Recent Comments

  • What the Civil Rights Movement can teach us about Resistance in Age of Trump (2)
    • Think about how much work was done to organize every aspect of life in America's early days to support White supremacy. Think about how every institution that molded thought was on the same page. Think about how much work it took the ordinary poor White racist to follow his path of self-aggrandizement. He HAD to believe the ideology, the myths, the superstitions, the taboos, he had to spend a lot of time learning them and a lot of work enforcing them. All of that to overcome the stark words sitting at the front of the Declaration of Independence, "All Men are Created Equal, with Certain Inalienable Rights."

      Doesn't it seem that it's all much easier now? You don't have to believe race codes or the Sons of Ham crap or the convolutions of States' Rights legality, if you want to justify police butchering Blacks left and right. Or immigration restrictions that our racist ancestors would have considered excessive and unenforceable. Or blatant attempts to restore Jim Crow. If it's to your advantage, you find a way to justify it without the slightest guilt because your life consists only of accumulation, not principle.

      It's easy now. If it makes you feel good, the free market provides. In our case, it provides far-right think tanks that make up press releases which you then half-understand from Fox News or Breitbart or your buddy's Twitter. The mainstream media and the gun magazines feed you endless and unrepresentative anecdotes about crime which you easily code for color. The bigot of our time no longer openly and honestly proclaims White supremacy - but he's fed by certain media markets a lifetime supply of lies whose consequences are exactly that.

      I've wondered if public schools teaching our kids any of the truth about the crimes our ancestors committed to make us rich and powerful really has the intended effect. If the kids are fed the glorification of greed and self-service around the clock outside of school, won't they just conclude - "If those crimes worked, they were worth it."

  • It's Class Warfare, Stupid. The GOP crusade against Health Care (22)
    • There's actually more of a prefunctory ad hominem dismissal usually given when the concept is voiced, since its history is a bit pink.

      The phrase is also often appropriated by the Right preemptively, whenever they make a move like this one on healthcare. Its like how Israel has learned to scream as loudly as possible about the Palestinians, at the moment the Israelis instigate new violence. The first thing a pickpocket does when you catch his hand is to start screaming about how you're assaulting him.

      So, whatever else one might day about this administration, one should also add "incompetent", for failing to deploy the indicated invective, as they have in the past.

  • Can you stop House from selling out your online Privacy, as Senate Just Did? (6)
    • I use a VPN and it doesn't slow down things at all. I recommend the practice to everyone, all the time.

    • I never understood why Comcast demanded my Social Security number before they would sell me cable.

    • I'm not a technical expert, but my understanding is that a VPN can help, but one needs to be sure not to use the ISP's DNS, and to plug any DNS leaks. Also, unless you can set up your own VPN, you end up trusting whatever VPN you use, and you may compromise speed. I'm told that TOR is good for activists and journalists and others with serious need for privacy, but even it isn't perfect, and does slow things a lot. Perhaps user-friendly solutions will come to market. CBS news reported on a router that is marketed by a European firm that purports to help with this.

  • True, Trump hasn't Criticized Putin for Navalny Arrest; but Navalny is more like Trump (5)
    • One of the first things Trump did after winning was create an imbroglio over Taiwan and China. He appointed an ambassador to Israel who favors Israeli settlements in the West Bank and is very pro-Netanyahu, he has increased US involvement in Syria, he has shown his disdain for NATO, has never once criticized Putin, had the Republican platform changed to remove language opposing Russian annexation of Crimea, and you think he just doesn't pay attention to Russian internal politics?

  • After Trump Massacres in Mosul, Campaign against ISIL Halted (14)
  • True, Trump hasn't Criticized Putin for Navalny Arrest; but Navalny is more like Trump (5)
    • Trump doesn't dare tempt Putin to drip-drip further hints and evidence of secret Trump-Russian dealings, and Putin, as the extortionist, has the challenge of not demanding too much too soon of Trump because of the risk of exposing the game before he gets more of what he really wants such as lifting of sanctions.

  • Mosul: ISIL Scorched Earth Tactics put Civilians in Crossfire (1)
    • The endless horrors that go along with the misguided war and regime change policies the US is forcing on so many in the ME?

  • What the Civil Rights Movement can teach us about Resistance in Age of Trump (2)
  • True, Trump hasn't Criticized Putin for Navalny Arrest; but Navalny is more like Trump (5)
    • To be fair, there is also 'welcome,' reserved for occasions when countries like Afghanistan or Iraq manage to cobble together a government.

    • ...there is no particular point in demanding that Trump swing around and blindly support Navalny just because he isn’t Putin. Not least perhaps because that sort of thing is what Putin is accused of doing in the US and elsewhere. Does Trump's silence really signal double standards? He may simply be disinterested in Russia's internal politics and consider that whether Medvedev and others are corrupt is not an issue on which the President of the US need have a public opinion since it is of no advantage or disadvantage to the US one way or another. Statements from the DOS seem picked out of a list from 'strongly condemn', through just 'condemn', and 'be concerned', on to 'find unhelpful'. Doubtless the same box which has other things like 'expressing condolences', 'thoughts (or prayers) going out', and 'praying for victims'. I once started to count the occurrence of these in one Press Briefing as the questions swept around the world but gave up when it got well passed twenty.

  • After Trump Massacres in Mosul, Campaign against ISIL Halted (14)
  • True, Trump hasn't Criticized Putin for Navalny Arrest; but Navalny is more like Trump (5)
  • After Trump Massacres in Mosul, Campaign against ISIL Halted (14)
    • Aleppo = wanton murder of civilians ans destruction of schools and hospitals.

      Mosul - liberation

    • You are so right. Again and again, in an almost Newtonion Third Law manner, US actions result in a contrary reaction. The Brexit vote might very well have gone the other way but for Obama's arrogant threat to put the UK at the back of the queue for trade negotion. in Russian demonstrations on Sunday Alexei Navalny the opposition leader was arrested and the US government has called for his immediate release. Putin has a high popularity rating, not only in Russia, and such interference in Russian political life only hardens anti-American attitudes, making it more likely he will be re-elected next year

  • Given Trump's Betrayal, Can we Crowdfund American Aid and Soft Power Abroad? (2)
    • I think there are too many smart people, with too many good ideas to stand by and remain complacent when political changes threaten the lifeline of USG cash. I only pray that the ones who prevail think like David. I guess it's time for those of us who have made tidy livings in the business of development to face the challenge to our own integrity. How many of us have bitterly, but quietly, criticized the system from within, while being too busy writing the next proposal for funding and too afraid lest we break the spigot from which the money flows, to consider an alternative reality with no room for error, and no safety net of 'the way things get done'?

  • Video of Day: Kitten tempted by Iran New Year Goldfish (1)
    • My cat does the same thing, but with a glass of water. Reaches up, and dunks his paw...

      Cute little things. :)

  • After Trump Massacres in Mosul, Campaign against ISIL Halted (14)
    • Outstanding! Excellent tactical and strategic approach, Donald. Get General Ripper on the phone while you're at it. Yeah, what a great military thinker. You're just a regular Clausewitz.

    • When our own allies are demanding an end to the strikes, they must be pretty bad.

    • there is no good war. there is no ok war. there is no just war. leave these people alone finally.

    • In between falling bombs, suiciders and their various explosives. al qaeda and their oscar winning performances all massacres in Mosul are daesh’s massacres. Trump’s and our shameless war crimes are Yemen.

  • Can you stop House from selling out your online Privacy, as Senate Just Did? (6)
  • It's Class Warfare, Stupid. The GOP crusade against Health Care (22)
    • As a realist, then I know you must want to put things in perspective as you try to do here. While I agree with many of the criticisms of Clinton and Obama, their foreign policies need to be highlighted in contrast to that of Republicans. Under Clinton the only real intervention was in Bosnia, which was to aid Muslims, and cost not one American life to combat and had very few civilian casualties. While drone strikes have been heavily criticized, they basically stopped the last year of the Obama presidency. Additionally, the last report of civilian casualties due to drone strikes, as I recall, was around 700 by several NGO's such as Amnesty International. Compare that with over 100,000 Iraqis under Bush.

  • Grassroots Resistance forces Republicans to Postpone Health Care Vote (5)
    • Why is it every single decision made by the extreme far right GOP Congress and this maladministration favor those who least need taxpayer dollar largess to the detriment of the poor, disabled and aging? Are all Republicans greedy, selfish, mean-spirited •••holes?

      Hopefully, not. But unfortunately, without a great awakening among those who claim to be Republicans, the gobbling of all wealth and authority will continue hand-over-fist at a much accelerated rate.

  • Daesh/ISIL encouraging Loner attacks to Mask its Death Spiral (16)
    • The intention of these acts, at least when nominally controlled and not the byproduct of some Loser acting-out, is to provoke over-reaction. Not recognizing this particular instance, for example, for what it actually was: hardly even an act of criminality, much less one of genuine 'terrorism'.

      Where such provocations to The System ultimately lead, however, is to the people being constantly on edge, fearful of a guy who uses one too many plastic spoons down at the Burger King. And that's about where we now find ourselves.

  • A distracted Trump administration Couldn't even focus on its own anti-ISIL summit. (2)
  • It's Class Warfare, Stupid. The GOP crusade against Health Care (22)
    • Very insightful. Seems to me this issue is so much more directly important to peoples lives that it easier to track and perceive the underlying realities.

      How things are handled and resolved becomes more telling about Americas fate as a nation than relatively abstract issues, like how ISIS is dealt with.

      Of course, in both cases the question is what the country and its citizenry stand for.

  • After Trump Massacres in Mosul, Campaign against ISIL Halted (14)
    • It is remarkable that the “Syrian regime” was often blamed for all the atrocities that occurred in Syria, while in Iraq it is always the ISIS which uses people as human shields that results in casualties. According to New York Times, US officials admit that scores [not hundreds] had been killed as the result of recent strikes, “But the deaths occurred a few days after the strikes, they said, when a targeted building fell. They are trying to determine whether the collapse was caused by the strikes — or perhaps by an ISIS bomb.” Quite remarkable!
      There was very little reporting of the casualties in the British press and even when there was they referred to “dozens of casualties”. We should have the moral courage to condemn both atrocities equally and, above all, to try to put an end to the senseless carnage in both countries.

  • It's Class Warfare, Stupid. The GOP crusade against Health Care (22)
  • After Trump Massacres in Mosul, Campaign against ISIL Halted (14)
    • This is reprehensible, to say the least. The US and it 's allies keep making these "mistakes" and the results are always that hundreds of innocent civilians are killed, at funerals, weddings, homes, market places, anywhere people congregate, and there is always some feeble excuse that is not acceptable. Americans have to stop wondering why we are hated, and realize that these massacres could be the tool that extremists use, to recruit and retaliate. Millions of Muslims killed, millions injured, and millions homeless, results in anger, and no one can fault these people for feeling anger after seeing their families being wiped out, maimed and suffering. These are the reasons why we keep making enemies, our own stupid policies and actions. We should stop interfering in other nations, and stop bombing innocent civilians. If these were white Christian, we would not be bombing so carelessly, and besides, we seem to be only bombing Muslims nations non stop. People whine that Americans are targets of terrorism, but what are we doing to bring it upon ourselves?

  • Can you stop House from selling out your online Privacy, as Senate Just Did? (6)
    • I share the concern about ISP's invading privacy. This isn't the only area for concern. Congress has been using the Congressional Review Act to undo other last-minute regulations published by the Obama Administration. Why did Obama wait so long? If these regs had been put in place sooner, they would be harder to change. Of course, the Republicans are in charge now, and can make changes if they want to. Still, If these regs are good (and I think they are) why didn't Obama put them in place sooner? Why did Obama defer to the same powerful groups for most of his term, then leave with a few futile parting shots?

  • A distracted Trump administration Couldn't even focus on its own anti-ISIL summit. (2)
  • Can you stop House from selling out your online Privacy, as Senate Just Did? (6)
    • How much internet traffic is erotica? Last I heard, about a third. No one will want their choices to be known. How will erotica users (aka "most of us") respond to the lack of privacy? Will ISPs see a sudden drop in traffic?

  • After Trump Massacres in Mosul, Campaign against ISIL Halted (14)
    • A few months ago, pictures were broadcast around the world of the bombing victims of Aleppo but victims of Western bombing always remain as unnamed and faceless statistics.

    • Isn't this pretty much the way that every city has fallen in the re-take effort?

    • This kind of warfare cultivates a deadening level of casualness. Mediapart had a man in Mosul on March 14 and he filed a detailed report of 26 deaths, mostly members of a family sheltering in their home in the Mahatta quarter of Mosul. Apparently Daesh had installed a man on the roof with a heavy PKC machine gun which was holding up a squad of the 2nd Division of the Iraqi Special Forces. The Iraqis tried to dislodge him but he drove them away. They then called a strike and a F16 bomber appeared followed by two immense explosions. That house was destroyed and the neighbouring one left just a hole. Survivors were evacuated by the Iraqi forces. There's no time to bury his dead they were told by a colonel, Omar Ali. "My men are only 600 meters from the Al-Nuri mosque, where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed himself a Caliph!”. The colonel martèle cette distance comme un mantra. The following day they returned and found seven more dead, including a small girl, with two broken legs and a badly wounded head, crying for her mother.

      link to mediapart.fr

  • Dems Should be Careful about using Deep State to get at Trump (3)
    • Abandoning the "nation of laws, not men" in favor of endless "special circumstances" and new "existential threats" is a seductive process that received some significant correction with the exposure of COINTELPRO and the Church Commission which arose after the original McCarthy excesses (and the virtual deputization of the private sector with the black lists)..
      It's disturbing how little evidence has been presented in the face of what has become widely "self-evident" ... destroying the village to save it ... tossing the baby with the bathwater ..

      The sequelae of the current rush to judgment and suspension of due process (and the presumption of innocence) may well end up being "cure being worse than the disease" watershed ... it's certainly a all-consuming diversion from more immediate and tangible matters ... I'm very very disappointed and find myself dismissed for the mildest of dissents.

  • It's Class Warfare, Stupid. The GOP crusade against Health Care (22)
    • I think its less about racism and more about an Objectivist worldview, which brooks no redistribution by government, -or even public services other than law, pollcing, and the military. This and strict father morality has been heavily promoted by the right wing foundations, and I believe it is having an effect. Of course it is easy for racism to arise, as identifiable minorities that are seen as being less successful, must be intrinsically inferior, as social or environmental causes are almost completely discounted. I think this discounting of social and environmental determinations comes largely from the fear that admitting their existence would lead to demands to use government power to mitigate them.

      To me this seems consistent with the fact that many Trump supporters claim they are not racists, and are deeply resentful of the charge. They simply see a policy of rob from the poor and giving to the rich as a moral way of being.

  • In Erdogan's Turkey, an Artist is Jailed for Painting Reality (4)
  • The Russian Job: The Plot Thickens (27)
    • This is the way all such articles should be. I'm not being facetious. The prof was heavy on Russia for Crimea I thought on Scheer Intelligence. I'm glad, Manabort, you let your thoughts run on the long history. Russia's got some adept kleptocrats, but no one's taking Michael Hudson's wording seriously..."financial warfare." It can escalate and escalate and escalate...and our neocon press will say it's just "deals" under a liberalized economic milieu. But I think Hudson's right. Let it go unchecked too far (meddling in Ukraine as happened), and IMO somethin's gonna blow. The meddlers are egotistical out of their minds..."F the EU" eg. We should be reminded of this financial warfare over there frequently...after-wall-looting, Latvia, Hunter Biden on the board of that Ukrainian gas company Burisma. The press doesn't go back into it enough. The prof I'm sure has once or twice. Guess we can't expect him to review every time the subj comes up. A few words though I think would always be appropriate. This time Manabort's done it, so it's covered at Informed Comment.

    • It was hip to say they wanted to unseat him for a while. But that overlooks at least one thing...why Comey talked about the HRC investigation, but waited to talk about Trump's. That threw things out of kilter. It's strange I read no one speculating they changed their minds. link to juancole.com

  • Palestine slams Israeli Database Targeting Israelis Who Support Boycott (2)
  • The Russian Job: The Plot Thickens (27)
    • Sure, both Israel and Saudi Arabia have been known to influence U.S. elections. But no one has done so previously through such brazenly illegal means.

      And while I'm no fan of Netanyahu, Putin is clearly worse. While Trump seems to be in the pocket of both, willing to ignore the bloody international crimes of both expansionist militants.

  • It's Class Warfare, Stupid. The GOP crusade against Health Care (22)
    • "In fact the bill failed because it made the class warfare too transparent." It failed because the so called Freedom Caucus, aka Tea Party, Republicans didn't think it was draconian enough.

    • excellent piece.
      As I understand the process of obtaining the massive tax cuts for the very wealthy, there was a direct link to the repeal of Obamacare. Here goes: in order to be eligible to pass the Senate with a bare majority (instead of 60 votes, which would never happen) the loss in revenue from the tax cut has to be balanced by an equal cut in expenditures; this is called "reconciliation." That is where the cuts in Medicare and Obamacare came in. The total amount to be taken from the poorest and given to the richest (including Trump) was supposedly to be some $500 billion. This was Paul Ryan's scheme, which he dishonestly described as "healthcare." The details didn't really matter to him. Of course, they didn't matter to Trump either, his first priority was probably to humiliate the illegitimate Kenyan black man, and he would certainly have profited bigly from the tax cut. Ryan counted on the 7 years of Obama-hating propaganda to allow him to blow the plan past Congress on party lines.
      Whether it would have passed the Senate is anyone's guess, but the truly astonishing part of the story is that the reason it failed in the House was a substantial number of tea baggers for whom the massive taking from the poorest WAS NOT MASSIVE ENOUGH. i.e. they wanted essentially no health care for the poorest. Even eliminating maternal care, newborn care, and yearly physicals was not enough for them. By the time all that was cut out, the bill was totally bizarre and could not even pretend to be healthcare, even for the "moderate" GOP'ers in Congress.
      Fail.

  • In Erdogan's Turkey, an Artist is Jailed for Painting Reality (4)
    • Juan, do you know - I can't find any information on the subject: Is the artist, Zehra Doğan, related to the Doğan media family?

      Thanks!!

  • It's Class Warfare, Stupid. The GOP crusade against Health Care (22)
    • No plan along theses lines begins to touch the underlying problem of unrestrained, runaway health care costs due a monopolistic system, which cannot in this case be resisted, since we cannot really shop.

      The industry grumbles but makes do because of this reality. Its still business as usual for them under any such plan. Neoliberal economic doctrine falls on its face under theses circumstances, but its easy to understand and self-serving, so the GOP clings to it, even as the industry sucks the blood out of the overall economy.

      Healthcare has to be addressed by a single payer model or you'll get what we've got, going downhill, every time.

    • Yeah, what you wrote and he is black.

      Got it.

    • Professor Cole and with all due respect - The malevolent behavior of the current GOP is far more than a bank robbery, it is a full-blown slow-motion takeover of our country and everything associated on behalf of those few whose cynicism, h8 and avarice know no bounds.

      The devious extreme right-wing conspiracy which has INFESTED the GOP h8s anyone who does not funnel them MONEY$ or passion. Driven by naked racism and false prophecy, the agents of the “filthy rich” are more dangerous and unAmerican than any al Qaeda group who brings down buildings, the current GOP in concert with an illegitimate maladministration are in the process of IMPLODING OUR ENTIRE COUNTRY from the inside.

      Clearly describing these divisive acts against the people of our nation is vital and necessary but what to do about it is another issue altogether? The Romanov and Kennedy solutions must be ruled out, immediately. The resulting repression would incite and the order of succession is impossible.

      The current GOP by way of wide screen churches, peer group pressures and workplace bullying are dominating the educationally impoverished regions of the electorate which are also heavily gerrymandered and voter suppressed. This devious extreme right-wing conspiracy has also been very effective at a national level by promoting voter apathy through media both corporate-owned and the FAUXNews opinion-disguised-as-fact orifice.

      This GOP is now in the process of permitting a powerful foreign power to interfere with our national elections on their behalf which is tantamount to treason.

      Surely, there are actual loyal American Republicans out there who love and value the future of their country and are becoming aware they are being dangerously misled? If they remain duped, our country is in great peril and perhaps doomed?

    • For years we have heard from the GOP that we must protect the US from terrorists because they want to come into this country and kill people.

      On January 29 David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, two well-respected health policy experts, reported that 43,000 American would likely die annually with repeal of the ACA.

      Republicans were trying to do this ON PURPOSE. So please do tell me, where is the real terrorist threat coming from that genuinely threatens this country?

      The GOP has a morality as barren as are the sands of Libya - they are men of stone. When policy is proposed as willfully cruel and savage as what they had proposed it is time to call it out.

  • The Russian Job: The Plot Thickens (27)
    • "Putin's inner circle believe that Ukraine's Orange Revolution and its tilt toward the European Union was engineered by the CIA....."

      The leader of the Orange Revolution was Viktor Yuschenko, was to serve as Ukraine's president from 2005 to 2010. His wife, Kathy, is a Chicago-born U.S. citizen who had served as a U.S. State Department official and in various capacities during the Reagan administration. The speculation in Russia - albeit unproven - has been that she is a CIA operative and the actual force and influence behind her husband's political career.

      The Ukrainian-American community in the U.S. has had historically close ties to the Republican Party and has been anti-communist and anti-Moscow in orientation.

      There had been significant evidence that oligarch Boris Berezovsky had met with Yuschenko's representatives in London to provide assistance to his campaign for the presidency.

    • It is surprising that you, Dr. Cole, of all people would not recognize the neo-McCarthyism of the CNN and MSNBC anti-Russian hysteria and utterly reject it -- "Have you now, or ever been, associated with any Russian?".

  • Daesh/ISIL encouraging Loner attacks to Mask its Death Spiral (16)
  • It's Class Warfare, Stupid. The GOP crusade against Health Care (22)
    • I agree with you Don, I was not happy with much of what Obama did, but by the time '08 had come around I was so disillusioned that I figured if he just did one thing, to wit, health care, I would be satisfied, knowing full well that he would be no better in terms of foreign policy (most likely) than what we had been getting in this country, well, forever. Yes, the thousands who have died abroad from his policies and who will be impacted is very bad – nay savage, but after suffering through (in my lifetime) the lies of Johnson and Nixon, the folly of Ford, the cruelty and racism of Reagan and its continuation by Bush I (and his horrific bombing of Panama and the horrors of the Iraq War as it was conducted and carried out), after the turn right by Clinton and his overseeing the growth of the prison-industrial complex and his betrayal of decency in his implementation of welfare reform (talk about class warfare!), and then the sheer horror of the men of stone that was the Bush II administration, what is anyone’s realistic alternative?

      I was a realist, and the ACA has had a tangible impact on my family – my sister-in-law and her family (three children) who live on our farm depend on it. She is diabetic and has a daughter who suffers from severe asthma and depression, who would likely be dead without the ACA. My sister-in-law divorced after she found out her husband was molesting kids – she did the right thing by divorcing him because she wanted to protect her own kids, but she ended up having to sell her business and became impoverished in the process – I imagine this sort of thing happens over and over and over in this country, and is not an exceptional case. I hoped Obama could accomplish one big thing and he did, and he was relatively decent when it came to environmental issues too (though by no means perfect).

      I think the failure of this savage bill is a testament to the thousands who have taken to the streets, airports, and the town halls – my only fear is that this will ease, and I think we need to keep a lot of pressure on the oligarchs in congress, in the White House, and among our elite. I think this time it worked. Get in the street; be a body at a town hall; call, email, and write to your reps daily. Run for local office or help support progressives who will run. Do as Juan suggests and try to live as “green” as possible. We can do this because there are more of us than there are of them, and remember a majority did not vote for this in November.

      But in terms of demanding perfection, remember the brilliant Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, and Lincoln, an idiomatic genius if ever there was one in the presidency, presided over the bloodiest war in our nation’s history all the while presiding over continued genocide of the native population in the western United States. There is no perfection – all you can do is support those who can get something accomplished that will build on the common good, and call out policies that are venal, cruel, and not in keeping with the values that will make for an inclusive democratic society and livable planet.

      The Republicans are down at the moment. We need to be relentless in our kicking until they pack up their hedge funds and high-tail it to their offshore villas, and realize that their brainsick raptures of rolling everything from rights for women to Social Security have no place among us.

    • Thanks for bringing up the class issue.
      Funny but not funny- Marx wrote that "religion is the opium of the people" back in the 19th century.
      Today, many go straight to the opiates.

    • I think it was the night of the 2008 election and a panel at CNN was discussing the results. Some conservative said some nonsense about the Democrats using class warfare. David Gergen, hardly a radical and actually a moderate conservative, said something which you almost never hear on TV. A close paraphrase is that he said, That war is over and the rich won. People who criticise Obama from the left will almost certainly agree that we live in an oligarchy. Yet they seem to think that a progressive can assume office and completely turn around a system that has developed over 30 to 40 years. The ACA is basically a Republican plan. The reason the Republicans hated it is not because, as they said, that it wouldn't work, but because they knew it would since it already had in Massachusetts. The ACA wasn't just about providing health care, it was also about changing the paradigm established by Reagan that the government is the enemy and the free market is the solution. That belief is the cornerstone of the power of the elite and it's one reason the ACA is so important.

    • Gore Vidal nailed it years ago when he labeled the U.S. government as proto-fascist.

      The question now is, "When, if ever, will the American people wake up?"

    • Why was "repeal/replace Obamacare" the on the legislative agenda before tax reform? The $3B cuts to Medicaid were supposed to offset proposed tax cuts to the filthy rich.

    • Thank you Juan. You are one of the few to even mention the possibility of class warfare in the media (I know you are just a blogger, but we have to take what we can get in America).

      The control of the media by the powerful/wealthy is so airtight in the US that class warfare is very rarely even mentioned in the media. And when it is mentioned it is usually to deny it's existence.

    • I keep thinking the Republicans will all end up adorning poles along our city's ring roads, but, somehow the rubes keep reelecting them. The whole AHCA debate came down to "Can we just make it a little more evil?" Maybe if the Democrats keep growing that spine they are working on....

    • Juan says that Obama genuinely cares about people. Juan says

      President Obama genuinely cares about people, but for a professional politician who is a Democrat, the ACA had many advantages– helping constuencies that vote Democratic and underlining the usefulness of government.

      Did Obama have a genuine care for people when he tried to shove through TPP at the end of his term?

      Here is a look at where Obama was in 2006. A junior senator who had already for a year been in dialogue with Bob Rubin about how to help out the people who have been left behind by globalization. Obama spoke at the kickoff meeting of The Hamilton Project in 2006. Bob Rubin from Goldman Sachs and involvement with Clinton's movements away from the New Deal was the co founder of The Hamilton Project.

      Obama says that change will not be a bloodless process.

      Why was the junior senator from IL the only senator to attend this kickoff of a neo liberal foundation??? Was he elected or selected?? I don't know the answer to that question but the point is what Obama stood before being president as a key to how he acted as president.

      The video of the speech and a rhetorical, color coded analysis of the speech is in this post from 2013

      Obama at the Hamilton Project, 2006: “This is not a bloodless process.”

  • Daesh/ISIL encouraging Loner attacks to Mask its Death Spiral (16)
    • Yet, they've financed the some of most extremist groups in Syria and Iraq. That they continue to flood Syria with armaments gives rise to the environment where Daesh is able to take over large swaths of Syria, and terrorize the local population.

      Saudi Arabia has pursued policies that are inimical Syrians, itself, and the world at large.

  • It's Class Warfare, Stupid. The GOP crusade against Health Care (22)
    • An interesting viewpoint, Professor Cole.

      But also, you need to remember that the ACA--even with it's flaws--has given millions something they never had before: affordable health care and piece of mind. And yet it was difficult to pass it into law. Nonetheless, I'll give President Obama credit for realizing that the GOP would try to trash it after he left office--but would fail.

      Twelve years ago the GOP, under another Republican President, tried to monkey around with Social Security. That move failed, and for reasons similar to the failure of the AHCA--many people were comfortable and/or depended on SS and would fight tooth and nail to prevent any attempt to get rid of it or privatize it.

      And finally, I am glad Obamacare still lives--it saved my life two years ago and took care of covering the bills when I had to be hospitalized and treated for a severe illness. I shudder to think what would have happened had I not signed up with Obamacare.

  • In Erdogan's Turkey, an Artist is Jailed for Painting Reality (4)
  • It's Class Warfare, Stupid. The GOP crusade against Health Care (22)
  • Dems Should be Careful about using Deep State to get at Trump (3)
    • This is a seriously garbled and barely coherent post, one of the worst ever linked to here. HRC was indeed a flawed candidate, and probably the Russian hacking of the election was not responsible for her electoral college loss. However, she was almost certainly done in by the Deep State, if anything done by Comey and the FBI is to be described as that. While not saying a word about the fact that Trump and his team were under investigation by the FBI for their various links to Putin and various Russians, nine days before the election Comey publicly announced how more data on her emails had been found and was to be investigated. The day before he did this, she was so far ahead in the polls she was campaigning in places like Arizona and Utah rather than Wisconsin or Michigan. Not only was everybody assuming Dems would take the Senate, there was even speculation they might take the House. Once Comey made his public statement, for 8 days the only news was about his investigation, and the polls turned around. By the time he reported at the last minute that there was nothing new there to be found, well, oops, it was too late, and even a 2% win in the popular vote was not enough to win her the electoral college or give the Senate to the Dems. I am sorry, but this Ian Berman is not somebody worth linking to.

  • In Erdogan's Turkey, an Artist is Jailed for Painting Reality (4)
  • Dems Should be Careful about using Deep State to get at Trump (3)
    • Thank you for a nuanced statement of essential truths, few of which are receiving any attention from more than a few writers with access to more than a few readers. Please keep going.

  • How to Impeach an American President (2)
    • London bookies have been offering 2:1 odds that Trump will be impeached. After yesterday, my guess is the odds will move closer to 3:1. That will most certainly happen with a few more disclosures about Russian links.

  • Daesh/ISIL encouraging Loner attacks to Mask its Death Spiral (16)
    • I think it could be longer and more difficult than both Juan Cole and you suggest.

      I'm guessing the long thin swath of land on the map you looked at is the populous Euphrates valley. On one hand, Daesh's area of control is of course much wider, in particular to the south of the Euphrates; on the other hand, the Euphrates valley is what matters and it is where Daesh forces and fortifications are massed.

      Over the past three months, the Kurds have slowly conquered the villages and deserts to the north of the Euphrates, and in the last week or two, finally the north bank of the river to the east of Raqqa. But Raqqa itself, which is surrounded by a more densely populated area in which the Kurds think Daesh built rings of defenses (that bulge you saw on the map), will mean less easy advance.

      Furthermore, Juan Cole didn't mention another major city to the east: Deir Ezzor, which is partly government-controlled but government forces are besieged and keep losing area. The Kurds are still more than 50 km from Deir Ezzor and don't move for it, while Assad's forces and Russian ground forces are still over 150 km away near Palmyra (and needed two months to regain Palmyra after losing it to a surprise Daesh assault in a few days).

      All in all, I wouldn't be surprised if crushing Daesh as a state will take another 12 months.

  • Grassroots Resistance forces Republicans to Postpone Health Care Vote (5)
    • The bill FAILED on Friday causing Ryan to escape from WDC in embarrassment and trump to be extremely angry at Ryan, his son-in-law, democrats, Americans and everyone else on earth.

      The emperor does not like being told "NO."

  • How to Impeach an American President (2)
    • One slight quibble . . .

      The Constitution writers deliberately made the grounds for impeachment very vague with the intention that if the president angered enough congress persons and senators, they could simply remove him for being a jerk. No real crimes need to be proven.

      So in reality, if 218 congress people and if 67 senators don't like the president, then the president is simply thrown out on his ear REGARDLESS whether any real crime was committed.

      BUT . . . as the TV person noted, right now, trump has not yet angered enough republicans and even if a substantial number of republicans, but less than 218/67, become convinced that trump has to go, the democrats may decide that it is strategically better to let a deeply wounded trump remain in office instead of dealing with Pence, knowing that trump's ego will not allow him to simply resign and leave the rotten mess for Pence to regret ever running for VP.

      The next four years will be fun to watch now that my healthcare and SSA are less in danger.

  • Palestine slams Israeli Database Targeting Israelis Who Support Boycott (2)
  • The Russian Job: The Plot Thickens (27)
    • Please hit return once more between paragraphs. Your info-rich piece is visually very hard to read.

    • Why is there nothing in the news about the dailykos report about Seth Abramson's conjecture that Trump and associates were just doing a money deal and happened to win the presidency?

    • As I understand it, if an American politician takes a $10 million campaign donation from a foreigner, he's in deep trouble, and if it's the foreign government making the contribution, that's even a bigger problem. With the Russians, there's no distinct line between the oligarchs and Putin's government.

      If an American politician receives $5 million of behind the scenes campaign help, that too is a big deal. Trump has too many Russian ties and too many ties to Eastern European banks not to dig into this further. There's a high probability that the investigations will go on, unless Republicans block them.

      The big problem is that the Russians appear to have done some things that were too sophisticated to pull off without American help. Some of that has already been hinted at in the news. There's a high probability we're going to learn more.

  • Did Trump loosen Rules? Charges that US Airstrikes Kill 230 Iraqi Civilians in Mosul (2)
    • The extemist group ISIL must meet with the Western U.S.-led coalition and Russia. The group is responsible for untold barbarism across the Middle East, Africa, France, Belgium and the U.S., yet it merits only the curses of those countries of the world that are able to place them in a reprehensible historical slot .

  • Daesh/ISIL encouraging Loner attacks to Mask its Death Spiral (16)
    • If I got shot by a terrorist, I wouldn't be angry. I would just say to myself, "it's like being hit by a truck. Had to happen sometime!" And if I got hit by a terrorist with a truck, then what's the difference.

  • The Russian Job: The Plot Thickens (27)
    • Have you considered the possibility that the Trump-Putin alliance was not meant to bring peace, but like the Hitler-Stalin detente of another age, was meant to facilitate the launching of major wars by both countries?

  • Grassroots Resistance forces Republicans to Postpone Health Care Vote (5)
  • Top 5 Lessons Saudi should learn from its Failed Yemen War (3)
    • The fundamental problem is that Saudi Arabia, due to the nature of its monarchial dictatorship, cannot “endorse more participatory politics in the region [nor the] proliferation of regional states genuinely committed to foreign policy independence….This is why, when US forces invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam in 2003, Saudi Arabia played a critical role in funding and organizing Sunni insurgents there, in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to forestall a more representative political order which Iraq’s Shia majority would inevitably dominate [and over which Iran would exert influence]. This is also why Riyadh viewed the outbreak of the Arab Awakening in late 2010—which Tehran welcomed—as a mortal threat. [Accordingly,] The Saudi response has been: to undermine Sunni movements, like the Muslim Brotherhood, prepared to compete for power in elections; to build up violent jihadi groups, including groups that have aligned with al-Qaida and coalesced into the Islamic State, as alternatives to the Brotherhood; and to co-opt popular demands for reform by coercively intervening—including through jihadi proxies—in Libya, Syria, and…Yemen, with disastrous humanitarian and political consequences.” link to detailedpoliticalquizzes.wordpress.com

  • Daesh/ISIL encouraging Loner attacks to Mask its Death Spiral (16)
    • Lots of truth in your post. If war is politics by other means then 'terrorism' is a tactic of desperation, occasionally effective in the past, but by nature and circumstances more often used counterproductively.

      People like this being empowered as lone-wolves are totally counterproductive in terms of Daesh's cause, except perhaps in the longer term, for the overreaction they predictably provoke.

      Hence, Daesh eventually dies. But the underlying problems persist, and the contradictions that pervade society become even sharper through establishment overreaction. Daesh may be finished, but this game only ends with a legitimate organic peace or a negotiated equilibrium (for as long as it holds).

    • Yeah, Nicholas, with all due respect the Pentagon was attacked on 9/11, not just some pedestrians and tourists.

    • the Saudi royal family is not supporting Daesh! Daesh talks dirty about them and pledges to overthrow them.

  • Corporatocracy: Al Franken shows Gorsuch Cold-Hearted toward Freezing Trucker (5)
    • Not only that, but the other judges ruled differently from Gorsuch. They were also interested in the meaning of the law.

  • Given Trump's Betrayal, Can we Crowdfund American Aid and Soft Power Abroad? (2)
    • Holdrige challenges the status quo like few others. He lays bare the compromise and indicates a path forward. Let's hear more from his platform.

  • Daesh/ISIL encouraging Loner attacks to Mask its Death Spiral (16)
    • The use of terrorism by a political movement is a sign of weakness, not power. And lack of success inevitably leads to adherents falling away. Because Daesh/ISIS/ISIL is led by delusional radical ideologues, they have made fatal mistakes. Grabbing large swaths of territory without popular support was one of them. As you say, their best hope is foolish policies by their opponents. Unfortunately, many are ready to provide those foolish policies. In a way, it comes down to who is stupider and who is stupid more often.

  • Did Trump loosen Rules? Charges that US Airstrikes Kill 230 Iraqi Civilians in Mosul (2)
    • Merely another campaign promise fulfilled. Besides, those innocents killed, maimed and hopelessly trapped are brown-skinned Muslims, malPOTUS favorite prey.

      link to huffingtonpost.com

      With malPOTUS it’s all about winning, never mind destroying a few countries in the process.

  • Corporatocracy: Al Franken shows Gorsuch Cold-Hearted toward Freezing Trucker (5)
    • Legally correct? The law said he should die? The law says that property is more important than life? If laws do not have a moral component, what is the point of law then? Oppression.

  • Daesh/ISIL encouraging Loner attacks to Mask its Death Spiral (16)
    • Regarding Daesh's potential longevity, would you please address the question of support, if any, they receive from ME elites, particularly the Saudis, and whether that will continue?

  • The Russian Job: The Plot Thickens (27)
  • Daesh/ISIL encouraging Loner attacks to Mask its Death Spiral (16)
    • As more information is provided about the deranged man who carried out the carnage in London on Wednesday it becomes clear that he was just a common criminal with a violent past before he allegedly converted to Islam and changed his name from Adrian Russell to Khalid Masood. It is tempting to shout “Islamic terrorism” anytime an outrageous act is carried out by anyone with some connection with Islam. As a friend of mine Simon Jenkins pointed out in an interview with the BBC Newsnight, giving so much publicity to such atrocities only aids the terrorists. He says such actions should be treated as crimes, which is what they are, and not to dignify them by calling them something else:
      link to mirror.co.uk
      Here is all we know about him so far:
      link to telegraph.co.uk

  • Grassroots Resistance forces Republicans to Postpone Health Care Vote (5)
  • Daesh/ISIL encouraging Loner attacks to Mask its Death Spiral (16)
    • ISIS is just a cancerous tumor of Islam. When it has been excised, it will never grow back again. Because Islam is the religion of peace.

  • Top 5 Lessons Saudi should learn from its Failed Yemen War (3)
  • Grassroots Resistance forces Republicans to Postpone Health Care Vote (5)
  • Daesh/ISIL encouraging Loner attacks to Mask its Death Spiral (16)
    • You make the obvious point of their inevitable decline, but then you seque into their Long Game.....

      It may the end of Daesh as we know it, but the conditions that bred them are not receding, and as certainly as those like Trump persist so shall they. This is the Human Condition.

      Into small ineffective cells; perhaps being rebranded. But also consider how very much a bete noire is needed in this world. If they totally disappeared tomorrow a casting call would immediately go out for the next arch villain, to focus the peoples fears and empower ambitious politicians. I'm just wondering whether it will be The Joker, or perhaps a reinvented, 'existential' Iranian threat.