23 July 2022

Standing by the ocean's roar

Fresh Moods 53" by Roxana Gabriela Soos is from the selections from September 2021.

Jon Schwarz, "History Says Democracy Will Die If Democrats Don't Try 'Going Big': Robert Kuttner warns Biden's presidency may be the 'heartbreaking interregnum between two bouts of deepening American fascism.' [...] Roosevelt was exactly the right president at the right time. The New Deal demonstrated that democracy could deliver unmistakable benefits, both material and emotional, to desperate people, and thereby drained away much of the psychological poison that powers fascism. Then, over the next 30 years, something terrible happened: America forgot all this. We forgot how lucky we got. We forgot the New Deal was not a mountain range created by nature but an extraordinary achievement that was erected by humans and could therefore either be extended or destroyed."

This, again. "AIPAC Has Taken Over the Democratic Primary Process: What will it take for Democratic leadership to cry foul? Primary season is ending with a bang this year in the Democratic Party, thanks to AIPAC, the single most consequential political action committee involved. The hawkish political group, through its super PAC United Democracy Project, is dumping trainloads of money to influence the outcome of two particularly high-profile races: boosting Haley Stevens over incumbent Andy Levin in Michigan's incumbent-on-incumbent 11th Congressional District, and Glenn Ivey over Donna Edwards in Maryland's open Fourth District."

"Money Makes The World-- Or At Least DC-- Go Round: Meet The Sewer Money Buying Congress: Tomorrow is primary day in Maryland. The hottest race in the state is in Prince Georges County, southwest of Baltimore— MD-04. It's the wealthiest and best educated Black majority district in America. The incumbent, Anthony Brown, is running for Attorney General, so it is an open seat— And a very plum one at that. Before this year's redistricting, the partisan lean was D+54. Post-redistricting it got a lot bluer: D+75. Donna Edwards was the Representative before she ran, unsuccessfully, for the Senate and now she should be heavily favored to win. But her opponent is… AIPAC. [...] Ironically, the hand behind the curtain in AIPAC's targeting is Black himself, Hakeem Jeffries, a career-long AIPAC (and Wall Street) lapdog who AIPAC is putting in as a replacement for Nancy Pelosi next year. They have dumped over $6 million into defeating Edwards on behalf of some random lobbyist they control. The race is all about the sewer money AIPAC has disingenuously deployed against Edwards, the way they have managed to defeat Nina Turner (OH), Jessica Cisneros (TX), Cristina Garcia (CA), Amy Vilela (NV), Daniel Lee (CA), Marie Newman (IL), and Erica Smith (NC) others. Their current top targets are Andy Levin (MI), Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Donna Edwards. They are flooding their districts with millions and millions of dollars in lies and distortions. [...] Even though they are almost entirely financed by Republicans, AIPAC and it's affiliates don't get involved with Republican races— just Democratic primaries where candidates they can control are up against progressives." And so, under a slew of money and nasty ads, the popular front-runner ended up losing, which tells you just how easy it can be to manipulate the vote. Steny Hoyer, of course, also backed her opponent. And this is far from being the only race AIPAC has been meddling in. They really need to be treated as foreign agents.

Scott Lemieux produced "A non-celebratory thread with some of the most important points from the dissent -- it is no consolation that it is well done, but it is very clear-eyed about the radical implications of a fundamental right being crushed and this is worth highlighting. Alito's repeated assertions that overruling Roe does not threaten any of the other privacy cases should not be taken seriously. The logic of the holding threatens them all, and Alito is a known liar on the subject" — Collected on ThreadApp.

"The Supreme Court's Shock-and-Awe Judicial Coup: The rolling judicial coup coming from this court is by no means over. THIS IS IT. The moment for President Joe Biden and Congress to challenge the underlying legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court and advance an aggressive climate action agenda. There will be no better moment to take this stand for a transformed court, nor a more fateful one. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is right: 'We need to reform or do away with the whole thing, for the sake of the planet.' Over the last few days, we have witnessed a shock-and-awe judicial coup, from stripping people of the right to terminate pregnancies (Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization), to weakening the sovereign right of Indigenous tribes to enforce the law on their lands (Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta), to interfering with the rights of states to regulate the carrying of firearms (New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen), to enabling a return to Christian prayer in public schools (Kennedy v. Bremerton School District). And now this: a decision that eviscerates the Environmental Protection Agency's power to regulate a major source of the carbon emissions destabilizing our planet. The EPA can still regulate CO2, but its capacity to regulate under the Clear Air Act is significantly reduced. It represents the culmination, as my colleague Sharon Lerner reports, of decades of 'plotting against environmental regulations' by Koch Industries, and as The Lever has reported, this entire court has been shaped by the dark-money-bankrolled Judicial Crisis Network, which is surely gearing up to toast the bountiful return on their patient investments this July 4 weekend."

"Supreme Court Stages a Coup Against Government Regulation [...] And more is on the way. On the same day, the Court agreed to hear Moore v. Harper next term, in which it could affirm the radical 'independent state legislature' doctrine, which holds that only gerrymandered state legislatures—not state courts, governors, or election boards—have any authority over elections, including, potentially, the authority to nullify the popular votes and assign electors to the losing candidate, as Trump tried to do in the 2020 election. [...] As The New York Times recently reported, West Virginia v. EPA 'is the product of a coordinated, multiyear strategy by Republican attorneys general, conservative legal activists and their funders, several with ties to the oil and coal industries, to use the judicial system to rewrite environmental law, weakening the executive branch's ability to tackle global warming [emphasis added].'"

"Manchin's Big Lie: Today on TAP: He killed the Democrats' bill because, he said, he was concerned about inflation. But the bill was anti-inflationary; what he really didn't like was boosting green energy."

The New York Times is just an increasingly weird newspaper.
"Who hates inclusivity? The question answers itself: There is no rational, acceptable reason to run an opinion column, nine days after the Supreme Court's devastating repeal of reproductive rights, arguing that the 'far left' is denying women their humanity as much as the 'far right' – based on the fact that a handful of people are trying to use more inclusive language to acknowledge that trans men can get pregnant, too. But that, of course, is exactly what the editors of the New York Times opinion section chose to do on Saturday, running a piece headlined 'The Far Right and Far Left Agree on One Thing: Women Don't Count,' by their newly-minted columnist Pamela Paul, the former Book Review editor who apparently was brought over to opinion primarily to troll the libs."

"New York Times 'Ectopic Pregnancies' Op-Ed Is Everything You Never Hoped For: Over the past two days, the New York Times published two opinion pieces on abortion. One was written by a high-risk obstetrician who chairs the Ohio section of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the other should never have been published at all."

"The post-legal Supreme Court: What happens if the Court rejects the rule of law? The highest Court in the most powerful nation in the world appears to have decided that it only needs to follow the law when it feels like it. Last December, for example, the Supreme Court handed down a decision that fundamentally alters the Union — giving states sweeping authority to restrict their residents' constitutional rights. [...] The Court endangered huge swaths of long-existing gun laws, striking down a New York state law that has been on the books for 109 years. And it did so in an opinion that simultaneously fetishizes the 'Second Amendment's plain text,' while ignoring the first thirteen words of that amendment. The same Court that attacked Roe as 'remarkably loose in its treatment of the constitutional text' saw no problem with ignoring half of the text of the Second Amendment. In what may be the most consequential environmental case in decades, the Court relied on something called the 'major questions doctrine' — a fairly new legal doctrine that is never mentioned in the Constitution or in any statute and that was invented entirely by judges — to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of much of its authority to fight climate change. The Court even abandoned any pretense that it must be honest about the facts of the cases it decides, claiming that a public school football coach who ostentatiously prayed on the 50-yard line after games — while surrounded by players, spectators, and members of the press — was merely engaged in a 'short, private, personal prayer.' [...] I make a strong claim in this essay, arguing that the Supreme Court of the United States is no longer deciding many major cases in a way that is recognizably 'legal.' So let's start by establishing a baseline definition of what constitutes the rule of law and what it means for a judge to act consistently with this principle."

"How the New York Times Uses 'Experts' [...] I've been studying the way that the New York Times and other outlets use 'experts' to further the three main functions of copaganda: 1) Narrowing our conception of safety to only certain kinds of police-reported crime instead of more important determinants of holistic safety; 2) Creating fear and panic about supposed increases in these narrow crimes; 3) Shaping public discourse to suggest that more punishment—i.e. more police, more prosecutions, and more prisoners, etc.—is a reasonable, the only, or the best response to these problems."

Unusually, however, Alec Karakatsanis is recommending an article in the NYT on a Court win in a case against prosecutorial misconduct: "In each of the complaints, either a judge or a district attorney's office had previously recognized the wrongdoing. But there were no public records of discipline for any of the prosecutors, many of whom are still working in the city's justice system. One has taught a course on legal ethics."

"Debunking 5 top inflation myths" — perhaps the most important point being that wages are absolutely not driving inflation.

"NYT's 'Black Voters Want More Cops' Reporting Genre Cynically Conflates Desire for Public Safety With Demands for More Policing, Longer Sentences: Artisanal, earth-tone, finely-tuned copaganda for white liberals. The New York Times has mastered a very specific, very cynical genre of writing: using voters of color as a hacky bludgeon to promote a return to pre-reform carceral ideology. This genre is consistent with the publication's decades of reporting output and, more urgently, serves the Times' partisan function as making otherwise cruel and reactionary Democratic Party policies seem inevitable and necessary to its squeamish white liberal readers."

On "The Politics of Everything", Alex Pareen and Laura Marsh and guests discussed "Joe Biden's Debt Cancellation Games: Why are Democrats playing cat and mouse with student debtors? Since the 1990s, student loan debt in the United States has ballooned to the point that the numbers sound like a mean joke: As of May 2022, the outstanding balance of federal education loans topped $1.6 trillion. But as huge as that figure is, we're not powerless in the face of it. In his campaign for president, Joe Biden supported the immediate cancellation of a minimum of $10,000 of student debt per person. On episode 50 of The Politics of Everything, hosts Laura Marsh and Alex Pareene talk about why the Biden administration should follow through on its promise—and why Democrats seem so reluctant to get behind the policy. Guests include Astra Taylor, a frequent contributor to The New Republic and a co-founder of the Debt Collective, and Ryan Cooper, the author of How Are You Going to Pay for That? Smart Answers to the Dumbest Question in Politics." (Audio & transcript.)

Democratic meddling in PA, this time to help promote the craziest GOP candidate (yes, he won his primary with their help) on the alleged theory that this should make him easier to beat than a saner Republican. Or so they say. But, as Trump demonstrated, that's a dangerous game. "He's on a mission from God: Pennsylvania GOP candidate Doug Mastriano's war with the world"

I can't say Jeffrey D. Sachs is wrong here: "Ukraine Is The Latest Neocon Disaster: The war in Ukraine is the culmination of a 30-year project of the American neoconservative movement. The Biden Administration is packed with the same neocons who championed the US wars of choice in Serbia (1999), Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Syria (2011), Libya (2011), and who did so much to provoke Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The neocon track record is one of unmitigated disaster, yet Biden has staffed his team with neocons. As a result, Biden is steering Ukraine, the US, and the European Union towards yet another geopolitical debacle. If Europe has any insight, it will separate itself from these US foreign policy debacles."

"Young Jews are 'walking away from Judaism' because its only content is 'pro-Israelism' –Alterman: "Liberal Zionist author Eric Alterman says Israel has lost American Jews and liberals because it has no "content" to offer besides stale Everyone-hates-the-Jews propaganda. Eric Alterman is an important liberal Zionist intellectual, and he is losing patience with Israel. Speaking at Tel Aviv University at the end of May, he said that Israel has lost the American left, and Judaism is itself in crisis because its only content is pro-Israelism. And p.s., Alterman has cut Israeli peace organizations out of his will because Israeli society is going the wrong way. 'Israel has lost the left. No question about it, and it can't get it back as long as it has this occupation. And even your good government has 72 votes on the right and is building 4000 new settlements, it's doing terrible things every day,' Alterman said."

"'Two out of five stories should be hot': why pre-code cinema was a golden age for women: Prior to the proscriptive Hays Code, films were populated by adulterous, marijuana-smoking gold diggers – wildly entertaining and more modern than the roles that came next"

The Beach Boys live, "Surfer Girl"

1 comment:

  1. Biden has a chance to be Kerensky or the Weimar Republic. The odds say Weimar.