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Total number of comments: 43 (since 2014-08-10 13:45:42)


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  • Russiagate or Deep State? What Some Progressives Get Wrong on Russia
    • This is a good article but I'd be even harder on progressive Trump apologists. Listen to Masha Gessen or Sarah Kendzior on the realities of the autocratic states in the FSU, see for instance
      link to
      Trump is clearly a Putin wanna-be, and I fully believe that
      he is up to his eyeballs in money-laundering for oligarchs tied to Putin, reputed to himself be worth 200 billion. Listen to Bill Browder about the Magnitsky act.
      link to
      Some of the progressives who get it right are Randi Rhodes and Sam Seder. The main MSNBC anchors Maddow, ODonnell, Melber, Chris Hayes, Nicole Wallace are doing a fantastic job of fighting back against all the propaganda and lies from the Trump side. I agree that (1) Hillary was a disasterous candidate, (2) Obama and Hillary bear much blame for the disastrous Libya policy, (3) climate change and nuclear war are the two main issues, with the increase of wealth inequality driving a lot of the destruction of democracies. (4) Bernie would have bashed Trump and would have been far better than Hill on all domestic issues. BUT- Trump is far more dangerous as he is (1) an active danger to our democracy (2) basically a terrorist, stirring up hatred and fear and division with his demagoguery and lies (3) as such, right in line with Putin's strategy, (4) destroying all that is good about America as quickly as he can through his appointments. It is true that MSNBC doesn't do enough to address wealth inequality and global warming, or to advocate for Bernie-like policies. But that is where the progressive media should concentrate. Trump/Pence/Ryan etcetera are an enormous danger and infighting on the left is playing into Trump-Putin's hands.

  • As Trump & Pruitt unleash Climate Demons, Scientists dream of Atlantic Wind Farm
  • Former US Allies peeling off under Trump: Turkey halts US Visas
    • This is truly amazing. Maybe partly due to the shambles our State Dept is in?
      I wonder how this affects US military personnel- and their families?

  • Top 5 signs Donald Trump might be an effing moron
    • It's a sign of just how bad a place we are in that people are looking to the likes of Tillerson and Corker and McCain for salvation. And I agree. Thank God they are at least partly standing up to Trump's insanity and uncontrollable destructive impulses....

  • On 9/11: How we slighted the real Threat, Climate Change, and Hyped Terrorism
    • I remember the sinking feeling I had as Bush I launched his shock-and - awe, glorified by his govt and by the media, as one enormous commercial for advanced weaponry. GW Bush made it much worse, and by that time many of us had begun to be aware of climate change, so we watched helplessly as the added disaster that no one talks about unfolded: the environmental one, of all that carbon footprint of the bombs, carriers, Humvees, and burning oil fields.... trillions of dollars not just wasted, instead of being spent on needed priorities including green infrastructure, but actively spent on the opposite: the destruction of cultures, lives and worlds, and of our very planet. Al Queda and ISIS are apocalyptic sects, and Putin and Trump and Tillerson aren't far off....

  • US Reputation under Trump Tanking, Costing Economy Billions
    • Academics from other countries traveling to Canada for conferences are trying their best to find direct flights, that don't pass through the US, because of the very real fear of being delayed or refused entry or of having their electronics copied, seized or stolen if checked through.
      With Trump's goons on the loose, no one feels safe anymore. That United has treated its customers so horribly only adds to this feeling.

  • The Last time there was this much CO2 in the air, Florida was under Water
    • It is good that the graphic points out the energy facilities that will be under water. How many are nuclear/ This is an issue no one mentions. It takes 20-30 years to decommission a
      nuclear plant. They are usually located close to water for the cooling. Often the waste is stored on site, since there is
      no agreed on alternative (no one wants it transported on trains by or to their state). Rationally we should- worldwide-
      close down all nuclear plants located near the sea immediately and begin the decommissioning. Practically,
      this will be kicked down the road until the waters rise, and we'll essentially have tens of Fukushimas. Oh, and Fukushima itself will flood again...

      Regarding the non-nuclear facilites, like refineries? It would be good to know what the situation is....

  • Top 5 Ways Bill O'Reilly gave us Trump and cheapened America
    • I hope upside of O'Reilly's long-overdue demise in the US doesn't help facilitate a Murdoch takeover of Sky in Europe. The antidemocratic, fake news, neofascist forces are globalised, and their actions in one country affect all the others. We've had way more than enough of the selfish billionaire sociopaths polluting the public discourse and perverting minds with their lies.

  • The Coming Muslim Century: Bad news for President Bannon
    • The more people say President Bannon, the more Trump's infantile jealousy will kick in, and maybe he'll eventually really boot out President Bannon.....who is still running things....together with Vice President Steven Miller....

  • Washington's demonization of Foes jumps Shark with Sean Spicer on Hitler
    • Juan, thanks for your comment. It demonstrates by clear-cut, timely example how important to our lives is the academic discipline of history. In the Old Days (2 months ago) it was imperative for the President himself, and certainly people around him, most especially at State,
      to be familiar with basic world and US history, and to
      bring that perspective to their present-day decisions. Now we have the willfully ignorant leading the blind.

      My only quibble would be to call Assad "weak-chinned"- that's unnecessary. The "frilled pillow" and reference to his brother makes the point. In interviews he is soft-spoken but
      has quiet strength and calmness, seeming undeterred by all the challenges. He may be a psychopath, or more complicated. The family influence on him, and the situation he is caught in, is fascinating: we need to know more about that. He has always seemed a reluctant strong-man.

  • Are Progressives Suffering from Trump Fatigue?
    • Irreverent Comet 03/31/2017 at 9:11 pm

      So true!
      As Cenk Uygur of TYT likes to say, "the establishment likes strong Republicans and weak Democrats". The establishment being in large part Wall Street and the big corporations. But: in the given situation it is clear that people are ready for true, strong progressives, and the Democratic part will either be that or fail again- and again.
      Now it the moment to throw out the weak sauce and put in the extra spicy hot: real change, to really benefit us all.

    • Irreverent Comet 03/31/2017 at 5:46 am

      I needed to update my comment as when I wrote it I was suffering from "Trump fatigue" myself...
      Juan's post is right on target and is thought-provoking reading. We all need to step back a minute from the latest catastrophe and take stock of where we are, individually and as a society, nation and world. And we need to do that every day, as part of a healing along with our self-informing and our activism.
      I find that as one aspect of this fatigue I find it hard to choose which items to read. There's just too mush!
      We are being bombarded on every front. I find myself sometimes skipping or postponing pieces which I can't bear to let in...
      I do have to give thanks for the many journalists, professional or not, who have produced so many great pieces so far-and only so few days in-
      and more widely, every one who has taken any kind of active step in resistance or opposition-
      I read carefully all the comments above and have to say it was moving- I agreed with every bit that was said-
      The only thing I can say is to echo some thoughts above that we each need to take care of our personal well-being
      and that of those around us, as we try to find our own ways
      of taking positive actions that will make sure looking back that we did our best to meet the incredible challenges- but also opportunities- that have been thrust upon us all.

    • Juan makes a great point. The independent news media is doing a pretty great (if very disorganized) job of reporting on all this enormity. I think a lot of us find ourselves sometimes not sleeping well, with difficulty concentrating on our work, with bouts of depression...spending a lot of time on video news clips rather than doing in-depth reading. But that has its up side: one thing I find helps is all the great comedy this has sparked, like from Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers, and Steven Colbert, and also the intelligently acerbic wit of the folks on Majority Report, Randi Rhodes, the amusing outrage of the Aggressive Progressives, and simply the dedicated reporting of many on Truthout, Truthdig, The Intercept, Democracy Now, and this site, as well as the outrage of Rachael Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell-
      but most of all I love all the air time Bernie's been getting.

  • The Russian Job: The Plot Thickens
    • Some additional tidbits- would be good to have the full details filled in by knowledgeable people:
      --Manafort's payment was to be 10 million a year; according to Rachael Maddow last night we don't know when it ended;
      --Yanukovych himself was fabulously rich and corrupt;
      --some of the oligarchs had KGB (now FSB) ties;
      --Tillerson apparently was the one who negotiated the oil deal...
      Environmentally, Obama had effectively stopped 3 huge pipeline projects which Trump will re-start: Keystone XL,
      DAPL, and the Russia one, stopped by the sanctions. The Russia one involves Arctic drilling. All 3 represent enormous environmental disasters, for global warming, oil spills and
      The political/global power play situation has many aspects. One side of this is the very real fears Russia can have from NATO aggressively expanded to its borders, with military maneuvers in Poland and so on. Another is fascist influences in the new Ukraine and elsewhere in Europe. Another aspect are the possibly legitimate fears by people in the Baltic states, Poland and so on of Russian expansionism- but how real is that? It may be hard to judge, but if one just pretends that Russia under Putin is not expansionist, it could come to a situation where it is too late- a long game is being played. And "sphere of influence"
      can have different aspects.
      I remember when the Wall came down in Germany: there was such a rush to unify, and many things were badly done.
      The opportunity was there to combine the best aspects of West and East; instead the laws of the West along with rapacious capitalism, stress, materialism were all simply
      glued on top. But there was an overwhelming feeling on the part of Germans- mostly unvoiced- that we better get this over with quick before Russia changes its mind, who knows what will happen later on. Hence the rush.
      To be sure there are many sides to the story of Eastern Europe: Soviet oppression; Russian oppression; terrible aspects of life in the FSU; "good" aspects of life there which were wiped out by the corporate capitalism that was imported whole hog; disastrous "shock therapy" economics; stupidity and organizational maladroitness of the EU; unfortunate involvement of the US dragging NATO into the Middle East; vice versa for Libya...
      Then there is the incredible corruption of the Russian "kleptocracy" in the words of the former ambassador who mysteriously died recently in Washington; a host of other mysterious deaths associated with these questions...
      Then there is the geopolitics of US/China relations as well...
      and the Syria situation...and North Korea...and and...
      This all makes for an extremely complex situation, and Trump and Co certainly are exactly the wrong people to be in charge at this extremely difficult and delicate time. We
      can't trust anything they say, much less their motives, and anything they do.


  • Is the Public turning on Trump over Russia Ties, Sessions' Perjury?
    • I have always found it curious that the Podesta leaks apparently stopped
      with the election. At least I heard no more about them afterwards....if so, the only conclusion one can draw is that Wikileaks was indeed leaking them to hurt Hillary; the aim was to influence the election, not simply to reveal the truth....

  • How Human Carbon emissions created Arctic's balmy Frankenweather
    • Things in life can go downhill fast. Anyone who has been in a car accident knows how quickly disaster can overtake us. Before the accident we have the illusion that all will be well, forever, and that all is under our control. Suddenly, events are completely out of our grasp, we are overtaken by them.
      Something similar happens with an illness or with the onset of old age. Within a very few years, all the systems of the body start to give out, there is no turning back and
      no remedy will reverse the process or substantially prolong life. Before that we had the illusion we'd spend our retirement years traveling, writing, pursuing hobbies; suddenly, we are confined to one place and are in near-constant pain. Then the brain starts going...

      Scientists have been predicting this climate disaster in the making since the late 1800's, and even their very simple models were not far off at all. Will humankind take any meaningful action at all? And, is it already "too late"?

      Many of us (including all the knowledgeable experts who were not blinded by neocon ideology) predicted disaster with the Iraq invasion, but it happened anyway. A Fukushima-type accident was predictable, and nothing was done to prevent it. Ditto for the collapse of the housing bubble. There are countless examples like this. Given this history, there is realistically very little chance human beings will apply the brakes as we rush toward the climate cliff.

      But things are much worse now:
      the whole of our own species, and all other species, on this
      beautiful planet are at risk. Climate scientists are unanimous in their verdict; the only debate among them now is just how bad it is and how much time we have left. Increasing numbers believe it is already too late to save us. Listen to a lecture by Guy McPherson
      link to
      or go to
      link to
      for the more extreme, but perhaps more realistic, view.
      "Within the Arctic, the Arctic Ocean is warming most rapidly. While the Arctic as a whole was as much as 3.34°C or 6.01°F warmer than in 1979-2000 on December 22, 2016, temperatures over much of the Arctic Ocean were at the top end of the scale that day, i.e. as much as 30°C or 54°F warmer than in 1979-2000."

      Meanwhile the politicians and fossil fuel executives are much like Trump: in their faith-based world, scientific facts and judgements can be willfully ignored.

      As a result, climate scientists are bullied by those in power to change their conclusions and hide the truth.
      According to McPherson, the talk offstage at climate conferences is very different from the already alarming
      news presented in official talks: people are really seriously worried, and most scientists in this area censor their real opinions, both because of political and hence university or funding agency pressure to conform with a more positive conclusion and because of the usual reticence of careful scientists to announce conclusions that are not (yet) fully supported in a peer-refereed journal article- the traditional scientific standard. But is that standard obsolete when the warnings must be shouted out NOW to the rooftops?

  • Nine Things Obama Could Do Before Leaving to blunt the National Security State
    • Sorry, meant to say "single payer" not "public option"!
      And "Make sure Kratom remains legal".
      Other wishes: publicly support Bernie and other progressives' agendas. This is the best way forward, especially against Trump. Speak against the concentration of media in few hands, and in favor of net neutraity before Trump guts it and starts attacking the internet (which is inevitable, since that is where the main opposition to him will be organized and most truth against his lies will be presented- he can't stand criticism or ridicule, and will attack all media as viciously as he can).

    • Here is my own Obama "wish list":
      -stop all possible pipelines, not just DAPL. Declare all possible Wilderness Areas and National Monuments. Set things up to shut down coal plants, to ban fracking. Come out publicly against fossil fuel development worldwide, admitting the mistake of previously advocating "all of the above". Disclose all information about oil spills and cleanup efforts like BP. This will help galvanize the environmental movement in the aftermath of Standing Rock. Publicly honor the Standing Rock Sioux for their patriotism and heroism. The additional publicity will strengthen the successful nonviolent, prayerful, inclusive (thinking of the well-being of others, of 7 generations...) approach which especially in the age of Trump will be the only way forward. Publicly honor those injured in the protests and begin an investigation into the police abuse and actions of the Governor of ND.
      -free and publicly pardon all the whistleblowers.
      -release all possible secret documents related to past government errors and crimes: the incompetence around 9-11 and the Iraq invasion, but also dating back decades,
      such as regime change in South America and including
      recent events (Libya and Honduras.) Admit mistakes and set the record straight.
      -Come out publicly for all possible progressive agendas: public option, infrastructure (done the right way, not Trump's corrupt way), free public education and forgiveness of student debt.
      -decriminalize pot and all soft drugs. I personally hate the effects of pot on my body but the main reason for this is to
      de-fang the draconian war on drugs and privatized prison system. Make sure Kratom (by all accounts a life-saving
      herb, only opposed by Big Pharma because they make more money when people are addicted to opioids).
      -Come out against Big Pharma's greed publicly.
      -Make strong statements pro-science and pro-education, and pro-public education. Speak out against over-testing and in favor of higher teachers' salaries and against exorbitant administrators' salaries. Speak out strongly against charter schools and vouchers and privatization -
      all windfalls for Trump's friends.
      -reveal all possible information about Trump or Adelson
      or Murdoch which will reveal corruption- before during a Trump presidency, all these records are permanently erased.

      -Encourage Stein's recount efforts and speak out against
      election fraud. Release any information about the election thefts of 2000 and 2004.
      Any of this will make it harder for Trump to get off the ground with the fascist state he and his circle want.

      Now that Obama has stopped the pipeline, it's time to congratulate him and encourage more of the same- before it is too late.

  • Pakistanis Baffled, Buoyant over Trump's Fantastical Praise
    • Meanwhile, Trump chatted on the phone with the new Taiwanese president and stirred up another hornet's nest.
      Searching for other metaphors, and "bull in a China shop" seems particularly appropriate there.

      To understand what in the heck is going on, I found this
      note a friend sent me about Trumpian Narcissistic Personality Disorder very helpful. Maybe all of us (including leaders of state) will have to become amateur psychologists. Duterte and Putin seem to have already figured this out.
      "Coping with Chaos in the White House"
      By Phelps S. Hawkins

      A few days ago, I wrote a post for my Facebook friends about my personal experience with narcissistic personality disorder and how I view the president elect as a result. Unexpectedly, the post traveled widely, and it became clear that many people are struggling with how to understand and deal with this kind of behavior in a position of power. Although several writers, including a few professionals, have publicly offered their thoughts on a diagnosis, I am not a professional and this is not a diagnosis. My post is not intended to persuade anyone or provide a comprehensive description of NPD. I am speaking purely from decades of dealing with NPD and sharing strategies that were helpful for me in coping and predicting behavior. The text below is adapted from my original Facebook post.

      I want to talk a little about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve unfortunately had a great deal of experience with it, and I’m feeling badly for those of you who are trying to grapple with it for the first time because of our president-elect, who almost certainly suffers from it or a similar disorder. If I am correct, it has some very particular implications for the office. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

      1) It’s not curable and it’s barely treatable. He is who he is. There is no getting better, or learning, or adapting. He’s not going to “rise to the occasion” for more than maybe a couple hours. So just put that out of your mind.

      2) He will say whatever feels most comfortable or good to him at any given time. He will lie a lot, and say totally different things to different people. Stop being surprised by this. While it’s important to pretend “good faith” and remind him of promises, as Bernie Sanders and others are doing, that’s for his supporters, so *they* can see the inconsistency as it comes. He won’t care. So if you’re trying to reconcile or analyze his words, don’t. It’s 100% not worth your time. Only pay attention to and address his actions.

      3) You can influence him by making him feel good. There are already people like Bannon who appear ready to use him for their own ends. The GOP is excited to try. Watch them, not him. President Obama, in his wisdom, may be treating him well in hopes of influencing him and averting the worst. If he gets enough accolades for better behavior, he might continue to try it. But don’t count on it.

      4) Entitlement is a key aspect of the disorder. As we are already seeing, he will likely not observe traditional boundaries of the office. He has already stated that rules don’t apply to him. This particular attribute has huge implications for the presidency and it will be important for everyone who can to hold him to the same standards as previous presidents.

      5) We should expect that he only cares about himself and those he views as extensions of himself, like his children. (People with NPD often can’t understand others as fully human or distinct.) He desires accumulation of wealth and power because it fills a hole. (Melania is probably an acquired item, not an extension.) He will have no qualms *at all* about stealing everything he can from the country, and he’ll be happy to help others do so, if they make him feel good. He won’t view it as stealing but rather as something he’s entitled to do. This is likely the only thing he will intentionally accomplish.

      6) It’s very, very confusing for non-disordered people to experience a disordered person with NPD. While often intelligent, charismatic and charming, they do not reliably observe social conventions or demonstrate basic human empathy. It’s very common for non-disordered people to lower their own expectations and try to normalize the behavior. DO NOT DO THIS AND DO NOT ALLOW OTHERS, ESPECIALLY THE MEDIA, TO DO THIS. If you start to feel foggy or unclear about this, step away until you recalibrate.

      7) People with NPD often recruit helpers, referred to in the literature as “enablers” when they allow or cover for bad behavior and “flying monkeys” when they perpetrate bad behavior on behalf of the narcissist. Although it’s easiest to prey on malicious people, good and vulnerable people can be unwittingly recruited. It will be important to support good people around him if and when they attempt to stay clear or break away.

      ? People with NPD often foster competition for sport in people they control. Expect lots of chaos, firings and recriminations. He will probably behave worst toward those closest to him, but that doesn’t mean (obviously) that his actions won’t have consequences for the rest of us. He will punish enemies. He may start out, as he has with the NYT, with a confusing combination of punishing/rewarding, which is a classic abuse tactic for control. If you see your media cooperating or facilitating this behavior for rewards, call them on it.

      9) Gaslighting — where someone tries to convince you that the reality you’ve experienced isn’t true — is real and torturous. He will gaslight, his followers will gaslight. Many of our politicians and media figures already gaslight, so it will be hard to distinguish his amplified version from what has already been normalized. Learn the signs and find ways to stay focused on what you know to be true. Note: it is typically not helpful to argue with people who are attempting to gaslight. You will only confuse yourself. Just walk away.

      10) Whenever possible, do not focus on the narcissist or give him attention. Unfortunately we can’t and shouldn’t ignore the president, but don’t circulate his tweets or laugh at him — you are enabling him and getting his word out. (I’ve done this, of course, we all have… just try to be aware.) Pay attention to your own emotions: do you sort of enjoy his clowning? do you enjoy the outrage? is this kind of fun and dramatic, in a sick way? You are adding to his energy. Focus on what you can change and how you can resist, where you are. We are all called to be leaders now, in the absence of leadership.

      Phelps S. Hawkins

      Assistant Professor, JMC

      Savannah State University

  • Is Trump "Pro-Russian?" How will Russia Fare? Russians want to Know
    • Despite some interesting claims, the overall problem I have with Craig Timberg’s article in the Washington Post is that he misses half the story, thus to my mind making his whole argument suspect. There has been lots of “fake news” published by the mainstream media, and lots of valid opinions and facts on RT. Countless times the MSM has ignored real issues (like all those raised by Bernie) in favor of superficiality and distortion.

      Timberg ignores these very real problems, and seems to label anything critical of the US establishment as Russian propaganda.

      The best way to deal with Russian propaganda is honestly. That means acknowledging your own failings. And the MSM has failed us miserably, as has in so many ways our government.

      TYT, Democracy Now, Truthdig, Truthout and Informed Comment are where I tend to go for news that seems fairly accurate.
      Truthout is not perfect but is no Russian propaganda site, that is ludicrous.

      Just like these sites, RT has partly filled the space left by the superficial, empty and biased reporting of the MSM, much like Al Jazeera before them. It is an irony that the bias of the MSM
      has come back to bite them- and the bite will be much worse once Bannon takes over as Trump’s Goebbels. They will be squeezed between Trump’s repression (threats of lawsuits?) and the truth-telling (or not) of internet news.

      The overall problem seems to be one of multilevel corruption, in Russia, in the US, of Trump, of the Democrats, of the media…which is taking over and destroying the world. Yes, there seem to be too many fake scandals, but there are also more than enough real ones, on all sides.

  • Starstruck & Party-Fanatic: The Moral Paradox of Trump Support
    • I agree with all of Juan's criticisms of Trump, but Michael Moore's take on why many "ordinary", non-racist people in Ohio and Michigan may vote for Trump (yes, even though they may dislike him, too) rings very true to me- and is very worrisome: this is from Jimmy Dore's show.
      Jimmy, from TYT, was a huge Bernie backer but can't stand Hillary
      and now supports Stein:
      link to

      At the very least, this shows why Hillary's "deplorables" comment was, well, deplorable. Things just aren't that simple.

      Juan, you are based in Michigan so I wonder what your view is of this.

  • China's Wind Co. Profits, share price soar by 60%: 2 Turbines an Hour being Installed
    • It is indeed ironic that the Chinese are investing so heavily in green energy, including government subsidies, while the US continues to subsidize the enormously profitable oil and gas companies- just because of the power of their lobbies. It's not that the Chinese are a threat to us- we are a much bigger threat to ourselves, with our now endemic corruption and stupidity. Instead, their efforts should be viewed as a challenge and an inspiration,

  • US Goes to War with Houthis in Yemen (Openly)
    • What a mess. Thanks Juan for the analysis.
      A UAE ship was sunk just recently in a similar attack:
      link to
      This is a very dangerous situation. On the one hand, the US Navy has to protect itself. On the other, why are we giving such critical support to the Saudi's apparently ill-advised
      and brutal onslaught?

  • US breaks off Military Cooperation with Russia in Syria
    • This makes the US bombing of Syrian army forces on Sept 18, killing 62 troops and wounding 100, an even bigger disaster- we may never know how that happened: whether intentional on the part of someone or not, it provides a pretext or excuse or cover for the heavy-handed Russian and Syrian attacks which sound horrible for civilians. The US policy continues to seem rudderless.

  • The Presidential Debate that did not really Happen
    • I don't like many of Hillaryś policies and I often find her personal speaking style false and irritating. But last night she was great. The attratctve, human side of her personality came through. There was one adult on the stage, the other was a spoiled, whining, selfish child, who if he wins will be I am now convinced an absolute disaster for the nation and the planet. No contest. I wish it were Bernie instead, but we should have the courage to vote for Hillary and fight for what we believe in (no to TPP and fracking , yes to single-payer, no to more wars). The level o0f lies and corruption of Trump is hundreds of times more than Hillary, there is no equivalence.

  • In Massive Intel Error, US Kills 80 Syrian Troops, Helps ISIL Advance
    • Good questions. Also, at least once in the past, the Obama admin accused the Assad regime of using nerve gas when it later turned out it was Al Nusra with ingredients apparently supplied by Turkey- see an interview with Sy Hersch about this.

      What a mess. Russia at least has a clear strategy; the US certainly doesn't seem to.

    • Thanks for the background , Juan, on this sad, and disastrous, event.

  • "This Parrot is no More": The 2016 Presidential Election did not Take Place
    • Excellent post, Juan.
      I now think Trump will probably win. The Democratic Party keeps shooting themselves in the face with hamfisted attempts at manipulation, like lining up rich neocons, then trying to win over rightfully disgusted millenials, then blaming everything on Putin: red -baiting doesn't work as well when they aren't reds anymore, just corrupt oligarchs---but you can't very authentically complain about their very real corruption when your own has become so obvious. Trump is much more dangerous and potentially far more corrupt as President than Hillary but her own disingenuity and political ineptness and his reality-tv sure-footed astuteness make it more likely he will win every day. God help us all.

  • Trump-inspired felon allegedly torches Ft. Pierce FL Mosque, says "All Islam is radical"
  • 15 Years after 9/11, can we Recover our Republic?
    • It's scary enough to have all this power in Obama's hands, or in Hillary's. But it is starting to look like the keys to the kingdom are about to be handed over to one Donald J. Trump, a self-absorbed egotist who lies constantly for personal gain, a supremely manipulative con artist who has been involved in 3,500 lawsuits, who vindictively goes after anyone who says something he doesn't like, who openly admires "strongmen" Putin and Kim Jong Un, who talks of the wholesale removal of generals.

      Obama in building all this up even more (the drones, the NSA, the special ops; fracking, TPP, Obamacare) no doubt thought it would all be passed on to Hillary who is knowledgeable, intelligent and "moderate" and would continue his relatively predictable path. Ooops. So many things can really go off the rails, and as Snowden says, the
      Pres who comes next can decide to "flip that switch":
      link to

  • No, Obama did not found ISIL, Mr. Trump: That was the GOP
    • Thank you Juan for clarifying this, buttressed with a quick summary of the actual historical facts.
      Trump supporters have no use for anything except his non-facts, i.e. his latest fantasy, but those of us who still have heads are grateful to be reminded of what actually happened.

  • Trump threatens Sec. Clinton with Gun Nuts, imitates Tinpot 3rd World Regimes
    • Trump is pretending to make this a spontaneous comment but if you listen to it it is clear he had planned out exactly what words to say in what order. It is completely intentional. It is to my hearing a definite suggestion to "2nd amendment people" to "do something about it" which is like a Mafia don saying "I want this guy taken care of, understand?" What is not clear about that? A felony is a felony and nobody should try to excuse it or explain it away. That he did this could very well actually incite some of his crazies to act. That he said it in this calculated way - calculated to incite violence, and yet calculated to be able to avoid the direct blame because of his trademarked intentional vagueness- is typical of him and very very scary indeed. As Juan points out it is hard for the Secret Service say to respond to because he would use it to claim persecution and rile up his brownshirts even further.

  • Putin: Turkey supports Radicalism & We may have to Respond, hence Tourism Ban
    • I wonder if Turkey advised their supposed staunch ally Washington they were about to down a Russian plane. (not likely: hard to imagine the US would have been happy at the possibility of being put in the awkward position of a NATO ally risking starting a hot war with Russia).

  • 'Very Soon' US forces will Arrive in Syria; Russia bombs near Turkey
    • What a mess. All we can be sure of is not to listen to those "experts" who got us into these messes in the first place. Yet that is who is all over the US media...the situation is
      not resolvable by force, yet those are the only tools in the toolkit of anyone: the Saudis, the Turks, Assad, the Russians, the USA. Ok it's an impossible situation, but even so, the degree of idiocy being brought to bear by all sides is remarkable. And the result for ordinary lives is horrible beyond measure.

  • Major Indirect Benefits of Obama's Climate Plan that could save the World
    • This is exactly the kind of thinking we need to have, and the best strategy. Once you start reading about the glaciers disappearing 4 times faster than predicted, about how the disappearing arctic sea ice affects the jet stream (as man-induced global warming induces climate change which affects the actual weather, sometimes locally colder rather than warmer, but always less stable and generally warmer) and the methane under the ocean and buried in permafrost
      that may be released over a very short time span, well, you can just sink into hopelessness. But we have to do the right thing, nonetheless- nothing is certain, and we have to hope against hope that we can still make a difference. And, if people realize how dire the situation is, there may be a small chance they will give up on other distractions like wars and inhumanity and the pursuit of power and extreme wealth and actually do something useful and helpful and meaningful with their so short lives. Let's do it, folks! This is not only the adventure of our lives, but of all humanity's existence.

  • Turkish Tanks Shell Syrian Kurds who expelled ISIL from Zur Maghar
    • What sad, discouraging developments. With allies like Erdogan and the Saudis, who needs enemies?

  • Obama Prosecutes another Whistleblower to Senate for "Espionage"
    • Obama is such a disappointment, on so many fronts. This business represents his absolute worst, lining up with the worst of the government goons- who do belong in Federal prison- against the true patriot heroes of our time. Of course the Bushies are "worse", in terms of policy- but not in terms of morality: Obama's betrayal of so much he supposedly stood for will be a permanent stain on his name and his Presidency. That NSA metadata was used to go after Sterling proves the complete and utter moral corruption of the Obama administration, with its willingness to twist and pervert "anti-terror" resources for political ends.

  • Did GOP Leaders Betray Our Country By Writing Letter to Iran?
    • You are spot on of course, Cenk. The only part I don't like is where you call them "borderline" traitors.

      That's like calling GW Bush or Dick Cheney a "borderline psychopath": they are full-out traitors. Don't ever pull your punches: we need to hear it exactly like it is, and you are one of the very few in the public eye who still speaks the truth.

      These un-American idiots do of course viscerally hate Obama, no doubt because he is a "black" who is infinitely smarter and more successful than they could ever hope to be. It's made worse by his too-calm style: these are ignorant, selfish bullies who would like nothing better than to pound his face into the concrete with their hammy fists- while he, the superior, intellectual black, just dances away and refuses to fight.

      The country is going downhill fast, as the only progressive victories are the relatively cosmetic distractions of gay marriage and legalized weed while
      the infrastructure, education, climate and our democratic pretensions all crumble, as new wars are begun, and as the 1% loses out to our real masters, the .001%. Welcome to Hell.

    • Hi Cenk, spot on of course. The only thing I disagree with is when you call them "borderline traitors". That is like calling GW Bush or Dick Cheney a "borderline psychopath". Don't pull your punches. They are full-out traitors. Yes they are abysmally Ignorant about foreign policy and the democratic pretensions of the United States, but that is no excuse. There is no good faith there, zero. They hate Obama because he is a "black" who is a thousand times more intelligent and successful than them, and because his too-calm style infuriates them all the more-they want nothing more than to pound his face into the ground with their meaty fists and that's hard to do when he refuses a fight.

      This country is going down the drain, fast, as the only recent "progressive" victories are on the relative distractions of gay marriage and legalized weed, while infrastructure, education, the climate, and our democratic institutions crumble and the 1% loses ground to the real masters, the .001%. Welcome to Hell.

  • Sharpening Contradictions: Why al-Qaeda attacked Satirists in Paris
    • As usual, Juan, you have given us the most insightful and useful commentary on these horrific events. It is exactly what I was thinking, but you explained it much more clearly. Fingerprints of Al Qaeda indeed! When OBL attacked the twin towers, his goal was not to hurt the US. It was like hitting the big toe of a giant with a hammer. Why do you do that, at least if you are not stupid, and by all accounts OBL was very intelligent- after all so was Lenin? For one reason only: to provoke a response. OBL's motive was never to take over or destroy the US, with 6 boxcutters, it was to take over in Pakistan (which already has nukes) or Syria or Saudi or wherever, meanwhile letting the US destroy itself in its insensate rage and insatiable lust for revenge. That Bush was a faux cowboy with father issues made him the perfect foil, much better than an Al Gore would have been! So stupid and so predictable....we all knew what would happen, and could only watch with crying hearts as the tragedy unfolded, as it continues to expand into the future, on and on. As you point out, AQ has pursued the same strategy over and over again in Iraq and Syria, first by killing the Northern Alliance leader 2 days before 9-11, then killing the Brazilian UN envoy, then bombing Shiites,
      mosques, schools, historic sites... and we all fell into their traps perfectly, again and again. It is much more effective to attack progressive cartoonists than to attack say Le Pen's folks, or school kids.
      The target was expertly chosen. They have forced Hollande's hand, he must be firm in his response because of clamor from the right. The danger is to be pushed too far and do exactly what AQ wants. That is unfortunately in all probability what will be the result.

      I hope you get this posted on HuffPo or TruthDig and elsewhere so as many people as possible can understand what is behind all this and see some reason.

      The likely response however is either cowardice (blaming the cartoonists, and refusing to republish their cartoons) or the over-reactions of anger, hatred, intolerance, racism..

  • The Cruel Jest of American "Humanitarian Aid" to Iraq
    • Thank you for this concise and timely summary of the reality
      of Bush's war in Iraq. We need to remember this again and again, lest we slip once again into our easy delusion of being the perfect and chosen world saviors. If we are to have a chance of saving anyone at all, we must remember the cautionary tale of the horrible errors of our recent past.

      This does not at all mean that Obama is not doing what is correct right now, far from it. It just means that whatever help we can now give pales into insignificance compared to the overall horrors resulting from what are undoubtedly the worst foreign policy choices of US history.

      Actually, everyone of us who was paying attention at the time knew Bush in general, and the Iraq invasion in particular, would be a total disaster. This last includes the vast majority of the State Dept, CIA, and high-ranking military at the time, as well as of course all academic experts who actually knew something (excepting the handful of ideological idiots known as neocons). And so we watched that disaster unfold from 2000 until the present moment, unable to stop it or alter its course in any way, helplessly watching a tragedy in the making..... It would all be an unbelievable joke if it weren't for the enormous cost in human suffering caused by this madness.

      How could any human being choose the insane radicalism of IS or Hamas instead of a Ghandi-like enlightened way? Well, perhaps, simply set as good an example of insanity as we did, then remove all hope and next drive ordinary people to desperation. The watch as their own latent psychosis is amplified beyond measure.

      We now see the results, as the after-waves from the earthquake and tsunami we started
      extend out into the unforseeable future.

      Juan, you didn't even bother to mention some of the further costs: the continuing tragedies of the cancers and birth defects caused by the DU in Fallujah, documented at the time in Rolling Stone and ignored since then by the media; the contribution to global warming by the immense amount of fuel and resources consumed, by all sides, including by oil field fires; (no one has even attempted to guess at this as far as I know); the additional cost in lost opportunity by not spending these vanished trillions instead on green energy or infrastucture/education/health projects (ditto).

      Bush et al screwed the entire planet royally. Their crimes have never been adequately addressed, thanks to Obama's "let's look to the future" cowardly and imbecilic absurdity. Nevertheless, this Prez is infinitely better than Bush, and just now is doing something which must be done. Of course, ironically this in part involves just destroying our own weapons left there by himself, but to do nothing now would certainly be worse. Maybe it takes courage to actually do something right after such a history of wrongs...

  • Top Ten Most Distasteful things about Romney Trip to Israel
    • Thank you, Juan!
      I will link to this post at HuffPo and other sites and hope it gets widely read.

      What Adelson and Romney are doing skirts close to treason and should be condemned in no uncertain terms.

  • Legalize Pot, Save Public Education, and end Student Indebtedness
    • A great post. Probably it will never happen-as it makes far too much sense. In fact though there are some problems which are very difficult to solve (global warming; religious wars;
      starvation, disease...) there are so many cases where an obvious remedy would help so much, but because of corruption
      (the insidious influence of money) will likely never get implemented.

      Pot is not so great for you- otherwise there wouldn't be so many people (like myself) who once smoked but now want nothing to do with it. But put somebody in jail? It is just so ridiculous ....

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