The infant in the White House tweeted last night that his button is bigger than Kim Jong-un’s. It is so tempting to jump on this yet another Trump tantrum, but that would be counterproductive because keeping us distracted from the excesses of cancerous corporatism and toxic federalism is the precise reason that Trump was elected. By the by, most of Trump’s tweets are not written by Donald, unless you want to believe that Trump has been able to do what no president before him has done and unshackled himself from the bureaucracy in DC and the plutocrats who own our government. Remember when Obama was forced to give up his blackberry and his social media accounts even though he resisted?
No man is more powerful than the toxic institution of the politics in Congress, the White House and the halls of power in DC. Politicians always promise to drain the swamp that is the District of Caligula, in reality it is always the swamp of Washington that drains men and women of their morality the minute they arrive in our nation’s capital. Trump is not the one writing his own tweets and interacting on social media, his staffers and handlers are doing that for him. In case you need proof, we’ll lead off today’s Daily Ghion Water with a story that sheds light on this exact issue first.
Making America Grate
But then came word that maybe Trump didn’t write the tweet after all. The Washington Post reported that “Trump’s lawyer John Dowd drafted the president’s tweet, according to two people familiar with the Twitter message.” The Associated Press also identified Dowd as the one who “crafted” the tweet, citing “one person familiar with the situation,” though Dowd himself declined to make a comment to the AP.
Attributing the tweet to Dowd set off a new round of incredulous chatter. Would the president’s lawyer really compose a tweet like that on his client’s behalf, especially one that seemed so incriminating? One widely shared response, from a person who tweets from the account @nycsouthpaw, focused on a single word in the tweet as grounds for skepticism: “We’re supposed to believe John Dowd wrote pled instead of pleaded?” [from the Atlantic]
Since Mexico privatized its oil and gas resources in 2013, border-crossing pipelines including those owned by Sempra Energy and TransCanada have come under intense scrutiny and legal challenges, particularly from Indigenous peoples. Opening up the spigot for U.S. companies to sell oil and gas into Mexico was a top priority for the Obama State Department under Hillary Clinton.
Mexico is now facing its own Standing Rock-like moment as the Yaqui Tribe challenges Sempra Energy’s Agua Prieta pipeline between Arizona and the Mexican state of Senora. The Yaquis in the village of Loma de Bacum claim that the Mexican government has failed to consult with them adequately, as required by Mexican law. [from Naked Capitalism]
Our Chiquita Republic
“Trump is playing rope-a-dope with the Democrats,” Nader continued. “He’s such an inviting target—all the lies, the stupidity, the outrage, the racism, the misogyny—they can’t resist. As a result, they’re weakening themselves by not having an affirmative agenda. They’re still talking about how they can learn how to connect with the average person. Can you imagine? It’s now the end of 2017. They’re trying to figure out a message.” [from Truthdig]
On the Social Justice Capitalism Front
Cornel West essentially outlined the political program of the Black Radical Tradition by exposing the political emptiness of Ta-Nehisi Coates. Coates has made exorbitant profit from book sales and articles for publications such as The Atlantic. His recent text, Eight Years in Power capitalized on the rise of Donald Trump in the aftermath of the Obama era. Coates has benefitted from the neo-liberal brand of Black leadership that grew in strength during the era of Obama. His work on reparations, white supremacy, and the Obama-Trump phenomenon has given him a bright national spotlight. However, with one article, Cornel West illuminated how Coates has done little more than build a comfortable career in place of genuine service to the masses of poor and oppressed people in the Black community and beyond. [from the Black Agenda Report]
America’s richest one percent own a whopping 40 percent of the country’s wealth, a new study has revealed. The finding marks a widening gap between rich and poor in the United States. The paper, written by economist Edward N. Wolff, used data from the federal Survey of Consumer Finances. The data showed that the wealth owned by the one percent shot up by nearly three percentage points since 2013, from 36.7 percent to 39.6 percent. That number represents the most wealth owned by the one percenters since at least 1962. [from Final Call]
Neocon and Neoliberal Watch (they are the same thing)
This is the kind of excess that gives r/neoliberal its character. Fu’s butt tattoo is the most horrific and high-effort example, but as always, shitposting contains multitudes. In a single week alone, you can find a repurposed Tyler, The Creator tweet decrying rent control, a Spongebob meme translating the established market’s dread as Bitcoin spikes in value, a haughty webcomic comparing kids getting seduced by socialism to moths buzzing towards a kill-lamp, and a starter pack for anarcho-capitalist goons. [from Splinter News]
War is a Racket
We’ve seen it over and over again. In Libya, western interventionism was justified under the pretense of defending human rights when the goal was actually regime change. In Ukraine, empire loyalists played cheerleader for the protests in Kiev when the goal was actually regime change. And who could ever forget the poor oppressed people of Iraq who will surely greet the invaders as liberators?
In 2007 retired four-star General Wesley Clark appeared on Democracy Now and said that about ten days after 9/11 he learned that the Pentagon was already making plans for a completely unjustified invasion of Iraq, and that he was shown a memo featuring a plan to “take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” [from Caitlin Johnstone]
From the YouTubes
Quote of the Day:
“A battle lost or won is easily described, understood, and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it.” ~ Frederick Douglass
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