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Member since: Thu Dec 29, 2016, 11:41 AM
Number of posts: 6,812

Journal Archives

McCarthy's dilemma.

We know the story well. McCarthy, for several days after the January 6 coup attempt, spoke like a moral, principled person. Then he visited Trump in Florida. After that, McCarthy acted as if he still supports Trump and believes The Lie.

But here's what likely happened in Florida:

Trump told McCarthy that the only way he'll ever become Speaker is if he'll be loyal to Trump, and only Trump. That's because presumably, Trump told McCarthy how many people in Congress would be implicated and/or directly connected to the conspiracy if it went public. Trump told McCarthy exactly who was on the bubble for complicity and who would be charged for direct aid in the coup attempt. There were enough Trumpian members so disgraced that an electoral purge in Congress would seem natural to all. Then it hit McCarthy that his party was really vulnerable and would lose all power quickly if the GOP joined with Democrats to get rid of Trump. So McCarthy took the survival road and switched to a positive spin regarding the coup. Now is the time that he pays the price.

Corporatism, fascism, guns, and mass murder.

Some of us often wonder what it looks like when fascism stares you in the face. What is it, exactly, that occurs when the inevitable conclusion is that fascism is an operating mechanism in our everyday lives. I have an illustration. And it's as plain as the likeness of Jefferson on a 20.

We should know when we, as a nation, are in real trouble. It's when business interests CONTROL the levers of government. In this world, it's the gun industry. They have control over government on the federal, state, and local level. The gun industry is telling the government what to do, and the government is doing it.

Vast majorities of US citizens want a curb on the reckless proliferation of killing weapons. We know that the gun/assault weapons abuse is beyond anyone's control. Nothing can stop it, we fear.

But the fact is that the gun industry, and not just the NRA, controls government and is telling government, don't touch this issue. So the government doesn't touch.

We can blame the extreme right. We can blame Trump. We can blame Pelosi or Schumer. We can blame the money bags. It doesn't matter. When business controls government, we can assess blame in ten thousand places. But it's the whole of government, the whole of the electorate, that doesn't grasp the issue.

Business is controlling government. Business (the gun industry) is telling government what (not) to do, and the government is obliging.

The government CAN outlaw assault rifles. But it won't because the gun industry is too powerful. And government refuses to seize control because government (OUR government) is too weak to do anything. To be fair, this is what "conservatives" have always wanted. They want strong business and weak government. They are having their way with the help of the media arm of their movement. The consequences, intended or not, include fascism. There are only so many roads that a government can follow. This is one of them.

The gun industry's control over government isn't an abstract notion. It is engraved on every stone that sits atop the grave of every victim of gun violence and mass murder. It is very real. Assault rifles are in the public domain because the gun industry wants it so. All of those deaths are the direct result of the gun industry's dominance over government. We let all of them die. We do nothing about it. And remember, WE are government. We are not demanding representation. Assault rifles in open society is due to the gun industry's representation inside government, not that of the people. The data is stark here. There is no question that the nation's people are not being represented by government.

We the people do NOT put the GOP to bed, never to awaken. We the people are still enamored with Republicanism as part of Americana. But the Republican Party has long gone away and been co-opted by those who no longer want free and fair elections. It's a simple fact that is evident everywhere. Yet GOP voters, longing for a time that never was, vote for a romantic fantasy about small government's benefits when the GOP's mission is to eliminate voting as a meaningful exercise. The coup attempt is still with us, and big money is still fueling the effort. Yet millions are willing to throw the Constitution away.

A possible message for those who see a value in making it:

"While it's deeply disturbing and horrifying Mr. Putin's behavior as commander of his armed forces in Ukraine, what's even more disturbing is the complicity of those who live, work around and advise Mr. Putin on his short term mission in Ukraine. They all know what is being done. And they stand down."

I'm going to just leave this alone and let it go.

What governments can do to oppose the rise of fascism.

1. Narrow the gap between rich and poor. Shift wealth downward. You can call it anything you want, as long as you shift wealth downward. If you want political and socioeconomic stability, you must shift wealth downward. Paradoxically, the wealthy would benefit more than could ever be imagined right now.

2. Do #1 by virtually giving away or heavily subsidizing education. Educating the workforce can't just be a campaign slogan. Make education a defining value in the 21st century. Raise the status of educators. The downward shift of wealth can materialize as a vastly educated workforce on the cusp of a coming technological leap. Liberal Arts and Humanities improve our quality of life beyond an increase in income. Say it and back it up with money.

3. There must be a real promise of prosperity for a growing middle class. Voters have to feel invested in the system and should expect real benefits from their place in the world. Voters are investors in a system that works for them.

4. Governments have a tendency to get pushed back on their heels in the face of "anti-government" instability and fascism. They need to listen to the instability and ask questions about how to enable stability. We cannot advance with a lopsided rich/poor gap. It won't work.

Fascism is rising for reasons. Reacting with rigidity will make matters worse. If governments don't do something about it, they'll get swallowed.

Can the FCC order public and cable channels to air public service announcements?

If so, then fact-driven information on the COVID pandemic can reach those in the TrumpWorld bubble who do not hear fact-driven information. Even if cable channels do not get an FCC license (do they?), requiring public service COVID announcements to air on broadcast channels alone would save more lives.

If at present, the FCC cannot require cable channels to run public service announcements, SOMEONE in Congress should be willing to get the bright idea that airing fact-driven COVID public service information should be on cable channels, and that a law should be litigated in Congress on the efficacy of enacting legislation to that effect.

Does this make sense?

Has Adam Schiff repeated his complaints of the DOJ and/or Garland?

He issued a statement several days ago in which he surmised that Garland was "reluctant" to prosecute Trump.

I don't think that we heard any additional statements of "concern" about the DOJ and Garland since then.

And I think it's because someone actually TOLD Schiff that the DOJ is, indeed, engaged in criminal investigations regarding Trump.

If we don't hear from him, it's because he knows something.

The GOP is trying to run away from this US Code:

18 U.S. Code 2383 - Rebellion or insurrection

They can't really escape. Even the DOJ must know. And that's likely why they've been so silent. Because the implications are catastrophic for the GOP. Hundreds of GOPers are implicit in the violation of this US Code. All of those who voted to deny the certification of the 2020 vote can be ineligible to hold office, according to this code. IF ENFORCED, the GOP would be decimated.

So why isn't the DOJ enforcing its own federal code? Is it due to the enormity of the consequences of enforcing the code?

My answer to that question is: YES.


Climate change and politics

We're watching Ida moving closer to New Orleans and we see the potential for storm damage-- to everyone.

We also know by now that this season, like the last one, will have a higher number of hurricanes than average.

We know that Florida is losing its war on a rising sea level and we wonder, or we should, how all of those millions of people are going to survive and where they will relocate. It's going to happen. It's simply the logic of the situation.

The severity of late summer weather in Florida and the Gulf states will increase. There's no reason by now to believe that it won't. In time, perhaps only a couple of decades from now, parts of Hurricane Country will be viewed as uninhabitable during parts of the year.

That's something to think about.

And there's no way out. Here's why.

As a planet full of homo sapiens, we are not flexible enough adjust to what is now inevitable: a permanently changed climate worldwide, with much of the change severely affecting large areas of habitable coastline. As a community of nations, our biggest barrier to adjusting our impact on the planet is... wait for it... capitalism.

Yeah. I know. I like capitalism. But capitalism cannot be instrumental in preserving a habitation. That's because, if the community of nations is to be successful in preserving a habitable climate, immense amounts of labor and manufacturing will be needed to alter our impact on the planet in a way that meats clear objectives. And that capital will not be exchanged among corporations. Why? BECAUSE THERE'S NO MONEY IN IT!

Countering climate change will take public projects of immense scope. A little here and a changing of the edge there won't cut it. Climate change is pervasive, systemic, and spherical. It has to be countered in an array of areas. But it can't be handled by a capitalistic system because seeking and competing for profits will corrupt the effort, and we cannot afford to corrupt the effort.

So what can be done? If all of these observations hold merit, and capitalism indeed IS a major obstacle against countering climate change, then how is it done?

Re: Chauncey Devega's interview of Richard Painter regarding the DOJ's protecting of Trump

The interview appeared in this morning's Raw Story, republished from the original Salon article.

Painter said, in essence, that the DOJ is protecting Trump from prosecutions based on the notion that presidents, former and acting, cannot be subjected to the Rule of Law- for the principle reason that to do so would be a direct threat to the institution of the presidency. Presumably, that is why the DOJ is positioning itself to defend Trump in legal and civil proceedings, no matter how egregious his offenses.

Many of us are patiently waiting for AG Garland to exercise his job responsibilities AS WE SEE THEM. We've been reading of Trump's treasonous and felonious crimes for months and years. We are at times aghast that, month after month, Trump is still positioning himself to overthrow the Constitutional processes that preserve the peaceful transfer of power through free and fair elections. We sometimes feel assured that Biden's choice of AG, Merritt Garland, will fulfill his duties as AG by showing all of us that even a former president is subjected to the Rule of Law, and that the DOJ would LEAD efforts to bring him to justice.

Sure, I want to see it happen. It's common for anyone to adhere to a sense of justice and personal responsibility. We teach that to our kids. We tell them to behave and we insist upon it. But if they become president, they can abandon their values and murder, cheat, lie, and maim, and those who are subjected to a president's decisions and suffer get no recourse, no tort claim, no nothing. A "president" can destroy populations, bomb islands, commit genocide, and can sleep easy knowing that nothing will befall them. CHECKS AND BALANCES? Don't count on it.

There are still plenty of people in influential places who caution us and tell us to be patient, to wait for the wheels of justice to turn, and that the "new AG" Garland, will set the wheels of justice onto a relatively smooth road, and will prove that we can trust that the laws will be faithfully executed. But Garland, it appears, is choking. He will allow Trump to gain power once again. He will NOT intervene.

I'm writing this opinion as a warning of sorts. As a nation, our leaders make decisions. They make them by both their actions and by their inactions. The DOJ is making statements by doing both. By defending Trump's felonies, they are acting in defense of the indefensible. It's madness, but it's reality. And by turning away from directly prosecuting Trump's felonies, his treasonous behavior, his LEADING OF AN ATTEMPTED GOVERNMENT OVERTHROW THAT IS STILL ALIVE, the DOJ's inaction is also a comment on the dubious state of the nation.

It doesn't look good, folks.

Perhaps it's time for the press to step into the breach.

The press must do a few things, and quickly.

1. It must pursue interviews with Republican politicians.

2. In any interview, the subject must be asked these two questions:

a. "Do you support any kind of staging of a coup by Trump?"

b. "If you do not support any kind of coup, would you contact the appropriate authorities if you witnessed or heard of any plans for a coup?"

This issue must be dealt with straight-on. Republicans have been too quiet for too long. Someone will have to break the ice. It must be broken.

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