The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.
Showing posts with label The Nation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Nation. Show all posts

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Conservatism Is, Like It Or Not, Fueling White Nationalism

Image result for rise in white supremacy groups

You may or may not fact, you probably do not know and probably do not care that Charles Barkley (known GOP supporter and former Pro basketball player) sat with White supremacist Richard Spencer for a discussion of Spencer's mission in advancing white supremacy.  Regardless of your awareness or concerns about the interaction and the interviews role in exploring growing American bigotry and racism, we perservere. We have posted a four-minute version of the interaction.

Barkley/Spencer 4:45 minutes

Now for a quick run through an ugly path of how overt racism looks.

This one is eight full minutes of utterance racism with an over the top layer of White privilege..and yes the man is a "Deplorable."

The Chicago Starbucks Racist.

Charleston, South Carolina
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Dylann Roof: Charleston Church Shooter Gets Nine Life Sentences in ...

New York City
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The Southern Poverty Law Center
2016 piece

And, since Trump ascended across the political landscape, would you expect an increase in white nationalism?  A piece in The Nation calls it as it exists.

Another shade of US racism, bigotry......


Image result for rise in white supremacy groups

We are not saying all conservatives are racist; we are comfortable with all racists are conservates.

When we elect people who fail to work towards a tolerant and healthy society we leave ourselves open for lessons of the past.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Trumpism, GOPism, And A Reeling Nation

If we do not learn from our past mistakes and social indifference, we are bound to repeat past horrors.

Lawrence W. Britt 14 Characteristics of Fascism
Ah, let's take a look. A biased look but a look nonetheless.

Growing Ideology The Ugliness of it all 
Trump's heinous nationalist lie "Make America Great Again" 
Impact on US Tourism 

The Progressive Influence

The Nation What Trump Really Means 
Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats
Trump's Muslim ban: 

Military supremacy
Trump and military spending 

Rampant Sexism
Trumpism is the embodiment of Sexism
Vanity  Fair 

The Telegraph UK 

The Atlantic 
"Grab em by the Pussy" 
Controlled Mass Media
Trumps'efforts to control US media ("Fake News") 
Bill Moyers dot com 

Washington Post 
Obsession With National Security
White House dot gov.

President Trump: Making America Safe Again |

Facebook Image (Not iva White House dot gov.
No automatic alt text available.
The Chicago Tribune

Donald Trump's peculiar obsession with authoritarian leaders

Corporate Power Is Protected
The New York Times


Religion And Government (are intertwined)
Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts (Part I)


Why do conservatives want the government to defund the arts


Trump Reportedly Plans To End National Arts Funding 

Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts (Part II)
Trump and funding for the arts. 
Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Trump via Sessions and advancement of policy which will have disparate impact on minorities


The Washington Post

US News
Labor Power Is Suppressed
Fraudulent Elections
The Washington Post

 For Trump, a new 'rigged' system: The election itself ...

The Nation 

Fact Check dot org 
Rampant Cronyism
Disdain for Human Rights

Human Rights Watch 

Trump Administration: The First 100 Days 

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Trumpcare Passes US House

Donald Trump, Mike (henchman) Pence and Paul Ryan have spent the better art of the past week lobbying or threatening GOP members of the House to support the Draconian House bill. Ryan is rushing the bill through the House much like he criticized Democrats in 2009 for their developing Affordable Care Act Bill. It should be noted the CBO hasn't scored the latest gyration of Trumpcare.  We suspect the latest bill would lead to far more uninsured than the previous CBO scoring with the revelation of coverage losses to 24 million Americans. 

Paul Ryan the first 1:45 minutes.

Oh, how time sheds different light on life.

As the House moves to pass an ACA repeal bill, one aspect of their anti-ACA rhetoric is the business of "only one insurance carrier in some states". What comes next will not surprise the highly informed, it should alarm low information people who soak-up GOP bullcrap like a dry sponge on a 100 degree Fahrenheit day.
Early morning hate feeding from Fox to its sycophant minions. I will wager some of the show's viewers will lose their healthcare coverage.
I actually heard a GOP member of Congress say to CNN's Dana Bash within the hour: "This bill will help employers reduce costs." Of course, it will. Employee medical coverage for large employers is the single most large and burdensome expense. Exhibit A. Legal Zoom  B. Your Busienss.Azcentral
Lest we forget "corporations are people, my friend!" Mitt Romney 2012.

"Hysterical"... Imagine the reaction of people who will be thrown off the registers of the medically insured. Now that will be a moment of hysteria.
While Republicans in Congress were moving towards repeal the ACA, Trump waddled to the Rose Garden to sign a religious Executive Order which will eventually lead to forms of federal sanctioned discrimination.
Your GOP at work. Remember, we may these people $175.000 plus expenses to hold their seats in the US Congress.

If you prefer not to view the video, we offer a CNN Money summary of what is In and what is Out of current ACA coverage. Link.
Here are the key measures in the House bill (MSNBC):
  • Mandates: It guts the IRS requirement in Obamacare that people with purchase health insurance or face a fine.
  • Tax credits: The bill replaces subsidies for people to purchase insurance in the individual market in the Affordable Care Act based on income with refundable tax credits based on age. The impact is that it will provide more people with assistance but with fewer dollars, especially for the older Americans.
  • Medicaid: The Medicaid expansion is frozen immediately and in two years the states can start to adopt either a block grant for the program or a new formula based on population instead of need. In an attempt to make the bill more conservative, work requirements have been added for most able-bodied recipients who aren't pregnant or caring for a child under 6.
  • High risk pools: The bill provides $130 billion to states over ten years for high risk insurance pools to cover the most expensive to insure. A new amendment by Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan adds an additional $8 billion to assist people with pre-existing conditions.
  • State waivers: States can obtain waivers so insurers don't have to offer robust benefits packages that include maternity care and mental health coverage. Waivers can also be obtained to charge sicker people and people with pre-existing conditions more. Those people would most likely then go into the high risk insurance pools.
  • Taxes: It repeals every Obamacare tax including the .9 percent tax on couples making more than $250,000 and a 3.8 percent tax on investment income.
  • Health Savings Accounts: The measure increases the allowable contribution limits of Health Savings Accounts
  • Other: It keeps the Obamacare provision that people under the age of 26 can stay on their parents' insurance.

Other plan changes and impact on demographic groups (The Nation)


Trumpcare passed the US HOUse with 227 GOP affirmative votes. Now the GOP members of Congress are off to a party at the White House.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

The GOP Southern Strategy Via Bill Moyers And Company

Bill Moyers and Company republished about the GOP's Southern Strategy which was originally published in The Nation. We should never underestimate the degree to which the strategy has shaped our nation, social interaction, social tolerance (the lack thereof), and political elections.  

Yes, the southern strategy reaches to your household as cloaked as the airborne dust that floats around as unnoticed as Co2. 

Why the GOP Crackup Is the Final Unraveling of Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy’

The abrupt resignation of House Speaker John Boehner was his capitulation to this new reality. His downfall was loudly cheered by many of his own troops — the angry right-wingers in the House who have turned upon the party establishment. Chaos followed. The discontented accuse party leaders of weakness and betraying their promises to the loyal rank and file.

At the heart of this intramural conflict is the fact that society has changed dramatically in recent decades, but the GOP has refused to change with it. Americans are rapidly shifting toward more tolerant understandings of personal behavior and social values, but the Republican Party sticks with retrograde social taboos and hard-edged prejudices about race, gender, sexual freedom, immigration, and religion. Plus, it wants to do away with big government (or so it claims).

The party establishment, including business and financial leaders, seems to realize that Republicans need to moderate their outdated posture on social issues. But they can’t persuade their own base — especially Republicans in the white South — to change. The longer the GOP holds out, the more likely it is to be damaged by the nation’s changing demographics — the swelling impact of Latinos and other immigrants, and the flowering influence of millennials, the 18-to-30-year-olds who are more liberal and tolerant than their elders.

Nixon’s “Southern strategy” was cynical, of course, but it was an effective electoral ploy. Now, however, it is beginning to look like a deal with the devil. For 2016, the GOP has to cope with very different challenges. The party has to find a broadly appealing nominee who won’t scare off party moderates and independent voters, but who at the same time can pacify rebellious right-wingers and prevent a party crackup.

Looking over the list of possible nominees doesn’t reveal an obvious solution. Trumpish extremism is entertaining, but it could simply boost voter turnout among Democratic constituencies. Hard-core tea party types threaten to play Samson and pull down the temple if they don’t get their way.

* * *

To grasp the GOP’s dilemma, it helps to understand that the modern Republican Party was founded on some basic contradictions. It has been an odd-couple coalition that unites the East Coast Republican establishment with the hardscrabble segregationists of the white South. Richard Nixon brokered the deal with Dixiecrat leader Strom Thurmond at the ’68 convention in Miami, wherein states of the old slave-holding Confederacy would join the Party of Lincoln. It took two election cycles to convert the “Solid South,” but Nixon and GOP apparatchiks made it clear with private assurances that Republicans would discreetly retire their historic commitment to civil rights.

Scott Lilly, a liberal Democrat who for many years was the sagacious staff director of the House Appropriations Committee, explained the GOP’s intra-party fracas in that context. Boehner’s resignation, Lilly wrote in The Washington Spectator, “was, in fact, about the steady unraveling of a coalition that has allowed the Republican Party to hold the White House for 27 of the past 47 years and maintain a seemingly solid base for continuing control of the US House of Representatives.”

“The country clubbers don’t care about prayer in the public schools, gun rights…abortion and immigration.”

Nixon’s reconfiguration brought together “polar opposites among white Americans,” Lilly noted. The traditional wing of the party — “country club” Republicans, who include corporate leaders, financiers and investors — became partners with poor, rural, church-going voters, among them the Southern “segs” who had previously always voted for Democrats. Black Southerners didn’t count in the equation, since they were still mostly being blocked from voting.

After Congress enacted the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Lyndon Johnson confided to a White House aide, “I think we just delivered the South to the Republican Party for a long time to come.” Nixon’s new Republicans became a formidable national party, Lilly explained, but they always straddled the tension between rich and poor.

“The problem,” Lilly said, “is that this latter group has almost nothing in common with the country club wing.… The country clubbers don’t care about prayer in the public schools, gun rights, stopping birth control, abortion and immigration.” On the other hand, common folks don’t worry over marginal tax rates, capital formation, or subsidies for major corporations.

“If they ever fully understood that their more prosperous party brethren were contemplating deep cuts in Medicare and Medicaid to pay for those policies, they would be in open rebellion,” Lilly observed.

Nixon and his successors hid behind ideology and obscured the contradictions by pursuing a strategy I would call “no-fault bigotry.” Every now and then, especially in election seasons, the Republicans played the race card in dog-whistle fashion to smear Democrats, with savage effect. The GOP never attempted to repeal civil-rights legislation but sought cheap ways to undermine enforcement and remind whites, South and North, that the party was on “their” side.

In his first term, Nixon himself made a memorable gesture by supporting federal tax subsidies for the private “seg academies” springing up across the South. He didn’t prevail, but he won lots of political loyalty among Southern whites — a generation of voters who had been raised to vote Democratic, but who were beginning to switch parties.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan opened his presidential campaign at the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi — a few miles from where three civil-rights workers had been murdered in the 1960s. Reagan announced his intention “to restore to states and local government the power that properly belongs to them.” That is Dixie’s euphemism for opposing racial integration.

In 1988, George H.W. Bush smeared Michael Dukakis with his notoriously racist “Willie Horton” ads. In 1990 in North Carolina, Senator Jesse Helms ran for reelection against Harvey Gantt, a black former mayor of Charlotte, with a provocative ad called “white hands, black hands” attacking affirmative action. Helms won, and of course so did Bush.

It finally dawned on loyal foot soldiers in the odd-couple coalition that they were being taken for suckers.
In 2008, when Americans elected our first black president, most of the heavy smears came after Barack Obama took office. Grassroots conservatives imagined bizarre fears: Obama wasn’t born in America; he was a secret Muslim. Donald Trump demanded to see the birth certificate. GOP leaders like Senator Mitch McConnell — who had been a civil-rights advocate in his youth — could have discouraged the demonizing slurs. Instead, McConnell launched his own take-no-prisoners strategy to obstruct anything important Obama hoped to accomplish.

At least until now, Republicans have gotten away with this bigotry. As a practical matter, there was no political price. Democrats often seemed reluctant to call them out, fearful that it might encourage even greater racial backlash. Indeed, the Dems developed their own modest Southern strategy — electing centrists Jimmy Carter of Georgia and later Bill Clinton of Arkansas to the White House. But the hope that Democrats could make peace with Dixie by moderating their liberalism was a fantasy. Conservatives upped the ante and embraced additional right-wing social causes.
* * *
So what caused the current rebellion in the GOP ranks? It finally dawned on loyal foot soldiers in the odd-couple coalition that they were being taken for suckers. Their causes always seemed to get the short end of the stick. The GOP made multiple promises and fervent speeches on the social issues, but, for one reason or another, the party establishment always failed to deliver.

“We told people Obama was a dangerous socialist…when really we knew he was a moderate. But they believed us.”

This belated realization stirred the anger that has flared across the ranks of the followers — and not just in the South. The financial crisis, the bailout of the banks, and collapsing prosperity intensified their sense of betrayal. People began mobilizing their own rump-group politics to push back. The tea party protests were aimed at President Obama, of course, but they were also an assault on Republican leaders who had misled and used the party base for so long. Tea party revenge took down long-comfortable legislators and elected red-hot replacements who share the spirit of rebellion.

A Republican lobbyist of my acquaintance whose corporate client has been caught in the middle of the political disturbances shared a provocative insight. “I finally figured it out,” he told me. “Obama created the tea party.” I laughed at first, but he explained what he meant. “We told people that Obama was a dangerous socialist who was going to wreck America and he had to be stopped, when really we knew he was a moderate Democrat, not all that radical,” the lobbyist said. “But they believed us.”

In other words, the extremist assaults on the black president, combined with the economic failures, were deeply alarming for ordinary people and generated a sense of terminal crisis that was wildly exaggerated. But it generated popular expectations that Republicans must stand up to this threat with strong countermeasures — to win back political control and save the country. I suggested that racial overtones were also at work. “That’s your opinion,” the lobbyist said. “I don’t know about that.”

The point is, the grassroots anxieties were disappointed by the party establishment’s responses. The GOP kept denouncing Obamacare and predicting Obama’s failure, so it was a great shock to the rank and file when the president won reelection. He proceeded with executive action on immigration that further inflamed defeated conservatives.

Tea party patriots observed that once again the GOP had failed to deliver on their social discontents: Abortion was still legal. Gays were getting married. Republicans won control of both the House and Senate, but the leaders declined to shut down government or force the president’s hand in other ways. America was burning, they believed, but Washington didn’t want to disrupt business as usual.

If my lobbyist friend is right, the Republican establishment brought this crisis on itself by cynically manipulating its own rank and file. The party can’t deal with the real economic distress threatening the nation as long as rebellion is still smoldering in the ranks. Of course, that suits the interests of the country-club and Fortune 500 wing of the party — the last thing they want is significant economic reform. Confusion and stalemate have their political uses. On the other hand, the GOP can’t give the tea party rebels what they want without darkening its electoral prospects for 2016. Chaos to be continued.

The confusion and feared crackup may actually open a brighter path for future politics, because the country is changing, including among white Southerners. The most resonant political moment in 2015 may have been what occurred in South Carolina after the church massacre in Charleston. Many politicians fumbled around, not sure what to say, but GOP Governor Nikki Haley stepped forward and took ownership of the shame. She burned the Confederate flag, so to speak, by acknowledging that it is a symbol of hate and calling for its removal from conspicuous display, which the state legislature agreed to do. Other Southern states swiftly followed with similar moves.

This seems like a small symbolic gesture alongside the squalid history of racial oppression. But I think it signals a yearning for greater possibilities — a “New South” wishing it could truly escape the claustrophobic society created by the legacy of racial apartheid and the punishing social edicts imposed by demagogic preachers.

As recent events have made clear, the corporate partners who dominate the GOP coalition have their own strong interest in promoting progressive social change — their customers demand it, and their employees and overseas markets expect it.

Deep political change cannot reverse history in a single election cycle — it will take many elections — but Democrats have a great opportunity to force the question on the nation in 2016. Instead of playing limp and vague, Dems can launch what Howard Dean called for in 2004: a 50-state strategy that runs on liberating issues. Instead of ignoring GOP bigotry, the Democratic ticket can promise to challenge it on every front and attack reactionary Republicans who try to impose the past on voters.

Above all, Democrats should demand that tea party rebels explain why they are in league with a party that intends to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in order to finance more tax cuts for billionaires. As Scott Lilly suggested, if common folks ever understand the corrupt nature of the Republican coalition, we will see a popular rebellion that makes the present chaos look like, well, a tea party.

William Greider, The Nation
William Greider is a prominent political journalist and author who has been a reporter for more than 35 years for newspapers, magazines and television. Over the past two decades, he has persistently challenged mainstream thinking on economics. He is the national affairs correspondent for The Nation.