• antisemitism,  Stateside

    Solidarity in Pittsburgh

    As chair of the Lexington, Virginia, Democratic Committee, I’ve been very occupied in recent weeks with the upcoming election next Tuesday– working to reelect Senator Tim Kaine (running against a neo-Confederate hatemonger from Minnesota) and elect a progressive farmer’s daughter to Congress from my largely rural and Republican district. The latter race is something of a longshot, but recent events have only increased my determination. I hope I don’t need to explain why. But I want to take time to post this. It means a lot to me. Seen on the steps of Sixth Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh: Posted by Chad Andrew Herring on Tuesday, October 30, 2018

  • North Korea,  Trump

    DJT ♥ KJU

    I’m old enough to remember when one of the worst insults in American politics was “commie lover”– usually aimed by rightwing Republicans at liberal Democrats deemed insufficiently alarmed about the worldwide Communist menace. And just as Joe McCarthy and countless other Republicans exaggerated the Communist threat within the US and unfairly labeled liberals, there were some liberals who downplayed the horrors of Communist rule in Russia, Eastern Europe, China, Cuba and elsewhere. So it makes my head spin a little when our Republican president unabashedly proclaims that he “fell in love” with the world’s most brutal and dangerous Communist leader. And when the reaction from his fellow Republicans is undetectable.

  • Labour Party,  Russia

    Corbyn’s Trumpian respnse to the Skripal poisonings

    Damian Reilly writes at The Spectator: It is deeply weird that Jeremy Corbyn will not condemn Russia for carrying out a chemical weapons attack on British soil. Actually, it’s beyond weird. It’s astonishing. I disagree. From everything I know about Corbyn, it is not at all weird. What seems weird to me is that so many of his supporters are apparently undisturbed by this. At PMQs this week, after Theresa May named the two Russian agents that British intelligence is certain carried out the attack, Corbyn spoke only of bringing “those responsible” to justice. His sole direct criticism of Russia, in fact, was merely “for its failure to cooperate with…

  • Syria,  Trump

    “TREASON?”

    As Donald Trump continues his descent into paranoid rage, and as one senior official of his administration says that he/she and others are helping to protect the nation from him, I do want to single out one area in which I’m somewhat in sympathy with the President, as revealed in Bob Woodward’s upcoming book. Donald Trump ordered his defence secretary to assassinate Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad and “kill the f****** lot of them” in the leader’s regime, in the wake of a chemical attack against civilians, according to a new book. Defence secretary James Mattis is said to have told the president during a phone call he would “get right…

  • Stateside

    Tributes to John McCain

    “Cynicism is often the shamefaced product of inexperience.” –A.J. Liebling Here are the eulogies for Senator John McCain by his daughter Meghan and by former President Barack Obama: It’s hard to miss the not-so-oblique references to a certain man who was not invited to the memorial service at the National Cathedral in Washington. “We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness,” [Meghan McCain] said, gritting her teeth through the tears. “The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.” When…

  • Obituary,  Stateside

    RIP John McCain

    A brave and patriotic and decent man, dead at 81. For all my political disagreements with McCain, two things stand out for me about him: — His refusal to accept early release from his six-year imprisonment in North Vietnam until all his fellow American POWs were freed. — This moment from his 2008 campaign for President:

  • Israel/Palestine,  Trump

    A higher price?

    It’s possible that President Trump was a tad distracted by new developments on Tuesday, which caused him to ramble even more wildly and incoherently than usual. But when he addressed a campaign rally in West Virginia, he touched on his decision to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “You know what, in the negotiation, Israel will have to pay a higher price because they won a very big thing – but I took it off the table,” Trump told the crowd, speaking of the Jerusalem decision. “They [the Palestinians] could never get past the fact of Jerusalem becoming the capital. Now it’s off the table…

  • Iran,  Trump

    All hail Comrade Trump!

    On the heels of his increasingly questionable “success” with Kim Jong Un in Singapore (he called off “provocative” military exercises, and in exchange North Korea is, um, producing new ICBMs capable of reaching the United States), President Trump has offered to meet Iranian president Rouhani with no preconditions. Trump’s offer to meet Rouhani comes shortly after his all-caps warning to the Iranian regime. Aaron Blake observes in The Washington Post: Trump’s strategy here seems to be to rattle cages on the international level and frighten other countries into negotiating. Then, after closed-door meetings we aren’t privy to about complex topics that few truly understand, he emerges and makes plausible but…

  • Russia,  Trump

    “No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant.”

    Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and 2008 Republican candidate for President of the United States, offered one of the milder criticisms I’ve seen of President Trump’s encounter in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin: Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake. President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script…

  • Russia

    Republicans meet Russian “friends”

    The Washington Post reports on a visit by a Republican Congressional delegation (no Democrats) to Moscow, where they met with Russian legislators and officials. Among them was Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana. “I asked our friends in Russia not to interfere in our elections this year,” Kennedy said. “I asked them to exit Ukraine and allow Ukraine to self-determine. I asked for the same thing in Crimea. I asked for their help in bringing peace to Syria. And I asked them not to allow Iran to gain a foothold in Syria.” Wow. That’s telling ’em, senator. I’ll bet they get right on it. These are representatives of a regime which…