Doubling down on the lies to pick the pockets of the gullible

Donald Trump makes a return to the public eye with a speech today to the annual right-wing Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida, providing the finale to this right-wing nut fest. While CPAC is independent of the Republican party, CPAC drives much of the party’s agenda. So far, the event has been doubling down on the Big Lie that the election was stolen from him and the reasons for doing is obvious, because it gets the party faithful to open their wallets.

“Donald Trump convinced his base – a majority of Republicans, if polls are to be believed – that the election was stolen. Though the CPAC organizers likely know it’s false, they’re using this as a wedge issue to excite the base and sell more tickets,” said Nick Pasternak, who recently left the Republican party after working on several GOP campaigns.

He added: “CPAC’s willingness to make the election lie such a big issue this year is a concerning symbol of what many in the party think – and what they’ll do.”

Jay Williams, a Republican strategist in Georgia, said the focus on elections was a way to gin up support among the party’s faithful base, which remains largely loyal to Trump and his allies.

“I would not equate ‘the party’ with CPAC so I wouldn’t put much stock in it from that perspective,” he said. “CPAC exists to make money and so it’s no surprise to me the organizers have jumped on to this issue as a way to drive engagement of their target market.”

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Biden continues the perpetual wars

Joe Biden has launchd his first airstrike, against targets in Syria, killing 22 people.

The Pentagon’s chief spokesperson, John Kirby, said the location of the strikes was used by Kataeb Hezbollah and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada, two Iraqi pro-Iran groups operating under the Hashd umbrella. “This proportionate military response was conducted together with diplomatic measures, including consultation with coalition partners,” Kirby said. “The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and coalition personnel. At the same time, we have acted in a deliberate manner that aims to de-escalate the overall situation in eastern Syria and Iraq.”

Mary Ellen O’Connell, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, criticised the US attack as a violation of international law. “The United Nations charter makes absolutely clear that the use of military force on the territory of a foreign sovereign state is lawful only in response to an armed attack on the defending state for which the target state is responsible,” she said. “None of those elements is met in the Syria strike.”

Once again, the US sends its troops into other countries and when they are attacked, claims it must retaliate in self-defense. It is part of the persistent mindset that pretty much the whole world is American territory so they are never invaders, only other countries are.
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McConnell begins groveling again to Trump

Just when you thought that Mitch McConnell could not sink any lower in political grubbing, he does. After the attack on on the US Capitol building on January 6th, McConnell made a speech on the floor of the senate and wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal unequivocally placing the blame on Trump. But when asked if he would support Trump if he became the party’s nominee in 2024, he gave a resoundingly affirmative answer.
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The Neera Tanden controversy reveals bipartisan corrupt politics

I have already discussed the awful record of Neera Tanden who has been nominated by Joe Biden to the powerful position of the head of the Office of Management and Budget. There are signs that her nomination is in trouble. But instead of focusing on that record, criticisms of her have centered on her late-night rage tweeting, resulting in her now trying to walk away from them saying, “My language and my expressions on social media caused hurt to people, and I feel badly about that. And I really regret it and I recognize that it’s really important for me to demonstrate that I can work with others… I would say social media does lead to too many personal comments and my approach will be radically different.”

Really? She only now realized the toxic effects of social media? Tanden did not say these things as an impulsive adolescent who has since matured and learned better. She made those vicious attacks on people as part of advancing her reactionary agenda and fully conscious of what she was doing, and is only sorry for them because they might jeopardize her nomination to an important post. Her apology is utterly disingenuous. Norman Solomon writes how the media and some left-leaning Democratic-supporting groups such as MoveOn are turning a blind eye to her faults and urging support for her.
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Bernie Sanders on raising the minimum wage

Bernie Sanders is holding a senate hearing on why the federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 per hour.

US taxpayers should not be “forced to subsidize some of the largest and most profitable corporations in America”, Bernie Sanders told a Senate hearing on Thursday.

As Congress debates the first rise in the minimum wage in over a decade, the Vermont senator said he had “talked to too many workers in this country who, with tears in their eyes, tell me the struggles they have to provide for their kids on starvation wages” even as the chief executives of companies including McDonald’s, Walmart and others take home multi-million dollar pay packages.

Executives from Walmart and McDonald’s were invited to the hearing, titled Should Taxpayers Subsidize Poverty Wages at Large Profitable Corporations?They declined to appear.
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The horrendous conditions in meatpacking plants

Crusading journalist, novelist, and one-time socialist candidate for governor of California in 1934, Upton Sinclair wrote a novel The Jungle in 1906 that lifted the veil off the horrendous working and living conditions of the workers in the Chicago meatpacking industry in Chicago. Upton’s novel focused on the lives of the recent immigrants from Eastern Europe who took these jobs because they had little choice. He had gone undercover as a worker in the stockyards to experience first-hand the conditions. His novel caused an outcry and led to reforms.

I had not realized that it was Sinclair who wrote that well known aphorism, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”. Sinclair could be considered as one of the originators of the of the movement we now know as democratic socialism.

He also said:
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