Sympathy for the Devils...

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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Thu Jan 12, 2023 4:03 pm

Cuba Says Biden Applies Blockade Even More Aggressively Than His Predecessors
JANUARY 10, 2023

A demonstrator holds up the Cuban flag while protesting in front of the White House in Washington, D.C., on July 12, 2021. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty images.

By Marjorie Cohn – Jan 5, 2023

Biden has maintained many of Trump’s sanctions against Cuba. He must fulfill his promise to reverse Trump’s actions.

The current U.S. government, the one of Joseph Biden, of all those that the Cuban Revolution has known, is the one that has most aggressively and effectively applied the economic blockade,” Carlos Fernández de Cossío, vice minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, declared in a speech on December 14. “It is the one that punishes the most, the one that causes the most damage to the daily life of Cubans and the economy as a whole.”

Fernández de Cossío cited the disruption of Cuba’s fuel receipt by sea, and economic depression resulting in the “extraordinary flow of Cuban migrants” as examples of the severe harms that Cubans have faced under the Biden administration’s implementation of the blockade.

In his address at a conversation series on “Cuba in the Foreign Policy of the United States of America,” held on December 14 at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana, Fernández de Cossío took aim at the Biden administration’s enforcement of the blockade against Cuba, stating, “there can be no doubt that the economic blockade is the defining factor in the bilateral relations” between the United States and Cuba.

Biden pledged during his 2020 presidential campaign that he would “try to reverse the failed Trump policies that inflicted harm on Cubans and their families.” In 2021, he claimed, “We stand with the Cuban people.”

But Biden’s actions belie his words. Fernández de Cossío said that Biden has applied “with absolute and surprising loyalty … the policy of maximum economic pressure that was designed by his predecessor, Donald Trump.”

In 2015, the Obama administration restored full diplomatic relations with Cuba, released Cubans imprisoned in the U.S. for trying to deter further terrorist attacks against Cuba, relaxed restrictions on Americans traveling to Cuba, and ended some economic prohibitions between the U.S. and Cuba. It also facilitated the export of U.S. internet hardware and telecommunications and established increased cooperation between the United States and Cuba in intelligence-gathering, drug interdiction, scientific research and environmental protection.

Trump undid the progress Obama had made and imposed 243 onerous new sanctions — known as unilateral coercive measures in international law — on Cuba as part of his “maximum pressure” strategy.

Cuba and a Trumpist Named Joe Biden

The Embargo Was Imposed to Cause Cubans Hunger and Desperation
More than 60 years ago, following the triumph of the 1959 Cuban Revolution, the U.S. government imposed an economic embargo on Cuba. The rationale for the embargo was detailed in a State Department memo that advocated the “disenchantment and disaffection” of the Cuban people through “economic dissatisfaction and hardship” so they would overthrow the Fidel Castro government. The memo recommended the denial of “money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.”

The embargo (which the Cubans call a blockade) “is not a single law, but a complex patchwork of laws, presidential proclamations, and regulations that Fidel Castro once called ‘a tangled ball of yarn,’” American University professor and Cuba scholar William M. LeoGrande wrote in the National Security Archive. “It has evolved over the sixty years since President John F. Kennedy put it in place, loosening and tightening from one administration to the next, depending on the president’s preference for using hard power or soft power in dealing with Cuba.”

Since the Cuban Revolution, the United States “has waged an unceasing assault, both military and economic, against the Cuban people, organizing an invasion, assassinations, terrorist attacks against civilians and systematic economic sabotage,” Isaac Saney wrote at Resumen. The blockade has cost Cuba more than $130 billion in damage, according to the United Nations.

Some Positive Bilateral Steps Taken Last Year
Despite this rocky history, Fernández de Cossío acknowledged that some positive bilateral steps were taken between the United States and Cuba last year. He cited migration cooperation; U.S. grants of 20,000 visas annually; a return to U.S. embassy services in Havana; cooperation between Cuban Border Guard Troops and the U.S. Coast Guard for interception on the high seas and return to Cuba; an agreement to hold exchanges on law enforcement, oil spills, health and the environment; and commercial flights from the United States to different Cuban provinces. The United States has again authorized “people to people” educational group travel to Cuba, but individual travel for education is still prohibited.

Fernández de Cossío also praised U.S. offers of humanitarian aid to Cuba “without political conditions” after a fire at the supertanker base in Matanzas last August and $2 million for repairs after Hurricane Ian. But Cuba still has not received that assistance.

Negative Steps Taken by the Biden Administration
The vice minister of foreign affairs also listed “developments in the opposite direction.” These include the recent U.S. designation of Cuba as a country of special concern in matters of religious freedom “without any real basis, on grounds that are dishonest.”

“In late 2022, the Biden administration took the unprecedented action to list Cuba as a nation of ‘special concern’ regarding religious freedom — which even the Trump administration did not do, and which was not recommended by the related commission created by U.S. law. This is absurd,” Art Heitzer, co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild’s Cuba Subcommittee, told Truthout.

“Members of my Methodist church were prosecuted by the U.S. government for visiting their sister Methodist church’s centennial in Havana,” Heitzer said. “The late Cardinal Jaime Ortega, then head of Cuba’s Roman Catholic Church, told me after mass at the cathedral that he favored ending the U.S. embargo; and because of religious objections, the Cuban government delayed by several years the referendum process which has now granted constitutional protection to same-sex marriage.”

Fernández de Cossío also mentioned the Biden administration’s commitment in May to allow remittances to Cuba, but said that still has not happened and there is no “commitment to dismantle the measures announced by the Trump administration to disrupt the remittances.”

In addition, although the U.S. government announced measures to boost internet penetration and interconnection in Cuba, the United States still prohibits access for Cubans to more than 200 private commercial websites, according to Fernández de Cossío. This includes sites for education, health, science and technology, art, culture and innovation.

The U.S. government, Fernández de Cossío stated, admits that it “intends to promote the Cuban private sector, not to contribute to the development of the Cuban economy, not to improve the standard of living of the population, not to help a majority sector of the population, but rather identifies it as an instrument of political subversion … a political weapon.”

What Biden Could Do to Relax the Blockade
Fernández de Cossío described steps Biden could take “to deliver on his declared priority of promoting human rights and caring for the welfare of the Cuban people.”

Biden could remove Cuba from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. In 2015, the Obama-Biden administration removed Cuba from the list. But at the end of Trump’s term, his State Department added Cuba back onto the list. Within weeks, Fernández de Cossío noted, “45 banks and financial institutions with long-standing relations with Cuba severed their ties with our country.” This impacted Cuba’s trade and access to credit. “It is a devastating impact,” he said. “And even today, on account of its presence on that list, Cuba is still encountering trade and financial organizations that refuse to interact with us for fear of retaliation by the U.S. government.”

Dozens of lawyers have signed an open letter to Biden, stating, “There is no legal or moral justification for Cuba to remain on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list.” They wrote, “Biden has the power to remove Cuba from [the list] and reverse many Trump-era sanctions through executive action. However, Biden has chosen to defend Trump’s aggressive policies.”

Trump also stiffened the economic and travel blockade and activated Title III of the Helms Burton Act, which was enacted to discourage foreign investment in Cuba. Trump’s activation of Title III greenlighted thousands of lawsuits that will discourage tourism and investment in Cuba. In one such lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom issued an order on December 30 against four Florida-based cruise shipping companies that sailed to Cuba, requiring them to pay more than $400 million in damages. Fernández de Cossío pointed out that Biden could have suspended Title III like Trump’s predecessors. Activating Title III has had “a deterrent impact on our developmental purpose of attracting foreign capital,” he added.

In addition, “[The Biden] administration could have ceased the practice of pressuring governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to refuse medical cooperation provided by Cuba,” Fernández de Cossío said. “This U.S. action, of course, is intended to prevent dozens of thousands of people from receiving medical services, which is what Cuban doctors provide.”

Biden could also have ended “punitive measures, threats, and persecution against fuel exporting companies, shipping companies, port agencies, insurance and reinsurance agencies all aimed at depriving Cuba of fuel supplies that our country requires to function,” which “has had an extremely severe impact on the economy and the lives of the Cuban people,” according to Fernández de Cossío.

Rinse and Repeat: Will Biden Make Normalizing Relations with Cuba a Priority?

The Purpose of the Blockade Is Regime Change

The blockade, the vice minister said, “has an impact on everything.” That includes electrical service, transportation, the availability of medicine and material for medical services, and the ability to obtain supplies for food production and building materials.

“The U.S. government cannot pretend to treat Cuba as if it were part of its territory or treat Cuba as if it were a colonial dominion, or treat Cuba as if it were an adversary defeated in a war. We are none of the three,” Fernández de Cossío declared. He cited Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s observation that the intention of the United States is “to strangle the Cuban economy and thus try to provoke social collapse and a political crisis in Cuba.” Although the U.S. has failed in that purpose, it has led to “economic depression” in Cuba and “the extraordinary flow of Cuban migrants.”

Biden himself has called Cuba a “failed state,” and his administration “is doing virtually all that it can to make it so,” Heitzer said.

“The embargo’s overt purpose is to strangle the Cuban economy to promote regime change,” according to the Alliance for Cuba Engagement and Respect (ACERE), a coalition of organizations working to end the Cuba blockade. The United States spends more than $25 million each year to fund regime change programs against Cuba.

On November 3, for the 30th time, the United Nations General Assembly called for an end to the illegal U.S. blockade against Cuba. The vote was 185 in favor, two opposed (the U.S. and Israel), and two abstentions (Brazil and Ukraine). The resolution affirmed “the sovereign equality of States, non-intervention and non-interference in their internal affairs and freedom of international trade and navigation, which are also enshrined in many international legal instruments.”

Joe Biden must make good on his promise to reverse Trump’s actions tightening the blockade against Cuba, return to the measures taken by the Obama-Biden administration, and work to dismantle the illegal and immoral blockade once and for all. ... decessors/

This writer must know nothing of American presidents because their word is worth nothing, history: read it and weep. Only a serious breakdown in this country accompanied by complete dis-articulation of current political relations could allow for such a thing.

Embrace your leader, you progressive dumbfucks.
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Sun Jan 15, 2023 4:20 pm

The Vote for House Speaker Obscured Democratic Treachery
Margaret Kimberley, BAR Executive Editor and Senior Columnist 11 Jan 2023

Image: Matt Orfalea

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's need for 15 rounds of voting from his party is viewed with alarm or humor. But the right wing proved that activists win if they make demands. Democrats have no members brave enough to confront leadership, and the people's needs go unmet.

In 2021 Democratic Party progressives asked those members of congress who claimed to share their political priorities to stand up to their leadership, which meant standing up for the people. They knew that Joe Biden promised to veto any legislation providing free, universal healthcare, known as Medicare for All. But they did what any political activist should do. They made the demand anyway. The call to #ForcetheVote was a request for House members to withhold their votes for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House unless she committed herself to bringing Medicare for All to a vote.

The House members who called themselves progressives did nothing of the sort. They elected Nancy Pelosi without demanding that she bring Medicare for All or any other issue for a vote. The Squad and the Progressive Caucus, all failed to do what their supporters wanted.

In 2023 a different dynamic took place. Republicans won control of the House in the 2022 midterm elections. Some of their members, such as Lauren Boebert and Matt Gaetz, are considered lesser lights and are routinely dismissed by democratic pundits and propagandists as being dumb, crazy, or a host of other epithets.

Whatever one can say about them, they did something that Squad members did not. They withheld their votes from Kevin McCarthy, who needed 15 ballots to become Speaker of the House, a record in congressional history. The process was messy, the word “chaos” was used a lot, and social media memes making fun of McCarthy and the Republicans proliferated.

There was a lot of finger pointing and snobbery about the Republicans, but there was far too little analysis. Delving into the story in a truthful way would have meant dredging up the progressive democrats shameful behavior two years ago and exposing them to the level of critique that Boebert and Gaetz received.

Not only did democratic progressives run for cover when their leadership dropped the hammer, but they lied in order to hide their cowardice. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others claimed that they would lose the speakership to Republicans unless they all stayed on board. “We are just an extremely slim amount of votes away from risking the speakership to the Republican Party. It’s bigger than any one of us.”

This statement was a bald-faced lie meant to keep liberals in line. Republicans didn’t lose the Speakership to the Democrats despite taking 15 rounds of voting to select McCarthy. The overly hyped congresswoman known as AOC was doing the leadership’s bidding and protecting herself from criticism.

Actually, she may not have needed to lie. Many democrats behave like cult members, mesmerized and hypnotized by con artists, living in fear of making any demands on any issue. They easily give in and have been indoctrinated into thinking they can never make political change.

Now Joe Biden is sitting in the political catbird seat. He can wheel and deal and triangulate to his heart’s content, which is what Democratic presidents actually prefer. They don’t want to provide Medicare for All or student loan debt relief, or a minimum wage increase. Biden can now feign powerlessness; the propagandists will join him in declaring that his hands are tied because Republicans control the House.

Republicans like Boebert will be scrutinized and caricatured so that Democrats can make fun and/or scare their people into shutting up. But it is actually more important to watch AOC and her cohort. Boebert and company are just the bogeywomen and men of the moment who provide a convenient cover for liberals the next time they are ready to perform another stab in the back. Phony progressives are a far worse enemy.

In the final analysis, the Republicans' deal making was democracy in action. Elected representatives debated and challenged one another. Most importantly, party leadership faced a challenge they couldn’t avoid. This country would be far better off if the people who claimed to be progressive had acted likewise in 2021 instead of taking a dive when they should have been willing to confront.

Oddly enough, one of the demands that McCarthy met was a proposal to cut the federal budget to FY2022 levels. Such a cut would mean a $75 billion cut to defense spending . Of course, Republicans don’t really want to do that. The military industrial complex survives with bipartisan support. But inadvertently the Republican renegades revealed how much their Democratic Party colleagues have increased defense spending.

This year on January 16, Democrats and Republicans alike will fan out across the country and claim to pay homage to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King broke with president Johnson when he denounced the Vietnam war, and was roundly criticized for doing so. The progressives of today possess none of his courage and go along with their party’s oligarchy when ordered to do so. The right wingers on the other side of the aisle seem to have far more conviction. ... -treachery

On economic policy Democrats are indistinguishable from Reagan-era Republicans. On foreign policy they’re indistinguishable from Bush-era neocons. But they’re still able to sell the idea that they’re progressive, even moving far to the left, by copious lip service to social justice.

Democrats will bomb you, starve you with sanctions, evict you, let you freeze to death, let you die because you can’t afford medicine, let you work your fingers to the bone for pennies, but they will never, ever misgender you.

And rightists are all too happy to take that last bit as evidence that Democrats have in fact moved “too far to the left” and argue that US politics needs to move much farther to the right to counteract all the leftist extremism.

(more...) ... ve-matrix/
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Tue Jan 17, 2023 5:34 pm

Jan 16, 2023 , 5:27 p.m.

Recent reports indicate that there is enough evidence to accuse the son of the US president of tax crimes (Photo: Reuters)

A tweet from the NY Post journalist, Miranda Devine, once again put Hunter Biden on the table. She published a document where the son of the current US president affirms that he owns a house in Wilmington, which actually belongs to his father and where he kept classified documents from his time as vice president.

A closer look revealed that Hunter paid his father a monthly rent of almost $50,000, or $550,000 for 11 months, an exorbitant figure compared to the cost of other houses. In Wilmington, Delaware, a rental costs $6,000 on average.

The strange thing is not that a crack addict had a slip when listing the amount of the payment, but the amount that a father, former vice president at the time, collected from a son who was supposedly broke. The question many are asking is if it was Hunter's way of funneling money to his father.

Everything indicates that the Bidens constitute a family corruption company. An email found on Hunter's laptop reveals that Hunter and his partners would receive 20% of the shares in a new business, 10% would go to Hunter's uncle, James Biden, and the other 10% would be "held by H for the big guy." And big would be the code to identify Joe Biden.

The federal investigation focused on checking for money laundering during their transactions in China and other countries. Recent reports indicate there is enough evidence to charge the president's son with tax crimes, as well as lying about his drug abuse on a federal form in order to buy a gun in 2018. ... -los-biden

Google Translator

Reasonable speculation sez Joe will parley this into excuse for not running for a second term.Which is possible, tho I got no idea who would replace him. I doubt Dem Central does either, which is how he got selected in the first place. They got nothing, and while the Rs got a little more than nothing that slight advantage will be blown by a civil war in the party if Trump doesn't run. If Trump runs the Dems can win with Musk but without Trump they'll probably need somebody from show biz, mebbe Tom Hanks(don't know his politics and it doesn't matter, the media can fix it.)
And here we are...
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Sat Jan 28, 2023 3:55 pm

The Winter Coup Season in Latin America: Coverage by the Democratic Party-Aligned Liberal US Press
JANUARY 26, 2023

Supporters of Brazilian former President Jair Bolsonaro invading the National Congress in Brasilia. Photo: Sergio Lima/AFP via Getty Images/File photo.

By Roger D. Harris – Jan 23, 2023

Coup attempts have gone viral this winter season in Latin America. The contagion spread first to Argentina, then Peru, and finally Brazil on January 8. In addition, Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua continue to suffer from long-term US regime-change efforts.

Coverage of this political pandemic by the US liberal press (i.e., the preponderance of mainstream media that endorse a Democrat for the presidency) reflects politically motivated agendas. Its spin on Brazil in particular reflects a trend among Democrats to greater acceptance of the security state.

December 6 lawfare coup in Argentina

Current vice-president and former president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was the leading contender on the left for the 2023 elections. But on December 6, she was sentenced to six years in prison for corruption and barred from running for office. Although she is appealing what is considered a “lawfare” frameup, the right is anticipating a comeback in the upcoming October 2023 presidential election.

This incident in the third largest economy in Latin America has gone virtually unnoticed in the North American liberal press, and certainly no concern has been expressed about safeguarding democracy.

December 7 legislative coup in Perú

The day after the coup in Argentina, an already mercurial situation in Peru became more so. The elected president from a leftwing party was imprisoned in a parliamentary coup backed by the military. Pedro Castillo was disposed on December 7 when he tried to forestall a third impeachment attempt against him by dissolving Congress.

The former CIA operative and current US ambassador to Peru, Lisa Kenna, is widely credited with greenlighting the coup in Peru. US military police have long had a cooperative relationship with their Peruvian “partners” according to the US Army.

A state of emergency has been declared by the government, while a general strike has been mounted. The Guardian reports disproportionate use of force against the protests, including firing live ammunition. Over 50 people have been killed in popular demonstrations in support of Castillo, who is seen by the poor and indigenous as one of their own in a society with deep fissures of class and race.

Most left-leaning leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean have condemned the coup in Peru. On the other side of the barricades, the US State Department “welcomed” Castillo’s replacement. But in Peru, polls show that only 30% approve of the new de facto president and 83% support early elections.

In the US, the liberal press followed the flag if they paid any attention at all. The last time Peru warranted a New York Times editorial was 2017 in a human-interest story about a trek taken there by Barack Obama’s daughter.

More Police Repression as Thousands March in Lima & Demand Boluarte Resign

Slow motion coup attempts in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua

Also conveniently ignored by the press are Washington’s protracted coup operations. Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela are bleeding, but their stories are not leading. US regime-change machinations against countries striving for socialism hardly offend the State Department stenographers in the liberal press corps.

Largely due to illegal US sanctions, these three countries are currently experiencing severe economic difficulties and their largest migration crises in decades. Being permanent targets of US intelligence does not make the news. Nor does the State Department’s admission that “we will continue to pressure the [Venezuelan] regime with sanctions” invoke much umbrage.

January 8 unsuccessful rightist coup in Brazil
In contrast, liberal media has worked itself into a dither over the storming of Brazil’s presidential palace, supreme court, and congressional building by supporters of defeated President Jair Bolsonaro on January 8. Unlike Peru and Argentina, this rightwing coup attempt failed.

No sympathy is due to the fascist-leaning Bolsonaro. Former Bolsonaro officials with the collusion of elements in the police and military have been implicated in the riot.

But the Trump connection is the reason for the press’s hyper attention. Trump is noted without exception in nearly every report. Ties with Bolsonaro by Trump associates Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller are cited. The Washington Post editorialized that the brawl in Brasilia was almost a “remake” of the assault on the US Capitol two years before.

US liberal media is in an absolute frenzy linking the two events, as if the Brazilians themselves had no agency. TV host Joy Reid described the “straight line from January 6 to what happened” in Brazil, noting that Trump’s “far right contagion is spreading around the world.”

With proper patriotic pride, the Post noted that the riot in Brazil was condemned by political leaders in Brazil and their “democratic counterparts around the globe” led by none other than President Biden. They counseled Brazil to “stand strong” and emulate the January 6th hearings in DC, though the Post respectfully refrained from naming which TV producer should stage the extravaganza.

Why January 6 so matters to the Democrats

In the US, the liberal press has been flogging the dead horse of January 6 for two years with no end in sight. With the Romney Republicans and the Bush bunch exchanging fist bumps with the woke crowd in the DNC’s big tent, the two-party system is revealing its underlying class unity. Hence the threat of Trump has become the Democrat’s biggest asset because they no longer have an agenda that distinguishes them from the Republicans on imperialist war and the repressive security state. Absent the Orange Menace, their electorate might get restive.

The former pinkos turned blue in Portside, for instance, are scandalized that “only one of the 222 House Republicans attended the January 6 ceremony honoring police officers.” Would these putative progressives, who continually warn about “fascism,” rest more easily had the entire Republican caucus attended the Blue Lives Matter homage?

Rightwing attacks boomerang

It should also be noted that what the press dubbed the “parallel attacks” in Brasilia and DC helped consolidate public opinion against Bolsonaro and Trump and strengthened their opposition. In Brazil, Andrew Pasquier observed that the blowback “presents the country’s newly reelected President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva with an unexpected opportunity to govern with a consensus mandate after his narrow comeback win.”

Democrats to the rescue

On January 12, 46 House Democrats made a partisan appeal to President Biden to revoke Bolsonaro’s visa, alluding to how “two years ago, the United States faced a similar assault on our democracy” by Trump’s followers. The former Brazilian president is holed up in Orlando, Florida.

The Democrat’s plea to uphold “democratic norms” in Latin America predictably did not extend to either Peru or Argentina.

Similarly, while sanctimoniously condemning Bolsonaro and his followers for not accepting the results of the 2022 election in Brazil, the Democrats did not extend the same courtesy to Venezuela where the US still doesn’t accept that President Maduro won in 2018. At least the Bolsonaristas and Trumpsters claim their respective elections were “stolen.” The stance of the present US administration is simply that the Venezuelan election is “illegitimate” because the people voted for the wrong guy.

Fortuitously for Lula, Biden has ignored the request from his fellow partisans to ban Bolsonaro. Nearly half the Brazilian electorate voted for Bolsonaro, his party has the largest number of seats in both houses of their legislature, and it swept some of the key governorships. Bolsonaro’s bolt to the Sunshine State self-decapitated a potentially more insurrectionary movement of his faithful. Why in the world would Lula want to reverse such good fortune?

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s Orlando Vacation – Comparing the January Riots in the Brazilian and US Capitols

The friendly fascism of liberal authoritarianism
The crackdown on the rioters is what has so enamored the US liberal media about Brazil. The central conceit of the press regarding the Brasilia riots was conflating the forceful use of the repressive apparatus of the state with preserving democracy.

[NOTE: I am not passing judgment on how Brazil should handle its internal security. This commentary is about how the liberal press in the US spins it.]

With over 1,500 arrested and prosecutions of funders and political backers promised, ABC News approved how “Brazil vows swift justice.” The New Republic gleefully reported: “The Brazilian government wasted no time in responding to the insurrection.”

Rachel Maddow had as her guest Timothy Snyder, the celebrity intellectual who built a successful career finding the commonality between Nazis and those who fought against them. Speaking in front of a montage of video clips from Brazil showing long lines of heavily guarded prisoners in handcuffs being carted away in buses, Snyder described how “pleased” he was with the response of Brazilian law enforcement compared to what he characterized as “flabby” democracies.

In short, the liberal press’s coverage of the winter coup season in Latin America is symptomatic of how their favored party has learned to love the security state at home (not to mention their romance with war abroad). As its current standard bearer, who takes major credit for the Patriot Act and the 1994 Crime Bill, says: “Lock the SOBs up!” ... -us-press/

Democratic Party 'progressives': Which side are you on?

I think it too early to declare Lula fatally compromised because of the Biden regime's friendly overture. I suspect Lula caught Joe on the wrong foot... We'll just have to see how Lula and Petro fare against entrenched military establishments which have tried to kill both of them in the past. Tricky business.
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Fri Feb 03, 2023 4:04 pm

Ilhan Omar Is Not Mama Africa
Ann Garrison, BAR Contributing Editor 01 Feb 2023


The new Speaker of the House announced he will remove Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee. The attack from Republicans has given her image a boost, but her record shows the credibility is not deserved.

Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is making a martyr of Somali American Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Prior to the Republicans’ slim victory in the House, he promised to remove her from the House Foreign Relations Committee for being “anti-Semitic” and “anti-American.” As he struggles to keep Republicans in line for a vote on whether she stays or goes, Ilhan takes the 1000% predictable stance that he is persecuting her for being a Muslim, a woman, and an African immigrant.

Not only that, she claims to be the voice of the entire African continent on the House subcommittee on Africa. On January 26 she tweeted:
Ilhan Omar @IlhanMN

As the only African born, not being on the Africa subcommittee is not just an elimination of a unique voice but an elimination of all the voices that have never been heard on a committee on the continent.

It’s racist, xenophobic and discriminatory.

Mama Africa! The only African born on the Africa committee! Sister of Mandela, Sankara, Nkrumah, and Miriam Makeba! Voice of all the African voices that have never been heard!

This isn’t the first time Ilhan has wrapped herself in kente cloth and I’m sure it won’t be the last, but nothing could be further from the truth, as was witnessed by the slew of African responses. Most came from the region she hails from, the Horn of Africa, many from her native Somalia, and from the diaspora. Here are some, but far from all of them:
Hashi, MD ⚖ ✍ @SomPundit Jan 26

Replying to @IlhanMN

Good riddance! You cost more harm to Africa in your first term than any other time. Disrespecting sovereignty and political independence of African countries. Your carrot vs stick comments on Somalia 🇸🇴 was nauseating. You wasted a huge platform coz it got to you easily.

Hodo Mure @HodoMure Jan 26

Replying to @SomPundit and @IlhanMN

Omg, I remember when she tried to bring the entire might of the American empire to bully Somalia and suggested the carrot and stick analogy. Also to add insult to injury, she voted against debt relief for Somalia, likely Congress passed the bill anyway bc Republicans supported it.

🇸🇴 🇪🇹 🇪🇷 The HOA Warrior @AmbWarsame Jan 26

Replying to @IlhanMN

Thanks🙏 @SpeakerMcCarthy On behalf of #HOA 🇺🇸 Community. We thank you, great decision— we say #Nomore TPLF @IlhanMN She Spread conspiracy theory @SNAForce training in Eritrea. Voted against debt relief for Somalia. Played crucial role in coup d’état & personal attacked @M_Farmaajo

Ethio-American Development Council (EADC) @EA_DevCouncil Jan 26

Replying to @IlhanMN

@SpeakerMcCarthy is right to kick Ilhan Omar off the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Part of the reason for the US foreign affairs crises is @Ilhan's warmongering, support to extremist grps & undue interference in Africa. Africa is better off w/out you.

Berhanemeskel Nega @berhanenega Jan 26

Replying to @IlhanMN

Being an African born won’t entitle you to sit on the African subcommittee nor is it a license for promoting a reckless & divisive African policy, as you did. Africa deserves better & @SpeakerMcCarthy did the right thing in removing you from the Africa subcommittee.

Bizuwork Negussie @BizuNegussie Jan 26

Replying to @IlhanMN

No, you can't use the race card here. It's not because of your race you are removed, it is because you are toxic. We Africans applaud (however twisted McCarthy's motives are) the decision to remove you from the committee. You backed a terror group against the people of Ethiopia.

Saba: She/Her @Saba88664060 Jan 26

Replying to @IlhanMN

You don't represent Africa. You are an African problem. Shut up and find another job.

Darrell B. Harrison @D_B_Harrison Jan 26

Replying to @IlhanMN

Because yours is the lone voice speaking on behalf of more than 1.2B Africans, right? I'm 51 percent Nigerian. Does that mean I should put myself out there as a "unique voice" for all Nigerians living on that continent? You were elected not selected. Learn the difference.

Sheba - PushStart 🇪🇹🇪🇷🇺🇸 @ShebaPushStart Jan 27

Replying to @IlhanMN

You don’t represent us and it’s just fine with us.

🇪🇹🇨🇦 DefendEthiopia @iDefendEthiopia Jan 27

Replying to @IlhanMN

You are a spoiler of #African causes. You don't have the moral capacity or commitment to talk about Africa. NO WAY!


Ere91@Eritrea @andemaria2 Jan 28

Replying to @IlhanMN

You are so good at the arts of blackmailing, don't play that card on our behalf, the Africans.

Jean-Claude Maswana @JCMaswana Jan 28

Replying to @IlhanMN

Knowledge/interest about Africa’s issues isn’t a DNA matter. How often did you raise tragedies such as young people dying in Mediterranean Sea in attempt to escape bad leadership in Africa or the 20-year long tragedy happening in the #DRC?

Pls, argue, don’t misuse the race card.

Solomon( ሰሎሞን ) @Solomon73155195 Jan 28

Replying to @IlhanMN

For me the racist Joseph Borrell is better than @llhan Omar when it comes to African issues!

Abdillahi M. Ali @DiasporaCorner Jan 28

Replying to @IlhanMN

Even your fellow Somali Americans believe you shouldn't be on that committee because they realized you won't represent them all, let alone other Africans!

#SayNoMore 🇪🇹🇪🇷🇿🇦🇸🇸🇰🇪🇩🇯🇷🇺🇨🇳🇹🇷 @Oneluv_Ethiopia

Replying to @IlhanMN

The best action that @SpeakerMcCarthy has taken so far is removing you from the foreign committee. You harm African interest more than any other person in Congress. As an African I'm extremely happy that you have been removed.

Dahir .O. Dubow @DahirODubow Jan 29

Replying to @IlhanMN

Your undisciplined soul needs to rest and try to reflect on the harm you did to the said continent, that is Africa.

Bealem Bazezew @bezealer Jan 28

Replying to


You have already made enough damage to US- Africa relations. Give us a little break!!

Young Joseph #followerofJesus #Academic @eljayee2003 Jan 28

Replying to @IlhanMN

I live in the motherland (Africa); She should never be allowed anywhere near any committee, period!

Abiy @Doctor_Abiy Jan 28

Replying to @IlhanMN

Africa does not want you.

#Africa does not like you.

Africa does not trust you.

Dejazmach ወልዴዬስ @wolde_yihun Jan 28

Replying to @IlhanMN

@SpeakerMcCarthy, especially this one is justice.👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

H Alemu @h_alemu Jan 28

Replying to @IlhanMN

You never spoke for Africans anyway so it’s not that great of a loss.

Don't kid yourself.

Tsedi 💚💛❤️✊🏿 @Tsedeniya11 Jan 30

Replying to @IlhanMN

You don’t represent us #Africans at all! Especially we the people of the Horn are sick and tired of you. If all these replies don’t help you understand how we #Africans don’t care for you not sure what will. ✌🏿

Of course there were plenty of “racist, xenophobic, and discriminatory” responses. A number of people joined Kevin McCarthy in calling her an anti-Semite and an anti-American American, even a “Jew-hater.” Several suggested she go back to Africa. There’s no denying this is a racist, xenophobic, stupid country.

However, I read the entire thread response to Ilhan Omar's January 26 persecution tweet and couldn’t find a single response from an African person saying that she spoke for them, much less for all of Africa. I don’t want to claim that there weren’t any eventually because Twitter threads can go on for days, weeks, months, even years, but the initial responses were all African and all negative, even before the racists, xenophobes, and Zionists chimed in.

Several of those who responded have been quoted or interviewed in Black Agenda Report, including Congolese economist Jean-Claude Maswana, whom I have spoken to about the impact of sanctions and about the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Others included Nebiyu Asfaw of the Ethiopian American Development Council, whom I spoke to about violence near Ethiopia’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a huge achievement with the potential to free all Ethiopia from electricity poverty, one of the greatest challenges that Africa needs to overcome.

Ilhan and the Dems campaign to save her spot

The Democratic Party renewed their choice of Ilhan Omar for the Foreign Relations Committee with fanfare on January 30 . The next day, her office issued a press release announcing a new U.S.-Africa Policy Working Group. This was more than arguably a continuation of her campaign to save her seat as Mama Africa, the “unique voice,” as she tweeted, representing “all the voices that have never been heard on a committee on the continent.”

She does hit a few politically correct notes. “For far too long, the United States has treated Africa as a threat that needed to be contained, a series of fires that needed to be put out, or a junior partner that needed to be disciplined.” But she then goes on to say, “The U.S.-Africa Policy Working Group will be a venue for the promotion of American values and American interests in our dealings with our African partners.” Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose in the twilight of the American empire.

Ilhan promised particular action on Ethiopia and DRC, where her actions have already been malevolent. During the devastating two-year Ethiopian civil war that ended in December, she supported the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a longtime US puppet, who declared war on Ethiopia. Like all the rest of the Western world, she excoriated Ethiopia’s ally, Eritrea, “the Cuba of Africa.”

With regard to her native Somalia, she helped engineer defeat of the popular President Mohammed Abdullahi Mohammed, aka Farmaajo, voted against debt relief, and called for the “carrot and stick” coercion she claims to oppose in this latest press release. Her overall impact in the Horn has been in line with the US goal of undermining the Tripartite Agreement for regional cooperation between Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia, which had been cause for great hope in the region in 2018, before the TPLF started the war that raged for the next two years, draining that nation’s resources and Eritrea’s.

With regard to Rwanda and DRC, she took a state-sponsored junket to Rwanda, then served as an advocate for the Kagame regime despite its 27 years of war crimes and plunder in DRC and its brutal repression of the Rwandan people.

On January 26, the very same day that Ilhan tweeted her claim to be the voice of the voiceless continent, she also tweeted a photo of herself with AFRICOM's new commander and said, "It was a pleasure to talk with General Michael E. Langley, the sixth commander of the U.S. Africa Command about counterterrorism and diplomacy.” Langley is AFRICOM’s second Black commander.

Mama Africa indeed. Kevin McCarthy’s motives for ousting Ilhan from Foreign Affairs are twisted, as Bizuwork Negussie tweeted, but Africans can hardly be blamed for applauding and wishing him well in that much at least. ... ama-africa
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Sat Feb 11, 2023 3:57 pm

Biden to Syrian Earthquake Victims: DROP DEAD
By Jeremy Kuzmarov - February 10, 2023 0

Rescuers carry a victim on the rubble as the search for survivors continues in the aftermath of an earthquake, in rebel-held town of Jindires, Syria, February 7, 2023. [Source:]

Brutally politicizing humanitarian aid, Biden assists Turkey but refuses to mobilize aid and rescue workers to save thousands in northern Syria because of U.S. vendetta against Bashar al-Assad government.

At 4:17 a.m. on February 6, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and northern Syria, killing more than 21,000 people in what was the deadliest earthquake seen worldwide in more than a decade.

The Biden administration announced on Monday, soon after the quake struck, that it was coordinating any and all needed assistance with Turkish officials, deploying quickly to support Turkish rescue efforts, and sending a USAID disaster response team into Turkey.


Team Biden was much more muted with regards to Syria, stating that “U.S.-supported humanitarian partners are also responding to the destruction in Syria.”

These comments made clear the Biden administration’s refusal to work with the Syrian government, which has been the target of a U.S. regime-change policy since the early 2000s.

The humanitarian groups to which Biden is referring are NGOs operating in areas outside the control of the Syrian state, which may yet exclude the rest of the country from any such aid, including the badly hit city of Aleppo, which is under Assad government control.[1]

State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters: “I will make the point that it would be quite ironic, if not even counterproductive, for us to reach out to a government that has brutalized its people over the course of a dozen years now—gassing them, slaughtering them, being responsible for much of the suffering that they have endured.”


These statements are callous, misleading and hypocritical.

Callous because of the desperate need for aid to reach Syria to save lives regardless of politics.

Misleading because Price suggests that the Assad government gassed its own people using chemical weapons when strong scientific evidence suggests that these alleged chemical gas attacks, if they actually took place, were carried out by Syrian rebel forces backed by the U.S. and Turkey.

And hypocritical because Washington supports many governments that brutalize their people—including Turkey, which a) has a ghastly record of terrorizing the Kurds; b) supported ISIS in Syria; c) supports Azerbaijan in its assault on Nagorno Karabakh; and d) has adopted increasingly autocratic measures toward dissidents at home under Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Joe Biden and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the G20 summit in Rome, October 2021. [Source:]
But Turkey has been a U.S. ally for decades and a NATO member, and hosts the large Incirlik Air Base.


The Syrian government under Bashar al-Assad, by contrast, humiliated the U.S. by defeating a U.S.-backed uprising over the last decade with Russian assistance. Assad’s government has also allied with Iran and stood up to Israel, while resisting U.S. designs to build an oil pipeline that would have undercut supply routes from Russia.[2]

Bashar al-Assad during victory celebration in Damascus. [Source:]

The Biden administration appears to see the earthquake as an opportunity to advance its regime-change agenda by exacerbating the suffering of the Syrian people and eroding the legitimacy of the government that cannot properly save them.

Erdogan’s government by contrast will gain in legitimacy from a strong response to the quake.

Flight tracker shows the absence of any aircraft in Syrian air space after dealing with the devastating earthquake while almost all aid and rescue teams are heading to Turkey. [Source:]

EU Countries and NATO Follow U.S. Lead

Mimicking the Biden administration, NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg voiced “full solidarity” with ally Turkey, saying he was in touch with Turkey’s top leadership and “NATO allies are mobilizing support now,” completely leaving out Syria.

Jens Stoltenberg [Source:]

British Foreign Minister James Cleverly said the UK was sending Turkey a team of 76 search and rescue specialists, equipment, and rescue dogs as well as emergency medical teams.

Cleverly left out Syria, similar to other Western allies like Germany, Poland and even Greece, Turkey’s historic enemy, which pledged “immediate assistance” to President Erdogan, though not Syria’s Assad—even though Assad issued an international appeal for humanitarian aid.

British Foreign Minister James Cleverly [Source:]

Of the aid that is getting through, the majority is coming from the Global South. Transport planes from the U.A.E., Iran, Oman, Egypt, Iraq, Armenia, China, India, Pakistan, and Russia have landed in Syria loaded with aid; Lebanon has made its sea and airports available for aid shipments Syria, and even Palestine has sent a rescue team.

Great Difficulties

A surgeon from Aleppo, Mohamed Zitoun, who spent years treating casualties from the Syrian war, said that he has never experienced anything like the number of injured and the scale of their injuries from the earthquake, and that the hospital’s emergency teams where he worked at Bab al-Hawa near the Turkish border were running out of antibiotics, sedatives, surgical supplies, blood bags, bandages and drips.[3]

Syria is facing special difficulties responding to the earthquake because a) the only crossing between Syria and Turkey that is approved by the United Nations for transporting international aid into Syria is not functioning, according to UN officials, because of earthquake damage to roads around it; b) Damascus International Airport is still undergoing repairs and maintenance following an Israeli air strike on the facility on January 2, which hinders the landing of humanitarian aid; and c) because of the ravages bred by Syria’s 12-year war and the brutal economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and EU, which are not being lifted.

Israeli air strike targeting Damascus Airport in early January 2023. [Source:]

Al Mayadeen, a pan-Arabist Lebanese journal, reported on February 6 that, “due to the war that weakened the infrastructure in Syria, the draconian Western sanctions imposed on the country, the U.S. occupation of some Syrian land, as well as the looting of billions of dollars of its resources, Syria is unable to fully respond to the tragic catastrophe. As a result, the number of victims of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake is rising.”

U.S. Sanctions and the Caesar Act—an Instrument of Regime Change

The Carter administration first imposed sanctions on Syria in 1979 when it designated Syria as a “state sponsor of terrorism.”

New rounds were imposed in 2004 and 2011 when the U.S.-backed uprising against Assad began and he was accused of human rights abuses.

In December 2019, President Donald Trump signed the Caesar Act, under which anyone doing business with the Syrian authorities potentially became exposed to travel restrictions and financial sanctions while vital medicines and foodstuffs were blocked from entering the country.

The Caesar Act was named after a government defector, Caesar, who leaked thousands of photographs alleging torture of civilians by Assad’s security forces.

Nearly half the photos actually showed government soldiers who had been killed and victims of car bombs and other war-related violence, and many others showed soldiers who had died in combat—not government torture centers.

Caesar’s identity was also unclear and he was suspected of being in the employ of the CIA.

CNN show discussing Caesar’s “torture” report that was a basis for expanded sanctions. [Source:]

Lift Your God Damned Sanctions

Independent journalist Vanessa Beeley posted a report from a northern Syrian resident, Bashar Murtada, on her Telegram channel: “International cargo planes are unable to land at Syrian airports as a result of the U.S. blockade, and countries require Syrian airlines to transport aid on board their civil planes!!! As is well known, the so-called Caesar Act comes in the context of practicing economic terrorism and it is considered one of the most dangerous types of crimes against humanity.”

Vanessa Beeley [Source:]

Beeley posted another statement from Aleppo businessman and former MP Fares Shehabi: “Lift your God damned sanctions so we can open our airports to receive international aid! In Aleppo alone more than 50 buildings have been destroyed resulting in more than 160 deaths so far and thousands of injuries. Thousands of families are now without shelter! What kind of evil governments pose economic & travel sanctions on earthquake devastated nations?!”

Fares Shehabi [Source:]

So Sanctions May Not Turn into a Crime Against Humanity

Shehabi’s response was echoed by the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), which called for the immediate lifting of sanctions imposed on Syria, charging that the current blockade has prevented their organization from carrying out relief operations for the earthquake throughout the country. “We urge the immediate lifting of sanctions on Syria and allowing access to all materials, so sanctions may not turn into a crime against humanity,” said the attendees of the Council in a statement.

Three prominent Christian leaders in Syria released a statement to similar effect, as did the UN Resident Coordinator in Syria, Mostafa Benjamilh, and the President of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Khaled Hboubati, who said during a press conference in Damascus that “the evacuation process and rescue operations are restricted due to obstacles resulting from the severe sanctions. We have shortage in heavy machines and equipment needed to lift the rubble. I don’t mean trucks or bulldozers, I mean specific machines that lift rubble without injuring people trapped under the rubble…. Now, with this natural disaster, it’s time to lift the sanctions.”

John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, and Youssef Al-Absi, Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem, make plea to end the sanctions and embargo imposed by the U.S. and other countries on Syria because they are hindering earthquake relief efforts and costing Syrian lives. [Source:]

A Most Barbaric Response to Human Tragedy

Colonel (Ret.) Richard Black, who flew 299 combat missions in Vietnam and served in the Virginia State Senate as a Republican from 2012 to 2020, has been one of the few former high-ranking military officers or government officials to speak out against U.S. military intervention in places like Syria and Ukraine.

A day after the earthquake, Col. Black characterized the Biden administration’s response as “an act of vengeance against Syria’s rejection to submit to the U.S. regime-change war and sanctions imposed on their country for the past 12 years.”


Col. Black continued: “I have got to tell you, I have never seen such a barbaric response to a tragedy where you literally have people in Aleppo city, Syria who are looking up at piles of concrete, their lives are coming to an end, they’re freezing in the cold. They’re there without food, without water, and they’re dying. Meanwhile, the State Department takes that opportunity to re-emphasize the fact that we are bitter because we could not impose our will on the Syrian people.

“It was in 2020 that the United States imposed the Syria sanctions out of anger at the fact that Syria had driven back the ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists that the United States had supported, and was trying to overwhelm the government with. So, now the State Department looks at this as an opportunity to simply ratchet up the regime of starvation and freezing that we have imposed on Syria through the cruel Caesar sanctions.

“I’m quite disgusted by the actions of the United States State Department. It is really unbecoming of any civilized nation that they would choose this moment to take out their vengeance on the poor suffering people of Syria.”

1.Some of these organizations were infamous for staging false attacks to implicate the Syrian government in crimes it had not committed. Special advisor to Syrian President al-Assad, Bouthaina Shaaban charged that the West provides assistance to support terrorists in areas outside the control of the Syrian state, primarily concerned with protecting Daesh “ISIS,” “Jabhat al-Nusra” and the “White Helmets,” and isn’t interested in areas where most Syrians live.

2.Bashar’s father Hafez had allied with Nasserist Egypt and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. ↑

3.According to U.S. News & World Report, the hospital where Zitoun works is in an opposition-held enclave in northwest Syria, an area which bore the brunt of Russian and Syrian bombing during the country’s conflict, which killed hundreds of thousands, and where the towns are heavily populated with those who fled other areas of Syria. “The first massive wave of patients surpassed the ability of any medical team,” said the surgeon. The outpatient clinic was turned into a ward and mattresses were laid on the floor as the rooms filled with victims and despairing family members. “This is a huge calamity. I lived through shelling and survived massacres. This is totally different, terrifying and horrific.” ↑ ... drop-dead/

Can we imagine that the response from a second Trump regime would be any different? Nope. Viva la difference!

Because both Ds & Rs care more about their partisan intramural bickering than lives and wellbeing of the rest of the world and by every means of propaganda misdirects the attention of the US public shamefully inward. Not a good enough excuse for murder by neglect, the world will not forget. Though the MSM will, in a heartbeat.
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Mon Feb 13, 2023 3:45 pm

State of the Union: Biden’s honest moment “I am a capitalist”
February 13, 2023 Struggle - La Lucha

Tyre Nichols parents at the Capitol for the State of the Union. After a brief acknowledgment, Biden went on to a lengthy praise of the police.

In President Joe Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address on Feb. 7, there was one honest moment. Biden said, “I am a capitalist.”

Well, he fudged a bit; he should have said, I am a capitalist and a servant to capitalism. But that’s a quibble.

Behind all of the rhetoric of “leave nobody behind,” almost everyone — with the exception of the wealthiest 1%, including the arms dealers, big oil and gas, and, of course, the Pentagon — have been left behind.

Major cuts to food stamps

When Biden took the podium, the government had announced it was lifting emergency allotments for food stamps. Severe cuts will begin after Feb. 23, 2023. Thirty million people will be impacted in 32 states; 18 states have already cut benefits. The average cut to benefits is $82 a month.

This is happening in the middle of an inflationary spiral that threatens the working class with runaway food prices and escalating utility and rent costs. Those most impacted will be children and the elderly.

The gap between reality and what Biden said

The reality for workers: In a bipartisan effort, Biden violated the rights of 115,000 unionized railroad workers to strike, consequently denying sick days and forcing an unwanted contract to cater to Wall Street.

And what about the infrastructure bill? As important as new roads and bridges are, it cannot cover up the fact that the Democratic Party and particularly Biden simply surrendered to the right wing.

So much was scuttled: child tax credit payments, guaranteed parental leave, no subsidies for child care expenses, free community college, and funding for public housing repair. Hundreds of billions of dollars in investment in renewable energy was torpedoed.

The urgent need for universal health care has never been clearer.

But instead of taking on big pharma and insurance companies, Biden has been content with putting a cap on the rising cost of insulin for seniors. This is certainly welcome. But on the other hand, ending the emergency measures for COVID will cause the loss of access to free at-home tests, vaccines, and treatments. Pfizer just announced its proposal to charge $110 to $130 per vaccine dose.

Assertions on reproductive rights are hollow

Biden and the Democratic Party used the Supreme Court overturn of Roe v. Wade as a cynical tool to turn out the midterm vote; they could and should have fought back.

Biden has the power to take executive action. He could have declared a public health emergency, bypassed the Hyde Amendment, and allowed Medicaid funds to cover the cost of abortions. The Biden administration could have set up abortion clinics on federal lands in states that have enacted bans.

Tyre Nichols’ parents and police terror

Tyre Nichols’ parents appeared at the State of Union Address at Biden’s request. The depth of their pain is unimaginable, and no matter how small any gesture or reform may appear to be, it is understandable that they would accept Biden’s invitation.

On the other hand, no one should give Joe Biden a pass. Rather than defund the police, he increased their budget. Capital I increased. And after a brief acknowledgment of the Nichols family, Biden then went on to a lengthy praise of the police in general.

If President Biden were serious about addressing white supremacy, there is much he could be doing, including ordering reparations for the descendants of chattel slavery, disarming the police, and implementing community control.

War on Russia & China

Interestingly, in contrast to the non-stop saber-rattling we have heard for months, Biden didn’t seem to talk too much about Putin or the war in Ukraine. Perhaps there is not much more to be said in demonizing Putin. But it might also be that many workers are getting weary of the war and its economic consequences, and it was decided to save this discussion for later in the back rooms.

But this didn’t stop Biden from engaging in demagogic attacks on China. China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mao Ning, replied, “China does not fear competing with the U.S. but is opposed to defining the entire China-U.S. relationship in terms of competition.” She continued, “It is not the practice of a responsible country to smear a country or restrict the country’s legitimate development rights under the excuse of competition, even at the expense of disrupting the global industrial and supply chain.”

On the Pentagon budget, there is unity

On Feb. 12, the Hill reported, “A growing number of Senate Republicans are saying that President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) should take defense spending cuts off the table in their negotiation over the debt ceiling.”

While little was said by Biden in his State of the Union on Pentagon spending, he is planning to ask Congress for the largest Pentagon budget in history. This is according to the Defense Department’s chief financial officer.

Pentagon Comptroller Michael McCord said, “I do expect it will be a bigger number than Congress provided last year.” In December, $858 billion was allocated to defense spending, $45 billion more than Biden requested. This included $817 billion for the Pentagon and billions for nuclear weapons development through the Energy Department and other national security programs.

It is no wonder that with all of the theater associated with the State of the Union Address — that is, the handshaking, the tear-jerking introductions of guests, and yes, even the shouts of “liar” from Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Green — one thing remains constant. The stoney-faced military generals remain silent and seated at the front as a constant reminder of their power as unshakeable servants to U.S. imperialism, regardless of the president at the podium. ... apitalist/

Cuba and Biden’s ‘State of the Union’
February 13, 2023 José Ramón Cabañas Rodríguez

“Bob I really need to talk to you about Cuba.”

As happens every year, the act known as the presidential State of the Union address has just taken place in the U.S. Capitol, an exercise that has been carried out publicly and uninterruptedly since 1913 and that aims to provide a kind of balance on the situation of the country and the development of the agenda of the first president, who at that time is in power. George Washington initiated the practice in 1790, but Thomas Jefferson discontinued it (the public session) in 1801.

With the passage of time, this exercise has become one more act of political campaigning, which for its simplicity at times competes with the contents of the so-called reality shows, whether on television or social networks.

During most speeches over the decades, every president has claimed that his administration has been the best of all past and future administrations, consistently criticized his opponents and proclaimed them guilty of his failures both inside and outside Congress, and, as a rule, pointed to external enemies as demons responsible for all planetary ills. Rarely is there any introspective, self-critical, or factual analysis.

It is also an act that gradually loses originality because the poses are the same, the signs are repeated with the index finger towards the audience with the other hand placed on the heart, the formal applause is repeated when naming special guests who are in the audience and some of the ladies present wipe with similar discipline real or figurative tears when mentioning recent deaths (which are always in terms of ultimate sacrifice) or other events that provoke unequaled emotion.

More than 90% of the time the television cameras are focused on the figure of the president, plus the vice-president and the leader of the House, who are positioned behind the former. Depending on whether or not these actors belong to the same party, their histrionics, clapping and facial gestures are more or less intense.

In spite of this, an army of U.S. analysts is attentive before, during and after the speech to draw conclusions of all kinds, measure records, build scenarios and talk about agendas and legacies, even if the incumbent government is more, or less, efficient. Phrases are coined and headlines are launched for 24 or 48 hours, until new events bury the whole event in history.

In this text we do not intend to make an analysis of the content of the last text, since at this moment other specialists are engaged in these ponderations from the Cuban perspective and will expose their results shortly.

In this opportunity, the presidential phrase that caused immediate commotion among some politicians, journalists and observers who make a career in that country at the expense of the “Cuban issue” and that led them to use their thumbs intensely to write urgent messages on social networks on their cell phone screens, was said by the president after the speech.

It was at a time when Biden was not speaking officially in front of the cameras either, but was clapping his hands in a friendly manner and politely greeting friends and personalities present, who came to listen to him. In the first circle that gathered around the president when he came down from the podium, there was not the recipient of a phrase that the president addressed to him when he recognized him from a distance. Biden waved his hand and said, “Bob, I really need to talk to you about Cuba.” Screenshot 2023-02-11 at 19-36-50 Title President Joe Biden talks with Sen. Bob Menendez after 2023 State of the Union address Fox News Video

Bob is Robert Menendez, a Democratic senator who is chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, recently survived corruption charges, and claims to have the “ear of the president” on Cuban issues. In other words, he is the alter ego of Marco Rubio, who apparently had access to the same part of the body ofTrump with relative ease.

Bob and Marquito have competed for years in the management of federal budgets for “regime change” in Cuba, with which they have guaranteed lifetime salaries for their supporters and sufficient contributions for their reelections. By the way neither of them have been able to link their names to any legislation of significance to ordinary Americans.

Upon hearing of Bob’s subpoena, the speculative mushroom cloud immediately spread over Miami. Some congressmen with less flight time (and brain cells) began to express concern about “possible concessions to tyranny”, others waited a few hours to reiterate the litany of issues that separate them from the ideological borders with the island.

There has been terror, for example, at the speculation that there might be some relaxation of the rules limiting the rights of U.S. citizens to travel to Cuba. Imagine thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of Americans picking up the rhythms of 2018 and 2019, visiting the Island to return and say “but in Cuba I did not find enemies, I was treated with more civility than in other destinations”.

Among those who classify themselves as “experts on Cuban issues”, because they drink cortadito coffee, eat yucca for lunch once a week and hum Guantanamera without being able to quote the verses, crossword puzzles were set up to imagine the future decisions of the White House regarding Cuba.

In practical terms, what has been happening in recent weeks is that limited steps have been taken “in the right direction” and the damage to the bilateral relationship caused by the previous misgovernment has been minimally corrected. A new cycle has been completed, according to which the irresponsible actions of the U.S. authorities on the immigration issue (and many others) with respect to Cuba, had a direct impact on the generation of an irregular flow of migrants, which does not contribute to the national interest of the United States as a whole.

After listening as president-elect to the summaries of federal agency specialists, which indicated the end of history for Cuba, an already acting Biden waited for months in silence to make a first move on Cuba. Then came the “events of July 11” and the recycled Obamistas felt they had reason enough to wage their own war.

As much as they talked about police abuses, convictions of minors and repressed artists, they managed to confuse many, but only for a short time. The chain of events that they expected (the collapse) did not happen and that they predicted later for a November 25 that did not register any events to speak about. It was enough, rather than leaders with alternative platforms and popular demonstrations, the planners of hard and soft coups saw from their computer screens how those operatives who were part of their “new Cuba” obtained visas, packed their bags and transited through Cuban airports on trips abroad without being disturbed.

The White House quietly asked around Pennsylvania Avenue for answers and found none. Then came another attempt to isolate Cuba at the international level, but still without a proper reading of the events taking place in the Latin American and Caribbean environment. And then came the spiritual fracture of the nasal septum with what happened at the Summit of the Americas organized in Los Angeles. The one who was going to isolate the others remained isolated (for the umpteenth time). The remake of Cartagena de Indias.

No one knows for sure if when Biden said “seriously” to Bob, he meant to ask him for advice that really worked, or to ask him to account for previous proposals that proved to be no longer functional.

Anyone who has had the opportunity to know how American protocol works knows that there are no coincidences, no unplanned phrases, no open microphones by chance. This was not the case when President Obama greeted Army General Raul Castro during Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

Obviously, no one is talking about the secret behind the events referred to is that a process of exchange similar to what happened then can be foreseen, among other things because Cuba, the United States and the world have changed profoundly. There is another radically different ingredient; Washington and Havana do not need to “start” a negotiation, because they are fully aware of those issues that make sense for bilateral cooperation and those on which there are irreconcilable differences.

Moreover, behind each of the 22 memorandums of understanding signed between 2015 and 2017, between the US and Cuba, there is literally a legion of experts, scientists, academics, businessmen and ordinary people who defend the desirability of a constructive dialogue with Cuba. That position also extends to the communities of Cubans living in different parts of the U.S. geography that have seen postponed for years the possibility of hugging a relative, visiting the grave of a friend on the Island, sharing with their godfather of religion, or listening in silence to the rhythms of a music that has been tried to be copied many times, but that only sounds good in the largest Island of the Antilles.

We do not know if the dialogue between the president and the senator, between Joe and Bob has already taken place, however what does seem to be a reality is that some are once again strongly defending in those latitudes the “contaminating embrace” versus the “destructive attack”, or a combination of both, but leaving a space that allows firsthand knowledge of what is happening in Cuba and also to have the possibility of interrelating (and influencing) with the Cuban actors in a direct way.

Although the White House is covering its ears, the Latin American and global message that Cuba is a full and active member of both communities, in which it also has great leadership capacity, is increasingly heard. The G77 plus China has just said it loud and clear. ... er-demons/

Lotta talk hereabouts concerning Sy Hersh's latest, notable peers pointing out various inconstancy and loose ends with much indicating that is a 'limited hangout' , meant to hang the opprobrium on the Biden regime and away from those notable 3 letter agencies...proly something like that.
And surely plenty blame to go around, we should not be enticed into their partisan games.

But only the dumb think the Nordstream attack anything but an unlawful attack meant to corral shaky allies and ultimately targeting Germany's economy.

The world recognizes the greatness of heart of the Cuban people, the longer the USA persecutes those people the more we will be despised by honest folks.
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Thu Feb 23, 2023 4:34 pm

President Joe Biden greets Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at the 2023 State of the Union address. (Jacquelyn Martin)

Biden DOJ backing Norfolk Southern’s bid to block lawsuits
Originally published: The Lever on February 16, 2023 by Rebecca Burns & Julia Rock (more by The Lever) | (Posted Feb 23, 2023)

A looming Supreme Court decision could end up making it easier for the railroad giant whose train derailed in Ohio this month to block lawsuits, including from victims of the disaster.

In the case against Norfolk Southern, the Biden administration is siding with the railroad in its conflict with a cancer-stricken former rail worker. A high court ruling for Norfolk Southern could create a national precedent limiting where workers and consumers can bring cases against corporations.

The lawsuit in question, filed initially in a Pennsylvania county court in 2017, deals with a state law that permits plaintiffs to file suit against any corporation registered to do business there, even if the actions that gave rise to the case occurred elsewhere.

In its fight against the lawsuit, Norfolk Southern is asking the Supreme Court to uphold the lower court ruling, overturn Pennsylvania’s law, and restrict where corporations can be sued, upending centuries of precedent.

Oral arguments in the case were held last fall, and a ruling is expected from the Supreme Court in the coming months.

If the court rules in favor of Norfolk Southern, it could overturn plaintiff-friendly laws on the books in states including Pennsylvania, New York, and Georgia that give workers and consumers more leeway to choose where they take corporations to court–an advantage national corporations already enjoy, as they often require customers and employees to agree to file litigation in specific locales whose laws make it harder to hold companies accountable.

Limiting lawsuits is exactly what the American Association of Railroads (AAR), the industry’s primary lobbying group, wants. The organization filed a brief on the side of Norfolk Southern in the case, arguing that a ruling in favor of the plaintiff would open up railroads to more litigation.

It is also apparently what the Biden administration wants–the Justice Department filed its own brief in favor of Norfolk Southern.

Should Norfolk Southern prevail, the company could use the ruling to challenge other lawsuits on the grounds that they’re filed in the wrong venue, said Scott Nelson, an attorney with the Public Citizen Litigation Group, which filed a brief backing the plaintiff in the Pennsylvania case.

Such a decision could affect lawsuits filed by residents exposed to hazardous chemicals as the result of accidents in other states–such as the East Palestine, Ohio, derailment disaster, which occurred five miles west of the Pennsylvania state line.

“[Norfolk Southern] might say, ‘You can only sue us in Ohio or Virginia [where Norfolk Southern is headquartered],’ even if you were injured at your home in Pennsylvania from an accident that took place five miles away in Ohio,” Nelson said.

(more...) ... -lawsuits/

Which side are you on, Joe?

Where does the perfidy of the Democrats end?

Well, it doesn't. It won't under some new 'standard bearer' either, it is a capitalist party.

We should also ask 'Where does the incredulity, cowardice and class interest of the so-called environmental movement end?' How can you continue to support these lying bastards?
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Fri Feb 24, 2023 3:18 pm

Biden’s harshest immigration policy yet places impossible demands on asylum seekers

The “transit ban” would render migrants ineligible for US asylum if they do not apply for, and are denied, asylum in each country they pass through

February 22, 2023 by Natalia Marques

March in Minneapolis on November 30, 2018 to welcome Honduran refugees and protest against troops on the border. Photo: Fibonacci Blue

On Tuesday, February 21, US President Joe Biden announced a policy proposal that would largely bar migrants who passed through other countries on their way to the US from securing asylum. This “transit ban” was proposed by the Trump administration but struck down by courts multiple times.

This newest policy proposal is set to go into effect on May 11, after a 30-day public comment period if it is not similarly struck down. May 11 is a significant date as it is when the Trump-era Title 42 immigration restrictions will expire, which used the COVID-19 health emergency as an excuse to allow immigrants to be swiftly expelled to Mexico. If taken into effect, Biden’s proposed policy would last two years. This is the strictest immigration policy that Biden has enacted thus far.

The proposal would force migrants to first seek and be denied asylum in each country they pass through before entering the US, in order to be eligible for asylum. Asylum seekers would also be required to make an appointment with an immigration official through an app, CBP One, in order to be eligible for asylum and avoid swift deportation.

Migrant advocates insist that these are absurd requirements that pose unnecessary logistical difficulties on immigrants. CBP One is only available in English and Spanish, creating a language barrier for non Spanish-speaking immigrants such as Haitians, for example, who represent the third largest national group seeking US (affirmative) asylum, following Venezuela and Guatemala. The software for the app is also reportedly glitchy and overloaded with thousands of immigrants trying to schedule appointments, forcing people to wake up at the crack of dawn to secure a slot, if they’re lucky.

Applying for asylum in Central American countries as well as Mexico also poses unnecessary difficulties, which often contend with the same “dangerous conditions” that migrants are fleeing from, Daniel Flores of the Council of Mexican Federations in North America (COFEM) told Peoples Dispatch.

“For example, places like Mexico, Guatemala, have very limited systems that don’t really have the capacity to handle the traffic of applications coming from the immigrant communities. They have a limited amount of judges. They have a limited amount of courtrooms,” Flores said.

“The asylum system is meant for people to seek protection in a place where they feel safe,” Alaide Vilchis Ibarra, Director of the Value Our Families Campaign told Peoples Dispatch. “It shouldn’t be up to our systems to decide where people feel safe.”

Biden’s move is not an outlier. The proposed policy places unnecessary, and some would say cruel, restrictions on asylum seekers. In this way, it is not dissimilar to restrictive policies such as Trump’s Title 42, or pushes for border militarization in the past few decades. After the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) destabilized Mexico’s agricultural economy and precipitated the decadeslong migrant crisis at the US’s southern border, President Bill Clinton launched Operation Gatekeeper to restrict and deter immigration through border militarization.

In the 20 years since it was launched, US immigration policies have caused the deaths of possibly more than 29,000 according to Border Angels, whether at the hands of border control, dehydration and exhaustion, criminal violence, or other causes. Even conservative estimates indicate approximately a death a day since the inception of Operation Gatekeeper. Since 2010, over 250 people have died as a result of an encounter with a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. No CBP officer has ever been convicted of a killing while on duty. US officials have all but admitted that in terms of policies for containing immigration, cruelty was an effective deterrent. “We did believe that geography would be an ally to us… It was our sense that the number of people crossing the border through Arizona would go down to a trickle once people realized what it’s like,” said former commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) Doris Meissner in 2000. ... m-seekers/

Thank the gods below that the racist Trump didn't get re-elected...oh wait.
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Sat Feb 25, 2023 3:28 pm

Democrats Praise Bush, Want More Small-Business War Profiteers


Well it’s another big day for Democrats doing Democraty things.

At a Friday event commemorating the 20th anniversary of the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) hosted by the George W Bush Institute, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke glowingly of the president who instituted the program in 2003 at the same time he was preparing to launch an invasion which would inflict unfathomable horrors upon our world which continue to unfold to this day.

“I’ll just say this honestly, that the Bush family, it’s because of their humanity, their faith, their generosity of spirit, their compassion,” said Pelosi. “Once again, it’s an honor to be associated with President Bush in this.”

Pelosi then pointed to the former president, who was also joined by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and oligarch Bill Gates, with video appearances by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Bono of U2 fame.

Also on Friday we witnessed what Glenn Greenwald described as the “most Elizabeth Warren tweet ever,” in which the Massachusetts senator took a bold stand against Big War Profiteering to advocate on behalf of the little guy (by which I mean Small War Profiteering).

“In the 1990s, America had 51 major contractors bidding for defense work,” tweeted Warren from her government account. “Today, there are only five massive companies remaining. Defense contracting should be reworked to break up the massive contracts awarded to the big guys and create opportunities for firms of all sizes.”

Yeah that’s the real problem, Liz. It’s not that the war industry reaps huge profits from global militarism and nonstop warmongering, it’s that the war industry doesn’t include enough plucky small businesses. Won’t somebody please think of the mom and pop war profiteers? They’ve been forced to close their small community military-industrial complex shops by Walmartian “big guys” like Raytheon and Northrop Grumman!

This is almost as embarrassing as Warren’s 2019 push to convert the US war machine to clean energy, saying “We don’t have to choose between a green military and an effective one” on the campaign trail during her run for president.


Because that’s what being a progressive Democrat means in 2023: backing the imperial war machine to the hilt and gushing about how wonderful and compassionate the Bush family is while calling for sustainably powered aircraft carriers and more small businesses in the military-industrial complex. A Ukrainian flag on an electric car. This is as far left as you’re allowed to go in the political landscape of the most powerful nation on earth without being branded a treasonous Kremlin operative.

This is the Democratic Party’s true face. This is the Democrats telling you who they really are. Their whole function is to divert all meaningful leftward movement away from inconvenient areas like demilitarization and economic justice and toward convenient areas like whether there should be solar panels on Abrams tanks. And toward that end they have been very, very successful.

The sooner Americans stop falling for the fake two-party puppet show and begin pushing for real change, the sooner our world can move toward health. These people do not care about you. ... rofiteers/

Red = money shot.

Defund the Pentagon. jfc, how many problems would that address?

The Dems will do that right after they repeal Taft-Hartley....
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