person:nancy pelosi

  • Coming From Inside the House
    https://jacobinmag.com/2018/11/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-nancy-pelosi-green-new-deal-amazon-queens


    On a besoin de beaucoup de femmes comme elle.

    The Left has raised questions about how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will conduct herself in office. By attending a protest in Nancy Pelosi’s office and coming out strong against Amazon in New York City, she’s off to a strong start.

    Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) -
    http://www.dsausa.org

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez

    #USA #politique #femmes


  • Nancy Pelosi and Israel: Just how hawkish is the likely next speaker of the house? - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    Plus pro-israélien, on ne peut pas imaginer ! la probable future présidente de la chambre des représentants

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/nancy-pelosi-and-israel-why-the-house-s-pro-israel-stance-is-unlikely-to-ch

    Pelosi has also held staunchly pro-Israel views that have at times even out flanked the GOP from the right.
    In 2005, while addressing AIPAC, Pelosi had waxed poetic about her personal experiences in Israel and how they shaped her views: “This spring, I was in Israel as part of a congressional trip that also took us to Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. One of the most powerful experiences was taking a helicopter toward Gaza, over the path of the security fence. We set down in a field that belonged to a local kibbutz. It was a cool but sunny day, and the field was starting to bloom with mustard. Mustard is a crop that grows in California, and it felt at that moment as if I were home.”
    Pelosi, who was the 52nd Speaker of the House, previously served from 2007 to 2011 in the position which coincided with the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza war known as Operation Cast Lead. In 2009, Pelosi sponsored a resolution that passed the House by a 390-5 majority blaming the Palestinian side for the violence and reaffirming U.S. support for Israel and a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    The resolution quoted then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who said in 2008, “We strongly condemn the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and hold Hamas responsible for breaking the cease-fire and for the renewal of violence there.”
    Stephen Zunes, author and professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco, pointed out at the time that the language in the House decision was even to the right of the Bush administration, which supported the UN Security Council resolution condemning “all acts of violence and terror directed against civilians” - the congressional resolution only condemns the violence and terror of Hamas.
    Pelosi’s resolution also called for “the immediate release of the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been illegally held in Gaza since June 2006.”
    The Shalit kidnapping was a personal issue for Pelosi, who in 2008, while meeting with then Israeli Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik, held up dog tags of three Israeli soldiers kidnapped in 2006.  Two of them belonged to Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, whose bodies were repatriated to Israel earlier that year. The third belonged to Gilad Shalit, who at the time was still believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza. Shalit was famously freed in 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange deal.
    Pelosi said she kept them as a “symbol of the sacrifices made, sacrifices far too great by the people of the state of Israel.”
    However, she hasn’t always been been on the right side of the pro-Israel divide. In 2014 Pelosi was criticized for suggesting Hamas is a humanitarian organization. On CNN she said, “And we have to confer with the Qataris, who have told me over and over again that Hamas is a humanitarian organization.” The host of the segment Candy Crowley then interrupted her to ask, “The U.S. thinks they’re a terrorist organization though, correct? Do you?” Pelosi responded with, “Mmm hmm.”
    After receiving a lashing from the likes of Megyn Kelly on Fox News and The Republican Jewish Coalition Matthew Brook, Pelosi’s office released a statement, “As Leader Pelosi reiterated in her CNN interview, Hamas is a terrorist organization.”
    Pelosi was also a vocal critic of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress denouncing then-President Obama’s nuclear deal, which she supported.
    After the speech she released a very harshly worded condemnation saying, “That is why, as one who values the U.S. – Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the prime minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.”
    Pelosi, who was endorsed this week by J Street in her bid for speaker, addressed the 2017 AIPAC Policy Conference by reading a J Street-backed letter, which was signed by 191 members of Congress, mostly Democrats, urging U.S. President Donald Trump to support a two-state solution.
    “As strong supporters of Israel, we write to urge you to reaffirm the United States’ long-standing, bipartisan commitment to supporting a just and lasting two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Pelosi said.
    “It is our belief that a one-state outcome risks destroying Israel’s Jewish and democratic character, denies the Palestinians fulfillment of their legitimate aspirations, and would leave both Israelis and Palestinians embroiled in an endless and intractable conflict for generations to come,” she continued.
    Pelosi, at 78, represents the Democratic establishment’s traditional position on Israel, coupling unwavering support for Israeli defense and the two-state solution for peace between Israel and Palestinians, a bipartisan position that courts both AIPAC and J Street and doesn’t diverge too far from that of centrist Republicans. Unlike some new members of her caucus who criticize Israel for “occupying” the West Bank or for human rights abuses, Pelosi reservers her criticism only for Israeli leaders or policies she disagrees with, most prominently Netanyahu.



  • A Toronto, Michael Moore célèbre la résistance à Donald Trump
    https://www.lemonde.fr/cinema/article/2018/09/07/a-toronto-michael-moore-celebre-la-resistance-a-trump_5351563_3476.html

    Le réalisateur a présenté « Fahrenheit 11/9 », brûlot politique qui assimile le président américain à Adolf Hitler.

    https://youtu.be/7oG4tWM4MQU

    Il n’y a pas de raison pour que le Festival de Toronto, dont la 43e édition a commencé le 6 septembre, se distingue du reste de l’Amérique du Nord – et du monde. Donald Trump règne en maître absolu sur les ­conversations, et pour l’une des soirées d’ouverture – celle de la section documentaire – sur l’écran.

    Michael Moore a présenté ­Fahrenheit 11/9 (le 9 novembre 2016, les médias américains ont admis la victoire de Donald Trump sur Hillary Clinton), ­un pamphlet colérique, sincère et roublard, divaguant et provocant – un retour à la manière de son plus grand succès, Fahrenheit 9/11.

    Le film de Michael Moore est à l’avant-garde d’une série de films politiques américains, documentaires ou fictions attendus au long du festival. Dans la première catégorie, on trouve les films de deux autres grandes figures du genre, que tout – méthode, style et inclinations politiques – oppose : Frederick Wiseman a filmé une petite ville au milieu des « flyover states » (les Etats qu’on ne fait que survoler) dans Monrovia, Indiana, pendant qu’Errol Morris a tenté de comprendre l’ancien conseiller du locataire de la Maison Blanche Steve Bannon dans American Dharma, déjà présenté à Venise. Les dirigeants du festival se demandent si le politicien d’extrême droite s’invitera à Toronto comme il l’a fait sur le Lido, ce qui pourrait provoquer quelque ­agitation dans une ville plutôt à gauche.

    Côté fiction, on a déjà vu ­Monsters and Men, de Renaldo Marcus Green, qui examine en un récit éclaté les conséquences de la mort d’un ancien combattant afro-américain tué par la police de New York et l’on attend, entre autres The Frontrunner, de Jason Reitman, dans lequel Hugh Jackman incarne Gary Hart, candidat démocrate à la Maison Blanche en 1988, défait par un scandale sexuel.

    Obsession de Trump pour sa fille

    De sexe, il en est question dans Fahrenheit 11/9, car Michael Moore fait sienne la fameuse phrase de Malcolm X : « Par tous les moyens nécessaires ».

    Dans la brillante série de montages qui ouvre son film, il aligne les interviews agressives d’Hillary Clinton par des journalistes mâles en superposant à l’image les accusations d’agressions sexuelles dont ces censeurs – Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Bill O’Reilly… – ont fait l’objet. Un peu plus loin, la succession d’images fixes ou animées ressassant l’obsession du président des Etats-Unis pour sa fille Ivanka.

    Après avoir établi sommairement et vigoureusement les raisons de la défaite d’Hillary Clinton (au premier rang desquelles l’hubris de ses partisans, dont on voit les plus célèbres, de Nancy Pelosi à Jay Z, annoncer son inévitable victoire) et celles pour lesquelles son concurrent n’aurait jamais dû mettre les pieds dans le bureau Ovale, Michael Moore prend la tangente. Il ne s’agit plus de dépeindre les turpitudes de Donald Trump ou les carences de l’appareil démocrate, mais de fouiller dans le terreau sur lesquels ces plantes se sont épanouies.

    COMME IL AIME À LE FAIRE, MICHAEL MOORE RETOURNE CHEZ LUI, À FLINT, MICHIGAN

    Comme il aime à le faire, le réalisateur retourne chez lui, à Flint, Michigan. La ville ravagée par la désindustrialisation de Roger et moi (1989) est devenue un enfer pour ses habitants, dont les enfants ont été condamnés à boire de l’eau empoisonnée, dont les bâtiments abandonnés sont devenus des cibles pour l’artillerie de l’US Army qui s’entraîne là au combat de rue.

    Chacun décidera si Michael Moore force le trait ou s’il se contente d’exprimer en termes simples des situations dont les hommes politiques aiment à dire qu’elles sont compliquées. C’est ce que fait un représentant républicain à la chambre de ­Floride, lorsque l’un des étudiants du lycée de Parkland, ravagé par l’irruption d’un tueur armé d’un fusil d’assaut, l’interroge sur sa position quant à la vente libre de ces armes. Il était inévitable que le réalisateur de Bowling for ­Columbine passe par le lycée ­Marjorie Stoneman et célèbre ses élèves militants. Car cette deuxième partie de Fahrenheit 11/9 prend la forme d’un tour des Etats-Unis de la résistance. En présentant son film, Michael Moore a revendiqué le terme, l’associant explicitement à la résistance en France sous l’occupation nazie.

    Montagnes russes militantes

    On a mieux compris cette assimilation en découvrant la troisième partie de son documentaire : elle compare systématiquement les Etats-Unis à l’Allemagne de Weimar et Donald Trump à Adolf Hitler. Le renfort d’historiens, d’un ancien magistrat au tribunal de Nuremberg ne suffit pas à muer cette comparaison en raison. A la fin de la projection, il suffisait de voir Michael Moore, entouré de lycéens de Parkland et de militants de Flint pour comprendre qu’il ne s’agit plus seulement de cinéma mais d’urgence politique, d’intervenir avant qu’il ne soit trop tard.

    Il revenait à l’esprit l’un des ­innombrables faits énoncés ­pendant ces deux heures de montagnes russes militantes : depuis 1992, les démocrates ont remporté le vote populaire dans toutes les élections présidentielles, sauf en 2004. Quatre mois avant ce dernier scrutin, sortait le plus grand succès de Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 9/11.


  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Historic Win and the Future of the Democratic Party | The New Yorker
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/07/23/alexandria-ocasio-cortezs-historic-win-and-the-future-of-the-democratic-p

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is twenty-eight. She was born in the Parkchester neighborhood of the Bronx and lives there now, in a modest one-bedroom apartment. Parkchester was originally a planned community conceived by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and was for decades segregated, predominantly Irish and Italian. Today, it’s largely African-American, Hispanic, and South Asian. Ocasio-Cortez comes from a Puerto Rican family in which the parents’ self-sacrifice has been rewarded by their daughter’s earnest striving, and, now, a historic achievement. Come November, Ocasio-Cortez is almost certain to become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. As recently as ten months ago, she was waiting tables at a taco place near Union Square called Flats Fix. On June 26th, she pulled off a political upset in the Democratic primary for the Fourteenth Congressional District, soundly defeating the incumbent, Joseph Crowley, the most powerful politician in Queens County and the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.

    We sat down at a table near the window. She allowed that she was getting worn down. “You’re speaking to me when I am still emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, and logistically processing all of this,” she said. “The whole thing’s got me knocked a little flat.”

    With good reason. Not long ago, Ocasio-Cortez was mixing margaritas. Today, she is the embodiment of anti-corporate politics and a surge of female candidates in the midterm elections. “It’s a lot to carry,” she said. As a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, she was on the receiving end of Murdoch-media hysteria. The Post greeted her win with the headline “RED ALERT.” Sean Hannity pronounced her “downright scary.” And Ben Shapiro called her a member of the “howling at the moon” segment of the Democratic Party. On the anti-Trump right, Bret Stephens wrote in the Times that “Hugo Chávez was also a democratic socialist,” and warned that, in a national election, the likes of Ocasio-Cortez will be “political hemlock for the Democratic Party.” None of it seemed exactly real. When I asked her where she was going to live in D.C., her eyes widened in surprise, as if it had not occurred to her that she would no longer be spending most of her time in the Bronx. “Not a clue,” she said.

    One of her most effective strokes was a two-minute-long video, the creation of Naomi Burton and Nick Hayes, D.S.A. activists from Detroit, who started Means of Production, a media-production company, and set out looking for working-class-oriented campaigns. They learned about Ocasio-Cortez on Facebook and sent her a direct message on Twitter. For less than ten thousand dollars, they produced a soulful social-media-ready film that showed the candidate in her apartment, on a subway platform, in a bodega, talking with a pregnant woman, to kids selling cupcakes. All the while, in voice-over, she speaks directly to the viewer:

    Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office. I wasn’t born to a wealthy or powerful family. . . . This race is about people versus money. We’ve got people, they’ve got money. It’s time we acknowledged that not all Democrats are the same. That a Democrat who takes corporate money, profits off foreclosure, doesn’t live here, doesn’t send his kids to our schools, doesn’t drink our water or breathe our air cannot possibly represent us. What the Bronx and Queens needs is Medicare for all, tuition-free public college, a federal jobs guarantee, and criminal-justice reform.

    The video went viral. Something was afoot.

    On Election Day, in a car on the way to the billiards hall where Ocasio-Cortez was going to watch the returns, some of her advisers were getting encouraging reports from polling places. Shut it down, she said. No more looking at phones, no more guessing: “Let’s see the vote.” That night, cameras captured her expression of shock as she watched the news: a thirteen-point landslide. She had no words. It was a moment of pure joy playing out live on television. Crowley gamely accepted the results and, with a pickup band behind him, took out his guitar and dedicated “Born to Run” to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. For a man in six kinds of pain, he sang a creditable version.

    If the Murdoch press was predictably outraged, some establishment Democrats were wary, too. Nancy Pelosi dismissed the win as a local phenomenon. And, while her tone was curt and superior, her larger point was clear: in November, Democratic candidates, no matter what shade of blue, had to beat Republicans. Districts had to flip. At dinner, Ocasio-Cortez bristled at the establishment dismissals. She did not doubt that there were many factors in her win—her identity as a young woman, as a Latina, as a daughter of a working-class family—but she had also out-organized a party boss, hammered away at immigration and health-care issues, and brought out new voters. It was infuriating for her to listen to the condescension.

    “I’m twenty-eight years old, and I was elected on this super-idealistic platform,” she said. “Folks may want to take that away from me, but I won. When you hear ‘She won just for demographic reasons,’ or low turnout, or that I won because of all the white ‘Bernie bros’ in Astoria—maybe that all helped. But I smoked this race. I didn’t edge anybody out. I dominated. And I am going to own that.” The more complicated question was how she was going to own her identity as a democratic socialist.

    When Ocasio-Cortez is interviewed now, particularly by the establishment outlets, she is invariably asked about “the S-word,” socialism; sometimes the question is asked with a shiver of anxiety, as if she were suggesting that schoolchildren begin the day by singing the “Internationale” under a portrait of Enver Hoxha. When I asked her about her political heroes, though, there was no mention of anyone in the Marxist pantheon. She named Robert F. Kennedy. In college, reading his speeches—“that was my jam,” she said. R.F.K., at least in the last chapter of his life, his 1968 Presidential campaign, tried to forge a party coalition of workers, minorities, and the middle class.

    D.S.A., which was founded in 1982, is not a party but a dues-paying organization, and it has seen a bump in membership recently, from five thousand in 2016 to more than forty thousand today. The first co-chairs were Harrington and the author Barbara Ehrenreich. David Dinkins, the former mayor of New York, was a member of D.S.A. There’s no question that some members are Marxists in the traditional sense; some want to see the destruction of capitalism and the state ownership of factories, banks, and utilities. Jabari Brisport, a D.S.A. member from Brooklyn who recently ran, unsuccessfully, for City Council, told me that the group is “a big umbrella organization for left and leftish types, from Bernie-crats to hard-core Trotskyists.” Julia Salazar, a D.S.A. member in her mid-twenties who is running for the New York State Senate with the ardent support of Ocasio-Cortez, told Jacobin, a leftist quarterly, that a democratic socialist “recognizes the capitalist system as being inherently oppressive, and is actively working to dismantle it and to empower the working class and the marginalized in our society.”

    Ocasio-Cortez and, for the most part, the people around her speak largely in the language of Sanders. Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist, and yet in the most extensive speech he ever gave on the theme—at Georgetown University, in November, 2015—he did not mention Debs. Rather, he focussed almost entirely on Franklin Roosevelt and the legacy of the New Deal. He said that he shared the vision that F.D.R. set out in his 1944 State of the Union speech, what Roosevelt called the Second Bill of Rights. Sanders pointed out that universal health care was “not a radical idea” and existed in countries such as Denmark, France, Germany, and Taiwan. “I don’t believe government should own the means of production,” he said, “but I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a fair deal.”

    Ocasio-Cortez and her circle focus less on the malefactions of the current Administration than on the endemic corruption of the American system, particularly the role of “dark money” in American politics and the lack of basic welfare provisions for the working classes and the poor. When they hear conservatives describe as a “socialist” Barack Obama—a man who, in their view, had failed to help the real victims of the financial crisis, while bailing out the banks—they tend to laugh ruefully. “I think the right did us a service calling Obama a socialist for eight years,” Saikat Chakrabarti, one of Ocasio-Cortez’s closest associates, said. “It inoculated us. But people focus on the labels when they are not sure what they mean. What people call socialism these days is Eisenhower Republicanism!”

    #Alexandria_Ocasio_Cortez #Politique_USA #My_heroin_for_now



  • Democrat who slammed Israel for Gaza killings is shock winner of New York primary
    U.S. News - Haaretz.com - Allison Kaplan Sommer - Jun 27, 2018
    Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez, 28, scores decisive victory over House Democrat Joe Crowley after running on a socialist platform

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-democrat-who-slammed-israel-wins-new-york-primary-1.6218292

    A young progressive Democrat who has sharply criticized Israel, including calling the killing of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border in May a “massacre,” celebrated an upset victory over a leading House Democrat in a congressional primary race in New York City on Tuesday.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, scored a decisive win over powerful congressman Rep. Joe Crowley, 56. Many observers had believed he was a strong candidate to succeed Rep. Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House of Representatives.

    Riding a wave of strong anti-Trump “resistance” sentiment in her New York district, Ocasio-Cortez – who belongs to the Democratic Socialists of America and is a supporter of Bernie Sanders – ran on a far-left platform. Her agenda included Medicare-for-all and clamping down on Wall Street.

    Her victory is being seen as a bellwether for a Democratic Party that is shifting to the left and including more women and people of color as candidates. Crowley’s defeat is seen as a warning to other establishment Democrats. (...)

    • 27/06/2018
      Encore serveuse à New York il y a 6 mois, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bat à plate couture un ponte du parti démocrate
      https://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2018/06/27/encore-serveuse-a-new-york-il-y-a-6-mois-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-bat

      ÉTATS-UNIS - Le pari était tellement fou que les grands médias américains ne lui avaient pas accordé une grande attention. Contre toute attente, la novice en politique de 28 ans Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a pourtant battu le numéro quatre du parti démocrate Joe Crowley lors des primaires pour élire le représentant du 14e district de New York ce mardi 26 juin.

      Élu et ré-élu représentant dans l’État de New York depuis 1999, Joe Crowley était considéré comme un potentiel successeur de Nancy Pelosi au poste de chef des démocrates à la Chambre. Sa défaite face à une militante latino-américaine n’ayant jamais participé à une élection, née dans le Bronx et soutenue par le sénateur Bernie Sanders et la candidate au poste de gouverneure Cynthia Nixon, est une véritable claque pour le parti. (...)


  • Jackson Lears · What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking : #Russiagate · LRB 4 January 2018
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n01/jackson-lears/what-we-dont-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-russian-hacking
    La pensée unique aux États Unis de plus en plus sectaire et pesante

    Jackson Lears

    American politics have rarely presented a more disheartening spectacle. The repellent and dangerous antics of Donald Trump are troubling enough, but so is the Democratic Party leadership’s failure to take in the significance of the 2016 election campaign. Bernie Sanders’s challenge to Hillary Clinton, combined with Trump’s triumph, revealed the breadth of popular anger at politics as usual – the blend of neoliberal domestic policy and interventionist foreign policy that constitutes consensus in Washington. Neoliberals celebrate market utility as the sole criterion of worth; interventionists exalt military adventure abroad as a means of fighting evil in order to secure global progress. Both agendas have proved calamitous for most Americans. Many registered their disaffection in 2016. Sanders is a social democrat and Trump a demagogic mountebank, but their campaigns underscored a widespread repudiation of the Washington consensus. For about a week after the election, pundits discussed the possibility of a more capacious Democratic strategy. It appeared that the party might learn something from Clinton’s defeat. Then everything changed.

    A story that had circulated during the campaign without much effect resurfaced: it involved the charge that Russian operatives had hacked into the servers of the Democratic National Committee, revealing embarrassing emails that damaged Clinton’s chances. With stunning speed, a new centrist-liberal orthodoxy came into being, enveloping the major media and the bipartisan Washington establishment. This secular religion has attracted hordes of converts in the first year of the Trump presidency. In its capacity to exclude dissent, it is like no other formation of mass opinion in my adult life, though it recalls a few dim childhood memories of anti-communist hysteria during the early 1950s.

    The centrepiece of the faith, based on the hacking charge, is the belief that Vladimir Putin orchestrated an attack on American democracy by ordering his minions to interfere in the election on behalf of Trump. The story became gospel with breathtaking suddenness and completeness. Doubters are perceived as heretics and as apologists for Trump and Putin, the evil twins and co-conspirators behind this attack on American democracy. Responsibility for the absence of debate lies in large part with the major media outlets. Their uncritical embrace and endless repetition of the Russian hack story have made it seem a fait accompli in the public mind. It is hard to estimate popular belief in this new orthodoxy, but it does not seem to be merely a creed of Washington insiders. If you question the received narrative in casual conversations, you run the risk of provoking blank stares or overt hostility – even from old friends. This has all been baffling and troubling to me; there have been moments when pop-culture fantasies (body snatchers, Kool-Aid) have come to mind.

    Like any orthodoxy worth its salt, the religion of the Russian hack depends not on evidence but on ex cathedra pronouncements on the part of authoritative institutions and their overlords. Its scriptural foundation is a confused and largely fact-free ‘assessment’ produced last January by a small number of ‘hand-picked’ analysts – as James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, described them – from the CIA, the FBI and the NSA. The claims of the last were made with only ‘moderate’ confidence. The label Intelligence Community Assessment creates a misleading impression of unanimity, given that only three of the 16 US intelligence agencies contributed to the report. And indeed the assessment itself contained this crucial admission: ‘Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation and precedents.’ Yet the assessment has passed into the media imagination as if it were unassailable fact, allowing journalists to assume what has yet to be proved. In doing so they serve as mouthpieces for the intelligence agencies, or at least for those ‘hand-picked’ analysts.

    It is not the first time the intelligence agencies have played this role. When I hear the Intelligence Community Assessment cited as a reliable source, I always recall the part played by the New York Times in legitimating CIA reports of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s putative weapons of mass destruction, not to mention the long history of disinformation (a.k.a. ‘fake news’) as a tactic for advancing one administration or another’s political agenda. Once again, the established press is legitimating pronouncements made by the Church Fathers of the national security state. Clapper is among the most vigorous of these. He perjured himself before Congress in 2013, when he denied that the NSA had ‘wittingly’ spied on Americans – a lie for which he has never been held to account. In May 2017, he told NBC’s Chuck Todd that the Russians were highly likely to have colluded with Trump’s campaign because they are ‘almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favour, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique’. The current orthodoxy exempts the Church Fathers from standards imposed on ordinary people, and condemns Russians – above all Putin – as uniquely, ‘almost genetically’ diabolical.

    It’s hard for me to understand how the Democratic Party, which once felt scepticism towards the intelligence agencies, can now embrace the CIA and the FBI as sources of incontrovertible truth. One possible explanation is that Trump’s election has created a permanent emergency in the liberal imagination, based on the belief that the threat he poses is unique and unprecedented. It’s true that Trump’s menace is viscerally real. But the menace posed by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney was equally real. The damage done by Bush and Cheney – who ravaged the Middle East, legitimated torture and expanded unconstitutional executive power – was truly unprecedented, and probably permanent. Trump does pose an unprecedented threat to undocumented immigrants and Muslim travellers, whose protection is urgent and necessary. But on most issues he is a standard issue Republican. He is perfectly at home with Paul Ryan’s austerity agenda, which involves enormous transfers of wealth to the most privileged Americans. He is as committed as any other Republican to repealing Obama’s Affordable Care Act. During the campaign he posed as an apostate on free trade and an opponent of overseas military intervention, but now that he is in office his free trade views are shifting unpredictably and his foreign policy team is composed of generals with impeccable interventionist credentials.

    Trump is committed to continuing his predecessors’ lavish funding of the already bloated Defence Department, and his Fortress America is a blustering, undisciplined version of Madeleine Albright’s ‘indispensable nation’. Both Trump and Albright assume that the United States should be able to do as it pleases in the international arena: Trump because it’s the greatest country in the world, Albright because it’s an exceptional force for global good. Nor is there anything unprecedented about Trump’s desire for détente with Russia, which until at least 2012 was the official position of the Democratic Party. What is unprecedented about Trump is his offensive style: contemptuous, bullying, inarticulate, and yet perfectly pitched to appeal to the anger and anxiety of his target audience. His excess has licensed overt racism and proud misogyny among some of his supporters. This is cause for denunciation, but I am less persuaded that it justifies the anti-Russian mania.

    Besides Trump’s supposed uniqueness, there are two other assumptions behind the furore in Washington: the first is that the Russian hack unquestionably occurred, and the second is that the Russians are our implacable enemies. The second provides the emotional charge for the first. Both seem to me problematic. With respect to the first, the hacking charges are unproved and may well remain so. Edward Snowden and others familiar with the NSA say that if long-distance hacking had taken place the agency would have monitored it and could detail its existence without compromising their secret sources and methods. In September, Snowden told Der Spiegel that the NSA ‘probably knows quite well who the invaders were’. And yet ‘it has not presented any evidence, although I suspect it exists. The question is: why not? … I suspect it discovered other attackers in the systems, maybe there were six or seven groups at work.’ He also said in July 2016 that ‘even if the attackers try to obfuscate origin, ‪#XKEYSCORE makes following exfiltrated data easy. I did this personally against Chinese ops.’ The NSA’s capacity to follow hacking to its source is a matter of public record. When the agency investigated pervasive and successful Chinese hacking into US military and defence industry installations, it was able to trace the hacks to the building where they originated, a People’s Liberation Army facility in Shanghai. That information was published in the New York Times, but, this time, the NSA’s failure to provide evidence has gone curiously unremarked. When The Intercept published a story about the NSA’s alleged discovery that Russian military intelligence had attempted to hack into US state and local election systems, the agency’s undocumented assertions about the Russian origins of the hack were allowed to stand as unchallenged fact and quickly became treated as such in the mainstream media.

    Meanwhile, there has been a blizzard of ancillary accusations, including much broader and vaguer charges of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. It remains possible that Robert Mueller, a former FBI director who has been appointed to investigate these allegations, may turn up some compelling evidence of contacts between Trump’s people and various Russians. It would be surprising if an experienced prosecutor empowered to cast a dragnet came up empty-handed, and the arrests have already begun. But what is striking about them is that the charges have nothing to do with Russian interference in the election. There has been much talk about the possibility that the accused may provide damaging evidence against Trump in exchange for lighter sentences, but this is merely speculation. Paul Manafort, at one point Trump’s campaign manager, has pleaded not guilty to charges of failing to register his public relations firm as a foreign agent for the Ukrainian government and concealing his millions of dollars in fees. But all this occurred before the 2016 campaign. George Papadopolous, a foreign policy adviser, has pleaded guilty to the charge of lying to the FBI about his bungling efforts to arrange a meeting between Trump’s people and the Russian government – an opportunity the Trump campaign declined. Mueller’s most recent arrestee, Michael Flynn, the unhinged Islamophobe who was briefly Trump’s national security adviser, has pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI about meeting the Russian ambassador in December – weeks after the election. This is the sort of backchannel diplomacy that routinely occurs during the interim between one administration and the next. It is not a sign of collusion.

    So far, after months of ‘bombshells’ that turn out to be duds, there is still no actual evidence for the claim that the Kremlin ordered interference in the American election. Meanwhile serious doubts have surfaced about the technical basis for the hacking claims. Independent observers have argued it is more likely that the emails were leaked from inside, not hacked from outside. On this front, the most persuasive case was made by a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, former employees of the US intelligence agencies who distinguished themselves in 2003 by debunking Colin Powell’s claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, hours after Powell had presented his pseudo-evidence at the UN. (There are members of VIPS who dissent from the VIPS report’s conclusions, but their arguments are in turn contested by the authors of the report.) The VIPS findings received no attention in major media outlets, except Fox News – which from the centre-left perspective is worse than no attention at all. Mainstream media have dismissed the VIPS report as a conspiracy theory (apparently the Russian hacking story does not count as one). The crucial issue here and elsewhere is the exclusion from public discussion of any critical perspectives on the orthodox narrative, even the perspectives of people with professional credentials and a solid track record.

    Both the DNC hacking story and the one involving the emails of John Podesta, a Clinton campaign operative, involve a shadowy bunch of putatively Russian hackers called Fancy Bear – also known among the technically inclined as APT28. The name Fancy Bear was introduced by Dimitri Alperovitch, the chief technology officer of Crowdstrike, a cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC to investigate the theft of their emails. Alperovitch is also a fellow at the Atlantic Council, an anti-Russian Washington think tank. In its report Crowdstrike puts forward close to zero evidence for its claim that those responsible were Russian, let alone for its assertion that they were affiliated with Russian military intelligence. And yet, from this point on, the assumption that this was a Russian cyber operation was unquestioned. When the FBI arrived on the scene, the Bureau either did not request or was refused access to the DNC servers; instead it depended entirely on the Crowdstrike analysis. Crowdstrike, meanwhile, was being forced to retract another claim, that the Russians had successfully hacked the guidance systems of the Ukrainian artillery. The Ukrainian military and the British International Institute for Strategic Studies both contradicted this claim, and Crowdstrike backed down. But its DNC analysis was allowed to stand and even become the basis for the January Intelligence Community Assessment.

    The chatter surrounding the hack would never have acquired such urgency were it not for the accompanying assumption: Russia is a uniquely dangerous adversary, with which we should avoid all contact. Without that belief, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s meetings with Russians in September 2016 would become routine discussions between a senator and foreign officials. Flynn’s post-election conversations with the Russian ambassador would appear unremarkable. Trump’s cronies’ attempts to do business in Russia would become merely sleazy. Donald Trump Jr’s meeting at Trump Tower with the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya would be transformed from a melodrama of shady intrigue to a comedy of errors – with the candidate’s son expecting to receive information to use against Clinton but discovering Veselnitskaya only wanted to talk about repealing sanctions and restarting the flow of Russian orphans to the United States. And Putin himself would become just another autocrat, with whom democracies could engage without endorsing.

    Sceptical voices, such as those of the VIPS, have been drowned out by a din of disinformation. Flagrantly false stories, like the Washington Post report that the Russians had hacked into the Vermont electrical grid, are published, then retracted 24 hours later. Sometimes – like the stories about Russian interference in the French and German elections – they are not retracted even after they have been discredited. These stories have been thoroughly debunked by French and German intelligence services but continue to hover, poisoning the atmosphere, confusing debate. The claim that the Russians hacked local and state voting systems in the US was refuted by California and Wisconsin election officials, but their comments generated a mere whisper compared with the uproar created by the original story. The rush to publish without sufficient attention to accuracy has become the new normal in journalism. Retraction or correction is almost beside the point: the false accusation has done its work.

    The consequence is a spreading confusion that envelops everything. Epistemological nihilism looms, but some people and institutions have more power than others to define what constitutes an agreed-on reality. To say this is to risk dismissal as the ultimate wing-nut in the lexicon of contemporary Washington: the conspiracy theorist. Still, the fact remains: sometimes powerful people arrange to promote ideas that benefit their common interests. Whether we call this hegemony, conspiracy or merely special privilege hardly matters. What does matter is the power to create what Gramsci called the ‘common sense’ of an entire society. Even if much of that society is indifferent to or suspicious of the official common sense, it still becomes embedded among the tacit assumptions that set the boundaries of ‘responsible opinion’. So the Democratic establishment (along with a few Republicans) and the major media outlets have made ‘Russian meddling’ the common sense of the current moment. What kind of cultural work does this common sense do? What are the consequences of the spectacle the media call (with characteristic originality) ‘Russiagate’?

    The most immediate consequence is that, by finding foreign demons who can be blamed for Trump’s ascendancy, the Democratic leadership have shifted the blame for their defeat away from their own policies without questioning any of their core assumptions. Amid the general recoil from Trump, they can even style themselves dissenters – ‘#the resistance’ was the label Clintonites appropriated within a few days of the election. Mainstream Democrats have begun to use the word ‘progressive’ to apply to a platform that amounts to little more than preserving Obamacare, gesturing towards greater income equality and protecting minorities. This agenda is timid. It has nothing to say about challenging the influence of concentrated capital on policy, reducing the inflated defence budget or withdrawing from overextended foreign commitments; yet without those initiatives, even the mildest egalitarian policies face insuperable obstacles. More genuine insurgencies are in the making, which confront corporate power and connect domestic with foreign policy, but they face an uphill battle against the entrenched money and power of the Democratic leadership – the likes of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, the Clintons and the DNC. Russiagate offers Democratic elites a way to promote party unity against Trump-Putin, while the DNC purges Sanders’s supporters.

    For the DNC, the great value of the Russian hack story is that it focuses attention away from what was actually in their emails. The documents revealed a deeply corrupt organisation, whose pose of impartiality was a sham. Even the reliably pro-Clinton Washington Post has admitted that ‘many of the most damaging emails suggest the committee was actively trying to undermine Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.’ Further evidence of collusion between the Clinton machine and the DNC surfaced recently in a memoir by Donna Brazile, who became interim chair of the DNC after Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in the wake of the email revelations. Brazile describes discovering an agreement dated 26 August 2015, which specified (she writes)

    that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics and mailings.

    Before the primaries had even begun, the supposedly neutral DNC – which had been close to insolvency – had been bought by the Clinton campaign.

    Another recent revelation of DNC tactics concerns the origins of the inquiry into Trump’s supposed links to Putin. The story began in April 2016, when the DNC hired a Washington research firm called Fusion GPS to unearth any connections between Trump and Russia. The assignment involved the payment of ‘cash for trash’, as the Clinton campaign liked to say. Fusion GPS eventually produced the trash, a lurid account written by the former British MI6 intelligence agent Christopher Steele, based on hearsay purchased from anonymous Russian sources. Amid prostitutes and golden showers, a story emerged: the Russian government had been blackmailing and bribing Donald Trump for years, on the assumption that he would become president some day and serve the Kremlin’s interests. In this fantastic tale, Putin becomes a preternaturally prescient schemer. Like other accusations of collusion, this one has become vaguer over time, adding to the murky atmosphere without ever providing any evidence. The Clinton campaign tried to persuade established media outlets to publicise the Steele dossier, but with uncharacteristic circumspection, they declined to promote what was plainly political trash rather than reliable reporting. Yet the FBI apparently took the Steele dossier seriously enough to include a summary of it in a secret appendix to the Intelligence Community Assessment. Two weeks before the inauguration, James Comey, the director of the FBI, described the dossier to Trump. After Comey’s briefing was leaked to the press, the website Buzzfeed published the dossier in full, producing hilarity and hysteria in the Washington establishment.

    The Steele dossier inhabits a shadowy realm where ideology and intelligence, disinformation and revelation overlap. It is the antechamber to the wider system of epistemological nihilism created by various rival factions in the intelligence community: the ‘tree of smoke’ that, for the novelist Denis Johnson, symbolised CIA operations in Vietnam. I inhaled that smoke myself in 1969-70, when I was a cryptographer with a Top Secret clearance on a US navy ship that carried missiles armed with nuclear warheads – the existence of which the navy denied. I was stripped of my clearance and later honourably discharged when I refused to join the Sealed Authenticator System, which would have authorised the launch of those allegedly non-existent nuclear weapons. The tree of smoke has only grown more complex and elusive since then. Yet the Democratic Party has now embarked on a full-scale rehabilitation of the intelligence community – or at least the part of it that supports the notion of Russian hacking. (We can be sure there is disagreement behind the scenes.) And it is not only the Democratic establishment that is embracing the deep state. Some of the party’s base, believing Trump and Putin to be joined at the hip, has taken to ranting about ‘treason’ like a reconstituted John Birch Society.

    I thought of these ironies when I visited the Tate Modern exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, which featured the work of black American artists from the 1960s and 1970s, when intelligence agencies (and agents provocateurs) were spearheading a government crackdown on black militants, draft resisters, deserters and antiwar activists. Amid the paintings, collages and assemblages there was a single Confederate flag, accompanied by grim reminders of the Jim Crow past – a Klansman in full regalia, a black body dangling from a tree. There were also at least half a dozen US flags, juxtaposed in whole or in part with images of contemporary racial oppression that could have occurred anywhere in America: dead black men carted off on stretchers by skeletons in police uniform; a black prisoner tied to a chair, awaiting torture. The point was to contrast the pretensions of ‘the land of the free’ with the practices of the national security state and local police forces. The black artists of that era knew their enemy: black people were not being killed and imprisoned by some nebulous foreign adversary, but by the FBI, the CIA and the police.

    The Democratic Party has now developed a new outlook on the world, a more ambitious partnership between liberal humanitarian interventionists and neoconservative militarists than existed under the cautious Obama. This may be the most disastrous consequence for the Democratic Party of the new anti-Russian orthodoxy: the loss of the opportunity to formulate a more humane and coherent foreign policy. The obsession with Putin has erased any possibility of complexity from the Democratic world picture, creating a void quickly filled by the monochrome fantasies of Hillary Clinton and her exceptionalist allies. For people like Max Boot and Robert Kagan, war is a desirable state of affairs, especially when viewed from the comfort of their keyboards, and the rest of the world – apart from a few bad guys – is filled with populations who want to build societies just like ours: pluralistic, democratic and open for business. This view is difficult to challenge when it cloaks itself in humanitarian sentiment. There is horrific suffering in the world; the US has abundant resources to help relieve it; the moral imperative is clear. There are endless forms of international engagement that do not involve military intervention. But it is the path taken by US policy often enough that one may suspect humanitarian rhetoric is nothing more than window-dressing for a more mundane geopolitics – one that defines the national interest as global and virtually limitless.

    Having come of age during the Vietnam War, a calamitous consequence of that inflated definition of national interest, I have always been attracted to the realist critique of globalism. Realism is a label forever besmirched by association with Henry Kissinger, who used it as a rationale for intervening covertly and overtly in other nations’ affairs. Yet there is a more humane realist tradition, the tradition of George Kennan and William Fulbright, which emphasises the limits of military might, counselling that great power requires great restraint. This tradition challenges the doctrine of regime change under the guise of democracy promotion, which – despite its abysmal failures in Iraq and Libya – retains a baffling legitimacy in official Washington. Russiagate has extended its shelf life.

    We can gauge the corrosive impact of the Democrats’ fixation on Russia by asking what they aren’t talking about when they talk about Russian hacking. For a start, they aren’t talking about interference of other sorts in the election, such as the Republican Party’s many means of disenfranchising minority voters. Nor are they talking about the trillion dollar defence budget that pre-empts the possibility of single-payer healthcare and other urgently needed social programmes; nor about the modernisation of the American nuclear arsenal which Obama began and Trump plans to accelerate, and which raises the risk of the ultimate environmental calamity, nuclear war – a threat made more serious than it has been in decades by America’s combative stance towards Russia. The prospect of impeaching Trump and removing him from office by convicting him of collusion with Russia has created an atmosphere of almost giddy anticipation among leading Democrats, allowing them to forget that the rest of the Republican Party is composed of many politicians far more skilful in Washington’s ways than their president will ever be.

    It is not the Democratic Party that is leading the search for alternatives to the wreckage created by Republican policies: a tax plan that will soak the poor and middle class to benefit the rich; a heedless pursuit of fossil fuels that is already resulting in the contamination of the water supply of the Dakota people; and continued support for police policies of militarisation and mass incarceration. It is local populations that are threatened by oil spills and police beatings, and that is where humane populism survives. A multitude of insurgent groups have begun to use the outrage against Trump as a lever to move the party in egalitarian directions: Justice Democrats, Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, as well as a host of local and regional organisations. They recognise that there are far more urgent – and genuine – reasons to oppose Trump than vague allegations of collusion with Russia. They are posing an overdue challenge to the long con of neoliberalism, and the technocratic arrogance that led to Clinton’s defeat in Rust Belt states. Recognising that the current leadership will not bring about significant change, they are seeking funding from outside the DNC. This is the real resistance, as opposed to ‘#theresistance’.

    On certain important issues – such as broadening support for single-payer healthcare, promoting a higher minimum wage or protecting undocumented immigrants from the most flagrant forms of exploitation – these insurgents are winning wide support. Candidates like Paula Jean Swearengin, a coal miner’s daughter from West Virginia who is running in the Democratic primary for nomination to the US Senate, are challenging establishment Democrats who stand cheek by jowl with Republicans in their service to concentrated capital. Swearengin’s opponent is Joe Manchin, whom the Los Angeles Times has compared to Doug Jones, another ‘very conservative’ Democrat who recently won election to the US Senate in Alabama, narrowly defeating a Republican disgraced by accusations of sexual misconduct with 14-year-old girls. I can feel relieved at that result without joining in the collective Democratic ecstasy, which reveals the party’s persistent commitment to politics as usual. Democrat leaders have persuaded themselves (and much of their base) that all the republic needs is a restoration of the status quo ante Trump. They remain oblivious to popular impatience with familiar formulas. Jess King – a Mennonite woman, Bard College MBA and founder of a local non-profit who is running for Congress as a Justice Democrat in Lancaster, Pennsylvania – put it this way: ‘We see a changing political landscape right now that isn’t measured by traditional left to right politics anymore, but bottom to top. In Pennsylvania and many other places around the country we see a grassroots economic populism on the rise, pushing against the political establishment and status quo that have failed so many in our country.’

    Democratic insurgents are also developing a populist critique of the imperial hubris that has sponsored multiple failed crusades, extorted disproportionate sacrifice from the working class and provoked support for Trump, who presented himself (however misleadingly) as an opponent of open-ended interventionism. On foreign policy, the insurgents face an even more entrenched opposition than on domestic policy: a bipartisan consensus aflame with outrage at the threat to democracy supposedly posed by Russian hacking. Still, they may have found a tactical way forward, by focusing on the unequal burden borne by the poor and working class in the promotion and maintenance of American empire.

    This approach animates Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis, a 33-page document whose authors include Norman Solomon, founder of the web-based insurgent lobby RootsAction.org. ‘The Democratic Party’s claims of fighting for “working families” have been undermined by its refusal to directly challenge corporate power, enabling Trump to masquerade as a champion of the people,’ Autopsy announces. But what sets this apart from most progressive critiques is the cogent connection it makes between domestic class politics and foreign policy. For those in the Rust Belt, military service has often seemed the only escape from the shambles created by neoliberal policies; yet the price of escape has been high. As Autopsy notes, ‘the wisdom of continual war’ – what Clinton calls ‘global leadership’ –

    was far clearer to the party’s standard bearer [in 2016] than it was to people in the US communities bearing the brunt of combat deaths, injuries and psychological traumas. After a decade and a half of non-stop warfare, research data from voting patterns suggest that the Clinton campaign’s hawkish stance was a political detriment in working-class communities hard-hit by American casualties from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Francis Shen of the University of Minnesota and Douglas Kriner of Boston University analysed election results in three key states – Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan – and found that ‘even controlling in a statistical model for many other alternative explanations, we find that there is a significant and meaningful relationship between a community’s rate of military sacrifice and its support for Trump.’ Clinton’s record of uncritical commitment to military intervention allowed Trump to have it both ways, playing to jingoist resentment while posing as an opponent of protracted and pointless war. Kriner and Shen conclude that Democrats may want to ‘re-examine their foreign policy posture if they hope to erase Trump’s electoral gains among constituencies exhausted and alienated by 15 years of war’. If the insurgent movements within the Democratic Party begin to formulate an intelligent foreign policy critique, a re-examination may finally occur. And the world may come into sharper focus as a place where American power, like American virtue, is limited. For this Democrat, that is an outcome devoutly to be wished. It’s a long shot, but there is something happening out there.

    #USA #cuture #politique


  • Jackson Lears · What We Don’t Talk about When We Talk about Russian Hacking: #Russiagate · LRB 4 January 2018
    https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n01/jackson-lears/what-we-dont-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-russian-hacking

    Like any orthodoxy worth its salt, the religion of the Russian hack depends not on evidence but on ex cathedra pronouncements on the part of authoritative institutions and their overlords. Its scriptural foundation is a confused and largely fact-free ‘assessment’ produced last January by a small number of ‘hand-picked’ analysts – as James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, described them – from the CIA, the FBI and the NSA. The claims of the last were made with only ‘moderate’ confidence. The label Intelligence Community Assessment creates a misleading impression of unanimity, given that only three of the 16 US intelligence agencies contributed to the report. And indeed the assessment itself contained this crucial admission: ‘Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation and precedents.’ Yet the assessment has passed into the media imagination as if it were unassailable fact, allowing journalists to assume what has yet to be proved. In doing so they serve as mouthpieces for the intelligence agencies, or at least for those ‘hand-picked’ analysts.

    [...]

    The consequence is a spreading confusion that envelops everything. Epistemological nihilism looms, but some people and institutions have more power than others to define what constitutes an agreed-on reality. To say this is to risk dismissal as the ultimate wing-nut in the lexicon of contemporary Washington: the conspiracy theorist. Still, the fact remains: sometimes powerful people arrange to promote ideas that benefit their common interests. Whether we call this hegemony, conspiracy or merely special privilege hardly matters. What does matter is the power to create what Gramsci called the ‘common sense’ of an entire society. Even if much of that society is indifferent to or suspicious of the official common sense, it still becomes embedded among the tacit assumptions that set the boundaries of ‘responsible opinion’. So the Democratic establishment (along with a few Republicans) and the major media outlets have made ‘Russian meddling’ the common sense of the current moment. What kind of cultural work does this common sense do? What are the consequences of the spectacle the media call (with characteristic originality) ‘Russiagate’?

    The most immediate consequence is that, by finding foreign demons who can be blamed for Trump’s ascendancy, the Democratic leadership have shifted the blame for their defeat away from their own policies without questioning any of their core assumptions. Amid the general recoil from Trump, they can even style themselves dissenters – ‘the resistance’ was the label Clintonites appropriated within a few days of the election. #Mainstream Democrats have begun to use the word ‘progressive’ to apply to a platform that amounts to little more than preserving Obamacare, gesturing towards greater income equality and protecting minorities. This agenda is timid. It has nothing to say about challenging the influence of concentrated capital on policy, reducing the inflated defence budget or withdrawing from overextended foreign commitments; yet without those initiatives, even the mildest egalitarian policies face insuperable obstacles. More genuine insurgencies are in the making, which confront corporate power and connect domestic with foreign policy, but they face an uphill battle against the entrenched money and power of the Democratic leadership – the likes of Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, the Clintons and the DNC. Russiagate offers Democratic elites a way to promote party unity against Trump-Putin, while the DNC purges Sanders’s supporters.

    For the DNC, the great value of the Russian hack story is that it focuses attention away from what was actually in their emails. The documents revealed a deeply corrupt organisation, whose pose of impartiality was a sham. Even the reliably pro-Clinton Washington Post has admitted that ‘many of the most damaging emails suggest the committee was actively trying to undermine Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.’ Further evidence of collusion between the Clinton machine and the DNC surfaced recently in a memoir by Donna Brazile, who became interim chair of the DNC after Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in the wake of the email revelations. Brazile describes discovering an agreement dated 26 August 2015, which specified (she writes)

    [...]


  • Les médias et l’establishment politique passent à autre chose alors que les résidents de Houston retournent dans leur ville dévastée
    http://www.wsws.org/fr/articles/2017/sep2017/mape-s07.shtml

    Le maire de Houston, Sylvester Turner, un démocrate, a proclamé dimanche que « la ville de Houston est ouverte aux affaires » . Il a poursuivi en disant : « Écoutez, les gens se sentent bien. Même dans ce refuge où nous sommes en ce moment... Nous n’allons pas commencer à pleurnicher ». Turner reprend ici la déclaration délirante et insensée de Trump qui, la veille dans un refuge de Houston, a dit : « Même si cela a été très dur, [la réaction] a été fantastique… les gens apprécient ce qui a été fait ». Tant les commentaires de Trump que de Turner n’ont suscité la moindre contre-réaction significative dans la presse.

    Tel que le reflète la réaction des médias, la classe dirigeante serre les rangs en réaction à Harvey, non pas pour venir en aide aux habitants de Houston, mais pour dissimuler leurs actions.

    Nancy Pelosi et Chuck Schumer, qui sont les démocrates les plus en vue respectivement à la Chambre des représentants et au Sénat, ont publié une déclaration commune indiquant leur volonté de travailler avec l’administration Trump et sa politique intérieure, qui comprend une réduction massive de l’impôt sur les sociétés. Leur communiqué déclare : « La fourniture de l’aide dans le sillage de Harvey et l’augmentation du plafond de la dette sont des questions importantes, et les démocrates veulent travailler pour concrétiser une solution à ces deux enjeux... Compte tenu de l’interaction entre tous les problèmes auxquels le Congrès doit s’attaquer en septembre, les démocrates et les républicains doivent discuter de tous les problèmes ensemble afin de trouver un consensus bipartite. »

    La réaction des médias et de l’establishment politique suit ce qui est maintenant un scénario bien usé et radoté après chaque catastrophe majeure, que ce soit un ouragan, une inondation, une tornade ou un incendie de forêt. Pendant les événements, ils évitent tout examen sérieux des conditions sociales et politiques qui l’ont préparée. Une fois que les eaux baissent, que les incendies s’éteignent ou que les vents se calment, les médias travaillent le plus rapidement possible pour détourner l’attention populaire des problèmes de classe soulevés par la catastrophe vers des sujets en accord avec les intérêts stratégiques fondamentaux de la classe dirigeante américaine.

    #catastrophe #inondation #argent #spéculation



  • Ralph Nader : Les démocrates sont incapables de défendre les Etats-Unis face aux républicains “le plus brutal” de l’histoire The Intercept, Jon Schwarz, 25-06-2017 Traduction Les Crises
    https://www.les-crises.fr/ralph-nader-les-democrates-sont-incapables-de-defendre-les-etats-unis-fac

    LE PARTI DÉMOCRATE est à son niveau le plus bas de mémoire d’homme. Il a perdu la Maison-Blanche et les deux chambres du Congrès. A l’échelle de l’État, il s’agit du niveau le plus bas depuis 1920. Et aujourd’hui en 2017 les Démocrates n’ont gagné aucune des 4 élections spéciales destinées à élire les remplaçants des membres républicains du congrès qui ont rejoint l’administration de Trump.
    Comment en est-on arrivé là ? Personne dans le Parti démocrate ne va poser la question, mais peut être le devrait-on et c’est ce que fait le légendaire défenseur des consommateurs, trois fois candidat aux élections présidentielles, Ralph Nader.

    Nader, âgé maintenant de 83 ans et installé à Washington D.C depuis plus de 50 ans, a été aux premières loges de la lente chute des Démocrates. Après ses révélations explosives sur l’industrie automobile américaine dans son livre « Ces voitures qui tuent », lui et ses organisations ont collaboré avec les Démocrates du Congrès pour passer un kyrielle de lois visant à protéger l’environnement, les consommateurs et les lanceurs d’alerte. Le journaliste William Greider a dit de lui qu’il était l’un des trois plus grands modèles du militantisme démocratique, avec Saul Alinsky et Martin Luther King Jr. D’un autre côté, le « Memo Powell » de 1971, qui pose les bases d’une résurgence des droits des entreprises, le considère comme l’ennemi principal du « système » et l’appelle « l’unique opposant efficace au pouvoir des entreprises américaines ».


    Quoi qu’il en soit, Nader est bien évidemment devenu persona non grata dans le Parti démocrate depuis ses candidatures pour le Parti vert dans les années 2000. George W. Bush a officiellement battu Al Gore en Floride de 537 voix, avec les votes électoraux menant Bush à la Maison-Blanche bien que ce dernier n’ait pas gagné le vote populaire. En réalité, cependant, une étude approfondie, peu remarquée, publiée peu après le 11 Septembre a établi que Gore aurait gagné en Floride si tous les votes contestés avaient été recomptés.
    Les démocrates ont fustigé Nader, qui a obtenu 97 000 votes en Floride, pour avoir permis l’élection de Bush. Puisqu’ il est impossible de refaire l’histoire, il n’y a aucune manière de savoir si Gore aurait gagné sans la candidature de Nader. Certes il aurait pu gagner, mais il est possible aussi que, sans la menace Nader, qui a beaucoup poussé Gore à prendre des positions plus populaires, plus progressistes, le candidat démocrate aurait fait un score encore pire avec une élection où Nader n’aurait pas figuré.

    En tout cas, il est maintenant incontestable que le Parti démocrate a d’importants problèmes qui ne peuvent être imputés à ce qu’a fait Ralph Nader en 2000. Dans une interview récente, Nader, toujours très bien informé et riche d’une expérience de plusieurs dizaines d’années, donne son opinion sur la manière dont les États-Unis en sont arrivés là dans le domaine politique :

    JON SCHWARZ  : Je suis intéressé par l’histoire des Démocrates cédant à la pression, devenant de plus en plus désireux de faire tout ce que la droite veut, lors de ces 40 dernières années. Prenons les récentes histoires à propos de Jared Kushner. Quelle que soit l’ultime réalité ici, je pense qu’il est juste de dire que si un président démocrate avait désigné son gendre à un poste de grand pouvoir à la Maison-Blanche – si Hillary Clinton avait désigné Marc Mezvinsky le mari de Chelsea – et si les péripéties sur sa tentative de mettre en place des liens informels avec la Russie étaient sorties dans le Washington Post et le New York Times, il aurait été mis à la porte avant la fin de la journée.

    RALPH NADER  : Voulez-vous que je vous raconte l’histoire du déclin et de la décadence du Parti Démocrate ? Je vais vous donner les boulets que traîne le Parti Démocrate qui sont des événements marquants.
    Le premier grand événement fut en 1971. Tony Coelho, qui était un membre californien du Congrès, et qui s’occupait de la trésorerie de campagne des Démocrates, a convaincu les Démocrates qu’ils devraient solliciter l’argent des entreprises, et qu’ils pourraient grâce à des levées de fonds obtenir beaucoup d’argent. Pourquoi les laisser aux Républicains et simplement miser sur le socle des syndicats pour le financement, quand vous avez un énorme pot de miel dans le milieu des affaires ?

    Et ils l’ont fait. Et j’ai pu voir la différence presque immédiatement. Premièrement, ils ont perdu l’élection face à Reagan. Et ensuite ils ont commencé à devenir plus faibles au congrès. A ce moment, 1980, quelques-uns de nos plus grands alliés perdirent après la victoire écrasante de Reagan face à Carter, nous avions perdu le sénateur [Gaylord] Nelson, le sénateur [Warren] Magnuson, le sénateur [Frank] Church. Nous avions davantage de difficultés pour obtenir des audiences devant le Congrès à propos des malversations des sociétés par les dirigeants Démocrates [commission du congrès]. Quand les Démocrates regagnèrent la Maison-Blanche [en 1992] vous pouviez voir la différence dans les nominations pour les agences de réglementation, la difficulté pour leur faire améliorer la santé et les réglementations de sécurité.

    Le second boulet est le fait qu’ils ne savaient pas comment traiter avec Reagan. Et les Républicains en prirent note. Cela veut dire paroles douces, sourires… Vous pouvez dire des choses terribles et faire des choses terribles aussi longtemps que vous avez ce genre de présentation.

    [Les Démocrates] continuaient de penser que les conservateurs Républicains étaient ternes, stupides et sans humour. Ils ne s’étaient pas adaptés.

    Ronald Reagan battant le président Jimmy Carter le 4 novembre. Reagan est montré tenant une copie du 4 novembre de The News World, prédisant sa victoire écrasante sur Carter pour l’élection du Président des États-Unis. Ronald Reagan tient une copie du 4 novembre de The News World prédisant sa victoire écrasante sur Carter pour l’élection du président des États-Unis.

    RN  : De plus en plus ils commencèrent à juger leur opposition face aux Républicains à travers la quantité d’argent qu’ils levaient. Vous parliez à [Marcy] Kaptur de Cleveland, elle disait, nous allons au « caucus » démocrate à la Chambre des Représentants, nous y allons pour parler d’argent, nous continuons de parler d’argent, et nous allons sortir avec notre part d’argent…

    La conséquence est que cela a fait sortir les questions économiques de la table, celles-là qui ont permis aux Démocrates de gagner encore et encore dans les années 30 et 40. Les questions sur le travail, les questions sur le salaire minimum, la question de l’assurance maladie, les questions sur les pensions. Et ce fut bien sûr une grande aubaine pour le parti Républicain car le parti Républicain ne pouvait faire face sur la question économique. Ils faisaient face sur la question raciale, sur la question de l’intolérance, et c’est comme cela qu’ils ont commencé à prendre un contrôle sur le solide Sud démocrate après le vote des lois sur les droits civils.

    Lever de l’argent de Wall Street, des compagnies pharmaceutiques, des compagnies d’assurance santé, des sociétés énergétiques, éloignaient les Démocrates de leur principal avantage sur les Républicains, qui est, dans le langage de Roosevelt : « Le Parti Démocrate est le parti des familles de travailleurs, les Républicains sont le parti des riches ». Cela s’est complètement inversé et a laissé les Démocrates extrêmement vulnérables.

    Cela a eu pour conséquence de les faire reculer géographiquement, vers la côte est, la côte ouest et autres.

    Et ils ont créé un autre boulet : ils n’ont pas fait de campagne [présidentielle] dans les 50 États. Si vous ne faites pas campagne dans les 50 États, premièrement vous renforcez le parti adverse dans ces États que vous avez abandonnés, ils peuvent donc prendre ces États pour acquis et se concentrer sur les États qui sont dans la zone grise. C’était le raté numéro un.

    Le raté numéro deux est ce que Ben Barnes, le politicien averti au Texas, m’a dit. Il m’a dit, quand vous ne vous battez pas pour la présidentielle au Texas, cela pourrit tout le parti… jusqu’aux maires et conseils municipaux. Ainsi cela répète cette décadence et perte de pouvoir pour les années futures.

    Quand ils ont abandonné les États rouges, ils ont abandonné cinq États dans la zone de Rocky Mountain et ont commencé déjà avec un handicap de 9 ou 10 sénateurs.

    Vous devez vous souvenir de votre histoire, les deux sénateurs du Montana étaient Démocrates, le Sénateur Church de l’Idaho était un Démocrate, le Sénateur Frank Moss, grand défenseur des consommateurs, un Démocrate de l’Utah. Maintenant il n’y a presque plus personne. Les deux sénateurs du Wyoming sont Républicains, les deux sénateurs du Montana sont Républicains [John Tester,le sénateur principal du Montana, est un Démocrate], les deux sénateurs de l’Utah sont Républicains. Je pense que les Démocrates ont un siège au Colorado. Ensuite vous descendez en Arizona et c’est deux Républicains.

    Ainsi ils n’ont jamais été à l’abri d’un veto de l’opposition même à leur apogée au Sénat. Et bien sûr plus tard lorsqu’ils n’étaient pas à leur apogée cela leur coûté le Sénat encore et encore. Et maintenant ils sont dans un grand trou, avec la débâcle aux sénatoriales de 2016, ils font face à trois fois plus de Démocrates pour une réélection en 2018.
    Le [troisième] boulet est qu’ils ont décidé de faire campagne à la télévision, avec des consultants politiques les influençant et recevant leurs parts de 15-20 pour cent. Quand vous faites campagne à la télévision, avec des slogans, vous ne faites pas campagne sur de la politique.

    Le boulet suivant, les syndicats ont commencé à devenir faibles, faibles en nombre et faibles en leadership. Ils ont commencé à verser beaucoup d’argent aux Démocrates pour la télévision. Et en même temps qu’ils s’affaiblissaient ils perdirent leur capacité de mobilisation populaire au nom des Démocrates.

    Les Démocrates avaient initié le procédé où le message précède la politique. Non – la politique précède le message. Cela signifie qu’ils continuent de dire à quel point les Républicains sont mauvais. Ils ont fait campagne non pas en disant, regardez comme nous sommes bons, nous allons vous apporter l’assistance médicale [à tous], nous allons sévir face aux crimes des sociétés contre les travailleurs et les consommateurs et l’environnement, volant, mentant, vous trompant. Nous allons vous donner un salaire minimum. Nous allons avoir une défense moins importante, une meilleure défense, et investir un peu de cet argent et commencer à reconstruire vos écoles et ponts et systèmes d’eau et d’assainissement, et librairies, et cliniques.

    Au lieu de dire cela, ils ont fait campagne en disant « Pouvez-vous croire à quel point les Républicains sont mauvais ? » Un fois cela dit, ils ont piégé leur aile progressiste, car leur aile progressiste est le seul segment qui peut changer le parti en un formidable opposant. Car ils ont dit à leur aile progressiste : « vous n’avez nulle part où aller, fichez-nous la paix ».

    Et cela nous amène aux boucs émissaires de ces 20 dernières années. « Oh, c’est Nader, oh, c’est les frères Koch, oh, c’est le collège électoral, oh, c’est de la misogynie, oh, ce sont les lamentables rednecks ». Ils ne se sont jamais regardés dans la glace.

    Le bouton de campagne pour Ralph Nader, qui se présentait comme le candidat du Parti Vert au élections présidentielles de 2000.

    RN  : Les Républicains, quand ils perdent, ils se battent sur les idées, aussi terrifiantes soit-elles. Les idées du Tea Party, les idées libertaires, les mornes idées républicaines. Ils se battent. Mais les Démocrates veulent de l’uniformité, ils veulent faire taire les gens. Ainsi ils ont la transition la plus défectueuse de toutes. Ils ont la transition de Nancy Pelosi à Nancy Pelosi, quatre fois perdante face au pire Parti Républicain de l’histoire du Parti Républicain.

    Si vous mettiez aujourd’hui des politiques Républicains d’avant le fantôme de Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, et « Mr Conservateur » le sénateur Robert Taft, ils se retourneraient dans leurs tombes. C’est la forme radicalement extrémiste, cruelle, vicieuse, Wall Street, militariste du parti républicain. Cela aurait signifié que les Démocrates les auraient écrasés. Ils ne les auraient pas juste battus, ils les auraient écrasés dans le corps législatif dans tout le pays, les gouverneurs, le Président et le congrès.
    Mais non, ce sont toujours les boucs émissaires. Peut-être que Jill Stein, le petit Parti Vert, ont pris la Pennsylvanie et le Michigan au faucon Hillary.

    JS  : Les Démocrates semblent avoir assimilé les vues des Républicains sur tout ce qui concerne l’armée.

    RN  : [Un autre] boulet est qu’ils ne se sont jamais différenciés des Républicains sur la politique militaire étrangère – car ils étaient comme eux. Ils n’ont jamais remis en question le budget de l’armée, ils n’ont jamais remis en question la politique étrangère militarisée, comme le faucon Hillary sur la Libye, qui fit peur aux généraux et fuir [le secrétaire à la défense Robert] Gates qui s’était opposé à ce qu’elle aille à la Maison-Blanche pour [prôner] le renversement du régime, métastasant la violence dans sept ou huit pays africains à ce jour.
    Ainsi ils ont abandonné la politique étrangère et militaire, car ils recevaient de l’argent de Lockheed et Boeing et General Dynamics et Raytheon et d’autres. Même Elizabeth Warren quand elle a eu sa chance commença en discutant du maintien de ces contrats avec Raytheon. Voilà l’aile gauche du parti discutant avec la société Raytheon, qui est le plus grand gâchis de subvention à l’est du Pécos.

    [Un autre] boulet est : personne n’a été viré. Ils enchaînent défaite après défaite, et ne peuvent pas remplacer leurs compères par de nouvelles personnes, vigoureuses, énergiques. Même chose pour les syndicats. Ils [gardent leurs positions] des années 80 peu importe à quel point le syndicat est décalé de la réalité. Vous n’êtes pas viré quelle que soit l’envergure de la perte, à l’inverse du milieu des affaires, où vous vous faites virer.

    Le dernier boulet est qu’ils prennent leurs précautions en harcelant les tierces partis progressistes afin que ces tierces partis ne les dépassent pas. Je suis un expert dans ce domaine. Ils ont essayé de les faire disparaître du vote. Nous avions eu 24 poursuites judiciaires en 12 semaines durant l’été 2004 par le Parti démocrate pour nous faire disparaître du vote dans des dizaines d’États. Même si nous n’avions que 5 pour cent, 6 pour cent de votes, ils subiraient une forte pression pour changer de direction et changer leurs pratiques car il y aurait assez d’électeurs américains pour dire aux Démocrates, « nous avons un autre endroit où aller », un troisième parti viable. Ils les harcèlent, violent les libertés civiles, ils utilisent leurs juges Démocrates désignés pour rendre de mauvais jugements ou les harceler de dépositions. Avant que [les troisièmes partis] soient liquidés, c’est de toute façon la Fête du travail et ils ont une campagne de huit semaines.

    Il y a certaines personnes qui pensent que le Parti démocrate peut être réformé de l’intérieur sans changer le personnel. Je leur dis bonne chance. Que s’est-il passé ces 20 dernières années ? Ils se sont retranchés davantage. Débarrassez-vous de Pelosi, vous avez Steny Hoyer. Débarrassez-vous d’Harry Reid, vous avez [Charles] Schumer. Bonne chance.

    Malheureusement, en résumé, les Démocrates sont incapables de défendre les États-Unis d’Amérique du [Parti Républicain] le plus vicieux, ignorant, soumis aux entreprises, militariste, anti-syndical, contre les intérêts du consommateur, anti-environnement, contre la postérité, de l’histoire.

    Article original : https://theintercept.com/2017/06/25/ralph-nader-the-democrats-are-unable-to-defend-the-u-s-from-the-most-v
    #USA #républicains #démocrates #Ralph_Nader


  • Donald Trump’s chief strategist keeps referring to this French novel ’revered by white supremacists’ | indy100

    https://www.indy100.com/article/donald-trump-steve-bannon-french-novel-racism-immigration-camp-of-the-saint

    Tiens, Jean Raspail et son bouquin qui raconte le débarquement de réfugiés sur la côte méditerranéenne à l’air d’petre populaire chez les néonazis américains.

    Donald Trump appointed former chairman of “alt-right’ publication Breitbart News as his chief strategist.

    Steve Bannon’s stance on immigration has been the subject of intense criticism, and he was widely believed to have been the “key architect” of the failed Muslim ban.

    Democrat Nancy Pelosi went so far as to call him a “white supremacist”.

    On several occasions, Bannon alluded to the immigration situation by calling it a “Camp of the Saints-type invasion”.

    He articulated the sentiment multiple times in 2015 and 2016.

    In fact, Breitbart have also written about it on several occasions.

    What is he talking about?

    The Camp of the Saints was a book written in 1973 by French novelist Jean Raspail.

    It is also glaringly, painfully racist.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center in 2001 described the novel as:

    #trump #néonazis


  • Trump’s Triumph : Billionaire Blowhard Exposes Fake Political System
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/07/trumps-triumph-billionaire-blowhard-exposes-fake-political-system

    FOX News Brett Baier (talking to Trump): Now, 15 years ago, you called yourself a liberal on health care. You were for a single-payer system, a Canadian-style system. Why were you for that then and why aren’t you for it now?

    TRUMP: As far as single payer, it works in Canada. It works incredibly well in Scotland. It could have worked in a different age, which is the age you’re talking about here.

    What I’d like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state. I have a big company with thousands and thousands of employees. And if I’m negotiating in New York or in New Jersey or in California, I have like one bidder. Nobody can bid.

    You know why?

    Because the insurance companies are making a fortune because they have control of the politicians, of course, with the exception of the politicians on this stage. (uneasy laughter) But they have total control of the politicians. They’re making a fortune.

    Get rid of the artificial lines and you will have…yourself great plans…

    BAIER: Mr. Trump, it’s not just your past support for single-payer health care. You’ve also supported a host of other liberal policies….You’ve also donated to several Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton included, and Nancy Pelosi. You explained away those donations saying you did that to get business-related favors. And you said recently, quote, “When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.”

    TRUMP: You’d better believe it.

    BAIER: — they do?

    TRUMP: If I ask them, if I need them, you know, most of the people on this stage I’ve given to, just so you understand, a lot of money.

    TRUMP:  I will tell you that our system is broken. I gave to many people, before this, before two months ago, I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. And that’s a broken system.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you get from Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi?

    TRUMP: Well, I’ll tell you what, with Hillary Clinton, I said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding. You know why?

    She didn’t have a choice because I gave. ...


  • With Regard to Netanyahu’s speech, Nancy Pelosi said it all
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/03/1368277/-With-Regard-to-Netanyahu-s-speech-Nancy-Pelosi-said-it-all

    After reiterating the U.S.’s bond with Israel, Leader Pelosi said the following:

    That is why, as one who values the U.S. – Israel relationship, and loves Israel, I was near tears throughout the Prime Minister’s speech – saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations, and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.

    Netanyahu was almost flip when he sought to assuage fears that collapse of these negotiations would inevitably mean war, arguing that all we have to do to get a better deal is impose a few more sanctions and the Iranians will cave and come running back to the table to surrender completely their enrichment capacity. Netanyahu would have us believe that the regime in Iran that allegedly cannot be deterred, that is completely irrational, and would gladly suffer nuclear annihilation just for the opportunity to attack Israel, will surrender everything in these negotiations in the face of sanctions that could shave another few percent off their GDP. According to Netanyahu, the mullahs don’t fear nuclear annihilation, but they panic at the prospect of an economic recession.

    Insulting, indeed. Condescension, indeed.

    Bibi Netanyahu either thinks we are idiots or he is the most dangerously deluded leader on the world stage today. It’s one or the other.

    • To call that position “absurd” is too kind. You don’t have to be some kind of foreign policy whiz to grasp that there’s something weird about arguing that 1) Iran is a nation run by genocidal maniacs; 2) they want nuclear weapons so they can annihilate Israel; and 3) the best way to stop this is to abandon negotiations to limit their nuclear program and just wait to see what they do. But that’s the position Netanyahu and his supporters in the Republican Party are now committed to.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/03/03/why-netanyahus-speech-didnt-do-his-american-allies-any-favors

    • Netanyahu ne propose "aucune alternative viable", pour Obama

      http://www.7sur7.be/7s7/fr/1736/Iran/article/detail/2238803/2015/03/03/Netanyahu-ne-propose-aucune-alternative-viable-pour-Obama.dhtml

      Le président américain Barack Obama a estimé mardi que le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu « n’avait présenté aucune alternative viable » devant le Congrès américain au projet d’accord sur le nucléaire iranien.

      Le discours du dirigeant israélien n’apporte « rien de nouveau », a encore déclaré le dirigeant américain dans le Bureau ovale.

      « Le fait est que nous n’avons pas encore d’accord » sur le nucléaire iranien. « Mais si nous réussissons, ce sera le meilleur accord possible avec l’Iran pour empêcher qu’il se dote d’une arme nucléaire », a-t-il ajouté.

      « C’est important que nous restions concentrés sur ce problème. La question centrale est : comment pouvons nous les empêcher d’obtenir l’arme nucléaire ? », a-t-il souligné. « Je ne suis pas focalisé sur la politique, (...) sur le théâtre », a-t-il affirmé.

      “““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
      Nucléaire : l’Iran accuse Netanyahu de mentir

      http://www.romandie.com/news/Nucleaire-lIran-accuse-Netanyahu-de-mentir/571495.rom

      Téhéran - L’Iran a accusé mardi le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu d’avoir recours à des mensonges continus après son discours devant le Congrès américain affirmant qu’un accord sur le nucléaire iranien serait une menace pour le monde entier.

      Dans un communiqué publié par l’agence officielle Irna, la porte-parole de la diplomatie Marzieh Afkham a dénoncé les mensonges continus de Netanyahu, devenus répétitifs et ennuyeux, sur les objectifs et les intentions du programme nucléaire pacifique de l’Iran.

      Le discours de M. Netanyahu est un signe de faiblesse et de l’isolement extrême des radicaux, même au sein de ceux qui soutiennent Israël, a-t-elle estimé.

      Elle a affirmé que les adversaires de Téhéran sont confrontés à de sérieux problèmes avec la poursuite des négociations et la détermination de l’Iran à surmonter la crise.


  • Poll: Majority Of Americans Approve Of Sending Congress To Syria | The Onion - America’s Finest News Source
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/poll-majority-of-americans-approve-of-sending-cong,33752

    The New York Times/CBS News poll showed that though just 1 in 4 Americans believe that the United States has a responsibility to intervene in the Syrian conflict, more than 90 percent of the public is convinced that putting all 535 representatives of the United States Congress on the ground in Syria—including Senate pro tempore Patrick Leahy, House Speaker John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and, in fact, all current members of the House and Senate—is the best course of action at this time.

    “I believe it is in the best interest of the United States, and the global community as a whole, to move forward with the deployment of all U.S. congressional leaders to Syria immediately,” respondent Carol Abare, 50, said in the nationwide telephone survey, echoing the thoughts of an estimated 9 in 10 Americans who said they “strongly support” any plan of action that involves putting the U.S. House and Senate on the ground in the war-torn Middle Eastern state. “With violence intensifying every day, now is absolutely the right moment—the perfect moment, really—for the United States to send our legislators to the region.”

    “In fact, my preference would have been for Congress to be deployed months ago,” she added (...) regardless of whether the Assad regime used chemical weapons or not.

    In fact, 91 percent of those surveyed agreed that the active use of sarin gas attacks by the Syrian government would, if anything, only increase poll respondents’ desire to send Congress to Syria.


  • U.S. Immigration to treat same-sex partners as relatives
    Sat, Sep 29 02:22 AM EDT

    By Ronnie Cohen

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The Obama administration has directed immigration officials to recognize same-sex partners as family members in deportation cases, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said on Friday.

    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Pelosi in a letter that she had ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to notify its field offices “that the interpretation of the phrase ‘family relationships’ includes long-term, same-sex partners.”

    Pelosi welcomed the federal recognition of gay and lesbian couples. At the same time, she called for more to be done to protect undocumented immigrants in long-term relationships with American citizens.

    Napolitano’s directive “will provide a measure of clarity and confidence to families dealing with separation in immigration cases,” Pelosi said in a written statement. “Our nation is served when loving families are kept together.”

    But she added: “We need to ... Relegate DOMA to the dustbin of history.” The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act bars the federal government from extending federal benefits, such as Social Security, to married gay and lesbian couples.

    DOMA restricts the Obama administration from outright ordering that gay and lesbian couples be treated the same as heterosexual couples.

    Last year, Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama called DOMA unconstitutional and said they would no longer defend the measure in court. In response, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives stepped in to fund an effort to try to uphold the law.

    The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide next month whether it will review a number of cases questioning the constitutionality of DOMA.

    Meanwhile, married couples like Brian Willingham, 38, and Alfonso Garcia, 35, of Orinda, California, have been fighting for the right to be considered related in the eyes of immigration authorities. After a traffic stop, officials began deportation proceedings against Garcia, who came to the United States from Mexico when he was 14.

    “We’re definitely happy that the Obama administration took this good first step,” Willingham told Reuters Friday. “But it’s just a Band-Aid. It helps us because we are faced with deportation. But it leaves thousands of couples in exile.”

    Immigration officials last year said they would consider same-sex partnerships as family relations in deciding whether to deport undocumented immigrants.

    But 83 members of Congress led by Pelosi and Jerrold Nadler of New York criticized the government for unevenly applying the directive, and they pressed for written guidelines.

    “This is a huge step forward,” said Rachel B. Tiven, executive director of Immigration Equality, a national gay-rights group. “Until now, LGBT families and their lawyers had nothing to rely on but an oral promise. The administration’s written guidance will help families facing separation and the field officers who are reviewing their cases.”

    (Reporting By Ronnie Cohen; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Todd Eastham)

    ._,


  • One step forward, two steps back… Inside the USA
    http://insidetheusa.net/2009/11/08/one-step-forward-two-steps-back

    Seulement pour parvenir à ce résultat, il a fallu un compromis. Le projet a été amendé avec une restriction majeure, en forme de camouflet pour le droit des femmes : l’interdiction de bénéficier de fonds publics pour financer les avortements. Et c’est Nancy Pelosi, chef du parti démocrate à la Chambre des représentants et première femme à accéder au poste de Speaker de cette même chambre, qui a du faire l’impensable et entériner cet amendement pour rallier les démocrates dissidents en vue de gagner les votes nécessaires.

    #usa #santé #droit #for:twitter