Sunday, June 24, 2018
Somebody on Twitter posted the top recipients of campaign cash from General Dynamics, one of the big military contractors we taxpayers all work for, and there at #2 in the nation was Martin Heinrich, Democratic US senator from New Mexico. General Dynamics is in the news because it's one of the companies involved in the children in cages debacle at the border. It provides either security equipment or housing or both.
Heinrich is one of the most reliable votes for military spending. This past week he helped Donald Trump get his gigantic $716 billion military spending bill through congress. The US spends more on military than the next ten countries combined. Russia spends $66 billion per year on its military. The increase alone in the Trump-Heinrich bill passed this week was $82 billion.
While Heinrich was telling a rally in Albuquerque yesterday that we need a "humane immigration policy rooted in American values" the bombers and drones he provides for our military continued to attack seven different countries.
The CIA reports that just 2% of the people killed in US drone strikes are on the US "kill lists" of terrorists. It's been well reported that most of the people we're killing are civilians, so many of them are children. By most estimates the US has killed a million people in the Middle East during the corporate welfare campaign knows of as the war on terror.
Are those American values you mean, senator Heinrich. Are those the ones you vote for when you voted for Trump's military buildup, when you took the blood money?
Update: New Mexico In Depth runs down what New Mexico politicians get from the private prison industry, which houses most of the immigrants and also operates sub standard prisons for criminal convicts. Heinrich is high on that list, too, at #3.
Thursday, June 21, 2018
New Mexico US senator Martin Heinrich is holding a rally this weekend called "United Against Family Separation Event." I just got the email and it has this big red Keep Families Together banner across the top.
It's nice the senator is finally taking up a deplorable situation that's existed for many years, that's entirely of his and his fellow politician's creation and that Heinrich has always ignored, but this is exactly what I mean when I say today's conservative Democrats never use their platform to advocate for anything that will increase worker's pay, or give people the idea that they have collective power or get them more involved in making the world better.
Imagine if all this energy, all these rallies and protest and speeches were going toward getting everybody healthcare and a secure retirement or reducing the grotesque economic inequality we have or ending our barbaric foreign wars. Imagine if we had a senator who wanted that for us, and was out there spreading the message and mobilizing people all over New Mexico and the United States.
The power establishment doesn't want any of that and neither does Heinrich. They, and Heinrich, want you to hand your power over to people like him and then get back to work for low pay while he flies around having his picture taken and gets in even better with the big donors who call the shots in the Democratic Party and who can make him president.
Or who will see to it that, if he follows the path of his predecessor Jeff Bingaman, he can enjoy the prestige, gold plated healthcare and benefits and almost $200k salary we give him for being a do nothing senator for 30 years and and go back to New Mexico a rich man.
Notice that Heinrich calls it an "event." The twit is even afraid to call it a "rally" lest his rich overseers think he's trying to rile up the populace.
The populace, meanwhile, will shower Heinrich with praise and campaign donations, and that's the real problem. It's us.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
New Mexico's Democratic senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall just helped Donald Trump fulfill his campaign promise of having a massive military buildup by voting for a whopping $82 billion increase in war spending, to $716 billion. As Adam Johnson of media watchdog FAIR points out, the $82 billion increase alone would pay for college for every kid in America with $12 billion leftover.
As I noted recently, Democrats help Trump get things through congress quite often with key votes. Of the Democrats who have been secretly voting with Trump, these two fall about in the middle of the pack.
I say they do it "secretly" because in Heinrich's and Udall's case they do. The media in New Mexico doesn't keep track of these things and neither do the voters of New Mexico. Heinrich and Udall are fully aware of that and know they can vote Republican with no consequences, so yes, they do it secretly. They never mention their Republican votes themselves, of course.
Heinrich and Udall vote with Trump whenever it has to do with filling the pockets of the Democrats' billionaire donors, who keep track of how their money is spent and are therefore very aware of how Heinrich and Udall vote and very happy with it, judging by how much money these guys rake in from corporate America.
Neither do Heinrich and Udall, especially Heinrich, use their position to build popular support for any legislation or any other thing that would change the vastly unequal economic status quo in which the rich gobble up a bigger and bigger share of wealth and income every year.
Helping average Americans is supposedly, or used to be, a Democrat's job. Today's Democrats are basically Republicans who are in favor of gay marriage and abortion. When it comes to economic matters they're against us, and with Wall Street, 100%.
Monday, June 18, 2018
While Democrats are in power their base excuses things like Obama's record deportations and his workplace raids where kids came home from school to learn their parents were deported that morning. And this, what we're talking about now, was happening. No complaints.
Pardon me, America, but while you're telling me what happens to immigrants is bad, you, with your bombs are blowing up whole families, destroying entire countries and economies. You, America, are literally tearing families apart limb for limb.
Friday, June 15, 2018
Soon after the 2016 election Democrats started talking about a "blue wave," that would sweep them into congressional majorities in 2018, but polls are showing their dream is in trouble.
How can that be? I mean, they're running against Donald Trump!
After Trump won in 2016 and Republicans gained complete power in congress, Democrats decided to make the 2018 election about Trump instead of about policies that would improve the lives of average Americans, i.e. the working class, us. They also began to actively undermine Democratic candidates who promoted policies to help the working class. They did both because they want to keep taking boatloads of money from corporations.
That's explanation enough for why Democrats aren't appealing to voters. It also could be that Americans are, like the world at large, relieved to know there's a good possibility for peace on the Korean peninsula, which would never have happened under Hillary Clinton. Americans might also be glad that the US war on Syria, which Hillary started as secretary of state and which as a candidate she promised to escalate, appears to be winding down.
Thursday, June 14, 2018
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
That's a funny take on Americans' idea that they're better than everyone else, but most of the criticism of the "deal" DPRK leader Kim Jung Un and US president Donald Trump signed is that the DPRK didn't give up anything, or that Trump didn't exact any concessions about human rights.
There are two ways to look at that criticism. First, given the existing conditions, it's unrealistic to expect immediate, concrete results from something like this overnight. There was no such expectation after president Richard Nixon visited China, another communist country we hadn't had relations with for a long time.
Second, the DPRK isn’t bombing 7 countries while its preaching about human rights. Neither the US government nor its citizens have any standing to talk about human rights to anyone. The DPRK doesn’t have 35,000 troops on the US border, it doesn’t conduct military exercises off US coast, it hasn’t levied sanctions on anyone, it hasn’t dropped nuclear bombs on anyone. The US is the aggressor. Americans should be asking why they don't even think about giving up their global warmongering and their non stop interference in the internal affairs of countries all over the world. Unfortunately, Americans, exceptional though they think they are, aren't able to see themselves as others see them.
Monday, June 11, 2018
Kim Jung Un and Donald Trump meeting face to face has global, and historic, implications, especially symbolically. Most of the world grew up watching the US being a pretentious bully in a situation like this. This undercuts much of what US foreign policy is based on. For the rest of the world this is indeed historic.
This could also be what saves the DPRK. And legitimizes what they've learned about running a managed economy. Even if it's only that the DPRK suddenly is seen as a real place, the very idea of Socialism just got another boost and is further legitimized.
Also, it's officially better now that Trump beat Hillary. Besides calling off the cold war she and the establishment started with Russia, but this Korea thing has more global significance.
Some Americans are bitter about this. Americans are used to thinking their personal interests are the world's interests. Americans are more concerned about who's wrestling who tonight and what celebrity said what. And then there are the ones who think partisan politics aren't just a version of that and everybody else is stupid. Americans never seen the world except through their own eyes. Try telling one that and you'll see what I mean.
Trump's 2016 election was a big middle finger to the establishment, and Democrats and the elites they serve haven't learned that lesson and are headed for defeat in 2020, Joe Wulfsohn argues in The Federalist, pointing to the cases of entertainment celebrities Robert DeNiro, Samantha Bee and Bill Maher, who all caused rumpuses in social media and the media in the past week with things they said about Trump or his family.
"Outspoken liberals in Hollywood aren’t the only people who have failed to recognize their own errors in 2016. Democrats continue to push identity politics instead of advocating an agenda that unites all Americans. And the mainstream media allows their disdain for the president to taint its reporting on a constant basis.
What none of them took away from Trump’s shocking victory was how out-of-touch they all were with average Americans."
Political consultant Joe Monahan reports that all the New Mexico Democrats who campaigned by bashing Trump lost in last week's Democratic primaries.
"LOSERS--The Trump bashers. Congressional candidate Martinez, auditor hopeful Bill McCamley and land commissioner hopeful Garrett VeneKlasen spent much of their campaigns bashing Trump. But Deb Haaland was more restrained, Auditor candidate Brian Colón did not lay a glove on Trump and Stephanie Garcia Richard also held back. They all won. Trump is easy pickings, perhaps too easy, and voters picked candidates who were offering more. That could hold a lesson for the Dems in November."
To achieve any political power the working class must unite. There's no other way. Things happen -- like economic catastrophes -- that cause the working class to unite, to realize that what they have in common far outweighs their relatively trivial differences, but people aren't coming to that conclusion on their own yet.
It's extremely difficult to see yourself as you see others. Your ego doesn't like that. It interferes with it's most important task, keeping you thinking that you're OK. OK means being reasonably assured that you are going to continue to exist, and you means the person you see yourself to be, not how I see you, and vice verse.