STEVEN JONAS FOR BUZZFLASH
Wikileaks is all the rage right now -- in two senses. The substantive rage is among those U.S. people who care about the nefarious and sometimes illegal schemes that its government has perpetrated on the U.S. and around the world for so many years; among the peoples of other countries who suffered from those schemes; and the foreign governments who were complicit on the schemes and now stand exposed. The process rage is on the part of U.S. officials and media who want to totally distract the U.S. people from the content of the leaks onto whether Mr. Assange is a spy, an unsafe modern Casanova, a terrorist, or worse. (Can't be treason, folks, because he ain't a U.S. citizen and likely never will be.) And they are surely succeeding in the U.S., although hardly abroad.
The British have a civilized approach to the Wikileaks-type projects. They actually openly publish almost all of their secret government papers. The only difference is that under The Official Secrets Act, the publication comes 50 years or so after the fact. And so we come to "Munich." On September 30, 1938, at a conference held in Munich, Germany, along with the French and the Italians the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain gave the German Chancellor Adolf Hitler "permission" to invade the nation of Czechoslovakia
STEVEN JONAS FOR BUZZFLASH
On the day after the 2010 national elections, Evan Bayh, retiring Senator from Indiana, laid out very clearly the current political and policy program of the dominant power in the Democratic Party, the Democratic Leadership Council. The reasons for the Democratic losses around the country, so Bayh told us (paraphrasing in quotes), were that Obama was "too far left," that he should have "pushed jobs," not pushed health care reform so hard, and should have taken it easier on Wall Street and the banks. "Cut taxes, attack the budget, grab the center" was the central headline in the piece. Obama has to "move to the center," needs to "reach across the aisle," and "must learn to work with GOP in order to get things done." Demonstrating all the while just how devoted he is to the future of the Democratic Party, non-candidate Bayh did not mention that he has a $10,000,000 campaign fund of which he apparently did not share a penny with any other politicians. This in a year when Democratic candidates around the country were under overwhelming Citizens United/US Chamber of Commerce totally anonymous advertising assaults from the Far Right and the Corporate Power. Some Democrat. One must wonder if he is planning a primary assault on Obama from the Right in 2012, possibly angling for a deal for the Vice-Presidency for himself.
BUZZFLASH EDITOR'S BLOG FOR TRUTHOUT BY MARK KARLIN
Justice may often be delayed, but it finally caught up with Tom DeLay.
Convicted on counts of conspiracy and money laundering, a Texas jury decided that DeLay - the former GOP House Majority leader nicknamed "The Hammer" - was guilty of having violated a state law prohibiting corporate contributions made directly to political candidates.
DeLay "washed" corporate money in 2002 through the Republican National Committee to achieve a goal that would result in more Republican congressional districts in Texas. He was successful, but it took eight years and a tenacious district attorney, Ronnie Earle (now retired), to pursue the complicated indictment.
Having narrowly escaped a federal investigation of his ties to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, DeLay felt secure enough in recent years to appear on "Dancing With the Stars" and talk freely with Director Alex Gibney in a 2010 documentary on Abramoff, "Casino Jack and the United States of Money".
DeLay could face life in prison, or he could be let off with probation. That is up to the judge who presided at the trial, which ended with the guilty verdict on November 24.
But the one-time bug exterminator reportedly walked out of the courtroom with tears in his eyes.
It's a reminder that even in very dark days for our democracy, a jury of our peers can weigh in on the scales of justice.
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STEVEN JONAS FOR BUZZFLASH
While President, Ronald Reagan did the following:
- Firmly established racism as the center of the modern Republican electoral strategy, confirming that the Nixon "Southern Strategy" of 1968 would be permanently ensconced there;
- Firmly established anti-choice as the Republican position of choice in the matter of belief as to when life begins;
- Introduced ahistoricity into American politics for good;
- Created the myth that tax-cuts can lead to prosperity and reduce federal deficits;
- Permanently ensconced, in the number one position in the GOP political playbook, the electoral strategy built upon the success of the "anti-tax" Proposition 13 in California in 1978;
- Established the modern Republican approach to federal spending: cutting it on everything they possibly can except the military, prisons, corporate farming, the extractive industries and favors for wealthy contributors, while reducing tax revenues to the greatest extent possible with tax cuts for the rich, leading to the creation of massive federal deficits that only got much worse under George W. Bush;
- Established mean-ness, every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost, as an acceptable attribute;
- Established the precedent that (Republican) Presidents can break federal law and get away with it with the Iran/Contra scheme that directly violated a piece of federal legislation called the "Boland Amendment," which prohibited such actions;
- Canceled, to the extent he could, all federal government contracts for the development of energy sources alternative to fossil fuels;
- Showed that a not-very-smart, mildly educated, and generally ignorant man can become an acting President if he is a right-winger who can command big campaign contributions from corporate special interests, is telegenic, speaks well from cue cards, and has the right agents, managers, and promoters (sound familiar?); and
- Showed that a man with a serious mental illness can be maintained in the Presidency if he is a Republican and has the right agents, managers, and promoters.
TONY PEYSER FOR BUZZFLASH
I'm not up on all current catch phrases
But I do have a hunch
That "damaged my brand" is the new
"A bully stole my lunch!'
His election night no-show was "an injustice."
Yeah, Andrew is a tad irrational.
Until he mans up, we should all help him out
And alert Amnesty International.
One short definition (mine) of fascism is:
"Fascism is a politico-economic system in which there is: total executive branch control of both the legislative and administrative powers of government; no independent judiciary; no Constitution that embodies the Rule of Law standing above the people who run the government; no inherent personal rights or liberties; a single national ideology that first demonizes and then criminalizes all political, religious, and ideological opposition to it; the massive and regular use of hate, fear, racial and religious prejudice, the Big Lie technique, mob psychology and mob actions to achieve political and economic ends; and total corporate determination of economic, fiscal, and regulatory policy."
TONY PEYSER FOR BUZZFLASH
They put the entire country in economic collapse
Until every dream was in retreat.
They denied this and opposed anything by Obama;
Lather … rinse … defeat.
SHAMUS COOKE FOR BUZZFLASH
The world watches as France once again erupts in protests, demonstrations, and strikes. So much is at stake. If France's corporate-dominated government is able to increase the retirement age, other governments will be empowered to follow through with their plans to do the same.
If labor, student, and community groups succeed in stopping the pension reform -- or toppling the government -- workers in other countries will likewise be inspired to fight back and organize in the French fashion.
This is the tenth installment of a project that is likely to extend over a two-year-period which began in January, 2010. It is the serialization of a book entitled The 15% Solution: A Political History of American Fascism, 2001-2022. Under the pseudonym Jonathan Westminster, it is purportedly published in the year 2048 on the 25th Anniversary of the Restoration of Constitutional Democracy in the Re-United States. It was actually published in 1996 by the Thomas Jefferson Press, located in Port Jefferson, NY. The copyright is held by the Press. Herein you will find Chapter 9. You can find a complete archive of the chapters published to date on TPJmagazine.us (lower right hand corner of the home page, http://tpjmagazine.us/
In an article in The New York Times on December 2, 2007 (Herzenhorn, D., "How the Filibuster Became the Rule") the GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told us how it would be whenever the GOP had that solid minority of 40 votes in the Senate: "I think that we can stipulate once again for the umpteenth time that matters that have any level of controversy about it [sic] in the Senate will require 60 votes." In December, 2008, the titular leader of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh, announced his wish for the incoming Obama Administration. It was four words long: "I hope he fails." Working together, Limbaugh and McConnell have converted Limbaugh's "hope" to pretty much of a certainty in terms of legislation and appointments. Very skillfully using the filibuster and the internal pressure he can exert on his members, McConnell has made the myth that "Obama caused the mess," which you hear every day on Beckoning Savagely Le-vinitating O'RHannibaugh come absolutely true, preventing Obama from doing the really big things that need to be done if the mess is ever to be cleaned up. And all the while Obama just about never makes that point. The GOP's Perfect Storm.