In this issue: Dan Glazebrook explains why Trump’s alliance with Russia may increase the odds of a war on Iran. The End of Diplomacy? Former CIA analyst Mel Goodman provides a field guide to Trump’s cabinet. Fukushima, Still Melting: John LaForge on the 6-year long crisis at the ruined Fukushima nuclear site; Refugees vs. Climate Change: Ben Debney on real and manufactured crises. The New Latin American Feminism by Laura Carlsen. The ICEmen Cometh by Jeffrey St. Clair. Organizing on the Border by Kent Paterson. Inside Steve Bannon’s Brain by Chris Floyd. What Does the Left Want? by Yvette Carnell. Catalonia Rising by Daniel Raventos and Julie Wark. Who Profits From Rate-Tweaking? by Mike Whitney. From Sea to Dying Sea by Lee Ballinger. Breakdown at the Oscars by Ed Leer.
Exclusively in the New Print Issue of CounterPunch
Nobody yet can tell whether Donald Trump is an agent of change with a specific policy in mind, or merely a catalyst heralding an as yet undetermined turning point. His first month in the White House saw him melting into the Republican mélange of corporate lobbyists. Having promised to create jobs, his “America First” policy looks more like “Wall Street First.” His cabinet of billionaires promoting corporate tax cuts, deregulation and dismantling Dodd-Frank bank reform repeats the Junk Economics promise that giving more tax breaks to the richest One Percent may lead them to use their windfall to invest in creating more jobs. What they usually do, of course, is simply buy more property and assets already in place.
One of the first reactions to Trump’s election victory was for stocks of the most crooked financial institutions to soar, hoping for a deregulatory scythe taken to the public sector. Navient, the Department of Education’s knee-breaker on student loan collections accused by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) of massive fraud and overcharging, rose from $13 to $18 now that it seemed likely that the incoming Republicans would disable the CFPB and shine a green light for financial fraud. More
The renowned historiographer E.H. Carr famously compared the historian with his facts to the fishmonger with fish on the slab; the historian collects the facts, takes them home, and cooks and serves them in whatever style appeals to him. Naturally, the historian will add spices and other ingredients to draw out the precise flavor needed to make an average meal into a palette-pleasing feast for the senses. But, in doing so, there is the ever-present danger that the spices, the tantalizing aroma, and the aesthetically pleasing presentation are merely an attempt to mask the fact that the fish has long since turned rotten.
And when it comes to the course of US politics, there is the distinct stench of putrefaction. And, while America’s putrescent corpus decays further, the unmistakable rasp of circling vultures becomes inescapable, the smell overwhelming. More
The congressional inquisition has become a ritual of American politics, a ritual whose rites of interrogation and humiliation were largely scripted by Donald Trump's life coach Roy Cohn. In the 1950s, Cohn, of course, acted as Joseph McCarthy's hatchet man during the congressional hearings into the "Red Peril" of the 1950s. Cohn (a closeted gay at the time) even went so far as to claim that Soviet spies were blackmailing American homosexuals to act as a Communist agents. This witch hunt became known, rather quaintly, as the Lavender Scare. Hypocrisy has always closely shadowed this the politics of persecution. More