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Mission Accomplished? Could US-Iran Conflict Tear Iraq Apart Again?

The rising tensions between the Trump administration and Iran have the potential to roil the entire Middle East, and no country feels the heat more than Iraq, which has warm relations both with the US and Iran, as Egyptian journalist Islam Muhammad argues in a wideranging report. Iraqi nationalist and Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr made headlines earlier this week when he tweeted out that a US-Iran War would “finish off Iraq.” Al-Sadr, who Continue Reading...

Book Review: Understanding Marxism

Understanding “Wolff-ism”: Prof. Richard Wolff’s Take on Karl Marx in New Text The 2008 crisis of capitalism sparked and regenerated interest in alternatives to the capitalist system, which was on the verge of collapsing. This included revived interest in socialism, with one of the results being the propelling of an obscure leftwing academic into history’s headlights. With appearances on TV shows including Bill Moyers’ and Charlie Rose’s Continue Reading...

Practical Impeachment Politics: Your Objections Are Bullshit

Too many Democrats are tying themselves in knots in order to avoid committing to impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump, a man who, in his best days, betrays the public trust ten times before finishing his first Sausage McMuffin of the morning. But the arguments Democrats make are utter bullshit, and they're belied by history, circumstance, and the Democrats' own actions. For example: "Why bother impeaching Trump when we know the Continue Reading...

Pistol-Packin’ Butina: Feds Parlay A Weak Case Into An 18-Month Sentence

The case against Mariia Butina for being a Russian spy was never strong.   She never worked directly for the Kremlin, knew of no secret codes or safe houses, and didn't engaged in covert activity.  And so the feds ended up charging her with the rather tame offense of failing to register as a foreign agent.  The Siberian-born gun-rights activist, an oxymoron if there ever was one since gun owners in Russia have no rights, made her debut as a bit Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Terry Gilliam’s Quixotic Quest: Mancha Ado About…? Monty Python collaborator Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote falls into an interesting motion picture category. Cinematic lore includes a sort of subgenre of “difficult” films often made by powerful directors seeking to impose their exacting, iconic, auteurish visions on studios, audiences, critics, etc. During the silent screen era the original uncut versions of D.W. Griffith’s Continue Reading...

How Classic Anti-Semitic Tropes are being Marshaled against Ilhan Omar and Muslim-Americans

The attacks on Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim-American women to serve in Congress and the first of Black African heritage who veils, by the Rupert Murdoch press (Fox, New York Post, etc.) and the US Republican Party are frightening for many reasons, but most of all because they repeat classic anti-Semitic charges made by the Nazis in Germany against Jews. Racism is not that complicated, and is always simple-minded and stupid, and so it Continue Reading...

White Nationalists Suspected of Fire at Important Civil Rights Location

When I was working on my dissertation on labor unions in the early 20th century and their intersection with theatre, I did a great deal of archival research all around the United States. Most of it was at organized libraries, where well-trained archivists would bring me boxes of material to sort through at tightly-controlled spaces as I searched for play manuscripts that had never been published, as well as letters, programs, and anything else Continue Reading...

To The Fainting Couch! Is William Barr Trying To Whitewash The Mueller Report?

Memo to those who are taking a wait-and-see attitude about how Attorney General William Barr will handle Robert Mueller's final report on the Russia scandal: The waiting is over and what we're seeing has all the the earmarks of a whitewash.    The special counsel's final report not only does not exonerate Trump.  Hiding behind myriad redactions and peeking out between the lines in the copious appendices is some very nasty shit involving Trump as Continue Reading...

Best of Web

Trump, McConnell, Putin, and the Triumph of the Will to Power

At a critical moment in the 2016 presidential campaign, President Obama met with Republican congressional leaders and, after presenting them with evidence of Russian tampering, asked that they uniformly condemn it.  GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others refused.  The evidence just wasn’t there.  But it was.  And many of the same lawmakers eagerly condemned Hillary Clinton’s perceived misdeed, as reported by the FBI.  So much for love of country.

Russia and the Threat to Liberal Democracy

Liberal democracy faces grave dangers, most significantly, perhaps, from rapacious capitalism that unremittingly concentrates wealth.  Putin is another threat.  After consolidating his own power in Russia, he has stepped up a campaign against liberalism abroad, first in Russia’s “near abroad” in Eastern Europe, and now the US.  Is Trump his latest trophy?

The Victory of ‘No’

For eight years, the GOP employed strategic obstructionism to stymie Obama’s mildly progressive agenda, even when his proposals, such as the Affordable Care Act or the stimulus, closely aligned with their own.  Putting country first?  Nope.  This was pure partisanship in the service of partisanship.  And it worked!

Dangerous idiots: how the liberal media elite failed working-class Americans

Is the so-called “liberal,” “elite” media really as cosseted and cloistered as its critics suggest?  Actually, yes.  Like the Democracy Party, the media – defined here as the mainstream variety – largely comprises well-educated, coastal types who have little in common (and often disdain) middle-America, working class whites.  Little wonder it has earned the latter’s ire.

Hillary Clinton and the Populist Revolt

What happens when the purported party of the working class abandons its proletarian roots, while the other major party pushes crazed conspiracy theories, paranoia, and racism as an obfuscatory tactic to conceal its plutocratic agenda?  A virulent populism that threatens the republic.  Whose to blame for Trump?  We all are.

In ‘Hitler,’ an Ascent From ‘Dunderhead’ to Demagogue

How did a clownish buffoon rise from obscurity to lead one of the world’s great civilizations that produced soaring art and culture?  Historians have been asking the question since the demise of the Third Reich.  Hitler confounds.  Here are some clues: cunning exploitation of nativist fears, exploitation of irresistible propaganda, and “bottomless mendacity.”  Found familiar.  It should.