Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Maudlin Tears of the Pathocrats

 Fresh from his World War III-mongering junket to Asia, highlighted by his provocative vow to militarily defend Taiwan in the event of aggression by China, Joe Biden again wondered aloud why there is so damned much gun violence back in The Homeland.

He wondered anew why this violent nation of ours can't stand up to the "gun lobby -" as if it hasn't rewarded and enabled gun manufacturers and their Wall Street investors more and more with every passing year. He and other politicians in both our ruling class parties performed another round of quickly evaporating maudlin tears, this one for the Texas children killed in Tuesday's mass shooting. One of the two right wings continues to mindlessly champion the rights of the "responsible" gun owners, and the other one addresses the pathology of 331 million US citizens owning almost half a billion firearms among them as a malady needing only a few "common-sense" gauze pads to make the whole boo-boo disappear. As if properly registering one's weapon and proving one's mental health bona fides were themselves more than conscience-salving band-aids for the root cause of increasing shootings: unfettered predatory capitalistic rule by a relative handful of oligarchs, leading to depression, anxiety, poverty, no health care in a pandemic, and violent acting-out on a record scale. 

Biden recently kvetched in an "off the record" interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that he despairs of ever "uniting" this country. His agenda has nothing to do with uniting Democrats with Republicans, not least because most voters in the US don't belong to either elite party. Rather he aims to unite Americans around common propaganda, for the ultimate benefit of the security state and its plutocratic profiteers.

The late Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci observed during the rise of fascism, prior to World War II, that hegemons can only maintain power through the repression and oppression of their people while simultaneously orchestrating people's tacit consent to be repressed and oppressed - whether through government propaganda, news organs, or other influence campaigns. The fact that Biden's own ill-conceived "Disinformation Board" was so deservedly short-lived is not that right-wing factions waged a "disinformation campaign" against it. It was because too many people across the spectrum were wise to the fact that they were being played, as in the ongoing elite suppression of our unsanctioned speech.

Biden and his fellow elites are upset that their domestic propaganda, their bellicosity, and their ham-fisted attempts at censorship ("unifying the country") of non-elite views are such failures. They are grasping at all manner of "outside" enemies to try and divert our attention away from their own pathologies. And in that process, they are endangering all of us.

  The USA may have the military might, but as far as any follow-up Marshall Plan to preserve and enhance its global hegemony is concerned, things have gotten very topsy-turvy indeed. Rather than a Berlin airlift, it is that same post-war Europe, which America has treated as its vassal state for nearly 80 years, which is now flying baby formula to our shores.  Biden was so busy globe-trotting and selling the next world war that he apparently hadn't known there even was a shortage, and that American infants have been in danger of starving en masse for at least the past six months.

It's also the height of irony that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg simultaneously defended and blamed the oligopolistic system responsible for the domestic baby formula shortage, even as our neoliberal government was finally forced to intervene and aid the same oligopoly which it has deemed to be the most virtuous and common-sense source of life for our babies.  Even more supremely ironic, perhaps, is that Buttigieg's late father was one of the world's premier Gramsci scholars who translated his prison writings into English for the enlightenment of any American who cares to read them, and be inspired by them.

So when Biden and his fellow politicians claim to care so deeply about "our beautiful children," do not believe them for one instant. All they care about is getting re-elected. And even if they lose, they win.... through their corporate-funded think tanks, their closed-door fundraisers, their nepotistic corruption, their TV gigs, their forever-wars. 

As John Mearsheimer lays out in "The Tragedy of Great Power Politics" hegemons can only achieve and maintain their superpower global hegemonic status if they are already regional hegemons. And the iron grip that the US has had on Central and South America and the Caribbean now appears to be finally loosening. Several of these nations are boycotting this year's Summit of the Americas, because current host Joe Biden is not inviting leftist countries Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba to participate.

ABC-Disney, one of the very few state- and corporate-sanctioned sources of information and manufactured consent still remaining, is very worried that a more unified and recalcitrant southern hemisphere might put a damper on the global hegemony and wars that it so handsomely profits from:

A hollow summit would undermine efforts by the U.S. to reassert its influence in Latin America when China is making inroads and concerns grow that democracy is backsliding in the region....

 The uncertainty is a sign of chaotic planning for the summit, which is scheduled to take place in a little more than two weeks in Los Angeles. Normally, gatherings for heads of state are organized long in advance, with clear agendas and guest lists.

“There’s no excuse that they didn’t have enough time,” said Ryan Berg, a senior fellow in the Americas Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “This is our chance to set a regional agenda. It’s a great opportunity. And I’m afraid we’re not going to take it.”

And that is such a damned shame, just when Biden was thinking of easing the economic sanctions on starving Venezuelans and their babies by graciously allowing Chevron back into Venezuela to exploit its starving people and their babies. That is the same Chevron, remember, which bypassed the US judicial system and tried, convicted and imprisoned environmental lawyer Steven Donziger for the affront of having won  a major pollution case against the oil giant when it committed fraud and pollution in Ecuador.

Biden and his bipartisan corporate cohort have brought a whole new meaning to Hannah Arendt's banality of evil.  People the whole world over are noticing not only their systemic ingrained evil, but also their essential stupidity.

What with climate disasters, societal collapses and insane wars, that essential stupidity can be a cause for either optimism or pessimism. Either the stupidly powerful destroy themselves, or their stupidity is so powerful that it translates into longevity. 

Unfortunately, when the powerfully stupid and the stupidly powerful talk about loving children, they're mainly talking abut their own offspring, and their offspring after them. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Onward, Christofascist Soldiers

 Barely a week after promising at least another $40 billion in subsidies to US weapons manufacturers for the war in Ukraine, and mere days after grotesquely demanding that surplus Covid aid money be used by cities to hire more armed cops, Joe Biden shuffled off to Buffalo to decry hate and violence in his boilerplate response to the latest domestic mass shooting.

The corporate media dutifully are not calling this out as rank hypocrisy, but instead are once again portraying the Commander in Chief as the Consoler in Chief. What they're really trying to accomplish in the coverage and narrative of the weekend's upstate New York grocery store massacre is that the strict line of demarcation between the acceptable, state-sanctioned violence waged only out of love, safety and democracy, and the unacceptable freelance variety perpetrated out of racism, hate and evil must be maintained at all costs.  War, of course, is not deemed to be a hate crime. That its global victims are disproportionately black and brown is not deemed to be racist.

Joe Biden and the Democrats once again are mouthing their feeble, meaningless entreaties for "modest" and "common-sense" gun law reform. They ignore the obvious culprits: the gun manufacturers and arms dealers themselves, and especially the private equity firms and "holding companies" which own them and finance them and profit from both the state-sanctioned and freelance violence which they enable. 

In his stale litany of platitudes, Biden certainly does not include the armed forces and the weapons industry as part of the white supremacist establishment which has ruled this nation since its inception. It's only when the movement goes rogue and freelance that the real supremacists with the real power get all upset, or at least pretend to. 

He also won't pay much if any lip service to the enforced control and impoverishment of most US citizens by the American oligarchy and its enablers in the professional-managerial class comprising the top 10 percent of income earners. Not for nothing did impoverished Buffalo elect its first socialist mayor in a Democratic primary last year, only for her victory to then be thwarted by an influx of Republican money and a write-in campaign to fix the runoff for her centrist Democratic challenger. 

Biden certainly will not call for a punitive tax on the obscene profits of  the weapons manufacturers that are promoting and enabling both state-sanctioned violence and the renegade variety. To the contrary: under the fig leaf of "humanitarian aid" to places like Ukraine, the weapons industry is one of the biggest recipients of government welfare. Wall Street would have a hissy fit if war and local police states were taxable, as would the investors that finance and control both our establishment political parties.

Both the Buffalo shooter and the young man who committed the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre used Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifles.  This past February, the Sandy Hook parents finally reached a $73 million settlement with Remington, which under the laws of corporate bankruptcy was a heavily insured holding company in the process of selling itself and changing its name, so that shadow owners and investors in assault weapons can continue raking in the profits and whitewashing their reputations under the musical chairs business model. This reality makes the Sandy Hook victory both pyrrhic and premature, despite what plaintiffs' lawyers crowed at the time. From CNN's report:

The families have also “obtained and can make public thousands of pages of internal company documents that prove Remington’s wrongdoing and carry important lessons for helping to prevent future mass shootings,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys said in a news release.

“We established what was clearly true … the immunity protecting the gun industry is not bulletproof,” plaintiffs’ attorney Josh Koskoff said in a news conference in Trumbull, Connecticut. “We hope they realize they have skin in the game, instead of blaming literally everybody else.”

The Buffalo gunman's manifesto, pointing to the racist "great replacement theory" as the impetus for his crime spree, rightly puts the onus on various elected GOP nut-jobs and Fox News for spreading the paranoid propaganda.

However, this concentration on white supremacist hate speech again lets Wall Street off the hook.

The very name of "Freedom Group" - under which the  Bushmaster assault rifle and other models were owned and manufactured until the Sandy Hook atrocity - points to the essential right-wing extremism of its corporate owners and investors.

Freedom Group was simply the name of a subsidiary of the Cerberus Capital Management private equity group. Cerberus, you might remember, is the vicious three-headed dog of Greek mythology that guards the gates of hell. So you probably can at least give these corporate psychopaths a few extra points for being so self-aware. 

As tbe New York Times reported in a 2011 investigative article, rumor among paranoid right-wing circles at the time had it that Democratic megadonor George Soros was buying up big, but financially struggling, assault rifle makers for the express purpose of putting them out of business permanently. No such luck:

Mr. Soros isn’t behind the Freedom Group, but, ultimately, another financier is: Stephen A. Feinberg, the chief executive of Cerberus.

CERBERUS is part of one of the signature Wall Street businesses of the past decade: private equity. Buyout kings like Mr. Feinberg, 51, try to acquire undervalued companies, often with borrowed money, fix them up and either take them public or sell at a profit to someone else....

Why Cerberus went after gun companies isn’t clear. Many private investment firms shy away from such industries to avoid scaring off big investors like pension funds.

Yet, in many ways, the move is classic Cerberus. Mr. Feinberg has a history of investing in companies that other people may not want, but that Cerberus believes it can turn around. When Cerberus embarked on its acquisition spree in guns, it essentially had the field to itself.

If Democrats and pundits really wanted to put the onus on the Republican party side of the Duopoly for the rise in white supremacist gun violence, they might point out that former Vice President Dan Quayle sat on the board of Cerberus in Freedom Group era, and is still in charge of "global investments." The Board has also included a couple of retired generals, who during its ownership of Bushmaster facilitated the sale of assault rifles to the US military as well as to the burgeoning demographic including all the many varieties of disturbed or propagandized civilians of the United States.

Cerberus changed the name of Freedom Group to the more innocuous "Remington Outdoor Company" after a great public outcry, post- Sandy Hook shootings. Ironically, the father of the Cerberus CEO himself had lived in a gated community in Sandy Hook.

The younger Feinberg, with a net worth of $1.5 billion, was named by Donald Trump to chair the President's Intelligence Advisory Board. Cerberus then owned DynCorp, a major contractor with the American security state, which then got folded into another private security contractor, called Amentum. Under Trump Freiberg was tasked with "vetting" people employed by the CIA, despite having no "intelligence" experience himself.

Meanwhile, the latest listed owner of the Bushmaster assault rifle company is Crotalus Holdings in Sun City, Nevada, whose rather murky official trademark is "Proud To Stand With America's Finest."

It still has the same old friendly cartoon logo, an over-fanged blood-red snake with a gun.

From the company website:

Bushmaster Firearms™ is excited to announce our return. We are not an affiliate with any other firearms manufacturing companies. In times to come, our array of products will provide Proven™ perfection to all.

And just in case, despite the outlandish trademarking of the word "Proven," you still thought that the Bushmaster and all its assorted ammo and gear are violent things being recklessly marketed to one and all, they are deadly serious about putting the missionary back in the Mission. The quote on the bottom of the web page selling assault rifles should prove it to everyone's satisfaction:  

 Bushmaster Firearms™

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Matthew 5:9

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A Blob Divided Against Itself Can Only Replicate

 The US foreign policy establishment, often described as The Blob by Washington insiders, was suffering a rare attack of indigestion last week. It seems that the reach of a few of its slimy tentacles had exceeded their grasp. So replete was the Blob upon the gourmet feast known as Ukraine, so giddy was it from the bubbly champagne of public approval for its propaganda campaign to effectively transform Ukraine into an emotionally appealing 51st state, that it forgot that bragging too much about bloodthirsty gluttony does have consequences. It makes people queasy just having to listen to it spewing its gastronomic excess.

Some supposedly renegade individual replicants ventured out from the Blob Proper last week and dished to the New York Times  that it was the Blob itself which had steered its Ukrainian proxy fighters toward some soon-to-be assassinated Russian generals. It was the Blob itself which had targeted the location of the flagship of the Russian fleet for its blowing-up by same proxy fighting force.

This ill-advised chest-thumping, this direct provocation of a fellow nuclear power, was so over the top that it even prodded the latest designated nucleus of the Blob - President Joe Biden himself - into dishing to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that he would not tolerate any of his tentacles ever going rogue in such an unseemly manner, ever again. He apparently even used the F word or worse while  threatening to hunt them down. But this is so moot, because cutting them off will only make them stronger. Slime molds of such superior quality can easily regenerate themselves. Just as the Washington war/security establishment has long used fellow Blobster Friedman to sell its wars of aggression and related regime changes for the benefit of American capitalism  so too does it now use Friedman as journalistic damage control.  Friedman is the ultra-soft washcloth to gently but firmly dab away the blood from Biden's hands, in the process also disguising the fact that these expensively manicured hands are really the giant tentacles of one great big engorged slime mold.

After Friedman ludicrously praises Times reporters for their intrepid digging for spoon-fed goodies from their government partners, he writes: 

At the same time, from everything I have been able to glean from senior U.S. officials, who spoke to me on condition of anonymity, the leaks were not part of any thought-out strategy, and President Biden was livid about them. I’m told that he called the director of national intelligence, the director of the C.I.A. and the secretary of defense to make clear in the strongest and most colorful language that this kind of loose talk is reckless and has got to stop immediately — before we end up in an unintended war with Russia.

This is the same president, mind you, whose own notion of diplomacy  for the prevention of nuclear destruction of the whole world is the reckless goading of Vladimir Putin, calling him a war criminal and a genocidal maniac who must be removed from power. The very idea that Biden is even remotely upset about the unseemly chest-thumping by the lesser tentacles in his administration is therefore laughable on its face.

Even so, this is the delicate stage in the US war on Russia where sympathy for everyday Ukrainians must be maintained at a fever pitch so that the American public will not rebel once the Blob takes an even more direct role in the war. It was only a few weeks ago that independent critics of the proxy war were being dismissed as Kremlin stooges, when they pointed out the factual truth that there is a proxy war going on here.  

But as quick as a slime mold replicates in the woods, the official narrative now acknowledges that this is indeed a proxy war - but only because Biden and the Blob have been "dragged into" one by the evil Putin. It is still a heresy to place the actual beginning of this war against Russia to 2014, when the Obama administration orchestrated regime change in Ukraine.

The Blob (which very much includes the corporate media in its body) is still selling the narrative that the war had its beginning with Putin's own invasion of Ukraine, that it has occurred in a vacuum, and that the incursion of NATO up to Russia's own border in defiance of an agreement made in the 1990s not to do so has nothing to do with it, that the Minsk Accord calling for a diplomatic solution to territorial disputes around eastern Ukraine were never ignored by the "West," that Biden's  economic sanctions, pre-Putin invasion, to make ordinary Russians suffer were a provocation if not an act of war itself.

As much as US political leaders pretend to bemoan the "divisiveness" of the domestic culture wars, which they've played such an integral in promoting for much profit to their corporate sponsors, they also love to pretend that their periodic internal agonizing and spirited debates are proof of a healthy functioning democracy. They pretend that they're wringing their hands over the tragedy of a war they had no part in creating. What they're really doing is flailing their slimy tentacles like whips, striving to manufacture our consent for yet another endless war.  And this particular war may well live up to the 1914 hype of being the "war to end all wars" - but only because the use of nuclear weapons will ensure that never again will humans be able to fight another war, let alone win one.

To hear Friedman tell it, the Blob is naught but a hapless collection of iron filings being inexorably drawn into the maw of a Blob with an irresistible magnetism in its own tentacles. 

"The staggering takeaway from these leaks is that they suggest we are no longer in an indirect war with Russia but rather are edging toward a direct war — and no one has prepared the American people or Congress for that," Friedman disingenuously writes.

Well, consider yourselves gently prepared if you haven't been paying attention up till now.  As for Congress, their unquestioning appropriation of tens of billions of dollars to enrich the weapons industry, in the space of only a few months, for waging the "proxy war" has already implicated them in full knowledge of what they do. The so-called progressive caucus in the lower House apparently never dreamed of leveraging its own bellicose vote in order to force passage of the social welfare programs and Covid relief bills currently stalled in the Senate. People can suffer indefinitely, but war is always time-sensitive. At least that's what Speaker Nancy Pelosi grotesquely implied.

The view of Biden and his team, according to my reporting," Friedman concludes, "is that America needs to help Ukraine restore its sovereignty and beat the Russians back — but not let Ukraine turn itself into an American protectorate on the border of Russia. We need to stay laser-focused on what is our national interest and not stray in ways that lead to exposures and risks we don’t want."

Um... Ukraine has been a protectorate, or at least a beholden client state, of the US at least since 2014. Much of its own mainstream media is directly funded by NATO and USAID, which themselves are funded by weapons manufacturers and oil companies. 

Until Ukrainians were fetishized by the Blob as worthy freedom fighters and trendy cultural icons even deserving of a Bono concert, Joe Biden displayed his true colors. As vice president, he traveled to Ukraine and informed them they'd have their pensions reduced, their retirement ages raised, their costs for fuel increased -  in a country where the average salary is $775 a month - as IMF punishment for official corruption. This is while his son Hunter was making tens of millions of dollars sitting on the board of a corrupt Ukrainian gas company.

Another fun fact about slime molds is that they pride themselves on their diversity. Even in nature, they come in every color except green. So it's only natural that the Washington variety of the Blob is so adverse to a green new deal, not least because the military is the biggest fossil fuel polluter in the entire world.

 For a creature lacking a brain, the slime mold that inspired "The Blob" movie that in turn inspired the folksy moniker for what used to be called the Military-Industrial Complex, it is marvelously efficient at finding food, traveling ridiculous distances, and of course, constantly evolving and shifting its shape and replicating itself and growing without limit almost at the speed of light. As one scientist so vividly put it in a PBS News Hour segment about the species,

 They form strange and sophisticated shapes – some resemble honeycomb lattices, others blackberries. And then there’s the slime mold known as “dog vomit,” because it looks just like the stuff. Some remain microscopic, and others grow rogue, forming bulbous masses, as long as 10 to 13 feet. Yet humans largely ignore them.

“Very few have been consumed as food. You can’t build a house with them. They escape our noses most of the time,” (Professor Steve) Stephenson said. 

Slime mold is a lot like war -  what is it good for?



Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The Great Roe v Wade Leak

 It's tailor-made for the midterms. Both parties will fund-raise like mad as the Supremes keep us in suspense for another month or two as we await the final decision. Remember, the leaked document, written by Samuel Alito, is still only a draft. The court may not overturn Roe v Wade as much as punt it back to the states. And conservative states already have gone full bore ahead with their own draconian abortion bans or restrictions.

So who leaked it? My guess is that one of the liberal justices accidentally on purpose left it on her desk where an underling found it. But who knows, and what difference does it really make? We kind of knew this was coming.

At least they can't blame it on Wikileaks, whose founder Julian Assange is still rotting in a rotten British prison as he awaits extradition to the States for trial under the Espionage Act, which was originally passed to quash dissent from American citizens during World War I.

Maybe they'll find a way to blame Russia, which as the USSR actually was the very first nation in Europe to legalize safe, free, hospital-based abortions in 1920 - albeit with eventual restrictions. In 1936, Stalin  made abortion illegal again, except when the mother's health was endangered. This was because war and (sometimes orchestrated) famine had caused the population to drastically plummet. But at the same time, the USSR built more nurseries, more obstetric facilities and increased welfare payments to large families. In that regard, they were certainly a lot better than our own modern Republicans, whose concern for human life is severely restricted to the nine months a citizen stays in the womb. 

 Of course the kids living under Stalin were raised like robots in preparation, for many of them, their ultimate purpose as cannon fodder. As a matter of fact, once the Soviets had prevailed over Nazi Germany in World War II, the generous payments to fecund families were summarily and severely reduced.

Fast forward to more modern times, and the abortion debate in Russia is very similar to that in the United States.  The procedure is restricted and very actively discouraged - once again, because population growth has slowed.

In the United States, the birth rate is also down, at least in part because people of child-bearing age can no longer afford to bring children into the world. Wages are still stagnant, and housing is both unaffordable and hard to find. 

So while Republicans are brazen in their misogynistic and Christian fundamentalist reasons for opposing abortion, the Democrats have passive-aggressively and lackadaisically declined to encode it into law for all the many decades that Roe v Wade has been in effect, and for all the times the party has enjoyed super-majorities in Congress. Then there's the inconvenient reality that Ruth Bader Ginsburg refused to retire when there was still a chance to impede the rightward lurch of the court. 

And another unpalatable truth is that, despite the US hegemon's recent heavy reliance on unmanned drones in the waging of the Forever Wars, there is always the continuous need in bellicose nation-states for a steady supply of that all-important cannon fodder,- or least enough human flesh to sit in the trailers and operate the drone joysticks.

Let's hope that just like they did back in the early years of the 20th century, the women who are now protesting and demanding their civil rights in front of the Supreme Court will also morph into antiwar activists and labor unionists, and then the whole neoconservative/neoliberal project comes crashing down as a sort of collateral damage to all the pathocrats who are currently running the place. 

The Supremes, convenient targets for our wrath that they are, certainly do not operate in a vacuum. Notice, for example, the lack of Democratic interest in impeaching Clarence Thomas despite the malign political activities of his soulmate and life partner Ginni.

Monday, May 2, 2022

The Unbearable Brightness of Democratic Being

 Another week, another New York Times article about elite Democratic Party angst. The gaslighting theme, as ever, is that voters are ungrateful wretches who refuse to hear the message about all the great things that Joe Biden and his party have accomplished.

The electorate just doesn't get it. After all, writes the Paper of Record with an apparent straight face, "many Democratic candidates are raising vast sums of money, a sign of voter engagement."

Actually, it's an unmistakable sign of the record engagement of wealthy donors who, as that famous Princeton study proved way back when, usually get whatever they want in the way of tax breaks, antisocial policies and investment opportunities (private gains via socialized losses.)

But still, the Democrats will go through the requisite motions. They'll most of all have us reminisce over those long-expired, long-exhausted Rescue Plan benefits. And Joe Biden, to prove how much he cares about you, is carefully considering limited and mean-tested student debt forgiveness. He will begin hitting the road with a vengeance to spread the feel-good message in order to, as the Times headline puts it, "brighten his presidency and the national mood."

One of his very first stops to help lift our spirits will be on Tuesday at a Lockheed weapons plant in Alabama.  This facility manufactures the thousands of anti-tank Javelin missiles that his administration is sending to unknown hands in Ukraine. So if your mood is not instantaneously brightened by the sight of the Commander in Chief surrounded by all those shiny phallic symbols of death, then you probably need a mental health intervention to strengthen your libido. For as Theodore Roosevelt himself famously thundered over a century ago in the lead-up to the War To End All Wars: "By war alone can we acquire those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life!"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi virtue-signaled the importance of gender parity in equating killing with caring. She cares so much about human struggles, in fact, that she did both T.R., and Joe Biden one better, all but unilaterally declaring war on Russia on Sunday. "America stands firmly with Ukraine. We are here until victory is won," she orgasmically gushed upon being gifted the Order of Princess Olga medal from heartthrob Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Not for nothing is this powerful feminist icon royally described by corporate media as "third in line to the presidential succession" in her own country.

The peasants just don't get it. The Dems have to fight "the Russians"  over there so that they don't have to fight for you over here. Over There, Say a Prayer, and Beware, for the Yanks are coming and they won't stop till it's Over, Over There. Or, as the New York Times a tad less jingoistically puts the party's existential exasperation with the lower orders not getting with the Neo World Order:

How much time should they spend trying to show voters they grasp the pain of inflation, compared with efforts to remind them of low unemployment? Should they pursue ambitious policies that show Democrats are fighters, or is it enough to hope for more modest victories while emphasizing all that the party has passed already?

My published comment on the article:

 It seems that every time a prominent Democrat appears on the corporate news shows, it's to agitate for war and billions of dollars in weaponized "humanitarian" aid for the people of Ukraine, the latest designated pawns in the endless US wars for oil, for profit, for global real estate. War is an investment opportunity for the wealthy donors who fund both our major political parties.

But student loan forgiveness, continuation of subsidized Covid treatment for poor uninsured people, renewal of modest cash aid to children? Where is the profit in that? Of course, since they can't say that directly because it would hurt their re-election chances, they turn to the usual cynical platitudes. Their go-to refrain is that helping people in their everyday lives would unfairly benefit the "undeserving". Take your pick of who the undeserving are: if they aren't residents of "crime ridden communities" who'd only use the benefits to score drugs, then they are those ubiquitous children of millionaires champing at the bit to avoid paying their alleged student loans. As far as his devotion to the working stiff is concerned, Joe Biden has yet to cancel the lucrative government contracts with Amazon, which is trying to squash labor unions. So far, he is ignoring his "good friend" Bernie Sanders's appeal to rectify this oversight. Voters are noticing the political cynicism as well as the money-soaked corruption which exists all across the designated A-to-B political spectrum.