Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fear Itself

"It's not the big things that are important to me, but the everyday life of tyranny, which gets forgotten. A thousand mosquito bites are worse than a blow to the head. I observe, note down the mosquito bites." -- Victor Klemperer, I Will Bear Witness.

It's not so much that Donald Trump's Budget Manifesto of Hate is such a great big blow to our heads. For now, anyway, it's only a campaign speech dressed up in sadistic language and some alleged math.

 It's the ceaseless drone of the swarms of mosquitoes that's doing us in. By merely voicing their desire to punish our most vulnerable friends and family members, Trump and his Congressional cohort are accomplishing their core goal, which is inspiring fear. That we might not, after all, lose the daily bodily and social sustenance of Meals on Wheels; that we might not, after all, lose all our Medicaid and Medicare health coverage; that we might not, after all, get deported, beaten up or killed on the basis of our race, religion or ethnicity is of secondary importance to the main agenda of the oligarchs now directly running the government. The agenda is intimidation.

We're still only in Phase One of the Trump regime. And it behooves both sides of the duopoly to prolong his reign in the interest of maximum psychological control of the population. It's the anticipation of pain that does us harm before even one dollar of our Social Security is cut, before even one trip to our doctor's office is cancelled, before even one unionized nurse or public school teacher loses her job to the complete privatization of what is still left of the commons.

 We are being terrorized today, right this minute, by the mere threat of being punished tomorrow.

And once the Democrats make one of their feeble eleventh-hour deals with Republicans -- to perhaps rip more than the average number of holes in the social safety as opposed to tearing it to shreds in one fell swoop -- won't we psychologically tortured people feel ever so grateful to our leaders? We never let the perfect be the enemy of the good, do we? Our grit and determination and resilience and resistance will get us through, every single time. Rah, D-Team!

 Klemperer wrote in his diary: "How I dreaded the house search. And when the Gestapo came, I was quite cold and defiant. And how good our food tasted afterward! All the good things, which we had hidden and they had not found."

 
A neoliberal gaslighting campaign is also on full bipartisan display in Congress. Democrats almost daily declare themselves absolutely helpless in the face of Trumpian tyranny, even as they make vague promises to save us if only we elect more candidates from within their own corrupt corporate apparatus. But for now, they say, we'll just have to wait Donald Trump out as they foment some more Russophobia to tide us over.

Dianne Feinstein, one of the highest ranking Democrats in the Senate, soothed that it's only a matter of time before we get some relief. There is no need right now for her and her liberal colleagues to personally confront Trump on his various conflicts of interest and his blatant breaches of the Constitution. As reported by Politico:
 How are we going to get him out?" the questioner asked.
"I think he's gonna get himself out," the California Democrat and member of the Senate intelligence committee replied.
Her comment was captured on video by LA Times reporter Javier Panzar, who posted the exchanges on Twitter. A Feinstein spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.
So far, impeachment is off the table, just as it was once off the table for George W. Bush and his coterie of unindicted and still-thriving war criminals. Despite the mountains of evidence against Trump being unearthed almost daily, Feinstein claimed not to know whether he has committed any impeachable offenses. She did allow, however, that "questions are being raised" by such things as the Trump sons' international deal-making on behalf of the family. Trips for personal gain are being conducted on the taxpayer dime, and that doesn't look so good on the surface.

If Dianne Feinstein, with her estimated net worth of $42 million, can afford to bide her time, then so too must the frightened pensioner worried that her Meals on Wheels and her government heating assistance will get cut off. And once her food intake and her heat are mercifully reduced by a mere third, she'll rejoice just to be barely subsisting.

Meanwhile, we're told by liberal economist Robert Reich, "Washington is more divided, angry, bewildered and fearful - than I've ever seen it."

Oh, the poor things. It must be the upending of The Norms. The Republicans think Trump is nuts, and will pull the Party right down with him. Furthermore, Reich informs us, the White House itself is "a cesspool of intrigue and fear. Apparently everyone working there hates and distrusts everybody else."

 
While Washington insiders are quivering and bickering, the CIA now enjoys carte blanche to assassinate at will with Predator and Reaper drones, the Pentagon has sent ground troops into Syria with no input or discussion by Congress, and a ravenous cabal of oligarchs makes the Robber Barons of the first Gilded Age look like angels by comparison. At least back then they built company towns and company stores to keep people indebted. If you're poor and indebted nowadays, they've been building privatized prisons to fulfill all your housing needs.

So while the political ruling class prepares for even more war by drumming up our fear of the Russians, the Social Contract is being ripped to pieces right under our noses.

There's been a lot of ink spilled recently about how comparing of Donald Trump's America to Adolf Hitler's Germany is wildly overblown. For one thing, Trump doesn't have thousands of Brownshirts running around the country beating hundreds of people up, every single day. In the United States, "only" about one person is killed by a law enforcement officer in any given 24-hour period. Such fascistic practices as New York City's "stop and frisk" police abuse of black and Latino men have eventually been ordered stopped by a functioning court system. And so far, every single one of Trump's anti-Muslim bans have been overturned by the judicial system.

We are still allowed to choose from among a field of candidates approved by a handful of billionaires. We still have a free press, despite the corporate consolidation of the media into six main conglomerates and the demise of independent and local newspapers. Trump can call it "fake news" all he wants, but he doesn't have the power to send in federal troops to shut down the New York Times and CNN. For one thing, his approval rating is only the 30-something percent range. Hitler demanded, and got, national loyalty based upon his decades of hard work building up his very own hate-based political party. 

Trump is more of an afterthought, a side-effect, an excrescence of decades of neoliberalism's hard work of feeding itself into a bloated and corrupt system of unaccountable capitalism

That "it" hasn't quite happened here yet doesn't mean it won't, or isn't happening already, like Klemperer's thousand little mosquito bites. The attacks on American social programs have been ongoing for decades, reaching their zenith with the Reagan Revolution, and continuing apace since then.

While we're being distracted by those damned Russians, Paul Ryan and his pals are tearing up the Social Contract in full public view but to little public fanfare. The first House vote to destroy Medicaid as we have known it since LBJ's 1960s Great Society anti-poverty legislation is scheduled for this Thursday. Since punishing more people has now been made slightly more cruel in order to attract more GOP hardliners, its chance of passage is considered to be slightly better than it was last week.

But you wouldn't know it from reading the front pages or turning on the TV news.

From the top of today's New York Times homepage:
Comey's Haunting News on Trump and Russia.
 Fresh Worries on Russia from Trump's Weary Defenders.
FBI Confirms Inquiry on Trump Team's Russia Ties.
Stone, a Trump Ally and Dirty Trickster, Under Investigation For Russia Connections.
Below what used to be called the "fold," we finally come to a piece about the planned destruction of Medicaid. In bloodless anodyne terms, the piece lists such additions to the GOP bill as allowing upstate (read: white) New York counties to reduce their Medicaid contributions to Albany (read: punishing "those people" in New York City.)

And in its opinion section, the Times today published an op-ed suggesting that Democrats and Republicans can heal their differences by allowing private insurance predators to market "universal catastrophic coverage" policies across state lines.

 "It would be a step consistent with President Trump’s bold message and it could resolve the current debate on Capitol Hill, now headed in a direction unlikely to satisfy anyone. President Trump has never shied away from thinking big, and now he has the potential to turn the politics of health care upside down with a populist solution that might go a long way toward solving one of the nation’s biggest problems," enthuses Benjamin Domenech, publisher of the right-wing Federalist.

Got that, proles? Read mainstream media, and develop a constant unhealthy fear of Russia. Continue to also relentlessly fear and loathe Trump, the whole Trump, and nothing but the Trump. Cheer from your nosebleed seats as Democrats and pundits gleefully call out his constant lies, grandstand on his unproven Russian connections, ignore his proven decades-long track record of graft and corruption right here in the USA, and do nothing to remove him from office. After all, he brings lots of clicks, and cable and newspaper subscriptions, and ad revenue, and political donations from the sleepless and rattled population.

Quite deliberately, they never discuss Medicare for All as the only sane, humane and cost-effective counterweight to GOP nihilism. 

Instead, we are told to dream the impossible dream of someday being able to purchase true, universal and unaffordable catastrophic coverage. We'll need it, because heretofore treatable, but soon-to-be neglected and uncovered, illnesses will needlessly lead to more humanitarian catastrophes.

Just take one item from the "budget," and the planned annihilation of the most vulnerable among us becomes all too obvious. Trump's proposed draconian cuts to the US Department of Agriculture alone are bound to cause a huge spike in the rate of food-borne illness, which in turn could lead to many catastrophic cases of sepsis in such vulnerable people as infants and the elderly and the immuno-suppressed.

And speaking of death by a thousand mosquitoes, Trump is even attaching a greedy profit motive to the fight against the Zika virus. As Bernie Sanders, Medicare for All proponent and the most popular politician in America, wrote recently:
Now his administration, through the Army, is on the brink of making a bad deal, giving a French pharmaceutical company, Sanofi, the exclusive license to patents and thus a monopoly to sell a vaccine against the Zika virus. If Mr. Trump allows this deal, Sanofi will be able to charge whatever astronomical price it wants for its vaccine. Millions of people in the United States and around the world will not be able to afford it even though American taxpayers have already spent more than $1 billion on Zika research and prevention efforts, including millions to develop this vaccine.
The Department of Health and Human Services gave Sanofi $43 million to develop the Zika vaccine with the United States Army. And the company is expected to receive at least $130 million more in federal funding.
But look over there, it's Russia infiltrating our democracy! Our leaders will never be able to prove it, but they'll gladly keep up the act as long as the right people continue to get rich. 

Regardless of party affiliation, plutocrats will tolerate Trump because he deflects attention from the system which they created and of which they are such an integral, self-dealing part. Their resistance movement should not be our resistance movement. Don't buy into their buzz.

Don't be afraid of Russia. Be afraid instead of Paul Ryan's rushin' fingers, ripping the Social Contract into a thousand tiny shreds in the grim hope that we won't notice the real catastrophe until it's way too late. 

11 comments:

Neil said...

"Chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Devin Nunes, disclosed in a press briefing today that intelligence documents confirm that Trump and his team were victims to 'incidental' surveillance, both before and after the elections." Zero Hedge

"Reporter: 'Do you think right now the NSA was spying on Trump during transition?"

Nunes: (audible laughter) "I guess that all depends on one's definition of spying..."" Zero Hedge

Devin Nunes Confirms Trump was Under Surveillance
https://youtu.be/qQduQZ24paw

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-22/4d-chess-alert-rep-nunes-confirms-trump-transition-team-was-under-%E2%80%98incidental%E2%80%99-surve

Obamagate CONFIRMED: Trump WAS Under Surveillance During Transition!
https://youtu.be/Ry7LZmXG-J8

Jay–Ottawa said...

"[T]he only thing we have to feah is feah itself...."
(FDR's First Inaugural, 84 years ago this month)
https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Franklin_D._Roosevelt#First_Inaugural_Address_.281933.29

America once had the reputation, deserved or not, of being the good guy on the international block, and its president used words like 'nobility' and 'honor' without embarrassment. But forget words, which were rousing in FDR's first inaugural and Trump's too; compare the deeds that followed those speeches.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/01/20/donald-trumps-full-inauguration-speech-transcript-annotated/?utm_term=.285c081e3b87

We've come a long way between those two speeches.

While the moneychangers, as FDR called them, are still busy, like a swarm of mosquitoes, extracting blood from the body politic one drop at a time day after day, that body can't even count on reflexes to give them a swat. We whine, we cringe, we take it, or we pretend it isn't happening. Can we recognize right and wrong when we see them, assuming there are such poles in the first place? Forget churchy definitions; is there a right and wrong in the humdrum of today here and now? Does pain grow or diminish because of my presence in the world? We're too sophisticated to become indignant or to wax moral. The smart course, we are told by inside-dopesters, is to wait it out or to settle back and "work with the president we have."

There is an entertaining TV series that might serve the nation as a tutorial if viewed as a political parable. Take a weekend to binge on all five seasons of "Breaking Bad." See Walter White as Uncle Sam. Oh my, the things those two have to do for their families. Take note of how, step by step, the good guy becomes the monster that even the bad guys come to feah; and in the process of his transmogrification Walter drags down many people with him.

What did BB's writers have in mind? The war on drugs, or something more? Chuck Klosterman, an ethicist of sorts who focuses on pop culture, believes that Breaking Bad is "built on the uncomfortable premise that there's an irrefutable difference between what's right and what's wrong, and it's the only one where the characters have real control over how they choose to live."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_Bad#Moral_consequences

Here's a tune to raise your spirits and carry you through the weekend. As Ziggy Marley tells us in "Joy and Blues,"
"Choose well and make sure you don't lose."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL970mYsM-Q

Pearl said...

I am reliving the feelings of fear from our McCarthy days and questioning the honorable intentions of the FBI, CIA purposes today as a result. I witnessed first hand the demands of the FBI in our home in l954, that my husband denounce his father in law who had been accused of being a Russian spy all based on the hearsay of a paid FBI informer Elizabeth Bentley. My father in law was never charged since they had no evidence of such an accusation and were openly threatening my husband regarding his future career in the United States if he did not "cooperate" with them. And that is why we moved to Canada and he was allowed to continue his career as a Physicist at a Canadian University,
I now watch in horror at the nationalization of McCarthism in my birth country and recall an article I recently read about Trump's friendship with Roy Cohn who was McCarthy's lawyer.
Today's news about Trump vs.the intelligence agencies who cannot agree about their investigative results is especially interesting and I hope they will at least find proof of our President's dishonorable financial activities that could hopefully end his reign.
The more things change, etc,etc,
I am so glad to be living in Canada, folks.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Breaking News from the NYT: "Paul Ryan rushed to the White House to tell President Trump he does not have the votes to pass the repeal of Obamacare."

Just a skirmish, but is this the first shot of the revolution we've been waiting for? Even spineless 'yes' men are saying 'no' to Trump––thanks to nothing else but the noise from those congress critters' gerrymandered districts, Democratic and Republican.

Neil said...

We can thank many for the election of President Trump: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Hillary’s algorithm Ada, and the Democratic Party, to name a few. Recent news stories show Hillary Clinton may attempt a comeback, and a rerun for president in 2020.

This quote is interesting: "As reported by Politico: How are we going to get him out?"" The only reasonable answer to defeat Trump in the 2020 election. Until then, I believe it more productive for people to push their agenda, rather than engage in impeachment fantasies and other nonsense. However, if the Clinton Mafia succeeds in giving Hillary another run, Trump will win in 2020. Why are Democrats so stupid? Why do individual Democrats support this tyrannical party, a party that masquerades as being for the people, while it supports Corporatocracy and Corporatization?

Two forces ended the so-called social contract. President Bill Clinton ended welfare; and he is the one person most responsible for ending the so-called social contract. The economy is the other force responsible for ending the so-called social contract. Prior to WWII, the United States was not the rich country we have today. For many working people, the USA was generally a nasty place from the beginning, which gave rise to unions, because the government was not going to protect the working man or woman.

Americans alive today have enjoyed a false prosperity of the post-WWII economic boom. The United States was the only large country at the end of WWII that was intact. Europe was blown to pieces. England was bombed. Japan was nuked.

When WWII ended in 1945, the USA was the only intact remaining industrial power. The Bretton Woods international monetary system established in 1944 favored the USA. The result was 25 years of economic and industrial world dominance by the Untitled States. (1945-1970). Most Americans saw the good times of the 1950’s as the result of their hard work. But they were mistaken. The game was rigged in their favor.

OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, ended our world economic dominance. Oil challenged the US dollar and won. On August 15, 1971, President Nixon ended the gold standard for the US dollar, fixed at $35 per ounce, and ended the Bretton Woods international monetary system. By the 1970’s countries ravaged by WWII had rebuilt their industries and economies. Imports of Japanese and German cars challenged Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. The imports may have won. The 1973 oil crisis, OPEC’s embargo in response to United States' support for Israel during the Yom Kippur War, and resulting 1973–74 stock market crash, began or exacerbated the decline of American big steel and other companies.

Since then American has embarked on various pretend and extend failed economic schemes. The dot-com bubble (roughly 1995–2001). The real-estate and banking bubble ending in the 2008 crash. The end of the middle class. The end of the false prosperity of the post-WWII economic boom. Now is the new normal.

As of today President Trump has been in office for 63 days. Presidential misconduct before January 31, 2017 belongs to former president Barack Obama, or one of his predecessors. Trump is likely getting the best medical care in his life. Trump appears calmer and more focused. Has Trump received counseling, or perhaps drug therapy? Some people claim Trump is mentally ill. If so, what is his diagnosis? Some forms of mental illness are treatable. If mental illness is disabling, the president might find relief under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and/or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, including Section 504.

Some forms of mental illness may benefit a leader, see "What Befits a Leader in Hard Times? An Intimate Knowledge of Insanity", book review of 'A First-Rate Madness', By Dr. Nassir Ghaemi

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/11/books/a-first-rate-madness-by-nassir-ghaemi-review.html

Neil said...

Victor Klemperer/"I Will Bear Witness" is fine within a context. But at sixty-three days into Trump’s presidency, it appears Reductio ad Hitlerum.

Klemperer could have left Germany. His brother Georg prospered in the United States, according to Peter Gay’s book review in the NYT, "Inside the Third Reich". Author, educator and historian Peter Gay, born Peter Joachim Fröhlich on June 20, 1923 in Berlin, Germany, immigrated to the United States in 1941. "His family initially booked passage on the MS St. Louis (whose passengers were eventually denied visas) but fortuitously changed their booking to an earlier voyage to Cuba."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Gay

From Peter Gay’s book review in the NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/11/22/reviews/981122.22gaylt.html

"Klemperer's maddening patriotism, an element in his refusal to emigrate even when opportunities offered themselves, seems to lend some plausibility to the indictment of German Jews for overidentifying themselves with a country prepared to kill them and blindly failing to anticipate their fate. But Klemperer, as the diary amply documents, was a special case. Members of his family, and his friends, left Nazi Germany as quickly as they could. Like other cultivated German Jews, Klemperer despised his country's new masters as barbarian invaders. In addition, he could not visualize making a living abroad. Though a professor of French literature, he did not speak French. His English was abysmal and he made only halfhearted attempts to improve it. Add a private neurotic impulse: he would not be dependent on his brother Georg, who had prospered in the United States. In short, his conflicts paralyzed him. One does not read his diary to enter the life of a representative German Jew."

Neil said...

Ordinary Americans are at a profound disadvantage in understanding politics, because they do not know or understand the laws that run everything. Take the judicial system, for example.

"In the American judicial system, few more serious threats to individual liberty can be imagined than a corrupt judge. Clothed with the power of the state and authorized to pass judgment on the most basic aspects of everyday life, a judge can deprive citizens of liberty and property in complete disregard of the Constitution. The injuries inflicted may be severe and enduring...."

Judicial Immunity vs. Due Process: When Should A Judge Be Subject to Suit?
Robert Craig Walters, Cato Journal, Vol.7, No.2 (Fall 1987)

http://www.tulanelink.com/pdf/judicial_immunity_waters.pdf

Craig Walters knows what he writes; he is a lawyer employed by the Florida Supreme Court, and former Clerk to Florida Supreme Court Justice Rosemary Barkett.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Waters

Former President Bill Clinton bears responsibility for the repeal of The Glass-Steagall Act (1933) and the resulting economic crash of 2008. Yet the Democrats still embrace Bill Clinton. Why?

"The Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (GLBA), also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, (Pub.L. 106–102, 113 Stat. 1338, enacted November 12, 1999) is an act of the 106th United States Congress (1999–2001). It repealed part of the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933, removing barriers in the market among banking companies, securities companies and insurance companies that prohibited any one institution from acting as any combination of an investment bank, a commercial bank, and an insurance company. With the bipartisan passage of the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, commercial banks, investment banks, securities firms, and insurance companies were allowed to consolidate. Furthermore, it failed to give to the SEC or any other financial regulatory agency the authority to regulate large investment bank holding companies.[1] The legislation was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.[2]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramm%E2%80%93Leach%E2%80%93Bliley_Act

Neil said...

Karen, this is not a criticism; Trump's so-called anti-Muslim ban illustrates the problem of legal complexity in our political/legal system.

Re: "And so far, every single one of Trump's anti-Muslim bans have been overturned by the judicial system." President Trump did not create laws to ban Muslims. U.S. Code Title 8, ALIENS AND NATIONALITY, gives the president of the United States the power to determine "inadmissible aliens" under 8 U.S. Code § 1182 - Inadmissible aliens. (links below)

Also see, President Trump's travel ban differs from Obama's 2011 Iraq refugee policy

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/president-trump-travel-ban-differs-obama-2011-policy-article-1.2959631

The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals entered an opinion favorable on the stay in Washington v Trump. The Ninth COA is viewed as a liberal court/jurisdiction. The ruling could have gone the other way in the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. (Georgia, Alabama, Florida.)

https://www.scribd.com/document/338924791/Washington-v-Trump-9th-COA-Opinion-on-Stay

"Headquartered in San Francisco, California, the Ninth Circuit is by far the largest of the thirteen courts of appeals, with 29 active judgeships." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Court_of_Appeals_for_the_Ninth_Circuit

United States Courts for the Ninth Circuit
https://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/

Trump travel ban: Tough questions in US appeals court hearing
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38902650

8 U.S.C. § 1182(f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President

"Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline."

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1182

8 U.S. Code § 1182 - Inadmissible aliens, is 81 pages in PDF, see the link. Try reading a law that is 81 pages long - then do it thousands of times over - that’s the American legal system.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/pdf/uscode08/lii_usc_TI_08_CH_12_SC_II_PA_II_SE_1182.pdf

U.S. Code Title 8, ALIENS AND NATIONALITY
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8

Karen Garcia said...

Pearl,

Your story is one of the reasons why I find the current RussiaGate story if not totally implausible, at least wildly overhyped. It seems to serve the purpose of masking the global neoliberal project by the method of guilt by association and selective criticism of a few people for purely political reasons. Come on already: does anybody really believe that Trump campaign operatives are the only vultures colluding with Russian oligarchs?

Neal,

If it walks like a Muslim ban, talks like a Muslim ban, it's a Muslim ban. Rudy Giuliani even admitted on national TV that Trump approached him for advice re a "Legal" basis for a Muslim ban. Naturally, nobody seems to care about the Muslims who've actually been getting killed, in the hundreds of thousands if not millions, by American imperialism and wars during the past half century, at least.

Re Victor Klemperer: I read both volumes, about 1000 pages, of his diaries. It's complicated. But the upshot is that Nazism deprived Jews of their rights in such a gradual fashion that by the time many wanted to leave, it was too late. For one thing, the bank accounts of Jews were frozen and they had no money to leave. In the Klemperers' case, they didn't want to forfeit their recently built home to the state. Klemperer made many attempts to find an overseas job, to no avail. Obviously, he was not a representative German Jew; his marriage to a non-Jew was whatultimately saved him from the concentration camp. But mostly he was very, very lucky.

Neil said...

Jay,

"The sign of higher intelligence, it's said, is the ability to hold opposite ideas in one's head and continue functioning." - US News & World Report, Beyond the Bogeyman

https://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2015/06/26/the-koch-brothers-gifts-to-society

Editor Philip Rieff made a poignant observation in his Introduction to Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria (Freud) (University of Pennsylvania, 1962)

"[C]haracteristically, Freud’s case histories have no villains, only victims; Freud’s world is populated by equally culpable innocents and sophisticates. It is the complicity of the innocents in their own unhappiness that Freud seeks to eliminate - at worst, by making that complicity sophisticated, and at best, by eliminating the complicity altogether." (p. x, Introduction)

In my view, the above is significant because it offers a remedy to unproductive, sectarian ideas of good-bad, right-wrong, which have dogged mankind since antiquity.

I like Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR was a great leader who made serious and epic mistakes. FDR successfully fought Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo and the Great Depression from a wheelchair, until his untimely death April 12, 1945 of a cerebral hemorrhage. Roosevelt was strong on disability rights, and founded in 1938 what is now called the March of Dimes. But it was a serious mistake for FDR to enter Executive Order 9066 sending Japanese-Americans living on the west coast to concentration camps in 1942, and to deny European refugees on the MS St. Louis entry into the USA. FDR’s epic mistake was his failure to implement the Slattery Report, a proposal to move European refugees, especially Jews from Nazi Germany and Austria, to four locations in Alaska. The American public was also against saving European refugees, especially Jews from Nazi Germany and Austria at that time.

FDR could have prevented the Holocaust. FDR could have avoided the failed United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine, and related blowback in the Middle East.

It was a mistake for the Medicare for All crowd not to attend President Trump’s Listening Session on Healthcare - YouTube https://youtu.be/ts_C_WivWGI

Tellingly, Trump acknowledged on Mar 13, 2017 at his listening session that Obamacare will fail by its own poor design, see the video beginning at 2.45

Since you don’t want to work with the president we have, and argue the Medicare for All agenda at Trump’s Listening Session on Healthcare, or any future sessions, what is your plan? Perhaps a Medicare for All presentation at the grave of Karl Marx? Or at the tomb of Vladimir Lenin? Or maybe to the still-living unannounced Democratic presidential candidate for 2020, Hillary Clinton? Or a future Democratic candidate for president like Chelsea Clinton?

Remarks by President Trump in a Listening Session on Healthcare (WH transcript)

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/03/13/remarks-president-trump-listening-session-healthcare

President Trump Leads a Listening Session on Healthcare - White House video

https://www.whitehouse.gov/featured-videos/video/2017/03/13/president-trump-leads-listening-session-healthcare

Neil said...

Jay part 2

It was a mistake for the Medicare for All crowd not embrace the business case for single payer as profiled by Fix It Healthcare http://fixithealthcare.com/

Only recently I found the PNHP profiled "The business case for single payer" Perhaps someone at the PNHP read my comments on this blog about the business case for single payer?

"Business owner Richard Master knows firsthand how the dysfunctional U.S. health care system punishes not only patients, but also employers who are forced to spend more and more to insure their workers. His documentary, "Fix It," makes a strong business case for addressing this festering problem, and includes interviews with many PNHP members. A trailer for the film can be accessed above, or you can view the full version for free by visiting the "Fix It" website."

Fix It Healthcare homepage
http://fixithealthcare.com/

Fix It Healthcare Get Active (Excellent)
http://fixithealthcare.com/get-active/

Fix It Watch The Movie
http://fixithealthcare.com/watch-the-movie/

Regarding Breaking Bad, an American crime drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaking_Bad the only lesson I get is to legalize drugs as proposed in 1995 by William F. Buckley, Jr., see, The War On Drugs Is Lost, by National Review, July 28, 2014

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/383913/war-drugs-lost-nro-staff

Re "the moneychangers, as FDR called them" are now known as rapacious banks and financial institutions, Wall Street, hedge funds, etc. As I noted above, former President Bill Clinton bears responsibility for the repeal of The Glass-Steagall Act (1933) and the resulting economic crash of 2008. Yet the Democrats still embrace Bill Clinton. Why?

I conclude the left wants to loose. Bernie Sanders wanted to loose. By loosing, the left will always have a cause. In the alternative, if the left prevailed, they would be lost as to the next step, see the presidency of Barack Obama.