Bannon, post-conviction, lays out “polite threats” to Democrats

Steve Bannon lashed out at the House January 6 committee hours after being found guilty of contempt of Congress on Friday.

Speaking to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Bannon warned committee staffers that Republicans would have their own committee if they returned to power.

“We have to have a real January 6 committee, including to get to the staffers now and see about the lies and misrepresentations they put on the national television to defame people,” Bannon said…

Bannon said a Republican January 6 committee would look at “intelligence failures, FBI involvement, DHS involvement, the intelligence services, what happened to the Pentagon and the National Guard…”

As for Bannon’s blather … regardless of many displays of the facts he denies … the True Believers in Republican ranks who think the sun shines out Trump’s butt will believe anything they are told by their Fearless Leaders. NO CHANGE THERE.

The electoral, political and ethical struggle will take all the courage and devotion to truth that Democrats can muster. A wish that applies equally to the numbers who find no need or interest in either category of the 2-party lockstep surrounding political discourse in the patriot game. Still…a good time to join hands.

How to Prevent Gun Massacres?


David Gray/Reuters

On April 28, 1996, Martin Bryant, a disturbed twenty-eight-year-old Australian who had been bullied at school, walked into a café in the city of Port Arthur, a former convict settlement in the state of Tasmania that is now a unesco World Heritage Site. He pulled a Colt AR-15 rifle from his duffelbag and started shooting. After killing more than twenty people in the café and in an adjacent gift shop, he reloaded his weapon and roamed around the site shooting at random. A carjacking and a hostage negotiation followed. By the time he was arrested, he had killed thirty-five people and wounded another twenty-three.

Australia, like the United States, is a federalized former British colony that has long styled itself as a rugged, individualistic nation. Hunting and shooting are popular there. Unlike the U.S., though, Australia has a political system that is responsive to popular opinion. Its legislatures do not have filibuster-like rules that allow a minority of lawmakers to block legislation. Within two weeks of the Port Arthur massacre, the worst in modern Australian history, governments at the federal and state levels had agreed to ban semi-automatic and pump-action firearms. The federal government also introduced several other measures, including a buyback scheme to compensate owners of the newly banned firearms, a centralized registry of gun owners, and a public-education campaign about the new laws…

It should be noted that Australia, like the U.S., has a strong gun lobby, which, until 1996, had successfully frustrated efforts to tighten gun laws there. When the conservative Prime Minister at the time, John Howard, pushed through the ban on certain firearms, gun owners were so angry that he wore a bullet-proof vest when he addressed a group of them. But the vast majority of Aussies backed Howard.

As would the vast majority of Americans…if we had politicians and a political party with enough integrity, honesty and backbone to put their deeds where their mouths are.

We know how to slow the rate of global warming by 30%, right now … Will we get it done?


Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Moving quickly to cut emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas produced by everything from livestock farming to fossil fuel extraction, could slow the rate of the Earth’s warming as much as 30 percent, new research has found.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, calculated that a full-scale push using existing technologies could cut methane emissions in half by 2030. Such reductions could have a crucial impact in the global effort to limit warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared to preindustrial levels — a central aim of the Paris climate accord.

In human terms, that could translate into fending off the most severe sea level rise, preventing more profound damage to animal habitats and ecosystems, and delaying other extreme climate impacts.

To date, we’ve accumulated some explanations to the voting public around the world. And lots of pledges. Starting with an effort in Congress, next week, to remove one of the roadblocks that was left in place by the creep who is confident he’s still in charge of the Republican Party.

Anyone looking forward to success with Congressional Republicans? I imagine few of them plan on being around in 2050. And most of them are traditionally beholden to short-term corporate boffins who couldn’t care less about political action that might harm their share price in the market.

Standard Chartered CEO says UK/US politicos decided their response to the coronavirus “too late”

Standard Chartered Plc Chief Executive Officer Bill Winters said the authorities in London and Washington have been too slow in ordering the type of lockdown that China used to control the Covid-19 outbreak.

Speaking on Bloomberg Television, Winters became one of the highest-profile CEOs to criticize the Western response to the pandemic, saying the U.S. and U.K. had acted “too late.”

“I find it interesting to listen to the debate now that we in the West, or in the U.K., or in the U.S., couldn’t have done what the Chinese did because we don’t have that kind of society,” Winters said. “Well, we are doing what the Chinese did; we’re just doing it too late.”

Say it, again, Bill. Say it, again. The thousands who are dying for the mistakes of our politicians have no voice in this discussion…anymore.

Big Brother will never stop trying to take away that damned privacy!


Popular Resistance

It’s impossible to overstate just how much governments hate not being able to read your mail, listen to your phone calls, and peruse your text messages. When all that snoopy officials can pull up is scrambled gobbledygook, they just know they’re missing out on the good stuff, like little kids bristling at whispered adult conversations.

They warm over – the Clinton White House’s overwrought 1994 warnings that “the same encryption technology that can help Americans protect business secrets and personal privacy can also be used by terrorists, drug dealers, and other criminals.”

So, if crooks are getting away from robbing banks in cars, the government should have an easy-peasy switch they can use to disable any car owners motor vehicle, right?

But what about the rest of us? Despite all the evidence of the foolishness of their efforts, government officials keep trying to make us expose our data to them and the criminals who ride on their coattails.

Emperor Augustus Trumpustule

The Republican senators’ speedy exoneration of Trump marks perhaps the most dramatic step in their capitulation to the president over the past three years.

That process…recalls the ancient Roman senate’s compliance with the autocratic rule of the emperors and its transformation into a body largely reliant on the emperors’ whims.

Along with the senatorial fealty that was again on display, there was another development that links the era of the Roman Republic’s transformation into an autocratic state with the ongoing political developments in the United States. It’s a development that may point to where the country is headed.

Trump’s lawyers argued that the president’s personal position is inseparable from that of the nation itself. This is similar to the notion that took hold during the ascendancy of the man known as Rome’s first emperor, Augustus, who was in power from 31 B.C. to A.D. 14…

This inability to separate the personal interests of a leader from the interests of the country he or she leads has powerful echoes in ancient Rome.

Yes, we can erect a roadblock on this path to destroying our constitutional democracy. Trouble is, the Dems have done a superlative job of convincing the average American the Two Old Party-system is the best way to choose who leads our nation. We’re not supposed to worry about Tweedledee and Tweedledumber leaving us with an updated mirror image of Benito Mussolini.

Whomever the Democrats’ political herd eventually decides upon will be the sole choice reasonable Americans can support this coming November. Painful though it may be for any independent progressive-minded voter – at a minimum, we’ll have to press for a platform that takes heed of the fight for an end to endemic bigotry, social and scientific cowardice…any number of economic reforms. And…if such a platform is to be something more than a pretty poster, folks must press all the candidates opposing this fascist-minded krew of korporate klowns to grow a backbone sufficient to win.

Return to equitable taxation of wealth

” For most of the last four decades, the gains from economic growth have flowed overwhelmingly to the rich. Much of those gains to the rich weren’t “earned” in any traditional sense, but rather extracted, excess profits squeezed out of a system designed to favor those who already have power, position and wealth. Today, the top 1% of Americans own more wealth than the bottom 90% combined…

” America’s overall tax system is only barely progressive – meaning that the richest Americans pay only a bit more in taxes as a share of their income than everyone else. And at the very top, among those taking home hundreds of millions each year, the tax code is actually regressive, meaning the more they make the less they pay. The richest 1% own nearly 40% of all the wealth, but pay only 20% of all the taxes.

” Boosting rich people’s taxes is sound policy. Extreme inequality is like economic pollution. It creates widespread harm that the polluters don’t pay for. Inequality makes bubbles more likely, it undermines the foundations for innovation and productivity, and it weakens and destabilizes consumer demand. Taxing it like pollution helps make the costs clearer and reduces the harm.

I don’t care to personalize or demonize the fight for equitable taxation. Money stashed in a no-name blank box still needs to be put to use to educate an ignorant population of children [and their parents]. There is no shortage of needs to be filled – just as there is even less of a shortage of cash. It simply needs relocation, re-allocation. That needn’t impair economic growth or innovation. Improvement is more likely.

If you believe the Democratic Party will aid the fight, please join them. I think a certain portion of effort should be allocated in that direction – if for nothing else than to reverse their history, frankly, of selling out working class families. Otherwise, move to the Left, a little or a lot. Find the level of commitment that satisfies your conscience. Everyone is welcome.

The broader and deeper any political struggle constructs a base aids the likelihood of success.