The Abject & Absurd Surrealism of the Amerikan Political Landscape


It’s not just that it’s totally absurd that a reality teevee star became President, as Bedtime for Bonzo began the Hollywood-ization of the Presidency; it’s just that it feels so, especially given…the show.  Tweeting foreign policy and President unitary executive orders is bizarre, but let’s hear from that Comprador Sheriff whose appointment to deputy DHS seems to have been…delusional…aspirational?

But the changing of the guard in his administration has been epic.  His flash-in-a-pan communications director, you know, the one who’s in charge of developing the Prez’s media issue campaigns, overseeing the writing of speeches, Mooch of the ‘I can’t suck my own cock’ or some such fame…lasted ten days.  But the Guardian recklons that as Sean Spice is former military, he just might see it as his duty© and…stay on. Would he fire Sarah Huckabee Sanders in another of his recurring Roman Coliseum spectacles?

Another Guardian opinion had offered that former Marine, GITMO overseer, former SouthComm commander John Kelly will restore order, and a sense of military ‘civility and decorum’ to the White House.  Yes indeed, he’s a civil one, you betcha.

Among all the many palace coups, NBC is reporting that there’s another internecine going on among his generals.  Specifically that Herr Trump wants Mattis and Dunford to replace Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, because he is not winning the war, the officials said.

Trump has his eyes on the vast mineral wealth in Afghanistan, and maybe even…the poppies, who can say?  Maybe Mad Dog Mattis and Ashraf Ghani will rethink EriKKK Prince’s offer to become the real badass Afghan Air Force…  Ah: a wd light bulb alert: just spit-ballin’ here, but ain’t it likely there are a few dozen MOABs in some closet or other?

How long can Beauregard Sessions avoid ‘the purge’?  We love the breathless will he or won’t he fire Robert Mueller? debates.  Speaking of Sessions, NBC reports that in a recent closed-door speech to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) — a conservative Christian law firm, Beauregard said:

“Since he was elected, President Trump has been an unwavering defender of religious liberty,” Sessions stated. “The president has also directed me to issue guidance on how to apply federal religious liberty protections. The department is finalizing this guidance, and I will soon issue it.”

“The guidance will also help agencies follow the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Congress enacted RFRA so that, if the federal government imposes a burden on somebody’s religious practice, it had better have a compelling reason.”

CAIR and LGBTQ groups posit that the point is to discriminate, not to enforce existing civil rights.  Last week Herr Trump appointed former Gov Sam Brownback of Kansas to the Ambassadorship for Religious Freedom.  Nuff said? If you knew there were such a gig or office, go to the head of the Nerd Knowledge class.

‘Some people are born to greatness; others have greatness thrust upon them’
~Henry Kissinger (j/k)

Ack, speaking of greatness and the related ‘hero’ meme, zounds, John McCrankypants was lauded as a hero again, this time for his ‘heroics’ in getting out of his sickbed to cast ‘the deciding vote’ (it really wasn’t) against the ‘skinny repeal (wth?) of the ACA.

‘Whatever the case, when McCain walked into the chamber and dropped his thumb down, the whole place turned into a goddamned Frank Capra movie.” ~ Charles P. Pierce, Esquire.

Kee-rist; even law enforcement disavowed this, if only speaking ‘academically’ of best policies and procedures.  He also offered a great opportunity for Amerikan pols to posture against…police brutality, so there is that upside.

File under what the fuck?: ‘Trump signs Russia sanctions bill but blasts Congress; In a pair of statements, the president said parts of the law violate the Constitution’.

Never mind; he signed in aid of ‘national unity’.

Trump: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any voters.”   (now that’s an interesting thought experiment.  Or is it?

On some other side of the rolling Capitalist Magic 8-ball, we have the Dem’s Berryville Baloney: ‘A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future’.  Or: a Better Brand of neoliberalism, with great ideas from Rahm Emmanuel, MoveOn.org, Nancy Pelosi of the rictus smile, Liz ‘pro-market’ Warren, Chuck and Jive Schumer, et.al.  Toothless hype about scrutinizing monopolies more carefully, keeping drug prices low, demanding proof of higher costs, public-private funding of schools and job re-training, in other words: a real populist agenda.  But Chuckie adds that there’s More To Come….stay tuned.

OTOH, George Barbarie asks: ‘What Resistance?’, Counterpunch.org

“Rebellion proves . . . that it is the very movement of life and that it cannot be denied without renouncing life. Its purest outburst, on each occasion, gives birth to existence.”

~ The Rebel, Albert Camus

“The leaders of The Resistance—apparently consulting episodes of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show—threw together its Plan B-Z in the handful of days after failing to install Wall Street’s HR Clinton into her favorite DC address.

To resist in 1944—as it had been before and has been since—was to enter into mortal combat with an exceptionalist power that promised to obliterate anything that stood in its way. And a resistance worthy of the name would not act in a manner that would jeopardize its integrity or, to use Camus’s term, honor.

In the context of 21st-century America, Trump’s not the only one who represents an exceptionalist power worthy of honorable resistance.

Look no further than what calls itself The Resistance. One of its charter members recently reaffirmed “we’re capitalists” in order to spurn the growing thirst for leftist and populist ideas and policies.

Consider, too, that The Resistance is composed of more than a few people who aren’t all that against US aggression abroad, aren’t militating against increasingly bellicose police forces, aren’t doing more for Sandra Bland and Alton Sterling than saying their names (if they even remember their names), aren’t dismantling an economic system that literally kills people, aren’t addressing the disproportionate violence and poverty endured by transgender people beyond the bathroom, aren’t joining Native Americans in solidarity as they stand against a multi-billion oil industry that threatens all of us and our shared ecosystem, aren’t sincerely interested in ensuring that all Americans have access to the same quality of healthcare that folks in Cuba have, and on and on.” [long snip]

“Running bad boy Trump out on a rail is fine, the logic goes, as long as the world-eating empire he heads isn’t touched. But as Tom Paine spelled out in his Vindication of the Rights of Men, removing the head of a bad regime, however benign (Louis XVI) or malignant (Trump I), achieves nothing if the foundations and institutions of the bad regime aren’t dismantled and replaced.

The Resistance we’ve been granted aims to remove the head, no doubt. Its primary objective, though, is to protect the state which gave rise to that head and, therefore, to thwart authentic resistance—to foreclose an honorable assertion of life.

Resist.” (again, the rest is here.)

‘A “Better Deal” for American Workers?’ Eric Cheyfitz at CP snarks.  He also answers, of course.

“For those people in the United States who still believe there are two major political parties, the Democrats’ Senator Chuck Schumer on July 24th  of this year published an op-ed in the New York Times  in the form of a policy statement intended to speak to “Americans clamoring for bold changes to our politics and our economy.”  This statement was the synthesis of a public event staged in Berryville, Virginia, a small town that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump and is represented by a Republican in Congress. One might call this event “taking the fight to the enemy” if, indeed, anyone believes that the Democrats and the Republicans are actually in opposition beyond the rhetorical feints.”  [long snip]

“So the “better deal” the Democrats brought us during the past eight years was no deal at all or at best a very bad one: the assurance of poverty-level work for the vast majority. Schumer does not mention this in his op-ed. Indeed, for the most part the piece reads as if the Democrats had suddenly emerged on a scene devastated by some alien force rather than by the collusion of both parties over the last forty years. “The wealthiest special interests,” Schumer writes as if he and the Dems were not part of these interests, “can spend an unlimited, undisclosed amount of money to influence elections and protect their special deals in Washington. As a result, our system favors short-term gains for shareholders instead of long-term benefits for workers.”

Please feel free to add your own…touches.  Venting alleviates built-up tensions.  ;-)

34 responses to “The Abject & Absurd Surrealism of the Amerikan Political Landscape

  1. both abject and absurd, and somebody’s gonna get uh ass-kickin’, including the WaPo.

  2. And I hear that in the works is a new, “Skinny,” Boy Scout Law revision (along with mandatory weapons training and arming of these young men) where scouts only need to be loyal and obedient. Trustworthy, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, clean and thrifty are of little use anymore. And why would they want to be cheerful about anything then?

    Hello wendyedavis, you’d pretty well covered the gamut for the reasons we have to express some contempt. Busy locally, attempting to halt the WI Fox “conn,” going on in the state capitol today. The money discussed for this public subsidy of a Taiwanese business each year would pay for every state technical school student to have an absolutely free four-year degree acquisition, over the next fifteen years, for just one comparison. Scooter is desperate to hold his job in the, “Gov’s” chair. Nothing else.

    Our US Senator will be at a local meet and greet in two weeks. She won’t be getting congratulated for her bill to continue to prop up the health insurance industry by me. That’d be Senator Tammy Baldwin of pushing the, “pushing the public option,” (to pay without getting any actual health care) crowd.

    OT, five whole days without rain for a change until one and a half inches this afternoon (in an hour). A pattern of continued incrementally good outcomes on the family front. Best to you and yours.

    • those new rulez must be for the eagle scouts, eh, nonquixote? surely they wouldn’t let the younger fellers train w/ guns…or at lest live ammo.. but how sexist: they’re ignoring the ‘gold award’ girdle scouts? heh, i did see some headline about the scouts claiming they’d never called and thanked herr cheeto for…something or other. didn’t he speak at some jamboree or other? prolly in wisConsin, huh?

      yeah, i’d read about the subsidizing of a new foxxcon there. prolly one of the reasons that sergeant down jones, 27 years old…opened today at 21,981.00.
      but nah, i didn’t even scratch the surface here. one thing i forgot was that when searching for the spelling of roy cohn’s name for a email i was writing to a friend, i discovered that he was one of herr hair’s attorneys in his ‘early’ bidness days. ‘not gay’ cohn of the ‘lavender’ smears and persecutions, yanno.

      i did love this, though: ‘Trump to Peña Nieto: border wall not so important – just don’t say you won’t pay; Report reveals leaked transcripts of phone call between US and Mexican presidents, in which Trump begs Peña Nieto not to tell press he won’t pay for wall’, guardian

      not sure what you mean on tammy baldwin’s pushing the public option, i’m waaay behind on most of that. but checking the bern’s twi feed i did see him congratulating himself for introducing a ‘single payer’ bill. meh, i didn’t click in, actually factually.

      glad ya got a break in rain; it’s been very rainy here, esp. considering our annual precipitation is about 12 inches a year. but there ain’t one piece of fruit on the hill here; very dislocating, always something noticeably missing in the background.

      thanks so much for stopping by and sharing the report on your family good news. love to both of you, and peace when you can manage it.

      • Not said enough directly, I wish to thank all the writers/thinkers/doers/lovers here for their profound looks at and descriptions of the bigger picture and being a literal islander myself, (350 miles of coastline) you all unquestionably help me get out more often.

        Picking the healthcare for all meme as a simplistic theme, when I speak with friends here, that right to access and receive it is getting wider press and public awareness at the moment, and would do so much for freeing labor to move around and to pick their employment (or create their own work), rather than it picking them. No small deal in retaking personal control from the mou and I realize I’m not telling any of you what you don’t already know. Tipping point for this time in space? Maybe or not. Many thanks again.

        • mornin’, amigo. there really are a brilliant bunch of folks here, aren’t there?
          popular resistance keeps claiming that w/ all the fol-de-rol of not repealing obamacare (remember when folks loathed it?) that there’s a big opening for medicare for all, but as thd reminded us, the devil’s in the details. kinda wonder what bernie’s ‘single payer’ amounts to, that single word doesn’t signify much, does it?

          but that issue sure isn’t in my wheelhouse; i never even bought my mandatory obamaDon’tCare plan, and shhhh: never even got fined. and you’re right, folks really need to be able to have access to portable health care, not health ‘insurance’, eh?

          thanks for using ‘lovers’ too. i’d almost used it last might, as so many of the british shows and films i watch use it rather generically as a term of affection; good on ya. ;-) gonna go poke about for a bit, see whassup. raining again here so uncharacteristically. well, that’s an awkward sentence; sorry.

          on arrrggh-worthy edit: christ in a canoe, i’d signed of for the night on the Rexxon VZ dairy by mistake with:
          bless you all for your stellar comments, photos, and music (ay yi yi, bruce cockburn). i’m up at 4, and am weary and worthless by this time of night; y’all with real lives during the day show up late for me. please know that i’ll answer tomorrow, and know that you’ll talk to one another in the meantime.

          this may seem and odd choice for a sign-off lullaby, but i’ve been hearing it in my head all week. yes, war is increasingly mechanized, and the all-volunteer military (a brilliant move by the masters of war) has been a de facto jobs program since at least 2008. but remember the old hippie question: ‘what if they gave a war…and no one came’? yes, conscientious objectors were those moral citizens back in the day, and fuck…i’m crying again already; i just can’t help it as i listen. yes richie, this song made rebels of sooo many of us, and peter dig dig deep, and said it right in ten directions.

          i know i would have sung it for my pop if he’d lived long enough. we broke up over the viet nam war and my quitting college some time or other; after kent state, maybe?

          sleep well, me hearties, and love and solidarity to all of you.

          and hell’s bells, i went back to the bern’s tweet which went to this guardian link. nope, he’ll crowd-source for things to be included, introduce it in another month or so. keep on pushin’, bern; you must be Sisyphus.

  3. Here’s some more of the landscape:

    Workers in Mississippi voted today on unionization of a Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi.
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/nissan-workers-mississippi-begin-voting-074259953.html

    emptywheel‏ @emptywheel 1h1 hour ago
    emptywheel Retweeted Fox News
    The Clintons bought into Whitewater in 1978.
    emptywheel added,
    Fox News‏Verified account @FoxNews
    .@JaySekulow: “To look at a real estate deal from 10 years ago… would be way outside the scope of the mandate.”

    The chyron under Sekulow says “These are supposed to be secret sessions” (referring to the grand jury) So were Kenneth Starr’s grand jury sessions investigating the Clinton, but the leaks drove the story.

    Haaretz.com‏Verified account @haaretzcom 3h3 hours ago
    Bombshell: Israel Police confirm Benjamin Netanyahu suspected of bribery, fraud, breach of trust in 2 separate cases

    Kenneth Lipp‏ @kennethlipp

    Trump taking the stage in West Virginia now to John Denver’s “Country Road.”

    Enough…Quite a landscape. Including Netanyahu as part of the Amerikan landscape.

    • it seems they voted to *decide* whether to join the uaw or not; ooof, the comments were all ‘nyet’. is this under absurd or abject? i’m thinking of most of the union bigs wedded to dems for some unknown reasons, and the two- or three-tiered contracts obama’s team had negotiated w/ the uaw when he ‘saved the detroit auto makers’. maybe both sides or the rubric? ;-)

      help me out on these next things; i did go grab the fox tweet, but explain it for me, please? especially EW’s ‘the clintons bought into whitewater in 1978?

      goodness, i’d thunk there’d been reports that bibi was under investigation for months, though i confess i’d never clicked in, reckoning he was another teflon political ‘leader’. but ay yi yi:

      “The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved legislation on Thursday that would suspend U.S. financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority until it stops rewarding Palestinians who kill American and Israeli citizens.

      i saw on reuters that the billionaire temporarily D gov switched back to the R aisle on the stage w/ cheeto man. file under: not absurd.

      • Sekulow –> Trump’s financial history is fair game if Clinton’s was.

        UAW (Walter Reuther) was major player in passage of civil rights bill in 1964 and 1965 — part of financial support of March on Washington. Mississippi is hostiley anti-union state with a right-to-work law. But union elections have won at Smithfield Foods in NC as a result in the reversal during the Obama years in composition of the NLRB. That has not totally reversed back yet. South might still be area of labor election struggle and reaction (as you saw in the comments). Comments don’t tell yet what the vote is or whether it will be recognized.

        Recognition does not even get to contracts. Unions will get what they can defend in court. To the executives advantage to have a well-paid, single-tier base if they can get it. In 2008, industry was poormouthing chances of survival while moving plants to China. Crooked game.

        Justice was a blocking candidate to prevent a better Democrat from running. Party switch was part of the gambit. Guess they couldn’t get a Manchin-lite to run. Yep, at this point neither absurd nor surreal; just adds West Virginia, which seceded from Confederate Virginia, back to the Deep South. White nationalism rampant in those hills. (So were the Silver Shirts in the late 1930s.) Some German lineage families were “pro-Hun” in World War I. Returning to the state of things before 1929 and World War II in so many ways. And heading to another round of asset bubble-and-bust. Possibly a fossil fuel bubble and bust. A fossil fuel bubble and bust would be absurd and surreal on a number of scores. But the illusion is that the good Lord is not making real estate any more either. Total derivative exposure is around $75 trillion, down from the $160 trillion that the TARP bailouts wound down. Something will give way again; they can’t help themselves.

  4. is this public display of stupid rancor in the national Big House a big distraction? Italy’s gov’t (and many others) look quite stupid & scary w/fair regularity…and the country doesn’t collapse. “but it looks so unprofessional! the allies won’t respect us.” and who gives a shit about that? we want our world wars to be waged w/a Harvard accent and proper decorum, don’t we? fuck all that. cnn & msnbc & fox can shake their oogah boogah sistrum about trump firing Mueller for weeks. wall street is happy. the military is happy. many sectors of the economy are quite happy. Uncle Exxon Sam may be about to steal a huge prize while ridding “the west” of an annoyance & threat, creating massive & useful chaos in the process. the prison/police state is galloping ahead. we eat the thin gruel of austerity. etc., etc.

    on the other hand, there is some power just by virtue of being in the spotlight on the global/national stage. as long as certain avenues of going off script are not followed, potus can be a raving Alex Jones for all the ptb’s care. if there is any danger of the exercise of the actual power of the presidency (or other high office), the power of shattering illusions by “going off the deep end” into some serious truth telling to the public, if there is any danger of that, the president or other high official will be silenced.

    certain kinds of crazy are perfectly fine. reality tv has never been better. and if the crazy becomes any actual threat, well, we all swim in the discourse of mental illness and Trump has all the classic symptoms. who’s gonna challenge a non compos mentis charge against that asshole? wouldn’t the “national soul searching” and the national “healing process” after our first potus removed from office due to mental incompetence, wouldn’t that be fun? oprah will surely shine.

    • if the internal WH rancor is a big distraction, and it is, @the real donald drumpf is concocting a hella lot of it in his twit wars. blowback may be unintentional, or not, but he’s milked the #fake news ‘conspiracies’ meme for too long, and remember, that term originated w/ the cia. now his wars with the natsec agencies, how far the ‘unintentional consequences w/ them perceiving him as ‘an enemy’, beats me.

      mueller has empaneled a DC grand jury to explore trump and russia, subpoenas have been issued, yada, yada. one easily imagines once it all gets into his son’s and kushner’s involvement, connections w/ russian oligarchs will emerge, georgian as well? who knows how long his R buddies will stick with him?

      guess the mueller crew might be presented w/ the sy hersh/seth rich reporting? nah; hersh has been in their collective straight-jacket for a decade.
      but i really love your constructed imaginings re: the “national soul searching” and the national “healing process” after our first potus removed from office due to mental incompetence, wouldn’t that be fun? oprah will surely shine.”

      dayum, that’s fine; thanks.

      we just talked very briefly to our son in dubai; it’s his birthday, and the call was very emotional from both ends of the line, and for some different reasons, as you might imagine. war makes more war…it sure don’t bring peace.

      • it’s hard to speak w/much authority about what’s “really going on” from here outside the palace walls, where, you know, let them eat meth. is there a coup underway??? should we be surprised if there is? that the vicious buffoonery of this supernova of an exemplary Amerikkkan success story & his Luciferian plummet from the Olympus of power would be used to drive us all further into, e.g., the hands of the military? and all this at the manipulation of the intel services, caressing & lovingly massaging the MSM, whom businesses flatter w/ad revenue due to the high ratings of the best reality tv money can buy? and trump is like Aquaman or one of many, many creatures from the black lagoon of the mephitic morass of US politics. He knows HRC & Comey and co would slit his throat (perhaps just metaphorically) w/o hesitation if given the chance, provided it didn’t too much jostle the class warfare apple cart they all take turns pushing around.

        they stuck the blackface in office for 8 years so the npr crowd could be in awe of how great the US is and say, as they did of Colin Powell, “he speaks so well. so nice to have someone articulate in office. see the progress blacks are making? see the arc of history arcing?” as political theater, rhetoric, speechifying, performance, etc., that was about the most boring 8 years in US history. the bar is so low in terms of public performance by politicos that it was easy for many to confuse Obama with “depth”. he really knew how to tell blacks to put down the Popeye’s fried chicken in a way liberals could knowingly nod along with. yeah, so articulate.

        so now we get the Apprentice? b/c under the *real* Obama, the population became much more desperate & miserable. by every possible indicator. the answer to such misery is not the tiniest motion in the direction of fairness, justice, etc. it’s a giant spectacle. “omg!!!! trump is ruining our nation!!!” what does “our nation” even mean? how serious can the threat, the crisis, be when, per cspan, 99% of federal elected officials in DC cannot be bothered to come to work in DC 99% of the time? (ok, small exaggeration.) they can mouth off about trump just fine, pro aut contra, from their favorite lobbyist’s office.

        best wishes to your son and family. the ripple effects of militarism & its necessary lies wash us all in a sea of corruption, don’t they? sooner or later. no escape. words fail.

        • briefly for now, nagelbett, cuz your final words made me cry again, and i need some zzzzleep in hopes they will clear up later.

          ack; ‘the apprentice’, i can never think of the big show’s name. but yes, that a comprador, well-spoken mulatto could fuck the 99%, make war on brown people globally w/ impunity, the logical extension was a faux-populist ‘not-war-monger’, ‘not-regime-changer’, make amerikka Grate again. and yep, the US is Grating almost globally now. the only force that may stop our war machine is…when somebody comes for us.

          laters, as they say in cornwall.

        • military junta; now there’s a thought, nagelbett. got a fun D/R equivalency from michael hudson to stick up in a minute. finally trrn has something…better than ‘can the D party be reformed?’ or ‘trump leaves the paris climate accords’ results, fears.

          on edit: but for now, this in the spirit of ‘when somebody comes for us’:

          “Drugged, delusional, huddled masses of sheeple. Blue sheeple, red sheeple, herded into the Big Top seats. Behold The Donald on the high wire, and Hillary the Tattooed Lady. He’s an inappropriate thrill a second, and she’s got every corporate logo on earth etched into her blotchy skin. It’s the Greatest Show on Earth. The illusion of choice. Watch whichever freak you choose. Choose whichever freak you watch. The outcome is predetermined. Nothing will change. Twilight Zone Election/Selection Fiasco. Hillary’s out, Donald’s in. So what? False flags continue to fly. The great upward transfer of wealth continues. Wars rage unabated. The show must go on. And still the flags fly, and still allegiance is pledged.”

          Like school playground bullies, empires rule by fear. Now the other children tire of the abuse. Whispers are heard. Alliances are formed. The bully’s closest allies now defect to the insurgency. The oppressor stands alone. Powerless and surrounded. The other children move closer. Will they show mercy, or beat the ruffian to a bloody pulp?”

          ~ john rohn hall

          turns out that he seems to live on the street where juliania lives, wot ho?

          • nice. i’m not sure when, if ever, it’s going to happen…to use the recurrent phraseology of the wsws: the direct intervention of the working class. actually it’s happening already. it’s a question of size & efficacy. as awful as trump is, we are supposed to celebrate a coup against a quasi-elected official based on nonsense (or not) from spooks? to put it crudely, trump can tongue jack the shit box of everyone in this country. but fuck the cia.

            • hmmmm. he wasn’t talking about a global workers’ revolution, though put that on wish list. i should have provided his title: ‘the empire’s day of reckoning’. he chose war w/ russia provocation, but he might have imagined china, depending…as far as i can tell, the bear has done everything possible to avoid war with nato/the US:

              “In the soft glow of twilight, a Russian SU-35 flies swiftly, vertically, nearly out of sight, into the heavens. An aerial Bolshoi Ballet ensues. Hovering. Flipping. Spinning like a child’s top. Defying gravity and maneuvering with dreamlike choreography. Powerful jet engines humming a swan song for the playground bully. There is a name for this ballet: Empire’s Twilight. Empire looks on, grudgingly understanding that its day has come to an end.”

              similarly, john pilger who did a whole documentary on ‘the coming war w/ china’ wrote:

              “Those who call themselves liberals or tendentiously “the left” are eager participants in this manipulation, and its brainwashing, which today revert to one name: Trump.

              Trump is mad, a fascist, a dupe of Russia. He is also a gift for “liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics”, wrote Luciana Bohne memorably. The obsession with Trump the man — not Trump as a symptom and caricature of an enduring system – beckons great danger for all of us.” [snip]

              “In his last year, according to a Council on Foreign Relations study, Obama, the “reluctant liberal warrior”, dropped 26,171 bombs – three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day. Having pledged to help “rid the world” of nuclear weapons, the Nobel Peace Laureate built more nuclear warheads than any president since the Cold War.

              Trump is a wimp by comparison. It was Obama – with his secretary of state Hillary Clinton at his side – who destroyed Libya as a modern state and launched the human stampede to Europe. At home, immigration groups knew him as the “deporter-in-chief”.

              Buried in the detail was the establishment of a “Center for Information Analysis and Response”. This is a ministry of truth. It is tasked with providing an “official narrative of facts” that will prepare us for the real possibility of nuclear war – if we allow it.”

              https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/08/04/on-the-beach-2017/

              • yeah, he was referring to implosions & rivalries from w/in. but the working class will have responses, inevitably. been lots of good stuff on this thread.

                it is difficult to accept that the world they have planned for us is Afghanistan (see Andrew Vlchek’s latest at CP), is Gaza.

                and, following up on your reference to Libya & the Bomber in Chief, per the wsws today, Italy is sending the navy to stop refugees. I didn’t have the heart to read the article yet, but I think those of us around this here briar patch knew this was coming sooner or later.

                • john rohn hall meant that nato military war would invite a response, as in ‘they’ll be comin’ for us’ soon, i’m pretty sure. oh, and as it turns out, bannon wants to make the deal with erik prince. lots of good stuff here, yes, and thank for the assists.

                  andre’ll have to wait; davidly’s new piece has sooooo many links to peruse, might require note-taking for the likes of me.

  5. The United States has repeated its threats to bring about regime change following the election.
    Five days after the nation voted, the elected members of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly are preparing to take their seats on Friday.

    People have been invited to join in a march to accompany the 545 members as they are installed at the Federal Legislative Palace in Caracas.
    The Venezuelan, President Nicolas Maduro, said the Constituent Assembly will consolidate peace and unity in the country, adding that the final preparations are underway.

    Meanwhile, the United States has repeated its threats to bring about regime change in Venezuela.
    The State Department has issued a statement reiterating that it will not recognize the Constituent Assembly.
    Its spokesperson, Heather Nauert tweeted that the election was a “disaster for democracy”., and more at telesur

    meanwhile, oppo leader antonio ledezma is again under ‘house arrest’. reuters reports that The Pope wants maduro to suspend the constitutional assembly. go Pope, what a liberation theologist…you ain’t. there was always that niggling suspicion from your past in argentina..

  6. Hey Wendy…

    I’m glad to see you’re still fighting the good fight! It reminds me of early in 2007 when we thought Kucinich really had a chance at the nomination, before the King of the Stupids (Obama, not Trump) appeared on TV and didn’t he look ever so classy! So now there’s a grotesque clown in the Oval Office, and it isn’t so much worse than a classy sociopath, unless you’re still trying to take this shit seriously, and I’m not.

    But I’m glad to see you’re still fighting the good fight!

    //embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

    • well blow me down, jacob freeze; it’s a pleasant shock to see you here. yeah, dennis. just imagine how dangerous, no…subversive…campaigning on
      one plank of having a cabinet level department of peace must have been to the always-and-forever WOT! nope, the cheeto ain’t much worse than the smiling, articulate peace prize war criminal.

      oddly, i was thinking of your ’emergency poems’ the other day, couldn’t remember where i stuck them in my…ever-eroding memory banks. but yeppers, it’s all too surreal to get too exercised about it all, isn’t it? well, save for what amerika is still doing to other nations as it continues to export democracy™….

      now your flicker link didn’t produce anything but code, if that’s the right term for it. replace it, please? and cripes, do you still communicate with gasket? last i tried, i admit it didn’t go very far.

      but how the hell are you? are you writing/commenting anywhere? wish i could think of more, but i’ve just been stuck in reading a bunch of rubbish agitprop on the VZ constituent assembly, and my mind’s extra tangled up in blues.

  7. Trump is Turning Against the White Working Class that Elected Him’; Rising stock prices is not an indicator of financial health like Trump would have you believe, specially when you examine who is buying that stock, says economist Michael Hudson, the author of Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy, trnn


    (the transcript)

    SHARMINI PERIES: So Michael, if the stock prices are not increasing because of what Trump calls “high business spirit,” explain the rise in the stock prices. [DJI 22092 as i type]

    MICHAEL HUDSON
    : Well, the answer’s quite simple. The question is, who is buying these stocks? It’s not individuals. It’s not even pension funds. It’s not the private sector. Almost all the stock purchases are bought back by corporations in share buybacks. In other words, companies are buying back their own stocks in order to push up the price because that’s how executives are paid. They’re not paid by increasing output or even increasing profits. They’re paid by how much they can push up the stock price, and there are two ways of doing this easily. One is to use earnings simply for share buybacks, buy your own stock and push it up, or you simply pay out the earnings in dividends.

    They realize that the whole boom that’s occurred from World War II to 2008 is over. They’re not going to invest, but most of all, they’re buying back the stocks simply to benefit the people who run the companies, the chief financial officers and the CEOs. The whole way in which the remuneration of CEOs is paid, gigantic remuneration according to the stock price, is actually hurting industrial capitalism.

    MICHAEL HUDSON: Obviously it’s not helping them at all. [the white working class] They listened to what Trump said, not realizing that when you’re voting for a presidential candidate, you want to look at who his financial backers are. Who are the donors? Trump’s donors were basically the monopolists: the Koch brothers, and the oil and gas industry, and other far-right-wing corporate organizations that are all in favor of monopoly. The last thing they want to do is help the working class. Trump’s genius was in convincing the white working class that he was for them when actually his policies are against them.

    Just like the Democratic candidate Hillary was able to convince her constituency, the blacks, the racial minorities, that she was for them instead of coming down hard against them as the Clintons’ have done ever since the 1990s with their tax on welfare, their support of Wall Street, and their support of big capital. Both parties have the same donor class and they’re trying to get elected by groups in America that they have no intention at all of carrying forth their promises to help their interests.

    (and the central banks and the Fed are about to raise interest rates, so….look out mama…and sergeant dow jones)

  8. And when the 1% gets total control, they better watch out what they ask for because they might get exactly that, and it will not work out like their cooked theories said it would. Kansas and Brownback have already had a minor taste of this reality. Certainly was the case with going full-out Global War on Terror as a gambit to boost the oil industry and regain the US sole superpower status.

    Wound up instead showing how weak the supposed sole superpower was and opened up the narrative of multipolar power. China is spending a lot of the international dollars they squirrelled away over three decades of trade to make that narrative real. And get people talking about the Chinese Century.

    Raising interest rates will spook the folks not producing value.

    • yep, hudson’s premises are solid: the host is dying, the parasite are nervous. creating an even more multi-polar world is one thing we can thank trump for, i reckon, and that more around the globe sense/know that this empire is flailing about in its death throes. wise historians note that that’s when empires are the most dangerous, of course, both abroad and ‘at home’.

      thanks for explaining my questions up yonder: EW must have meant that they bRought clintons’ whitewater in to it. hoping for the best for the canton nissan workers, of course.

  9. I posted this previously on a VZ thread, I think. Seems to me to capture the true, abject and absurd surrealism of US empire. And that is a capitalized ‘us’ … I always try to work that in and don’t want to leave the impression I mean United States.

  10. Unless the Donald actually IS^ another ‘bipartisan’ MobFather Bush $ock* Poppette, all Trump(/Sessions) has to do is Lock her(/and teh rest 0f DEM) UP ! *See photos :


    • lock up the red queen, bruce? hilarious to see the bubba C clip. wonder what a power/sex addict like bill said akin to ‘pussy grabbing’ that never got caught on tape, don’t you?

  11. Trump talks; $lick Willy DEM ACTS, With impunity : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8vxIGNO-vo
    But, ‘Trump is(*) Turning Against the White Working Class that Elected Him’
    (*) Again : 10/9/16 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFGiZT-MnI4
    11/14/16 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPK7uStv6zA jest like Judas goat Bernie before him : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUhQBpXIHYw
    It’s their Poppy Bush (CIA) Company MobFather’s Omerta’ .

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