Wednesday Worries

W.J. Astore

I’ve been meaning to post more about President Biden’s decision to throw $33 billion in weapons and money at Ukraine, followed by the decision in the House to boost that to $40 billion, and the vote that took place in which all Democrats, including the so-called Squad, voted for it, with a few dozen Republicans voting against. The implications of this are staggering. The U.S. has already committed more than $50 billion to the proxy war against Russia as Americans stagger under rising costs for everything.

We need Russia to attack the American working class — only then might workers in America get some financial relief from “their” government.

Democrats are “all-in” on being pro-war and pro-military (and pro-police, since Biden has called for even more police to be hired), leaving anti-war positions to a smattering of Republicans with various motivations. All credit to Senator Rand Paul for holding up the $40 billion Ukraine “aid” package. He wants an Inspector General to monitor and control how this immense sum of money will be spent for Ukraine. A smidgen of accountability — imagine that! I actually wrote a note to Senator Paul to salute him for this and for his opposition to the DHS Disinformation Governance Board.

More unaccountable billions for Ukraine and the military-industrial complex, more government censorship for Americans: a couple of worries for our Wednesday.

Anyhow, here are a few good articles I’ve been meaning to cite on this:

Caitlin Johnstone, “The Squad” doesn’t exist outside of social media https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/05/13/the-squad-doesnt-exist-outside-of-social-media/

The US House of Representatives has voted 368-57 to spend $40 billion on a world-threatening proxy war while ordinary Americans struggle to feed themselves and their children. All 57 “no” votes were Republicans. Every member of the small faction of progressive House Democrats popularly known as “The Squad” voted yes.

The massive proxy war bill then went to the Senate, where it was stalled with scrutiny not from progressive superstar Bernie Sanders, but from Republican Rand Paul.

This is because the left-wing Democrat is a myth, like the good billionaire or the happy open marriage. It’s not a real thing; it’s just a pleasant fairy tale people tell themselves so they don’t have to go through the psychological turmoil of acknowledging that their entire worldview is built on lies.

Glenn Greenwald:

The Bizarre, Unanimous Dem Support for the $40b War Package to Raytheon and CIA: “For Ukraine”

Video Transcript: “The US Anti-War Left is Dead. The Squad’s $40b War Vote Just Killed It.” Many Dems voting YES have long denounced exactly these sorts of bills. What happened?

What happened, indeed? Not a single Democrat has a principled stance against weapons and war.

Another article by Caitlin Johnstone details a war game on NBC News that addresses a war with China over Taiwan: https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2022/05/16/pentagon-funded-think-tank-simulates-war-with-china-on-nbc/

Funded by the American taxpayer!

And then there’s this article by Dan Froomkin: “CBS helps world’s biggest arms dealer hone his pitch”

CBS helps world’s biggest arms dealer hone his pitch

Here’s the beginning of Froomkin’s article:

You could see something new playing out on the Sunday shows this past weekend: Some TV news networks are starting to raise questions about whether the U.S. involvement in the Ukraine might have some downsides.

But not on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

After hearing from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who called for “more weapons, more sanctions” — and Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova — who asked for “more military support, more sanctions” — “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan warmly welcomed Jim Taiclet, the chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, tossing him questions that weren’t even softballs, they were bouquets.

One can imagine how that might have come about. Earlier in the week, President Biden visited a Lockheed Martin factory in Alabama that makes Javelin anti-tank missiles, pitching his requests for $33 billion in aid to Ukraine and subsidies for American microchip production. So Ukraine and supply-chain issues were in the news, and Taiclet could address both.

But still, what it came down to was a major television network inviting onto its marquee news show the head of the largest weapons manufacturer in the world — the company that profits more from war than any other company worldwide — and not asking a single pointed question.

Watch the entire six-minute segment and ask yourself if state television in a totalitarian country would have done it any differently.

In the 1970s and into the 1980s, the mainstream media occasionally did challenge the military-industrial complex. Those days are gone. I no longer see articles that criticize waste, fraud, abuse, threat inflation, and so on. The mainstream media, like the Democrats, have become pro-war and pro-weapons and pro-Pentagon. Rare indeed do you hear any sustained criticism or meaningful opposition. (You do get posturing from the Squad, but only when their posturing has no effect on legislation and money.)

What good is freedom of the press when the press muzzles itself on issues that could very well lead to a wider war, even a nuclear one? Why is America shoveling scores of billions of dollars to sustain a bloodletting in Ukraine? What is our strategy to end this war, rather than simply prolonging it and profiting from it?

So I worry.

23 thoughts on “Wednesday Worries

  1. Free speech (and the rejection of State-owned internet) is the last stand.

    NinaPoopens [sp?] aka BigSister will end us all if this continues. We’ve been primed for one emotional inference, one self-exempting projection, one ideological bait-and-switch after another so as to maintain the distraction from uncleG&theProfligateSpenders [Congress] getting worked by ascendant bureaucrats with good intentions and bad ideas, and now the same “democracy” is in flyover country, where citizens can’t avoid it-we’re all the way down, bone on bone, serfs to the State, assets to the “community”, food for the machine, all for the greater good of course.

    Last year I revised a quote from SinclairLewis, I believe: when fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. I added that hospital scrubs would be the mandated uniform and it looks like a temporary face tattoo advocating free speech might be well-received.

    I hope there’s enough time for the courageous & invested people who want a little mystery to the future to say “no, it is not that we will go no further, but that we have gone too far already”. If there is to be nothing for us but what comes from theG, there’s no reason for people who want a future not to fight, bringing down the horse in the most peaceful but certain ways possible.

    For a lot of years I’ve been an observer of what I came to call theShow, one where competing interests battle each other to move us this way and that, poll-tested for approval, linguistically structured to ease ingestion, empowered by influential climbers and protected by social extortion. Ultimately, where our girl goes is less important than stopping where she’s headed, which is undeniable now, and the people who want a tomorrow for themselves and/or others have to say “NO”, then back it up with inaction and obstruction if nothing else, because theState has become Death.

    For what it’s worth, last week I left messages on Fakebook & Twitter for AdmiralMike in Iowa, and while not threatening (in the traditional sense) I did respectfully tell him to go ‘have some fun with himself’, but that’s probably less entertaining than sending a tweet to the CHI DOJ about MayorLori advocating violence and before that a brief message to the CivilRightsDiv @ 1transvestitePlaza in DC about what looks to be a case of elder abuse at 1600PennAve that surely involves DrJill, theTogethernessManagerOfRootCauses, theHennaBomber, et alia. When I told my friend that last week, he said ‘those people will come out here and roll you up’ to which I replied ‘they’ll come out here and burn the house down with me in it, tell the world I’m a terrorist who hates America-I hope they have the right address because the people two miles up the gravel road have kids and grandkids and most people in this parts enjoy holidays with family’.

    I only worry about waking up in the morning.

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  2. Yeah, I’ve had my doubts about the ‘left-wing new Democrats’ for a while. All of them, every single last one of them, voting money for a war too much of our doing that benefits no one except the war businesses. Shows them to all be frauds, because there is no bigger wrong or issue out there than war, and they voted for it.

    But nobody out in newsmedialand is asking them about it. Umm, that is their job, particularly the local news agencies in their districts, right? Journalism is another failed profession in this country.

    I have to make an exception there with the tabloids. There is actually some real journalism in practice there, reporters doing the research legwork to find and develop stories. Good example in the latest National Enquirer’s article on Biden’s mental decline getting worse. Enquirer tells us that Biden is receiving no treatment or counseling for his worsening dementia. They also told of the last Easter event at the White House, where Biden is out on the White House lawn doing the Easter event with a bunch of kids and their parents and a WH aide dressed in an Easter Bunny costume. Seems as old Joe went significantly off track with the kids and the aide had to step in and escort him away from the event, back to the Oval Office. Yep folks, we’ve just seen the president of the USA escorted off the scene for mental incapacity by the Easter Bunny. I love it.

    Yeah, that’s our American society today. Warmongering run by the demonstrably senile.

    Best–

    Dan ________________________________

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    1. “Yep folks, we’ve just seen the president of the USA escorted off the scene for mental incapacity by the Easter Bunny.”

      And I laughed at the folly of Nero fiddling while Rome burned … we can beat that!

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  3. “What good is freedom of the press when the press muzzles itself on issues that could very well lead to a wider war, even a nuclear one? Why is America shoveling scores of billions of dollars to sustain a bloodletting in Ukraine? What is our strategy to end this war, rather than simply prolonging it and profiting from it?”
    Very sad (and dangerous) – and not so very different here in the UK. both our government and the Labour ‘opposition’ are talking up NATO and war; neither rooting for peace. That’s left (pun I suppose) to Jeremy Corbyn and Yanis Varoufakis.

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  4. Thank you for this ( and all your others too) it made me a tad less depressed to know that there are at least a few others out there wondering WTF is happening to this country and the western world as well. Will anyone ask any members of the “squad” why they voted for the $40 billion?? My heart sank and depression set in another notch higher when I learned that. What could they be thinking?!!
    On another note, one thing I have noticed is that none of the pundits I have heard or read have bothered to read a translation of Putin’s speeches about why he is doing this. This includes apparently the people who govern Europe, as well as those we elected to run our government. Everyone simply says that Putin is crazy and attacked for no reason – even the head of the EU economic branch recently said something like that _ that Putin had attacked for “no reason”. Even though I wish he had not done that I think he had a very good reason, and almost no other option if he wanted to protect his country along with his countrymen in the Donbas, – he had tried the diplomatic route for 8 years, including talking with European and American leaders and the UN who provided words but no action. If Americans actually understood what was going on here they would be less interested in funding $40 billion in weapons to the largely fascist Ukranian military.

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    1. Another aspect of this is that the vote was rushed. Congressional staffers didn’t have the time to read what was in the bill for Ukraine. How can you vote intelligently on a bill when you have virtually no time to examine it? Why the big rush?

      The Squad, like other Washington politicians, are driven by careerist motives like power and money and status and fame.

      They only take a stand when they know it’s safe to do so from a careerist perspective.

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      1. Ilhan Omar has always spoken and acted based on her convictions and deep understanding of the issues. The other Squad members have earned similar reputations. They have all have earned our respect and admiration. Bill, I challenge you to dig deeper to really get to know Rep. Omar and then write a blog about this amazing woman from Somalia who grew up in a refugee camp and now has become a great progressive leader in the U.S.

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        1. I wish I could agree. The Squad does too much posing and not enough acting. If they voted as a bloc, they could drive Pelosi to be more progressive. But they don’t buck the Party on issues that really matter. They’re not driving change.

          I’m familiar with Ilhan Omar and her occasional outspokenness and principled stances. But, again, what has she accomplished? I know one woman can’t do it all, but if the Squad truly came together, they could drive change. They haven’t. And that’s why they collectively haven’t earned my respect and admiration.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. How House Progressives forced a Medicare For All Vote and the Squad got all Americans Universal Healthcare – YEAH RIGHT! Earned our respect and admiration there eh REEVE? I don’t think so!

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            1. Bill and Dennis, please tell us what a member of Congress must do to gain your respect and admiration. Then give several examples. It’s very easy to criticize; much harder to accomplish positive change. I know Ilhan best because her Minnesota District is just down the street from me. Occasionally outspoken? Posturing? You don’t know her very well. ”

              Our history has shown that women face tremendous obstacles in most professions. And Black women? Even more. And Muslem, Black women? And if you happen to be a refugee? Think a while before you criticize these incredible women who are dedicating their lives so our country.

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              1. Yes, Muslim Black women do indeed face more obstacles. That doesn’t mean they are beyond criticism. No one is beyond criticism, especially powerful members of the House and Senate, irrespective of their race, gender, creed, etc.

                We should always remember that Members of Congress are public servants. They serve at our discretion. I think we should be very careful praising them. That’s the job of their PR staff, and (sadly) that’s what the media generally does. Our job is to hold them to account.

                One example: I’d like to see the Squad vote against the $40 billion in “aid” for Ukraine.

                Other examples: I’d like to see Ilhan Omar and the Squad come together to force a vote on a $15 minimum wage. Student debt relief. Medicare for all. Substantial cuts to the Pentagon budget. Opposing Biden’s plan for more police. Opposition to fossil fuel drilling and subsidies. And much else.

                I understand one Congresswoman can’t do it all. But there’s strength in numbers. The Squad could effect change if they voted as a bloc for progressive policies, forcing the hand of House Speaker Pelosi. But if they refuse to do this, when they refuse to use their power, they are failing us, and we should hold them accountable, irrespective of how much we may like them as a person or a symbol.

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      2. Virtually EVERY major legislation that advances The Agenda is similarly rushed. That’s how they do business ~ and get it done ~ up there.

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  5. Jimmy Dore showing the Republican Congressman complaining about how the vote was rushed. How even his staffers didn’t have the time to read what was in the bill. And asking how can you vote intelligently on a bill when you have virtually no time to examine it.
    Its at 23.02… this Republican guy was right on. Good for him.

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  6. There’s no justification for sending The Big Bucks to Ukraine or Israel or anywhere else on the planet while we have people here without health care, without adequate housing, without livable wages, without hope for a better life for their children. To call it “humanitarian aid” is a cruel joke when there’s an ongoing, ever-expanding humanitarian crisis at home.

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    1. Israel has Universal Free Healthcare. All Israeli residents are entitled to basic health care as a fundamental right. . American tax payers who are helping sustain this Israeli largeness do not. The power of the Israel lobby in WA DC.

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      1. What about Palestinians? Are they “entitled to basic health care as a fundamental human right”?

        American taxpayers are also helping to maintain and sustain that little inconvenient fact of life.

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  7. Meanwhile… . With:

    “Major NATO War Games Set to Begin 40 Miles From Russian Base” [https://libertarianinstitute.org/news-roundup/major-nato-war-games-set-to-begin-miles-from-russian-base/]; and,

    with The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting at Davos scheduled to start on 22 May, including an address by Ukraine’s President Zelensky [https://www.weforum.org/events/world-economic-forum-annual-meeting-2022/],

    it promises to be a very interesting week, indeed.

    Do the words “The Great Reset” ring a bell?

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  8. As what generated yesterday’s “Tuesday’s Thoughts” for You, Colonel, i had a bumper sticker moment of my own this morning when i saw one that covered the entire back gate of a pickup truck that read “PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!!!”

    Which got me to asking myself: “AM i proud to be an American?” And if so [or if not], Why?

    While there is much to be proud of ~ and ashamed of ~ over the course of America’s history, i can think of very, very little ~ if Anything at all ~ that i am proud of that this nation has done and has become since 9/11. And much to be ashamed of.

    And that’s exactly why i am very pessimistic ~ or is it realistic? ~ about America’s future.

    That is why i believe that one of the most important questions that every American can and should be asking themselves right now is: “Will the United States of America survive to celebrate its 250th birthday on July 4, 2026?”

    Those who would dismiss as implausible and impossible the demise of the United States in a little over four years are invited to consider the year 1987, and how things were going back then at the Berlin Wall, around the Warsaw Bloc, in Afghanistan, and in the USSR itself. And then remember how things had changed there four years later by the end of 1991, starting with the fall of that Wall in 1989.

    Today, May 18, 2022, is 1,508 days before America’s Semiquincentennial. And if America does survive to observe that day, will it be in any condition or mood to celebrate anything?

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  9. All Democratic senators voted for the $40 billion. Eleven Republicans voted against it.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/delay-senate-poised-send-40-billion-ukraine-aid-biden-rcna29470

    There will be no special IG to monitor how the funds are being spent.

    Not a single Democrat in the House or Senate voted against this. Not a one.

    The only time Democrats are anti-war is when a Republican is president. So it’s just tribalism on both sides.

    America desperately needs a third party that is truly anti-war.

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    1. This country needs a 5th branch of government [after the Executive, the Legislative, the Judicial, and the Federal Reserve]: an Inspector General whose first task would be a forensic [ie, with specific intent to find criminality] inspection, investigation, and audit of the entire military-industrial-congressional complex.

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  10. Not to belabor the point, but isn’t it amazing how the Democratic Party can all vote together for a $40 billion slush fund for war in Ukraine? Every single Democrat. Not a single one sees a reason to vote against this bill.

    But when it comes to aid for the working class, child care tax credits, a higher fed. minimum wage, single-payer health care, and so many other issues, the Democrats can’t find unity?

    Hmm … I wonder why?

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    1. That’s simple: Democrats [like Republicans] get more money from the MICC than they do from folks who are concerned about the working class and wages, child care, health care, and all those other “so many other issues.”

      That’s why the system is called $ 1 = 1 Vote. And that’s How and Why it works so well.

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      1. What amazes me is how cheaply Congress sells itself. The MICC spends millions to make billions; indeed, hundreds of billions. Talk about a fine return on “investment” (bribes).

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