I got lazy when Trump was elected, not really interested in writing about the GOP agenda or Dems pretend opposition. Since I’m not a reporter, I kinda felt like I was just recycling ideas. Then I couldn’t log in to the site. Then WordPress removed the customizations, and I mostly just gave up. But eventually my hard drive died & I had it replaced, and voila! I regained access! And now with the goings on in Ukraine… So it took most of a weekend, but I remade the header (forgot Che & Assange, might have to revisit). Also, my views have evolved on guns & electoralism, which surely will be addressed at some point. So off we go!
- November 4, 2017
Former interim-DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile’s new book has her in deep trouble with Clinton World. She has a some bombshell new details that has her being hailed as a whistle blower in some cirles, and confirms what was widely known: that the 2016 primary was rigged.
As is generally the case with informants, Brazile is a flawed witness. She was forced out at CNN when caught slipping Hillary primary debate questions – and repeatedly lied in public statements even after leaked emails revealed her actions.
In excerpts released from her new book, Brazile points a lot of deserving fingers toward Barack Obama, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and Hillary Clinton.
She blamed Obama for gutting the infrastructure and funding of the DNC and funneling it to his own PAC, Obama for America (aka Organizing for Action). She blamed Hillary for using the DNC and state parties in a money-laundering scheme to avoid individual contribution caps and keep 99.5% of the funds for her own campaign (while she hypocritically accused Bernie Sanders of neglecting state races). She blamed Obama and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for a $3-4m/month operating budget, a large chunk of which went to consultants (who functionally control the Democratic Party and are currently fighting to keep the budget secret – from even board members – at the Reform & Unity Commission).
Brazile revealed the depth of the DNC’s funding issues and their effort to seek a $2m loan. And real bombshell of the book which has her in deep trouble with Clinton world: a deal which gave the Clinton campaign control over everything from the DNC’s finances (launder them for and funnel them to Hillary), staffing (pro-Clinton acolytes), and strategy (pro-Hillary message, debate schedule, etc). The deal was made in August of 2015 – just months into her announced campaign and long before she had wrapped up the nomination. (And, since Hillbots seem to need confirmation on this: took effect in the primary.)
Of course this ran directly afoul of the charter; and proves that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was lying when she repeatedly claimed the DNC played no favorites in the primary. More importantly, it proved, again, what we knew to be true: that the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary was rigged.
Bernie Sanders was the transgressed party to whom Brazile felt compelled to tearily apologize over the phone call described her book. And otherwise competent candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden stayed out of the race because – while the details weren’t public – it was common knowledge that Hillary was Obama’s hand-picked successor and the DNC was set up with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (Hillary’s 2008 campaign manager) at the helm to make it happen. But, in the end, it’s the American public – and in actuality the entire world – who is owed a sincere apology by all corporate Democrats over the debacle that gave us President Donald Trump.
Wasserman-Schultz’ attempts to limit the debates and schedule them head-to-head with NFL games were a blatant attempt to keep Bernie’s progressive message away from as many eyes as possible. Structurally, the primary schedule of initially going to small and southern states gives an advantage, especially in the media narrative, to conservative candidates. Super delegates were created in response to a surprising progressive primary victory and remain in place to keep it from happening again. Many state chapters of the DNC shun new, independent voters by forcing them to register as Democrats long before knowing who the candidates might be; and hold caucuses which poor people cannot easily attend. They purged their own voters from large cities such as Brooklyn (Bernie’s home town). And exit polls – which matched up just fine with results in Republican primary races – were so vastly differing from final vote counts that the Democratic Party presidential primary election would not stand up to international standards and scrutiny.
Corporate media’s allergy to the progressive agenda compelled them to snicker and scoff at Bernie and his progressive policy proposals; and to report the super delegates’ votes as cast in favor of Clinton when they wouldn’t be until months later.
It is a sickness shared by the Clinton World, who framed the entire left as a bunch of racist, sexist bros; and who hijacked the Democratic Party and sold its soul to the white collar business class in exchange for legalized bribes in the form of campaign cash which was supposed to propel them to victory. That is the reason the Democratic Party marches to the drum beat of Wall Street, Sillicon Valley, Big Pharma, the military industrial complex, et al. That is the reason they stand in direct opposition to the working poor and the progressive agenda. That is the reason people don’t want to donate to, vote for, or identify as a Democrat. And that is the reason we have President Donald Trump.
-October 23, 2017
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer broke his arm in the Week 7 shutout loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Once again, an NFL team is faced with the question of whether they’d rather lose games than deal with Colin Kaepernick.
For the uninitiated: Colin Kaepernick is being black-listed from employment solely because of his politics.
At his peak, when he took the San Francisco 49ers to three consecutive NFC Championship games and a trip to the Super Bowl, he was a top-ten NFL quarterback. His play had slipped and offseason surgeries resulted in the loss of both muscle mass and his starting job going into the 2016 season.
Kaepernick was injured and out of uniform and no one noticed that he was sitting on the bench during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. Once in uniform he was noticed and when asked why he had sat during the anthem he replied that his protest was against police brutality and racial inequality. Kaepernick then met with former Army Ranger and NFL long-snapper Nate Boyer who suggested that Kaepernick instead take a knee as a sign of respect. While Kaepernick faced fierce criticism from those predisposed to be against the nature of his silent, peaceful protest – numerous other NFL players began to join Kaepernick, as well as USWNT Megan Rapinoe, and countless college and high school and younger players across a number of sports.
Meanwhile, Kap’s health continued to improve as he regained muscle mass along with his starting job. Despite playing on one of the worst rosters in the league, Colin Kaepernick accounted for 16 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. Despite the pressure he played under, and his not being at full strength, he performed incredibly well; and because of it he and the San Francisco 49ers organization agreed to restructure his contract so that he would be paid less and injury wouldn’t prevent their parting ways at the conclusion of the season.
During that, his age 29, season, Kaepernick completed more than 200 passes. No other quarterback in NFL history has completed that many passes at that age and been unemployed the following season. Just Colin Kaepernick. He is being black-balled from employment because of his politics.
There is no question that Kaepernick belongs on an NFL roster. His health is only improved from where it was the past few seasons. He is still in the prime of his career. He is better than many quarterbacks currently on NFL rosters. And practically every NFL team would’ve been better off with his services.
Some teams are grooming young and unproven quarterbacks but need placeholders: Chicago, Cleveland, and, until recently, Houston. Some teams – such as Dallas, New England, Atlanta, and Seattle – have established quarterbacks but need insurance for their Super Bowl dreams in case of injury at the quarterback position. Denver, Indianapolis, Green Bay, and now Arizona, have already felt the repercussions of colluding to black-ball Colin Kaepernick.
Washington, Buffalo, Minnesota, and Miami have cloudy futures at quarterback. San Francisco, Jacksonville and the New York Jets have absolutely no future. Quarterback play for Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Oakland has been atrocious. Kap would be a good fit as a backup in Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Tennessee. Pittsburgh, New Orleans, the New York Giants, and Los Angeles Chargers have aging quarterbacks.
Outside of the Kansas City Chiefs (and perhaps Detroit and the Los Angeles Rams), every other NFL team should have at least brought Kap in for workouts.
He did workout for the Seattle Seahawks in a distasteful act of kabuki theatre. When Coach Pete Carroll was asked why Kap was not offered a contract he replied that Kap was too good to be a backup and the Hawks already have a starter in Russell Wilson.
Going in to training camp each team had at least four quarterbacks on their rosters. Times 32 teams means NFL owners, general managers, and coaches chose at least 120 quarterbacks and not one was named Colin Kaepernick. A guy whose career interception rate is the second lowest in NFL history to Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. A guy who was voted team captain despite going into the season as a backup and led the league in jersey sales. A guy who backs up his silent, peaceful protest with his time and money. An articulate, black gentleman who knows his rights and has the courage of his noble convictions.
And that’s what they don’t like. So they twist his patriotic protest against police brutality and social injustice into being something about songs or flags or troops. And he is blackballed from the league. Suddenly, only a handful of players protested including San Francisco’s Eric Reid, Philadelphia’s Malcolm Jenkins, Kansas City’s Marcus Peters, plus Miami’s Michael Thomas and Seattle’s Michael Bennett.
Until Trump ramped up the culture war his base so craves and told NFL owners to fire those kneeling “sons of bitches”. Suddenly, the same billionaire Republican owners like Jerry Jones, who gave Trump millions for his election, were so offended at his telling them how to run their business (and do what they had already done to Colin Kaepernick) that they locked arms, knelt, or stayed in locker rooms in unity with hundreds of players.
The silent protests against police brutality and social injustice that had already been twisted as unpatriotic offenses against deceased troops were then twisted into being against Trump, the man, for offending them, millionaires and billionaires, personally. (Not to minimize their rights as individuals or the generational wealth many are accruing for their families, but Trump has committed far worse offenses against Muslims, immigrants, women, science, and so on…)
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handled things as ham-handedly as usual by making dumb statements and not inviting Kaepernick to a meeting with players.
Trump, of course, confusingly rejoiced that their actions were in support of him – while at the same time exclaiming that NFL ratings are down because people are disgusted with the kneeling. (Cable numbers are down overall as more people cut the cord; and more people are finding ways to stream games.) In fact, Trump wasted millions of dollars in tax payer money to send Mike Pence on a pre-planned seven minute stunt protest of a Colts/49ers game – so at least one person has protested at least one NFL game over the kneeling.
I, for one, have watched but two NFL games this season. Please, Arizona Cardinals, or some, any other NFL team, sign Colin Kaepernick so I can feel comfortable watching your players bash their skulls together again.
-October 22, 2017
On October 4th, 2017, four Americans, including two Green Berets, along with two Nigerian soldiers, were killed in an ambush in Niger. The story of what happened has developed in the weeks since, and we’re sure to learn more in the future.
First, I’d like to review Benghazi. There is the story of what actually happened and then there is the political game of chess that happens afterward. What happened is that four Americans died partially due to being outmanned and outgunned in a raid with backup too far to away help in time. What happened next is that Republicans stood in line to go before cameras and microphones to yell and scream about how Obama, Susan Rice, Hillary and whoever else was to blame. They held hearing after hearing and investigation after investigation and it was confirmed that there was no stand-down call and different agencies had competing talking points out of self-interest in the aftermath. No matter, Republicans from Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones all rallied behind #Benghazi! and twisted it into something that it was not. Because Republicans play hardball.
Here’s what we know so far about the tragic deaths of Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, Sgt. La David Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright :
There were roughly 50 lightly armed American and Nigerien service members on patrol in jeeps when they identified and possibly pursued some number of enemy “insurgents” on motorcycles before said insurgents later returned and ambushed.
Air support was provided by the French who did not have authority to fire, so the fight on the ground which killed three Americans and two Nigeriens continued until helicopters controlled by private contractors finally arrived. The patrols were flown from the area by the private contractors but no headcount was done and Sgt. La David Johnson was left behind.
His body was recovered 48 hours later. It was so mutilated that his funeral was closed-casket.
When the casket arrived Trump was golfing. When the press asked if he’d yet spoken to the family he lied and accused previous presidents of not consoling Gold Star families. When Trump was finally pressured by the press into calling the window and family of Sgt. Johnson they were left feeling disrespected. Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who had mentored La David Johnson since elementary school, was in the car with the family when the call was on speakerphone. The Trump White House bragged to the press that he had finally made the call so they asked the Wilson about it and she relayed the feelings of the family and later added that the widow was left crying in the fetal position as result of the president and his behavior on the call.
Trump of course lashed out at the Wilson and dragged Chief of Staff General John Kelly, himself a Gold Star father, into the fray. Kelly proceeded to repeatedly diminish Congresswoman Wilson as an “empty barrel” while completely fabricating statements that she had supposedly made in a speech in 2015 at the opening of a building she was instrumental in having named after two slain FBI agents.
Video of Wilson’s speech emerged which proved Kelly had lied and when White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was pressed about General Kelley’s comments she asserted that is was “highly inappropriate” to question a general. (Before, of course, Trump tweets doing just that in the past were found.)
On top of all of the shenanigans of the Trump White House we’ve learned that the FBI, our domestic law enforcement agency, is assisting in the military’s investigation into the ambush and subsequent deaths in Niger. Why are we using French air support if they can’t fire? Why are we using private contractors at all? How is it that Sgt. Johnson was left behind? What in the world are we doing in Niger in the first place? (And why is Rachel Maddow seriously trying to blame Trump’s unconsitutional Muslim travel ban?)
Senator John McCain has called for congressional investigations with subpoena authority to get to the bottom of what lead to the deaths of four American (and two Nigerien) service members.
Where are the Democrats?
This “Russia hacked the election” story is being misreported by the corporate media.
First, while Putin is a bad guy who kills journalists and political opponents, Russia isn’t communist anymore, they’re crony capitalists like us – and since they have a ton of nukes, it’s best to have a working relationship with them.
Second, it was just in 2012 when Obama (corporate democrat) told Romney to call the 1980’s for their foreign policy back when he asserted in a presidential debate that Russia was our main geopolitical foe. Yet, now corporate Democrats are the leading Red Scare McCarthy-ites?
Besides, it’s beyond hypocritical for the US to feign outrage considering the number of assassinations and coups and propping up of puppet dictators we’ve carried out across the globe. We even bragged about influencing the Russian election of Boris Yelstin, twice!
Of course, since we don’t want our elections to be tampered with, we should enact aggressive elections reform beginning with replacing our easily hackable voting machines to restore the confidence in our elections outcomes. Along with eliminating gerrymandering, super delegates, electoral college, and myriad things which have nothing at all to do with Russia.
Additionally, no one is claiming that “Russia” hacked machines and switched votes.
Instead, we are told that in a multi-billion dollar election, a hundred thousand and fifty dollars in Russian troll farms and facebook ads swayed the election. Or that since Trump has loans with Russian banks, or because Putin might know things about his sexual proclivities, Trump is therefore “colluding with Russia” and that’s why we shouldn’t care what was in those emails or change anything about the corporate Democrats who lost to Trump.
About the DNC and Podesta leaks: the result was that we learned the dirty truth about some of our elites – and they didn’t want to talk about the substance so instead they whined about the source and manner.
John Podesta left his phone in a cab for over 24 hours before falling for a phishing scheme and giving up his password like a moron (not really a hack).
As far as the DNC, they too were not so much hacked as lifted since the files were transferred at too fast a rate to have happened over the internet. Oh, and the DNC refused to hand over their servers to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. They instead used a private security firm, Crowdstrike, who stand to profit by gaining more government contracts funded by sowing Red Scare fever.
Crowdstrike claimed that Russia was behind the hacks – eerily labelled Grizzly Steppe by US intelligence – since the Russian military used the same malware to target Ukrainian Howlitzers. That story was completely fabricated, however, as the number of disabled tanks did not come from the Ukrainian government and the malware doesn’t feature GPS. And while the particular malware Crowdstrike claims was used in Grizzly Steppe has been used by Fancy Bear and Cozy Bear, it’s known malware so they aren’t the only ones capable of using it, and there has been no credible evidence reported that they, or Guccifer 2.0, are Russian government intelligence.
No matter, corporate media have played fast and loose with this whole Russia thing and simply parroted whatever claims have been made by the Deep State and establishment Democrats along the way: There was a fake news story about Russia hacking Vermont’s power grids. In fact, a single laptop unconnected to the grid was infected with malware. There was a fake news story about Trump having a direct servser with a Russian bank when it was simply generic marketing emails.
It was widely reported that 17 intelligence agencies (including the Coast Guard) agreed that Russia had meddled in the election. Actually, that claim was made by the NSA and the Director of National Intelligence. There were reports that 21 state elections systems had been hacked by Russia when they had actually been illegally scanned by the NSA.
Most of the corporate media Russia narrative has been nonsense.
Do I believe that the Kremlin preferred Donald Trump and that they want to sow chaos here? Of course. Did Trump go to Russians for opposition research? Sure. Did he promise to ease oil sanctions or repeal the Magnitsky Act? I wouldn’t be surprised and I hope Mueller gets to the bottom of it.
But when a fight is rigged it’s the loser who gets the payoff. And there is probably a good reason Obama didn’t look into it and said we should just move forward.
It was Hillary Clinton who was part of the decision during the Obama administration to sell 20% of US uranium to Russia while her husband took the largest speaking fee of his life ($500k) and the Clinton Foundation took $150m from Russian financiers.
When this nugget was poll tested by the Clinton campaign they found it hurt them more than any other fact (20% were less likely to vote for her). In order to muddy the waters on the whole Russia topic – as politicians do – the Clinton campaign began pushing Trump/Russia.
Republican primary candidates had been paying former British spy to compile opposition research on Trump which became known as the Steele Dossier. Christopher Steele was an M.I.6 agent for the Moscow desk and he describes the sources for his research as Russian intelligence and Foreign Ministry aka “the Russians.” Once the Republican primary was concluded, the Clinton campaign, via Fusion GPS, began funding Steele aka colluding with the Russian government for opposition research like they claimed Trump had done all along.
In the days following their loss to the monster who is Donald Trump, leaked emails show that John Podesta and Robby Mook decided to push the Trump/Russia narrative as the main reason – plus James Comey and, of course, those pesky progressives – that establishment Democrats are not to blame for their bungling.
Obviously James Comey doesn’t drive ratings; and because of who owns them corporate media doesn’t want to talk about the robust internal policy debate regarding the future of the Democratic Party: whether they should fight for things like single-payer, free college, ending drug wars and mass incarceration, Wall Street reform, taking corporate cash, and public financing of elections.
So, instead, MSNBC spends 80% of the time feeding into xenophobic Red Scare nonsense that only drives us closer to World War III, mutually assured destruction, and nuclear holocaust.
August 19, 2017
Race is not biological, it’s a social construct – but that doesn’t stop racists from trying to oppress. Amerikkka has been quite persistent in its ways – and we probably fooled ourselves in thinking we’d made more progress than we had – but it seems as though its regressed over the past few years, and that ugly backtracking has only accelerated in the past months and weeks.
I could go on and on about the causes: Chambers of commerce set about attaining the Supreme Court, did, ruled that corporations are people and political bribery equals free speech. Once Democrats determined to take the corporate cash they had to agree with Republicans and their mutual sponsors on economic policy, tax policy, foreign policy, criminal justice, and so on. The Democrat raison d’etre became controlled opposition to the left, and since neither major political party any longer represented the working poor the result has been 40 years of wage stagnation as the wealthy have only gotten wealthier and social mobility has ground to a halt.
We’ve slowly come to realize it – or at least feel it. We’ve grown more & more frustrated with our economic circumstances and since we make slave wages and have families to take care of we don’t have time to keep up with all this shit. As such, a lot of people are brainwashed into blaming other poor people who they’ve been convinced to hate largely via an unholy triumvirate of predatory capitalism, Christianity, and white supremacy. And fewer and fewer vote since they correctly feel that both political parties are the same and my vote doesn’t really matter or count anyways…
So, a bigoted charlatan comes along and rides a wave of ignorance and frustration into the White House with just 20% of the country casting a ballot in his favor (less than 30% of eligible voters). As corrupt politicians mount sporadic resistance to his ugly agenda, he sets about ordering immigration raids, ramping up the drug war, implementing travel bans…
Real people are being irreparably harmed and – while 45 may or may not have committed impeachable offenses – all we’ve heard about from the corporate media & politicians of the McResistance whose only aim is to protect and restore the status quo is: Russia, Russia, Russia!
Meanwhile, some good people have set about removing symbols of the seemingly latent racism now running so openly rampant. And a few pricks waving the flags of traitors gather by the handful to spout nonsense. Then, some internet rando convinces pricks by the thousand to gather – some with those same participation-trophy traitor flags; some with cosplay fatigues; and some with nazi regalia, salutes, and chants (all with tiny penises). Inevitably, someone gets killed. Dozens injured. And the cheeto fascist plays patti-cake with this pathetic cast of characters of white supremacy.
On one hand: this racism shit is nothing new. On the other: we have a white supremacist in the White House who’s made it socially acceptable to be a bigot again, and an army of rubes egged-on by a toxic propaganda silo led by white trash like Steve Bannon who want nothing more than to turn the clock back to Jim Crow and worse.
Then we have antifa. I hate what those pricks do after practically every peaceful protest when they show up and start shit that makes everyone look bad in the news. And who knows if those specific pricks are even real antifa or government infiltrators like we’ve seen used for decades. Either way, when fascists arrive antifa are there to meet them.
The question is whether to ignore neo-nazis, neo-confederates, and white supremacists and hope they eventually wither away because their ideas can’t win in the court of public opinion; or stand in opposition when they rear their ugly heads – especially when the dear leader of their ugly ideology and his political party currently control the entirety of the federal government, plus roughly 70% of the states – and the political opposition to all that entails is feeble and with little sign of growth.
The answer to me, I think, is that there are vital roles both for people like MLK & Malcolm X…
-June 11, 2017
Donald Trump is a corrupt incompetent, and by all rights is not fit to serve a full term in elected office. But Democrats need to stop trying to accelerate his impeachment. Investigations will take place, which could easily result in high crimes and misdemeanors. But impeachment is a political process, not a legal one, and Democrats cannot afford to lose even more credibility by calling for Trump’s impeachment simply for being a big meanie they dislike. Besides, Republicans control congress, so only they can impeach Trump at this point, Democrats cannot. Trump is a distraction from the terrible things conservatives want to do such as destroying the planet and lavishing the wealthy with every conceivable dollar. The only way Republicans impeach Trump is if he becomes so toxic that he drags the rank and file GOP down so far that their reelection in 2018 is thrown into question. 45 dragging the GOP brand through the mud is exactly what Democrats need to have happen if they wish to regain the majority in the House or Senate. Hopefully Republicans are too stupid to impeach Trump before 2018 out of fear of backlash from their base, and since people hate congress and not necessarily their own congressperson. Trump is great for fundraising. Trump awoke people who never cared about politics, and we don’t want them going back to sleep. And lastly, Trump is a fascist, but an incompetent one. Why would we want a competent mad man in Pence, who would actually be effectual in organizing Republicans and putting into place their horrible agenda?
-April 10, 2017
The American public is being lied to about Syria. Donald Trump is certainly lying, and corporate media are in cahoots. Here is what we know so far:
A civilian uprising in Syria amidst the Arab Spring was co-opted by al-Qaeda, Daesh (ISIS), and other unsavory fellows. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responded in kind with a vicious campaign and the cumulative effect has meant the death & displacement of millions of innocent Syrians. Due to the high body count (and Assad’s refusal to allow the Qatar-Turkey pipeline to traverse Syria) it was determined by the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey et al that Assad must go. Barack Obama announced a chemical weapons red line in 2012, and, in 2013, a sarin gas attack in Gouta, Syria killed 1400. Assad was roundly blamed, and though folks like John McCain and Hillary Clinton called for a ground troops-necessitating no-fly zone, Obama did nothing when congress refused to back him, much to the chagrin of neo-cons wanting invasion and regime change. Instead, Assad agreed to hand over his chemical weapons stockpile to Russia. As it turned out, Assad was not behind the attack as the Obama administration had claimed; Daesh was behind the attacks, wanting to draw in the US, with the sarin gas coming from Turkey, who wants that pipeline approved. Insert President Trump, who had criticized Obama’s inaction in Syria, yet recently took the position that the ouster of Assad was no longer a priority. Assad was winning the civil war with the help of Russia, had upcoming talks in Brussels, and had just gotten the US off his tail. Suddenly, another chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria killed scores. Trump claims that he saw a video of beautiful dying babies which prompted him to launch a 59 Tomahawk missile attack on a Syrian airbase which killed seven as “punishment”.
That’s a bunch of nonsense. First of all, I don’t believe Trump one bit. Babies? Trump doesn’t give a damn about collateral damage babies. He’s more than willing to murder babies in US-led airstrikes and raids. He’s more than happy to ban baby Syrian refugees – arguing that age is irrelevant. He even promised to purposely kill innocent family members of suspected terrorists. The idea that Trump cares the least about beautiful collateral damage babies is about as believable as his record inauguration crowd size.
Second, Assad has killed hundreds of thousands of people, so chemical weapons being the manner of death is practically irrelevant. But since it is relevant for so many, it makes no sense that Assad would perpetrate a chemical weapons attack at this time, knowing that Trump would be compelled to act, especially given his past critiques of Obama. Besides, we’ve blamed Assad in the past and been proven to be wrong. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – among others – has been far less than certain and has called for an investigation into the perpetrators. Then there’s the matter of Assad no longer being in possession of chemical weapons, which Susan Rice declared only two months prior (though jihadist group al-Nusra do have them, and happen to control the area).
No matter, corporate US media en masse were manipulated within 24 hours by Trump into determining that Assad was behind the attacks without evidence. Worse, the moment Trump shed blood overseas – overcome with the aroma of war – they collectively fell helplessly into his arms: Brian Williams waxed poetic and Fareed Zakaria announced that Donald Trump was now “everyone’s president.”
Even Democrats backed Trump. Hillary Clinton, mere hours before Trump’s Tomahawk missile punishment was meted out, backed the plan; Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi concurred.
War propaganda is seductive. It riles jingoistic tendencies which are politically and electorally beneficial. And given the presence of legal political bribery, defense contractors have greased practically every member of congress (along with strategically placing bases/forts and defense-related manufacturing facilities in practically every congressional district). War is good for ratings, so the media love it. As do some of their primary ad buyers: Big Oil, and adjacent automobile manufacturers.
They are in all collusion to lie us into war whenever possible. They are good at their jobs, and most of us are too busy raising our families and being work martyrs to research what the truth really is. In fact, leading up to the Iraq invasion, though there were humongous protests in the streets, the vast majority of the American public was behind it – having been misled by our lying government and lapdog media.
Now, our lying government and corporate, lapdog media tell us that despite having no chemical weapons, despite it making no strategic sense, and despite being proven wrong on these very accusations in the past, that Assad was behind another chemical weapons attack – and 51% of Americans agree with Trump’s Tomahawk missile punishment.
To what end? Even if Assad was behind the latest chemical weapons attack (which we’ve seen no evidence) should the US commit to regime change in Syria? We’ve gone that route numerous times in the past to disastrous effect (see: Libya & Iraq – which produced Daesh). The moderates in Syria have been wiped out or fled. The power vacuum would be filled by Assad’s successor, who would either be backed by the Muslim Brotherhood or Wahabbi extremists – neither would likely wind up being preferable to secular, Western-educated (though brutal) Assad. Of course, it’s not the role of the US to hand pick leaders for other countries based upon how good they might be for domestic interests (quaint thought, I know).
And importantly, Syria is not Iraq. While Syria would also require a long-term commitment aka invasion; Russia wasn’t in Iraq. Putin is backing Assad, says Assad wasn’t behind the chemical attack, and Russian troops are installed in Syrian military bases.
Told of this Russian presence, Trump warned Putin prior to our Tomahawk missile attack. In fact, Rex Tillerson said that we coordinated with Assad for the attack on his own airbase. Tellingly, the runway was operational the following day.
An actual attack on Assad, let alone attempting to topple him, would inevitably mean killing many Russian soldiers. Killing Russian soldiers could easily mean World War Three. With Commander in Drumpf. Which is terrifying, and should be well thought through by the American public.
But this was coordinated with Assad. So this wasn’t at all an attack on Assad; but a distraction. Trump called his shot in 2012, when he tweeted his prediction that Obama would perpetrate a false flag operation (possibly in Syria, he specifically predicted) due to supposedly flagging polls numbers.
So here we stand, with the Cheeto Fascist’s approval ratings in the dirt, and losing his Russia investigation cover-man Devin Nunes (following Jeff Sessions’ Russia recusal); meanwhile he and Mitch McConnell complete a judicial coup in the lifetime appointment of 49 year old maniac Neil Gorsuch by blowing up hundreds of years of senate precedent and using the nuclear option to force through a nominee after blocking Obama’s nominee for a goddamn year. Rather than wallow in the depths of unpopularity, Trump wrapped himself in the flag and murdered some brown folk, bringing a boot-licking media to its knees.
-March 4, 2017
The level of President Donald Trump’s absolute incompetence is further compounded with each and every detail which has emerged from his actions before, during, and following his initial, botched raid in Yemen, which resulted in the death of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens.
Every aspect of this story reeks of sheer ineptitude. According to aides, The Donald is not fond of intelligence briefings. Or of reading in general. He wants pictures and bullet points; but prefers to simply binge watch Fox News instead. As such, he was briefed on the proposed Yemen raid by Defense Secretary General Mattis over dinner, and approved of the mission when told that Obama declined out of caution due to a lack of intelligence.
Obama’s caution was just. Given said lack of intelligence, the raid was a failure from the jump. There were far more inhabitants at the site than previously known. As such, in addition to Owens, six other service members were injured, and a $70m helicopter destroyed and abandoned. Worse, dozens of innocent civilians were also killed, nine of which were children, including an eight year old girl, Nawar al-Awlaki, who happened to be a US citizen, and whose 16 year old brother, Abdul Rahman al-Awlaki, had been coincidently killed six years earlier in a drone strike approved by Obama (in addition to their father, Anwar).
Trump didn’t care enough to even be in the Situation Room during the raid. Rather, he tweeted about his coming appearance on the Christian Broadcast Network, which was soon deleted. As result of the failed mission, the Yemeni government informed the US that we are no longer allowed to carry out such raids without prior approval – an embarrassing slap in the face to Trump. It would not be the first embarrassment. The target of the raid, Qassim al-Rimi, took to the internet to brag how he had shit on Trump.
The Trump administration has floundered and flailed about in the aftermath. They’ve tried blaming the failed mission on everyone from Obama to the military. They’ve tried claiming that the failed mission was a resounding success, insisting that the target of the mission was not really al-Rimi, but that it was actually an intelligence raid which will supposedly prevent many, many deaths in the future. They tried using the body of Owens as a shield, charging anyone criticizing the failed mission with dishonoring his death. Owens’ father, a veteran himself, refused to meet with Trump at the casket arrival. As such, Trump brought Owens wife to his first congressional address, forcing the new widow into an awkward and uncomfortable four minutes of choreographed Donald-smiling and Ivanka-touching.
To recap: Trump approved a mission that was lacking in intelligence over dinner because he wanted to one-up Obama, yet was still more interested in twitter. A Navy SEAL was killed, a $70m chopper destroyed, dozens of civilians killed, including an eight year old girl. The target of the mission escaped and laughed at us. Yemen had to step in and intervene. Trump blamed everyone else for his failure; then used the SEAL’s dead body, and his widow, as a shield from not only investigation, but from mere criticism.
And rather than take a moment to learn from his mistakes, Trump announced that he was giving authority to his generals to carry out such raids in the future – that way he can take credit for successful missions, and simply blame the generals for any and all failures.
The American public is decidedly left of center according to public polling across myriad topics. In spite of this, the United States is an incredibly right-wing country – which is directly due to the shoddiness of the Democratic Party and, specifically, the Clintons and Barack Obama.
The majority of people in the United States want gun safety measures. We want marijuana legalization and an end to the War on Drugs. We want immigration reform including a path toward citizenship for the undocumented. We believe in marriage equality. We support a woman’s right to bodily autonomy. We want universal, single-payer healthcare. We want tuition-free college. We want the wealthy to pay more in taxes. And we want to remove the stumbling block to each and every one those issues: the corrupting influence of money in politics.
Unfortunately, since the first-to-the-goalpost Electoral College system was established in 1787, we’ve maintained a binary, two-party system. Alternatives exist – from a popular vote to proportional representation and ranked-choice voting – which should be enacted. Under the current system, parties have lived and died and been replaced over time – but only two major parties at a time. And the fact that neither the Democratic nor Republican Party have shown themselves to represent the will and best interests of the people is what lead to the election of President Donald Trump.
Now, the majority of the country opposed civil rights in the 1960’s, so majority rule is not always best. But this is a democratic republic after all, so we elect representatives to vote on our behalf. However, regardless of party, politicians act in direct opposition to the majority practically across the board.
In fact, a Harvard study looking back to the 1970’s shows that the will of the American public has essentially zero effect on public policy. The study looked only at polling in which respondents were required to disclose their incomes. What it found is that public policy is tied directly to the opinions of the wealthy, and only when the wealthy happen to agree with the majority is the will of the majority reflected in public policy.
There are myriad reasons for this, primarily a string of disastrous Supreme Court decisions – including the infamous Citizens United – which have essentially legalized political bribery. This can be fixed, too: with a 28th Amendment to get money out of politics. We must have public financing of elections so that politicians represent their constituents rather than the financiers of a privatized elections system.
Until then, in this, corrupt system, we have the Democrats and Republicans. The current parties sorted themselves out in the wake of the Civil Rights era, when President Lyndon B. Johnson famously and correctly predicted that, due to his signing of the Civil rights Act, Democrats would lose the South for 50 years.
Richard Nixon accelerated the shift with his racist Southern Strategy, which the past two Republican Party chairmen have apologized for. But it worked. Republicans took the South and Nixon won twice. Ronald Wilson Reagan married the religious right with the Republican Party and defeated the Democrats twice as well. George McGovern and Jimmy Carter were cast as the villains. Democrats were cast as the party of welfare queens, pinko commies, and stoner pacifists.
They were lost. They freaked out. And, unforgivably, they sold out.
Bill Clinton and Al Gore took the money, sold the soul of the Democratic Party, and sold out the country when they teamed up with the Koch Brothers on the Democratic Leadership Council.
These corporate, neoliberal Democrats veered right in every conceivable manner in an effort to appear moderate which forced Republicans ever further right in order to maintain contrast.
Bill Clinton left the presidential campaign trail to witness the execution of a black man and Hillary Clinton fear-mongered young, black “super-predators”. Bill Clinton signed the despicable Crime Bill – he exploded the prison population with Three Strikes, mandatory minimums, crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparities, and increases in the numbers of both cops and prisons. Bill Clinton screwed over poor folks when he gutted welfare. Bill Clinton signed the homophobic Defense of Marriage Act and instituted Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the military. Bill Clinton bombed a medicine factory in Sudan.
Bill Clinton signed NAFTA, which enriched multinational corporations and their wealthy shareholders by shipping good paying American jobs to Mexican workers who could be paid lower wages. Bill Clinton deregulated the media with the Telecommunications Act which resulted in the consolidation of 50 major media companies into six. Bill Clinton deregulated the banks which unleashed the housing bubble and caused the financial crisis (which Bush exacerbated with tax cuts for the wealthy and war spending).
The people of the country saw what the Clintons had done and the party was a shambles. They lost control of the House of Representatives for the first time in generations and got impeached over a blowjob. They lost twice to a doofus war criminal who bungled Katrina and destroyed the economy.
Then, along came an attractive and charismatic gentleman who won twice on the promise of changing a broken system in D.C. – despite being black and named Hussein in a country that would soon elect Donald Trump.
What lead to Trump? Barack Obama.
Obama bailed out Wall Street with tax payer money (and Bush’s help), gave them near-zero interest rates on billions of dollars for years-on-end with quantative easing, and failed to prosecute a single bankster for their reckless and damaging crimes. Obama made permanent 90% of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Obama promised a public option but made sure , while enjoying full congressional control, that we got the right-wing Heritage Foundation’s healthcare plan, which has zero cost controls and left 30 million without coverage.
Obama implemented no gun safety reform whatsoever. Obama did nothing to curtail the War on Drugs or mass incarceration. Obama did nothing about money in politics and instead took fundraising to new levels. Obama did nothing on immigration reform and instead earned the moniker Deporter-in-Chief.
Obama reneged on his promise to put on a soft shoe for unions and instead abandoned the teachers in Wisconsin. Obama used the Department of Homeland Security to quash Occupy Wall Street. Obama “let things play out” with the Dakota Access Pipeline while oil cops brutalized First Nation water protectors in North Dakota. Obama barely even mentioned police brutality or Black Lives Matter.
Obama created economic terrorism and neutered FBI investigations into right wing domestic terrorists. Obama repealed Habeas Corpus so that American citizens needn’t be charged with a crime in order to be imprisoned.
Obama expanded and codified into law the surveillance state. Obama accelerated the drone wars and codified legal rational for the assassination of American citizens. Obama failed to prosecute any of the war criminals or torturers and failed to close Guantanamo.
Obama turned two foreign wars into seven and ran out of bombs in Syria. Obama approved off-shore drilling and ended the push for energy independence. Obama let Keystone XL stay alive. Obama let Trump decide net neutrality. Obama even handed over his Supreme Court nomination without so much as a damned whimper.
Obama was so awful that Democrats lost 1000 elected seats nationwide during his administration. Rather than embracing the populism that had risen in the wake of the Great Recession, Obama and the DNC inserted their hand-picked, corporatist establishmentarian candidate in Hillary Clinton – a candidate so off-putting that the country elected a thin-skinned and predatory, fascistic moron over whatever it is that Democrats pretend to be selling.
Yet and still, they’ve learned nothing.
They still have Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer as their congressional leaders simply because they accumulate the most legalized bribery from Silicon Valley and Wall Street, respectfully. The party is still functionally run by the consultant class whose jobs depend on maintaining the status quo.
Rather than embrace the most popular politician in the country, Bernie Sanders (who they cheated in the primary, by the way), they went against his endorsed DNC Chair candidate, Keith Ellison, and instead went with Obama lacky, Tom Perez.
The DNC, under Perez, immediately voted to reinstate the policy of taking corporate cash directly. They kicked anyone who endorsed Bernie Sanders or Keith Ellison off of the rules committee. They refuse to reform the superdelegate system or to disclose their budget to even board members.
And after being charged with rigging the primary election in favor of Hillary Clinton and against Bernie Sanders, they argued that they can pick their presidential candidate in the proverbial smoke-filled room if they so choose.
They are sick, and they have no interest in getting better.