Climate change, Pope Francis, United States Republicans, animated cartoon

This animated cartoon video by Mark Fiore from the USA says about itself:

The Gospel of Denial

26 June 2015

Now that Pope Francis has come out on the side of acknowledging human-caused global warming, Republican presidential contenders are suddenly on the side of “science” not religion. Where does this pope guy get off on mixing religion and politics, sheesh! You can read more here.

United States Republicans’ money from Charleston massacre’s inspirator

This video from the USA says about itself:

How is The Council Of Conservative Citizens Different From ISIS? (1/2)

22 June 2015

Thom Hartmann discusses the right-wing hate group known as The Council of Conservative Citizens which Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof claims radicalized him.

And this video is the sequel.

By David Brown in the USA:

Republican candidates received donations from white supremacist

23 June 2015

Several Republican presidential candidates received significant donations from a leading white supremacist who helped inspire Dylann Roof, the person accused of killing nine people in Charleston, South Carolina, last week.

According to an exposé in the Guardian newspaper, Earl Holt, the president of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), which calls for opposition to “all efforts to mix the races of mankind,” gave $65,000 to Republican campaigns over the past few years, including the current presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum.

Roof cited the CofCC web site in his manifesto as crucial to his own development as a white supremacist. Roof describes his development as a white supremacist after being “truly awakened” by the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, which he saw as an act of self-defense on the part of the shooter, George Zimmerman.

The manifesto states, “It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right, but more importantly this prompted me to type in the words ‘black on white crime’ into Google, and I have never been the same since that day.” His search took him to the CofCC web site and its hysterical denunciations of “brutal black on white murders.”

In an online statement, Holt responded by saying, “The CofCC is hardly responsible for the actions of this deranged individual merely because he gleaned accurate information from our website.”

The Cruz campaign announced that it would return the $8,500 that Holt has given to the candidate since 2012. The Paul and Santorum campaigns announced that they would donate to charity the $1,750 and $1,500 Holt had given them, respectively.

The ties between groups like the CofCC and sections of the Republican Party is a dirty secret of American politics.

Other Republican politicians that have received money from Holt over the years include Mitt Romney for his 2012 presidential campaign, Senators Tom Cotton and Jeff Flake, and Representatives Steve King and Michele Bachmann. High-ranking members of the Republican Party have also been speakers at rallies and conferences called by the CofCC since its founding in 1985.

Trent Lott, the former senator and majority leader, spoke at a 1992 conference, declaring that the organization stood “for the right principles and the right philosophy.” According to a 2004 report in Intelligence Report, at least 38 elected officials spoke at meetings of the white supremacist group between 2000 and 2004.

Although the number of politicians publicly attending CofCC rallies has diminished since the 2004 revelations, state and local officials still occasionally attend, including the then-chairman of the Carroll County Democratic Party in Mississippi, Bill Lord, in 2013.

In 2013, the current South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley, appointed a member of the CofCC, Roan Quintana, to co-chair her re-election campaign. Connections extend beyond the CofCC. The current House majority whip, Steve Scalise, notably spoke at a white-nationalist and neo-Nazi conference in 2002 that was led by ex-Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke.

The ties between sections of the Republican Party and white supremacist groups go back to the Republican strategy of winning the segregationist vote away from the Democrats, who had been the stronghold of the southern elite before and after the Civil War. Following the first steps toward federal desegregation, the Republican Party adopted the long-time political methods of Southern Democrats, and many of the determined segregationists like long-time senator of South Carolina Strom Thurmond switched party affiliation to Republican at the time.

In the decades since desegregation, the continued involvement of white supremacists in the US government has been an open secret. When these ties erupt in a scandal, it is quickly buried by the news media and hushed up by Democrats and Republicans alike.

The author also recommends:

The Republican Party and racism
[24 December 2002]

Networks fail to report Republican ties to racist groups
[1 January 1999]

American militarism and the Charleston killings: here.

I’m still waiting for white people to start apologising for Dylann Roof. When will they finally condemn their own people’s extremist tendencies? Here.

CALLS TO REMOVE CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG SPREAD “What began as scattered calls for removing the Confederate battle flag from a single state capitol intensified with striking speed and scope on Tuesday into an emotional, nationwide movement to strip symbols of the Confederacy from public parks and buildings, license plates, Internet shopping sites and retail stores.” Supporters of the flag are suddenly finding themselves in the minority amidst the public outcry. These six companies have publicly declared they will no longer sell items displaying the banner. And looking beyond the flag, here are other tributes to the Confederacy across the South. [NYT]

REASSESSING THE ‘PERCEPTIONS OF TOP TERRORIST THREATS’ “Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center.” [NYT]

Alabama Governor Removes Confederate Flag From State Capitol: here.

Charleston has a long and painful history of racism – which the labour movement must come together to resist, says TIM WHEELER: here.

United States Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Scott Walker

This video from the USA says about itself:

Jeb Bush Promises He’ll Be As Stupid About Iraq As His Brother

11 May 2015

“At some point in recent months, members of Jeb Bush’s campaign staff probably sent him a strategy memo, encouraging him not to embrace his brother too closely. Given recent events perhaps the former governor missed the word “not.”

The Washington Post reported yesterday on the Florida Republican’s latest effort to connect his unannounced candidacy to some of his brother’s most striking failures.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush would have authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, as his brother and then-president George W. Bush did, he told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly in an interview to be aired Monday.

“I would have [authorized the invasion], and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got,” the likely 2016 presidential contender said.

To top this off, the unannounced presidential candidate added, “[S]o just for the news flash to the world, if they’re trying to find places where there’s big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those.””

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Jeb Bush launches campaign for Republican presidential nomination

18 June 2015

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush officially launched his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination Monday, bringing the number of announced Republican candidates to 11—a total that ticked up to 12 Wednesday with the entry of billionaire real estate speculator Donald Trump.

At a rally in Miami more than six months after he first indicated his interest in a presidential campaign, Bush delivered a 40-minute speech that consisted largely of right-wing pabulum and invocations of family, country and religion.

Bush pledged to increase the growth rate of the US economy to four percent a year, without any details of how he proposed to do so other than scrapping all regulations on US corporations and banks.

He hailed the privatization of public education through charter schools and backed the right of church-run charities and businesses to impose their religious precepts on their employees.

Bush called for a more aggressive US foreign policy and greatly increased military spending, but he was careful to avoid mentioning Iraq, Afghanistan or any other country bombed, invaded or occupied by his father or his brother during their presidencies.

The address had lines seemingly crafted by speechwriters to make the candidate an object of mockery. Thus, Bush absurdly presented himself as an outsider, declaring, “We don’t need another president who merely holds the top spot among the pampered elites of Washington.”

It would be hard to find anyone who more personifies the “pampered elites” than the son of President George H. W. Bush and brother of President George W. Bush (and grandson of US Senator Prescott Bush of Connecticut). Jeb Bush followed in the family footsteps, going into banking, real estate and Republican politics.

He was elected governor of Florida in 1998 and pursued ruthless right-wing policies for eight years in office, cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy, instituting the first school voucher program, and heavily promoting charter schools. He backed the notorious “stand your ground” gun law justifying vigilante action, and curried favor with the religious right by seeking court orders to force-feed Terri Schiavo, a young woman who had been in a persistent vegetative state for a dozen years.

Jeb Bush played a central role in the theft of the 2000 presidential election when his state government first conducted a massive purge of the voter rolls, aimed primarily at African Americans, and then acted to shut down vote-counting in south Florida in order to preserve George W. Bush’s 537-vote lead in the state. These brazenly undemocratic actions set the stage for the Supreme Court’s intervention to install Bush’s brother in the White House.

Since declaring his interest in a presidential race last December, Bush has amassed an enormous war chest and considerable support in the Republican Party establishment. Thanks to his family connections, Bush has access to a vast network of fundraisers. His Super PAC, Right to Rise, is expected to raise more than $100 million by the end of this month, dwarfing the sums raised by all previous presidential candidates eight months before the first primary contest.

But the candidate has failed to generate much support among party activists, particularly those from the ultra-right Tea Party and Christian fundamentalist groups, and he has been unable to gain an edge in the early polling. He is currently ranked in the top three in national polls of Republican voters, along with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, although none has topped the 15 percent mark.

Remarkably, Bush’s main problem in winning over Republican Party activists and office-holders is that despite his record of vicious reaction in Florida, he is now regarded as too moderate. Nearly every one of the 15 or 16 declared or likely Republican presidential hopefuls has criticized Bush from the right, denouncing him as too soft on immigration or education policy.

One little-acknowledged key to the initial struggles of the Bush campaign is that his Mexican wife, Columba, and his personal fluency in Spanish are regarded with suspicion, if not outright hostility, by the nativist and racist elements that make up a sizeable section of the Republican Party base. Anti-immigrant sentiment is one of the major driving forces of the Tea Party groups.

With Hillary Clinton heavily favored to win the Democratic Party nomination, and Jeb Bush among three co-leaders for the Republican Party nomination, a Clinton-Bush contest is a credible scenario for the 2016 election. Such a choice between rival ruling class dynasties would place in even sharper relief the undemocratic character of the corporate-controlled two-party system.

George H. W. Bush was the last American president to be defeated for reelection. George W. Bush was widely despised and hated when he left office. For millions, the Bush name is indelibly connected with mass unemployment, financial crisis, illegal wars, torture, and an aristocratic indifference to the conditions of life facing working people, summed up in the famous photograph of George W. Bush peering down on the drowned city of New Orleans from Air Force One after Hurricane Katrina.

The Republican Party is not unaware of these mass sentiments, but campaign strategists and fundraisers regard Bush’s last name as a problem to be overcome rather than a political death sentence. That alone testifies to the enormous distance between the political establishment and the vast majority of the American people.

Docs show Jeb Bush was paid $1 MILLION from a timber firm he helped enrich while he was Florida governor: here.

By Jerry White in the USA:

17 June 2015

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is expected to announce his candidacy for US president in the next few weeks, joining the growing list of right-wing Republicans seeking their party’s nomination for the 2016 race.

For a significant section of the corporate and political establishment, Walker proved his presidential bona fides by defeating the mass protest movement against his austerity measures and attacks on Wisconsin public sector workers in 2011. The effort to inflate the significance of this political nobody is connected to the promotion of the myth that he faced down a ferocious struggle by the unions.

Politician Donald Trump, don’t abuse my music, Neil Young says

This 1989 music video from the USA is called Neil YoungRockin’ In The Free World (lyrics).

Sometimes, United States millionaire Donald Trump is in the news for threatening a wildlife beauty spot in Scotland. Sometimes, he is in the news because his sons kill elephants, leopards, or other wildlife in Africa. He was in the news for seeking the Republican party nomination for president of the USA four years ago. But he failed.

Now, Donald Trump is one of many Republican candidates for the presidency (most of them with lots of money) again. Like many candidates, he chose a campaign song. And, like many politicians (especially Republicans, like Michelle Bachmann or John McCain) he chose a song which the musician who wrote it did not want him to use.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Neil Young: Trump should not use “Rockin’ in the Free World”

Today, 12:42

The newly minted Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has launched his campaign, reinforcing it with the song Rockin’ in the Free World by Neil Young. The singer is not happy about that, writes The New York Times.

According to the team of Young, Trump had no right to use the song. His team says in a statement that the artist supports another presidential candidate. “Neil Young is a Canadian citizen and wants Bernie Sanders to become President of the United States.” Sanders is a left-wing Democrat, for whom social democracy is the example.

Musicians and politicians

Rockin’ in the Free World was released in 1989 by Neil Young. In the song, he criticized then-President George HW Bush and the Republican Party.

Other famous musicians have spoken out against politicians because they used their music. Eg, in 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney used several times the song by the Silversun Pickups, Panic Switch. That band then wrote a letter in which they dissociated themselves from Romney’s campaign.

Recently members of the punk band Dropkick Murphys on Twitter asked the governor of Wisconsin

Scott Walker, a Republican presidential candidate like Donald Trump

not to use their music any longer. “please stop using our music in any way…we literally hate you !!!” they wrote.

Donald Trump Wins Title Of Most Disliked Republican Candidate: here.

And the Trump announcement story just keeps getting better: the candidate allegedly paid actors $50 to cheer for him at his rally. See also here.

Why ISIS terrorism? Mark Fiore animated cartoon

This video from the USA says about itself:

Who Created ISIS?

8 June 2015

With the fall of Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria, fingers are pointing faster than you can say “Preemptive War.” John McCain thinks the crazy Islamic extremists of ISIS wouldn’t be causing the world all this trouble if only Obama hadn’t spent so much time worrying about global warming. Jeb Bush says Al Qaeda in Iraq was wiped out and ISIS didn’t exist when his dear ol’ brother was president. You can read more here.