Another week that was.

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I know we’ve all been drinking from a news fire hose this week and you hardly need me to remind you of that. Still, I’m going to do some short takes on various topics … unless I get on a tear, then all bets are off. (No betting!)

Iraqi-versary – It’s been fifteen years since the American invasion of Iraq. Still seems like yesterday, particularly when you consider the state Iraq is in right now – divided on a sectarian basis, barely holding together, bombs going off at regular intervals, struggles persisting over the rubble of its cities. Our war cost them upwards of a million lives, and that’s compounded on the many hundreds of thousands who died in the 11 years of sanctions that preceded the 2003 attack. No one has been held accountable for this, so I’m confident it will happen again in some form.

Total ass clown.Bolton – Speaking of being held accountable, HE wasn’t, and now he’s going to be National Security Advisor. All I can say to that is, expect war with Iran … but don’t expect it to be the cakewalk that Iraq was. (Yes, I know … but Iraq will seem like a cakewalk once we wade into Iran.)

Yemen Vote – The Sanders-Lee-Murphy amendment to force debate on an authorization for supporting the Saudi assault on Yemen garnered 44 votes, which is encouraging but not enough to save the millions facing hunger, cholera on a biblical scale, and endless death and destruction rained down by a U.S. sponsored and guided Saudi air force. We need to do better for the people of Yemen. Be sure to remind your federal legislators (and our president) that this is on them. And bear in mind that Trump pushed for the bill to fail as not to displease his beloved weasle-prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is a primary architect of this slaughter.

Cambridge Analytica – Count me as someone who doesn’t believe the machinations of Russian bots and dodgy data companies like CA had a decisive effect on the 2016 election. That’s not to say it didn’t have ANY effect. And that’s also not to say that they aren’t tremendous dicks for steeling millions of people’s data and using it to help elect a self-aggrandizing racist moron president of the United States. My feeling is that they – and, in fact, Facebook as well – should be broken up and scuttled for all they’re worth. If you want to stop rogue billionaires, the best way to do it is by taking away their billions. Let them rough it as mere millionaires, poor sods.

Russia Probe – Message to Donald Trump: Please, please talk to Mueller or to the grand jury. Get your side of the story down, dude. It’s the only way out of this mess. You can do it, Donald. Just wear your white sheet and speak truth to power.

luv u,

jp

Good reads.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Political Rants

Instead of making you read through my usual rantings and ravings, I wanted to share a few items I saw on the Web that I thought were particularly good, eye-opening, useful, etc. Let’s see if you agree.

Thinking About the Election
Michael Albert and Stephen R. Shalom
Z Magazine, September 2016
https://zcomm.org/zmagazine/thinking-about-the-elections/

This is one of the best-written, most thoughtful arguments in favor of strategic voting in the 2016 elections from a distinctly radical-left perspective. As someone who considered his support for Bernie Sanders a rightward compromise, I think this piece provides some really valuable answers to the Bernie-or-Bust obsession, as understandable as that sentiment may be. No one can accuse Z Magazine of watery liberalism or crypto-Clintonism. This article demonstrates that they have looked seriously at the current political moment and understand the full potential costs of a Trump presidency. It made me proud to be a longtime Z subscriber.

Ratfucked
Interview with David Dailey
Majority Report podcast, August 26, 2016
https://youtu.be/a-9giSMnVW0

Still more to be said about this.I am a fan of the Majority Report, particularly of their interview segments. This one is a must read for anyone frustrated with the state of legislative politics both on the state and the national levels. Dailey has done a deep dive into the Republican strategy to control redistricting after the 2010 census. Their calculated assault on the democratic process was wildly successful and will probably guarantee them House majorities for the rest of this decade and beyond. Using big data, sophisticated demographic mapping, and enough money to tip the balance in key state-level races in key states (i.e., states that would be redistricted after 2010), the GOP ran the table, catching the Democrats flat-footed. It’s a sobering indictment of the Dems’ lack of engagement and a real must-listen.

Remember the Iraq War? (Chilcot Report Episode)
Best of the Left Podcast – 2016/07/26
http://www.bestoftheleft.com/

This episode of BOTL goes runs through much of what was contained in the British report on their government’s rush into the Iraq war. I think the most valuable part of this is that it reminds us of how much was known before the invasion, and how much of what was argued by the left at that time turned out to be true. It’s worth listening to if only to remind ourselves that we must not be swayed by criticism, we must not be turned back by accusations of un-Americanism … we must fight on.

I’m also finally getting around to reading Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, which is amazing.

luv u,

jp