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Common Dreams: Views
Updated: 1 hour 47 min ago
In his book The American Left and Some British Comparisons, published in 1971, the renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith sought to analyze the persistent shortcomings of the Democratic Party. The stakes, he believed, were quite high, as the collapse of the New Deal order seemed imminent.
Almost fifty years later, Galbraith's study makes for striking reading. Take, for example, the following observation.
The news that President-elect Donald Trump called in disgraced retired Gen. David Petraeus for a job interview as possible Secretary of State tests whether Trump’s experience in hosting “The Celebrity Apprentice” honed his skills for spotting an incompetent phony or not.
Donald Trump has reportedly picked his presidential campaign’s finance chairman to be the next U.S. Secretary of the Treasury. Steve Mnuchin is a Wall Street insider, a 17-year-veteran of Goldman Sachs, and currently the head of the hedge fund Dune Capital Management.
hroughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump criticized Wall Street bankers for their excessive political influence and attacked hedge-fund managers for getting away with “murder” under the current tax code. “The hedge-fund guys didn’t build this country,” Trump said on Face the Nation. “These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky.”
Now, however, Trump has tapped Steve Mnuchin, a 53-year-old Wall Street hedge-fund and banking mogul—and, since May, his campaign-finance chair—to be the nation’s secretary of the Treasury.
Consider for a moment the oxymoronic concept of “fake news,” which we have been hearing so much about lately. This isn’t your typical disinformation or misinformation — generated by the government, or foreign adversaries, or corporations — to advance an agenda by confusing the public. It isn’t even the familiar dystopian idea of manipulated fact designed to keep people lobotomized and malleable in some post-human autocracy. Those scenarios assume at least an underlying truth against which nefarious forces can take aim.
From a “critique” of my work on the recently launched website Professor Watchlist, I learned that I’m a threat to my students for contending that we won’t end men’s violence against women “if we do not address the toxic notions about masculinity in patriarchy … rooted in control, conquest, aggression.”
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is calling on Democrats to be an actual opposition party in the coming era of Trumpism. And she is deploying a powerful tool to make the case for aggressive and unapologetic resistance to Republican hegemony: math.
The recent abusive border search of a Canadian photojournalist should serve as a warning to everyone concerned about press freedom these days.
Bob Wing, Bill Fletcher Jr.
Donald Trump was right: the system is rigged! But it is rigged for the Republicans, not the Democrats, for conservatives, not progressives. And the result is the election of an extreme racist, misogynist authoritarian who may change the course of U.S. and even world history.
When you think of America's great Constitutional originators, names like Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton and Franklin come to mind. And, of course, Abbott.
Donald Trump’s latest cabinet pick endangers the health and well-being of millions of Americans. From tax cuts to surgeons’ income, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia – Trump’s choice to run the Department of Health and Human Services –has repeatedly fought for the wealthy and privileged at the expense of ordinary Americans.
As a trained physician, Price is supposedly bound by the Hippocratic oath: “First, do no harm.” Unfortunately, he’ll soon be in a position to do a great deal of harm – and his widely publicized desire to gut Medicare is only part of the problem.
The terrible predictions of what will happen now that Donald Trump has been elected president—to people of color, to immigrants, to LGBTQ people, to women, and to our planet—are overwhelming. For those of us who care about social or environmental justice, the news is crushing. It can seem, if we are not careful, that all our past work and love has been for naught.
Emily Schwartz Greco
Responsible Americans can’t give up on shrinking the nation’s carbon footprint while a climate denialist and his fellow travelers have their way with the federal government. And while it’s true that market forces will probably help continue to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint, there’s still a lot of work to be done if Trump makes good on his plans to abandon our climate commitments.
“Trump has converted the GOP into a populist working-class party,” Trump advisor and far-right economist Stephen Moore told Republican members of Congress at a caucus meeting.
Well, advisor Moore, meet the Trump transition team.
"We are witnessing not a populist, working class revolution, but the wholesale takeover of government by an extremist faction of the corporate class."
Jimmy Carter wrote and NYT op-ed yesterday in which he called on Barack Obama to arrange for the UN Security Council to recognize Palestine and pass resolutions reaffirming the illegality of Israeli squatting on Palestinian land in the West Bank.
Carter points out that there are 600,000 such Israeli squatters on stolen Palestinian land. He knows that likely Trump’s election marks the end of the US cover story that it is working toward a two-state solution.
Adil E. Shamoo, Bonnie Bricker
The recent presidential campaign season brought political pornography to the American people. Donald Trump and Steve Bannon, his senior counselor and chief strategist, have ushered in a new dark age of American politics.
Donald Trump is about to become president and immediately begin violating the constitution. The constitution explicitly prohibits the president from taking payments and gifts from foreign governments. (Can we stop using the term "emolument"? No one has used it for a hundred years. We want to be clear on what the constitution means.)
"If we give a damn about the constitution, Donald Trump has to sell off his empire and place his assets in a blind trust, just like every other president has done for the last half century."
Katrina vanden Heuvel
Three weeks after Election Day, allegations of Russian interference in the contest continue to appear. Adm. Michael S. Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, stated that there was a “conscious effort by a nation-state to achieve a specific end.” Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein has formally called for a recount in Wisconsin, citing reports of potential outside hacking.
In the Dakota language, the word “oahe” signifies “a place to stand on.”
And that’s what the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies in the environmental and activist movements say they are doing: using Lake Oahe in North Dakota as a place to take a stand by setting up camps and blocking roads in order to block the controversial $3.7 billion Dakota Access pipeline.