The talk is about the Democratic voter “malaise.” One reason for this might be that the Democrats refused to do anything to protect democracy. Garland is still sitting on prosecutions of higher up people who orchestrated a coup. He has already let the statute of limitations run out of other crimes. What makes Democrats think they are worth anybody getting excited about?
Trump, referring to Pelosi, said “Yeah, how’s she doing?” He was making light of the situation where Pelosi’s husband was almost fatally attacked.
Trump is talking about the Chinese “president-for life” Xi and what a good relationship he has with the “king.”
Xi is consolidating power in China, targeting press people.
Trump loves authoritarians.
David French is on Morning Joe talking about the toxic mix between evangelicalism and the Republican party. Talks about the Flynn roving circus show (note: which includes stabbing an imaginary arrow into the ground so that you will win the coming election). “An active angry fringe that is being” stoked every day.
Scarborough maintains that this “subset” of the evangelical church is not the whole church and most are not engaging in political hate speech. (Note: Right.) Now Scarborough is reading bible
Anyone seriously interested in the implications of and the events around the war against Ukraine, must seek out the various excellent podcasts on the subject. The corporate news is hopeless as a source of information and is by and large a waste of time. Coverage of the war is primarily focused on isolated day-to-day military events (how many bombs fell in Odessa, for example) and anecdotes of either personal tragedy or personal heroism. The interest in the war, as Zelensky predicted, is waning in the US. Most cable news networks present an upbeat understory of Ukrainian victory largely brought about by American support. The point of the coverage is to reassure the American people that everything possible is being done and to keep them from feeling guilty as they sit and watch Ukraine be bombed back to the stone age every night.
UKRAINE WORLD: Episode 97: Is This War About Geopolitics?
Interview with Danylo Lubkivsky, Director of Kyiv Security Forum
Russian propaganda is that Ukraine was dragged into this war by the West and is nothing but a pawn in a struggle between great powers.
Putin has made very clear that according to Russian thinking, Ukraine is an artificially created country that does not actually exist as an independent entity. He has also made clear a Russian cultural contempt for Ukrainians and the belief in innate Russian superiority.
In the lead up to the war, some “liberal” Russians argued that if Ukraine remained “loyal to Russia” Russia would never invade.
Even if Russia did invade, they argued, this is just “what big powers do.”
The suggestion and sometimes the assertion is that Ukraine should just accept its fate.
This line of thinking proposes a legitimate right of “great powers, i.e., those countries that can get the world to accept them as such.
The proposition is that Russia says: If you countries are loyal we will not attack. But what this means is that Russia, the great power, judges whether or not others are loyal.
The idea is that countries like Ukraine (and the Balkans) should simply accept occupation. They should humble themselves and accept their fate. (Note: Putin actually used the language of a smutty song recently to describe what Ukraine should do as being something like “lay back and enjoy it.” The song referred to a rape.)
Lubkivsky argues that Russia got into this war because of a “false understanding of international politics.” They are fighting according to the methods of WWII, an outdated approach. In addition, they are obsessed with outdated views of how to conduct international politics.
“Putin lost this war before he even started,” according to Lubkivsky. Russia is trying to remain a great power. Or perhaps to jump back into being a great power. Their only instrument to accomplish this is the military.
Russia tried to implement the idea of the Russian World. They tried to maintain control over the former territories through propaganda and control of ideas. This failed.
Host: The question is raised about “enlargement fatigue” on the part of the EU and NATO. They had expanded and felt they had gone far enough and failed to include Ukraine. 2007-2008 were cited as crucial years. Then, there was in 2008, Russia’s invasion of Georgia.
One of the interesting things about the situation is that the decision about Ukraine moving decidedly toward the West was not made in Washington, or Berlin, or London. It was made by the Ukrainian people themselves. They made the changes, throwing out the Russian puppet government, moving on corruption, electing a total outsider as president, which ensured the direction of the society.
Guest: This was not really a question of provocation. “Russia wanted to be provoked.”
Host: “Russia didn’t need to be provoked.” “Russia was a victim of its own disinformation.”
The Russians thought Ukraine was weak. They were preoccupied with their own greatness and false superiority, they simply didn’t understand what was going on around them. They couldn’t accept the independence of the Ukrainian nation. They really believe that everything is orchestrated by Biden or somebody else.
Guest makes Five predictions about the aftermath of the war: (1) Russia’s role will be clearly diminished. (2) A united West will make a huge difference internationally, 3) there will be a more profound role of China, (4) the result will be a reshaping of the international architecture, the UN. Security Council, (5) There will be a new role for Ukraine.
While many people are concerned about the implications of a Russian take over of Chornobyl, a commentator on MSNBC points out that the danger is more likely to come from the operational nuclear plants in Ukraine.
Note: How long has this story been in the news and Katy Tur (MSNBC) doesn’t know where Chernobyl is.
Note: Nothing reveals the utter stupidity of corporate media pundits like having to carry on an unscripted conversation about anything outside this country.
Most of Europe has now agreed to remove Russia from the SWIFT banking system. The U.S was (even up to this afternoon) using their objections to cover for its own unwillingness to upset the economic apple cart for the elite. The corporate media has fallen in lock step with the narrative that removal of Russia from swift 1) isn’t as effective as it was cracked up to be and 2) could be done if it weren’t for the objections of the Europeans.
There has been an announcement that certain Russian banks will be removed from SWIFT.
The Ukrainians would not be asking for a removal of Russia from SWIFT if it weren’t effective.
It has been days since I have watched corporate TV news. I have been reading, writing, painting and binge-watching Dickens, Trollope, and Austen on Amazon Prime.
Every time I turn on the corporate news I find CNN hosts interviewing other CNN hosts about their new books. On MSNBC, I find people like Jason “Island of misfit black girls” Johnson, pontificating and acting like he’s something other than a vicious attack dog there to repeatedly blame the progressives in the Democratic Party for all the failures of the party establishment.
Morning Joe has turned into a prayer meeting with Joe Scarborough spending whole segments lecturing viewers on what a “true Christian” is. This is the news? Mika Brzezinski relentlessly promotes her “know your worth” marketing/money making strategy. She actually seems to think that people are going to believe this from a woman who “knew her worth” to such an extent she had an adulterous affair and then married her boss. She defers to him, babies him, allows herself to be regularly demeaned, interrupted and ridiculed by him. This is women knowing their worth.
In the afternoons, former Senator Claire MacCaskill has taken obsequious behavior to new heights, fawning over Nicolle Wallace at every turn, baking cakes for Wallace and lighting candles on the cake while lauding Wallace’s journalism. This is the news?
MacCaskill does this while the other members of the panel (including the other prime ass-kisser, Jason Johnson) clap their hands like school children. It is just nauseating.
There is no, no international news anymore on either CNN or MSNBC. The amount of information being communicated is almost nil. It’s like a televised circle-jerk, reporters interviewing other reporters, promoting each other’s books or (worse still) interviewing members of Congress, as if any member of congress is going to say anything either interesting or informative. There are only a handful of people in the entire Congress who say ANYTHING that is not a collection of focus-group tested nonsense.
The corporate media is, in short, like a toy my friend told me she bought her grandson a couple of years ago. I couldn’t even grasp what she was talking about as she described this gadget. It was a mechanical thing that had no purpose except to move. It was called a “fidget spinner.” The corporate news media is an intellectual fidget spinner – words and words and words and interview after interview after interview filling up space, for no reason except to make money for somebody and create the impression that things are under control. As Scarborough says the “institutions are holding.”
Meanwhile, the institutions are not holding. The criminal enterprise that was the Trump administration has gone without accountability or punishment, and will continue to do so. The legal system works to prosecute, hold accountable, and punish only the poor. We are repeatedly treated to an orgy of spectacle creating the impression that the powerful will be held accountable only to watch the whole sorry exercise collapse.
The Supreme Court which has sold democracy down the tubes with decisions such as Citizens’ United, is poised to further structure the legal system to favor the wealthy and powerful. The Congress is afraid of its shadow. If the Biden administration does not do away with the filibuster, alter the Supreme Court, fight for ordinary Americans, and ensure election fairness and security, the Trump/McConnell crime family will be back in power partially in two years, and totally in four.
All you have to do it look at the flood of voter suppression laws that have been passed in Georgia and other states to see that Republicans are going to make sure that the Democrats lose control of the Congress in 2022 and the presidency in 2024. They are circling like sharks. All four years of Trump did for them was to give them the smell of blood and demonstrate how easily they could turn this into an authoritarian Christian nationalist state.
Meanwhile, Ari Melber makes jokes, quotes banal rap lyrics (of sexist rap stars) like they were great literature and/or philosophy and interviews celebrities, barely keeping himself from peeing his pants with glee at his proximity to fame. It is all just really disgusting.
And, then there’s today. A 21-year-old man has murdered eight women and was on his way to murder more. But, as the Georgia Sheriff’s office spokesman said, he “had a bad day.” There are so many things wrong with this story and the coverage of it and the people involved, I don’t know where to begin.
I feel like my mother when she first started watching the O.J. Simpson trial. She watched for a couple of hours. “What do you think?” I said. “I think they should all be put in prison now,” she replied getting up in disgust to go and read. “Who?” I asked. “All of them.” She said. “Simpson, the judge, the prosecutors, the defense attorneys, the reporters, all of them.” She was, of course, right.
That’s precisely what I feel about everybody involved in this murder case in Atlanta.
The Georgia Sheriff and CNN are talking about “sex addiction” as if sex addiction was something real. Law enforcement, politicians and the corporate media are actually mouthing the ludicrous sex equivalent of the “Twinkie Defense” for this Long guy. The Cherokee Sheriff’s office guy, Baker, found it his responsibility to provide an excuse for a man who walked into businesses that employ women (at starvation wages) to cater to the perverted pleasures of men and murder them. What is this Baker, Long’s defense attorney? Official law enforcement provides a narrative for the future jury pool excusing this man because of his “sex addiction.”
“Sex addiction?” There is no such thing as a sex addiction. It’s a fake con devised by the rehabilitation industry to make money. No serious person would even allow those two words together to come out of their mouth. A male reporter on CNN said that the young man “had issues.” ISSUES?////// ISSUES?????????
He hates women, that’s the issue, he hates and despises women and has racist exploitive sexual fantasies about them that he felt entitled to act out. It has nothing to do with addiction. Long is not mentally ill, that we know of. He is just the same kind of oppressive, abusive, exploitive, violent bastard that this culture turns out by the millions. He’s just like Donald Trump, Jeffrey Epstein, that old man who used to be a comedian who doped and then raped women (I’m 70. I can’t remember his f…ing name), Weinstein, Cuomo, and God knows how many more.
But, we can’t talk about that. We can’t talk about a culture that makes the hatred of women fundamental, trades in the commodification of women’s bodies at every turn, provides a market for sexual perversion of every sort and then blames the impoverished women who are forced to participate in it for their own destruction at the hands of the very men they are forced to service.
This guy “had a bad day.” That’s what Baker, the Sheriff’s Office guy, said. He had a “bad day” and “issues” and “a sexual addiction.” No, the women who were killed and their families had a bad day, a tragic day. This guy acted out his violent racist sexual perversions, violent sexual perversions that are fed every day by the media and the entertainment industry and politics.
The more useless the corporate news media becomes, the more essential it is to find good, informative podcasts.
Today, I listened to a podcast from Pitchfork Economics called “Disaster Economics.” It’s worth 100 hours of listening to the gossip of Nicolle Wallace, the geek coronavirus obsession of Rachael Maddow, or the endless inspirational anecdotes of CNN.
The hope is that this crisis will force a reexamination of forty years of neoliberal policies. Republicans and libertarians have fought for years to make government small enough to (as Grover Norquist once said) strangle in a bathtub. Well, now that’s what we’ve got, and it’s ill equipped to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Even knowing that this type of pandemic was possible, the government scaled down and down government agencies like the CDC and failed to adequately prepare for a crisis. Trump eliminated pandemic planning units of the government and trivialized the problem even when he was repeatedly warned about it.
Neoliberal policies have led to a situation where, for example, this country has the lowest per capita percentage of hospital beds in the advanced industrialized world. The massive hospital consolidation which has been allowed to occur, may have made running particular hospitals more “efficient.” Hospitals, for example, make more money when they have 70% to 80% of their hospital beds full all the time. And, this makes private equity guys happy, but when there is a crisis, the country is not prepared.
We must use this crisis to make regular people more empowered. For 40 years, capitalists have used disasters to disempower people. We must use them to seize back the power we have to determine our own futures.