As the USA approaches an official tally of 100,000 dead from COVID-19, let us recall that this bracing toll is still 467,000 fewer deaths than the number of Iraqi children who died as a result of the Bush/Clinton economic sanctions (not to mention the ongoing war itself.)
Jeffrey St. Clair’s Roaming Charges column
I’m hyped for some ObamaGate action, as long as its about things that matter: health care plan designed by Heritage Foundation, bailing out Wall Street, failing to close Gitmo, droning US citizens, Afghan surge, the jailing of whistleblowers and legal harassment of journalists, the Libyan and Honduran coups, mass surveillance, the funding and arming of proxy wars in Yemen and Syria, record deportations, Deepwater Horizon, new nukes (both power plants and weapons), etc…
+ The detestable rationalizations liberals make for sticking with Biden despite Tara Reade’s convincing story can’t come as any surprise. It’s the same ritual contortions they’ve made about the Iraq war, fracking, abortion, the drug war, Anita Hill, social security, segregation, climate change, health care, deportations, a living wage, student debt, the Patriot Act, pipelines, the Libyan coup, climate change. To be a Democrat is to live in a constant state of denial, self-contradiction and moral hypocrisy.
“Poverty made a sound like a wet cough in the shadows of the room.” – Ray Bradbury, The Golden Apples of the Sun + How much is the future trading for on the future’s market these days? + We are witnessing an all-out push to salvage and bailout the very industries that helped create, spread, [...]
+ Neoliberalism: an ideology of austerity, which contends that economics is a science and epidemiology is soothsaying. + One of the eternal axioms of American politics: When you don’t know anything claim that you’re right about everything and wrong about nothing. + This strategy pays off, time and time again. Consider that 3.5 years into [...]
+ You’d better stock up on those Marvin Gaye stamps while you can because the stamps for Trump’s privatized mail service will feature Jim Fisk, Jay Gould, PT Barnum, JP Morgan, Andrew Mellon, Charles Ponzi, old man Rockefeller, Roy Cohn, Michael Milkin, Ken Lay, Bernie Madoff and, of course, Trump himself… + So does Trump [...]
+ I was sick for much of February. Really sick. Fever. Sore throat. Aching joints. A persistent cough that was, as they say about the heat in Arizona, dry. In Oregon, we’re used to getting the “winter bugs.” But this was different. Nastier. Unrelenting. Plus, I’d spent most of the month in Los Angeles not [...]
CLR James: “When history is written as it ought to be written, it is the moderation and long patience of the masses at which men will wonder, not their ferocity.” + Is it possible for an entire country to win a Darwin Award? + At the onset of a pandemic outbreak of a virus that [...]
Here’s what a real leader sounds like in the tumult of a catastrophe, Irish health minister Simon Harris: “We must of course have equality of treatment, patients with this virus will be treated for free, and they’ll be treated as part of a single, national hospital service.”
+ Francesco Rondonelli, a contemporary chronicler of the Florentine plague of 1629: “And who had heard an entire city praying at the same time all together … through the tenderness it was not possible to contain the tears … and a most beautiful thing in some roads with poor people to see lights at every window; [...]
+ From Albert Camus’s The Plague, which is once again on my nightstand: “There have been as many plagues as wars in history; yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise.” + We are witnessing what happens to a country (this one) that faces a pandemic after it has privatized almost every aspect of [...]
My plan to spend Super Tuesday scaling the eastern flank of Mt. Whitney until my knees or lungs gave out was foiled by the closure of the Whitney Portal Road, which was buried under a late, but welcome, snowstorm. I had no interest in returning to the motel to watch the Democratic Party self-destruct again, [...]
In response to criticism from Democratic Party centrists that Sanders didn’t do enough to help Hillary in 2016, the Sandernistas are touting the fact that Sanders did 3 times as many campaign events for Hillary as Hillary did for Obama in 2008. I guess that’s one way to look at it. The other is: why the hell was Bernie campaigning for Hillary, the walking distillation of every neoliberal policy he purports to loathe, at all?
Michael Bloomberg is, of course, the perfect person to lead a party which has been the driving political force behind the neoliberal policies which helped make him the 9th richest person in America. In fact, he may be its apotheosis. Finally, we’ll have some clarity about what the Democratic Party has really been up to for the last 40 years.
+It’s amusing as hell to see Nate Silver forced to eat his numbers and grudgingly declare Bernie the frontrunner. But if you’re a Sandernista you have to wrestle with the fact that it’s February and Nate Silver, one of the few people on the planet who has been wrong about more things than Bill Kristol, just said your guy’s the frontrunner.
The caucus system has been fetishized by the political pundit class for decades as an example of small state “town hall” style democracy in action. In fact, they’re anti-democratic, often controlled by party bosses, where, lacking secret ballots, people bullied into voting with the mob. Less than 10 percent of registered Democrats turn out for these spectacles, far less than 60 percent you’d expect to vote in a primary. In the last few election cycles, however, Obama, Ron Paul and Sanders figured out how to exploit some of the weaknesses of the caucus system to defeat the bosses, which has resulted in the party taking “active measures” against outsider candidates. Will the Iowa debacle will spell the end of these political relics?
An impeached president meeting in the White House with a Prime Minister indicted for corruption and bribery to pitch a giant land swindle in the Middle East, which they market to a gullible press as a “peace plan.” Is there a more precise image for the current state of our political condition?
The “No Woman, No Cry” spat between Sanders and Warren is pretty silly all around but it has dominated the press coverage for three days, even eclipsing the debut of the impeachment managers and Trump’s audacious pledge to fix America’s faucets and shower heads. This is, naturally, the exact outcome CNN and the DNC were hoping for. Just to be safe, maybe Bernie should do a Pence and bring Jane with him to any future private meetings with another woman, as an insurance policy against any later misunderstandings, if Bernie still bothers with insurance…
I feel fortunate to live in a country that takes freedom of speech so seriously that even the criminally insane have their own TV network: “This president will unleash holy hell on that regime…There will be retaliation and it will be disproportionate,” thundered Sebastian Gorka. “We are not a superpower anymore. We are a hyperpower.”
The impeachment debate has illustrated just how much America has changed. Back in the 1950s, Jesus and Joe McCarthy were on the same team, fighting the Godless Communists who had infiltrated the government and were poisoning our precious bodily fluids with flouride. Now the McCarthyites are acting like Communists who want to kick Jesus’ representative on Earth out of the White House and spoil the true measure of Christmas: retail sales.
For four years, Jeremy Corbyn was smeared in a relentless and savage campaign of vilification and outrageous slander by the British press, much of it orchestrated by liberal outlets like The Guardian and the New York Times, using a kind of berserker Zionism as truncheon. And so, the dreadful result was predictable: the worst showing of Labour since 1935. But it’s the poor and the immigrant communities that will bear the brunt of what they have wrought.
+ As the House holds hearings to impeach Trump for “abuse of power,” Pelosi just rushed through an extension of the Patriot Act, giving that very same president vast, unchecked powers to spy on American citizens. This makes sense only in Washington… + It’s deflating to see “the Squad” (and every other Democrat) voting for [...]
Do you ever have one of those mornings when you turn on MSDNC for the impeachment hearings and start banging the TV a few of times thinking it’s stuck on the Cartoon Network? That was me at around 6:45 AM PST on Wednesday when instead of Adam Schiff’s shimmering death-skull head, the screen depicted the strange doughboy visage of George Conway, house husband of Trump’s counselor Kellyanne, pontificating about impeachment on the Democrats’ home cable network. It sure seemed like a bad cartoon, a case of Ukraine in the membrane (apologies to Cypress Hill).
+ One of the useful life-lessons Roy Cohn taught the young Donald Trump was always to have a fall guy, a patsy on retainer to take the blame when a deal goes sour. In the Ukraine extortion scheme, the patsy was supposed to be Gordon Sondland. Sondland was a guy who, though not exactly an [...]
This week marked 8th the anniversary of Gaddafi’s death in the Libyan town of Sirte. The lesson of his life is: If you do exactly what the US demands, they’ll still enter your country, overthrow your government, hunt you down, torture you to death and display your mangled body in a meat locker. Class dismissed.