Cory Booker and The Danger of Reformism

Cory Booker is a US senator from New Jersey and a Democratic presidential candidate. On April 24, 2019, an op-ed piece penned by Sen. Booker was posted on The Guardian’s website as a part of their Broken Capitalism series. Booker’s piece is entitled, Workers are Creating Massive Wealth. Why are Corporations Hoarding it All?, followed by the subtitle, Our Economy Works Best When No One is Left on the Sidelines. Now let’s look inside.

Booker supplies a few anecdotes throughout the piece that are tragic and show the crushing effects of capitalism, like this one story of a woman named Carol Ruiz:

Every day Carol Ruiz wakes up at 3.30am and goes to an airline catering service at Newark airport, where she helps prepare the food carts that flight attendants push up and down the aisle…. At the end of her 40-hour week she takes home $345. The average airline CEO makes that amount in about 20 minutes.

 Last year, while Carol was undergoing treatment for cancer, her kids and husband went without health insurance so the family could afford her medical bills…

He then follows most of the stories with statements like these:

Workers are increasingly stuck in an “I win, you lose” economy, a zero-sum game in which those in power relentlessly pull out the rungs of the ladder behind them, ensuring that opportunity is limited solely to those who already have it.

Booker than goes over other aspects of the cruel capitalist system and how it hurts the working class in the form of corporations using intermediary contracted workers which keeps wages down, stock buy-backs by companies using Trump tax cut-gained funds to enrich stock owners, and the unfairness of non-compete agreements between employees and employers at low-wage jobs.

So here is Mr. Booker’s sort-of solutions:

There’s no silver bullet, but we can start by making it easier to join a union, giving workers the ability to fight corporate power with power of their own. Second, we must reinvigorate our tepid antitrust agencies, which have long-served corporate interests at the expense of workers. We should also restrict anticompetitive practices like non-compete agreements and “no-poach” clauses and maintain strong rules that hold parent companies more accountable for outsourced employees. And we should crack down on the proliferation of corporate stock buy-backs, or, at the very least ensure that if a corporation buys back stock to increase shareholder value, workers are cut in on the action.

Great, right?

What Booker and other liberals are guilty of is in taking half-measures and falling into the trap of reformism. They want to change society, as they call it, and spew enough fake promises to the masses in order to get enough votes to take office. They want to usurp any momentum by the people.

They want to maintain the current capitalist system while offering crumbs to the workers that often don’t end up even falling from the table. There are enough GOP members and right leaning Dems to halt any of these reforms before they are out of committee. These goals are merely “pony promises” in today’s system.

What we need is true, far leftist change. We need to smash capitalism and found a new system not based on greed and inequality. The point is to make real change, not reform. A radical left remake is the true answer to address these economic and social injustices.

Maduro Critic Even Argues A U.S. Coup Attempt is Occurring in Venezuela

A great Democracy Now! interview with a Caracas professor who, though being a Maduro critic, explains how U.S. aid is an attempt to incite the Venezuelan publics support for a Guaido/U.S. coup.

Also explains how U.S. sanctions are true cause for Venezuelan economic crisis.

Plus, for good measure, they have snippets of Trump spewing lies at one of his rallies calling Maduro a “Cuban Puppet.”

www.democracynow.org/2019/2/22/this_is_not_humanitarian_aid_a

5 Quick Political Facts for Today (2/15/15)

  • John Boehner apparently has no idea what goes on in Congress despite being the Speaker.  Boehner stated it was important to investigate Benghazi again because some questions haven’t been answered, like these:

“Why wasn’t the security for our embassy in Libya given to our ambassador after repeated requests the night of the event,” Boehner continued. “Why didn’t we attempt to rescue the people that were there? Why were the people there told not to get involved?”

All of those questions have already been answered and answered multiple times by the Congress Boehner allegedly leads.  Maybe he didn’t notice the last report since the Republicans strategically released it on a Friday late in the day so the news cycle wouldn’t pick it up.  This was done, of course, since it debunked every argument they’ve made about questions still existing about the attack.  Regardless, the propaganda machine continues…

  • Republicans further show their immoral and disgraceful position on hard-working immigrants.  The GOP is out to stop immigrants with children who have worked jobs and paid taxes to the government for years from getting proper benefits for their contributions.  And it should be noted that many illegals have paid taxes and been a boost to federal tax coffers, particularly since they get little out of federal programs.  Some other commonly believed myths are busted in the article and should always be pointed out when discussing the issue:

Over the past decade, immigrants in the U.S. illegally have paid an estimated $100 billion in Social Security payroll taxes, even though few will ever be able to collect benefits…At least half are paying income and payroll taxes…Even if these immigrants pay taxes, they are ineligible for most federal programs. They cannot legally get food stamps, unemployment benefits, Pell grants or federal student loans. They cannot get Medicaid, except for emergency medical services, and are ineligible for subsidies under Obama’s health law.

  • Shiites are now reacting to ISIS brutality with brutality of their own, which has been going on since “Mission Accomplished”.  If people chose to ignore the fact that Shiite death squads were executing Sunnis in Iraq as soon as Saddam Hussein was out of power, that’s their choice to be ignorant.  But violence begets violence and that situation forced people to turn to more violent groups like ISIS so they could take revenge for the countless murders of their friends and families.  This isn’t to say it was/is right for anyone to join an extremist group or death squad.  But it does show how horrible the U.S. plan for post-invasion Iraq was just an absolute disaster and there is little that can be done by the U.S. to fix this bloody situation now.  And with this vicious reaction by Shiites against Sunnis, this situation is continuing to get worse.
  • The West is still disgracefully and inexplicably supporting the brutal monarchy in Bahrain.  Great piece by one of the activists for change in Bahrain who recently had his citizenship taken away from him after years of punishment, including torture, for expressing his opinion and calling for a better government in his home country.  It is a very reasonable question to ask why the West continues to display such hypocrisy on democracy when it comes to certain areas of the world.  (Spoiler alert: it’s oil.)
  • Egypt purchases military planes from France at the expense of its people.  I mentioned the purchase of the Rafale fighters a few days ago but this article points out two further realities of the purchase.  First, it’s not needed: “One thing is very clear,” says (Jon) Alterman (senior vice president and director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies). “On the basis of national priorities there is no military urgency to buy more combat aircraft.”  Second, by spending the money on the military instead of infrastructure or social programs (clearly taking a cue from the U.S., unfortunately), this means the spending won’t go to put Egypt’s unemployed to work, which includes more than half of its citizens under the age of 25.  Stupid priorities now will equal a bad situation in the future.

McConnell Uses Tried and True

PRIMARIES1-sub-master675Senator and GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell seems to be on his way to a landslide victory against challenger and Tea Party favorite Matt Bevin today in the Republican Primary here in STL’s Old Kentucky Home.

How did he do it? According to this NYT article, the establishment GOP candidates across the nation in Senatorial Primary campaigns are sticking to three things in their efforts to crush their hardline opponents:

1)  Candidate Quality

2) Fund-raising

3) Incumbency

Read Here.

//

Sen. Rand Paul for Easing Voter Restrictions

rand-master675Living in Kentucky, I get a lot of news of Republican and Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul, and it’s usually disappointing. But in a meeting in Memphis, TN (where there is a heavily African-American population) Sen. Paul came out for less restrictive voting laws.

According to an article in the NYT, he said these restrictions insults blacks and the poor who usually have a harder time obtaining an I.D. which are required by these new laws.

But as the last couple of paragraphs in the report states with quotes from G.A.Hardaway of the Tennessee General Assembly, is this a cynical ploy by Sen. Paul to make the GOP look like a kinder, gentler party which respects people with a lower socio-economic status?

Read Here.

//

Climate Change Report Destined to Become Politically Charged

07climate1_now-master675The NYT reports on the National Climate Assessment that was released today which concludes present and future catastrophic weather events in the U.S. are the effects of climate change

The article reports that the NCA reads:

“Summers are longer and hotter, and extended periods of unusual heat last longer than any living American has ever experienced,” the report continued. “Winters are generally shorter and warmer. Rain comes in heavier downpours. People are seeing changes in the length and severity of seasonal allergies, the plant varieties that thrive in their gardens, and the kinds of birds they see in any particular month in their neighborhoods.”

(Read Here.)

Now what will happen here is that the GOP will wrap this report up in partisan politics and anti-enviornmentalism speech. Just take this quote from the article:

Some Republican members of Congress have contended that the science of global warming is a hoax perpetrated by a global conspiracy of climate scientists, a point of view Mr. Obama has mocked as comparable to belief in a flat earth.

Yet, on the other side, the article reports that Pres. Obama has interest in the NCA’s promulgation:

The administration hopes to use the report to shore up public support for the president’s climate policies as he seeks to put new regulations in place to limit emissions. A major political battle over the rules is expected this summer, with Republicans already accusing Mr. Obama of plotting a “war on coal.”

But notice the wide swathe of scientists and even businessmen who were involved in this Assessment:

The report was supervised and approved by a large committee representing a cross section of American society, including representatives of two oil companies.

Hopefully the press this report is getting will let some of the included information get-through.

And just because the NCA is supported by the White House doesn’t mean that the information is some partisan ploy. This fact is exemplified by the fact that these NCA’s are to be conducted every four years no matter which party is in power.

Now we’ve got to get to the fact that why only three have been conducted (they have been missed by both Pres. Clinton and Bush) when the Congress ordered the NCA be compiled every four years.

 

 

 

 

Sign-Up GOP, Win A Gun

17GOP1_now-tmagSFAn article in the NYT reports that GOP candidates for Congress are conducting “gun sweepstakes,” i.e., running “gun giveaways” (like raffles) for those who sign up on their website with names, e-mail addresses, mailing addresses, etc.

It’s an attempt by far-Right politicians to reach gun nuts who are insane about protecting their second amendment rights.

It reports that the NRA has been conducting these “giveaways” since the 80’s but it is a new phenomenon amongst political candidates.

Unbelievable…

Read Here.

//

“Imperial Presidency”?

leadA piece in the NYT about how the slogan, or whatever you want to call it, “imperial presidency” is being used by the Right to describe the Obama administration. It’s in an effort to sway voters to their side proposing that Pres. Obama is overreaching his presidential powers.

But as the article points out, the GOP is one day saying that the President doesn’t lead, and then claims this “imperial presidency” idea the next day.

Read Here.

//

The Myths of Inner-City Black Culture

leadA good, almost prose piece in The Atlantic that tackles the myths regarding the so-called “cultural pathology” of inner-city black culture and its pervasiveness across the politically-ideological spectrum.

Read Here.

//

Trust McConnell With Majority Power?

04MCCONNELL2-master675Why should anyone trust GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with hopes for a more civil Senate? He’s the greatest of obstructionists in power now!

Read Here.

//

//