Sympathy for the Devils...

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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Fri Jul 29, 2022 4:35 pm

Punch Left Move Right: Stacey Abrams and the Democratic Party Shuffle
Erica Caines 29 Jun 2022

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Photo: StaceyAbrams.com

Stacey Abrams's campaign to become Governor of Georgia features the popular democratic strategy of pretending to be progressive while advocating for right wing issues, such as allocating more money to the police.

Since the beginning of the uprisings that swept the nation in 2020, in response to anti-Black state violence, Democrats have pushed back against calls to "defund the police" at every step. Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign platform called for an additional $300 million in federal incentives, “to reinvigorate community policing in our country,” while South Carolina congressman James Clyburn insisted that “defunding the police” hurt Democratic congressional candidates. Despite riding the coattails of an anti-police movement with platitudes of reform, the Democratic party has continuously cemented their belief in the institution of policing.

The institution of policing in the U.S, however, is used to enforce the status quo of white power and colonial control over the lives of Black, Brown, and other oppressed nations of people. The economic and social crisis facing the Black working-class in the U.S. has repeatedly gone unresolved by elected officials. The U.S is in a crisis of austerity. Lack of equitable and affordable housing in favor of gentrification, food deserts, and low wages have been pressing issues in the U.S as inflation grows, with no safety net policies during an ongoing pandemic. These unrecognized violent acts against colonized communities across the country have had no resolution in the form of allocating resources to build and sustain necessary institutions, but instead have been met with exuberant calls from democrats to “fund the police !”

So when Georgia's “progressive” democratic gubernatorial candidate, Stacey Abrams, tweeted on June 23rd, “Law enforcement are often paid less than a living wage, and that is wrong,” it should come as no surprise. The absurd claims of underpayment in a sad attempt to align cops with workers serves as another example of the typical campaign strategy of the Democratic Party — punch left and move right. Abrams’ tweets comes after her opponent, incumbent Republican Governor Brian Kemp, released a targeted ad accusing her of supporting grassroots “defunding the police” campaigns. Abrams, of course, doubled down on her centrist-right politics insisting she has never advocated for defunding law enforcement.

There’s a lot of confusion around Abrams because of her impressive ability to wield progressive messaging in order to move up the political ladder in furtherance of her career goals. Yet the actual political moves Abrams has made are a clear reminder that being Black does not make one inherently progressive. One does not move from tax lawyer to Democratic leader in the Georgia House to two gubernatorial races without making concessions. For instance, although grassroots Black- led organizations did the heavy lifting on changing the voting demographics in Georgia, Michael Bloomberg’s $5 million donation to the Fair Fight Political Action Committee platformed her as the woman who turned Georgia ‘purple.’ The misdirected investment in securing democratic wins in the state made it easy to dismiss the criticisms of what it meant for Abrams to cut deals with the man that criminalized Black communities through “Stop and Frisk” and other mechanisms. Just as the criticisms of her recent tweets advocating for the basic welfare of police officers will be dismissed because we have once again arrived at, “the most important elections of our lives.”

Abrams lied. Police officers, on average, are not underpaid. The national median annual wage for police and detectives was $66,020 in May 2021. Furthermore, in her very own state, there are efforts to build Cop City , a $90 million police-training facility south of Atlanta. Abrams has yet to speak on this deforestation effort being pushed through with a completely undemocratic process. While expressing empathy for cops in a state where Black people are under tremendous economic pressure, with the the second highest inflation rate in 2022, suffering from brutal police abuse, not much has been said by Abrams about The Atlanta Police Foundation, the main force behind cop city, providing free housing for cops throughout Atlanta while workers maneuver through surviving gentrification. When she insists that alongside increased wages, she will “develop guidelines for police department policies that govern community relations and transparency,” she is merely repeating a proven fallacy that increasing funding for police will transform into reforming the institution of policing.

Politician(s) who are choosing to center funding policing in lieu of funding and sustaining necessary institutions, as the masses plummet further and further into despair, are merely preparing for the inevitable. Increased prices in gas, food and housing as countless billions of dollars continue to be sent to Ukraine has exposed “U.S democracy” as the joke that it is. Coupling the existing material conditions of the masses of workers in the U.S with the recent Supreme Court rulings overturning Roe v Wade and stripping away the power of Miranda rights, the strategy of “punch left move right” to save the U.S. becomes clearer. The U.S government can only fend off another uprising for so long under these circumstances. It is clear that particular moves are being made to ensure that protests are contained as much as possible, if not altogether stamped out.

Abrams and other political officials calling for more funding and protections for police, despite how “important” their electoral races may be, are the class enemies of workers. As yet another “most important election” draws nearer, instead of looking for democratic politicians (including Black ones) to save us, we should start to accept that they’re incapable because they don’t want to help, and take seriously the ideas of organizing to build toward people-centered human rights solutions of our own.

https://www.blackagendareport.com/punch ... ty-shuffle

For the Dems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOPDzD_P9gg
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Mon Aug 08, 2022 2:57 pm

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Inside the Democrats’ climate deal with the devil
Originally published: openDemocracy on August 2, 2022 by Aaron White (more by openDemocracy) | (Posted Aug 06, 2022)

Last week, Joe Manchin, the West Virginia senator whose decisive vote in the evenly split upper house has led some to brand him ‘President Manchin’, and Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer surprised even the most clued-in political junkies by announcing support for a climate bill that had been declared dead just several weeks before.

The 725-page legislation seemed a brief respite from a summer of extreme weather–a brutal heatwave and flooding across the U.S.–as well as soaring inflation, a cost of living crisis and radical Supreme Court rulings that overturned abortion rights and limited the regulatory power of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Manchin, the top recipient in the U.S. Congress of fossil fuel cash, had previously killed President Joe Biden’s more ambitious climate package. But there are signs that this time may be different.

For one, this is now Manchin’s package. He even named it the Inflation Reduction Act (extraordinary abbreviated to IRA).

It’s a far cry from Biden’s Build Back Better plan or the 2019 Green New Deal, the congressional resolution proposed by two Democrats, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey and New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The IRA includes nearly $370bn in clean (and dirty) energy as well as healthcare and tax provisions that will lower the costs of prescription drugs and implement a 15% corporate tax on large businesses.

But it has already been endorsed by key progressives in Congress, including Markey and Ocasio-Cortez. The IRA followed unprecedented sit-ins by congressional staffers demanding the party leadership reopen climate negotiations before departing Washington DC for the August recess.

Through tax credits and rebates, the IRA bill offers domestic green energy incentives, including the manufacture of electric vehicles, wind turbines, heat pumps and solar panels. It also includes a methane fee and establishes a national green bank, which would leverage private funding for green projects and unleash an estimated $290bn in further investment.

Democrats and climate experts claim the package will cut carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. Overall, the proposed legislation will make it more affordable for people to access clean technology.

But the full picture isn’t quite so rosy, or, in this case green.

Unlike last year’s Build Back Better package, the IRA actually incentivizes fossil fuel production. The bill that Manchin killed had the clean electricity program, which would penalize utilities that didn’t transition to renewable energy. The IRA bill’s ‘all of the above’ energy strategy invests in developments that will mean further greenhouse gas emissions. New solar and wind projects are contingent on approval for oil and gas leases on millions of acres of public land and waters. And there is a provision that locks in new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska. (Many climate groups are now mobilizing against these elements.)

Schumer has also agreed to support legislation that will make it easier to approve green energy as well as fossil fuels projects, such as the Mountain Valley Pipeline that Manchin desperately wants.

It’s no surprise then that the package was reportedly pushed and subsequently lauded by a diverse coalition of capital that includes Bill Gates and Exxon Mobil executives.

So, the IRA is a very dirty and risky trade-off, but one that Democrats will probably take.

This ostensibly ‘moderate’ approach of working alongside the fossil industry and even incentivizing production is radically destructive. It is in direct opposition to a recent report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which states that we need “immediate and deep emissions reductions” to keep global warming to 1.5°C.

‘Merica loves its cars
In typical American fashion, the IRA bill is also into cars. Big ones. It includes billions of dollars worth of rebates for electric vehicles–$7,500 tax credit for a new purchase and $4,000 for used–and incentives for companies to manufacture and source vehicles, batteries and minerals in the U.S. or in a country with a U.S. free-trade agreement.

As Jael Holzman outlines in E&E News, which covers energy and environmental policy, this requirement will probably create major barriers to accessing the credit. “Minerals required to make market-ready EV batteries–lithium, cobalt, graphite and nickel–are primarily mined, refined and processed in China and Russia or in less adversarial nations like the Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia that aren’t parties to U.S. free trade agreements,” she points out.

The bill even incentivizes the purchasing of larger electric vehicles such as trucks and SUVs, which are, as Aaron Gordon notes in Vice, “incredibly energy intensive”.

Notably, there is no mention or support for other modes of transport such as trains, electric bikes or even walking. So much for investing in the transition of urban and public spaces to be more green and enjoyable. The IRA bill is classic Americanah, but with a touch of green.

The proposed package has a paltry $1bn for energy and water efficiency in affordable housing. The communities most impacted by the climate crisis, the housing crisis and the cost of living crisis are abandoned once more at a time when Democrats are hemorrhaging working class support.

How about the rest of the world?
It’s striking but not surprising that the U.S. can annually approve, with bipartisan support, nearly $800bn in military spending, but not a climate finance plan for the most climate-vulnerable countries.

The U.S. is responsible for the largest share of historical greenhouse gas emissions but Congress only approved $1bn in climate finance in this year’s spending bill. (Biden pledged to increase this to an annual $11.4bn by 2024 but this requires congressional approval.) The IRA is silent on global climate finance.

But it’s not just absence. The U.S. Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate hike to combat inflation at home is exacerbating the global debt crisis in developing countries. This is making it even more difficult for those least responsible for and most directly impacted by the climate crisis to adapt to our rapidly warming planet.

But given the current composition and corruption of the U.S. political system, the dire state of the planet, and the many many defeats of climate and social legislation, many progressives would have taken any serious climate investment. It is certainly true that this is the largest investment in renewable energy in U.S. history, but that’s really not saying much.

Next time let’s hope it’s far bolder, just, global–and finally pisses off the fossil fuel industry.

https://mronline.org/2022/08/06/inside- ... the-devil/

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Schumer lets Aide kill key drug price reforms
Originally published: The Lever on August 6, 2022 by David Sirota (more by The Lever) | (Posted Aug 08, 2022)

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) let a U.S. Senate adviser kill key parts of Democrats’ promised drug pricing legislation, as Schumer has become the Senate’s second largest recipient of pharmaceutical industry cash.

On Saturday, the Senate’s parliamentary adviser Elizabeth MacDonough — who Schumer can remove — issued a non-binding advisory opinion saying Democrats should remove provisions in their spending bill that would punish drugmakers for inflating their prices for patients in private health insurance plans. The provision could have saved $40 billion, according to one estimate.

“The exclusion of the private insurance price limits means there is little left that will reduce costs for the vast majority of Americans who receive health insurance through their private sector employer,” reported Politico.

MacDonough also advised Democrats against including a provision in their legislation to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 a month for people on private insurance plans. Democrats ultimately held a failed vote to overrule her on the insulin cap.

Democrats’ legislation does still allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time — but only on 10 drugs by 2026, and eventually 20 drugs per year. Removing the inflation cap will substantially limit protections for patients on private health insurance plans. Medicare patients will benefit from the $35 cap on out-of-pocket insulin costs, but patients on private insurance plans will not.

Taken together, Democrats’ signature drug pricing measure is now a shell of the proposal that lawmakers debated for much of last year, and far weaker than the compromise deal negotiated by the party’s drug industry allies.

“Unfortunate Ruling”

Like Republicans have done in the past, Schumer could simply fire MacDonough or the Democrats’ presiding officer of the Senate could ignore her opinions. Instead, though, Schumer has issued public statements lamenting the advisories, but refusing to do anything to change, stop, or ignore them.

Before this, he allowed the parliamentarian to initially kill Democrats’ promised $15-minimum wage legislation, and then eight Senate Democrats voted with Republicans to prevent it from being revived. The parliamentarian also killed Democrats’ immigration reform plan.

In this new case, pharmaceutical lobbyists have been working with Republican lawmakers to help them influence MacDonough’s advisories.

“While there was one unfortunate ruling in that the inflation rebate is more limited in scope, the overall program remains intact,” Schumer said of his aide’s latest non-binding opinions.

MacDonough, the parliamentarian, also helped kill the $35 cap on out-of-pocket costs for insulin. Democrats could have ignored her advice but didn’t, before trying to keep the measure in the bill anyway.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) raised a point of order, which led to a vote to keep the measure in the bill that would have required 60 votes to succeed. Handled differently, Democrats could have set up a scenario in which it may have required 60 votes to exclude the provision from the bill.

In the end, all 50 Democrats voted to keep the insulin cap in the bill, along with seven Republicans, and it failed.

Pharma Cash Floods Into Democratic Coffers

Schumer’s refusal to do anything about the parliamentary adviser’s edict on the drug inflation cap comes as he has raked in more than $289,000 from donors in the pharmaceutical and health products industry during his 2022 election campaign. Eight of the Senate’s top 10 recipients of donations from that industry are Democrats.

That includes Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who has raked in more than $556,000 from the industry since 2017. She has also benefited from a flood of supportive TV ads from a Big Pharma front group.

Sinema recently said her support of the bill would be subject to the parliamentarian’s review. She previously said:

There is no instance in which I would overrule a parliamentarian’s decision.

Yet, Sinema actually voted on Sunday to overrule the parliamentarian and keep the $35 insulin cap in the bill. Perhaps she would have voted differently if the measure had a genuine shot at passage.

In all, the pharmaceutical and health products industry has funneled more than $61 million to Democratic candidates in the last two election cycles, far more than it gave to GOP lawmakers in the same time period.

https://mronline.org/2022/08/08/schumer ... e-reforms/

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Dems’ gift to their Wall Street donors
Originally published: The Lever on August 4, 2022 by Matthew Cunningham-Cook & Andrew Perez (more by The Lever) | (Posted Aug 07, 2022)

Democrats and the Washington press corps spent the last week insisting that the party was about to close a notorious tax loophole that allows many Wall Street billionaires to pay a lower tax rate than most Americans.

In truth, the proposal would have left most of the loophole open, fulfilling Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) longstanding pledge to protect the private equity industry that bankrolls his campaigns. Now, the plan is gone.

On Thursday night, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), a favorite of private equity donors, announced that Democrats “have agreed to remove the carried interest tax provision.” Meanwhile, President Joe Biden–who pledged to close the loophole–continues to decline to try to use his executive tax enforcement authority to shut the tax break.

Taken together, Democrats’ bait and switch allowed party lawmakers to pretend they were finally cracking down on private equity moguls, while actually protecting them.

That political gift to Wall Street comes after the private equity industry has delivered $83 million to Democratic politicians and $62 million to Republicans at the federal level over the last two election cycles. That includes $1.2 million to Schumer in just the last cycle, and $283,000 to Sinema.

Despite the fact the provision was always set to mostly preserve the loophole, corporate media outlets echoed Democratic leaders’ insistence that they were closing it–even as a major corporate law firm and other experts acknowledged that was not actually happening.

“Contrary To Discussions In The Media”
At issue is the so-called “carried interest” tax loophole, which permits private equity managers to classify their earnings as capital gains rather than regular income. That allows them to have portions of their income taxed at the lower capital gains rate of 20 percent, as opposed to the top income rate of 37 percent.

Democratic politicians have long pledged to close the loophole, and they have previously introduced legislation to reap $63 billion by completely eliminating it. They spent the last week insisting their new Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) would do that.

“I think the people that have benefited from carried interest for years and years and years knew that they had a good run, it was long overdue to get rid of it and you can’t justify it anymore,” Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told The Hill last week.

However, the proposal negotiated by Manchin and Schumer rejected the party’s previous legislation and would have only slightly limited the tax break.

Instead of generating $63 billion in savings, as a 2021 proposal to fully close the loophole would, the new version would have only recouped $14 billion–effectively preserving most of the controversial tax break.

The measure would have only increased the time that firms must hold assets in order for their income to qualify as carried interest, changing it from three years to five years.

This reform would have increased the amount of private equity income subject to taxes at the ordinary rates, but only modestly, because many private equity investments last far longer than five years.

For instance: The Carlyle Group’s investment in Manorcare, a nursing home company, lasted 11 years. Petsmart has been in BC Partners’ portfolio for more than seven years. The Blackstone Group held Hilton Hotels for 11 years.

Tax law professor Victor Fleischer, a former top Democratic tax policy aide on Capitol Hill who initiated the effort to end the carried interest loophole in 2007, said on Twitter,

The Schumer-Manchin deal on carried interest isn’t great. All it does is extend the holding period from 3 to 5 years… Most private equity deals are 5-7 years, so most carried interest will continue to be taxed as long term capital gain.

DLA Piper, a law firm with a large private equity practice, noted in a client alert last week, the IRA “would not, contrary to discussions in the media, close the carried interest loophole.”

One way to know for sure: As corporate lobbyist Liam Donovan tweeted, existing Democratic legislation to fully close the loophole would have raised more than four times as much revenue as the provision originally included in the Manchin-Schumer deal.

Big Donors To Democrats
It should not come as a shock that Democrats weren’t pushing to outright close the carried interest loophole.

Schumer, for example, has long been an ally of the private equity industry. In 2009 and 2010, he tried adding a poison pill to a legislative effort to kill the loophole.

His recent carried interest proposal arrived just days before a private equity giant hired his son-in-law.

The industry has also showered President Joe Biden with cash. Private equity manager Marc Lasry raised more than $3 million for Biden’s 2020 campaign, while Blackstone Group executives donated $350,000 to a pro-Biden super PAC.

While the IRA would not have closed the carried interest loophole, and would not have affected the majority of private equity income, the industry went through the motions of pressing allied lawmakers to strip the carried interest changes out of the bill.

After many news stories indicated Sinema was pushing to remove the measure, she issued a statement saying that Democrats are nixing the carried interest proposal. She added that she’s planning to work with Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), to “enact carried interest tax reforms, protecting investments in America’s economy and encouraging continued growth while closing the most egregious loopholes that some abuse to avoid paying taxes.”

Corporate Media Gets The Story Wrong
As the private equity industry and Sinema worked to kill Democrats’ carried interest proposal, corporate media outlets repeatedly oversold the measure, saying it would end the loophole entirely. These mistakes had the effect of making Schumer and Manchin look like populist heroes while also providing cover to those who wanted the measure gone.

On Wednesday, NPR compared the current carried interest language to a 2019 proposal that would have also raised $14 billion over a decade, rather than the gold standard 2021 proposal from Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), which would have raised $63 billion over a decade.

In their August 2021 press release, Wyden and Whitehouse said, “Unlike other bills, the senators’ bill would close the entire carried interest loophole.” Similarly, Punchbowl News, one of the Beltway’s most reliable purveyors of corporate spin, oversold the carried interest changes several times.

Last week, Punchbowl asserted that the Manchin-Schumer “plan eliminates the carried-interest loophole.” Punchbowl similarly wrote on Wednesday,

Perhaps the biggest question in the reconciliation process is whether the elimination of the carried-interest loophole makes it through Congress.

https://mronline.org/2022/08/07/dems-gi ... et-donors/

And there ya go....It isn't what you'd thought it would be and was never intended to be such. It's worse than nothing, as now the Dems will parade that they've finally done something and are absolved, in the media's eyes anyway, from doing something effective.

The only promise Joe Biden has kept is the one to his real constituency, the rich, that "nothing would change", at a time when change is screamingly required. People will suffer, wars instigated, life on this planet will die back, because the rich like it that way and they own two political parties to keep it that way.
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Wed Aug 17, 2022 5:49 pm

PSL Editorial – The ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ doesn’t even come close
Liberation StaffAugust 16, 2022 591 4 minutes read
Download PDF flyer https://flyer-generator.herokuapp.com/? ... sts/108354

Joe Biden signed into law today the “Inflation Reduction Act” — a package of environmental, health care and tax measures that the administration is trumpeting as one of its crowning legislative achievements. But in reality, it represents a drop in the bucket compared to the scale of social crises workers are facing on multiple fronts.

The Inflation Reduction Act will not actually have an impact on inflation. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill will have no effect on inflation in 2022, and cause inflation to either go up or down by one-tenth of one percentage point in 2023. In reality, this bill is what is left of the “Build Back Better” social agenda pushed by Biden at the beginning of his term. It was simply given the title it has to make it more palatable to right-wing Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who is effectively opposed in principle to the creation of any social programs.

What Biden was originally proposing, starting with a major address in April 2021, would in fact have made a major difference in the lives of tens of millions of people. This wide ranging reform agenda included, among other things, universal pre-K, heavy subsidies for child care, making community college free, guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, monthly payments to working-class parents, major investments in public housing and hundreds of billions of dollars worth of environmental spending — the centerpiece of which was a program to transition to renewable electricity generation. In total, the Biden administration wanted to spend $3.5 trillion over the course of 10 years on “Build Back Better.”

But instead of fighting the right wingers inside his own party — most notably Senators Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema — Biden decided to adopt a policy of appeasement that ended in disaster. After an initial phase of negotiations, the bill was slashed in half to $1.7 trillion. But even that ended up being insufficient to appease Manchin, who went on Fox News in December to announce that he was pulling out of negotiations entirely.

With the prospect of a midterm election disaster looming, Manchin made a surprise return to negotiations last month and he and the White House announced a deal less than one-eighth the size of what the administration was initially pursuing. This is how we ended up with the “Inflation Reduction Act.”

There are still positive measures that remain in the bill that was just signed into law. In total, the act allocates $370 billion for measures to protect the environment and combat climate change. This primarily comes in the form of tax credits to companies involved in the production of renewable energy and the development of green technologies. This is a small fraction of what it would cost to truly transform electricity production, transportation and agriculture in the United States, but it does still represent a break from the near total inaction that prevailed up to this point on the climate crisis.

Starting in 2026, Medicare will be able to negotiate with pharmaceutical corporations over the price of 10 drugs and eventually 20 drugs. While it is an outrage that these negotiations cannot take place immediately over the price of all medications, this still will save over $100 billion over the course of the next 10 years — a testament to how extreme big pharma’s price gouging is. Out-of-pocket expenses for people enrolled in Medicare will now be capped at $2,000. The act also extends for three years an expansion in subsidies available on the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplaces.

But mixed in are measures that actively undermine the stated aims of the bill. In order to get Manchin’s approval for the environmental measures that are included, Biden conceded to a policy that would open up tens of millions of acres of publicly owned land to oil and gas drilling. The Bureau of Land Management is compelled under the law to issue leases to fossil fuel corporations at a rate tied to the number of leases issued for the use of land for renewable energy infrastructure like solar panels or wind turbines. A side deal was reportedly made between Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to pass separate legislation making it easier to construct hazardous pipelines by reducing environmental standards in the permitting process.

The act imposes a minimum corporate tax on companies making over $1 billion a year of 15 percent. Under previously-existing law, corporations were supposed to be paying a tax rate of 21 percent, but because of loopholes and write-offs many huge monopolies regularly pay well below 15 percent. However, a modification to the law pushed by Senator Kyrsten Sinema and supported by six other Democrats along with every Republican effectively exempted private equity managers — a type of finance capital firm. These Wall Street financiers will save $35 billion because of this intervention by their bought-and-paid-for politicians.

The idea that this new law will be sufficient to fundamentally turn around the bleak political fortunes of the Biden administration is a fantasy. Only a bold program of social transformation aimed at tackling inequality in all its forms can mobilize people in sufficient numbers in a moment of crisis like this and turn back the rising tide of the far right, which is aiming to recapture control of the federal government in the wake of the Democrats’ utter failure to deliver.

https://www.liberationnews.org/psl-edit ... ome-close/

I must repeat, this bill is not only paltry, it projects us into negative territory as it will preclude any attempt at substance for a while. But why even think about that as the next attempt will be emasculated too, it is simply beyond the power of capital to address a problem which doesn't show a profit.

When you consider that $370B over ten years is less than half of what the Pentagon spends in one year one can clearly see where the priorities lie...

Nothing short of a revolution will do.
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Wed Aug 24, 2022 2:33 pm

Liberals Love Liz Cheney
Margaret Kimberley, BAR Executive Editor and Senior Columnist 24 Aug 2022

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Robert Reich, Clinton administration cabinet member and democratic pundit, typifies liberal opinion. (Image: Robert Reich Substack)

When liberals aren't rehabilitating war criminals like George W. Bush they fall in love with right wing republicans like Liz Cheney. They stand for nothing and fall for anything. They are traitors to the millions of people who want to see progressive change in this country.

Soon to be former Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney is the flavor of the month for liberals. The cause of the undeserved adulation is her condemnation of Donald Trump and his role in the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

She lost her Republican Party primary precisely because she turned on Trump, who is still loved by the masses of republican voters. Conversely, the idol worship from democrats has reached bizarre levels, including support for a Liz Cheney presidential campaign.

Of course that was Cheney’s goal all along. She saw attacking Trump as her own ticket to the Oval Office. She always has been a rank opportunist. She began her political career challenging republican senator Mike Enzi by claiming that the arch conservative wasn’t conservative enough. Voters in the very red state of Wyoming weren’t fooled and she later had to settle for its lone congressional seat.

Liz Cheney and her father Dick Cheney are among the republican establishment class. Cheney père was the man chosen to guide dim bulb George W. Bush as his Vice President. That’s how they work. The white masses are not to be trusted with their choices and more reliable people are chosen to keep them in line.

But Trump was cut from a different cloth. The establishment didn’t want him, but he surprised them with his win and insisted on going his own way. Of course they got what they wanted from him, including a long sought after tax cut for rich people, more deregulation and a foreign policy that upped the imperialist ante by punishing countries such as Iran, Venezuela and Cuba for daring to exist at all.

Trump was indeed different, and fought with party leaders and refused to concede after his November 2020 defeat. His army of incompetent lawyers like Rudy Giuliani ran around the country trying to throw out votes wholesale. They were laughed out of every courtroom but Trump didn’t care. He riled up his supporters and even attempted to interfere with the vote counting process in states directly.

That sort of behavior is anathema to the Cheneys and their ilk. After all Dick Cheney helped Bush 43 steal his election in November 2000. Sending a mob into the Capitol is amateurish and not their thing. Doing the dirty work of voter suppression was and Bush the younger cheated his way into office when his brother the Florida governor took mostly Black Floridians off the voter rolls. In 2004 they repeated the crime, this time in Ohio and the craven John Kerry refused to fight for every vote.

But why do so many democrats feel the need to fall at Liz Cheney’s feet? She is a conservative republican after all, voting with Trump 93% of the time, and she is her father’s daughter, declaring that water boarding is just fine and shouldn’t be considered torture. She opposes abortion and said that democrats are “killing babies ” through rarely used later term abortions.

Why does it matter if a republican condemned the January 6 riots? It should be enough for democrats to have spoken up. Why the need for validation from the opposition? Most democrats don’t really see themselves as belonging to a political party, but rather as members of a social group. The game of hard nose politics is anathema to them, as they prefer to think of themselves as superior beings who can look down on the MAGA rabble. Yes, they want abortion to be legal and see the value of government programs and abhor the idea that they might be biased in some way. But their party’s determination to be more of a marketing scheme and fundraising machine to serve elite interests has impacted them.

Rather than declare that conservative republican Liz Cheney is of no interest to them and that they can fight Trumpism just fine without her, they swoon like kids with an inferiority complex. They are no less indoctrinated than the January 6 mob but never see themselves that way. Politics for them is about liking and being liked. They liked Obama and didn't want to hear inconvenient truths about Libya or how he bailed out the banks while allowing Black people to lose their homes. Trump’s election was a great trauma for them. Six years after the fact they still can’t believe that 60 million people voted for him or that Hillary Clinton couldn’t manage a basic get out the vote effort.

Their joy at Biden’s election was disturbed on January 6, 2021, when Americans sought to overturn an election result. Of course their own government’s interference in democratic processes around the world is something they rarely think about. They just know that their beloved government had been attacked by Trump’s deplorables. Even though Biden’s inauguration was just two weeks away they were stunned again and thrown into a state of despair.

While other republicans ran for cover Liz Cheney appeared like magic. Expressing their love of the constitution and country and government. She was from the other camp, but not really, because she spoke against what they don’t like, namely the bad orange faced man. It was kismet and the star struck kids were never the same.

They had already rehabilitated Cheney’s boss George W. Bush. He has a crush on Michelle Obama and paints pictures of puppies and just isn’t very Trumpian. If the election thief and war criminal who invaded Iraq can be forgiven, then a Wyoming congresswoman can too.

The love affair isn’t really surprising, after all democrats refuse to make any demands of their own party. Joe Biden didn’t raise the minimum wage or provide student loan debt relief like he promised. His friends in corporate media have made a big deal of the Inflation Reduction Act, which allows oil drilling on public lands and doesn’t act on negotiating medicare drug prices until 2026 and then only for ten drugs. Yet they love him and his $50 billion Ukraine boondoggle and attack anyone who suggests that they might want to make demands. Instead they make excuses for the people who stab them in the front.

Liz Cheney is a perfect match for apolitical people who are afraid of their own shadows. While MAGA stormed the Capitol they rarely bring themselves to protest anything under any circumstances. So today Liz is their star and tomorrow it will be someone equally ridiculous. The duopoly chugs along ignoring liberals for the simple reason that they have no reason to pay attention to them. They are an easily fooled, fake opposition and are treated accordingly.

https://www.blackagendareport.com/liber ... liz-cheney

A fine contribution to this thread.
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Fri Aug 26, 2022 3:09 pm

STRUCTURAL CORRUPTION AND POLITICAL IRRESPONSIBILITY OF THE PELOSI EXPOSED
25 Aug 2022 , 11:03 am .

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ancy Pelosi poses with her husband, Paul Pelosi, on Capitol Hill on January 3, 2019 in Washington, DC (Photo: Getty Images)

The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who has seriously undermined stability in the Asian region and even the world, by her insistence on going to the island of Taiwan, determined to provoke a confrontation with China through across the Taiwan Strait and undermining Sino-US relations, she was apparently full of political and financial calculations when she made the trip.

Paul Pelosi, husband of the Democratic congresswoman, has been singled out numerous times for insider trading in stocks and has become the target of public criticism, most recently very close to Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan, for having driven drunk on the streets of California, which earned him a sentence of five days in prison and a fine of 6 thousand dollars.

Therefore, to a certain extent, Nancy Pelosi's visit to the Chinese region of Taiwan was also a kind of strategy to divert attention and cover up corruption scandals, which could hinder her political position in the upcoming mid-term elections. Undoubtedly, the irresponsibility of the legislator has no limits, at the same level as the megalomania and mediocrity of the American political class.

THE BUSINESS OF THE PELOSI

In recent years, Pelosi's husband has become the focus of the US stock market for his suspiciously "magical" ability to buy and sell stocks before the US government introduces certain policies in his favor.

In May 2021, Paul Pelosi suddenly bought a large number of shares of tech giant Amazon. Not long after that, the Department of Defense announced the cancellation of a $10 billion cloud computing contract originally won by Microsoft. Such news was very positive for its competitor, Amazon. The share price of this company rose sharply and Paul made a huge profit.

Similarly, Paul Pelosi increased his stake in Tesla stock last year. The US government was quick to announce that it would spend a large sum of money to buy electric vehicles to replace the 650,000 existing gasoline vehicles in the federal government. As soon as the news broke, Tesla's stock price skyrocketed, ushering in a flurry of earnings for the Pelosi.

The congresswoman's husband also bought 20,000 shares of Nvidia this year, with a total market value of up to $5 million. Next, there was another very lucrative "coincidence" for the Pelosi family: the House of Representatives, of which Nancy is speaker, was discussing the passage of a bill that would provide up to 52 billion dollars to the national semiconductor industry of USA.

Shares of several US high-tech companies, including chip company Nvidia, rose sharply when the law passed. However, on this occasion the suspicion of information trafficking was so evident that the Pelosi had to sell their shares in the company at a loss before the law was put to the vote.

CORRUPTION IS THE SYSTEM IN THE US

The performance of the Pelosi couple in the stock market is too exposed to public opinion and has aroused widespread suspicion inside and outside the United States.

According to financial data released annually by Congress, the Pelosi's assets in 2014 exceeded $100 million. By the end of 2021, the assets of the two skyrocketed again, reaching more than $140 million. Knowing that the primary formula for amassing that fortune is through insider stock trading is no mean feat.

Of course, the phenomenon of political and commercial collusion in the United States is not the exception, but the rule. Many members of Congress use sensitive information to engage in financial transactions and make huge profits, despite the fact that a Congressional Stop Using Business Information Act was passed in 2012.

The "revolving door" phenomenon is another manifestation of systemic corruption in the United States. Ranging from the president to every other lower position in the federal government, most civil servants have experience with big business before entering politics, and when they leave government positions, they usually use the network of relationships formed in their jobs to find positions. of well-paid jobs in the private sector.

Rex Tillerson (left ExxonMobil executive to take on Secretary of State in the Trump administration), Steven Mnuchin (came from investment bank Goldman Sachs to go on to become Treasury Secretary in the Trump era) and Mark Esper (former executive of the Raytheon military company, summoned by Trump for the position of Secretary of Defense) are examples of this. The large American private company has a voice and a vote in successive governments, including that of Joe Biden, who appointed Lloyd Austin, a member of the Raytheon board of directors, as head of the Pentagon from the beginning. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Obviously, it is open corruption and brazen use of public power for personal gain. In that sense, Pelosi's trip to Taiwan has not only further damaged Beijing's diplomatic relations with Washington, but has also made the world see more clearly how the United States, which prides itself on being a "role model" , is mired in institutional corruption and has no intention of getting out of it.

https://misionverdad.com/globalistan/co ... al-desnudo

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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Wed Aug 31, 2022 3:14 pm

Biden's Student Loan Scam

Margaret Kimberley, BAR Executive Editor and Senior Columnist 31 Aug 2022

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Image: USA Today

Capitalist rule dictates that millions of Americans live in debt peonage. It was inevitable that Biden's student loan debt relief would be a farcical half measure.

The Biden administration announcement of so-called student loan debt relief does little to alleviate the problem it claims to solve. Forgiving $20,000 for Pell grant holders and $10,000 for all who earn less than $125,000 is questionable for a variety of reasons. It is a midterm election bait and switch that pleases gullible democrats, helps only a minority of borrowers, and is nothing like what candidate Biden proposed during the 2020 campaign.

Americans owe $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. This crisis did not occur by happenstance. Universities did not escape the neoliberal onslaught and are fund raising machines charging astronomical amounts of money for tuition and room and board. Decades of austerity have slashed spending for public institutions. Once so inexpensive that they were practically free, they now offer little respite from crushing debt. There is no way for working people to secure the higher education they’re told they need without ruining themselves financially, and in so doing defeating the purpose of attending college.

Of course college should be free and student loan debt should be forgiven. The issue is of great importance to Black people, who are usually unable to pay very little if any tuition and incur debt from the first day of school. White people are more likely to have assets and family resources they can tap. They may not incur any student loan debt at all unless they attend graduate school.

The rationale for this catastrophe is quite simple. The race to the bottom is an essential part of the corporate drive to keep Americans desperate. The living wage work that is the holy grail for college students is less likely to exist. The international capitalist overlords want the system to be this way, and they have created a system which keeps everyone, including the educated, in a grip of stagnant wages, insecure employment, and a diminishing social safety net.

Senator Joe Biden played a role in creating these terrible conditions. In 2005 he and 17 other democrats joined republicans in voting for the Bankruptcy Act, which made it all but impossible to discharge student loan debt in bankruptcy. The Delaware senator was beholden to the consumer credit industry, like all of that state’s elected officials. They were the drivers in ensuring that filing for bankruptcy for any reason would become very difficult and they were always among Biden’s biggest campaign contributors.

Of course Biden knows what people need and want. During his campaign he said , “I propose to forgive all undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from two- and four-year public colleges and universities for debt-holders earning up to $125,000.” At other times he included Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in this debt forgiveness plan.

It is easy to point out the discrepancy between what he promised and what he now proposes, but the problem is bigger than the laundry list of Biden campaign lies. There is great confusion among Black people about student loan debt relief, what it will really accomplish, and what is actually needed.

Biden promised well heeled democratic fundraisers that “nothing would fundamentally change.” Forgiving student loans or any of the other forms of debt peonage is the last thing that the U.S. oligarchy wants to see. The increasingly predatory capitalist system demands that Biden does little more than give lip service instead of meeting the people’s needs. That is why the oddly named Inflation Reduction Act will negotiate Medicare drug prices but not until 2026 and then only for ten drugs. Even if Biden cared he wouldn’t be allowed to do anything more for senior citizens, student loan debtors or anyone else.

Of course the Black political class can be counted on to aid in the subterfuges that are used to keep the people quiet. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley falsely proclaimed , “President Joe Biden just canceled student debt.” Her assigned role at this juncture is to get Black voters to the polls in November and she can’t do that without lying about Biden. Getting voter buy-in for neo-liberal policies in Pressley’s problem. No one else has to go along with the inevitable falsehoods that come with the territory of holding elective office.

She and others may call themselves “progressives” but in the end they are no better than Senator Biden when he worsened the student debt crisis. They are all little more than errand boys and girls for the kleptocrats and all of them are compromised.

Our power must be used strategically and shouldn’t be thrown away cheaply. No one has to be happy with $10,000 or $20,000 when they need a lot more and no one has to vote for people who treat them like the suckers who are born every minute. The least we can do is understand why President Biden acts just like Senator Biden and why he begs the 1% for money by promising them that nothing will fundamentally change. Expecting the system that created the student loan crisis and the mortgage crisis and the military spending crisis to change without sustained popular demand is to indulge in fantasy.

https://www.blackagendareport.com/biden ... -loan-scam
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Fri Sep 02, 2022 4:11 pm

Trump is all they got....

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Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.
...
[T]here is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country.
...
And here, in my view, is what is true: MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law. They do not recognize the will of the people.
They refuse to accept the results of a free election. And they’re working right now, as I speak, in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself.

MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards — backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love.

They promote authoritarian leaders, and they fan the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country.

They look at the mob that stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th — brutally attacking law enforcement — not as insurrectionists who placed a dagger to the throat of our democracy, but they look at them as patriots.

And they see their MAGA failure to stop a peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 election as preparation for the 2022 and 2024 elections.

They tried everything last time to nullify the votes of 81 million people. This time, they’re determined to succeed in thwarting the will of the people.

That’s why respected conservatives, like Federal Circuit Court Judge Michael Luttig, has called Trump and the extreme MAGA Republicans, quote, a “clear and present danger” to our democracy.
...
MAGA Republicans have made their choice. They embrace anger. They thrive on chaos. They live not in the light of truth but in the shadow of lies.
...
Democrats, independents, mainstream Republicans: We must be stronger, more determined, and more committed to saving American democracy than MAGA Republicans are to — to destroying American democracy.
...
Democracy cannot survive when one side believes there are only two outcomes to an election: either they win or they were cheated. And that’s where MAGA Republicans are today. (Applause.)
...
MAGA Republicans look at America and see carnage and darkness and despair. They spread fear and lies –- lies told for profit and power.
...
The MAGA Republicans believe that for them to succeed, everyone else has to fail. They believe America — not like I believe about America.


https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-roo ... he-nation/

The standard opinion is that the economy will sink Biden. Mebbe so, but unlovely as every aspect of Trump's being might be the reliance upon scare tactics may have jumped the shark and devolved into self-parody compounding already negative opinions.
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Sat Sep 03, 2022 2:36 pm

The Sickness of the American Left and the Path to Recovery
Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° on SEPTEMBER 2, 2022
Danny Haiphong

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Leftists in the United States are suffering from a propaganda-induced delirium. Revolutionary discipline can get us through the winter storm.

The U.S. has entered a dark period. Economic crisis wracks its capitalist system. Military instability and chaos reign supreme over its imperialist ventures. Political illegitimacy worsens by the year, at times by the month. These conditions sound favorable to the growth of revolutionary possibilities within the citadel of imperialism.

But such is not the case at the moment. Discipline and organization are at perhaps their weakest point in generations. Young people are moving toward socialist politics. However, a similar number of people have embraced the politics of a U.S.-led New Cold War against Russia and China which seek to destroy any alternative to imperialism. Little clarity has been developed on the question of what socialism would look like in the United States, an obvious indication that a century of Red Scare politics has made a decisive impact on the political direction of the so-called Left.

Add to this a global pandemic which has deepened the isolation of an already alienating social order and the recipe for confusion is ready to serve. Moments of retreat breed reaction. Organizations splinter. The actions of singular figures disappoint and frustrate grassroots activity. Mindless entertainment, click-bait, and partisan trends dominate the ideological landscape.

This isn’t a condition primarily of our own doing as neoliberalism would have us believe. The masses of people are not sabotaging themselves, and when they are, it isn’t the principal contradiction. State infiltration and the repression leveled upon us by the dominant class is first and foremost responsible for the sickness of the American Left. Anti-communist and COINTELPRO operations did not die with the end of the Cold War. Their legacy of dismembering the American Left remains; and perhaps more importantly, the counterinsurgency war that primarily targeted organized leftist formations has been mainstreamed to the entire population as a mechanism of social control.

Under such an arrangement, fascism festers and grows. People seek out “tradition” and embrace the old to sooth their fears about the present and the future. American patriotism, democratic socialism, American exceptionalism, and a host of outmoded ideas have taken firm hold of political discourse. All of them are manifestations of a hyper-partisan environment where bourgeois elections and corporate algorithms set the parameters of debate. And all of them facilitate some form of retreat into the ideological jaws of one side of the ruling class or another.

Moments of retreat call for the development of an even higher level of revolutionary discipline under difficult material conditions. In Left Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder, Vladimir Lenin answered the question of how such disciplined is tested:

First, by the class-consciousness of the proletarian vanguard and by its devotion to the revolution, by its tenacity, self-sacrifice and heroism. Second, by its ability to link up, maintain the closest contact, and—if you wish—merge, in certain measure, with the broadest masses of the working people—primarily with the proletariat, but also with the non–proletarian masses of working people. Third, by the correctness of the political leadership exercised by this vanguard, by the correctness of its political strategy and tactics, provided the broad masses have seen, from their own experience, that they are correct.

In summary, revolutionary discipline in part means building organizations and linking with the masses of people in all of our political work. We must demonstrate to the masses of people in word and in deed that socialist and anti-imperialist leadership is the correct path. Independent journalists and media activists have a particularly daunting terrain to navigate in fulfilling this duty to the masses. Amid the unprecedented monopolization of both news and social media, leftists and socialists involved in media work face isolation, censorship, and a chronic deficit in resources. Entire media outlets have been removed or suppressed in the name of warding off Russia and China, and those that remain face the difficult choice of walking a path of marginality or the darker road of corporate cannibalism for increased visibility.

Duopoly politics thrive and even take on newly disguised forms under these wretched conditions. The American Left’s sickness can be largely credited to its capture within the Democratic Party. Successive Democratic Party administrations have corralled the American Left into supporting war, so long as it is pursued by a Democrat. Democratic Party-led austerity is fine, too, under the same conditions. Racism, a key struggle for any force that calls itself the Left, has nearly lost all meaning amid Democratic Party hypocrisy. Democrats have co-opted “Black Lives Matter” on the one hand while championing Joe Biden and his diligent leadership in building the racist mass incarceration regime on the other.

Democratic Party bankruptcy has strengthened the ideological hand of the other side of the duopoly, the GOP. GOP politicians have been able to flank to the left of the Democrats on issues of war and censorship. Donald Trump and others in his camp have flirted with calling the GOP a “working class” political party. The GOP remains a corporate party, but the lack of a socialist alternative has meant that its hard right ideology has been influential on the Left. This is evident in a number issues, most prominently the crusade against “identity politics” and online censorship in the name of Russiagate.

Make no mistake, the Democratic Party and many liberals indeed support censorship and a corporate-brand of “identity politics” that favors representation over substantive policy that benefits the working class. However, the GOP and its Trump-led faction has no interest in the working class or “freedom of speech.” Tepid support for Julian Assange and a reduction in weapons transfers to Ukraine among figures like Marjorie Taylor-Greene occur in a political environment where bipartisan support for war and censorship renders minority opposition in Washington of little consequence. Green has no accountability to the masses of people. While the Left should support this kind of opposition, it shouldn’t come at the expense of an independent political orientation that differentiates socialist politics from duopoly politics.

Any strategic elevation of opposition to war and censorship within the duopoly (if any such thing exists) must also include an explanation for how a genuine political Left represents a more favorable alternative to working class people. Take the following example. Liberal “identity politics” are indeed an impediment to revolutionary organizing, but so too is the ongoing presence of actually existing racism. Racial disparities at all levels of U.S. society from incarceration, policing, wages, and wealth are genuine problems for the working class, not merely “woke” talking points. Class war is the real war, but it isn’t a monolith. Racism, sexism and other social relations deemed “identity politics” are class struggle issues and can’t be simply ignored by a left that claims to be accountable to the people.

Pitting class against any other aspect of exploitation under U.S. imperialism does nothing to combat liberal “identity politics” or academic-laden “intersectionality.” Ideologies such as American patriotism cannot be divorced from their class roots in the oppressive material foundations of colonialism and capitalism. Our hatred of liberalism should lead us to revolutionary socialism, not some disorganized and disoriented amalgamation of Left and bourgeois politics Working class people are not simply victims or champions of ideological programming. They are people who live within the most propagandized capitalist and imperialist order to date, one with centuries of two-party corporate rule.

That means our work, as Lenin suggested, is manyfold. We must demonstrate the correctness of our ideas in the practice of struggling alongside the people willing to take risks to improve their lives toward the ultimate goal of revolution. We must not shy away from difficult conversations while being careful not to further class divides. We must, as Mao Zedong taught us, learn by doing and do by learning.

Study and action. Action and study. That is the dialectic of revolutionary change. Anyone who calls themselves the Left should understand the importance of conducting both of these activities independently of the ruling class’s duopoly political system and all of its hirelings. It doesn’t matter how independent or attractive their words may sound. Our task is to build a movement strong enough to seize ruptures in ruling class unity, not tailgate them.

The path to recovery for the American Left resides in the healing qualities of solidarity and political education. Moments of retreat call for winter soldiers trained and hardened by deep experience and study. Independent media of the leftist variety should not choose momentary popularity at the beat of corporate algorithms or waves of political reaction. We find working class unity by coming together around common causes. Many such causes exist. Majorities of people support healthcare for all, a living wage, student loan cancellation, and a host of other socialist policies.

We can come together on all of this and take necessary advances when the opportunity strikes. That is what is meant by the word vanguard. Socialists don’t take up the rear and push reactionary politics forward. We get out in front, carefully explaining and demonstrating why the current social order is no longer governable or worth holding onto. It is thus possible to push forward class solidarity and fight institutional racism or any other malady of capitalism just as its possible to be an anti-imperialist and a socialist while opposing American patriotism. Anyone who says differently is less interested in leftism than in branding exercises that bolster personalities, not movements.

https://libya360.wordpress.com/2022/09/ ... -recovery/
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Wed Sep 07, 2022 4:03 pm

The Ukraine Proxy War Has Been A Propaganda Win For Interventionists

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Neocon erotica publication The Atlantic has a new article out titled “The Rise of the Liberal Hawks” which is infuriating as much for its sycophantic empire apologia as it is for the fact that much it is entirely correct.

“Progressives typically see war as inherently murderous and dehumanizing — sapping progress, curtailing free expression, and channeling resources into the ‘military-industrial complex,’” sneers the article’s author, Dominic Tierney. “The left led the opposition to the Vietnam War and the Iraq War and condemned American war crimes from the My Lai massacre to Abu Ghraib. Historically, progressive critics have charged the military with a litany of sins, including discrimination against LGBTQ soldiers and a reliance on recruiting in poor communities.”

“Then came Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” writes Tierney. “No foreign conflict since the Spanish Civil War has so captured the imagination of the left.”

“Russian President Vladimir Putin is the antithesis of everything the left stands for,” Tierney adds. “Not only did he launch an unprovoked attack on a sovereign democratic nation, but he has also disparaged LGBTQ rights, multiculturalism, and immigration, and claimed that ‘the liberal idea’ has ‘outlived its purpose.’ Zelensky, in contrast, has built bridges with the global left. He addressed the Glastonbury music festival, in the U.K., where the revelers chanted his name to the tune of The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army.’ In Germany, the Green Party led the charge to supply weapons to Kyiv, overturning decades of German wariness about intervening in foreign wars. LGBTQ protesters in Berlin also demanded that Germany step up arms shipments to Ukraine, so that a Pride parade can, one day, be held in the Russian-occupied city of Mariupol. Ukrainian liberals—artists, translators, teachers, filmmakers—have joined the struggle. As one writer put it: ‘All our hipsters in Ukraine fight.'”

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Tierney concedes that “there’s a leftist fringe in the United States that still considers America the world’s evil empire and remains deeply hostile to its military power,” but says “the bulk of the left has shown remarkable solidarity with the Ukrainian cause.”

“Liberals who once protested the Iraq War now urge Washington to dispatch more rocket launchers to defeat Russian imperialism,” Tierney says. “Representative Jamaal Bowman of New York, a member of the progressive caucus, tweeted: ‘We unequivocally stand with the global Ukrainian community in the wake of Putin’s attack.'”

Again, what makes Tierney’s triumphant militarist smut so annoying isn’t how he’s wrong, it’s how he’s right. You can take issue all you like with his use of the word “left” to describe liberal supporters of capitalism and empire who just want the empire to be a bit less embarrassing and maybe forgive their student loans, but that’s the fault of the generations of psyops that have gone into sabotaging the left and destroying its memory, not Tierney’s. What he is saying about liberals who once protested the Iraq invasion now supporting US proxy warfare in Ukraine is broadly true, including throughout the Bernie Sanders/AOC “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party.

It’s just a fact that in 2022, liberals are gaga for US interventionism. Because this war can be (falsely) marketed as an “unprovoked” invasion by evil Bad Guys fighting against the virtuous Good Guys of the US/NATO/Ukraine partnership, and because it’s not our sons and daughters getting thrown into the gears of war, people who would normally be more skeptical of militarism and interventionism have indeed jumped aboard the proxy war train.

This war has in that sense become the Gulf War of the 2020s: a “good war” that rehabilitates the image of US interventionism for a war-weary public. Just as the 1990 Gulf War was used to get Americans over what warmongers called “Vietnam syndrome” — a healthy aversion to interventionism following the horrific disaster of the Vietnam War — the war in Ukraine is being used to wear down the public’s collective immune response to interventionism built up after the 2003 Iraq invasion.

“It’s a proud day for America, and by God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all,” the elder President Bush said after winning his war/propaganda operation in the Middle East.

Of course, we all remember what happened after that, don’t we? A decade later came 9/11, and a public now re-warmed to the idea of beneficent military interventionism overwhelmingly consented to two full-scale ground invasions of two separate nations on the promise of swift victory where the troops will be greeted as liberators. What followed was some six million deaths — roughly two thousand times the number killed on 9/11 — while trillions of dollars were siphoned from the American public to the war industry amid an unprecedented new era of military expansionism.

The public has again been won back over to the idea of military interventionism, using an unprecedented narrative management push which saw coverage of the foreign war in Ukraine eclipse even wars the US has directly participated in. They used different tactics and different narratives, as they always do, but the end result in the 2020s is the same as it was in the 1990s.

And now the public is enthused about foreign interventionism once again, and we get to just wait and see what happens after the empire architects give us our next 9/11.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/09/06 ... ntionists/

The current round of ' psyops ' would not be so effective were it not preceded by the generation long Cold War which left dormant seed and root during the brief period when the US had Russia under it's thumb. How many dumbass congressmen have made allusions to the current Russia being communists? Or compare Putin to Comrade Stalin? I've even heard "Asiatic hordes', shades of Goebbels(Ukrainian Nazis also use that phrase. There are no Nazis in Ukraine...)

Progressive liberals are not our friends, they are the ruling class's first line of defense. How do you know? Just ask them, " Should we reject capitalism and institute socialism as quickly as possible by any means necessary?" If the answer ain't an enthusiastic 'yes' then walk away. But don't turn your back on them....

Our government nonchalantly allows unfiltered Ukro-Nazi propaganda to pass for news and just sits back and reaps the support for it's death machine. I dream of walls and lampposts...

And oh yes, blow up the fucking TV.
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Re: Sympathy for the Devils...

Post by blindpig » Thu Sep 08, 2022 2:42 pm

Biden's MAGA Obsession Won't Help Democrats
Margaret Kimberley, BAR Executive Editor and Senior Columnist 07 Sep 2022

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Because Joe Biden and democrats act on behalf of the oligarchy instead of the people, they now risk a mid-term election loss. His solution to this political problem is to speak endlessly about Donald Trump and shout the word MAGA at every opportunity.

“MAGA proposals are a threat to the very soul of this country.” Joe Biden
“The MAGA agenda represents an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic.” Joe Biden
“The MAGA ideology looks at America and sees carnage and darkness and despair.” Joe Biden
“MAGA Republicans in Congress look at the mob that stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th not as insurrectionists but as patriots.” Joe Biden


Anyone paying attention knows that Joe Biden’s accomplishments as president are pretty sparse. The oligarchy allowed his American Rescue Plan stimulus program to go through but then put a stop on Build Back Better or any other legislation that would help the people in a meaningful way. The student loan debt relief plan is a bait and switch scam used against desperate people. Biden brags about allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies but that won’t happen until 2026 and will only be allowed for ten drugs that are to be named later.

What is a failed president to do? His 2022 midterm stump speech had the odd title , “The Continued Battle for the Soul of a Nation.” No one voted for Biden to be the nation’s religious leader, why the reference to the nation’s soul? That use of language is a sure sign that nonsense is being peddled and Biden didn’t disappoint. His failures are the reason he keeps running against Donald Trump instead of in defense of himself.

Because he and the democrats don’t have much in the way of appeals to voters he just shouts Trump’s signature acronym MAGA, Make America Great Again, over and over again. He said MAGA 13 times in his speech. Never before has a losing president or his supporters been elevated to such a level of attention.

Of course Trump differs from most former presidents by claiming that he didn’t really lose and encouraging his supporters to riot inside the Capitol two weeks before his successor’s inauguration. He still says he didn’t lose and is also back in the news after refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents to the National Archives where they belong.

But Trump’s personal foolishness should be a reason for him to be ignored instead of getting more attention. The MAGA distraction exposes the democrats’ weakness, namely living off their decades old reputation as the party of working people when they have had little or nothing to say for themselves in that regard in the Biden, Obama, or Clinton administrations.

The events of January 6, 2021 were definitely a shock to the public at that time but a year and a half of endless news stories and congressional investigations haven’t moved the needle of public opinion very much. Approximately 40% of Americans would still vote for Trump. The people calling Trump a traitor and wanting to jail him are the same people who would never have voted for him or other republicans in the first place. Trump received more than 70 million votes in November 2020, 10 million more than in his 2016 election. There is little reason to believe that those supporters will change their minds. The democrats may get lucky and keep control of congress after the midterm elections but it won’t be because Biden manages to say MAGA in every sentence.

It is a political dictum that opponents should be attacked and not voters. Hillary Clinton’s pre-election remark about “deplorables” didn’t help her get out the vote in swing states where she most needed them. Biden diverges from traditional political discourse out of desperation so acute that he repeats Hillary’s failed course of action.

He is allowed to spew subpar propaganda because he has no opposition within the democratic party. The so-called progressives stand down when they are told to do so. They are window dressing within window dressing who are allowed to post platitudes on Twitter and fool democrats into thinking they have champions in congress. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley can even tell an obvious lie that Biden canceled student loan debt and emerge unscathed. Neither she nor other members of “the Squad” or the Congressional Black Caucus have anything to fear when they go along to get along.

They would think twice about joining in the beat down if they feared the voters. Unfortunately most democratic voters have been indoctrinated into thinking that voicing any concerns with their party leadership will lead to republican victory. Black voters are once again caught in what they see as an insurmountable trap of defending democrats regardless of what they do or fail to do.

But that twisted thinking needs to stop. The liberation movement is uplifted at every possible moment yet its real significance, sustained opposition to political power, is rarely mentioned. There is no reason to accept crumbs and thus continue snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. There is no trap for Black or any other democratic voters if they show some determination to speak out when they are being conned.

Biden knows that of course and his response is to raise the Trump specter even higher. In the absence of real opposition the manufactured MAGA panic seeps in, even if unconsciously, and keeps democrats in line. The question is whether they will go to the polls when they are offered so little. They may and Biden may get lucky. But his luck has nothing to do with the people. If he succeeds in the midterm elections there is little reason for anyone else to celebrate.

https://www.blackagendareport.com/biden ... -democrats
"There is great chaos under heaven; the situation is excellent."

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