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Ghost Dog

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Hometown: Canary Islands Archipelago
Home country: Spain
Member since: Wed Apr 19, 2006, 01:59 PM
Number of posts: 15,292

About Me

Brit gone native. Cooperative member. Ecology. Cartography. Programming. Music production.

Journal Archives

Brazil's far right sees an opening

With less than a week until the Brazilian senate votes on the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, the question facing the nation is no longer whether the Workers’ party government will fall, but how far to the right the political pendulum will swing once it has fallen.

For Marco Feliciano – an ultra-conservative preacher-politician from the evangelical caucus – it cannot go far enough in reversing what he sees as the malign policies introduced since the left came to power in 2003. “For 13 years we have been anaesthetised. Now we will see the renaissance of hope in Brazil,” he told the Guardian. “I don’t just want the Workers’ party to go, I want it to disappear from history, to fall into extinction.”

Speaking in his parliamentary office in Brasília, the controversial Social Christian congressman said impeachment opens the door for a resurgent right – an alarming prospect for anyone on the left or in the centre who is worried about the polarisation of Brazilian politics. His comments reflect the growing influence of the “bullets, beef and Bible” (BBB) caucus, which aims to strengthen the military, expand agriculture and tighten restrictions on abortion, gay marriage and secular education

There is still a long way to go before that happens. In the short term, Vice-President Michel Temer is expected to form a centre-right administration for the 180 days of the senate’s deliberations on Rousseff’s impeachment. But longer term, conservatives like Feliciano feel they are well placed to expand their influence...


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/05/brazil-far-right-dilma-rousseff-impeachment


x-post DU Foreign Affairs

Brazil's far right sees an opening

With less than a week until the Brazilian senate votes on the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, the question facing the nation is no longer whether the Workers’ party government will fall, but how far to the right the political pendulum will swing once it has fallen.

For Marco Feliciano – an ultra-conservative preacher-politician from the evangelical caucus – it cannot go far enough in reversing what he sees as the malign policies introduced since the left came to power in 2003. “For 13 years we have been anaesthetised. Now we will see the renaissance of hope in Brazil,” he told the Guardian. “I don’t just want the Workers’ party to go, I want it to disappear from history, to fall into extinction.”

Speaking in his parliamentary office in Brasília, the controversial Social Christian congressman said impeachment opens the door for a resurgent right – an alarming prospect for anyone on the left or in the centre who is worried about the polarisation of Brazilian politics. His comments reflect the growing influence of the “bullets, beef and Bible” (BBB) caucus, which aims to strengthen the military, expand agriculture and tighten restrictions on abortion, gay marriage and secular education

There is still a long way to go before that happens. In the short term, Vice-President Michel Temer is expected to form a centre-right administration for the 180 days of the senate’s deliberations on Rousseff’s impeachment. But longer term, conservatives like Feliciano feel they are well placed to expand their influence...


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/05/brazil-far-right-dilma-rousseff-impeachment

Tony Blair: the former PM for hire (Guardian)

Emails show oil firm questioned complex structure of Blair’s company, and reveal his closeness to Chinese leadership

Revealed: Blair courted Chinese leaders for Saudi prince’s oil firm


Randeep Ramesh
Thursday 28 April 2016 22.00 BST

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/28/petrosaudi-tony-blair-emails-oil-company-chinese

When Jonathan Powell, the gatekeeper to the corporate empire of Tony Blair, sat down to lunch with the former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Faisal Al Turki in June 2010 he could not have known how lucrative it would turn out to be for the former British prime minister.

As the high-profile mediator of the stuttering peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Blair had to be careful not to mix business with pleasure. However, one of those lunching with Powell at the annual “global mediator’s retreat”, organised by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was looking to make a deal.

Nawaf Obaid, a security analyst who accompanied Prince Faisal, emailed Powell a week later, according to documents seen by the Guardian, with a suggestion to work with his brother Tarek’s company, PetroSaudi, which he “co-founded and co-owns with Prince Turki bin Abdullah, son of King Abdullah”.

“They have several projects that are working and I think it would a very interesting perspective to see if we could establish a strategic partnership with former PM Tony Blair and yourself,” he wrote...

... Blair’s team sold the former prime minister as someone who could help “unlock situations which might otherwise be blocked by political factors” in places such as China and Africa. PetroSaudi was interested in Beijing’s appetite for oil and how Blair’s firm could help...





/more...

Could Italy be the unlikely saviour of Project Europe?

... Italy is resuming its historic role as a source of Europe’s best ideas and leadership in politics, and also, most surprisingly, in economics. Draghi’s transformation of the ECB into the world’s most creative and proactive central bank is the clearest example of this. The enormous programme of quantitative easing that Draghi pushed through, against German opposition, has saved the euro by circumventing the Maastricht Treaty’s rules against monetising or mutualising government debts.

Last month, Draghi became the first central banker to take seriously the idea of helicopter money – the direct distribution of newly created money from the central bank to eurozone residents. Germany’s leaders have reacted furiously and are now subjecting Draghi to nationalistic personal attacks. Less visibly, Italy has also led a quiet rebellion against the pre-Keynesian economics of the German government and the European commission. In EU councilsand again at this month’s International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington, DC, Pier Carlo Padoan, Italy’s finance minister, presented the case for fiscal stimulus more strongly and coherently than any other EU leader.

More important, Padoan has started to implement fiscal stimulus by cutting taxes and maintaining public spending plans, in defiance of German and EU commission demands to tighten his budget. As a result, consumer and business confidence in Italy have rebounded to the highest level in 15 years, credit conditions have improved, and Italy is the only G7 country expected by the IMF to grow faster in 2016 than 2015 (albeit still at an inadequate 1% rate).

Padoan has more recently created an imaginative public-private partnership to finance a desperately needed recapitalization of Italy’s banks. And he has launched his initiative without waiting for approval from ECB and EU officials, who blocked an earlier “bad bank” plan under German pressure. Financial markets immediately rewarded Italy for its defiance, with the share price of the country’s biggest bank, Unicredit, jumping by 25% in three days.

Italy’s increasingly assertive resistance to German economic dogmas may not be surprising: The country has suffered from almost continuous recession since joining the euro. Moreover, Padoan, who was formerly the OECD’s chief economist, is the only G-7 finance minister with professional economics training. He understands better than anyone that misguided fiscal and monetary policies have been the underlying cause of Europe’s economic underperformance, and are largely responsible for the political tensions threatening to destroy the EU...

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/apr/29/could-italy-be-the-unlikely-saviour-of-project-europe

Free after six years, what now for Basque separatist leader Arnaldo Otegi?

... Otegi, who joined Eta as a teenager and was later imprisoned for kidnapping, is credited with playing a pivotal role in persuading the group to lay down its weapons and pursue independence by peaceful means. Among those who had called for his release were Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the former Uruguayan president José Mujica and the Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, to whom Otegi has been compared for his peacebuilding efforts. He joined Adams in Dublin last weekend for the party’s annual conference and to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising...

... “It seems to me that for many years, Eta’s violence provided a way for the Spanish state to cover up all the country’s problems,” he said. “I am convinced that there are certain sectors within the Spanish state that wouldn’t mind some low-level violence that would allow them to find an enemy and cover up all the problems: them and us.”

Had Eta not renounced the armed struggle in 2011, he said, the political landscape might have looked very different now. Many of the corruption scandals currently squeezing the PP might never have come to light and the collapse of the traditional two-party model that has brought Spain to an enduring political impasse might never have occurred, he said...

... Today, Otegi recognises that he and others may have been better off adopting a more Catalan approach to independence. “They have a far more advanced independence process. I would say it’s a matter of political culture and cultural DNA. I don’t know if we Basques are more impulsive, more passionate or whether maybe our country has suffered so much that we’ve sometimes been driven by passion rather than reason...”

/... http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/29/free-after-six-years-but-what-now-for-arnaldo-otegi

Obama's Legacy

I'd like to get some forward-looking discussion on the parts of President Obama's foreign and security policy legacy listed here and implications for future policy.

Since rhe source is a reader's comment on the Economist article on Obama's visit to Saudi Arabia there shouldn't be a copyright issue.

http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21697326-barack-obama-leaves-saudi-arabia-having-failed-do-much-reassure-americas-gulf?fsrc=scn/fb/te/bl/ed/barackobamamakesaswifttriptoriyadh

Connect The Dots
Apr 21st, 20:21

OBAMA’S MUSLIM/ ARAB FOREIGN POLICY SUCCESSES:

-Opened up Iran to normalized diplomatic relations and trade. And avoided war entanglement and another Mideast War in Iran.
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-Denuclearized Iran.
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-De-fanged the Syrian Regime in the Axis of Evil. They are literally on the ropes.
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-The three of the four original nations of the Axis of Evil: Iran, Iraq, and Syria have been pacified against causing free range world terror. North Korea remains the exception. But all are in throes of destruction or bankrupted with curtailed international activities.
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-Eased the Muslim Brotherhood from power after stealing the Egyptian Revolution.
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-Withdraw from Iraq.
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-Withdraw from Afghanistan.
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-Light involvement with Air War in Libya with easy disengagement.
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-Kept American troops out of Mali.
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-Stayed away from the Syrian Civil War Catastrophe.
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-Enabled Fracking Technology that has allowed America to disengage from Arab Oil and Arab Politics.
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-By Energy Exports and saving on military deployments, Obama has balanced the budget deficit and increased trade exports.
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-NSA surveillance has prevented Jihad Terror attacks on American Soil successfully since 9/11.
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-Decreased World Terror from better intelligence. All terrorists are more interested in Syria anyway.
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-Capped up Somali Pirates with collaborative multilateral Naval action.
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-Has allowed the Arabs self determination and independence. And forced them to face hard reality. It is a mess, but it is an Arab mess, owned by the Arabs.
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-Made weapons grade radioactive isotopes more secure and nearly impossible to obtain by rogue terror groups. Made nuclear disarmament a glamorous top Head of State Issue as the Washington Nuclear Security Council with 130 world leaders demonstrate. Proof: Jihadists have never succeeded in unleashing an atomic bomb despite thousands of civilian bombs detonated.
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-Removed "America as a Scapegoat" for all the World's Problems. Syria is a wake up call.
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-Take away the Muslim World, and the World has never seen such a Period of Peace and Prosperity. There is record Low Conflict, low historical violence. Outside of the Islamic world it has never been safer. And commerce has never been more global and integrated.
It is a New Global Renaissance.
And Obama has been a major change agent.

===

Is the U.S. Backing A Coup In Brazil (Democracy Now)?

In DU Latin America Grouo.

Roy Cohn, the lawyer who.influenced Donald Trump to turn the tabloids into a soapbox

Donald Trump is a man who likes to think he has few equals. But once upon a time, he had a mentor: Roy Cohn, a notoriously harsh lawyer who rose to prominence in the mid-1950s alongside the communist-baiting senator Joseph McCarthy. His tactics would often land him in the papers, but Cohn was unafraid of being slimed by the press – he used it to his advantage. A devil-may-care-as-long-as-it-gets-a-headline attitude was Cohn’s trademark in life. Trump, in our time, has made it his.

His careful manipulation of negative attention is something that Trump noticed immediately when the two met in 1973. Trump and his father had just been sued for allegedly discriminating against black people in Trump’s built-and-managed houses in Brooklyn, and sought out Cohn’s counsel. Among other things, Cohn advised that Trump should “tell them to go to hell”. Cohn was hired, and one of his first acts as Trump’s new lawyer was to file a $100m countersuit that was quickly dismissed by the court. But it made the papers.

This was the beginning of a long and close relationship. Trump relied on Cohn for most of the legal matters during a particularly tricky decade. Cohn drew up the pre-nuptial contract between Donald and Ivana when they married in 1977 – a famously stingy contract that only gave Ivana $20,000 a year...

/... http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/20/roy-cohn-donald-trump-joseph-mccarthy-rosenberg-trial

There are surely many of all sexes,

but probably mostly, some of whom hold, perhaps with good reason, resentful feelings towards men, all men, women, who support Ms. Clinton for viscerally sexist reasons, boston bean.

Democratic socialism works well

in a well-regulated open market economy because it fosters the long-term interests of the majority of the people (including social, cultural & environmental interests), enabling them to supply to and make purchases in that market.

Corporate socialism disables people and exponentially consumes everything.
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