Билл Мойерс – ведущий еженедельной общественной телевизионной передачи Moyers & Company. Мойерс получил 35 премий Эмми, 9 премий Пибоди, премию за достижения в течение жизни Национальной академии телевидения. Он является почётным доктором изящных искусств Американского института кино за 40 лет журналистской работы на радио.
...Билл Мойерс – все эти лидеры CFR (Совет по Международным Отошениям) были связаны с «Фондом Рокфеллера».
**Over at [Equitable Growth](http://EquitableGrowth.org): Must- and Should-Reads:** * **Ezra Klein**:_[Does Donald Trump Know What the GOP Health Bill Does?]_: "With the help of Vox’s Jacob Gardenswartz, I collected and read absolutely everything Donald Trump has said publicly about the AHCA... * **David Dayen:** "Brad DeLong is wondering what happened to...
**Weekend Reading: Bill Moyers**: _[What a Real President Is Like]_: "WHILE Lyndon Baines Johnson was a man of time and place, he felt the bitter paradox of both... >...I was a young man on his staff in 1960 when he gave me a vivid account of that southern schizophrenia he...
Отмена законов Джима Кроу в 1965 году должна была означать окончание правительственного преследования афро-американцев, однако, новый суровый доклад и данные многочисленных экспертов говорят об обратном. Международный терроризм всегда занимает первые полосы. А продолжающийся, санкционированный правительством, террор против негров в Америке получает намного меньше внимание. Это не преувеличение. Проблема реальна, она имеет системную природу, и новый […]
In “Hamlet,” Shakespeare wrote, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” What fun Shakespeare would have with Donald Trump! Imagine a play where Trump, the character, tries to dismiss his ties with Russia, and Shakespeare responds, “The scoundrel protests too much.” Although Trump and his lackeys keep trying to discredit the various rumors about his dealings with Russia, the press and the U.S. national security bureaucracy won’t let them go. There are at least four threads that connect Trump to the Kremlin. 1.Trump’s business dealings with Russia. We do not fully understand Trump’s Russian business connections because Trump has never released his tax returns. On February 28, 2016, Senator Ted Cruz said, “There have been multiple media reports about Donald’s business dealings with the mob, with the mafia. Maybe his [tax returns] show those business dealings are a lot more extensive than has been reported.” At the time, Politifact noted, “Cruz’s statement is accurate. Media reports have linked Trump to mafia bosses and mob-connected business associates for decades.” Time magazine, and other sources, have tied Trump to Russian oligarchs. Writing in the March 17 New Yorker magazine, Evan Osnos, David Remnick and Joshua Yaffa observed: “Two weeks before the Inauguration, intelligence officers briefed both Obama and Trump about a dossier of unverified allegations compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer. The thirty-five-page dossier, which included claims about Trump’s behavior during a 2013 trip to Moscow, ... concluded that Russia had personal and financial material on Trump that could be used as blackmail.” Of course, the dossier and the other rumors may be false. Nonetheless, Trump has an obligation to the American people to have his tax returns examined by a bipartisan set of experts so that rumors about his financial affairs can be dealt with responsibly. (After all, it is a national security issue.) 2. Russia’s Interference in the 2016 Election. A separate thread has to do with nefarious deeds committed by (supposed) Russian hackers during the election. 17 U.S. intelligence agencies believe Russian hackers helped the Trump campaign by hacking DNC emails, as well as those of Clinton Campaign Manager John Podesta, and giving them to WikiLeaks. Recently, NBC News reported the CIA believes Russian operators wanted Trump to win. Writing for PBS, David Bush reported that on January 6th, “The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified version of its report to Obama on Russia’s role in the election. The report concluded with ‘high confidence’ — intelligence community speak for virtual certainty — that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the hacking operation in an effort to hurt Clinton’s campaign and help elect Trump. The report also found that the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service, gave the information it obtained from the DNC and Clinton campaign’s emails to WikiLeaks.” Of course, in the past, the Director of National intelligence has been wrong ― for example, about Saddam Hussein possessing “weapons of mass destruction.” Nonetheless, Congress has an obligation to the American people to evaluate reports that Russia interfered in the election. 3. Team Trump contacts with Russia. A separate thread has to do with a variety of contacts between Trump associates and Russian authorities. On February 15th the New York Times revealed that the FBI is investigating links between Russian intelligence and four members of the Trump team: Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Roger Stone. (And, more recently, Jeff Sessions and Jared Kushner.) On February 25th, the Guardian reported that the White House has tried to interfere with the FBI investigation. (Writing for Bill Moyers, Michael Winship reported on the Russian response: “Since the US election, there has been an unprecedented, and perhaps still continuing shakeup of top officials in Putin’s main security agency, the FSB, and a top former intelligence official in Putin’s entourage died recently in suspicious circumstances.”) Connected with this is the conduct of General Michael Flynn, who up until February 13th was Trump’s National Security Adviser. Apparently, after then President Obama leveled sanctions against Russia, Flynn called Sergey Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the US, and said words to the effect that Russia shouldn’t worry the sanctions as Trump would reverse them. What’s extraordinary is that these conversations were wiretapped; and Flynn, given his extensive intelligence background should have been aware of this. Once again, Congress has an obligation to investigate the Trump team connections to Russia. 4. Putin’s intentions. Finally, there’s the thorny question of what Vladimir Putin wants. There’s been a rush to say that he desires a close relationship with Trump. There are similarities. Both are thugs. Both have little regard for democracy and prefer the company of oligarchs. Both used the same tactics to gain power: disinformation, nationalism, xenophobia, racism... Nonetheless, there are significant differences between the two men. Their relationship is asymmetric: Putin is a strong leader of a weak state; Trump is a weak leader of a strong state. Putin is a former KGB agent; Trump a former reality TV star. Putin knows when to keep his mouth shut... What’s most likely is that when Trump showed up, Putin saw an opportunity to strengthen his hand by derailing the Clinton campaign. The authors of the excellent New Yorker article, Osnos, Remnick and Yaffa, conclude that Putin regarded Trump’s election as a way to weaken America’s standing in the world and Putin believed this would elevate Russia’s power: “Putin’s Russia has to come up with ways to make up for its economic and geopolitical weakness.” So far, Putin’s strategy has worked: Trump’s election has weakened America’s standing in the world (and jeopardized our alliances, such as NATO). What remains to be seen is whether our loss is Russia’s gain. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
«Чтобы положить конец мышлению в духе Холодной войны, мы сократим роль ядерных вооружений в стратегии нашей национальной безопасности, и убеждаем других сделать то же самое. Не стоит заблуждаться: пока это оружие существует, Соединённые Штаты будут сохранять достаточный, надёжный и эффективный арсенал и гарантировать эту защиту нашим союзникам — включая Чешскую Республику».
Наши главные фундаментальные права на жизнь, свободу и стремление к счастью подвергаются атаке. И враг наш – «Большое богатство», а не «Большое правительство», как уверяют нас консерваторы. Судите сами. Жизнь. Разрыв в продолжительности жизни между богатыми и американцами со средним уровнем доходов растет. Свобода. Корпорации, работающие в сфере информационных технологий, штурмуют нашу частную жизнь. В […]
EIGHT YEARS AGO ON INSTAPUNDIT: WALL STREET JOURNAL: J. Edgar Moyers. “Memories are short in Washington, and Mr. Moyers has gone on to promote himself as a political moralist, routinely sermonizing about what he claims are abuses of power by his ideological enemies.” There are so many stories like this — hatchetmen rewarded for their […]
Well, I certainly got that one wrong. Based on news reports, and after two phone calls to check them out, on Tuesday I wrote a column saluting Jake Tapper and CNN for saying, "No!" to Kellyanne Conway when the White House offered her up as a guest for Tapper's Sunday program. Except for Fox and Breitbart, I said, no news organization had been more useful to Donald Trump's presidential candidacy than CNN, but now it appeared they were fed up with serving as a springboard for the lies tossed around like grenades by Trump's propaganda minions -- most notably Ms. Conway, the president's senior adviser who doubles, I pointed out (with apologies to my late Baptist deacon father for the language) as the administration's official Queen of Bullshit. Standing up to her took some guts from Tapper and his network, given the fear and loathing Trump directs at journalists who dare exert some First Amendment independence, and I said so in the column: "So yes -- let's salute CNN for this one small step of resistance -- for refusing to give Kellyanne Conway a forum to push the lie a little further. Perhaps I am making too much of one incident, but cheers nonetheless to Jake Tapper... Maybe, now, someone else will follow, another domino will fall, and another and another -- until we in the press have collectively reclaimed our courage and independence from complicity with the state." I finished the column, hit "Send" (you can read it in its entirety here) and went to do some chores, feeling a tiny bit more hopeful about my craft. On my rounds, I even fancied that in protest against the vilification constantly aimed at them by Trump and his thuggish enforcers, perhaps CNN and the other big guys on the block would pull out of the annual White House Correspondents Dinner this spring, that godawful spectacle where journalists and their corporate masters -- those with much business pending before the government -- preen and prance with the privileged and powerful. All are one, on a night of reveling reminiscent of the court at Versailles when it was the seat of power in the kingdom of France. And then I was rudely awakened. Word came that CNN had reversed itself. The ban had been lifted. Conway was back -- and being interviewed at that very moment by none other than Jake Tapper, whom I had only hours earlier hoisted on a pedestal. What had happened? We may never know. Obviously, someone high up at CNN had ordered the turnaround. My sources there said they simply didn't know who it was. To be fair, in the rematch, Tapper was in fighting form. He questioned Conway relentlessly and pressed when she evaded, dodged or dissembled, as she did throughout their exchange, even asserting that the administration has "a high regard for the facts." In all this, he held his own. Nonetheless, the very premise of these broadcasts always enables Conway to declare "Mission Accomplished" when she returns to the White House. No matter how aggressive the questioners (and most are not, except in a rigged sort of way), she manages to drop more lies into the public discourse, reinforce Trump's base with the "alternative facts" they prefer to reality, and come across as Joan of Arc breaking the siege of Orleans. Like her boss, she often turns a question into a chance to make herself the victim: "I know firsthand what it's like to have all the haters descend upon you," she told Tapper. She is masterful at avoiding a question by changing the subject. When he tried to engage her on Trump saying things that are "demonstrably not true," she responded, "Are they more important than the many things that he says that are true that are making a difference in people's lives?" Well, yes; it's the lies that kill democracy. If the doctor tells you the MRI shows cancer in the liver, you don't reply, "That's okay. My lungs are clear." With network talk shows, the format favors the fabricator. Conway's the one determining the course of the interview. CNN, expressing "serious questions about her credibility," was right on Sunday to refuse her a forum -- something press critic Jay Rosen has been urging for some time, arguing that the networks must stop booking someone who so obviously refuses to deal honestly with viewers. There were even hints the network was considering a permanent ban, the surest way to prevent a professional con artist from using you to pollute the airwaves with one flagrant lie after another. CNN's change of heart Tuesday was a blow to its own credibility, and a disappointment to many hoping for greater courage among the media. My own cheering was premature; I have to take it back. Hereafter, I will keep in mind Charles Dickens' counsel not to trust flat things coming round. This post originally appeared at BillMoyers.com -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
The 25/8 News Cycle Is Already Rolling, But the Looting of America Hasn’t Really Begun Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com It started in June 2015 with that Trump Tower escalator ride into the presidential race to the tune of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World.” (“But there's a warnin' sign on the road ahead, there's a lot of people sayin' we'd be better off dead, don't feel like Satan, but I am to them...") In a sense the rockin’ has never stopped and by now the world, free or not, has been rocked indeed. No one, from Beijing to Mexico City, Baghdad to Berlin, London to Washington could question that. Who today remembers that, in those initial moments of his campaign, Donald Trump was already focused on the size of his first (partially hired) crowd? (“This is beyond anybody’s expectations. There’s been no crowd like this...”) And he’s been consistently himself ever since -- less a strong man than a bizarrely high-strung one. In the process, while becoming president, he emerged as a media phenomenon of a sort we’ve never seen before. First, it was those billions of dollars in advertising the media forked over gratis during the race for the Republican nomination by focusing on whatever he did, said, or tweeted, day after day, in a way that was new in our world. By the time he hit the campaign trail against Hillary Clinton, he was the ultimate audience magnet and the cameras and reporters were fused to him, so coverage only ballooned, as it did again during the transition months. Now, of course, his presidency is the story of the second -- each second of every day -- giving us two-plus weeks of coverage the likes of which are historically unique. Think of it as the 25/8 news cycle. From that distant June to now, though it’s never stopped, somehow we have yet to truly come to grips with it. Never in the history of the media has a single figure -- one human being -- been able to focus the “news” in this way, making himself the essence of all reporting. He’s only been banished from the headlines and the screen for relatively brief periods, usually when Islamic terrorist groups or domestic “lone wolves” struck, as in San Bernardino, Paris, or Orlando, and, given his campaign, that worked no less well for his purposes than being the center of attention, as it will for his presidency. The Never-Ending Presidency of Donald Trump (Has Barely Begun) Nineteen months later, Trump's personality, statements, tweets, speeches, random thoughts, passing comments, complaints, gripes, and of course, actions are the center of everything. One man’s narcissism gains new meaning when inflated to a societal level. Yes, at certain moments -- the assassination of John F. Kennedy, O.J. Simpson’s white Bronco chase, the 9/11 attacks -- a single event or personality has overwhelmed everything else and taken the news by storm. But never has one person been able to do this through thick and thicker, through moments of actual news and moments when nothing whatsoever is happening to him. As an example, consider the New York Times, the newspaper that both Donald Trump’s ascendant adviser Steve Bannon and I have been reading faithfully all these years. At the moment, Trump or people and events related to him monopolize its front page in a way that's beyond rare. He now regularly sweeps up four or five of its six or so top headlines daily, and a staggering six to ten full, often six-column pages of news coverage inside -- and that’s not even counting the editorial and op-ed pages, which these days are a riot of Trumpery. From early morning till late at night, wherever you look in the American media and undoubtedly globally, the last couple of weeks have been nothing but an avalanche of Trumpified news and features, whether focused on arguments, disputes, and protests over the Muslim ban that the new president and his people insist is not a Muslim ban; or the size of his inaugural crowds; or Sean Spicer’s ill-fitting suit jacket; or the signing of an executive order to begin the process of building that “big, fat, beautiful wall” on our southern border; or the cancelled Mexican presidential visit, and the angry or conciliatory tweets, phone calls, and boycotts that followed, not to speak of the 20% tax on imports proposed by the Trump administration (then half-withdrawn) to get the Mexican president to pay for the wall, which would actually force American consumers to cough up most of the money (making us all Mexicans, it seems); or the unprecedented seating of white nationalist Steve Bannon on the National Security Council (and the unseating of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff); or the firing of the acting director of the Justice Department after she ordered its lawyers not to defend the president’s travel ban; or the brouhaha over the new Supreme Court pick, introduced in an Apprentice-like primetime presidential special; or those confirmation hearing boycotts by Democratic senators; or the threats against Iran or the threat to send U.S. troops into Mexico to take out the “bad hombres down there"... but why go on? You saw it all. (You couldn’t help yourself, could you?) And tell me it hasn’t seemed like at least two months, if not two years worth of spiraling events (and nonevents). In those never-ending month-like weeks, Donald Trump did the seemingly impossible: he stirred protest on a global scale; sparked animosity, if not enmity, and nationalism from Mexico to Iraq, England to China; briefly united Mexico behind one of the least popular presidents in its history; sparked a spontaneous domestic protest movement of a sort unseen since the Vietnam War half a century ago that shows every sign of growing; insulted the Australian prime minister, alienating America's closest ally in Asia; and that’s just to begin a list of the new president’s “accomplishments” in essentially no time at all. So here’s the question of the day: How can we put any of this in context while drowning in the moment? Perhaps one way to start would be by trying to look past the all-enveloping “news” of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Were you to do that, you might, I think, conclude that, despite the sound and the fury of the last two weeks, almost nothing has yet actually happened. I know that’s hard to believe under the circumstances, but the age of Trump -- or if you prefer, the damage of Trump -- has essentially yet to begin (though tell that to the Iraqis, Iranians, and others caught in mid-air, cuffed on mid-ground, and in some cases sent back into a hell on Earth). Still, crises? The media is already talking about constitutional ones, but believe me, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Conflicts of interest? So far, grim as the news may look, there’s hardly been a hint of what’s sure to come. And crimes against the country? They’ve hardly begun. It’s true that Trump’s national-security appointments, from the Pentagon and the CIA to the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Council, are largely in place, even if reportedly already in a state of flux as National Security Adviser Michael Flynn seems to be losing his grip on the new president and Steve Bannon, not previously thought about in national security terms, is riding high. Otherwise, few of his cabinet appointments are truly functional yet. That set of billionaires and multimillionaires are either barely confirmed or not yet so. They haven’t even begun to preside over departments filled with staffs that instantly seem to be in chaos, living in fear, or moving into a mood of resistance. This means that what Bill Moyers has already termed the “demolition derby” of the Trump era hasn’t yet really begun, despite a hiring freeze on the non-national-security-state part of the government. Or put another way, if you think the last two weeks were news, just wait for the wealthiest cabinet in our history to settle in, a true crew of predatory capitalists, including a commerce secretary nicknamed “the king of bankruptcy” for his skills in buying up wrecked companies at staggering profits; a Treasury secretary dubbed the “foreclosure king” of California for evicting thousands of homeowners (including active-duty military families) from distressed properties he and his partners picked up in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown; and the head of the State Department who only recently led ExxonMobil in its global depredations. As a crew, they and their compatriots are primed to either dismantle the agencies they'll run or shred their missions. That includes likely head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt, a man long in the pay of big energy, who seems determined to reduce the EPA to a place that protects us from nothing; and a fast-food king who, as the new labor secretary, is against the minimum wage and would love to replace workers with machines. News? You think you know what it is two weeks into this administration? Not a chance. And don’t forget the White House, now that it’s a family operation -- a combination of a real-estate-based global branding outfit (the Trumps) and a real estate empire (son-in-law Jared Kushner). It’s obvious that decisions made in the White House, but also in government offices in foreign capitals, on the streets of foreign cities, and even among jihadists will affect the fortunes of those two families. I’m not exactly the first person to point out that the seven Muslim lands included in Trump’s immigration ban included not one in which he has business dealings. As patriarch, Donald J. will, of course, rule the Oval Office; his son-in-law will be down the hall somewhere, with constant access to him; and his daughter Ivanka is to have an as-yet-unannounced (possibly still undecided) role in her father’s administration. If we lived in the Arab world right now, this would all seem as familiar as apple pie, or perhaps I mean hummus: a family-oriented government ruled by a man with an authoritarian turn of mind around whom are gathered the crème de la crème of the country’s predatory capitalists, many of them with their own severe conflicts of interest. Thought about a certain way, you could say welcome to Saudi Arabia or Bashar al-Assad’s Syria before the catastrophe, or... well, so many other countries of the less developed and increasingly chaotic world. A Government of Looters From health care and tax policy to environmental protections, this will undoubtedly be a government of the looters, by the looters, and for the looters, and a Congress of the same. As of yet, however, we’ve seen only the smallest hints of what is to come. In such a leave-no-billionaires-behind era, forget the past swamps of Washington (which wasn’t really built on swampland). The government of Donald J. Trump seems slated to produce an American swamp of swamps and, somewhere down the line, will surely give new meaning to the phrase conflict of interest. Yet these processes, too, are barely underway. From a government of 1% looters, what can you expect but to be looted and to experience crimes of every sort? (Ask the citizens of most Arab lands.) Still, whatever those may turn out to be, in the end they will just be the usual crimes of human history. In them, there will be little new, except perhaps in their extremity in the United States. They will cause pain, of course -- as well as gain for the few -- but sooner or later such crimes and those who commit them will pass from the scene and in the course of history be largely forgotten. Of only one future crime will that not be true. As a result, it’s likely to prove the most unforgiveable of them all and those who help in its commission will, without a doubt, be the greatest criminals of all time. Think of them as “terrarists” and their set of acts as, in sum, terracide. If there’s a single figure in the Trump administration who catches the essence of this, it is, of course, former ExxonMobil CEO and present Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. His former company has a grim history not just of exploiting fossil fuels come (literally) hell or high water, but of suppressing information about the harm they’ve done, via greenhouse gas emissions that heat the atmosphere and the Earth’s waters, while funding climate denialism; of, in short, destroying the planet in an eternal search for record profits. Now, he joins an administration whose president once termed climate change a “Chinese hoax,” and who has, with a striking determination, appointed first to his transition team and then to his government an unparallelled crew of climate change deniers and so-called climate skeptics. They, and largely only they, are taking crucial positions in every department or agency of government in any way connected with fossil fuels or the environment. Among his first acts was to green-light two much-disputed pipelines, one slated to bring the carbon-dirtiest of oil products, Canadian tar sands, from Alberta to the Gulf Coast; the other to encourage the frackers of the Bakken shale oil fields of North Dakota to keep up the good work. In his yearning to return to a 1950s America, President Trump has promised a new age of fossil-fuel exploitation. He’s evidently ready to leave the Paris climate agreement in the trash heap of history and toss aside support for the development of alternative energy systems as well. (In the process -- and irony is too weak a word for this -- he will potentially cede a monster job-creation machine to the Chinese, the Germans, and others.) Call it perfect scheduling, but just two days before his inauguration -- two days, that is, before the White House website would be scrubbed of all reference to climate change -- both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) -- each undoubtedly soon to be scrubbed clean by Trump’s climate deniers -- announced that, in 2016, the planet's temperature had broken all heat records for an unprecedented third year in a row. (This means that 16 out of the top 17 hottest years occurred in the twenty-first century.) From 2013 to 2016, according to NASA, the planet warmed by well over a half-degree Fahrenheit, “the largest temperature increase over a three-year period in the NASA record.” Last year, as the Guardian reported, “North America saw its highest number of storms and floods in over four decades. Globally, we saw over 1.5 times more extreme weather catastrophes in 2016 than the average over the past 30 years. Global sea ice cover plunged to a record low as well.” And that’s just to start a list. This is no longer terribly complicated. It’s not debatable science. It’s our reality and there can be no question that a world of ever more extreme weather events, rising sea levels, lengthening mega-droughts (as well as massive rainfalls), along with heat and more heat, is what the future holds for our children and grandchildren. Barring stunning advances in alternative energy technologies or other surprises, this again is too obvious to doubt. So those, including our new president and his administration who are focused on suppressing both scientific knowledge about climate change and any attempt to mitigate the phenomenon, and who, like Rex Tillerson’s former colleagues at the big energy companies, prefer to suppress basic information about all of this in the name of fossil fuels and personal enrichment, will be committing the most basic of crimes against humanity. As a group, they will be taking the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter out of the climate change sweepstakes for years to come and helping ensure that the welcoming planet on which humanity has so long existed will be something so much grimmer in the future. In this moment’s endless flurries of “news” about Donald Trump, this -- the most basic news of all -- has, of course, been lost in the hubbub. And yet, unlike any other set of actions they could engage in (except perhaps nuclear war), this is truly the definition of forever news. Climate change, after all, operates on a different time scale than we do, being part of planetary history, and so may prove human history’s deal-breaker. Tom Engelhardt is a co-founder of the American Empire Project and the author of The United States of Fear as well as a history of the Cold War, The End of Victory Culture. He is a fellow of the Nation Institute and runs TomDispatch.com. His latest book is Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World. Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Book, John Feffer's dystopian novel Splinterlands, as well as Nick Turse’s Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead, and Tom Engelhardt's latest book, Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
President Trump's choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency might put it on the endangered species list. In this video essay, Bill Moyers takes on President Trump's choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has a track record of putting the business interests of the energy sector before the environmental and health interests of the public. He has spent his career fighting the rules and regulations of the agency he is now being nominated to lead. His expected confirmation threatens to make America great for polluters again. TRANSCRIPT I'm Bill Moyers, here with a horror story -- a story of corruption so daring, so devious and so dangerous it could kill you. It could poison your drinking water, contaminate your neighborhood and make your children very, very sick. Let's begin with a television commercial that I chanced to see on CNN during Donald Trump's inaugural weekend. Take a look. ADVERTISEMENT:The US Senate will vote to confirm Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. He's used transparent, smart regulations to protect our air and water without stifling development of America's abundant natural resources. BILL MOYERS: That's an ad sponsored by one of the biggest and most powerful trade associations in the country -- the National Association of Manufacturers. The NAM ran three ads like it during inaugural week, all of them aimed at bringing public pressure to bear on the US Senate to confirm Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. And just who, you might ask, is Scott Pruitt? SCOTT PRUITT: It is an honor and a privilege to be before you today to be considered for the position of EPA administrator. MOYERS: Pruitt is Oklahoma's attorney general. His salary of more than $260,000 is paid by taxpayers, but Pruitt really works for the energy industry. He's a political profiteer whose career in public office is built on taking money from corporations and doing their bidding. SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI): It appears that a great deal of your fundraising comes from these organizations who are in the energy sector and devoted to fighting climate change. MOYERS: At Pruitt's recent confirmation hearings before Congress, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island tried to unravel the web of corporate influence around Scott Pruitt. WHITEHOUSE: Devon Energy, Koch Industries, ExxonMobil have all maxed out to that account, at various times. PRUITT: I'm not aware if they have maxed out or not, Senator, but I'm sure that they have given to that committee. MOYERS: Now, take a look at this letter. In 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency was trying to limit methane gas leaking from drilling operations like that of Devon Energy, one of those oil and gas companies that donate to him. Pruitt wrote the EPA on behalf of the company. Turns out the letter was drafted, almost to the word, by lawyers for Devon Energy. PRUITT: That is the letter that is on my letterhead that was sent to the EPA, yes. With respect to the issue -- SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): Do you acknowledge that 97 percent of the words in that letter came directly from Devon Energy? PRUITT: I have not looked at the percentages, sir. MERKLEY: You used your office as a direct extension of an oil company, rather than a direct extension of the interests of the public health of the people of Oklahoma. MOYERS: Something else: As attorney general Scott Pruitt has sued the Environmental Protection Agency 14 times. The New York Times found that 13 of those lawsuits included co-parties that had given money to Pruitt's campaign or to an affiliated PAC. Most of the suits failed. But that didn't deter Pruitt or his donors. According to the publication Energy and Environment News, the more he sued, the more the energy dollars rolled in. So why does Donald Trump want a lackey for the big energy companies to run the agency charged with protecting the public from pollution? And why did the National Association of Manufacturers run ads like this for a man so obviously not a defender of the public interest? Because Trump and the industry can count Pruitt on their side, as his record shows, in preventing the EPA from holding big business accountable for the environment and public safety. After all, when he became attorney general of Oklahoma, he shut down the state's environmental enforcement unit. SEN. ED MARKEY (D-MA): Honestly, people are going to think that it's not just the fox guarding the hen house, it's the fox destroying the hen house because you haven't distanced yourself from the actual litigation that you have initiated on most of the key issues that you are now going to have responsibility for protecting in terms of the public health of the entire country. PRUITT: And Senator, I can say to you unequivocally, I will recuse as directed by EPA ethics counsel. MOYERS: Scott Pruitt fits right into Trump's world. In his first week in office Donald Trump has aimed a sledgehammer at the EPA. Within hours of his swearing in, he ordered a freeze on all new environmental rules pending review, suspended all federal environmental grants and contracts, thus stalling billions of dollars that were heading to key operations like air pollution monitoring, water quality testing and environmental research. Then he ordered all outward communication from the EPA to stop -- no social media, no conferences, no meetings between the agency and the public. So if you want to know if there's work being done to clean up a superfund site, too bad. If you want to know the role of fracking in Oklahoma's earthquakes, sorry. Whether the emissions of an industry in your hometown comply with federal safety laws? You'll have to guess. And there's more. He's opposed climate science. PRUITT: As I indicated in my opening statement, the climate is changing and human activity contributes to that in some manner. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): In some manner? Ninety-seven percent of the scientists who wrote articles in peer-reviewed journals believe that human activity is the fundamental reason we are seeing climate change; you disagree with that? PRUITT: I believe the ability to measure with precision the degree of human activities' impact on the climate, is subject to more debate on whether the climate is changing or whether human activity contributes to it. MOYERS: We should remember that Richard Nixon, a Republican president, signed the legislation creating the Environmental Protection Agency back in l970. It was part of the movement to restore a country that had been despoiled by industrial abuse. PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: The environmental agenda before the Congress includes laws to deal with water pollution, pesticide hazards, ocean dumping, excessive noise, careless land development and many other environmental problems. These problems will not stand still for politics or for partisanship. MOYERS: Trump's wrecking crew says environmental regulations impede the progress and profits of companies. But if you think those companies and their so-called "free market" will, without safety provisions, make America great again. Well here's is what turning back the clock could look like: These are the EPA's own photographs taken for the record as the agency began its work. Rivers were polluted. Lead gasoline threatened the developing brains of children. Trash choked harbors, and illegal dumping leached into groundwater, agricultural run off suffocated marine waterways. Unfettered industries were running our country to ruin. There, before your eyes, is our past. It's no wonder the founders of our government feared corruption in high office. They knew it could lead to bribery, nepotism and the abuse of power by a government aligned with the great monied interests -- such as the East India Tea Company. They knew it could enable of public officials to neglect their duty to the public and serve instead the design of wealth. At the end of the first week of Donald Trump's first hundred days, those founders must be turning in their graves. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Among Trump's cabinet nominees, Scott Pruitt stands out in a bad way. Bill Moyers explains how he has represented energy interests over voters
Bill Moyers, Huffington PostYes, both Democrats and Republicans have been guilty of groveling to the wealthy who fund them; it’s a staggering bipartisan scandal that threatens the country and was no small part of Trump’s success last November, even as ordinary people opened their windows and shouted, “We’re as mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.” So now we have in power a man who represents the very worst of the plutocrats — one who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. I shudder to think where this nightmare will end. Even if you voted for...
In this web exclusive, Bill Moyers and four historians dissect the big lie Trump rode to power: the Birther lie. Nell Painter, historian and Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, at Princeton University; Khalil Gibran Muhammad, professor of history, race and public policy at Harvard Kennedy School; Christopher Lebron, assistant professor of African-American studies and philosophy at Yale University; and Philip Klinkner, James S. Sherman Professor of Government, Hamilton College discuss the fertile ground on which the birther lie was sown: our nation's history of white supremacy. Credits: Gail Ablow, Producer; Sikay Tang, Editor TRANSCRIPT BILL MOYERS: I'm Bill Moyers. The most important thing to remember about Donald Trump is that he was the same man at 12:01 p.m. Friday after he took the oath of office as he was at 11:59 a.m. before his swearing in. His character: the same. His temperament and his values: the same. What's different is that in those two minutes Donald Trump was handed the most awesome power imaginable. He now controls the world's most powerful nuclear arsenal. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard are at his command. The FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the IRS, Homeland Security, the State Department, Justice Department, Treasury Department, the Department of Education, the Interior Department -- all of the agencies of the executive branch -- report, ultimately, to this one man. The world awaits his pronouncements, the markets and the media live by and for his tweets. So here's the second most important thing to remember about Donald Trump: He rode to power on the wings of a dark lie -- one of the most malignant and ugly lies in American history. We must never forget it. (MONTAGE) LOU DOBBS (CNN 7/21/09): Up next, the issue that won't go away: the matter of President Obama and that birth certificate. DONALD TRUMP (The View, ABC 3/23/11): There's something on that birth certificate that he doesn't like. TRUMP (The O'Reilly Factor, FOX News 3/30/11): He doesn't have a birth certificate. Now, he may have one, but there's something on that, with maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim. I don't know. CHRISTOPHER LEBRON: I found that as cynical as I am, I couldn't actually believe people would actually run with this story. But then the story had legs. And then people like Donald Trump didn't let it go. And I remember when he was going to prove that President Obama was not American, that he was not able to offer that proof. And even more amazingly, Trump has been able to not only convince himself for the longest time but has been able to convince a not-insignificant portion of the American people that no matter what documentation President Obama provides, he's not American, which is an amazing thing to have done. NELL PAINTER: The ground was very fertile for the birther lie, and in fact, if it hadn't been, somebody could have said oh no, no, no, the president was not born in this country, he cannot be president -- and it would have fallen to Earth. It never would have gone anywhere. KHALIL GIBRAN MUHAMMAD: If it were true, we would have elected someone who had no right to run for president, let alone to become the first African-American president of this country, but more particularly it expresses the illegitimacy of a person of African descent as a true American, as someone truly endowed with the capacity to govern this great nation. And that lie is just the tip of the iceberg, though foundational for everything else that flows from Donald Trump's lips. TRUMP (SPEECH, 2/10/11): Our current president came out of nowhere. Came out of nowhere. In fact, I'll go a step further: The people that went to school with him -- they don't even know, they never saw him; they don't know who he is. It's crazy. PHILIP KLINKNER: There were a lot of rumors swirling around him that he was a Muslim, that he was raised in a madrassa, but the most common was that he was in fact not born in the United States and that his birth certificate from Hawaii was in fact a lie, that he was born someplace else, probably Kenya, but nobody was really pretty sure about that. The Obama campaign sort of pushed back at this pretty hard. They released a short-form birth certificate. They showed the birth notice in The Honolulu Advertiser at the time, but there was never any real question about this. But nonetheless, this lie began to gain real traction among his opponents. And then once he got elected, then again it really sort of took off because it began to sort of seep into a lot of conservative and right-wing media circles, a lot of attention was paid to people who are going into federal court suing, attempting to either have Obama declared ineligible as president or arguing that he should release his long-form birth certificate. And it really sort of festered there on the right for a number of years until the spring of 2011, when President Obama finally released the long-form birth certificate. TRUMP (SPEECH 4/27/11): I was just informed while on the helicopter that our president has finally released a birth certificate. I am really honored, frankly, to have played such a big role in hopefully, hopefully, getting rid of this issue. Now we have to look at it. We have to see, is it real? Is it proper? What's on it? But I hope it checks out beautifully. I am really proud. I am really honored. KLINKNER: But that really didn't put it away. The number of Republicans who believe that Obama was born outside the United States dropped for a little while but then it popped back up again. Trump at the time was a very big reality media star. THE APPRENTICE open with SOT: "You're fired." 2/9/15 KLINKNER: NBC in particular, I think, wanted to sort of cross-promote one of its biggest prime-time franchises, The Apprentice. So he was on NBC quite a lot. He was on the Todayshow quite a bit. He'd appear on other NBC shows. But he also appeared on other networks -- ABC's The View, things like that. And the effect was to give Trump really sort of this unparalleled platform to sort of spread this. Whereas people who were doing it before were really just sort of fringe characters, who might get a little bit of time on some TV shows, but really not much at all. So he really took it mainstream. PAINTER: I have said, more than once, that we would not have Trump without Obama. And that is, on the one hand, we have this current, this running current, of white supremacy -- the assumption that nonwhite people are sort of over there and they're inferior, they don't work hard. Black people are not supposed to be powerful. What is the ultimate defiance of that assumption? The ultimate defiance is the president. LEBRON: There is a strong subset of Americans who are fearful of black empowerment. And I don't mean this in the radical sense; I mean just basic everyday citizenship empowerment. Be able to pick up on that. Then also decades of Republicans and dog whistle politics, Willie Horton ads .... WILLIE HORTON AD, 1988 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: One was Willie Horton, who murdered a boy in a.... LEBRON: ..."super predator" talk, you know, with respect to criminality and law and order, which is basically code for policing black neighborhoods. Somebody like Trump comes in and there's a perfect storm of fear, loathing and a deep history of using policies to suppress blacks' freedom and liberties. And Trump comes on the end of a black presidency and says, listen, this man is giving health care away for free; doesn't that scare you? This man wants to let gay men and women marry. That's not how you should live your life. This black man is doing that. And that's why it's no accident he has stepped into the perfect storm, of basically, white paranoia, white fear, of an era of possible black...true black liberation and justice. KLINKNER: I think it's very much tied in to the discomfort and fear that a lot of white Americans had about the first African-American president. And we've seen this throughout American history, that white Americans have often sort of disregarded African-Americans as not just full citizens, but sometimes full human beings. And so I thought it was interesting that here we have the first African-American president, and here was an attempt to sort of delegitimize him in a very overt way as not actually being American. Not just sort of saying you know he says un-American things, but in fact he is, in fact, not an American. TRUMP (CNBC 5/29/12): Nothing has changed my mind. By the way you have a huge group of people. I walk down the street and people are screaming, "Please don't give that up." JONATHAN KARL (ABC NEWS, 8/11/13): But you don't still question he was born in the United States, do you? TRUMP (TO KARL): I have no idea... Well, I don't know, was there a birth certificate? You tell me. You know some people say that was not his birth certificate. I'm saying, I don't know. Nobody knows. KLINKNER: I think for many Americans, the whole definition of America is caught up with race: that whites are the only people who have the requisite characteristics that would allow them to be full citizens and therefore the political leaders of the country. And that's something that goes back to the first African-Americans who were enslaved in the United States. It goes back to things like the three-fifths clause in the Constitution. It goes back into the disenfranchisement after Reconstruction and the Civil War. MUHAMMAD: When I think about the justification for this lie, I think of an image that comes from a broadside, a pamphlet, just after the end of slavery. It was published in 1866 and it's framed by this image of the Capitol and it's a commentary on what is about to become the Freedmen's Bureau. At the center of it is this black man in tattered clothes, looking like someone who had just left the fields after having picked cotton. He's leaning back with his arm resting just underneath his head. His feet are kicked up, one leg across the other, and it essentially says that if you support the federal government you will be supporting the black takeover of America. And this is a white man's country. This is what the big lie looked like in 1867. And it is exactly the same wiring and visual inputs and rhetorical tropes and frames that frames the illegitimacy of this man who has become president today and what we ought to do about it. KLINKNER: If you're going to tell a lie about somebody, it works a lot better if you focus on somebody who is different from you. They have a different skin color, they attend a different church or house of worship. They come from a different country or speak a different language. It's harder to sort of see them a common citizen. Easier to see them as somebody who's different and therefore dangerous to you and to your country. PAINTER: I would not say white supremacy is a big foundational lie. I would say white supremacy is a big foundational fact. Because during our colonial period in the United States, they laid the ground work for a society that's divided along racial lines. So in 1964, when Barry Goldwater ran on not approving the Civil Rights Act, he had a large following. It was not a winning following; it was not a winning strategy in 1964. But it said, hey, there are votes here. MUHAMMAD: Barry Goldwater rose to power in 1964, absolutely rejecting the federal government's responsibility in what was then fast becoming the Civil Rights Act of '64 That essentially said the federal government has no right to make white people of the South like black people, and that if the federal government pushed too hard in enforcing such things, it was unconstitutional. That spirit, that rejection of the possibility for civil rights, is exactly what has crystallized in Donald Trump's support on the right, because Obama essentially was perceived to have gotten through an electoral process that was rigged from the beginning. That these illegitimate voters came to the polls -- and, you know, all of them black or brown or yellow, but none of them really white folks, and that's true. A majority of whites voted against Obama in 2008 and an even greater majority of whites voted against him in 2012. I mean, there's something to be said for that, but that is exactly what stoked this notion that our country has been taken over by vandals. By mongrels, by mulattos, by Mexicans, by Muslims, by people who have no legitimate claim to the heritage of this -- what they would say, white Christian nation. TRUMP (PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDACY ANNOUNCEMENT SPEECH 6/16/15): When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. PAINTER: I don't believe Trump was an accident, because the Republican Party has been seeing and grasping the political power of white supremacy. GEORGE WALLACE (SPEECH 1/14/63): And I say, segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. PAINTER: And when George Wallace made such a success in 1968, and then into the early 1970s -- hey, there are really votes here. So 1968 and Richard Nixon's Southern strategy -- a purposeful harnessing of white supremacists' assumptions and beliefs. One of the strengths of Donald Trump is that he has had so many Republican officeholders endorsing him. If the Southern strategy had not been such an important current in current Republican ideology, those officeholders would have said, no, no, no, no, no, no -- this person is terrible. KLINKNER: I think in the last couple of decades, we have been sort of building to this moment. There was a backlash by many whites against the civil rights movement, who were upset about the changing status of African-Americans. Adding to that were fears about immigration and changing the demographic character of the United States. Rising numbers of nonwhites, growing political power, greater cultural status for nonwhites in America. And that made them sort of very fearful about all of these sorts of changes. And so when someone comes along and says that, "Here's this person who's ascended to the highest office in the land, but he really shouldn't be there, he's really not legitimate," it plays to their fears, but also, perhaps, gives them a little bit of hope that those sort of fears and the things that they worried about actually haven't quite come to pass yet. MUHAMMAD: This explains David Duke's appropriation of a civil rights movement for white people to roll back a big government intent on grinding them into insignificance, and ultimately this explains why no matter what Donald Trump says or does about women, about Mexicans, about Muslims, about Syrians, it speaks to the heart and soul of that part of America that insists that this may be our last chance to hold on to this nation. And we've seen in midterm elections, we've seen in gubernatorial elections since 2008, the emergence of a class of political leadership that insists at the state level of creating a new class of pro-white warriors. (RALLY, ARIZONA 7/11/15): [Crowd chanting: USA! USA!] TRUMP: Don't worry -- we'll take our country back very soon, very soon. LEBRON: So, what I think has happened with Trump and his ability to hold onto this lie -- I think he got invested in it because there is a cohort of Americans that were going to easily go along with him. One thing I think Trump is actually very good at doing is, he's a very good psychologist. And I think Trump saw that there are certain keynote themes that if you hit on them, you can rally the people, which is what makes him sometimes dangerous, where if you look at old -- I have to say, if you look at old Hitler tapes, for example, the ability to kind of rile the people up around topics about which they feel threatened, and the biggest threat for a lot of people is this black man who from their point of view is taking their country away from them. KLINKNER: If there are any parallels between Hitler and his big lie and Trump and what he's doing is that Hitler's big lie was the stab-in-the-back thesis. The idea that Germany had lost World War I because it was stabbed in the back, not because it lost on the battlefield against the Allied powers; it was because at home, Jews and capitalists and Bolsheviks and socialists had destroyed Germany from within. So that's a big lie that he's been pushing. And Trump, like many other demagogues throughout American history, have identified racial, ethnic, religious minorities as somehow working from within the country to destroy it. LEBRON: Donald Trump is able to stir up the masses because he's able to say this very simple thing that is plausible to a lot of people, but really taps into deeper fears about who is taking what from them. If they're not as prosperous as they think they ought to be, who is doing this to them? It must be somebody else doing it to them, which is also the ironic thing. All of a sudden, the conservative reliance on personal responsibility gets completely off-loaded to this black man who was elected by the people. KLINKNER: It's not just Hitler; it's demagogues everywhere. They get into this symbiotic relationship with their audience. That he throws them red meat and they respond and they cheer lustily. TRUMP (RALLY IN MOBILE, ALABAMA 12/17/16): People who come into our country illegally, they're taken care of better than our vets. Build the wall. Build the wall. KLINKNER: And then he...he likes that, he likes that sort of response that he's getting from the audience, and he feeds off that, and therefore he throws them even more red meat. TRUMP (RALLY 12/17/16): Do not worry -- we are going to build the wall, OK? Don't worry; don't even think about it. MUHAMMAD: If we think about the legacy of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis, it's hard not to see the relationship of a big lie that blames the minority population for a nation's problems. That at the end of the day, this lie at the most granular level, especially in America right now, has always been part of the package of what made America actually great. Because in the end, those people have always believed that they were meant to be in charge. And our political systems, our museums, our classrooms have all advanced this point of view. So the lie is broken down, and the only way to fix it, the only way to put it back together, is to wipe the world clean of these realities. To move these people out of the way, to get them out of the polls, to get them out of our classrooms. To tell them to go back to where they came from, so that we can have nice, neat images, whether they are in our own homes or in our classrooms or in our museums or wherever we find them, that reaffirm to us that the little lies we've always been telling ourselves -- that we're perfect, that we're great as white people -- is still true. Obama's physical presence shattered those little lies. And you need to get the big lie back in place. TRUMP (RALLY IN WEST BEND, WISCONSIN 8/16/16): There can be no prosperity without law and order. MUHAMMAD: When I think about his appeals to racism and this explicit call for law and order and the criminalization of black and brown people, he does remind me of Richard Nixon. But Richard Nixon, for all of his flaws, was a public servant. He was a career politician. And he did some good things and some bad things. It's not clear at all that Donald Trump has ever done anything good for anyone but himself. KLINKNER: We like to think people are rational, but they're not. And when it comes to politics, people are partisan beings. They're very much rooted to an identity as a Democrat or Republican, a liberal or a conservative. And we tend to get our information from like-minded people. So when people like Donald Trump or a Democrat or Hillary Clinton, or whoever it is, tells something that's not true, we tend to hold onto that. Even when it's proven not to be true, we don't want to give up that belief, because it's a partisan belief, and therefore it goes to our identity of who we are or what we believe in, what types of people we associate with. And in many cases, the correction almost makes us want to hold that belief even more deeply, rather than give it up. A very famous political scientist years ago by the name of V.O. Key said that the voice of the people is but an echo chamber. That what comes out of an echo chamber bears a very strong relationship to what goes into it. And when you have people like Donald Trump, when you have prominent people in the media, in politics, that are expressing lies and misperceptions and untruths, the American people are going to say those sorts of things. They're going to come to believe those sorts of things, because that's what they're hearing from the people that they trust. The media also bear a very strong role in this, because they've been giving a platform to people like Trump. They haven't been giving them the types of pushback and scrutiny that they really do deserve. MUHAMMAD: Donald Trump did us a favor, because he shows us how active and significant white supremacy is in this country. I mean, we needed to know it. We needed to see it. We needed to punch a hole in the mythology of post-racialism, because we need to deal with it. I mean, we think about an oncologist -- we don't want our oncologist telling us a little lie that we don't really have cancer. Donald Trump -- he provides us an opportunity, a window, an X-ray into a malignant tumor in our society. Now, the tumor's always been there, but it's grown. And we've tried to address it in ways small and large, and we've won some of those battles. But ultimately, the patient is very sick, it is our nation, and we need to extract it once and for all. DIP TO BLACK. CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me: I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear TRUMP: I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear ROBERTS: That I will faithfully execute TRUMP: That I will faithfully execute ROBERTS: The office of president of the United States TRUMP: The office of president of the United States ROBERTS: And will to the best of my ability TRUMP: And will to the best of my ability ROBERTS: Preserve, protect and defend TRUMP: Preserve, protect and defend ROBERTS: The Constitution of the United States TRUMP: The Constitution of the United States ROBERTS: So help me God. TRUMP: So help me God. ROBERTS: Congratulations, Mr. President. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Donald Trump's record $200 million inauguration on Friday is fit for the ruler of an imperial nation which has over 800 overseas military bases, commands the world seas and rules over the skies with robotic machines capable of eviscerating virtually anybody, anywhere on earth on short notice. The inauguration will also reflect America's new Gilded Age, with the haves celebrating their good fortune, and the have nots protesting outside. In a course I am teaching we are currently reading the book Crime and the American Dream by Steven F. Messner and Richard Rosenfeld (5th ed. Wadsworth, 2013). This is fitting because Mr. Trump embodies the values the authors say result in particularly high crime rates in U.S. society, notably hyper-materialism, and extreme individualism at the expense of community solidarity and welfare. According to Messner and Rosenfeld, a cardinal virtue of American society - its competitive individualistic ethic - leads to great innovation but also a cardinal vice, high-crime rates resulting from lack of concern about the means adopted to achieve the prized cultural end of wealth accumulation. Trump as we know has gained the highest office in the land because he had the money to bankroll his campaign and the stature that led people to listen to him and believe he has a Midas touch that will bring prosperity to the nation. Trump though is a con man. He gained his wealth through unethical and sometimes unlawful means and conned people into believing he was an outsider against the system. His Cabinet consists of millionaires whose first order of business will be to undo any progressive gains made in the last eight years. Crime is a learned behavior and Trump learned from his father Fred who, as David Cay Johnston shows in The Making of Donald Trump, was the target of a federal investigation for profiteering on tax dollars intended to help World War II veterans and partnered with Willie Tomasello, whom the New York State organized crime task force identified as an associate of the Genovese and Gambino crime families. Donald too developed business connections with criminals including the heads of the two largest New York mafia families. His business mentor, Roy Cohn, was chief lawyer for Joseph McCarthy and then to the mafia. Trump said: "I didn't kid myself about Roy. He was no boy scout. He once told me he'd spent more than two thirds of his adult life under indictment on one charge or another." To build Trump towers, Donald bought concrete from S & A concrete which was owned by mafia chieftans "Big Paul" Castellano and "Fat Tony" Salerno whom Trump met with before he was convicted of racketeering. Trump has been party to over 3,500 lawsuits, some accusing him of civil fraud. He made money by employing a demolition contractor that hired immigrants who worked in violation of various labor laws, which Cohn helped cover up by allegedly paying bribes to inspectors. Trump University has been exposed to be a "faux university" which did not employ real faculty but sales people many of whom had no experience in real estate and offered students special access to leads that were actually accessible for free on the internet. Consumer fraud agents in Texas found that students were taught to prey upon homeowners in financial turmoil and to forget foreclosure properties, and to sell real estate without a license which is illegal in Texas. Their report said sales agents posing as faculty falsely approved continuing education credits for realtors though they were not approved, and Trump University violated Texas law in its refusal to pay taxes and in its false branding as a university. To deflect an investigation in Florida, Trump gave $25,000 for the reelection of Attorney General Pam Bondi which led Bondi to back off from investigation. This was equivalent to paying a bribe and violated a law in which charities are forbidden from making political donations. Johnston's book, which includes discussion of Trump's serial tax evasion, was published before the election which begs the question as to how Trump possibly could have won. The Democrats want to blame Russian hackers whom they are clearly scapegoating, while many on the left want to blame the Democrat's turn towards neoliberalism under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and the shortcomings of Hillary Clinton which is more plausible. An added variable, however, is that Trump embodies the values Americans are conditioned to prize; notably wealth accumulation regardless of the means pursued. Ours is a criminogenic society and we have elected a leader who is a successful white collar criminal who never got caught. He gamed the system in business to his own benefit, and then used his moral capital to make a mockery of the election process and political elite Americans have come to loathe. Many of Trump's critics underestimate his appeal, believing the people chose a man "who shredded our values and morals," as liberal talk show host Bill Moyers put it. However in many respects Trump is America. His bullying manner reflects an imperial nation that as Medea Benjamin recently pointed out, dropped 26,000 tons of bombs in a year it was not even engaged in any major land wars; and his shady business dealings are part and parcel of the capitalist system and the vast inequalities and corruption it produces. Crime and the American Dream includes a revealing discussion of Richard Nixon who retained a popular following even after Watergate because people saw in him a man for whom "ideals had to yield to necessity, right to might, compassion to interest, principle to circumstance." They understood how "Nixon, or anyone, could believe himself forced on occasion to cheat a little, lie a little, find an edge, get out front of more favored competitors any way he could - as they themselves had done, or would do - in the unrelenting battles of life." Trump's appeal is similar, though he embodies even more what many secretly aspire to in his achieving unimaginable wealth and in turn fame, the means of doing so being less important. While noble in their cause, the anti-Trump forces face an uphill battle. For a true revolutionary movement to succeed, it would have to effectively challenge the prevailing cultural paradigm that lies at the root of the social pathologies of our society. This paradigm is seductive and accounts for many aspects of our society's success as well as its dark side, which Mr. Trump is iconic of. Jeremy Kuzmarov is author of Modernizing Repression: Police Training and Nation Building in the American Century (Massachusetts, 2012) among other works. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
All praises go to John Lewis for becoming the first nationally recognized political figure to question the legitimacy of Donald Trump's presidency. He will hopefully not be the last. Lewis dared to say out loud what millions of Americans have been thinking. Lewis--who studied at the American Baptist Theological Seminary; led the first Freedom Rides; registered poor southern African Americans to vote; was almost killed when Alabama State Troopers beat his head in while leading the historic Selma Civil Rights March; chaired the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee; and spoke at the historic March on Washington with Martin Luther King, before running for elective office--is the closest living figure America has to a Nelson Mandela or a Dalai Lama. As Bill Moyers--a man of old-fashioned grace not normally taken to insults and, like Lewis a graduate of Baptist Theological Seminary--wrote after Trump tweeted attacks on Lewis over Martin Luther King's Birthday weekend, "Trump isn't fit to be a carbuncle on John Lewis's posterior." In a manner that only a man of John Lewis's moral stature could articulate, he clothed his critique of Trump's legitimacy in the language not only of politics but of spiritual prophecy. In Lewis's usual soft-spoken, but morally firm, manner, he told Meet The Press's Chuck Todd, " I believe in forgiveness. I believe in trying to work with people. It's going to be hard. It's going to be very difficult. I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president... "[W]hen you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something. You cannot afford to be quiet or to be silent. We have to continue to work, continue to speak up and speak out". Lewis critique of Trump's legitimacy was both moral and political. Morally and spiritually, he seemed to be saying that a man of Trump's narcissism, ignorance, bigotry, misogyny, and xenophobia could never have the moral authority to be the leader of the land of the free and the home of the brave. Politically, Lewis focused his critique on Russian efforts to interfere in the American election to aid Trump. "I think there was a conspiracy on the part of the Russians and others that helped him get elected. That's not right. That's not fair. That's not the open, democratic process." If anything , in focusing on Russian interference in American democracy, Lewis didn't go far enough in articulating the reasons why Trump's election is illegitimate. Here are more two reasons: First and foremost, voter suppression, something John Lewis, who spent much of his life fighting for voting rights, knows something about. The NYU's Brennan Center for Justice reports that since 2010, 20 states have enacted new restrictions on voting Since 2010, 10 states have enacted more restrictive voter ID laws (and six states have strict photo ID requirements), seven have laws making it harder for citizens to register, six cut back on early voting days and hours, and three made it harder to restore voting rights for people with past criminal convictions. These restrictions are intended to, and/or have the effect of, disproportionately disenfranchising groups like African Americans, Latinos, and young people who tend to vote Democratic. For example, 25 percent of African Americans lack a government issued photo ID while only 8 percent of whites don't have one. The man The Guardian has described as the "most important investigative reporter of our time--up there with Woodward and Bernstein," Rolling Stone investigative reporter Greg Palast, has done exhaustive research which offers up the proof that voter suppression swung the election to Trump. Palast writes, "Before a single vote was cast, the election was fixed by GOP and Trump operatives. "Starting in 2013--just as the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act--a coterie of Trump operatives, under the direction of Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State [and a key member of the Trump transition team] created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of color from the voter rolls of GOP-controlled states." Kobach's list is called "Crosscheck" and contains the names of 7.2 million people with the same first and last names who are registered to vote in more than one state. For example, if you have a common name like James Brown, or Jose Hernandez, and that name appears on the voter rolls in both Michigan and Wisconsin, your named could be purged from the voter rolls in both states. US Census data shows that minorities are overrepresented in 85% of common last names. According to Palast, "If your last name is Washington, there's an 89% chance you're African American. If your last name is Hernandez, there's a 94% chance you're Hispanic." According to Palast's statistical analysis, 1.1 million voters were purged from the rolls, overwhelmingly voters of color and the poor. It was enough to swing the Electoral Votes in a number of states from Clinton to Trump. Here are a few examples: Trump victory margin in Michigan: 13,107 Michigan Crosscheck purge list: 449,922 Trump victory margin in Arizona: 85,257 Arizona Crosscheck purge list: 270,824 Trump victory margin in N. Carolina: 177,008 N. Carolina Crosscheck purge list: 589,393 Michigan has 16 Electoral Votes, Arizona has 16, and North Carolina has 15 for a total of 42 Electoral Votes. Trump officially won the Electoral Vote by 306-232. Switch 42 electoral votes from Trump's column to Clinton's and Clinton would have won the Electoral vote by 274-264. And that doesn't even take into account that Trump officially won Wisconsin's 10 Electoral Votes by 22,748 popular votes and Pennsylvania's 20 Electoral Votes by 44,292 popular votes. Without bothering to account for other voter suppression measures, Palast concludes that by using Crosscheck to wrongfully purge voter rolls of minority voters, Trump stole the election. How's that for illegitimacy? And then there was FBI Director Comey's letter, only 10 days before the election, announcing, in violation of longstanding rules, that the FBI was reopening the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails because emails from her aide Huma Abedin to Clinton were found on a laptop belonging to Abedin's disgraced ex-husband, Anthony Weiner. You can call Comey many things, but stupid isn't one of them. He surely knew that headlines with the words "Clinton," "emails," and "Weiner" could impact the election. Of course the day before the election, after the impact of his announcement was baked into the results, Comey announced that his new investigation had found nothing. Polling guru Nate Silver concluded that the Comey letter swung the election from Clinton to Trump, tweeting "Clinton would almost certainly be President-elect if the election had been held on Oct. 27 (day before Comey letter)." And finally, as John Lewis alluded to, multiple US intelligence agencies concluded that Vladimir Putin personally "ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election," and turned from seeking to "denigrate" Hillary Clinton to developing "a clear preference for President-elect Trump." Putin "aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him." So there you have it, three reasons why Donald Trump is not only morally an illegitimate president, but actually an illegitimate president who would not have won, but for (1) voter suppression, (2) Comey's letter, and (3) Russian intervention aimed at swinging the election to Trump. There's little question that Trump's victory was ill gotten and illegitimate. The only remaining question is whether the Trump campaign communicated with the Russians about their efforts to influence the elections -- which would be a crime -- and whether Russian intelligence has compromising dirt on president-elect Trump. It remains to be seen if there will be an honest investigation to answer these questions. There's nothing that can be done now to prevent Trump from being sworn-in on Friday. But for multiple reasons, John Lewis is right to call Trump's election illegitimate And there's every reason for millions of patriotic Americans to declare that Trump is "Not my President." -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
The following speech was delivered at The Women' March in Montpelier, Vermont, where 10,000 to 20,000 people gathered. So many people were trying to get to the march that they closed three interstate exits because the city streets couldn't handle more cars. Hello Everybody, Sisters and Brothers, What a beautiful sight you are. It's like Spring has arrived in Vermont and thousands of flowers are blooming in front of the State House. I feel a "crowd hug." We are not alone in our fear, we are not alone in our despair, we are not alone in our grief for what might have been. We are together in our strength , together in our power, and together we march. Why do we march? We march for RESPECT We march for EQUAL PAY We march for THE RIGHT TO CONTROL OUR BODIES We march for A LIVABLE PLANET WE march for THE END OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN We march for HEALTH CARE FOR ALL We march for PUBLIC EDUCATION We march for THE CONSTITUTION AND THE BILL OF RIGHTS. AND WHO ARE WE? We are brown, black, yellow and white. We are gay, straight, transgender and queer. We are wives, mothers, grandmothers, singles, sisters, daughters and lovers. We are teachers, students, professors, waitresses, sales clerks, bartenders, nurses, doctors, artists, lawyers, farmers, factory workers, cooks, caregivers and WE ARE IMMIGRANTS. We are here to pledge to be OUR SISTERS AND BROTHERS KEEPERS. And we are here because "women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights," all over the world. Can we do this? Will we make a difference? Have we got the power? (Crowd roared, "Yes, we can!) The pendulum has swung so fast from Obama to Trump that we are experiencing whip lash. I assure it will swing back again--when we push hard. We have a rock to stand on. It is called Democracy It is called the Constitution. THE CENTER WILL HOLD. But only if we are vigilant. Only if we use our voices and our feet. We must demonstrate that there is another America. An America that looks like us, that thinks like us that believes in the America that we believe in. It is we who make America. It is we who make America great. We are the makers, the doers, the dreamers. We are the citizens, who have the power of the vote. In the next four years, we will be heard, not only in this place at this time, but throughout the land, in towns and cities and in our nation's capital, and all over the world where people are marching with us. We pledge NOT TO BE SILENT. We pledge NOT TO BE INTERRUPTED We pledge NOT TO BE SIDELINED We pledge NOT TO BE STOPPED We pledge NOT TO BE AFRAID, And we pledge NOT TO LOSE HOPE. We must keep hope alive. I will read the first stanza of a poem called "Hope" by Emily Dickinson. "Hope is a thing with feathers That perches in the soul And sings the tune without the words And never stops at all." We must have hope, we must be vigilant, and we must proclaim that it is OUR America that makes AMERICA GREAT. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Mary Elizabeth "Liz" Sutherland Carpenter (September 1, 1920 – March 20, 2010) was a writer, feminist, former reporter, media advisor, speechwriter, political humorist, and public relations expert. Carpenter was born in historic Salado in southern Bell County, Texas. In 1936, her 24-room residence there was declared a state historic monument. In 1967, a plaque was unveiled to indicate that Carpenter had once lived there. At the age of seven, she moved with her family to Austin. Carpenter stood in the forefront of the Women's Movement when it began and never wavered from her platform. Her projects and causes ranged from supporting high tech to fighting cancer. Often called the "funniest woman in politics", she was in demand as a public speaker until her death. Carpenter was named a Distinguished Alumna of the University of Texas in 1975, and in 1990 was named distinguished alumnae of the Department of Communications. She was named by Governor Mark White to the Texas Women's Hall of Fame. She was given the ProBene Award of the College of Liberal Arts. The Liz Carpenter Lectureship was established in 1984 by a group of her friends, including Erma Bombeck and Mark Russell, who gave a performance at the Paramount Theater to raise funds for it. In the last several years, Mrs. Carpenter's lectureship in the College of Liberal Arts has brought President Bill Clinton, President Gerald Ford, Hillary Clinton, Jehan Sadat, Maya Angelou, Bill Moyers, Jane Goodall, and writers such as Betty Friedan, Nora Ephron, Shana Alexander, and Jean Auel and nationally known humorists such as Fannie Flagg and Carol Channing. The Liz Carpenter Award is given annually for the best scholarly book on the history of women and Texas published during the calendar year. The Award was established in 1992 by an anonymous donor who is committed to the publication of scholarly research on the history of women and Texas. The award honors Liz Carpenter, a sixth-generation Texan, for her commitment to the pursuit of the history of women in Texas and for a lifetime of achievements that qualify her as a maker of that history. She is the recipient of Alpha Phi's Frances E. Willard Award in 1980. She died in Austin, Texas in March 2010. "Liz Carpenter is much more than an American original: she is an American and a Texas original. Her inside stories of our nation's political life over the last half-century are priceless." —Walter Cronkite "No one remains the same person after meeting Liz ...(she) makes Auntie Mame look like a shut-in." —Erma Bombeck "Her combination of wit and wisdom is infectious, encouraging, enlightening. Texas never had a truer daughter. Her zest for life is an example to us all." —James Michener "(Liz is) the tilt-a-whirl at the State Fair with all the lights on and the music. The only difference between Liz and a tilt-a-whirl is that, with Liz, the ride never comes to an end." —Ann Richards "...a human dynamo, P.T. Barnum. She could sell anyone the proverbial Brooklyn Bridge or the Washington Monument." —Helen Thomas "She manages to phrase issues the way people experience them, rather than using all those words that end in t-i-o-n and deaden your brain." —Gloria Steinem https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liz_Carpenter Image: Luigi Novi [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
These are the times that try men's and women's souls. With inauguration day just weeks away, if you must curl up in a ball in front of a fireplace or elsewhere, why not do it with a book or two that we hope can put the upcoming Trump years in perspective and context? We asked some of our BillMoyers.com contributors and past Moyers & Company guests to give us their ideas as to some appropriate material that might help us through the coming months of uncertainty... and incredulity. Bill Moyers, by the way, recommends Sheldon Wolin's Democracy Incorporated and Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death: "Together these two books explain how we got to the Age of Trump." Please add your own recommendations in the comments section. Andrew Bacevich Can mere books provide a proper azimuth when all of our navigational aids have seemingly failed, leaving the country adrift? In our present circumstance, I am hard-pressed to think of any that can do so. Our culture is badly fractured, our elites manage to combine arrogance and ignorance and old convictions -- like belief in a common good -- seem dated and obsolete. Faith in democracy has ebbed. In the eyes of some, "the people" have come to stand for anger, ignorance and bigotry. The imperative of the present moment is to challenge that judgment, to restore a sense of tolerance and a spirit of generosity. I wish I could point to the novel, poem or historical text that might do that, but my imagination is inadequate to the task. Perhaps a preliminary answer can be found in music rather than in literature -- for example, in the great compositions of Aaron Copland during his populist period. Sit in a quiet room and listen to "Our Town" (1940), "Lincoln Portrait" (1942), or above all, "Appalachian Spring" (1944). Then reflect on what America is meant to be and how far we have strayed from the path. Andrew J. Bacevich is the author most recently of America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History. Kyle Dargan Though the ideological impasse we find ourselves in leaves me skeptical that those who would benefit most from reading these books would actually open them or open themselves to them, I would recommend George Schuyler's Black No More and Solmaz Sharif's Look. The former is a satirical novel in which the ability for African-Americans to medically become "white" exposes the political and financial elites' use of race as a means of pitting citizens against each other and against their own political and economic interests. Though published in 1931, the novel illuminates how the current manipulation of working-class "white" citizens' sense of identity and security is in fact no aberration but rather an extension of an unfortunate cycle of progress and regression that America has been caught in for the last 150 years. The latter is, as I characterized the book to Sharif herself, an almost cubist collection of poems that refuses to privilege one perspective as she speaks of and speaks back to her experiences as both subject of America's "war on terror" and one who has lost family to warring in the Middle East. Sharif has written that "the political is not topical or thematic, it is tactical and formal," and that sentiment is abundantly clear in this collection that uses erasure (redaction) to bring scrutiny to the censoring motives of the state and reappropriates language from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. As Americans potentially spend the next four (or eight) years countering a leader who has thus far conducted himself as a domestic demagogue, it is important that we also remain aware of the face we turn toward the world -- and the drones we launch into it. The threat of the coming presidency does not negate the fact America was already in the business of "winning" at the expense, if not demise, of other global populations long before Nov. 8, 2016. Kyle Dargan is a professor of writing and literature at American University. The 32-year-old poet is the author of three award-winning collections of poetry: Logorrhea Dementia, Bouquet of Hungers and The Listening. Tamara Draut I believe that Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class by Ian Haney López is a particularly appropriate book for the political reality we find ourselves in today. Following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump throughout this election used racially charged words to stoke the anxieties and resentment of white working-class voters who are worried about jobs, the economy and the changing face of our country. And while Trump is certainly not the first politician to employ this tactic, he could be the most detrimental to race healing in our country. While on the campaign trail, Trump used phrases like "illegal aliens," "law and order" and "inner city" to signal to white voters that immigrants and people of color are the cause of our country's problems. Trump used this scheme to undermine our democracy and manipulate voters into supporting policies that favor the wealthy while avoiding any substantive conversation about the real issues facing our country. Ian's book serves as a perfect reminder that this tactic has long been in the conservative playbook, that we have been here before and that we must continue to work hard every day to overcome this hate and divisiveness that hurts all Americans. Tamara Draut is vice president of policy and research at Demos Action and author of Sleeping Giant: How America's New Working Class Will Transform America. James Fallows For reasons I fear are obvious, books from and about America's original Gilded Age seem newly compelling. We know, looking backward, that the half-century after the Civil War prefigured nearly every social and economic problem of the current moment. That is: corrupt and mistrusted government; the sudden accumulation of new fortunes based on new technologies; the simultaneous disruption of traditional jobs, industries, communities and whole ways of life; dramatically increased pressure on the environment (including, in the US case, the eradication of the once-ubiquitous Passenger pigeon and near-elimination of the bison); rapid ethnic change driven by migration within the country and around the world; new opportunities for some individuals coupled with newly constructed racial and ethnic barriers; inequalities and injustices on a scale that previous technologies had not allowed. We also know, looking backward, that the original Gilded Age eventually gave way to reforms of the Populist and Progressive Era, and countervailing movements involving organized labor; women's suffrage; muckrakers and civic reform; nascent environmentalists; African-American migration, organization and cultural renaissance; governmental proponents of social insurance programs; and others. Because we know that these things happened, it's easy to forget that not a single one of them happened automatically, or without a serious fight. The reason to go back and read about them is to prepare for the long sequence of comparable fights ahead. What sorts of books am I talking about? Novels like Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser or The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells, about the dislocation of that era. Novelized exposes like The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, or straightout exposes like The History of the Standard Oil Company by Ida Tarbell. Similarly, Justin Kaplan's Lincoln Steffens, a Biography. Historical studies of the rise of the Jim Crow South and the cleavage of the Populist movement on the basis of race, following C. Vann Woodward's old studies on both those themes (The Strange Career of Jim Crow and Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel). Great biographies of the people struggling for reform in that era, like Michael Kazin's A Godly Hero, about William Jennings Bryan. Analyses of how people a century ago coped with dislocation, from Robert Wiebe's classic The Search for Order to the even more classic The Education of Henry Adams, plus Steve Fraser's recent The Age of Acquiescence. Since this is all an exercise in learning what we can from looking backward, naturally the list includes Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward itself, a popular and influential time-travel book from 1888 imagining how the United States of 2000 might look if its social and economic problems were addressed rather than left to fester. I am peripherally aware of this era, and these books, and many of the themes. My resolution in the age of Trump is to use them as the starting point for more serious re-education on how and whether the struggles of a century ago inform the struggles ahead. James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. Todd Gitlin I still swear by Albert Camus, especially The Myth of Sisyphus and The Plague. In argument and in fiction, Camus is always reminding us that the long arc is a winding way and not a straight arrow. However bleak the outlook, we are responsible for our actions, and no one is exempt. We may choose servility, we may choose resistance, and we must do so in darkness, without guarantees. When we find our fellow spirits, we need to disabuse ourselves of illusions that there is any shortcut out of the swamp. The swamp was a long time in the making and it will be a long time finding our way out. What matters is that we always, every day, ask ourselves what we may do today that we will be proud of tomorrow. Todd Gitlin is a professor of journalism and sociology and chair of the Ph.D. program in communications at Columbia University. He is the author of 16 books, including several on journalism and politics. George Goehl Three books: Populist Moment: A Short History of the Agrarian Revolt. For me, the introduction of Lawrence Goodwyn's seminal history of the populist movement of the 800s is one of the most helpful breakdowns of the components of large-scale social movements, and the sequencing of those components. It's a chapter I come back to because it helps me think about the features of democratic movements. Reluctant Reformers: Racism and Social Reform Movements in the United States. Bree Carlson, one of my mentors on all things race, recommended this book to me years ago, and I'm better for it. In a moment in which there is all kinds of confusion about race and class on the left, and potential over-correction around who we organize and the analysis we project, this book is a must-read. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. A lot of people have read this book, and a lot of people have not. Now's a good time to change that. The analysis within The New Jim Crow and the story of Michelle Alexander's own path to getting there is exactly the kind of reading we should be digging into now. George Goehl, a long-time community organizer, is the co-executive director of People's Action and has been described as one of the "intellectual gurus" behind the Occupy movement. Marty Kaplan Artists who live under authoritarian regimes are burdened by an awful threat and a terrible opportunity. The threat is silence -- a sentence executed by censorship, self-censorship, the stupefaction of audiences, imprisonment, torture, exile and death. The opportunity -- the obligation, really -- is storytelling: depicting the price that tyranny exacts on bodies, souls and societies. Sometimes those stories are fictional, scripted, allegorical, dystopian; sometimes they're histories, documentaries, biographies and autobiographies. The most searing nonfictional depiction of tyranny I know is Hope Against Hope, Nadezhda Mandelstam's memoir of Stalin's persecution of her husband, Osip Mandelstam, one of the greatest poets of the 20th century. The book is also a love story, a thriller, wicked satire, a field guide to Russian literature, a survival manual and a tragedy. It may turn out that our Years of Living Trumpishly will bear zero resemblance to Stalin's communism or Putin's kleptocracy. If that's the case, among the reasons may be the fearlessness of artists, and the public's appreciation of the debt that political freedom owes to artistic freedom. I don't know a better book for tuning our antennae to that appreciation than Hope Against Hope. Marty Kaplan is the Norman Lear professor of entertainment, media and society at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Sherry Turkle My suggestion focuses on the possibility that our institutions are fragile and will be under attack and we have to learn from Weimar to protect ourselves from authoritarianism. Before the Deluge: A Portrait of Berlin in the 1920s by Otto Friedrich is very readable and includes the cultural and scientific life Hitler destroyed. The book is a good summary of the post-Treaty of Versailles era and the conditions that led to the rise of fascism, the seeming inability of the moderates to counteract fascism and the methodical destruction of democratic norms. It's a great intro to that part of history while not being overly long -- a plus for most readers. Sherry Turkle is Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT, and founder and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Шелдон Адельсон (Sheldon Adelson) – богатый спонсор Израиля и Биньямина Нетаньяху.О последнем выступлении израильского премьер-министра Биньямина Нетаньяху в Конгрессе США мы должны знать только одно – присутствие на галерее посетителей одного мужчины - Шелдона Адельсона.Он - магнат азартных игр и крёстный отец правых республиканцев. Кандидаты в президенты от обеих партий выстраиваются в очередь, чтобы поцеловать его руку. Кланяясь и расшаркиваясь, они вымаливают его благословение в виде подписанных им чеков. Беспартийный Центр за ответственную политику (Center for Responsive Politics) и Центр за общественную интеграцию (Center for Public Integrity) утверждают, что во время выборов 2012 года Адельсон и его жена Мириам (чей кошелёк прославился недавно, свалившись с галереи на голову демократического конгрессмена) заплатили 150 млн. долларов республиканцам и их сторонникам, в том числе 93 млн. долларов лояльному к плутократам super PAC Карла Роува (Karl Rove) American Crossroads, Congressional Leadership Fund, Republican Jewish Coalition Victory Fund, Winning Our Future (super PAC поддержки Ньюта Гингрича (Newt Gingrich)) и Restore Our Future (super PAC поддержки Митта Ромни (Mitt Romney)).И всё же, мы не знаем обо всех «тёмных деньгах», вложенных Адельсонами в политику, так как мы не имеем на это права. Как и дорогие квартиры в Нью-Йорке, купленные олигархами, которые прячутся за ширмами легальных организаций, тёмные деньги позволяют нашим политикам смыть отпечатки пальцев с подписанных чеков спонсоров-миллиардеров.Но Шелдон Адельсон не просто так сидел в галерее Палаты Представителей – он дёргал за ниточки, которыми управляет Соединёнными штатами. Шелдон Адельсон – богатый спонсор Израиля и своего идеологического партнёра Биньямина Нетаньяху. Хотя законы о финансовом реформировании предвыборных кампаний в Израиле строже, чем в США, Адельсон смог и их купить, что историк и журналист Гершом Горенберг (Gershom Gorenberg) назвал «однозначно пагубным» влиянием.Адельсон владеет ежедневными газетами Israel Hayom и Makor Roshon (религиозной право-сионистской направленности), а также новостным веб-сайтом NRG. Газета Israel Hayom раздаётся бесплатно для распространения его жёсткой точки зрения. На следующий день после переизбрания Обамы, на первой полосе этой газеты появился заголовок: «США проголосовали за социализм».Ещё важнее то, что он использует свои газеты для постоянной пропаганды Нетаньяху и его ультраправой Likud Party, под властью которой Израиль всё ближе и ближе приближается к теократии. Как считает экономист Моми Дахан (Momi Dahan) из Еврейского университета, «де-факто, само существование таких газет как Israel Hayom – однозначное нарушение закона, так как Адельсон предоставляет своему кандидату практически неограниченные информационные ресурсы».Шелдон поддерживает тесные отношения с Рупертом.На самом деле, приближаясь к израильским выборам 17 марта, Адельсон увеличил тираж Israel Hayom на 70%. Администрация газеты пишет, что увеличение коснулось, в основном, рекламы, но газета Ha’aretz считает по-другому: «Некоторые политики убеждены, что дополнительный тираж – один из пунктов бизнес плана, направленного на переизбрание Нетаньяху». И выступление Нетаньяху перед Конгрессом США накануне выборов – просто совпадение, не так ли? «Я искренне сожалею, что некоторые чувствуют, что моё присутствие здесь носит политической характер», - сказал Нетаньяху конгрессменам. – «Этого никогда не было в моих планах». Ну конечно.Гершом Горенберг считает, что премьер-министр «наслаждается выгодой наличия в его лагере ведущей газеты, которая изображает мир с точки зрения его правительства – мир, в котором Израиль окружён врагами (включая президента США); мир, в котором цель мирных переговоров – разрушение Израиля; мир, в котором левые израильтяне действуют в сотрудничестве с врагами, и даже те правые, которые выступают против Нетаньяху, готовят переворот, используя выборы».Таким образом, Нетаньяху пользуется плодами деятельности Адельсона - его мощной пропагандистской машиной в Израиле и его кампанией по сбору денег в США. В совокупности, эти машины позволяют Нетаньяху узурпировать американскую внешнюю политику, так как он управляет Конгрессом США, который сделали услужливым миллионы долларов Адельсона, придерживающегося правой точки зрения по Израилю и Ближнему Востоку.Итак, вот что мы имеем. Этот казиношный магнат – не только неофициальный вождь республиканской партии США («он и его золотые правила»), но и некоронованный король Израиля – Давид с печатным станком и чековой книжкой, вместо рогатки и камня. Всё это всплыло во время выступления Нетаньяху. США не могут определять своё будущее, так как американская политика на Ближнем Востоке и большинство в Конгрессе находятся под каблуком у другой страны.Подобно королю Мидасу, Шелдон Адельсон определяет вопросы войны и мира в самом нестабильном регионе мира. Именно этот человек, выступая в 2013 году в еврейском университете Иешуа в Нью-Йорке, осудил президента Обаму за дипломатические переговоры с Ираном, и предложил сбросить на иранцев атомную бомбу, превратив их землю в пустыню. «Поймите! Следующим должен быть Тегеран. То есть, мы говорим о бизнесе. Вы хотите быть уничтоженными? Идите вперёд, займите жёсткую позицию и продолжайте использовать своё ядерное оружие».О последнем выступлении израильского премьер-министра Биньямина Нетаньяху в Конгрессе США мы должны знать только одно – присутствие на галерее посетителей одного мужчины. Мы все – его заложники.Авторы - Билл Мойерс (Bill Moyers) и Майкл Уиншип (Michael Winship).Билл Мойерс – ведущий еженедельной общественной телевизионной передачи Moyers & Company. Мойерс получил 35 премий Эмми, 9 премий Пибоди, премию за достижения в течение жизни Национальной академии телевидения. Он является почётным доктором изящных искусств Американского института кино за 40 лет журналистской работы на радио.Майкл Уиншип – ведущий автор Moyers & Company и президент Гильдии сценаристов восточной Америки.Источник: How an American Billionaire Stands in the Way of Mideast Peace, Bill Moyers, Michael Winship, AlterNet, March 6, 2015.____________ ____________