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It's today then ... (Trump thread)


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It's more than that. It's US funding to any health programmes that include an abortion component. Not just abortion clinics.

 

I didn't know that. Thanks. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but...fucking hell.

 

 

 

 

An article from the excellent John Pilger about how the illusion of Obama blinded people and made them complacent to the rise of the "alt right".

 

 

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/17/the-issue-is-not-trump-it-is-us/

January 17, 2017

The Issue is Not Trump, It is Us

by John Pilger

 

 

On the day President Trump is inaugurated, thousands of writers in the United States will express their indignation.  “In order for us to heal and move forward …,” say Writers Resist, “we wish to bypass direct political discourse, in favour of an inspired focus on the future, and how we, as writers, can be a unifying force for the protection of democracy.”

 

And:  “We urge local organizers and speakers to avoid using the names of politicians or adopting ‘anti’ language as the focus for their Writers Resist event. It’s important to ensure that nonprofit organizations, which are prohibited from political campaigning, will feel confident participating in and sponsoring these events.”

 

Thus, real protest is to be avoided, for it is not tax exempt.

 

Compare such drivel with the declarations of the Congress of American Writers, held at Carnegie Hall, New York, in 1935, and again two years later. They were electric events, with writers discussing how they could confront ominous events in Abyssinia, China and Spain. Telegrams from Thomas Mann, C Day Lewis, Upton Sinclair and Albert Einstein were read out, reflecting the fear that great power was now rampant and that it had become impossible to discuss art and literature without politics or, indeed, direct political action.

 

“A writer,” the journalist Martha Gellhorn told the second congress, “must be a man of action now . . . A man who has given a year of his life to steel strikes, or to the unemployed, or to the problems of racial prejudice, has not lost or wasted time. He is a man who has known where he belonged. If you should survive such action, what you have to say about it afterwards is the truth, is necessary and real, and it will last.”

 

Her words echo across the unction and violence of the Obama era and the silence of those who colluded with his deceptions.

 

That the menace of rapacious power — rampant long before the rise of Trump —  has been accepted by writers, many of them privileged and celebrated, and by those who guard the gates of literary criticism, and culture, including popular culture, is uncontroversial. Not for them the impossibility of writing and promoting literature bereft of politics. Not for them the responsibility to speak out, regardless of who occupies the White House.

 

Today, false symbolism is all. “Identity” is all. In 2016, Hillary Clinton stigmatised millions of voters as “a basket of deplorables, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it”. Her abuse was handed out at an LGBT rally as part of her cynical campaign to win over minorities by abusing a white mostly working-class majority. Divide and rule, this is called; or identity politics in which race and gender conceal class, and allow the waging of class war.  Trump understood this.

 

“When the truth is replaced by silence,” said the Soviet dissident poet Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.”

 

This is not an American phenomenon. A few years ago, Terry Eagleton, then professor of English literature at Manchester University, reckoned that “for the first time in two centuries, there is no eminent British poet, playwright or novelist prepared to question the foundations of the western way of life”.

 

No Shelley speaks for the poor, no Blake for utopian dreams, no Byron damns the corruption of the ruling class, no Thomas Carlyle and John Ruskin reveal the moral disaster of capitalism. William Morris, Oscar Wilde, HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw have no equivalents today. Harold Pinter was the last to raise his voice. Among today’s insistent voices of consumer-feminism, none echoes Virginia Woolf, who described “the arts of dominating other people… of ruling, of killing, of acquiring land and capital”.

 

There is something both venal and profoundly stupid about famous writers as they venture outside their cosseted world and embrace an “issue”. Across the Review section of the Guardian on 10 December was a dreamy picture of Barack Obama looking up to the heavens and the words, “Amazing Grace” and “Farewell the Chief”.

 

The sycophancy ran like a polluted babbling brook through page after page. “He was a vulnerable figure in many ways …. But the grace. The all-encompassing grace: in manner and form, in argument and intellect, with humour and cool ….[He] is a blazing tribute to what has been, and what can be again … He seems ready to keep fighting, and remains a formidable champion to have on our side … … The grace … the almost surreal levels of grace …”

 

I have conflated these quotes. There are others even more hagiographic and bereft of mitigation. The Guardian’s chief apologist for Obama, Gary Younge, has always been careful to mitigate, to say that his hero “could have done more”: oh, but there were the “calm, measured and consensual solutions …”

 

None of them, however, could surpass the American writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates, the recipient of a “genius” grant worth $625,000 from a liberal foundation. In an interminable essay for The Atlantic entitled, “My President Was Black”, Coates brought new meaning to prostration. The final “chapter”, entitled “When You Left, You Took All of Me With You”, a line from a Marvin Gaye song, describes seeing the Obamas “rising out of the limo, rising up from fear, smiling, waving, defying despair, defying history, defying gravity”.  The Ascension, no less.

 

One of the persistent strands in American political life is a cultish extremism that approaches fascism. This was given expression and  reinforced during the two terms of Barack Obama. “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being,” said Obama, who expanded America’s favourite military pastime, bombing, and death squads (“special operations”) as no other president has done since the Cold War.

 

According to a Council on Foreign Relations survey, in 2016 alone Obama dropped 26,171 bombs. That is 72 bombs every day.  He bombed the poorest people on earth, in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan.

 

Every Tuesday — reported the New York Times — he personally selected those who would be murdered by mostly hellfire missiles fired from drones. Weddings, funerals, shepherds were attacked, along with those attempting to collect the body parts festooning the “terrorist target”. A leading Republican senator, Lindsey Graham, estimated, approvingly, that Obama’s drones killed 4,700 people. “Sometimes you hit innocent people and I hate that,” he said, but we’ve taken out some very senior members of Al Qaeda.”

 

Like the fascism of the 1930s, big lies are delivered with the precision of a metronome: thanks to an omnipresent media whose description now fits that of the Nuremberg prosecutor: “Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically … In the propaganda system … it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.

 

Take the catastrophe in Libya. In 2011, Obama said Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi was planning “genocide” against his own people. “We knew… that if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”

 

This was the known lie of Islamist militias facing defeat by Libyan government forces. It became the media story; and Nato – led by Obama and Hillary Clinton – launched 9,700 “strike sorties” against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. Uranium warheads were used; the cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. The Red Cross identified mass graves, and Unicef reported that “most [of the children killed] were under the age of ten”.

 

Under Obama, the US has extended secret “special forces” operations to 138 countries, or 70 per cent of the world’s population. The first African-American president launched what amounted to a full-scale invasion of Africa. Reminiscent of the Scramble for Africa in the late 19th century, the US African Command (Africom) has built a network of supplicants among collaborative African regimes eager for American bribes and armaments.  Africom’s “soldier to soldier” doctrine embeds US officers at every level of command from general to warrant officer. Only pith helmets are missing.

 

It is as if Africa’s proud history of liberation, from Patrice Lumumba to Nelson Mandela, is consigned to oblivion by a new master’s black colonial elite whose “historic mission”, warned Frantz Fanon half a century ago, is the promotion of “a capitalism rampant though camouflaged”.

 

It was Obama who, in 2011, announced what became known as the “pivot to Asia”, in which almost two-thirds of US naval forces would be transferred to the Asia-Pacific to “confront China”, in the words of his Defence Secretary. There was no threat from China; the entire enterprise was unnecessary. It was an extreme provocation to keep the Pentagon and its demented brass happy.

 

In 2014, the Obama’s administration oversaw and paid for a fascist-led coup in Ukraine against the democratically-elected government, threatening Russia in the western borderland through Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, with a loss of 27 million lives. It was Obama who placed missiles in Eastern Europe aimed at Russia, and it was the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who increased spending on nuclear warheads to a level higher than that of any administration since the cold war — having promised, in an emotional speech in Prague, to “help rid the world of nuclear weapons”.

 

Obama, the constitutional lawyer, prosecuted more whistleblowers than any other president in history, even though the US constitution protects them. He declared Chelsea Manning guilty before the end of a trial that was a travesty. He has refused to pardon Manning who has suffered years of inhumane treatment which the UN says amounts to torture. He has pursued an entirely bogus case against Julian Assange. He promised to close the Guantanamo concentration camp and didn’t.

 

Following the public relations disaster of George W. Bush, Obama, the smooth operator from Chicago via Harvard, was enlisted to restore what he calls “leadership” throughout the world. The Nobel Prize committee’s decision was part of this: the kind of cloying reverse racism that beatified the man for no reason other than he was attractive to liberal sensibilities and, of course, American power, if not to the children he kills in impoverished, mostly Muslim countries.

 

This is the Call of Obama. It is not unlike a dog whistle: inaudible to most, irresistible to the besotted and boneheaded, especially “liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics,” as Luciana Bohne put it. “When Obama walks into a room,” gushed George Clooney, “you want to follow him somewhere, anywhere.”

 

William I. Robinson, professor at the University of California, and one of an uncontaminated group of American strategic thinkers who have retained their independence during the years of intellectual dog-whistling since 9/11, wrote this last week: “President Barack Obama … may have done more than anyone to assure [Donald] Trump’s victory. While Trump’s election has triggered a rapid expansion of fascist currents in US civil society, a fascist outcome for the political system is far from inevitable …. But that fight back requires clarity as to how we got to such a dangerous precipice. The seeds of 21st century fascism were planted, fertilized and watered by the Obama administration and the politically bankrupt liberal elite.”

 

Robinson points out that “whether in its 20th or its emerging 21st century variants, fascism is, above all, a response to deep structural crises of capitalism, such as that of the 1930s and the one that began with the financial meltdown in 2008 …. There is a near-straight line here from Obama to Trump … The liberal elite’s refusal to challenge the rapaciousness of transnational capital and its brand of identity politics served to eclipse the language of the working and popular classes … pushing white workers into an ‘identity’ of white nationalism and helping the neo-fascists to organise them”..

 

 

“President Barack Obama … may have done more than anyone to assure [Donald] Trump’s victory. While Trump’s election has triggered a rapid expansion of fascist currents in US civil society, a fascist outcome for the political system is far from inevitable …. But that fight back requires clarity as to how we got to such a dangerous precipice. The seeds of 21st century fascism were planted, fertilized and watered by the Obama administration and the politically bankrupt liberal elite.”

 

The seedbed is Obama’s Weimar Republic, a landscape of endemic poverty, militarised police and barbaric prisons: the consequence of a “market” extremism which, under his presidency, prompted the transfer of $14 trillion in public money to criminal enterprises in Wall Street.

 

Perhaps his greatest “legacy” is the co-option and disorientation of any real opposition. Bernie Sanders’ specious “revolution” does not apply. Propaganda is his triumph. The lies about Russia — in whose elections the US has openly intervened — have made the world’s most self-important journalists laughing stocks. In the country with constitutionally the freest press in the world, free journalism now exists only in its honourable exceptions.

 

The obsession with Trump is a cover for many of those calling themselves “left/liberal”, as if to claim political decency. They are not “left”, neither are they especially “liberal”.  Much of America’s aggression towards the rest of humanity has come from so-called liberal Democratic administrations — such as Obama’s. America’s political spectrum extends from the mythical centre to the lunar right. The “left” are homeless renegades Martha Gellhorn described as “a rare and wholly admirable fraternity”. She excluded those who confuse politics with a fixation on their navels.

 

While they “heal” and “move forward”, will the Writers Resist campaigners and other anti-Trumpists reflect upon this? More to the point: when will a genuine movement of opposition arise? Angry, eloquent, all-for-one-and-one-for all. Until real politics return to people’s lives, the enemy is not Trump, it is ourselves.

Edited by Carbomb
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So here's what to look for if you watch on TV. The Very Basics If Biden wins huge, we could get an "official" call during tonight. If Biden wins clearly/comfortably it may well be clear

Is it Tildeguy? 

Posted Images

 

 

Is anyone else struggling to keep up with all the news/social media/what's happening? It's like information overload...

That's almost certainly part of the strategy.
Maybe it's because there are so many outlets/commentators etc but it's absolutely crazy.

It's not the amount of commentary or reporting. Someone posted this list on Facebook yesterday (so it's probably longer by now):

 

We are 4 days in.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Minority Business Development Agency.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Economic Development Administration.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the International Trade Administration.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

 

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Fossil Energy.

 

* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.

 

* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after RTing factual, side by side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.

 

* On January 20th, 2017, roughly 230 protestors were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.

 

* On January 20th, 2017, a member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition.

 

* On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.

 

* On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”

 

* On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.

 

* On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.

 

* On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.

 

* On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.

 

* On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.

 

* On January 23rd, 2017, it was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.

 

* On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.

 

* On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is of the 2009 inauguration of 44th President Barack Obama, and is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.

 

* On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts.

 

* On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.

 

* On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.

 

* On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.

 

* On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients and sources.

 

How much of a chance do we need to give? Seriously. Tell me.

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I know its only a small thing, in comparison to some of the other nuts stuff on that list, but things such as:

 

* On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”

 

 

to me is scary.

 

The idea that press/organisations are being attack for basically just saying things that are true, and then being "corrected" in a 1984 style THIS IS THE TRUTH type deal.

 

The abortion stuff is also crazy beyond belief. It's mad to think this  has happened so quickly, does it not need voting in congress of anything?

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It is really disturbing. I'm not exaggerating when I say that their whole press approach is something right out of Goebbels 101.

 

"Tell a lie big enough and often enough, and people will believe it."

 

The abortion stuff is also crazy beyond belief. It's mad to think this has happened so quickly, does it not need voting in congress of anything?

As I understand it, it's an executive order. Trump is reported to be scheduled to make nearly a hundred in the next few months, something presidents usually tend to be condemned for doing too often (i.e. more than two or three times a year, I think).

Edited by Carbomb
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Re: the article UncleZeb posted, the Cult of Personality built around Obama had indeed been embarrassing, especially handing him the Nobel Peace Prize. I don't buy all this "but he didn't have control of the Houses" either, Trump's showing now that there can be plenty done with executive order.

 

What's more frightening though is that the sort that voted for Trump considered Obama's foreign policy weak and limp, now they've essentially handed The Donald a mandate to go out and publicly piss off the likes of China and Iran.

 

Edit: Christ, he's now on twitter threatening to cancel a state visit from Mexico's President if he doesn't agree to pay for the wall. POTUS using twitter to blackmail another (allied)President, this is going to get beyond fucked up.

Edited by stumobir
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In fairness to Obama regarding the control of the Houses, executive orders have traditionally been very damaging to presidents in the past, even when not used often, because they're seen as undemocratic in their by-passing of the balances and checks of the US government structure (assuming you buy into that narrative).

 

The reason Trump is signing so many orders is because, oddly, he is exactly what he said he is, i.e. not a career politician. His arrogance as a businessman, as well as the zealotry of his followers, has given him the confidence to do all this because he doesn't fear the consequences previous presidents have. And because the Republicans dominate the Houses, he's probably even more confident they won't take him to task for it - at least, not yet.

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There was an NYT article that describes how basically Trump just sits in the White House watching 24-hour news channels and following social media and tweets whatever mad shit enters his head and it basically becomes policy. They need to take his phone off of him.

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Today, it seems like there's a short interval between Fox News saying something (Chelsea Manning is an ungrateful traitor, who said Obama is a weak leader) and Trump parroting it on Twitter. I think it was a 15 minute interval. Following politics day-to-day at the moment is like one of those videos of someone who deliberately fucked up their Rollercoaster Tycoon design — you never know when things are going to wildly go off the rails and everything is crashing and flames.

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Bill O'Reilly influencing U.S national policy, the man that didn't know there was an explanation for how tides work...

....and when I thought I'd heard it all, this pops up. I just googled the above, and I honestly have no words to describe this. How has this escaped my attention until now? Bloody Hell.

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I think that's just to set a precedent, lie about everything and the big ones will get mixed in with the trivial ones so that no one notices.

 

That phrase "alternative facts" is frightening though, and to come from the Senior Advisor to the President, it doesn't get more Orwellian than that.

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