• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Born Again in New Orleans

The right-wing’s central dogma is limited government, hoisted aloft on the twin pillars of tax cuts and personal responsibility.

Ronald Reagan made famous the notion that “government isn’t the solution — government is the problem,” which played well in the theater of American politics for a generation. Right along with welfare queens, a favorite target of the Reagan claque was “tax-and-spend liberals.”

While cleverly tarring the opposition as profligates, Reagan practiced an even more odious fiscal policy that could be described as “borrow and spend.” Like the current occupant of the White House, programs that helped poor and working-class people were hacked away as “waste, fraud and abuse,” while gigantic subsidies for corporations and massive military spending, coupled with tax cuts for the wealthy, increased budget deficits beyond comprehension.

Without a hint of irony, a top-tier Republican lobbyist in a glass suite like Grover Norquist describes this mechanism as starving the beast.

The practical effect of putting the beast on a ration of bread and water during this time has become painfully apparent in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. While it may sound trite, putting profits ahead of people when it came to setting this nation’s budget priorities has led directly to a number of extremely painful consequences.

Necessary measures to prevent levee breaches were shortchanged. Preparation for an effective and timely response to emergencies was neglected, with responsibility given to incompetent political hacks. Restoring what has been lost will require an effort — and resources — on a scale never before seen.

The president, before a backdrop lovingly created by his PR imagemasters, delivered a speech to the nation Thursday night that was uncharacteristically humble and humane.

In it, he took responsibility for the failure of the government to respond quickly and effectively to the disaster. He addressed the issues of poverty and racism, and how the legacy of injustice was responsible for much of the suffering on the Gulf Coast today. He pledged that the government would provide the necessary resources to make victims whole again.

The nation as a whole may nod approvingly, but the unease among Bush’s base of the “have-mores” is palpable. His grand gesture is earning him comparisons with Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson — not the least from right-wingers who despise them as symbols of “big government.”

Bush has never been reticent about his religious experience, about how his life was transformed after being “born again.”

Is his new-found compassion for the poor and concern for the victims of historical injustice evidence of yet another life-transforming experience?

Perhaps. But on the day after his speech, Bush was asked how his administration would pay for the expensive promises he’d made, and if tax increases would be required — the “shared sacrifice” he so routinely invokes when it comes to, say, the adventure in Iraq.

If Bush is indeed a changed man, it sure doesn’t square with his unequivocal rejection of higher taxes to pay for his promises. So what is the message, besides that promises are made to be broken?

Talk is cheap. Rebuilding the devastated Gulf Coast will not be. In any case, what really matters to the White House is Bush’s image and poll numbers. Karl Rove won’t be dispatching FEMA to deal with that disaster.

Bill Pahnelas lives in Richmond, Virginia. He can be reached at: wpahnelas@thesupplyroom.com

 

 

 

 

 

CLARIFICATION

ALEXANDER COCKBURN, JEFFREY ST CLAIR, BECKY GRANT AND THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF JOURNALISTIC CLARITY, COUNTERPUNCH

We published an article entitled “A Saudiless Arabia” by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the “Article”), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the “Website”).

Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.

As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.

We are pleased to clarify the position.

August 17, 2005

 

More articles by:
May 25, 2020
Marshall Auerback
If the Federal Government Won’t Fund the States’ Emergency Needs, There is Another Solution
Michael Uhl
A Memory Fragment of the Vietnam War
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
Make a Resilient, Localized Food System Part of the Next Stimulus
Barrie Gilbert
The Mismanagement of Wildlife in Utah Continues to be Irrational and a National Embarrassment.
Dean Baker
The Sure Way to End Concerns About China’s “Theft” of a Vaccine: Make it Open
Thom Hartmann
The Next Death Wave from Coronavirus Will Be the Poor, Rural and White
Phil Knight
Killer Impact
Paul Cantor
Memorial Day 2020 and the Coronavirus
Laura Flanders
A Memorial Day For Lies?
Gary Macfarlane – Mike Garrity
Grizzlies, Lynx, Bull Trout and Elk on the Chopping Block for Trump’s Idaho Clearcuts
Cesar Chelala
Challenges of the Evolving Coronavirus Pandemic
Luciana Tellez-Chavez
This Year’s Forest Fire Season Could Be Even Deadlier
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Beijing Acts on Hong Kong
George Wuerthner
Saving the Lionhead Wilderness
Elliot Sperber
Holy Beaver
Weekend Edition
May 22, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Hugh Iglarsh
Aiming Missiles at Viruses: a Plea for Sanity in a Time of Plague
Paul Street
How Obama Could Find Some Redemption
Marc Levy
On Meeting Bao Ninh: “These Good Men Meant as Much to Me as Yours Did to You”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Shallò: 120 Days of COVID
Joan Roelofs
Greening the Old New Deal
Rob Urie
Why Russiagate Still Matters
Charles Pierson
Is the US-Saudi Alliance Headed Off a Cliff?
Robert Hunziker
10C Above Baseline
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
The Fed’s Chair and Vice Chair Got Rich at Carlyle Group, a Private Equity Fund With a String of Bankruptcies and Job Losses
Eve Ottenberg
Factory Farming on Hold
Andrew Levine
If Nancy Pelosi Is So Great, How Come Donald Trump Still Isn’t Dead in the Water?
Ishmael Reed
Alex Azar Knows About Diabetes
Joseph Natoli
Will Things Fall Apart Now or in November?
Richard D. Wolff
An Old Story Again: Capitalism vs. Health and Safety
Louis Proyect
What Stanford University and Fox News Have in Common
Pete Dolack
Work is Inevitable But its Organization is Not
David A. Schultz
America and the Rise of the Chinese Century
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Fears the Nakba: How Memory Became Palestine’s Greatest Weapon
Heather Gray – Jonathan King
Coronavirus and Other US Health Threats? Fund Public Health Not Foreign Wars
Brian Cloughley
Don’t Be Black in America
Kenn Orphan
A Pandemic and a Plague of Absurdity
Matthew Stevenson
Our Friend Eugene Schulman
Richard C. Gross
The Man Who Cried Wolf
Ron Jacobs
Road Trippin’
Robert P. Alvarez
A Simple Solution for the Coronavirus Crisis in Prisons
Aadesh Ravi
The Long March of the Locked-Down Migrants
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Proliferation of Conspiracy Theories & the Crisis of Science
Nilofar Suhrawardy
The Other Side of Covid-19
Binoy Kampmark
Battles Over Barley: Australia, China and the Tariff Wars
Cesar Chelala
Donald Trump can Learn Something from Mao Zedong’s Mistakes
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail