Jul 7, 2024

French center allies themselves with French left, instead copying a winning strategy US Dems surrender to MAGA fascists

From NPR:
But in the month between the dissolution and Sunday’s vote, a coalition of left-wing parties and Macron’s own Ensemble movement struck a series of local “hold your nose” deals, whereby whoever was most likely to defeat the National Rally candidate would get the full support of the other party. The deal was called the “Republican Front,” after the 1936 pact between communists, socialists and others to keep the far right out of power.

What likelihood of centrists coming to the left to prevent Trump election? I would venture a guess that most within the political consultant industrial complex would rather lose to Trump rather than win with popular policies that are at the detriment of their patrons in the donor class. In 2020, Florida voted overwhelming for an increase of the state minimum wage but Biden who had white papers supporting increasing the federal minimum wage and tying it to inflation didn't campaign on it to make his name synonymous with increasing the minimum wage law losing the state by nearly 10%. A 30% swing of the same voters were lost because employers and Wall Street are vehemently opposed to increasing the floor of what working people get for their labor. This is but one glaring example of how the centrist neoliberal Democrats would rather lose than win with progressives/Leftists. 

The US is very likely to see a second dose of a Trump administration, but this time there will be far more prepared, far more sycophantic, toadies and as often is the case personnel beats policy. 

May 29, 2018

It's bigger than Trump

"People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children."
Richard Cohen November 11, 2013
“It’s not about Donald Trump.” Wrong. It’s about nothing else.
Richard Cohen May 28, 2018

Richard Cohen is both wrong, and latently racist. The same sentiment that propelled Trump into the White House, held by a minority of Americans, will still be there and over represented in GOP primaries, thereby extremely disproportionately represented in government as well after Trump is out of the White House. So there has to be a movement beyond the individual or it will evaporate after the storm passes.
The dead enders who still support Trump, despite the obvious history of financial crimes of money laundering and very likely public corruption of both domestic quid pro quo bribery through Michael Cohen or the connections to foreign government and profits from the which are unconstitutional as per the emolument clause, are still going to affect elections and public policy for America in the future. Indisputable evidence will likely come from Republican special counsel Mueller, which will be disputed by the dead-enders. What would Richard Cohen have us do with them? Just repress our gag reflex? The policies that are implemented by Trump's administration will still be implemented by a Pence administration, it's not like there will be a 'come to Jesus' moment and the Republicans will be interested in policy that helps the poor, and working class more than the wealthy and well-connected (the Democrats are also in want of this same 'come to Jesus' moment). Mark Cuban is right that Trump is not the end all, be all of what Democrats need to focus on in the next 2 and half years, whatever they need to do has to continue even after Trump is removed from office or runs out his term.

Feb 28, 2017

Fake News Isn't Anything New

In 2004, I was working in Ohio for a Get-Out-The-Vote organization called America Coming Together. One day while going to door-to-door in a trailer park in Licking County (forgot which town, but not the unique interaction with the voter) I spoke with a man who wasn't that concerned about the upcoming presidential election as he was concerned about the "newspaper" reporting about Bill Clinton having been caught having yet another affair. I was astonished, then I asked what newspaper broke the story (I had already checked the New York Times, Columbus Dispatch, and the Newark Advocate (OH) earlier that day and even if they had been scooped they all would've reported on the news outlet that broke the story). The man told me to wait while he fetched the "newspaper". When he returned he showed me the frontpage headline of the Weekly World News, right there next there most recent update to Batboy.

I pointed out that just as there is no Batboy, I don't think Bill Clinton had been caught in another affair, he simply replied "That's what they say happened" oblivious to clear objective truth that facts was not what the Weekly World News deals with. I didn't change his mind, and he probably thought that I didn't really know how the world works, that the Illumnati and the Masons rigged the world for some unknown purposes and that the scandals brought from the weekly tabloids are the only real source of news unlike those boring endless articles brought by wire service reporters distributed by the likes of the Columbus Dispatch.

Humans want to be distracted, we want the world to be simple, and would love if it were clear cut good vs evil and without any nuance; but the world is full of grey and gradations. There are no explicit bad guys or good guys, the Vietnam War didn't pit the "good capitalists" against the "evil communists" there was good and evil on both sides. The Spanish American War was kicked off by the U.S.S. Maine blowing up, presumably by some Spanish royalist, there again it was framed as "good democracy" versus "evil monarchy". In both instances whether 50 years ago or 115 years ago the spark of the war was fake news, the U.S.S. Maine was not blown up by any Spanish ne'erdo-well, nor was the North Vietnamese attacking American ships in the Gulf of Tonkin, the sensationalism of the moment carried our nation off to war either to impose American Imperialism or Capitalism around the world.

Currently we have a president that regurgitates statements from the most sensationalist news outlet of our time in pithy 140 character bites via Twitter or from the podium of speeches. Without much (or any) reflection, the Republican president decides over dinner to send Seal Team 6 into Yemen and doesn't even think it's worth his time to be in the situation room while the operation occurs, he still declares it a success after the fact despite the lack of planning that certainly contributed to the death of Chief Special Warfare Officer William “Ryan” Owens in Yemen and the deaths of upwards of 30 non-combatants including 8-year old Nawar "Nora" Anwar al-Awlaki, daughter of American born Anwar al-Awlaki who was killed by an American drone strike in 2011. Nora al-Awlaki was just as American as Alberta Canada born Senator Ted Cruz and was killed without any due process or even any thorough planning by the commander in chief.

Americans have already died because too many people willfully refuse to critically think about the world, and challenge whatever feels truthful to them or as The Colbert Report famously declared in 2006 "that truthiness is more important than the Truth". We need to accept that our emotions are meaningless, and our opinions if unchanging despite new information are harmful if not fatal to ourselves. It's distraction to read whole cloth falsehoods that give you the impression of being let in on a secret, but it's no means a harmless distraction. Ignoring the harm and refusing to accept reality will come home to roost as it did in the aftermath of the Spanish American War where the souls of American servicemen were lost as they committed heinous crimes against their fellow humans in Philippines or the 50,000 servicemen who gave their lives in the Vietnam War just so they could drink Coca-Cola and eat McDonald's which they ended up doing anyway. The individual that is convinced of a lie, will be more willing to suffer through harm than suffer through the shame of being hoodwinked by the lie.

Nov 19, 2016

Journalists Seem To be Confused By Whether Or Not Trump Has Actually Purged Lobbyists

Both of these headlines can't be true.

Washington Post: Lobbyists are still involved in Trump team, despite the president-elect’s pledge to remove their influence

Trump: Lobbyists should stay
Trump: Lobbyists should stay

Politico: Lobbyists leave Trump transition team after new ethics rule

Trump: Lobbyists Should Go
Trump: Lobbyists Should Go