroom, and are frequently denied clean drinking water and hot food.

A local pediatrician who visited a McAllen, Texas, detention center, Dolly Lucio Sevier, wrote a scathing report on the conditions there last month, calling them “tantamount to intentionally causing the spread of disease.” This is a tactic that harks back to the genocidal treatment of Native Americans in the 18th century, when deadly diseases like smallpox were deliberately spread among them through the distribution of infected blankets. ...

A July 16 report in the non-profit Texas Tribune found, “Cases of severe dehydration and overexertion among migrants are skyrocketing in deep South Texas as people push their bodies past the breaking point to get into the United States, new statistics obtained by the Texas Tribune show.” The report, citing local Border Patrol chief Rodolfo Karisch, found that agents are taking 30 migrants per day to the emergency room just in the Rio Grande Valley Sector. Multiplied across the other sectors of the US-Mexico border, that would add up to thousands of migrants a month going from detention centers to emergency rooms.

A nurse at a Rio Grande Valley hospital told the Tribune that migrants may be sick when they are detained, but they get worse because of being detained with other sick migrants in unsanitary conditions for a prolonged period. “They’re arriving here sick, and they get sicker,” she said. The Tribune report continued: “The nurse said young migrants going through the intake process had conditions that included diaper rash so bad that babies were bleeding, explosive diarrhea that oozes out of days-old diapers, chicken pox, antibiotic-resistant infections, multiple viral infections and at least one hungry baby who guzzled four bottles of formula.”

These press accounts—a rare exception in the American media—give a glimpse of the brutal conditions deliberately created by the Trump administration in its effort to block the flow of desperate and cruelly oppressed people from Central America, fleeing police dictatorships and drug gangs and seeking sanctuary in the United States. This brutality is what the congressional Democrats voted to fund last month when they approved Trump’s demand for $4.6 billion in additional spending on the border concentration camps.

US introduces new fast-track deportation process

Trump Plans to Deport Thousands of New Migrants Without Due Process

The Trump administration plans to give immigration officials the authority to quickly deport tens of thousands of immigrants — without due process.

The administration plans on expanding “expedited removals,” a speedy deportation process in which migrants aren’t entitled to a hearing before an immigration judge, according to a notice that will be published in the federal register on Tuesday.

The new rule will apply to all unauthorized immigrants who can't prove they've been in the U.S. for at least two continuous years. ...

“Now, if ICE believes someone is undocumented and has lived in the U.S. for less than two years—with the burden on the immigrant to prove otherwise — they can deport that person within days, with almost no court review allowed,” Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, a policy analyst at the American Immigration Council, wrote on Twitter. The Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan immigration think tank, estimates that 297,000 unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. could be subject to expedited removal under the new policy.



the horse race



Why Democrats Could be Heading for the Dreaded Contested Convention

There are four major reasons a contested convention is more likely to happen in 2020. A front-loaded primary calendar, crowded primary field, changes in superdelegate rules, and an increased ability for multiple candidates to raise serious money that could let them stick around longer in the race all raise the odds of a scenario like this occurring.

Indeed, some are already predicting it. ...

To win the Democratic nomination, a candidate needs to win a bare majority of the delegates awarded from state party primaries. If no one has a majority, then the drawn out and damaging process of negotiation and dealmaking between candidates begins. If that happens on the convention floor, what’s supposed to be a well-coordinated coronation of the nominee could turn into a televised free-for-all.

Citing Corporate Ties and Lack of 'Urgency,' Progressive Mayor Launches Primary Bid to Unseat Powerful Democrat Richard Neal

A progressive mayor who was born the same year Democratic Rep. Richard Neal took office announced Monday that he is challenging the House Ways and Means Committee chairman in the 2020 election.

Holyoke, Massachusetts Mayor Alex Morse launched his primary challenge against the centrist Democrat with a video in which he described his background as the son of parents who grew up in poverty, fighting for a sustainable economy in his hometown during four terms as mayor, objections to Neal's close ties with corporations, and denouncing the congressman's lack of "urgency" when it comes to fighting back against President Donald Trump.

"There's an urgency in this moment in our country and that urgency is not matched by our current representative in Congress," Morse says in the video. "It's no accident that we have disparities in the district. There's no transparency. It sends the message that wealthy donors and corporate PACs and corporations are far more important than the interests and needs and struggles of the people that we interact with each and every day."

On his official Twitter account, Morse has made clear his support for Medicare for All and the Green New Deal as well as grocery store workers who went on strike in Holyoke to demand fair wages.




the evening greens

A really excellent article worth a full read:

Ravaged by Drought, a Honduran Village Faces a Choice: Pray for Rain or Migrate

Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere — nearly two-thirds of its population lives in poverty. Its cities are ruled by violence, and its countryside, by vendetta. Police forces and government authorities are often corrupted by drug lords and gangs.

It is also among the countries in the world most vulnerable to climate change, because of its "high exposure to climate-related hazards," says the U.S. Agency for International Development. For a period of 20 years, from 1998 to 2017, it was among the three most weather-battered countries in the world, a distinction largely attributable to Hurricane Mitch, which devastated the country in 1998. The situation is projected to get more dangerous, especially in Western Honduras, which is predicted to become a climate "hotspot," with greater temperature increases.

Climate change, when layered onto this mix of economic instability, violence and weak governance, can become fuel — a threat multiplier that could aggravate all of Honduras' vulnerabilities, leaving people little choice but to leave their homes. The World Bank projects that nearly 4 million people from Central America and Mexico could become climate migrants by 2050. ...

In Honduras, agriculture employs nearly one-third of the country's population, and immigration analysts point to the fact that roughly half the adults apprehended at the U.S. border work in agriculture, underscoring the precarious nature of their lives at home. In El Niño years, agriculture in the Dry Corridor — a large swath of Central America characterized by dry, erratic weather conditions — is especially stressed. The tropical dry forest belt that stretches from southern Mexico to Panama has experienced declines in rainfall of up to 40 percent and intense heat for long stretches. In other years, heavy rainfall washes out crops or makes it impossible to plant or harvest.

"National security rests on economics as well as anything," said Richard Holwill, who was the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Inter-American affairs in the 1980s. "The Soviet Union didn't collapse because of a military threat, it collapsed because it could not maintain an economy."

"We can't just pull up a drawbridge, wall out the rest of the world and say, hey, we can survive here in this island that we call the United States," Holwill added. "We are interconnected, and our security is enhanced by ensuring that their world is stable."

'This is What the Climate Crisis Looks Like': One Day After Crushing Heat Wave, Flash Floods Inundate New York City

Less than a month after New York City declared a climate emergency, the reality of the crisis came crashing home Monday as streets across Brooklyn and Queens were inundated with flash flooding a day after power went down in three boroughs due to a heat wave.

Commuters headed home late in the day were stymied by trains shut down due to flash flooding from rain that hit the city after a days-long heat wave that drove temperatures into the triple digits.


Con Ed cut power to areas in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island Sunday night after the weekend heat wave strained the energy company's infrastructure.

On Monday evening, a rain storm that hit the area at 8pm caused flash flooding. Streets in Brooklyn were impassable as water rose to people's waists, leading at least one Uber driver, Walid Shawon, and his customer in Brooklyn's South Slope neighborhood to flee the vehicle from a window and swim to safety.


Even Red States Are Dumping Coal for Solar

Arizona, despite being GOP-dominated, is number 3 in the US for residential solar power production. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, Arizona homeowners put in 52.83 megawatts of new solar installations. As for industrial-scale solar, Arizona utility APS generates 1.4 gigawatts worth of solar power, equivalent to a small nuclear plant. APS’s rival TEP is planning residential solar installations in 90,000 Arizona homes. APS is also pursuing new storage capacity and wind power. Arizona now generates more electricity from solar than from hydroelectricity, though its 4 gigawatt Palo Verde nuclear plant is one of the state’s most important sources of power.

All five members of Georgia’s Public Service Commission are Republicans, and they just decided to double their order for new solar power and to close a coal plant, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Matt Kempner. They are planning enough solar to power 200,000 homes. Georgia has 3.2 million households, so that is 6% of the state’s homes. This is only the beginning, since solar panels over time are rapidly dropping in price and increasing in efficiency. These Republican officials haven’t taken these decisions to be politically correct or because they fear the climate emergency produced by the world spewing 37 billion metric tons a year of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. They made the decision because it makes good economic sense. And if even this GOP-dominated body in Red State is going in this direction, fossil fuels are doomed. ...

So, to summarize: Republican decision-makers increasingly see solar as just a good business investment that produces electricity more cost-effectively than coal. One important consideration is that the fuel is free, so that municipalities that want 25-year bids favor renewables over fossil fuels. Who knows how expensive natural gas will be in 2044? But sun and wind will still be free. And it should be underlined that the potential for increases in efficiency and decreases in price in solar panels is enormous.


Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

Robert O. Paxton’s “The Five Stages of Fascism”

He Was Told to Go Back to Africa. Instead, He May Go to the U.S. Senate.

Mohammad Khatami:
By punishing Iran, Trump risks a full-scale war between our two countries

Did John Bolton Light the Fuse of the UK-Iranian Tanker Crisis?

Brexit Leaves UK with No Choice But to Do Trump's Bidding in Iran

Brighter US-Iran Prospects

Russia, Ukraine Agree ‘Comprehensive’ Cease-Fire in Donbass

Ukraine Election - Voters Defeat Second Color Revolution

Turkey threatens US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria ahead of talks

'Warning Lights Are Flashing,' Says Elizabeth Warren, Detailing Plan to Stave Off Impending Financial Crisis

America's red scare is back. And it's racially tinged

The Just World Fallacy: Why People Bash Assange And Defend Power

As Costs of Climate Crisis Grow, Protest Movement Escalates

Citing Intense Public Interest, Judge Unseals Files in Case of Trump Associate Felix Sater


A Little Night Music

Gene Burks - Monkey Man

Gene Burks - Shirley Jean

Gene Burks - Can't Stand Your Fooling Around

Gene Burks - You Don't Love Me

Gene Burks - Take My Hand

Dorothy Williams - Watchdog

Dorothy Williams - Closer To My Baby

Dorothy Williams - The Well's Gone Dry

Dorothy Williams - Country Style


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Comments

detroitmechworks's picture

Every time they do this scene comes to mind...

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8 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

joe shikspack's picture

@detroitmechworks

so portland has joined the "your papers please" culture. gosh, i bet you feel so much safer.

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8 users have voted.
hecate's picture

That's a good Al-Jazeera piece on the fascism 2.0. The writer is largely correct that "the version we observe today is operating within democratic systems rather than outside them," with the caveat that the current gang is always pushing at the boundaries of those systems. Thus, Salvini is set on evicting all the Roma, whether there are really laws allowing him to do that or not; when the Hungarian judicial system proved too feisty for Orban, he simply put the courts under his justice minister. The Klansman would dearly love to do the same, as his current method of corrupting the courts—fast-tracking as judges no-minds with no discernible qualifications other than that may bow to his bigly—is frustratingly slow, judges recurrently blocking his more extraconstitutional moves; The Klansman has already set his lickspittle justice minister over the nation's intelligence agencies, and would surely woody up if he could also put the fellow in charge of the courts. Meanwhile, the volk of Vlad simply deny opposition candidates access to the ballot.

The writer is also correct that this new crew really isn't all that interested in delivering for the volk, other than in pounding on The Others; there's a piece in the Times today where the Dems are basically praising jeebus that The Klansman hasn't followed through on his promises to the volk anywhere other than "a boot stamping on a brown child's face—forever."

Meanwhile: heroes.

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k9disc's picture

Right Wing Fascism is dependent upon?

The Center Left Fascism is, IMO, no less dangerous than the fascism of last century either. War for profit. Stoking and trafficking in demographic warfare. Still have for profit prisons. Still have market based medicine. Still have no social safety net. Still have no precautionary principle or reliable check against business. Still have ubiquitous spying and data collection.

The only difference, IMO, is that one is, quite obviously, ugly and the other is wearing a friendly mask - a clever wolf in sheep's clothing that prefers to farm the sheep rather than hunt them.
@hecate

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

snoopydawg's picture

@k9disc

IMG_2666.JPG

Democrats just gave the republicans a way to screw the democrat president in 2021 if one wins by kicking the budget deal down the road. Again. And of course the republicans will use it just like they did during Obama's tenure because they were supposed to. It seems some people are finally waking up to what game the democrats are playing. They are making some obvious deals with the republicans that they don't have to. Like the detention budget that has no restrictions on what Trump does with the money.

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10 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

joe shikspack's picture

@hecate

i would assume that the klansman is aware of what ralph nader has been talking about lately. you only have to mobilize one percent of the people to make change.

it appears to me that he is mobilizing his people. it appears to me that the centrist democrats are demobilizing their people. this is a bad combination and i think both sides realize exactly what they are doing.

looks like the volk of vlad are just copying a great american tradition of our demockery.

Republican and Democratic hegemony over American politics began more than 150 years ago when the Whigs folded in the 1850s and were replaced by the GOP, at the time the anti-slavery party. In the decades since, we have seen a few independent or third-party efforts flare up, but never for long and never very successfully.

As the two parties’ duopoly formed at the ballot box, they used their official authority to restrict and prevent political outsiders from fully participating in national and local elections. Across the country, these limitations and barriers to entry remain strong as Republicans and Democrats use arcane rules and outdated laws to make sure most voters only have two choices — and not particularly good choices at that.

Competition is a vital component to any competitive market. Without motivational pressure from a wide variety of incumbents, mainstream competitors such as Republicans and Democrats fail to innovate. Eventually, this failure leads to the best interests of the constituents taking a back seat, either due to an inability or an unwillingness to do better.

it's so glaringly obvious, even the mainstream propaganda machine won't deny it.

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@joe shikspack

In american politics is lost. Competition means destroying the other candidate.
Cooperation means corruption for the mutual benefit of the votees.
Easier to control the narrative with only two parties.
Don't ya know Wink

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May we be united and strong -- laurel

joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

there is no competition of ideas since the bipartisans will allow no ideas out of the intellectual straitjacket of the one corporate party.

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Azazello's picture

Here's Elizabeth Warren's warning, makes perfect sense to me.
The Coming Economic Crash — And How to Stop It
Aaron Maté with Stephen Cohen at The Grayzone:

I highly recommend Cohen's book. It's not a book really, but a collection of transcripts of some weekly podcasts he was doing. The transcripts appear in chronological order so it reads like a diary. Very good.
Here's JD on Tulsi vs. the MSM:

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joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

warren's diagnosis sounds pretty much right on. her plans to address it seem a little less than what is really needed. for example, i want to see a new bank regulator with teeth - one that is not dominated by banking industry people, the big banks broken up, the derivatives market wound down and regulated, glass-steagal reinstated and the commodity futures modernization act repealed - just to get started. then we can start on some of the measures that warren proposes, which are not bad.

cohen is right on target as usual. it's too bad that he can't get a platform to explain what is going on to the american people (who, sadly are probably mostly disinterested).

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snoopydawg's picture

Mueller's job was to see if Trump committed any crimes, but he's too much of a gentleman to come out and say it?

Actually Mueller said that he had no evidence that Trump did anything wrong. But he did drop this turd saying that he couldn't be sure that he didn't. Try selling that to a jury. "I can't prove my case against the defendant, but feel free to charge him with something."

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8 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

i don't know about comey's argument about mueller being too principled. he's never struck me as being principled at all.

the argument that i have seen is based on an office of legal counsel opinion from the 70's whose headnote reads:

The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.

i've seen a bunch of wrangling back and forth about it, but one conclusion comes to the fore each time i see it. to wit, the constitution provides a legal vehicle for the president to be charged and tried with high crimes and misdemeanors with full due process of law.

impeachment is a far from perfect legal vehicle, since it is tremendously politicized, but it is incontestably a constitutional venue.

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6 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

Ugh!! Make that a triple Ugh and leave the bottle!!

Some choice quotes with regard to this egotistical wanker:

“Boris, well, he’s the life and soul of the party but he’s not the man you want driving you home at the end of the evening.”
Cabinet minister Amber Rudd, speaking during a 2016 debate before the Brexit referendum

“It is a common mistake to suppose Johnson a nice man. In reality he often behaves unpleasantly.”
Max Hastings, Johnson’s editor at the Daily Telegraph, in a 2018 column for the Times

“[He is] much diminished in terms of integrity, in terms of political courage and in terms of credibility… I used to think he would be fantastic at Number 10 but those days look a long time ago.”
2018 BBC interview with Guto Harri, director of communications for Johnson’s mayoral administration, 2008-2012

“I wanted to help build a team behind Boris Johnson so that a politician who argued for leaving the European Union could lead us to a better future. But I have come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.”
Michael Gove, launching the leadership bid that derailed Johnson’s attempt to become prime minister in 2016

“[Johnson is] a man who waits to see the way the crowd is running and then dashes in front and says, ‘Follow me’.”
Michael Heseltine, Good Morning Britain interview in 2018

“The Johnsonian creed [is] that it is, in his own words, acceptable, sometimes desirable to lie. Certainly that approach has been advantageous to him. But it must come at a price.”
Sonia Purnell, Johnson’s biographer and one-time deputy in the Telegraph’s Brussels bureau, writing after he withdrew from the leadership race in 2016

“He’s lied his way through life, he’s lied his way through politics, he’s a huckster with a degree of charm to which I am immune. As well as being mendacious he’s incompetent.”
Conservative former minister Chris Patten in May interview with Bloomberg

“I’m afraid he’s shown, especially during his period as foreign secretary, that he doesn’t have the necessary skills and capacity [to be leader].”
Conservative MP and former attorney general Dominic Grieve in May interview with LBC

“He’s an enormous character but not a team player… And he doesn’t know if he’s a journalist or a politician, but he does know it’s all about him. The more he repeats what everyone can see is not credible, the more his own credibility disappears.”
Former foreign office colleague Sir Alan Duncan, 2018 interview with the Times

“The worst foreign secretary we’ve ever had... Disinterested and out of his depth he cared nothing for our situation. Good riddance.”
John McKendrick, attorney general of Anguilla, bidding farewell to Johnson as foreign secretary with criticism of his response to the British Overseas Territory’s devastation during Hurricane Irma in 2017

“I think he honestly believes it is churlish of us not to regard him as an exception, one who should be free of the network of obligation which binds everyone else.”
Johnson’s Eton housemaster, Martin Hammond, in 1982 school report
Topics

(source: The Guardian)

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7 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

if misery loves company, americans should be feeling a little more warm and fuzzy tonight. Smile

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4 users have voted.

link

But if there is a left wing of the party, there must, logically, be a right. And it is equally obvious to those paying attention who represents that right wing: figures like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar come to mind.

The media do report on the split, but they never identify the latter as representing the right at all. In fact, the phrase “right-wing Democrat” has not appeared in the New York Times for over 30 years.

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10 users have voted.

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit @gjohnsit

For media muffin ingredients:

Democrat = center / left
Rebubs = center / right

es'allz they got. Ain't nothin else, papa. Cep't what you believe in, maybe.

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5 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

yep, i think the last time i heard democrats referred to as conservative was when dixiecrats roamed the earth.

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3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Well how cool is that? My iPad does...

Awe now people are waking up to what China and Russia are doing because of this country's insane global hegemony ideals. Russia would be a fool to help us take down China because once they are gone we'd turn our sights on Russia. Hey Russia..see all those countries around you that are being sucked into NATO? There is a reason for that.

This article talks about the NYT hypocrisy

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8 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

the times is channeling its inner henry kissinger, who promoted the gambit of playing russia against china (and vice versa). i guess the times just noticed that the u.s has, in addition to finding that its hard power is not what it used to be, found that its leverage on russia and china has waned while they were foaming at the mouth about election interference.

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6 users have voted.

@snoopydawg
which includes Russian interests. Bolton and orange may try to 'peel' the bears from the dragons, but it seems the exceptional (red, white and blue) team is a bit over-extended right now. Jeez, they might even lose their UK queen in the process!

World domination is not going thru russo / sino channels at this point. Sanctions are only hurting the poor in the weaker nations. Get a grip uncle sam. Take care of your own first.

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6 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel