The Silence of the Hacks

American politics is officially corrupt.
The thing is, this nightmare could be ended by a handful of Republican legislators willing to make common cause with Democrats to demand the truth. And maybe there are enough people of conscience left in the G.O.P.

But there probably aren’t. And that’s a problem that’s even scarier than the Trump-Putin axis.

Noam Chomsky on the 2016 POTUS election

Yeah, I know, I know. It's Chomsky, so the RW loons will dismiss it as the worst of the left of the left. Plus, it's on al Jazeera, so it's a "muzzie" interview. And those same RW bastards won't take responsibility for the fact that I will fight them to the end of my days because they hate me/fear me for everything I believe, everything about me. They will live on in some fantasy world where I want to hurt them. Republican voters, and especially Trump supporters, want someone to swing their big dick and stand down any opposition to PROTECT their frightened little selves. I'm convinced the RW smells victory, and has become insane because of their fear that they’ll actually be in charge and fuck everything up like Bush did. Having acknowledged the lunacy of the average Trump support/GOP voter, I found this interesting:
Renowned US academic Noam Chomsky says Bernie Sanders has the best policies of the Democratic presidential contenders, but does not have a real chance to win in a political system where elections are "mainly bought". In the second part of an interview with Mehdi Hasan on Al Jazeera's UpFront current affairs show, the MIT emeritus professor said he considered Sanders to be "basically a new dealer". "I agree with him in a lot of things, not in other things," Chomsky said. "I frankly think that in our system of mainly bought elections, he doesn't have much of a chance. "But if he were elected I think he would - of the current candidates - I think he'd be the one who would have, from my point of view, the best policies."
Still, the majority of analysts still believe Clinton to be the likely presidential nominee to emerge from the Democratic primaries. If that was to happen, Chomsky told UpFront that he would absolutely vote for Clinton over any Republican, if he lived in a swing state. "Oh absolutely... My vote would be against the Republican candidate," said Chomsky, who lives in Massachusetts, a safe state for the Democrats.
Chomsky said there were clear differences between the two parties. "There are enormous differences," he said. "Every Republican candidate is either a climate change denier or a sceptic who says we can't do it. "What they are saying is, 'Let's destroy the world.' Is that worth voting against? Yeah."
I gleefully await the "Chomsky is an idiot" posts from "the right". Something tells me I'll be waiting a while. They'll be coming from the putative "left" because there's nothing like snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Edited to add the link.

Who rules America?

This will not be news to any of you.
"The public be damned!" — William H. Vanderbilt, railroad magnate, 1882 A shattering new study by two political science professors has found that ordinary Americans have virtually no impact whatsoever on the making of national policy in our country. The analysts found that rich individuals and business-controlled interest groups largely shape policy outcomes in the United States. This study should be a loud wake-up call to the vast majority of Americans who are bypassed by their government. To reclaim the promise of American democracy, ordinary citizens must act positively to change the relationship between the people and our government ==snip== If only they vote and organize, ordinary Americans can reclaim American democracy and challenge the politicians who still echo the view of old Vanderbilt that the public should be damned.

Reason #378 why Rand Paul is a Scumbag

When a bipartisan Senate panel last week lambasted Swiss bank Credit Suisse for helping rich Americans evade billions in taxes, some watching the high-profile hearing couldn’t help but notice an elephant in the room. That is, Sen. Rand Paul. The connection? Paul for years has single-handedly blocked an obscure U.S.-Swiss tax treaty that lawmakers, prosecutors, diplomats and banks say makes the difference between U.S. law enforcement rooting out the names of a few hundred fat-cat tax evaders — and many thousands more. Kentucky’s tea party darling says the treaty infringes on privacy rights. But his critics say Paul’s hold just hamstrings the Justice Department’s tax evasion work.

Depressing, and likely true

Why There’s No Outcry, by Robert Reich.
People ask me all the time why we don’t have a revolution in America, or at least a major wave of reform similar to that of the Progressive Era or the New Deal or the Great Society. Middle incomes are sinking, the ranks of the poor are swelling, almost all the economic gains are going to the top, and big money is corrupting our democracy. So why isn’t there more of a ruckus? The answer is complex, but three reasons stand out.
Link to the answers. JFTR, I disagree with this bit:
It’s possible. of course, that rightwing Republicans, corporate executives, and Wall Street moguls intentionally cut jobs and wages in order to cow average workers, buried students under so much debt they’d never take to the streets, and made most Americans so cynical about government they wouldn’t even try for change. But it’s more likely they merely allowed all this to unfold, like a giant wet blanket over the outrage and indignation most Americans feel but don’t express.
To believe this, one would have to suspend belief that the Koch brothers and their astroturfed teabagger division exist. I don't. It's an absolute fact that the GOP tries to destroy this country, and any other country they can, when they're not in power, and try to destroy the country (and any other country that gets in their way) when they are in power. But the rest of it, I think, is spot on.

Afghan president says U.S. should start talks with Taliban or leave

(Reuters) - President Hamid Karzai appeared to stiffen his resolve on Saturday not to sign a security pact with Washington, saying the United States should leave Afghanistan unless it could restart peace talks with the Taliban. "In exchange for this agreement, we want peace for the people of Afghanistan. Otherwise, it's better for them to leave and our country will find its own way," Karzai told a news conference. The president said pressing ahead with talks with the Taliban, in power from 1996-2001, was critical to ensure that Afghanistan was not left with a weak central government. "Starting peace talks is a condition because we want to be confident that after the signing of the security agreement, Afghanistan will not be divided into fiefdoms," he said. Most diplomats now agree that Karzai is unlikely to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) that would allow for some form of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after the end of 2014, when most troops are due to leave.
Seems like a non-starter, to me, given that the Taliban are some of the most fanatical religious fanatics extant (maybe excepting the wahabees and bible-belt baptists), but we'll see how bad the MIC wants to keep using Afgonistan as a cash cow.

An amazing map of the Koch brothers massive political network

These greedy fuckers are keeping cumstains like Rand(y) Paul and Mike(y) Lee in office almost single-handedly. People gotta stop believing the hateful lies they spew (like, fer example, giving all of our money to 2 extraordinarily wealthy spoiled inherited wealth rich kids is somehow magically going to create jobs in this country). Honestly, on some days I think these 2 fuckers, all by themselves, are worse for the country than the entire GOP (and the GOP's idiot supporters).

Going Postal

The husband of US Senator Dianne Feinstein has been selling post offices to his friends, cheap.
My yearlong investigation has uncovered evidence of multiple conflicts of interest and problems with post office sales supervised by Blum's company, including: • CBRE appears to have repeatedly violated its contractual duty to sell postal properties at or above fair market values. • CBRE has sold valuable postal properties to developers at prices that appear to have been steeply discounted from fair market values, resulting in the loss of tens of millions of dollars in public revenue. ::snip:: • Senator Feinstein has lobbied the Postmaster General on behalf of a redevelopment project in which her husband's company was involved.
I can understand why some "red" state Democratic Senators might be more conservative than we might like, but why CA keeps electing the odious DiFi is beyond my ability to understand. I mean, how many wars does she have to promote to offset the whole Harvey Milk thing? At any rate, her husband is another crook, ripping off the taxpayers and systematically dismantling the government. Ho hum, right?

6 Filthy Facts About the Rich

The filthiest fact is that Congress wants to cut the food benefit to hungry Americans, almost half of them children, so that money can keep flowing to the top.
Link The ongoing, current class war began under Reagan, who the GOP's sycophants have nominated for everything from a fifth head on Mt. Rushmore to having his know-nothing head memorialized on a coin. I vomit in my mouth a little whenever I fly in or out of "Reagan National" airport. It probably began when he pushed "trickle down economics" on us, based on the laughable (and thoroughly disproven) "Laffer Curve", but a case could be made that it was when he began the ongoing destruction of unions by firing the striking air-traffic controllers. Maybe they're tied... "Trickle down", called "voodoo economics" by the sire of Bush the dim, has been tried twice and it's failed MISERABLY both times, most recently lending a a helping hand to the worst recession in our nation's history, by cutting taxes on the wealthy (read "war profiteers" here and you won't be too far out of line) at the same time Cheney talked his smirking chimp of a boss into launching not one, but two, count 'em, two unfunded wars. (Aside, I still remember John Thune as a new Senator telling Tim Russert how "easy" it is to keep the budget balanced when fighting two unfunded wars: "Just take them off the books." This is what passes for GOP "leadership"). Make no mistake, the war continues to this day. Unless you make something on the order of a Bazillion dollars a year, it's a war on YOU. And if we don't work together to fight back, we will lose this war (if it hasn't already been lost). Do you remember/know of the Overton Window? It's time to embrace "wealth redistribution" as what made America great, in the past. I support a 90% tax rate for individual incomes over $1,000,000.00/yr. Steep inheritance tax on estates over $5,000,000.00, to stop the Walton-like handing down of power (like a monarchy) in this capitalist society. You should, too.