Thought for the day

"We hang petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." -- Aesop, Greek slave & fable author

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The bipartisan project of dismantling our democracy, which took place over the last few decades on behalf of corporations and the rich, has left only the outward shell of democracy. The courts, legislative bodies, the executive branch and the media, including public broadcasting, are captive to corporate power. There is no institution left that can be considered authentically democratic. The corporate coup d’état is over. They won. We lost.

The wreckage of this neoliberal project is appalling: endless and futile wars to enrich a military-industrial-complex that bleeds the U.S. Treasury of half of all discretionary spending; deindustrialization that has turned U.S. cities into decayed ruins; the slashing and privatization of social programs, including education, utility services and health care – which saw over one million Americans account for one-fifth of global deaths from Covid, although we are 4 percent of the world’s population; draconian forms of social control embodied in militarized police, functioning as lethal armies of occupation in poor urban areas; the largest prison system in the world; a virtual tax boycott by the richest individuals and corporations; money-saturated elections that perpetuate our system of legalized bribery; and the most intrusive state surveillance of the citizenry in our history.

In “The United States of Amnesia,” to quote Gore Vidal, the corporate press and the ruling class create fictional feel-good personas for candidates, treat all political campaigns as if it is a day at the races and gloss over the fact that on every major issue, from trade deals to war, there is very little difference between Democrats and Republicans. The Democratic Party and Joe Biden are not the lesser evil, but rather, as Glen Ford pointed out, “the more effective evil.”

Posted on: Nov 09 08:01

For soldiers … coming home is more lethal than being in combat.” ― Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston

The U.S. government is still waging war on America’s military veterans.

Especially veterans who exercise their First Amendment right to speak out against government wrongdoing.

Consider: we raise our young people on a steady diet of militarism and war, sell them on the idea that defending freedom abroad by serving in the military is their patriotic duty, then when they return home, bruised and battle-scarred and committed to defending their freedoms at home, we often treat them like criminals merely for exercising those rights they risked their lives to defend.

As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, the government even has a name for its war on America’s veterans: Operation Vigilant Eagle.

This Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program tracks military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and characterizes them as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.”

Posted on: Nov 09 07:56

Tomorrow is election day and polls suggest that Americans are going to overturn Democratic Party control of the House and Senate. Politicians and the media always say that this is the most important election ever, but all too often once the voting is over and the smoke has cleared, not much changes. The Washington uni-party takes over and makes sure the status quo is maintained.

It doesn’t have to be this way. An incoming Republican House and Senate, for example, could take early steps to reassure their supporters that their votes weren’t wasted on Tweedledee vs. Tweedledum in Washington. Here are three suggestions to get things off to a good start.

First, Republican Party Leadership must vow to end the massive money spigot opened by the last Congress for Ukraine. By some estimates some $60 billion dollars have been authorized for Ukraine to fight a proxy war between the US/NATO and Russia.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:55

The Arab League met in Algeria for the first time in two years, and their final declaration called for freedom for the Palestinian people who have suffered under a brutal Israeli military occupation for almost six decades.  The meeting of nearly 22 nations across the Middle East and North Africa coincided with Israeli elections, which has brought to power a far-right party that wants to annex the West Bank and deport Palestinians from their homes.

Arab leaders attending the meeting tip-toed around the Abraham Accords, which saw the United Emirates and Bahrain normalize their relations with Israel, with Saudi Arabia later allowing for over-flights of the Kingdom by Israeli aircraft, and is seen as a potential precursor to wider Arab normalization with Israel.

Although the Arab world is deeply divided and polarized, the League managed to deliver a final declaration focused on the core issue of Palestinian human rights and freedom.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:54

As I write this, Americans are going to the polls to vote for this or that faction of the corporate uniparty. Einstein was right when he said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Every two years, Americans vote for the same uniparty selected candidates expecting the serious issues of inflation, crime, drugs, etc. to be addressed, only to get broken campaign promises and more of the same.

Ukraine is hardly on the radar—and yet tens of billions of dollars added to an astronomical debt, conservatively estimated at over 30 trillion, will not go to help the American people. It will be spent in one of the only growth sectors of the economy— “defense,” where death merchants embrace windfalls—and the destructive, poverty-inducing policies of the federal reserve and central bankers will continue to be explained away as corporate greed.

In fact, the neocons and “humanitarian (sic) interventionists” are pushing to increase weapons sales. “Bill LaPlante, the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer, said that he expects Congress to grant the authority to allow wartime purchasing power at a level not seen since the Cold War,” writes Dave DeCamp.

To continue arming Ukraine, LaPlante has been calling for the Pentagon to be granted the authority to lock in multiyear contracts for weapons purchases, which are typically reserved for procuring naval vessels and warplanes. The idea is to get arms makers the incentive to ramp up production.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:54

Janet Yellen embarks on her first trip to India as U.S. Treasury Secretary on Tuesday, focusing more on the similarities of the world's two largest democracies and opportunities for deeper ties than on past trade and geopolitical spats.

Yellen is not expected to dwell on India's failure to condemn Russia's war in Ukraine, nor on India's massive increase in purchases of discounted Russian oil this year.

A Treasury official said the United States was not seeking to dissuade India from buying Russian crude as G7 allies and Australia finalize details on a Western-imposed price cap on Russian oil exports planned for Dec. 5.

On the contrary, the official told reporters that India will benefit from the cap's lower prices.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:53

The State Department said Tuesday that the US and Russia have agreed to hold talks on the New START nuclear arms control treaty for the first time since the February 24 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said a meeting of the bilateral consultative commission (BCC), an implementation body established by the New START, is expected to be held in the “near future.”

The talks will likely be focused on resuming inspections under New START that have been paused since March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The last time the BCC held a meeting was over a year ago, in October 2021.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:49

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said late Monday that he is open to talks with Russia but only under conditions that are non-starters for negotiations with Moscow.

According to The Associated Press, Zelensky’s conditions include Russia withdrawing from the territory it has captured, Russia paying compensation for war damages, and the prosecution of alleged Russian war crimes.

Missing from Zelensky’s demands was his previous stance that talks could only happen if Vladimir Putin was no longer Russia’s leader. Zelensky previously signed a decree ruling out peace talks with Russia as long as Putin is president, and media reports said that the US was privately encouraging Ukraine to drop this position for public relations purposes.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:49

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar says his country has no plans to stop importing Russian energy. The statement was made as Western countries plan to roll out price caps on Moscow’s oil exports next month. 

Jaishankar traveled to Russia to meet his counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday. At a joint press conference, the Indian diplomat stressed the importance of the New Delhi-Moscow relationship, saying “Russia has been a steady and time-tested partner” and that “any objective evaluation of our relationship over many decades would confirm that it has actually served both our countries very, very well.”

Posted on: Nov 09 07:48

 Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly remained optimistic about the midterm election results despite the disappointment of some Republican voters expecting a red tsunami during an interview on The Daily Wire Backstage.

By: orraz
Posted on: Nov 09 07:43

 Trump-backed Tim Scott cruised past his Democrat opponent Krystle Mathews in South Carolina’s U.S. Senate race.

By: orraz
Posted on: Nov 09 07:42

Utah Republican Mike Lee has won the Utah Senate race, defeating never-Trump candidate Evan McMullin.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:41

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has won re-election hours after saying crime was down in New York - despite the city's own statistics showing offenses up nearly 30 percent.

The Democrat, who campaigned with struggling New York Governor Kathy Hochul earlier on Election Day, spoke to radio show The Breakfast Club about the issue.

'A lot of people think that crime is up, when we actually see that shootings are down, when we see that huge indicators on the most violent crime in New York City is down.'

Posted on: Nov 09 07:39

Floridians are bracing for Tropical Storm Nicole as it is set to become a Category 1 hurricane when it hits the Sunshine State on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service said the storm, which has reached winds up to 70 mph, is at 'very near hurricane strength' as it strikes the Bahamas overnight.

In Florida, residents living along the coast and in flood-prone areas from Palm Beach County to Volusia County have been ordered to evacuate ahead of a potential touchdown from the storm.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:38

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy declared victory on Tuesday saying that Republicans had secured enough seats to flip control of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

"I want to thank the millions of supporters across this country," said McCarthy, R-Calif. "It is clear we are going to take the House back." 

McCarthy told a throng of supporters at a victory party in Washington, D.C., that the feat was possible because of the diverse array of candidates Republicans had recruited this cycle.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:33

A judge Tuesday evening rejected the RNC’s effort to extend voting hours in Maricopa County, Arizona by 3 hours after problems with vote tabulators created problems and led to long lines.

Emergency hearing in Maricopa County about claims of voting tabulator issues. RNC seeking a 3 hour extension of voting hours. County and Kelly cmapaign saying the complaint is nonsense, voting centers have been open and operational all day with limited issues.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:32

Why don’t you talk about something that matters?” President Biden replied to a journalist asking about why he fist-bumped Saudi dictator Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) during his “begging for barrels” trip to the Middle East in July. Biden hoped the Saudis would rescue his presidency by pumping more oil in order to lower American gasoline prices and prevent the demolition of the Democratic Party in the mid-term elections.

On the eve of Biden’s “begging for barrels” tour, federal data confirmed the wreckage of his economic policies. The inflation rate soared to 9.1%, much worse than forecast. Biden has decimated the purchasing power of the dollar as real wages for Americans declined for the 15th straight month. Biden traveled as a desperate man whose own political party is facing a horrendous pummeling in November.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:31

The Middle East and North Africa region is emerging as a significant arms-producing area, according to an overview of the arms industry by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) published on 1 November 2022.

The development marks a pivotal shift for a region that has historically relied on outside powers like Russia and the US for military acquisitions and build-ups.

While Israel has maintained its spot as the main arms exporter in the Middle East, countries such as Turkey and Iran have been positioning themselves as key producers. 

Posted on: Nov 09 07:31

Bitcoin fell to a two-year low and the crypto market slid after a shocking run on billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX cryptocurrency exchange and subsequent pact for an acquisition from rival Binance, as the crypto industry shook from the collapse of one of its foremost institutions.

Sam Bankman-Fried

It's been a chilly week for Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced early Tuesday that his company signed a letter of intent to acquire FTX due to a “significant liquidity crunch” at Bankman-Fried’s firm.

The instability at one of crypto’s most trusted institutions sent related assets tumbling, and bitcoin tanked 11% to $18,300 Tuesday, a nearly 75% loss from its peak of just under $68,000 last November.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:30

Days before the midterm elections, Pastor David MacLellan was ready to preach far-right politics through Bible verses to his small congregation. MacLellan, a hulking man with a long, grizzled black beard, isn’t an ordinary pastor. He proudly identifies himself as a far-right, extremist pastor and a Christian nationalist, someone who believes American politics should reflect fundamentalist Christian values. 

Posted on: Nov 09 07:29

We're tracking dozens of state ballot measures and propositions under consideration in 2022.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:28

Meta is laying off 13% of its staff, or more than 11,000 employees, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a letter to employees Wednesday.

“Today I’m sharing some of the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history,” Zuckerberg said in the letter. “I’ve decided to reduce the size of our team by about 13% and let more than 11,000 of our talented employees go. We are also taking a number of additional steps to become a leaner and more efficient company by cutting discretionary spending and extending our hiring freeze through Q1.”

Shares of Meta were up 4% in premarket trading.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:24

Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock holds less than a one point lead over Republican ex-NFL star Herschel Walker in the key Senate race that will likely head to a runoff election in December that could decide which party takes the majority.

As of 2:20 a.m on Wednesday morning., with 97 percent of precincts reporting, Warnock was up by about 31,000 votes, leading Walker 49.4 to 48.6, on a night that Democrats across the country defied the odds and a GOP red wave failed to materialize. 

Warnock had 1,922,548 votes to Walker's 1,891,284.

Posted on: Nov 09 07:15

Everything you need to see how this year’s election turns out...and what everyone has to say about it. Find results, live coverage, election tools, and news all in one place.

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Posted on: Nov 09 07:13

The number one issue in today’s midterms may be the economy.  This is not because it is good, it’s because the Biden economy is terrible. 

By: orraz
Posted on: Nov 08 19:58

‘CBS Mornings’ spent all day in Democrat precincts in Florida that Joe Biden ‘won’ in 2020 and they could not find one Charlie Crist supporter.

By: orraz
Posted on: Nov 08 19:57

7 in 10 voters are unhappy with the state of the nation and largely negative on Joe Biden, according to CNN exit polls.

By: orraz
Posted on: Nov 08 19:56