Recent Comments

  • Your Presidency Sucks: The Republican Party and its Orange Bunny (2)
    • I disagree on one point. The Republican Party was never Trump's party, he simply grabbed hold of it, slapping away 16 of its "deep bench" during a hostile takeover. He has no loyalty to its members or its future. He wants what he wants and its all about him, Trump.

  • Top 3 Ways to rig an Election (8)
    • We have a 2-party system, that’s a big part of the problem. The Dems literally screwed the majority of their party by cheating Bernie out of the race. If he was the Democratic nominee, they would have beat Trump.
      MSM gave Trump unlimited press because they "knew" if he was the nominee the republicans would lose.
      Seriously, neither party doesn't have a moral high ground to stand on. The ultra-left of the dems is as morally bankrupt and the alt-right of the repubs.
      No one is talking about the Green or Libertarian parties getting screwed. Because the Repubs and Dems are not concerned about justice or a level playing field. They want the power to plunder the economy, increase the surveillance state, start wars, and lock our citizens up in prisons. Basically, rape and abuse the folks that elect them.
      Trump didn't win because we are a dull witted racist nation. He won because we had 2 of the worst options in our lifetime and Hillary scared the hell out of more people than Trump. They are basically the same, neither one is fit to walk freely, let alone be in charge.

  • Your Presidency Sucks: The Republican Party and its Orange Bunny (2)
    • Welcome to America's first Potemkin presidency.

      The only reality behind the façade is Trump's monumental egoism - which, in the end, is no reality at all.

  • Oil-Rich Arab States Quietly Join Israel in Cheering for Trump (1)
  • Trump to al-Sisi: Syria's al-Assad is a Brave, steadfast Man (Beirut Report) (1)
    • Leaks have become a tool to use to bolster an argument one way or the other. If you like what the leak says you use it to malign your opponent and if you don't like it, you call it fake news. A good leak was once usable currency in in the media and information wars , but there are now so many leaks they don't really have the impact they once had. I can't see that this particular leak about Trump is likely to have any special impact as Trump makes no secret of the fact that he wants to work with Assad and the Russians to eliminate terrorists.

  • Trump to CIA: We now have 2nd Chance to take Iraq's Oil (13)
    • A propos Trump and the CIA reconnect, A De Special article quotes from 'one of his (Trump's) many books'

      At the end of the chapter called "Revenge," Trump advises his readers to constantly seek to take revenge. "Always make a list of people who hurt you. Then sit back and wait for the appropriate time to get revenge. When they least expect it, go after them with a vengeance. Go for their jugular."

      link to spiegel.de

  • Netanyahu vows Israeli squatter settlement expansion in Palestinian E. Jerusalem (1)
  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German (35)
    • Another critical irony played into Hitler's hands. Colonial empires were a way of life back then, along with the racial supremacy that they inevitably indoctrinated. Germany had lost its colonial empire in WW1. Japan was a latecomer prevented from conquering more lands. When US tariffs triggered global trade war in 1930, the empires turned easily into protectionist blocs to ride out the storm - even though among them the US (owning the Philippines & Hawaii and neocolonially ruling much of Latin America) and Great Britain had been the great ideologues of free trade. This debacle surely made Germans and Japanese feel they'd been sold a bill of goods by liberalism and look for their own imperial solutions. What made Hitler unusual was his racism being so exclusionary that he could advocate white-on-white enslavement.

      I really hate to think anyone in the world is falling into this trap now.

    • You're conflating two different disasters. The hyperinflation happened in 1919-23. The Great Depression began in 1929 and its spread to Europe was largely the fault of America's protectionist Congress in 1930. Signs were hopeful in-between, with the Nazis seemingly on the sidelines. However, having both so close together probably finished off the shaky legitimacy of the Weimar state created by elites and factions who were only held together by their fear of Communists.

  • Trump to CIA: We now have 2nd Chance to take Iraq's Oil (13)
    • Gary, you are back to the "lesser of the two" theory. I for one preferred to 'throw' my vote away. It is a sad state of our 'democratic' system when those are the only choices we are presented.

      PS: I do believe that he will be less of a war-monger than Hillary, though he will cause chaos. I did vote for Obama twice.

  • Will Saudi Reforms be enough to Forestall big Trouble ahead? (3)
    • Juan, Do you expect to see Saudi Arabia address the following issue? “The first American diplomat to serve as envoy to Muslim communities around the world visited 80 countries and concluded that the Saudi influence was destroying tolerant Islamic traditions. ‘If the Saudis do not cease what they are doing,’ the official, Farah Pandith, wrote [in 2015], ‘there must be diplomatic, cultural and economic consequences.’” link to detailedpoliticalquizzes.wordpress.com

  • Trump to CIA: We now have 2nd Chance to take Iraq's Oil (13)
    • Trump seems to like to make incendiary statements to rile up the media. I hope he is just trying to push media buttons. Anyway, its pretty obnoxious.

  • Protesters Face Increasing Criminalization in Trump Era (5)
    • ALSO... let's not forget that certain professions such as: teaching, emergency services, etc will not hire you because they do extensive background checks.

      So, to be employed one's right to assemble, for example may be nullified... may very well be an open invitation for one to not have a job or career. Of course they won't say they are discriminating prejudicially, just that "a more qualified candidate has been selected for the position". |

      This is how tyranny operates.
      If people think all our jobs are going overseas, just wait, if I can't find a job I will literally move. Anything is better than here, seriously: I would rather be helping people in war torn Syria (etc), covered in filth and haven't slept in a bed or showered for weeks, than stay here.

      I'm proud to be a "Nasty Woman"!

  • Will Saudi Reforms be enough to Forestall big Trouble ahead? (3)
    • This article assumes that the "citizens" of the KSA will keep "reelecting" the House of Saud to power. Out to at least 2030.
      .
      not a safe bet.

  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German (35)
  • Trump to CIA: We now have 2nd Chance to take Iraq's Oil (13)
    • Let's not overlook the fact that Trump is all in with Netanyahu and backs him completely and wants to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. There's a good chance that the US standing in the Arab world will be even lower under Trump than under Bush. And where are those people who said Clinton was worse? Will you believe me now?

    • Having had a top secret code word clearance myself, I think the short answer is no. His business dealings make him suspect and too vulnerable. Throw in his questionable personal behavior as well and we have a loser.

  • Will Saudi Reforms be enough to Forestall big Trouble ahead? (3)
    • It is curious how one can speak of Deputy Crown Prince Muhammed ibn Salman's role as a reformer and not mention the disastrous war in Yemen he has pursued. Even overlooking the wretched fact that this war of choice has killed tens of thousands, has destroyed vital infrastructure in Yemen and has impoverished a nation, Saudi Arabia is spending a fortune that could be otherwise used for projects that would benefit its own citizens and residents. The Sisyphean struggle for reform in Saudia Arabia is not only merely caused by the dependence of its citizens for government largesse. but crucially, too, by the cruel hubris of a militaristic prince who trying to punching far above his weight.

  • Trump to CIA: We now have 2nd Chance to take Iraq's Oil (13)
  • All the terrible things Trump plans to do to Women (besides that one) (14)
    • Trump enjoys the concept of the law he will overturn, Roe v. Wade, (Trump taking credit) will be enabling the long-arm of HIS law to reach into every woman and girl in HIS country. Sort of a mass pussy-grab by proxy.

  • Trump to CIA: We now have 2nd Chance to take Iraq's Oil (13)
  • Top 3 Ways to rig an Election (8)
    • “this is going to roll you up.” And in doing so will destroy any progress that has been made since the Bush Republicans drove our country into the ground. Your tacit threat against those unlike you did not go unnoticed. How Trumpish of you. Getting over Trump involves educating mean little surrogates like you.

      “new Republican Party” - Toadies for the 1% who will pay for their financial malfeasance by LOOTING OUR TREASURY. Say goodbye to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. If you are a senior and not 1% stake out a good spot under a bridge, somewhere or get ready to move in to your kin's attic or basement.

  • Trump to CIA: We now have 2nd Chance to take Iraq's Oil (13)
    • FYI - On Wednesday, London because the 15th European city to have direct freight rail service with most Chinese cities. While trump is running around causing trouble, China is quietly building a global web of interdependence.

      This will NOT end well for the USA

      link to money.cnn.com

  • All the terrible things Trump plans to do to Women (besides that one) (14)
  • Trump to CIA: We now have 2nd Chance to take Iraq's Oil (13)
    • If the ordinary security clearance criteria were applied to Trump, would he even qualify for a Top Secret clearance?

    • I hate to say this but he actually doesn't say that.His exact words are "maybe we'll have another chance".Accurate quotes v imp.

    • Juan:
      All we need now is Judith Miller, and the circle will be complete.

    • Well, the American people better be prepared for more anger and hatred from Muslim nations, and grin and bear it when there are more attacks against us, for this animosity, and arrogance shown by the orange idiot, by openly stating he wants that oil, and also for moving the US embassy to Jerusalem to please the zionists, but anger the Muslim world. There must be good reason why democrat and republican Presidents did NOT move the US embassy. This is going to be the end of the Palestinian's chance for any freedom from oppression and their chances of survival.
      Trump is behaving like an ugly, arrogant, greedy American. We should all be ashamed.

    • Von Clownstick talks oil.

  • All the terrible things Trump plans to do to Women (besides that one) (14)
  • Top 3 Ways to rig an Election (8)
    • And millions of other Americans will cheer for any foreign strongman who claims to be anti-American in the fantasy that isolationism will bring Utopia. Right now, can you name any country of real influence anywhere in the world that is not either run by right-wing ethno-nationalists, state capitalist authoritarians, or aging bourgeois democrats in fear of being overthrown by neo-fascist anti-immigrant parties? Can you see anywhere in the world where the concept of human rights is not impotent? Anywhere where the poor are winning against the rich - whether the latter are of the Wall Street mafia or one of its rising rivals?

      That is the post-American Century. Enjoy it from your prison cell.

  • All the terrible things Trump plans to do to Women (besides that one) (14)
    • It is the ideology behind the cuts that normalizes the harm that they cause. The demonstrations are ultimately against the ideology.

      We've been living with these bastards in America since Reagan took office, and they have learned nothing and opened their hearts to nothing. Their proposals grow more extreme every year, because they have had a master plan all along for dragging America back to the 19th century. This now includes racially-targeted voter suppression (the foundation of Jim Crow), the claim that gender discrimination does not exist (as Mr. Sessions claimed), and the appointment of a radical theocrat with a long history of pushing Christian supremacy over democracy (Betsy DeVos) to sabotage the public school system.

      This is not about cutting or balancing the US budget. Have you not heard? The budget just submitted to the Senate proposes an increased deficit every year for the next eight so as to give giant tax cuts to the rich. This is about Making America Victorian Again, in all the worst ways.

    • It is hard to fathom any mother/sister/daughter wanting to vote for man who has had 5 children from 3 women, and who has boasted he gropes and attacks them.

      Marianna: I'm an octogenarian and I'm still trying to divine what makes some women tick, so I'm not surprised that lots of them voted for Trump. Loathing of the Queen of Chaos and her putative consort might have had something to do with it.

    • Let's wait & see. Maybe he'll only break up a few hundred thousand Latina's families. Maybe the number of Muslim women banned will be fairly small. Maybe it'll only be a few million women who lose healthcare. Maybe having huge conflicts of interest doesn't matter. Maybe the free press should be attacked by the POTUS. Authoritarianism is becoming normalized all over the world. Let's wait and see. Maybe... HELL NO

  • Protesters Face Increasing Criminalization in Trump Era (5)
    • Jailtime in the face of demagoguery is to be expected.
      Consider contemporary twists: how to pay the obscene fines and the lawyers' fees? With these laws, it's a "rite of passage" that leads to debt, at best, poverty, and an indefinite stay in a private, for-profit jail. I foresee new American concentration camps for impoverished protesters.

  • All the terrible things Trump plans to do to Women (besides that one) (14)
    • Roe v Wade will be overturned as soon as the Republicans get a chance to do so. If Trump gets to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it'll happen - they'll claim that "life begins at conception", and use that as the basis.

      Even if they don't flat out overturn Roe, the Roberts Court would be fine with an incremental approach under which the Court upholds national laws making it impossible for anyone to actually exercise a right to an abortion. Say, a detectable fetal heartbeat law made national. If the Supremes make it impossible to get an abortion, what difference does it make if they leave Roe technically intact?

    • I hope you are right. He is so thin skinned he cannot bear the thought that he is the least welcome President with poor poll numbers. It is ironic that Kelly Anne his spokeswoman used the words "alternate facts" when questioned about the low percentage of attendees for his inauguration. They are living in a alternated reality.

  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German (35)
    • Take it over, purge it of the Clinton and other BS centrist elements, and start getting to work.

      Easier said than done. Your car is in a wreck? It is more effective to buy another than restore the pile of junk.

  • Protesters Face Increasing Criminalization in Trump Era (5)
  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German (35)
    • I am more interested in who is pulling the strings than the man himself. Trump is so sure of himself that he can't see he is being manipulated. Just as Cheney and company pulled the strings on GWB, Bannon and company are pulling the strings on the Trump puppet. Does anyone honestly believe Trump wrote his inaugural speech?

    • Can a populist movement only be undesirable? Why?

  • Protesters Face Increasing Criminalization in Trump Era (5)
    • Virtually ANYONE who is not WEALTHY, WHITE, MALE and connected will be subject to criminalization in Trumpistan. This maladministration will be watching, listening, collecting EVERYTHING. Not only by his government but Trump’s contracted citizen spy company, Cambridge Analytica which claims to hold data on 230 MILLION U.S. adults with more than 3,700 data points on each adult. Did any of these 230 MILLION U.S. adults give Cambridge Analytica permission to do this? How will this information be used now that the election is over?

      link to nationalreview.com
      link to nbcnews.com

      If that isn’t enough for serious concern? Mike Pompeo, chosen by President Donald Trump to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, has argued the CIA must have unrestricted powers to collect data online from ALL US citizens and foreigners.

      Mike Pompeo’s roadmap for the Trumpistan security state: Congress should pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database. Legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance should be removed. That includes Presidential Policy Directive-28, which bestows privacy rights on foreigners and imposes burdensome requirements to justify data collection.

      link to pri.org
      link to theatlantic.com

  • All the terrible things Trump plans to do to Women (besides that one) (14)
    • Anyone who has made a serious attempt to balance a budget knows the first thing is list all expenditures. Then go through them considering the consequences of cutting or eliminating each in turn. It's also normal to seek input and invite discussion and discussion papers. Time and again some media gets hold of such a list or discussion paper and publishes the details as if they had already been decided, or even discussing an item was some kind of heinous activity, which is either to misunderstand the process or deliberately misrepresent it. Attempting to cut the US budget must be a fraught and unenviable task, particularly with the need to put aside nigh on 600 billion to cover dropping bombs on seven countries with which you are not actually at war. Would it not be better to wait and see what is finally proposed and then demonstrate for the reinstatement of specific elements?

  • Protesters Face Increasing Criminalization in Trump Era (5)
  • The Inauguration of White Supremacy (13)
    • As the FDR years demonstrate there is nothing wrong with shaking the structure up a bit but this is the replacing of a tottering system (2008/09!) with an even worse one.

  • All the terrible things Trump plans to do to Women (besides that one) (14)
    • "Trump is so arrogant that he will dismiss huge protest against him."

      Hello Marianna - I think that if you look at the response of the administration to the crowd estimates of the March v. the Inauguration the day before, that it's hard not to conclude that the Orange Menace took yesterday's protests pretty personally. The stats on DC Metro ridership show a very stark contrast that prompted Sean Spicer to call an impromptu presser, complete with blown up images from the inauguration that I suspect were from the one in 09. Spicer's language was that of his thuggish boss, since he asserted basically that the inauguration the day before had the largest on the ground and global audience in the history of the universe. In short, the protestors elicited a bald face lie from the administration, the first of an endless flood of them.

      Take heart - the Orange Menace is so petty and distracted by any show of disapproval that who knows, maybe protests will once again have some use, if only to piss off the OM.

    • It is hard to fathom any mother/sister/daughter wanting to vote for man who has had 5 children from 3 women, and who has boasted he gropes and attacks them. That goes for any father/brother/son too.
      Trump is so arrogant that he will dismiss huge protest against him.

  • Thousands of Palestinian-Israelis rally after Israel Razed Bedouin Village (1)
  • The Inauguration of White Supremacy (13)
  • All the terrible things Trump plans to do to Women (besides that one) (14)
    • I was proud and excited to be among the marchers today. It was heartening to see so many people from so many different stratas walking together, united in favor of civil rights, dignity, and progress. One caveat to this article. With two appointees to SCOTUS, Roe vs. Wade could be overturned. Les we forget, Citizens United was about just one section of the McCain Feingold Act which regulated campaign financing. Yet, the Court basically threw out the whole law, which wasn't even being contested, and overturned 100 years of precedence in just about eliminating the possibility for any limitations on campaign financing. Today's conservatives don't care much about the rule of law when it conflicts with their beliefs and it would be very possible, if not likely, that they could overturn Roe vs. Wade.

  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German (35)
    • Just a reminder--Clinton won 2.86 million more votes than Trump, or 2.1%. Several studies have shown that the fallacious Comey letter of October 28 cost Clinton over 2% of the vote. One estimate is an average of 2.4% For one example, in early voting in Florida, Clinton beat Trump 52% to 48%, but in election day voting it was 56% to 44% for Trump. If it wasn't for the Comey letter, which was unprecedented in US history, Clinton would have won the 3 closely contested states, plus Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona and gotten around 350 electoral votes and a bigger win in the popular vote than Obama got in 2012. In a way, ;this was a coup by extreme rightists in the FBI. For voting data analysis, see this article: link to vox.com

    • I thought it was ironic that on the day when Trump's inaugural speech was painting this picture of the US about to fall into the abyss, the Labor Department announced that new unemployment claims the last week and the last month were the lowest in 43 years. And, of course, manufacturing jobs have been slowly increasing since 2010 and wages are starting to finally creep up as we get closer to full employment. Meanwhile, a number of states have increased minimum wages and the Affordable Care Act, about to be dismantled, has greatly helped lower income Americans by taxing the rich and then subsidizing 80% of those getting Obamacare on the exchanges while providing Medicaid to millions who wouldn't have been able to get it before. Trump is all about false narratives.

    • I have grown awfully tired of this false equivalency which is based on either ideological blindness or a serious lack of information about US history and how the US system works. Just to take two examples--FDR was a member of the Brahmin class who was a moderate liberal as governor of NY state before he became President. Before he got polio, he was considered widely to be rather a dilettante. Yet, he brought about the most comprehensive change in US politics in history. LBJ, who brought us the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and Medicare, was a conservative Southern Democrat who was not considered liberal in civil rights while a senator. They were able to accomplish so much because they had a heavily Democratic Congress made up of the establishment Democrats that the left loves to revile. Clinton would not be cutting back on abortion rights, would not have picked a pro-voucher anti-public school lobbyist to lead the Education Department, would not have had a neo-Nazi like Steve Bannon as a chief adviser, and on and on. 51% of those polled in June, 2015 said they could never vote for a socialist. You may not like it, I may not like it, but the reality is that progressive change in the US will have to come slowly and incrementally, with brief periods of frenetic activity when the Democrats control all branches of government. When I worked for an office holder, I likened it to beating as hard as you can for as long as you can on a giant wheel slowly rolling across the landscape. Maybe with a lot of effort you move that wheel a quarter of an inch. It may not sound like much, but in a decade, then maybe that wheel is half a mile apart from where it otherwise would have been. And that is how government usually works.

    • The facts of Dieselgate is just beginning to unfold, according to the U.S. Attorney in Detroit, as a federal grand jury has indicted a Volkswagen of America executive on emissions fraud charges and he was arrested by the FBI in Miami:

      link to cbsnews.com

      link to foxbusiness.com

    • I agree with you Ned. I also believe that Mr/Ms Jahanapour is mostly correct, but went too light on the financial and sociological upheavals in pre-war Germany. Germany was saddled with the entire bill of war reparations from WWI, which came directly from the pockets of every citizen. Also, the monetary catastrophe that accompanied the great depression was many magnitudes of severity worse than our late, great recession, with loaves of bread (when you could find one) costing over a million Marks. Hitler had a receptive audience because he, like Trump, played to the fears and injustices - real or, in our case, imagined - of a large part of the population. I feel that Trump is, in a certain way, "worse" because he has no plan or actual ideology as the backbone of his self-described "movement" other than to profit monetarily from the hopes and fears of others. I doubt that he has plans to do what was done to the "out groups" under the National Socialists, but things like this have a way of getting out of hand.

    • Hi Juan and just a quick thought. Maybe we should ditch some of the emphasis on the German analogy and start to put an emphasis on Dixie.

      Honestly, I can't think of a reaction to the installation of a president like this since 1861. Millions of American men and women are in the streets today, and many millions world wide in solidarity. Our Cold Civil War continues to heat up.

    • Not buying what you are selling: power invariably is about the politically possible and it makes people make terrible compromises and choices that are tough to push back against. Lincoln presided over genocide of native Americans in the west and the bloodiest war in American history. He did not need to do either: He could have said to the South, fine, leave. And he could have said to his fellow citizens, enough with killing natives in the west. He did neither.

      Yes, compromises are horrible, but it seems that anyone in power is forced to make them. One must weigh the catastrophic against the merely dreadful, the stable but incompetent against the unpredictable and insane. On what planet is President Caligula with the nuclear codes better than . . . well, just about anyone?

    • "The idea of abandoning the Democratic Party and replacing it with a party that will represent the people is well worth considering".

      No. If you have an opposition organization in place why work from the ground up? Take it over, purge it of the Clinton and other BS centrist elements, and start getting to work.

      "as recent history has shown protests have very limited effect when it comes to promoting change."

      Damn straight. Screw the street theater. Ladies of the world, unite and conduct a general strike. Imagine if enough women decided simply to cease to show up for work. They have a lot of power and need to use it. Hey, it worked in Iceland!

    • It's more complicated.

      Yes, compared to the suffering of ordinary people in the Depression, we have it very easy. We are very weak, cowardly, spoiled people. We whine and threaten at the tiniest setback.

      However, there are reasons why we are so weak and passive, built into the very nature of our evolution from, to put it bluntly, an artificial tribe of near-barbarians assembled by 17th century London investors from the dregs of European society for the purposes of raping a continent, to what we thought after World War 2 a modern, civilized people would be. In those latter days we lied too much to ourselves about the barbarity hidden within our patriotic myths and our rigged political institutions and economy. I think we also lied about the savagery within our selves. All of that was lurking in the shadows, while our modern day-to-day reality was increasingly about mass consumers participating in market choice without regard for caste, race and gender roles. As long as the bribe of higher earnings kept coming, no one rocked the boat too much. This is no way to form strong character.

      It only took a very few things to go wrong with that liberal model - some of it deliberate sabotage - for the tribalist savage to come back out, because he was always looking for an excuse.

    • If you're going to say that establishment Democrats are evil, then you're putting a great many Blacks, Latinos and White women in that camp. You should be looking back at how history has forgiven the shortcomings of many of the people who fought the Confederacy and the Nazis, all the way up to Lincoln and Roosevelt themselves, because shortcomings are not the same as the paradigm of slavery that those enemies represented. More importantly, without those morally compromised allies, we would have gotten to see those paradigms ascendant and all our fine liberal/progressive standards would never even have existed.

      Now if you have a plan to genuinely defeat the enemy while completely bypassing that very large number of people who aren't pure enough for you, then go for it. I am very interested in such an approach myself. But you know what? I recognize that by looking for that, I am giving up on democracy and stepping over the line to coercive revolution. After all, that was good enough for the Founding Fathers like John Adams, who confessed that only 1/3 of the colonists were on his side and another 1/3 neutral.

    • Volkswagen is not, by any stretch of the imagination, run by "perfectly nice people," at least according to many Western governments.

    • Who is Betsy DeVos?

      Her father, Edgar Prince, was an automotive supplier from west Michigan who sold his firm to Johnson Controls for $1.5 billion and her brother Erik Prince had been awarded $2 billion in federal contracts after he founded the controversial Blackwater security company.

      Her father-in-law, Richard DeVos of Ada, Michigan. was a co-founder of Amway and owner of the NBA Orlando Magic who often flew in Michigan politicians as guests of his private suite. He was a close friend of Pres. Gerald Ford and was appointed to Ronald Reagan's AIDS Commission during the 1980s. Forbes magazine lists him as one of America's wealthiest billionaires.

      Betsy DeVos has served as Michigan Republican Party state chairwoman previously and her husband, Dick DeVos, was a GOP nominee for governor in 2006 when he was beaten by Democrat Jennifer Granholm.

      According to the Michigan Secretary of State website, there have been over 2,700 registered political party, PAC, or electoral campaign donations by DeVos family members cognizable by their elections division - this does not include contributions recorded by the Federal Elections Commission under their jurisdiction or any donated monies cognizable in local races by county clerks in Michigan. One contribution to the Michigan Republican Party by a DeVos family member was for $2.5 million.

      Trump's appointment of the ultraconservative Christian right scion Ms. DeVos is highly significant in that it appears that he trying to form a political bridge with that branch of the party that embraced Ronald Reagan during the heyday of the Moral Majority in the 1980s. Trump needs this faction in his corner if he expects to effectuate dramatic legislative change during his upcoming presidency.

    • Sometimes I think Prof. West can be a bit over the top and overstate things. But there is no overstating the threat of the new regime in Washington (if Trump even deigns to reside there). Prof. West is exactly on point in this case.

    • If we really chose Drumpfchen, I quote Bert Brecht (1953): "Wählt ein neues Volk"!

  • Along with pardoning Manning, Obama should have repealed 1917 Espionage Act (19)
    • Why not release Chelsea Manning immediately? Too much time left between now and her release date for those who don't want her released and can prevent it one way or another.

  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German (35)
    • I think there is too much hype about Trump being Hitler. Bernie Sanders could have said this:

      “For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.”

      Would that make Sanders a Nazi? Could the arguments you make that Trump is fascist be applied to other politicians? It seems fairly typical to me for a politician to describe his own supporters as virtuous/true Americans and his opponents as the opposite.

      We will find out in the coming months how sincere Trump is about reversing militarism and neoliberal "globalization". I agree his cabinet choices are alarming. However, I found his inaugural speech a needed criticism of the politicians who, through their wars and corruption, have wrought a disaster on this country and on the world. This criticism has been censored in the U.S. press, which is in bed with these politicians.

    • Keep Planned Parenthood, the Endangered Species Act, Medicare, Social Security with freedoms the U.S. has fought for. Help the middle class to have a voice in the U.S.A.

    • You have your history right, except for a little unclarity about the role of the Bavarian Catholic parties in bringing the Nazis to power.

    • The Occupy movement, Bernie Sanders' supporters, and today's (January 21) protest marches have one aspect in common. They show a sizable portion of the people care about a more fair and civilized society. Unfortunately, as recent history has shown protests have very limited effect when it comes to promoting change. As a number of recently published articles have stated, if change is to be achieved then the people must organize and acquire power. The idea of abandoning the Democratic Party and replacing it with a party that will represent the people is well worth considering.

    • Outstanding column. Factual and concise. Thank you.

    • Thank you Juan – this is invaluable, as so often with your posts.

      But Dagnabit, I am tired, TIRED of hearing about Trump. Trump this, Trump that.

      Let’s hear about his enablers on the Right – i.e. the GOP and FOX “News” – and creatures like Ryan, Pence, Giulliani, Christi, McConnell, and the horror show that is that party.

      Let us count the ways that they and Trump will use and abuse one another to work together – TOGETHER – to destroy the environment, the rights of women, health care, childhood nutrition, and very likely the economy as they move to deregulate, well, everything.

      I am absolutely serious that this party – as Chomsky recently pointed out – stands for the destruction of the species. It must be outlawed as a white supremest organization, for the well-being of our country and our species.

      And then we need a hostile left-wing takeover of the centrist republicans in the Democratic Party, and put an end to its nonsensical and malicious persecution of useless adventures abroad, cozying up to Wall Street and big donors, and ensure that our species can move forward to what might finally be called, without irony, civilization.

      But Trump: He rests at the feet of the GOP and is a culmination of their long term and long standing program to ruin the country.

    • Obama’s timidity or surreptitious Republicanism served for nothing, all it did was further impassion, indeed madden, the most extreme, retrograde right, and now they have won and they will reduce to rubble every ostensibly, however modest, progressive aspect of his legacy, leaving only his reinforcement of the increasingly neo-fascist security state in place. Hillary Clinton’s horrendously incompetent loss is an own goal of Waterloo-ian proportions for the Democratic party, which will only be encouraged as a result to become even more Republicanish in its subservience to high capital. Clinton’s technocratic arrogance, mendacity, and false “humanity” (i.e. her incapacity for emotional/psychological sincerity) were striking to large swathes of the “humbler, simpler” people, for whom intellectualism is a luxury they have never been permitted to afford, as a consequence as a “gut instinct” (response) they were impelled to vote in droves for an imbecilic charlatan who nevertheless could “emote” with an assuring, even endearing naturalness. The “animal spirits,” to quote J.M. Keynes, were thus on the side of Trump, he was both their performative master and their most sincere vessel, the process through which the latter would be alchemized and transmuted into the sacralized “spirit of the people.” In all its embryonically fascist “glory.” The new Trump regime is truly “voluntas populi,” for such is the hidden primeval heart of white America.

    • As a minor quibble from someone who speaks English and German every day, my problem is with the phrase "original German". Angela Merkel is now the most prominent representative of the truly civilized world in the West**, and does indeed speak German. Is it maybe time to change the phrase to "1930's German" or something like that? But please don't take this as a criticism of the article as a whole.

      ** Last year she welcomed refugees saying, "Wir schaffen das!", which can be translated as "We can do this!" or even, per Barack Obama in 2008, "Yes we can!"

  • Is Trump the Shock America needs to Transition to Social Democracy? (13)
    • "And, no, Bernie Sanders wasn’t it either. He was a protest candidate onto whom all manner of fantasies of competence were projected."

      Talk about "fantasies of competence were projected!"

      Senator Sanders would be a FAR MORE competent President than the pathological LIAR, ego-maniacal, pervert now moving into our White House.

  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German (35)
    • Present day America is not Germany of the1930s, and besides no two situations are identical. There are at least five important factors that distinguish America from pre-war Germany and, for that matter, from many other countries. The first one is a written constitution, with a clear separation of powers and checks and balances. The second important distinction is freedom of expression, which is enshrined in the constitution as the First Amendment. Thirdly, it is a strong civil society. Fourthly, there is a tradition of popular activism through demonstrating and protesting when some fundamental rights are endangered, as we are witnessing today. May be, above all, the most important difference is our experience of the dangers of chauvinistic nationalism as represented by Nazi Germany.

      However, having said all that, there are some worrying signs that need to be watched. Recently, I came across the translation of a speech Hitler delivered in February 1940 about the inferior qualities of former officials and how he was going to rescue the masses from that devastation. Hitler said: “Only inferior personalities were at the helm at that time. The German people had nothing to do with their failure. If at that time I as the representative of a new political idea appeared in this hall I did so as representative of these millions of individual Germans who had not broken down the old parties and the old political forms.” This shows an uncanny resemblance to Trump’s “American carnage”.

      The mood in 1930s Germany was dark. The country had been hit hard by a global economic recession, similar to the economic crash of 2008-9. It was still feeling the pain of a disastrous war, similar to America’s experience of President Bush’s failed wars in the Middle East at the cost of trillions of dollars. There was mass poverty and unemployment. In the midst of all these problems, people looked for a strong leader.

      1- Hitler was portrayed as a messiah-like figure who could offer strong authoritarian leadership. 2- He appealed to the people to develop a unifying idea. 3- He made use of German nationalism as a rallying call; 4- He used Marxists and Jews as scapegoats for all the ills that Germany suffered. It is interesting to note that Trump’s only foreign policy reference in his speech was to unite the civilized world against “radical Islamic [not Islamist] terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the earth.” Islamist terrorism is certainly a major nuisance, mainly for people in the Middle East and Europe, but hardly an existential threat to the United States.

      Without wishing to equate present-day America to pre-war Germany in any way, I believe that there are some worrying signs indicating that we are at the beginning of a slippery slope. It is time for Americans to make use of all the above-mentioned advantages that they possess, to make sure that the slide towards authoritarianism, chauvinism, protectionism and militarism will be nipped in the bud.

  • Is Trump the Shock America needs to Transition to Social Democracy? (13)
    • Oh mighty patronizer draft-dodging ron - You missed the point of the comment yet again.

      There's not sufficient "left-leaning " Americans left to make any difference. The nearest remaining analog to a "leftist" is an Eisenhower Republican.

      What those who have enjoyed actual freedom will learn in a few months is they will miss it a great deal.

      Tilting at windmills is what you suggest.

  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German (35)
    • The short-fingered vulgarian's father would be proud.

    • File under 2nd-time-as-farce or at least 'theatrical performance'. Germany wasn't stabbed in the back, but the rightists had some distant connection with some things that actually happened --- they did lose WWI, they did experience severe economic woes, etc.

      The US today doesn't remotely resemble Trump's (OK: Bannon's) comic book vision. We have a new kind of Potemkin Village -- one made to look like a disaster area, to cover up strength, prosperity, and freedom from serious threat. Onto this crudely painted stage-set marches Trump, the community-theater Mussolini, with his jutting jaw and put-on pout. Yet the act will almost certainly destroy the reality it masks and distorts.

      Cole's voice is ever more essential.

    • Really not all that much has changed. The conservative side of the democratic party, which includes the Clintons, are every bit as evil as the Republicans. They are partners in crime.
      What causes me not to want to get out of bed anymore is that America lost a rare chance for real change in 2016. I really have no way of knowing how large that chance was. Whatever the odds were they were lost. Now the world will continue to move in the wrong direction for another eight years.
      It is tempting to believe that such widespread political neglegence is proof of a cosmic conspiracy against the planet. If that were the case then then we could say to ourselves that there is a purpose for this nonsense, even if that purpose lies in another part of the multiverse.

    • Dr. Cole,
      Except for Ron Wyden, Rand Paul and maybe Bernie Sanders,
      I'm drawing a blank when it comes to drawing up a list of "Establishment Peace makers."
      .
      who did you have in mind ?
      .

  • Is Trump the Shock America needs to Transition to Social Democracy? (13)
    • To moderator: I am having trouble with your site grabbing my incomplete edit before I am finished with it. This is just one more attempt to get clarity and good English.

      The majority here seems to feel that the bad parts of the Democratic Party must be blown up and that their particular ideal solution needs to be adopted by at least 51% of the population.

      Please go out on street-corners and sell folks on your vision for the next year or so, and come back and talk to me. If and When you can mobilize millions of actual votes, I’ll listen. I’ve worked with Democrats for years, and against them for a third party for 15 years. Please see my writings on other sites about trying to work both with the Democrats, and against the Democrats, at the same time in the service of more progressive outcomes.

      But the first step is to have two other people motivated and organized to follow your ideal organization and outcome, right now today, to actually come to whatever meetings you call.

      At my peak I could get 100's to my meetings, and multiple tens of thousands of votes. I don’t have that right now because I haven’t been focused on that at all. Are you ideal theorists even close to getting to this first baby step ???

    • Dear Sir or Madam or Whatever Pronoun you prefer,

      You may wish to get back on your medications. You managed to mangle the meaning of what I wrote pretty completely.

      I did not say, that America's existing population, right and left and centrist and muddled all over the place, is an impediment to our work. As I see it, the existing American population _is_ our work. I was talking about progressives purposely seeking one ideal leftist ideology as being an impediment to our work.

      FWIW, I've been walking with America's left on various missions since 1964, I saved my American freedom by winning a stare-down contest with a Federal judge over my refusal to go to Vietnam, and for the last thirty years my success at retail work has let me meet a large part of America's population, in socio-cultural aspects it is definitely very left-leaning. And in this election it was Hillary 48, Trump 46, Johnson 3.5 and Stein 2.5, so even politically it's just slightly to the left 50.5-49.5.

      I am confident that I am far from normalizing Trumpistan. I am in favor of getting ultra-leftists to understand the work that will be necessary, the service we will have to do for people to get our message in terms they can understand, in order to get the votes we will need to overturn this mess.

  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German (35)
    • Holy S*^t!" Professor. Outstanding analysis. One of your best. Scare AF. This is truth to power if I have ever seen it.

  • The Inauguration of White Supremacy (13)
  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German (35)
    • Watching the inaugural ceremony and listening to his twisted "address" to "the people" one might instantly even think of Machtergreifung. Hitler and his thugs did not get the popular vote in 1933 either. A plot against America. Check carefully the new White House web page which was completely reshaped within an hour of Trump's move to his new home.

      link to whitehouse.gov

  • Is Trump the Shock America needs to Transition to Social Democracy? (13)
    • Is the long depression of the late-19th century what America needs to transition to Social Democracy?
      Is the Great Strike of 1877 what America needs to transition to Social Democracy?
      Is the Pullman Strike what America needs to transition to Social Democracy?
      Is the Great Depression what America needs to transition to Social Democracy?
      Are the Great Society programs the beginning of America's to transition to Social Democracy?
      Is the impending crisis of an actor-President (Reagan) the shock that will turn America to Social Democracy?

      And, no, Bernie Sanders wasn't it either. He was a protest candidate onto whom all manner of fantasies of competence were projected.

  • Top 3 Ways to rig an Election (8)
    • As the outgoing President stated, and the vast majority of informed pundits agree, there was no DNC hack, the information was leaked from the inside.

  • The Inauguration of White Supremacy (13)
    • To top it all was Trump’s inaugural address, which was the most narrow, chauvinistic, ungracious, uncompromising, uninformed and in a word the most depressing inaugural speech that I can remember by any American president. Domestically, he coined the term “American carnage”, and portrayed a country afflicted by crime, drug addiction, poverty, unemployment, and a landscape of rusted factories like tombstones. He promised that “the American carnage stops right here, right now”, but he did not explain how he was going to implement that edict.

      He blamed all his predecessors and “the establishment” for the carnage, saying that “politicians prospered, but the nation did not share in its wealth… The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.” All this came from a billionaire who by all accounts has paid very little tax, and who has filled his cabinet with fellow billionaires. He praised people’s support for him, saying: “You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.” If he was referring to the number of people who attended the inauguration ceremony, early estimates put the number at many fewer than the number of those who took part in President Obama’s inauguration, and if he was referring to the number of people who voted for him, he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly three million votes, hardly an event “which the world has never seen before.” The only thing that was unprecedented about Trump’s inauguration was the extent of demonstrations and protests against him and the number of people who were arrested.

      Many people who watched the speech from abroad must have been aghast at the thought that America has “subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military” (despite a military budget larger than that of the next eight biggest military powers combined), has provided financial help to other countries while they have plundered America (despite the fact that America has received the lion’s share of the wealth of other countries, such as oil and mineral resources), that other countries have been responsible for the loss of jobs in America (which has been mainly due to automation and the fact that other poverty-stricken countries have risen up and are now competing for jobs), etc. His only solution for that unfortunate state was: “From this day forward a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward it’s going to be only America first. America first.”

      This kind of scapegoating and narrow and chauvinistic nationalism is very dangerous, and when the promises fail to be fulfilled, as they must, there is every danger that people will turn against foreigners and minorities at home whom they will blame for their unfulfilled dreams. Sadly, we have seen many disastrous examples of that mentality in the past. Those who thought that Mr. Trump’s rhetoric during the campaign was just intended to win votes and that when in office he would adopt a broader and a more unifying stance will get a rude awakening.

    • I have clear memories of inaugurations going back to 1956, and nothing prepared me for the US vs THEM tone of Trump's speech. I don't think I read too much into his words to recognize what I expect to be frontal attacks on the 1st, 4th and 5th Amendments to say nothing of decades of legislation and court decisions broadening our civil rights.

      And then there's his bluster (let's hope it's only bluster) toward the rest of the world.

      Donald, if you're demanding that I stand with you in order to share in the American dream, screw you!

      Juan, I apologize for my language. It was the most polite I could muster.

  • Is Trump the Shock America needs to Transition to Social Democracy? (13)
    • Although some may despair that the corporatized, neo-liberal Democratic Party can be changed, remember this: the Dems were originally the pro-slavery party, and within living memory, stood foresquare for Jim Crow.

  • All Dutch Electric Trains are Wind-Powered & other Advances Trump's US will Miss out On (10)
    • Your first point is exactly why it is important that the Military-Industrial Complex has become White Man's Welfare. Not just the creation of a crisis situation that requires that otherwise-useless rural Whites get paid out of the taxes of those they despise. But the elevation of these armed parasites into "heroes", and their subsequent indoctrination and training for a life as a caste elevated over their peers.

      You put them thru the military to give them status (and violence skills), then thru the mercenary firms to pay them off. Or make them police. By the time they retire, they have far more cash than their neighbors, and inevitably become a sort of knighthood/gentry, establishing local political influence for the hierarchy.

      I guess the ones too pathetic for that become prison guards. Who they will be guarding is the rest of the story of how this absurd reactionary economy will function while the world moves on without us.

  • Is Trump the Shock America needs to Transition to Social Democracy? (13)
    • Are we talking of the same Democratic Party that's been war mongering all over the Russians? Schumer/Pelosi Inc.?
      That Party has almost no true progressives. In fact it dissed them big time. "They have no place else to go." Ha.
      Here's reality: Democrats condoned and voted for wars of aggression. Leaders and friends are above the law to commit any crime. They've protected torturers.
      The last 8 years have been sick and demented. Suicidal and murderous to say the least. Bush on steroids.
      The Democratic theocracy is dead. Killed by indulgences. The Bill has been nailed to the cathedral door.
      The Republican Party is in the same position, they'll soon find.
      Any true liberal party would insist on trials for war criminals. Good folks don't condone horrible things.

  • All Dutch Electric Trains are Wind-Powered & other Advances Trump's US will Miss out On (10)
  • Will Donald Trump bring back torture? Can Foreign leaders stop him? (3)
    • I don't really see any nation out there with both the will and the power to stop state torture worldwide. We are suddenly living in an era of racist nationalism, and torture is clearly a surrogate for racial persecution, because it is always demanded for opponents seen as aiding an enemy race plotting to supplant "us".

  • Is Trump the Shock America needs to Transition to Social Democracy? (13)
    • America is becoming elderly, especially White America. In my opinion that means that signs of senility creep into the popular opinion. It's hard to overturn the economic system when you need the support of a lot of old people trending towards the maximum delusion of being self-sufficient while demanding help from others. Trump is all that plus a (alleged) billionaire's sense of superiority.

      Worse, I think that the older you get, the more you see the future of the country as being in the hands of hostile aliens. Members of a society, supposedly, sacrifice for the future of their children, but what happens when their children don't honor their ancient prejudices? Shouldn't that encourage a kind of nihilism, a Samson Option of destroying the country rather than preserving it for those young dark punks who keep you in media-cultivated fear?

      Not all old people are like that, but how do you push those who are out of the way of your social reform crusade? I see the problem as practically requiring the fragmentation of America into a group of autonomous city-states that use the most advanced technologies and a young multi-ethnic workforce to build the actual future, and a vast, dying wasteland between them where most of the old White people flee because they can't stand the future. Then it's simply a matter - a supremely ruthless one - of dumping your biggest social liabilities on your enemies who don't believe in feeding them while your young workforce builds up surpluses in social insurance, has post-racial children and eventually takes over America. But this sounds like the mass dieoff in Yeltsin's Russia. Also, the old rednecks in the sticks would suddenly have a compelling use for all those assault rifles they've been stocking up - a 1966 Indonesia with advanced weapons.

  • The Inauguration of White Supremacy (13)
    • I was hoping this 'carnage has got to stop' referred to America's war crimes, but, of course, it was his usual loose talk. I guess it alluded to the imagined raging wars in our streets and the supposed diminution of America's esteem in the world. Both of those things will only increase under Trump's leadership. I'll sure miss Obama's careful use of the English language, even though his policies left a lot to be desired!

    • There were times when I was young and I would have a couple of drinks and they seemed to have no effect, so I figured it was no problem to have 2 or 3 more. Than, all of a sudden, WHAM, it would all hit me all at once and I would be totally wasted. I suspect this is what we will see with the Trump presidency. A lot of laws and executive orders will get promulgated, but the country will keep humming along for a while. then, when those malignant decisions start to go into effect, we will see serious problems surface. Then, maybe something will be done to rein in this demagogue. I only hope he doesn't do irreparable damage before this occurs.

  • Top 3 Ways to rig an Election (8)
    • Does it have to be repeated again and again that the intelligence apparatus still has offered no evidence that the Russian government hacked the DNC? Evidently the answer is yes, because sadly millions of Americans are willing to accept any claim that supports their feelings.