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Member since: Thu Jul 23, 2009, 11:57 AM
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According to MorningJoke, anyone who won't say they're a "capitalist" or who is against

"free market", completely unregulated, completely un-taxed capitalism is kryptonite to the American electorate.

So I'm being told by the media that I MUST be FOR capitalism and I MUST be AGAINST so-called "socialism" (ie: Bernie Sanders and AOC style stuff) or I'm being "scary".

Alrighty then. Let's talk about SCARY.

Capitalism, unless VERY TIGHTLY REGULATED by government DOES. NOT. WORK. And it especially doesn't work when the capitalists are RUNNING and OWN the government. Look at our environmental destruction, privatized education, prison and healthcare systems: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-08-22/priced-out-of-health-insurance-americans-rig-their-own-safety-nets

IT. DOESN'T. WORK. Does anybody know anything about The Great Depression? What happened there? How about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire? How about The Great Recession in 2008? All this shit caused by capitalism. Climate change? CAUSED BY CORPRAT GREED AND CORPRAT GOVERNMENT CONTROL IE: CAPITALISM.

What's wrong with our goddamned so-called "news" media? CAPITALISM.

The healthcare system in America - why is IT so fucked up? CAPITALISM.

Capitalism, by its nature, is a predatory parasitic system. IT MUST BE REGULATED by an un-coerced government to FORCE it to work for the common good, rather than just for itself; to PREVENT it from destroying the public commons, natural environment, economy just to serve itself.

Right now in the US, capitalism OWNS & CONTROLS the government + the media. It destroys lives from before birth to after death; renders the US economy an unstable, nerve-wracking, unsustainable mess; and it is quickly making uninhabitable the only planet humans have to live on.

YET Americans defend this goddamned immoral system. It does not work. It has N E V E R worked, never been sustainable, always created those few winners at the top while everyone else struggles over crumbs, it has destroyed the government, the common good and the natural environment. IT LITERALLY KILLS PEOPLE by the millions.

UNLESS Americans WISE. UP. and elect people who will SHUT CAPITALIST LOBBYISTS, CXOS and former corporate executives OUT OF OUR GOVERNMENT and OUT of our regulatory agencies and who REFUSE to take any corporate money for campaigns, we're well and duly screwed by capitalism.


Really. Republicans want from others what they're NOT willing to give to others: RESPECT

They have proven time and time again that they CANNOT respect anyone who is different than their ideal: white, male, christian, heterosexual.

They have a TERM they use in derogatory fashion for what it means to RESPECT those different than themselves. They call it being "Politically correct". They PRIDE themselves on NOT being "politically correct" ie: on NOT RESPECTING anyone different than themselves. YET......they want all those people whom they virulently disrespect to respect THEM? Oh no. That's NOT how this works. Has anyone told them? Respect is EARNED and reciprocal. That means to garner respect they SO crave, they'd have to learn to RESPECT:

WOMEN (ALL of them, even those who have sex and are *gasp!* human and thus get abortions and use birth control)
People of different religions than Republicans (Muslims, for instance)
LGBTQ people
People who are NOT white and/or whom are from other countries

WHEN Republicans can SHOW THEY RESPECT others unlike themselves (ie: be "politically correct" to use their term), then and ONLY THEN will they receive respect from others unlike themselves. All that said, Republicans should know that they are a MINORITY. White men are a MINORITY. They are a MINORITY which have always and still demand that others demur to them BECAUSE they are white and male. POWER OVER others is their Number One concern. I'm sorry but THAT does not deserve respect.

Everyone reading this should know that NPR has in the past few weeks featured a LOT of "alt-right" and Republican guests on its various programs. I've been listening to Andrew Pudzer on @1a and several other guests touting their Republican economic and social ideologies.

I've heard more than one black female guest talking about Trump's war on the poor, elderly, and disabled and how that's really just OK for some reason. But HERE is the REAL reason #NPR, that Trump won spelt out in a thread of tweets by a very aware young man...... and I'm warning you it's NOT pretty thing to read. But DO READ IT, @NPR and perhaps feature THIS point of view on your various programs next week because it's important for America to know what it's up against:


1. Donald Trump won the GOP primary and the presidency because campaigning on whiteness-first messaging still has potency in the 21st century. Plenty of people don’t want to directly engage with this fact, but this thread will be getting into it in full.
2. All too often I see the framing that “Hillary lost to the worst candidate in history.” But I think this framing has always been wrong, and it allows people to bypass a question that they don’t want to grapple with: why was Trump electorally viable to the degree that he was?
3. Do not construe this as me arguing that Hillary’s campaign didn’t make mistakes, but I want to laser focus on why people voted for Trump, and what that says about where we are as a country.
4. We've seen the excuses for Trump:

“He promised to shake up the establishment.”
“His campaign resonated with those who have been left behind.”
“It’s just so refreshing to hear a candidate speak his mind.”
“Trump voters responded to economic anxiety.”
5. But these theories do not have any explanatory power regarding why the vote broke down the way it did demographically. Only one broad demographic seemed to be receptive to the kind of campaign that Trump ran on: white people. cnn.com/election/2016/…

6. We must be cognizant of what Trump ran on: calling Mexicans rapists, banning Muslim immigration, building a wall to keep undocumented immigrants out, national stop-and-frisk. And he has a track record of questioning the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate.
7. We know that denial of racism, alongside hostile sexism, predicted a vote for Donald Trump significantly more than other factors like economic dissatisfaction. people.umass.edu/schaffne/schaf…

8. This kind of correlation between racial resentment and the probability of voting for Trump has been observed in other studies. cambridge.org/core/services/…

9. Lack of education predicted support for Trump because of its strong relationship to ethnocentrism, not so much income and occupation. Trump voters thought that a hierarchy that prioritized white people was under attack. Trump helped cement that belief. pnas.org/content/pnas/e…

10. Separate point: perceptions of the economy don’t really determine political preference. Rather, it’s the other way around; political preferences determine economic perceptions. Bearing this in mind… jstor.org/stable/pdf/10.…

11. We’ve seen something analogous under President Obama; racial resentment predicted perception of the economy (note the blue curve). The more racially resentful, the poorer the perception of the economy. washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-ca…

12. So yeah. You see the theme. Of course, it’s not enough to grapple with what the appeal of Trump’s campaign was. We must also be cognizant of the fact that that appeal was propelled to the White House while Trump has demonstrated he's thoroughly unfit.
13. We know Trump’s temperament is horrible, he lacks the qualifications to govern effectively, he doesn’t know the ins and outs of the issues, he has no real desire to learn, he is obsessed with denigrating his opponents and not being humiliated, and he’s a lecher.
14. We can’t just say “Donald Trump won by cultivating bigotry” though because that still leaves some things ambiguous. Donald Trump won because affirming the primacy of whiteness is still an issue of importance to too many white voters.
15. What white supremacy greatly fears is a genuine meritocracy, a society where anyone, regardless of race or gender, can rise according to their talents and diligence.
16. For white supremacy to guard against a trajectory toward meritocracy, this requires everything of merit must be sacrificed, which brings us to a terrifying conclusion: the various ways Trump was unfit for the Presidency were features to his voters, not flaws.
17. Trump won the GOP primary and was propelled to the White House because a swath of white voters wanted to send this message to people of color after 8 years of a Black President who successfully governed: “The worst of us should still be given deference over the best of you.”
18. Furthermore, this entitlement is so profound that many white voters have been willing to sacrifice benefits to their class in exchange for seeing institutions uphold the primacy of whiteness.
19. In W. E. B. Du Bois’s Black Reconstruction in America, he wrote about the psychological wage of whiteness; in exchange for experiencing potentially low economic wages, white people were given a psychological wage in the form of ubiquitous deference.

20. If you find it hard to conceive of people forgoing fiscal wages for the sake of a psychological wage, consider that similar behavior has been observed in non-racial contexts.
21. A Harvard study asked people if they’d rather make $50,000 when everyone else around them makes $25,000 OR if they’d rather make $100,000 when everyone else around them makes $200,000. Fifty percent of respondents opted for the former. albany.edu/~gs149266/Soln…

22. Wild, right? People will opt for a job that pays absolutely less so long as they know they make more relative to everyone else over a job where they make absolutely more but relatively less than everyone else. Because people want to know they’re on top.
23. But if that’s how people behave in non-racial contexts, then it’s actually not a wild leap to conceive of white people forgoing economic benefits so long as they get institutions and politicians upholding white supremacy. They want to know they’re on top.
24. This is actually why many fiscally left-leaning policy positions that we support run into brutal opposition; the real undercurrent is too many white people do not want to share the safety net with anyone else. Then they wouldn't be on top. scholar.harvard.edu/files/glaeser/…

25. Here’s a specific example: we could have had something akin to single-payer during the Truman years. But white southerners opposed it because they feared a national health insurance program would force hospitals to integrate. Seriously.
One Nation, Uninsured
Paul Krugman Op-Ed column says patchwork system that has evolved in absence of national health insurance is unraveling, and time is ripe for another try at universal coverage; says special interests …
26. The 60s marked a period of significant success for the Democratic Party and civil rights. It also led to a flight of white southerners from the party and the end of bipartisanship on redistributionist policies. nber.org/papers/w21703.…

27. Reality: This country was founded upon building an economy on top of exploiting Black labor, concentrating wealth produced from that labor in the hands of white people, and deploying all kinds of terrible tactics to ensure that rigid social stratification was upheld.
28. And when that status quo has been challenged, our country has experienced its most significant upheavals. The U.S. fought its bloodiest and most destructive war over whether the enslavement of Black people should continue.
29. Eras of relative stability for the United States, on the other hand, usually relied on people with power tacitly (or explicitly) upholding racial exclusion from democracy.
How Democracies Die
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "Cool and persuasive... How Democracies Die comes at exactly the right moment. We're already awash in public indignation--what we desperately need is a sober, dispassionate…

30. As minorities increasingly got to participate in democracy—both in terms of voting and participating in government—we saw a decline in bipartisanship, a trend which effectively exploded when Barack Obama was elected President. This isn't a coincidence.
How democracies die, explained
The problems in American democracy run far deeper than Trump.

31. The unfortunate truth is Trump is the culmination of a force that has always been here, namely the tendency to undermine and destroy institutions that do not show extraordinary deference to whiteness, and instead, propping up new and regressive systems in their place.
32. The White House did not show extraordinary deference to whiteness for the past eight years because the President was Black, so the institution was undermined by a majority of white people who voted for a man thoroughly unfit to run the institution but promised bigotry.
33. I made this thread because I am sick of the bullshit excuses for voting for Trump as well as the attempts to obfuscate what happened in 2016. Regardless of your opinion of Hillary Clinton, this was my attempt to explain what happened in 2016. Thanks for reading.
34. Now that this thread is getting a lot of attention, I think it's only fair for me to add that many of the observations in this thread conform to what people of color have been saying for years and years. That shouldn't go unacknowledged.

Something's happening here. What it is, is perfectly clear. There's a man with a gun over there...

"We have at most a year to defend the Republic"

In an interview with German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder said the threat posed by President Donald Trump means “we have at most a year to defend the Republic” and highlighted the role chief strategist Stephen Bannon is playing in that threat, including the administration’s interaction with the media.

The Trump presidency has created no shortage of concerns about the stability of the republic. Trump has waged an unrelenting war on the press for more than a year, personally attacking dozens of journalists, falsely decrying entire news organizations as “fake news,” and even going so far as to shout down CNN’s Jim Acosta for asking a question at a press conference. It’s not just Trump, either -- Bannon, formerly of Breitbart.com, attacked the mainstream media as “the opposition party,” demanding that media “keep its mouth shut” and listen to Trump. Bannon is also known for formerly running a website that pushes pro-white nationalist viewpoints, dog-whistling to neo-Nazis, and infecting the current administration with anti-immigrant policies.

In the February 7 interview, Snyder commented on Bannon’s interaction with the media specifically, noting that he “says in essence that he misleads the public and the media deliberately” and that Bannon’s goal is “the extinction of the whole political system.” Snyder also says the media is “worse” in America now than it was during Nazi Germany, because it is “very polarized and very concentrated.” In addition, Snyder explains that Bannon’s use of the term “opposition” when describing the media is an indicator of talk about an “authoritarian state” because it suggests some type of regime change. . .

When Bannon calls himself a „Leninist“, do Americans know what is he talking about?

No, they usually have no idea. It is a good question. Americans have this idea that comes from Jefferson and the American Revolution that you have to rebel every so often. And they sometimes don’t make the distinction between a rebellion against injustice and the extinction of the whole political system, which is what Bannon says that he is after. The American Revolution actually preserved ideas from Britain: the rule of law being the most important. The whole justification of the American Revolution was that the British were not living up to their own principles, were not including Americans in their own system. In a broad way that that was also the argument of the civil rights movement: the system fails itself when it does not extend equal rights to all citizens. So there can be resistance and even revolution which is about meeting standards rather than about simple destruction. What Bannon says correctly about the Bolsheviks was that they aimed to completely destroy an old regime. We can slip from one to the other very easily, from rebelliousness to a complete negation of the system. Most Americans had a rule of law state for most of their lives, African Americans are an exception, and so most Americans think this will be there forever. They don’t get that a “disruption” can actually destroy much of what they take for granted. They have no notion what it means to destroy the state and how their lives would look like if the rule of law would no longer exist. I find it frightening that people who talk about the destruction of the American state are now in charge of the American state.

When Bannon calls the press the main „opposition party“ that should make everyone concerned. This is not only intended to cheer up Trump supporters.

When you say that the press is the opposition, than you are advocating a regime change in the United States. When I am a Republican and say the Democrats are the opposition, we talk about our system. If I say the government is one party and the press is the opposition, then I talk about an authoritarian state. This is regime change.

Last week Trump called those who take part in demonstrations “thugs” and “paid protestors”. This doesn’t show respect for First Amendment right, it sounds more like Putin.

That is exactly what the Russian leadership does. The idea is to marginalize the people who actually represent the core values of the Republic. The point is to bring down the Republic. You can disagree with them. but once you say they have no right to protest or start lying about them, you are in effect saying: „We want a regime where this is not possible anymore.“ When the president says that it means that the executive branch is engaged in regime change towards an authoritarian regime without the rule of law. You are getting people used to this transition, you are inviting them into the process by asking them to have contempt for their fellow citizens who are defending the Republic. You are also seducing people into a world of permanent internet lying and [away] from their own experiences with other people. Getting out to protest, this is something real and I would say something patriotic. Part of the new authoritarianism is to get people to prefer fiction and inaction to reality and action. People sit in their chairs, read the tweet and repeat the clichés: “yes, they are thugs” instead of “it is normal to get out in the streets for what you believe.” He is trying to teach people a new behavior: You just sit right where you are, read what I say and nod your head. That is the psychology of regime change.

SOURCE: http://international.sueddeutsche.de/post/157058066625/we-have-at-most-a-year-to-defend-american

Donald Trump and Steve Bannon's coup in the making

. . .

The onslaught of executive orders and threatening talk, while entirely in keeping with what Trump promised during the campaign, have left Americans of many political leanings feeling overwhelmed and fearful of what may come next.

The confusion and chaos generated at the bureaucratic and individual level by Trump's most spectacular executive order -- his ban of individuals from selected predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States -- came in part from its sudden announcement. From enforcers to the public, many were thrown off guard.

Welcome to the shock event, designed precisely to jar the political system and civil society, causing a disorientation and disruption among the public and the political class that aids the leader in consolidating his power.
Those who still refuse to take Trump seriously cite his incompetence for the rough start in office. Yet this blitzkrieg was intentional. "Get used to it. @POTUS is a man of action and impact ... Shock to the system. And he's just getting started" his counselor Kellyanne Conway tweeted Saturday.

"Strike at the enemy at a time and place or in a manner for which he is unprepared," reads one US Air Force formulation of the old military doctrine of surprise. Trump has long been an advocate of this tactic and complained various times during the campaign that our armed forces were far too transparent about their planned operations.

Yet Bannon is the mastermind of this takeover strategy as it's been adapted to the domestic realm. Well-versed in military tactics and the history of the radical left and right, Bannon has repeatedly talked about "destroying the state" in the name of securing power for "an insurgent, center-right populist movement that is virulently anti-establishment."

Besieging your targets until nothing makes any sense -- giving them no time to absorb or recover from attacks -- is a time-tested strategy in the history of war and authoritarian takeovers. One might cite what's gone on in Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

It's now being employed at the pinnacle of American democracy. It's particularly useful in situations where the leader is vulnerable due to possible investigations, blackmails or other circumstances that close off gradualist approaches to implementing an agenda. With all the emergencies going on, who is bothered at the moment about those Trump tax returns, or even his ties to Russia?

SOURCE: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/01/opinions/bannon-trump-coup-opinion-ben-ghiat/

For What It's Worth - 2017:

On AMJoy in January, Former CIA Operative Malcom Nance Explains Why Stopping President Bannon is Imperative:


From the video:

The term "Drain the Swamp" - Comes from Alexander Dugin - who is part of the EU Anti-Democratic movement.

That movement has as its main feature a staunch belief in Eurasianism, which is the alignment of US and Russia together in a Christian War Against Islam.

Steve Bannon is the Commissar of the NSC. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, CIA Director and Director of National Intelligence have all been supplanted by Steve Bannon - who is setting this strategy for the WH.

They hate gov't and especially ANY gov't program (no matter how successful or lifesaving)

Ayn Rand and the Koch Bros ARE running the US gov't (actually it's mostly owned and controlled by Wall St, billionaires and huge corporations such as Koch Industries, Goldman-Sachs, Glaxo-Smith-Kline, United Healthcare, Exxon-Mobil etc etc - Paul Ryan is just one of these corporate whores
numerous pimps) - "we the people" have NO voice in it at all. We're just the sitting ducks they scrape more flesh off of to further enrich themselves. Because having 99% of the nation's and the world's wealth isn't enough. THEY. WANT. ALL. OF. IT. And the rest of us get to live and die sick and destitute for it.

Paul Ryan, The Koch Bros, Pete Peterson (of the Peterson Institute) and other various Teabagger/AynRandian apes have successfully convinced people that "Social Security is Broke!" and "Medicare is bankrupt because of Obamacare!" while neither is remotely true. Obamacare in fact rendered Medicare fully solvent for another 10-12 years or -- so but The Idiot Brigade listens to Paul Ryan instead of looking for the truth. Facts are easily found but idiots can't find their own ass with both hands in broad daylight -- so there's that. Believe me I'm related to some of these idiots. They're dumb as a rock when it comes to this stuff.



And Democrats? Well.... perhaps they're just whistling past our collective graveyards. Perhaps they have big plans they're secretly hatching. Bottom line is that THEY WON'T DO ANYTHING UNLESS THEY HEAR A CONSISTENT LOUD ROAR FROM ALL OF US. So warm up your letter-writing and phone dialing fingers and GET CRACKIN!

Paul Ryan/Kochs plan a two-pronged attack on the ACA/Medicare:

1. Repeal ACA with no replacement - INCLUDING repealing the taxes that help fund it - virtually ENSURING there will be no money in the budget for any replacement - EVER.
2. ABOUT THOSE TAX CUTS/Repeals: these will totally EXHAUST the Medicare Trust Fund even more quickly than it would otherwise be depleted. IOW, Republicans will - over time - just DEFUND Medicare, then in 2024 or so if not sooner, simply claim there's no more money for it. Remember Obamacare made it solvent another 10 or so years. Paul Ryan and the greedy corprats & billionaires want to "FIX" that by moving money from ACA->Medicare into HUGE tax cuts for themselves instead.

...Reconciliation repeal bill from earlier this year eliminated $680 billion (over ten years) of taxes on high-income households and the health care industry (e.g., insurers, device manufactures, and drug companies). In addition to increasing deficits, by rescinding the 0.9% Hospital Insurance Trust Fund payroll tax on wages above $200,000, these tax cuts would also accelerate the exhaustion of Medicare’s Part A Trust Fund by four years, from 2028 to 2024
- https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2016/12/19/paying-for-an-aca-replacement-becomes-near-impossible-if-the-laws-tax-increases-are-repealed/

(these tax cuts will no doubt be re-introduced again since they now will pass under Trump)

REMEMBER the Republican M.O. for getting rid of "big government" they dislike: they simply find back-door ways to STARVE THEM OF ANY revenue. Like what they did to the USPS with their poison-pill bill "the US Postal Reform Act" - passed in 2006 wherein the USPS was required to PRE-FUND it's retirees benefits for SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS - something virtually unheard of anywhere else in the public or private sector. This effectively changed the USPS balance sheet from being fully in the black to being covered in RED. In case anyone believes the USPS isn't part of the government - it IS:

The USPS often is mischaracterized as a quasi governmental or private entity. It is neither. The USPS is a government agency that was created by Congress to achieve various public purposes. Federal law defines what products and services the Postal Service may offer. Additionally, the USPS’s employees are federal employees who participate in the Civil Service Retirement System, the Federal Employees Retirement System, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
- http://postalnews.com/blog/2015/05/09/postal-myths-2-the-usps-is-not-a-government-agency/

USPS ALSO HAS A HUGE AND POWERFUL UNION - the Postal Workers Union - which the Ayn Randian/Koch/Ryan Republicans HATE - all the more reason they want this entity GONE and completely privatized so that workers are treated more like UPS and FedEx workers - fewer benefits, lower wages, longer work hours, less or no healthcare or retirement - certainly nothing as good as the Civil Service Retirement System or the FERC.

So what will Republicans do to the ACA? Look at the USPS and other VERY SUCCESSFULLY RUN Gov't programs they hate. They'll find sneaky back-door ways to DEFUND the program - strip it (and Medicare and Social Security) of REVENUE then they'll claim it "doesn't work" and thus needs to be abolished or privatized. ICING ON THE CAKE: they get to continue claiming that "government is inefficient and doesn't work and shouldn't run anything but the military" - when it's actually REPUBLICANS whose anti-gov't ideas and anti-gov't prejudices and destructive dirty trickery that destroys the most successful government programs like USPS, Medicare, Social Security, and now, ACA and the basis of this is PURE GREED.

And of course The Idiot Brigade like my dumb as rocks relatives will believe every word of it.
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