Recent Comments

  • Russian & Iranian Press deplore Hillary Clinton Hawkishness; Israelis complain she's Dove (3)
    • Russian & Iranian Press deplore Hillary Clinton Hawkishness; Israelis complain she’s Dove

      IMHO the Russians and Iranians were accurate.

  • When Dems ditched Workers for Professionals, they opened Door for Trump (7)
    • It is forgotten that the first great wave of outsourcing was from the North to the South. The Southern workers have already been betrayed by their jobs moving further south to Mexico, and Mexican workers in turn have been betrayed by their jobs moving to China. This keeps happening until the capitalists run up against the last cheap labor pool they can utilize and it then turns to unions to reverse the process.

    • Thank you for recalling the first chapter of this sad story, which current critics of the Democrats conveniently forget. The anti-war movement had no problem hating unionized workers when the latter hated them violently.

      The rift that Frank describes exploded out into the open at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. The irony is that the respectable, well-paid hardhats who bashed dirty hippies got screwed by automation and globalization, and a portion of the dirty hippies got into the new feel-good lifestyle industries that arose on the ruins, cleaned themselves up and became the new defenders of liberal capitalism and enemies of the working class. Only to find they've embraced a free market that keeps creating too many poor people. But conversely, that White working class refused at every step to embrace the reality that their successors would be people of color, and branded the latter as categorically "lazy" even as they took their own jobs. It was a racist betrayal within the working class. Which is why the very term "Working Class" is now contaminated by racism such that now a new wave of leftists can express sympathy for White racists as an excuse for Trump while ignoring what will happen to the real, non-White, working class under Trump and his tribalist army.

      They needed each other all along, and they've sabotaged each other all along, and here we are.

  • Russian & Iranian Press deplore Hillary Clinton Hawkishness; Israelis complain she's Dove (3)
    • All Iran has to do is call Trump a genius and a fabulous businessman and they will be his life long friend.

    • The tragedy here is that Juan Cole has to go to the BBC to learn about these very significant political points. Where is the American press? It is Just "suppressing" what may be obvious to the American public and in so doing giving Trump more credibility about "control"?

  • Turkey Is Shutting Down over 130 Media Outlets; Can Democracy Survive? (4)
    • Richard, Erdogan is without doubt mentally ill. He has been described by mental health experts and others as bi-polar.
      In addition, we can explain what we are seeing now as the culmination of his long-held desire to seek revenge on the Kemalists (secularists loyal to Ataturk).
      Erdogan went to prison in 1999 for incitement to religious hatred. The offending poem included the lines "Our minarets are our bayonets, our domes are our helmets.."
      In recent years he and his AKP party have revealed their true colors, the crushing of the Gezi Park rebellion being one prime example.
      Also, don't buy the AKP line that the Gulenists are terrorists. There is a not a cigarette paper's difference between the AKP and the Gulen movement, they are kith and kin. Gulen has talked about infiltrating the veins of democracy and bringing it down at the right moment. It is a straightforward power struggle.

    • Exactly, one rule for Israel, one for everyone else. And despite the fine words of Cornel West, it was a bridge too far for the DNC to even mention the word "occupation" in its policy statement on Palestine.
      I have a terrible sense of foreboding about the next year or two in Palestine. Hillary Clinton is as hawkish as it is possible to be and has been bought by Zionist tycoons such as Haim Saban and Sheldon Aldeson. And with Trump who knows what might happen.
      The Zionists will be ever more emboldened and I fear mass murder and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians on a horrific scale.

  • When Dems ditched Workers for Professionals, they opened Door for Trump (7)
    • I really liked and appreciated this article, Juan, Thanks for posting.

    • You and I have very similar analyses, but i disagree with your conclusion. It is not that the Democrats abandoned those people, but those people voted against their economic interests because of their opposition to civil rights due to the racism of many. If the Democratic Party had used the appeal of the Republicans, they would have been abandoning minorities, people of color, and many other constituencies that make up their base. And, it is a question of values. Should the Democrats have worked against equal rights for all in order to try and retain the blue collar workers? The Republicans had no problem doing that since they prize political power above principle. Rachel Maddow, in her show tonight (Friday, 7/29) related how Reagan's first campaign stop after he got the nomination was Philadelphia, Mississippi, where the 3 civil rights workers had been murdered. There he spoke to 30,000 in an all white crowd and supported "states rights", which they all knew meant segregation. As a Democrat, I am glad that my party did not, in the main, do that. Another important aspect of all this is that it shows the inadequacy of Marxism in explaining and predicting behavior. According to Marxism, class should trump all else. The Republicans have shown that people will put a higher value on things like racism than on their economic interests. Social wedge issues, based on fear, are stronger than the binds of class. Also, these type of issues can be used to stoke resentment between groups to promote the belief that those "others" are going to take your jobs, rather than the Marxian view that class members would stick together.

  • B'Tselem: Israel demolished more Palestinian homes in past 6 months than in all of 2015 (1)
    • Decades ago, the Likud Party had a goal of eventually resettling Jewry in the Occupied Territories until a total of 750,000 in Jewish population resided in those areas.

      The rationale behind this number is that this constituted a perceived "critical mass" of Jewish settlers which would give legitimacy to annexation of those areas into the State of Israel.

      Currently, there are about 567,000 Jewish settlers in the Occupied Territories - the Likud historical goal is nearing reality.

  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
    • I agree with many of your points but you are ignorant of history. We heard this shit from Trump in 1930s Germany. When people threaten to destroy our democracy through neo-fascism, rip up alliances, practice torture, and a gazillion other horrors, they also threaten to negate the sacrifices of the dead from Lexington to Gettysburg, from Normandy to Iwo Jima and beyond.

      I am more left than you - I despise the Clintons. But government and democracy is not perfect - it can be vicious, brutal, and horrible, and yes, Hillary is a part of that. But anyone who thinks Trump should be near nuclear codes is a fool. Look at the transcripts of press conferences; look at the tweets; look at the behavior.

      And anyone who supports Trump against Hillary is a fucking asshole. Go ahead - give everything to Trump and the GOP - kick health care, and Medicare, and social security, and our alliances to shit. But know that there are now but only two types of Americans in this country: neo-fascists, and democrats (small d). Which will you be?

      And as always, pars Republicana delenda est!

  • Lieberman: Palestinian National Poet Mahmoud Darwish's Verse is ‘Mein Kampf’ (4)
  • When Dems ditched Workers for Professionals, they opened Door for Trump (7)
    • I think that Franks is guilty of cherry picking and also using a bit of a strawman argument. First, the ablation of the working class from the Democrats to Republicans began with the Southern Strategy, was really developed under Reagan, and then flourished thereafter. It was the brainchild of people like Roger Ailes and Lee Atwater, who used social wedge issues to get blue collar workers to vote with the Republicans and against their own economic interests. They were called Reagan Democrats. The social wedge issue was really a code word for racism. The emphasis on law and order was really a campaign to get less educated whites to fear "the black man." They accused the Democrats of being soft on crime with the implication that since they supported civil rights they supported black people who were the "real" criminals. Throughout this time Republicans continued an attack on unions while Democrats supported unions. Democrats have supported unions since FDR while Republicans have almost always opposed them. Thus, the idea that the Democrats have somehow abandoned the working class is just not true. The Taft Hartley Act and right to work laws, especially in the South where state legislators are staunchly Republican, led to a huge drop off in private sector unions, so that the public sector is the last bastion of unionism. This is a big reason the Republicans have gone after teachers, public employees, and public employee pensions. They want to privatize everything and then, with non-union labor, right to work laws, and the like, corporations can rake in even huger profits than ever before. The DLC, headed by Clinton was a reaction to this in order to try and reverse Democratic losses. I did not and have never agreed with their approach. However, it has resulted in greater electoral success. The Democrats tried to blunt the soft on crime issue by being tough on crime and criminals. The DLC approach was to be more business friendly in order to get more campaign funding. And they were aided by the recession in the first Bush administration. Through it all, the Democrats have supported unions, minimum wage hikes, and civil rights. The Republicans broadened their wedge issues to include attacks on homosezuals and the support for right wing evangelicals. Ed Schultz some years back summarized their issues as God, gays, and guns. So, I think Franks view is oversimplified and ignores the big picture and doesn't take enough of a historical over view.

  • Top 7 firsts in Women in US Politics (7)
  • Top Five Ways to tell if a Terrorist is still al-Qaeda despite name Change (7)
    • Juan is right (as usual) on the Keystone Kops nature of this announcement, but yes, the word also has the sense in Arabic of "opening" and has something of a historically positive connotation. It is used, for example, most commonly in the "opening/conquest" of al-Andalus (Spain) in the 7th century CE.

  • When Dems ditched Workers for Professionals, they opened Door for Trump (7)
    • This is exactly right - and the problem goes back to George McGovern, Michael Dukakis, and the infamous "Reagan Democrats."

      Remember how the New Dealers kept losing presidential elections to the Republicans because the "Silent Majority" wanted to elect people who would punch hippies? Remember how Bill Clinton won by "triangulating"?

      Starting with Ronald Reagan, the Republicans have convinced the American working class that the elitist environmentalists and the degenerate, unpatriotic hippies have destroyed the US middle class and allowed all the good working-class jobs to be outsourced overseas. Using "God, gays, and guns" as a wedge issue, Republicans convinced many working-class voters to vote Republican.

      It's been 20+ years now, and the media and the voters treat these wedge issues as facts rather than clever propaganda. It sounds as though the Democrats have finally woken up to the idea that they can't ignore the working class any more. Hopefully, it's not too late.

    • Article about man 20 years ago predicted rise of Trump. An adviser to Patrick Buchanan in his run for president.

      The theme is the same as Thomas Frank's point that the democratic party walked away from the people.

      link to theweek.com

      And here is a salon.com article which is a chapter from Thomas Franks' book "Listen Liberal." Frank makes an incredible point that GLOBALIZATION was for the Clintons like God to others. The force of globalization was going to sweep aside those objecting to "progress." And Hillary is quoted that to bring about change, you have to attack your friends. So when Bill signed NAFTA it showed that he could stand up to those unions. He was tough. Like Hillary is tough and out to start more wars.

      Here is a question: will this campaign result in a new peace movement?

      Here is the link to Franks' salon.com article

      link to salon.com

      And here is the title

      Bill Clinton’s odious presidency: Thomas Frank on the real history of the ’90s
      Welfare reform. NAFTA. The crime bill. Prisons. Aides wondered if Bill knew who he was. His legacy is sadly clear

  • Turkey Is Shutting Down over 130 Media Outlets; Can Democracy Survive? (4)
  • Arab Street Shocked as Saudi Delegation Visits Israel (23)
    • I think from the beginning Saudi Arabia is working on agenda of anti-muslim forces and now masks are coming out from the face. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libiya, Syria and Yemen have been destroyed but no real pain observed in Saudi Arabia. Now Turkey and Pakistan are the next targets but Saudi Arabia pretending as muslim brother and supporting enimies of Islam. USA and Saudi Arabia have joint venture in destruction of muslim countries. They have one GOD which is called MONEY. At the end Saudi will not get any thing for sure.

  • Top Five Ways to tell if a Terrorist is still al-Qaeda despite name Change (7)
  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
    • Professor Cole, I am absolutely dumbfounded at your continuing belief in the Clintons ( like shoes, they come in a pair - Oh, what a pair)! After NAFTA, which has destroyed Mexico's rural economy and help turn Mexico into a failed Narco State, the deregulation of the Banks and not regulating derivatives which lead directly to the crash of 08'. Hillary voting for and continuing to support our Imperialistic oil wars, their dishonesty and lying and mind boggling corruption, their support for the rape and pillage of the planet for the short term profit of the 1%.
      After all this and much more you still think Hillary is going the change and appoint "Liberals" to the supreme Court!
      Citizen's United gave the 1% the legal cover to buy our Government and you think Hillary is going to do anything to upset that? One thing you can say about the Clintons is when you buy them they deliver so the chance of anything but a plutocrat friendly appointment is about nil.
      The Clintons will do what the Clintons have always done: Work for the 1% and the Clintons.
      And a note on Neanderthals, They lived peacefully within their environment for a few hindered thousand years until us Homo Sapiens showed up, then they went extinct.
      We Homo Sapiens may be the smartest monkeys on the third rock from the Sun, but we ae also the most violent, greediest and most self destructive.
      Welcome to the Monkey House, Professor Cole.

  • Top Five Ways to tell if a Terrorist is still al-Qaeda despite name Change (7)
    • I agree in general, but if I'm not mistaken the Arabic word فتح is mostly used in the context of the original Islamic conquests and is harking back to that, something I don't think you harping on this English translation really reflects.

  • Turkey Is Shutting Down over 130 Media Outlets; Can Democracy Survive? (4)
  • Top Five Ways to tell if a Terrorist is still al-Qaeda despite name Change (7)
    • If Obama had followed McCain/ Lindsey Graham's advice, the tag team equivalent of Richard Pearl and Joe Lieberman, and ordered generals to deploy ground troops into Syria we would have found our soldiers fighting side by side with the organization blamed for 9-11. The needless loss of life and treasury would have been staggering.

      With Assad deposed Syria could expect the kind of war and mayhem now being experienced by Iraq for a generation or more. Speaking of which, Huff Post is reporting a million Iraqis might have to flee their homes in the next few weeks.

      Thanks Bush/ Cheney....Mission Accomplished!

    • I like the bite to your writing here. This was a particularly enjoyable read Professor. Clearly, these dudes aren't ready for proganda combat in the new media environment. Something makes me suspect they might never quite get there. Backwards as they are, at least ISIS has grasped the basics of social media terrorism, these guys seem like rank amateurs.

  • Is the French Press Right to stop Printing Pictures, Names of Terrorists? (9)
    • I certainly agree that when 40 people die in a major city in one weekend, the story should get national coverage, and I agree that the Western press needs to do more to inform people about Islam and ordinary Muslims. However, I think it is a slippery slope to name some criminals and not name others. The five journalistic questions must be asked and answered--who, what, when, where, why--in every case.

      According to the FBI, 94% of terrorist attacks carried out in the United States from 1980 to 2005 have been by non-Muslims. There have been over one thousand terrorist attacks in Europe in the past five years. Less than 2% of the perpetrators were Muslim.

  • Disgraced Wasserman Schultz Resigns as DNC Chair, Gets Hired by Clinton (20)
    • I am not happy with Clinton's giving DWS an "honorary chair" position, but from what I can tell the headline's assertion that Clinton "hired" DWS appears to be misleading and inaccurate.

  • Is the French Press Right to stop Printing Pictures, Names of Terrorists? (9)
    • Does that mean they're not going to print "George W. Bush", "Richard Cheney", "Condoleezza Rice", "Tony Blair", "Barak Obama", "Susan Rice", "Samantha Power", and a whole host of other names that go along with these or is it only aimed at non-western 'terrorists"?

  • Sarah Silverman to Bernie or Bust folks at DNC 2016: You are being ridiculous (7)
  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
  • Thank You for Your Support (98)
    • Like others sometimes I wonder if you are right but then again I think of others who are on a mission to tell lies. I have learned to live in a world of lies and deceit.
      Anyway I truly appreciate the good work you do despite your academic activities. As a Muslim physician I especially value your honest outlook.
      Best Regards,
      Ahsan K

  • Can Turkey's Economy come back from Coup and Massive Purge? (1)
    • I have published articles about the Hizmet movement in several books plus an article in the Journal of Global Initiatives. I have spoken on Gulen at the London School of Economics, Erasmus University in Rotterdam, at the Free University in Amsterdam, at L.S.U. and Kennesaw State University. In my opinion the Hizmet movement is into peacebuilding and interreligious dialogue. Gulen himself is a pacifist and I hardly think that a 78 year old cleric who has heart disease and a very bad case of diabetes would be behind a coup in Turkey. How should we deal, with those who put us down? Gulen asks us to take the approach of Yunus the poet: "not striking those who hit us, not replying in kind to those who curse us, and not holding any secret grudges against those who abuse us." Do these sound like the words of a terrorist? Erdogan's claim that the followers of Gulen constitute a "terrorist group" is patently absurd and ridiculous!

  • Is the French Press Right to stop Printing Pictures, Names of Terrorists? (9)
    • Agreed Juan, with this opinion, "Daesh is trying to destroy the grey zone, to drive Western Muslims into its own arms by arranging for white people of Christian heritage to be beastly to them. Hence my mantra: Daesh attacks because they want us to be afraid and to hate. The only effective counter-strategy is to refuse to be afraid and instead to show love to some Muslims".

    • I will start with this feel good fact:
      link to youtube.com
      A Hindu Bhajan, sang by a muslim, composed by a muslim and lyrics written by a muslim. Please do watch.

    • As the French have Twitter, Facebook and access to other francophone media, that would be pretty pointless ...

    • Pointing out the chronic presence of nihilist violence at home and abroad in our popular news media would undermine the essential Western myth of economic progress (despite the fact that most of American history relied on nihilist acts to advance the national destiny). The kool people would be deeply disturbed and get the vapors. Many more would become angry at the disillusionment, and a few more would join in the violence.

      Hence we can't.

    • One needs be careful not to generalise but I would guess that a serious number of these young men whose lives seem to be pretty bleak are attracted by the prospect of their day in the sun, one recently was an admirer of Breivik, someone he can only have encountered in the media. To an extent media coverage does raise their evil to a level one might compare with the Satan of Milton's Paradise Lost, and the shock and horror backed with poignant interviews functions as a kind of Attic Chorus while the pattern of media coverage follows a recognisable narrative shape. That is what I think is wrong. However, it's much broader than the coverage of these atrocities, it's hard wired into all mass media coverage of almost anything; media has to be readable, not just a bleak list of happenings. Before mass media and the 'popular' novel, stories and theatre had an identifiable purpose to be morally improving , history was written that way, Herodotus and Plutarch were widely read, Elizabeth I translated Plutarch, and Shakespeare lifted passages almost word for word from his Lives. The tradition is still there in the 18th and early 19th centuries, Tolstoy, Dickens etc. In fact it survived into early Westerns; my grandmother took me to the cinema as a child where she would often fall asleep, and waking ask me “Is that the good posse or the bad posse?” Perhaps Freud broke the pattern by introducing a grey space between good and evil which bred the morally ambiguous characters that fill our media and entertainment today. I don't know, but it can't be as simple as censoring media coverage.

    • So you don't consider pushing the French, German or Belgian public opinion into the open arms of extreme right parties as politically motivated??

  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
    • They interbred with the Cro Magnon. So we are what's left of the Neanderthals.

    • "Understand: I am saying this from the point of view of a progressive. From this point of view, the “electability” argument for the lesser-evil vote is now deader than a doornail, and it’s time my liberal friends recognized it."

      Trump is indeed an existential menace. Whatever one might think of Clinton's shenanigans, she's not that. What matters is answering the question as to how the Donald is to be denied the Presidency in a fashion consistent with legal norms.

      He can be defeated by the people in November and likely will be, but relying on that is not good enough. Is there a psychiatrist in the house?

  • Why Turkey wants to silence its academics (2)
  • Top 7 firsts in Women in US Politics (7)
    • Actually, Theodora Nathalia "Tonie" Nathan was the first woman to receive an electoral vote as a female Vice Presidential candidate back in 1972 running with John Hospers on the Libertarian Party ticket.

  • Arab World's biggest Problem not Terrorism or Fundamentalism but Water! (2)
    • birth rates in the Arab World are variable. Tunisia underwent a demographic transition in the 1970s.

      Lower birth rates come with higher rates of urbanization, a clear trend in the region.

      You need to read some social science on the region-- your view is way too simplistic.

  • Top 7 firsts in Women in US Politics (7)
    • It's the heart that matters, what's in one's heart and the extent to which the individual follows her or his heart, their conscience, that matters, no matter gender, no matter race, no matter the labels of political affiliation. The indecent exposure to which we are all being exposed and subjected in the 2016 presidential campaign, I hope, makes that more clear than ever to the voters of this country. With that said, Green is the new Blue. Go Jill Stein!

  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
    • Like Ruth Bader Ginzburg?

    • Okay Juan, time for you to weigh in; we are both history professors and it’s go time with the willful ignoramuses who equate being hip with skepticism or both-siderism. Dissent and skepticism are good – they are what has given rise to the great peoples movements of this country. However . . .

      Hilary may be flawed, she may be corrupt, she may be a part of a system we do not like that advantages the advantaged and disenfranchises the disenfranchised. But my neighbors have come to depend on Obamacare. Their daughters have come to depend on local Planned Parenthoods and womens’ clinics. The US thrives better as a diverse inclusive nation that as a gated community. Most of all, she is a solid if sometimes problematic bureaucrat who has experience in working government and engaging with the world. She is reasonably intelligent and informed. And I say this as one who has never liked the Clintons, was a Bernie supporter hard core, and voted Jill Stein in ‘12.

      But as for the other side, well, we have heard Trump’s Weltanschauung before (and yes, I use the German deliberately): we fought it on the beaches of Normandy, in the forests of Belgium, in the mountains of Italy. We buried people fighting against it in north African deserts and in French cow pastures. Hell, we fought and died for it in this country, from Bull Run to Appamatox Courthouse. It was the lie that people who are in any way different need to be excluded, deported, ethnically cleansed, enslaved, or shoved into ovens. What are people thinking? Who in the hell do they want? I will take the corrupt functionary over the mentally unhinged, unstable vulgarian with a microphone in his hand, nothing in his head, and his finger on the button. I trust Hillary to relinquish power if she loses in four years. Tell me with a straight face the same thing about the opposition.

      Hmm, let’s see, who do I want? A possibly corrupt but somewhat competent and experienced former first lady? Or someone who incites to violence openly, who lies as though it were second nature, who is boastfully libertine, espouses war crimes as policy, calls for ethnic cleansing in this country, is proudly an open religious and racial bigot, called for the execution of six African American kids in a full page NYT ad who were later acquitted, believes ignorance a virtue, will kick our treaties to shit, will repeal as much of the social safety net as possible, calls for Russia to interfere in a democratic election (and may well be in their pocket), has pursued cruel and duplicitous business practices, will pack the Supreme Court with gods know what, and believes the existential crisis of global climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese?

      Gosh, that’s a real hard one, could you run that by me again. For us lefties Hillary is far from perfect, but a Trump victory will set the left back . . . well, forever if he decides to go all martial law on us. Oh . . he won’t? Well thanks – I’m reassured. This is the danger of historical ignorance – why oh why is it so bad for Republicans to be ignorant of science, but okay for some on the left to be a know-nothing when it comes to history? Have people not heard this before? Have they at very least not seen the news reels? A Riefenstahl movie? Heard Laurence Olivier’s voice over on the World at War? Come on people: It’s not hip. It’s not cute. It’s not funny – any more than is the corn-pone humor of the ignorant right, often used to dismiss concerns of the left. Trump is an existential menace, plain and simple, in the way Clinton is not. And if you want to argue against that, then I’d like to sell you some Trump real estate in coastal Florida, since your candidate presumably believes there will be no sea level rise (hey, put your money where your belief is!).

      And as always, pars Republicana delenda est!

  • Arab Street Shocked as Saudi Delegation Visits Israel (23)
  • Top 7 firsts in Women in US Politics (7)
  • Sarah Silverman to Bernie or Bust folks at DNC 2016: You are being ridiculous (7)
    • Silverman is irrelevant but Franken is a great example of a "Clinton Democrat" or Republican Lite politician.
      He campaigned as a progressive but once in Office he has worked for ethanol producers, agribusiness and the Banks.
      The Clintons and the likes of Franken have turned the Democratic Party into the other party of the rich and given us essentially a one party phony democracy.

  • Arab World's biggest Problem not Terrorism or Fundamentalism but Water! (2)
    • All the proposed solutions are completely meaningless. Given the birth rates of these nations any solution would be temporary as the added increase of people would cancel out any water savings. There is a finite amount of people an area can sustain called "carrying capacity". Clearly is being breached. The only solution would be full women's rights and complete access to birth control. Unfortunately, these are things that tend to decrease in war areas making a vicious circle. And please do not think this is only limited to the M.E.

      "Whisky is for drinking and water is for fighting"
      - Mark Twain

  • Palestinian FM asks Arab League to help sue UK over Balfour Declaration (3)
    • You may depend on Wikipedia, and you are welcome to it. I have never depended on Wikipedia, as it is often wrong, but more often it offers incomplete summaries of the subject matter.

      I gain my knowledge and insights from an extensive library I have maintained for decades. What I have written above is historically correct. Nevertheless, if you wish to challenge my points, I am up to the challenge. Feel free to do so.

  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
    • I think I'm being pretty specific. The Clintons are the all-time champions of raising money from exactly those less-than-benevolent subsections of the elite who benefit from government favoritism. While this gives them a certain amount of credit in terms of political savvy, it does NOT do so in terms of their progressive bona-fides, which I was talking aobut. It is not impossible that they will be *forced* to adopt progressive policies, but the chances of that happening are better with just about anyone else.

      Understand: I am saying this from the point of view of a progressive. From this point of view, the "electability" argument for the lesser-evil vote is now deader than a doornail, and it's time my liberal friends recognized it.

  • Why Turkey wants to silence its academics (2)
    • Let's consider the remarks of Erdogan on those who "support" terror. Where does it lead? Old material is in [brackets], new material is in (parentheses).

      “There is no difference between a [terrorist with a gun and bomb in his hand] (genocidal state with an army in its hands) and those who use their work and pen to support [terror] (genocide). The fact that an individual could be (a President), a deputy, an academic, an author, a journalist or the director of an NGO [nongovernmental organization] does not change the fact that that person [is a terrorist] (has committed genocide).”

      Perhaps Erdogan has signed his own death warrant. Would the Armenians or Kurds care to execute it?

  • Our American Crimes against the Future (1)
    • Tom's perspective on warmongering is always instructive to the young. But I think that it is obscured here by the personal perspective on advancing age, rather than illuminated, because young people do not see the last chapters of their life being written, nor any kind of national life in in its advanced age, no national reckoning for its generations of selfishness. Now if it urged a desperate last effort of some kind, this perspective might be effective upon us oldsters.

  • Top 7 firsts in Women in US Politics (7)
    • Correction: Jeanette Rankin was one of 50 members of the House and 56 members of Congress to vote against US entry into WW I, according to her article in Wikipedia. Jeanette Rankin lost her next election. She eventually was re-elected to Congress just in time to cast the sole vote against the entry of the US into WW II, after which she lost the next election (to Mike Mansfield) and did not run again.

  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
  • Palestinian FM asks Arab League to help sue UK over Balfour Declaration (3)
  • Top 7 firsts in Women in US Politics (7)
  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
    • Bill Clinton put Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer on the court. A couple more like those two, please.

  • Top 7 firsts in Women in US Politics (7)
    • Rankin did vote against entry to the First World War, but she was not the only one. She was the only member of Congress to vote against entering World War II. And only served two terms, 1917-19, 1941-3.

  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
  • Arab Street Shocked as Saudi Delegation Visits Israel (23)
    • Hegemony does not necessarily involve the equivalent of "Nazi Germany" (an overused analogy in any case). Nor does it necessarily involve invasion. Hegemony can be accomplished by simply becoming the dominant influence in a region, and this is what Iran aspires to. Becoming the dominant influence in the Near East.

    • A non-sequitur. The question is not whether or not Israel possesses nuclear weapons. The question concerns the original poster's totally unfounded assumption that the Israelis and Saudis are cooperating as a result of "obedience to US and Israeli demands." They are operating on the basis of their own perceived national interests vis-a-vis Iran. The US is not the puppet-master of either the Israelis or the Saudis. Very poor analysis and conclusions in the original article.

  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
    • For me it's Clinton's horrible foreign policy with the penchant for military intervention versus her tolerable domestic policy, including the SCOTUS issue. All this against the neo-fascism of the Republicans. I keep asking myself why can't we have an alternative to the two. I'm tired of the old line that a vote for a third party is a vote for that that horrible Republican or that horrible Democrat. Bernie has lost and his ideas will be buried by the machine. Like you said, platforms are almost meaningless. I feel it's time to end this attempt at dominating the world. I feel it's time to take the environment seriously and adopt a carbon tax and ban fracking. Hillary supporters are just worshiping at the cult of personality.

  • Arab Street Shocked as Saudi Delegation Visits Israel (23)
    • "The lack of genuine Saudi Royal concern for Palestinians is an old story."

      That's not true. They care a great deal about Palestinians. They're an important source of menial labor.

  • Disgraced Wasserman Schultz Resigns as DNC Chair, Gets Hired by Clinton (20)
    • I think the more accurate way to put it is she's the honorary chairman in charge of trying to save her own sorry butt in Florida.

      By the way, how good a Jew is she, really?

  • How Roger Ailes at Fox killed Journalism and gave us George W. Bush (4)
    • It's so fitting that Ailes' inglorious fall comes just as Trump -- the Frankenstein he did more than anyone to create, however unwittingly -- has taken over his party. A Trump would not have been possible without the 20-year assault on facts and reason that Fox News has so successfully led, and God willing, the whole conservative agitprop house of cards is crumbling as we speak. I'm only glad I lived to see the day. And I'm glad Roger has, too. Those who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind.

  • Palestinian FM asks Arab League to help sue UK over Balfour Declaration (3)
    • The Balfour Declaration, dated November 2, 1917, declared British support for the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” It did not "pledge to create a Jewish state," as stated in the piece above. There is a distinct difference between a "national home," which is ambiguous and could take several forms, and a "state," which is rigidly defined in international law.

      The piece does not state in which legal venue the Palestinian Authority would sue Britain, nor does it state what the charges would be. The Balfour Declaration had no legal basis. It was simply a letter stating that the British Government would support the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people. At the time, Britain and the allies were at war with the Ottoman Empire, which exercised authority over Palestine.

      The text of the Balfour Declaration follows.

      "His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."

      The piece above is incorrect in stating that the Declaration "was not made public until several years after World War I, in 1920." It was made public in "The Times" on November 9, 1917, one week after its November 2 formulation.

      The Palestinian Authority should be focusing on measures to enhance its status today, not trying to engage in what would no doubt prove a fruitless exercise bringing suit against Britain based on a one-hundred-year old letter that had no legal authority when it was devised. Moreover, the Ma'an News Agency in its piece above has done such a shoddy job of presenting its so-called "facts" regarding the Balfour Declaration that one is tempted to suggest a brush-up on journalistic tradecraft might be in order.

  • Mike Pence on the “American Heartland” and the Holy Land (5)
    • The good news is that the Pence selection may cost Trump Indiana. The GOP is badly fractured there since the Tea Party took out Dick Lugar. That wing was infuriated by the "Religious Freedom" bill debacle, while the fundamentalists, meanwhile, got pissed at him for caving.

      So I understand why Pence wanted the job -- it saves him from the embarrassment of being defeated for re-election -- but I don't understand why Trump wanted him. He's a colorless campaigner, doesn't bring him a state, guarantees he'll get 0% of the LGBT vote, and he absolutely melted his one time in the national spotlight.

      Then again, his other choices were Christie -- which would have cost him New Jersey -- and Gingrich, perhaps Trump's only rival in egomaniacal blowhardism. And Trump brooks no rivals. That would have been like picking Al "I'm in Charge" Haig.

      Still, my guess is you'll have an easier time finding Pence on a milk carton than on TV this fall.

  • Disgraced Wasserman Schultz Resigns as DNC Chair, Gets Hired by Clinton (20)
  • Arab Street Shocked as Saudi Delegation Visits Israel (23)
    • "Hegemonic rise" of Iran is total hyperbole. Where are the Iranian counterparts to Nazi Germany's subjugation of Czechoslovakia, its Anschluss in Austria, the invasions of Poland, Denmark & Norway?

      Unlike the Nazis, or the recent US for that matter, Iran has not invaded or even threatened to invade other countries. Iran does not dictate events anywhere other than within its own borders.

  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
    • "A more liberal court could well overturn Citizens United."

      That's a nice dream. You may be confusing liberal with progressive. You don't fundraise hundreds of millions from free-market-purist corporate america and then just flip flop on a key issue like campaign finance. Dem's are talking the talk now because Clinton's numbers are sliding and they're scared of losing to Trump. Obama talked the talk too (and far better than Hillary), as did MIchelle, as did Bernie, and sadly, even Trump. Without big spending and pay-to-play networks of influence, Hillary would be dead in the water.

      Clinton will appoint judges who are left on social-justice issues, to the Democratic party's credit, and staunchly pro-status-quo on economic-justice. Any concessions to progressive needs, outside of non-economic social issues, will happen if and only if her sponsors think it is appropriate. To what degree they would be inconvenienced by a Trump presidency is an open question. I have a feeling, not as much as the inconvenience of adopting the full range of Sanders proposals (regardless of what goes into the platform).

      The voters get this quite clearly this year. It took a decade and a half of glaring incompetence to pull the curtain back but here we are. The only way back is a competently executed bait-and-switch, which is now under way.

  • Disgraced Wasserman Schultz Resigns as DNC Chair, Gets Hired by Clinton (20)
  • Sarah Silverman to Bernie or Bust folks at DNC 2016: You are being ridiculous (7)
  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
    • The Clintons have a long history of opposition to progressives and other people and entities on the left. There is no reason to believe or hope for Hillary appointing a justice to the supreme (?) court anywhere near left of center. Nor will she be likely to appoint any justice who might be a threat to Citizens United. With Hillary in alliance with neocons, the Koch Brothers, and the Israel Lobby more wars and regime changes would be a safer bet.

    • Scotus appointment as "salve" won't happen from either direction - hrc won't appoint a leftist justice, and true dems won't be fooled again.
      A vote for hrc is cement around the shoes of peace, freedoms and social progress; dnc is the Easr River.

  • How Roger Ailes at Fox killed Journalism and gave us George W. Bush (4)
  • Lieberman: Palestinian National Poet Mahmoud Darwish's Verse is ‘Mein Kampf’ (4)
    • As for Minister Lieberman comparing dissenters to Nazis, he's the one issuing Special Identification for a conquered race, forever. Would he object to a crescent and moon sewn on one's clothing?

      To use Minister Regev's own logic, Darwish was not an Israeli, therefore he must be the citizen of some country. Can Israel tell us where that country is, besides under the boots of Israeli occupiers?

  • Sarah Silverman to Bernie or Bust folks at DNC 2016: You are being ridiculous (7)
    • "Sarah Silverman to Bernie or Bust folks at DNC 2016: 'You are being ridiculous.'"

      Actually it is Sarah Silverman, of whom I'd never heard, who is being worse than ridiculous -- she is being wrong.

  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
    • There is no democracy in America. A gigantic neoconservative pincer movement is in operation, the purpose of which is to frighten and corral the American voters by causing (or at least have the cover of such a conceivable cause) them to feel existentially obligated to vote for Clinton contra the specter of a Putin-backed American proxy in the politically holographic (hollow) figure of Donald Trump, resulting in a Clinton presidential win (pseudo-democratic coup) as fait accompli (or the cover of the argument as such in the case of outright total electoral fraud).

  • Sarah Silverman to Bernie or Bust folks at DNC 2016: You are being ridiculous (7)
  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
  • Sarah Silverman to Bernie or Bust folks at DNC 2016: You are being ridiculous (7)
    • @newsytweets Silverman=prime example too much illicit drug use! Has NOclue what planet she's on! Advice=don't listen to a druggie!

  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
    • Support for Hillary is, to use an old expression, a mile wide and an inch thick. With all of her, in my opinion, justified negatives the big question is....Will she inspire blacks, Bernie's Babies and Latinos to stand in line to vote for her? I think the fear of what Trump is proposing might push the minorities and Bernie's supporters to vote, not so much FOR Hillary, as AGAINST Trump.

      As Bette Davis said..."Fasten your seatblets, it's going to be a bumpy ride."

    • if you stay home, vote 3rd party, or write in Bernie, you help Trump win. Trump will be much worse than the status quo,

  • Islamophobia Kills: German Munich shooter admired Breivik, Killed Turks (10)
    • I'm really getting sick of my fellow Sanders supporters, anti-war people and other anti-Clinton factions claiming that Trump's supporters are motivated primarily by justified anger about free trade, when I see them spending all their time screaming for something horrible to be done to all Moslems "just 'cause." If they wanted economic justice, they would have all registered as Democrats to vote for Sanders in the primaries. They wanted the party that would create no barriers to collective punishment of Moslems in the USA. And then they would build on that legal precedent to attack other ethnicities. "First they came for the Moslems..."

  • Arab Street Shocked as Saudi Delegation Visits Israel (23)
    • Now, combine this news with the release of the 28 pages hidden from the 9/11 report, and see if anyone realizes that America has no true friends in the Middle East. Prince Bandar, once nicknamed "Bandar Bush" for his ties to the a certain family, had his fingerprints all over a network supporting two of the hijackers in San Diego.

    • Your first two sentences needs to be sent to everyone in America so that they can understand the impossible position the increasingly Zionist US put Saudi Arabia in, and why the Saudis have to "prove" their devoutness by supporting terrorism against somebody. Which in turn has put the US into an impossible position of looking the other way. Monarchs derive their consent from God or His spokesmen, not the citizenry.

    • 200+ Israeli nuclear weapons = hegemony already settled.
      Israel covering it up and claiming an Iranian "threat" = needing an excuse to drive more Palestinians off their land.

    • The US made Israel and the Kingdom the suzerains of the Middle East. What united them? They all worship the one God: money.
      However, I don't doubt those two countries would betray and destroy each other in an instant. Richard Clarke claimed in his book that in the mid 1980s his office caught the Saudis building a perfect replica of a Chinese ballistic missile base in the remote desert, presumably with nuclear warheads and missiles being imported from China. Reagan dealt with it somehow. There was no need for Saudi to point nuclear missiles at Iran, the US had that covered. The target had to be Israel, and it had to be unveiled as a fait accompli so the US couldn't stop it.

  • The most Left Wing Supreme Court in a Generation? Sec. Clinton's most important Progressive Prospect (25)
    • I'm beginning to think Clinton should have made Sanders the VP pick just to shut up his hardcore supporters. Although I wanted him to beat Clinton, my only concern now is to stop the enshrining of a White supremacist cult. I personally think the VP slot under normal presidents (instead of morons like W and Trump) is meaningless, but then meaningless gestures are what that particular group of Sanders supporters is all about.

  • Sarah Silverman to Bernie or Bust folks at DNC 2016: You are being ridiculous (7)
    • Uh, your thoughts? I notice you don't give them.

      We can't allow a Trump presidency. I had been saying I'd do my uje, and, when polls make clear CA is dark blue, vote Green. (Except Obama. I did vote for him.)

      But, I'm not sure I can trust polls. People might just lie.

      I have never supported either Clinton, too right wing. But we can't have Trump, or, if he does outsource, Pence.

      I want the revolution to continue. The tiny percent of wingnuts took over. We should be able to, too. But Dems, or progressives, need to vote in EVERY ELECTION. And vote the whole ballot.

      I don't want my country back. I want to live in a civilized country. That would be nice!