Creating a better world through words and images

Artwork/Political Cartoons
Artwork/Political Cartoons
Artwork/Political Cartoons
Artwork/Political Cartoons

U.S.-trained, duopoly-recognized “President” Guiado continues to put his faith in thuggish violence and U.S. mercenaries as a means to overthrow Venezuela’s elected government (recognized by over 75% of the world’s nations). But Venezuela keeps defending its duly elected government, even in the face of Washington’s coup attempts and U.S. sanctions that the U.N. Rapporteur on Human Rights has likened to a “medieval siege,” calling them “a crime against humanity.”

From Leonardo Flores’s article appearing at CommonDreams.org:

“Information about the attack continues to trickle out, yet there is overwhelming evidence of Guaidó’s involvement. According to multiple sources, Guaidó signed a $212 million contract with Jordan Goudreau, an ex-Green Beret, for Goudreau’s private security firm to overthrow President Maduro, although payments were never made. This corroborates an accusation made in late March by Clíver Alcalá, an opposition-aligned, retired Venezuelan general who surrendered to U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency custody after being indicted for drug trafficking. Copies of a general services agreement with the signatures of Guaidó and Goudreau have been leaked online, and the Washington Post reported news of a video call in which Guaidó says he is ‘about to sign’ the contract. Furthermore, several of the Venezuelans who took part in the raid have links to Guaidó, including at least two who participated in the April 30, 2019 coup attempt.”

Trump’s 2019 coup attempt which sought to anoint Guiado as the (unelected) leader of Venezuela failed miserably. Then the assassination attempt on Venezuelan President Maduro failed. Now this half-baked operation, reminiscent of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, has utterly, spectacularly failed.

What will Trump and his Republican and Democratic allies attempt next in their quest to install right-wing dictators across the South American continent? Going back to the Obama administration, their program has succeeded in Brazil, Ecuador, and Bolivia (nations where the COVID-19 pandemic has run amok) — but Venezuela (which has largely contained the virus, thanks to massive testing and universal healthcare) continues to elude them.

Venezuela represents the biggest South American prize, with the greatest proven OIL reserves on the planet. Meanwhile, the Chinese, Russian, and Iranian governments continue delivering food and medicine to Venezuela and buying their exports, in defiance of U.S. sanctions.

What’s an imperialist to do?

Republicans and Democrats just gave trillions to corporations that haven’t even begun to feel the pain of this pandemic. They threw crumbs (a one-time payment of $1,200 and modestly increased unemployment payments) to the 99% and guaranteed a far greater economic Depression than the last one.

Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and their employer-provided health insurance. Millions more face bankruptcy and eviction, foreclosure, and homelessness.

Scores of thousands (at a bare minimum) face death.

Already, essential workers — those who bring us food and healthcare — are dying.

Does the entire country need to collapse for Americans to recognize that no Republican or Democrat is worth a damn? Not Trump, not Biden, not Pelosi, not McConnell — none of them?

If this country had any sense at all, no Democrat or Republican would get a single vote in 2020. Whether it’s Covid-19 or the collapse of the rule of law and biosphere, these courtesans to power have doomed us all. They’re history’s worst fascists, by any standard. In the last few decades, they’ve butchered millions of Muslims, like the 21st-century Nazis they are. They’ve torn down the rule of law and erected a system that permits global war and assassinations anywhere.

Vote for anyone else — of any party. But stop voting for the “lesser” of two unmitigated evils, both of which serve the same masters.

A vote for the duopoly is a vote for the extinction of all life.

But then again, partisanship is the order of the day… Go, Team ______!

(Red or Blue, either way we’re screwed.)

Shame on Bernie Sanders and the Democrats for letting Donald Trump outflank them from the left (again!) during this pandemic — in an election year, no less! But kudos to Trump for doing something vaguely responsible after badly bungling the initial response to the crisis (along with everyone else, including the primary-focused, CDC-defying Dems).

Shockingly, Donald Trump has made it far easier for the uninsured to get testing and treatment for corona-virus — AT ZERO COST — with the U.S. government reimbursing providers at Medicare rates thanks to the 2019-2020 Cares Act (already passed and signed), dedicating $100 billion to respond to the crisis.

If we required any more evidence that the Democratic Party is where progressive ideas go to die (permanently), I can’t imagine what future dereliction/abdication of duty would top the current farce. From Hillary Clinton on down, all the Democrats have been offering in response to this unprecedented national emergency are more big insurance-authored “solutions” (selling private insurance plans to unemployed people in financial crisis!).

Donald Trump, one of the most irresponsible man-child presidents in the country’s history, is out-lefting (and out-adulting) the Democrats — pathetic!

But if it saves lives, I’ll take it.

(Initially composed as a response to The Hill Rising’s Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti’s segment, “Biden DESPERATE for Bernie to drop out as new polls show massive liabilities”)

Krystal, Saagar, I understand what you’re saying about the dynamism of the general election, but I am 100% sure that Joe Biden cannot defeat Donald Trump under any circumstances. In terms of the 2020 primary, Biden is where he’s at because of brand recognition, DNC/establishment bias, election fraud, and the media that refuses to discuss election fraud (including Rising) and studiously eschews Biden’s glaring vulnerabilities in a general election.

In all likelihood, Biden hasn’t won much and an independent audit of the primary to date would reveal that he’s not even ahead in the earned delegate count. Exit polls have been *way* off in state after state, signaling election fraud. Two months after Iowa’s Caucus, the real vote count is unknown, thanks to a Shadow(y) app and the DNC’s unprecedented intervention. Weeks after the primary in California, millions of votes remain uncounted (per BBC reporter Greg Palast, 75% of the uncounted ballots in 2016’s primary went for Bernie Sanders).

It’s theft in plain sight, using patently unreliable (hackable, unauditable) voting mechanisms, proprietary software, massive voter suppression directed at young voters and people of color, and more.

But the real issue, so far as November is concerned, is that Joe Biden hasn’t really been vetted. With Russiagate, impeachment, and other distractions — and now the pandemic — the American people have barely been following the Democratic primary, and most of the coverage they’ve encountered has been DNC-underwritten propaganda.

Unlike Rising (and Jimmy Dore, Grayzone, MCSC/Niko, et al), the MSM has utterly failed to introduce the public to the real Joe Biden: a pathologically lying, plagiarizing, racist, misogynist, neoconservative, neoliberal corporatist — a deeply corrupt mental marshmallow with his fingerprints on some of the most disastrous and least popular policies of the last few decades: The New Jim Crow, NAFTA, the Iraq War, and the Bankruptcy “reform” bill that saw him labeled “The Senator from MBNA.”

And now there’s a credible rape charge against Joe Biden — which most of the media refuses to cover (kudos to the amazing Katie Halper and also to Rising for giving Tara Reade a chance to tell her story).

The truth is Joe Biden would be an incredibly weak candidate against Donald Trump even without his pronounced mental deterioration. In the debates, Trump will make mincemeat out of Biden and expose his corruption. Mainstream Americans will hear for the first time about Burisma Holdings, Joe’s misogyny, and Hunter’s grifting. The American people will suddenly realize that Joe Biden’s mental health is failing — and it won’t be pretty watching Trump illuminate just how unfit for office the former VP is.

As one shocking revelation follows another, Americans will become intimately acquainted with Joe Biden’s worst qualities during the general election cycle, just as they first learned in 2016 from Trump about Sec. Clinton’s appalling history of racism, warmongering, corruption, and her 30,000 missing e-mails. The American people were edified about these matters by Donald Trump because the corporate media had abdicated its duty (promoting Clinton instead of reporting on her) — and because Bernie had been too much of a “gentleman” to make an issue of the Clintons’ Pay-to-Play State Department/Foundation and their privatization of public servers and various aspects of U.S. foreign policy.

Biden can’t win in 2020. He won’t do nearly as well as Sec. Clinton did in 2016, because as the race currently stands, 2020 promises to be a blow-out for the GOP, delivering a Republican super-majority Congress to Trump in 2021.

Corona-virus will wreak its havoc and the economy will tank, no doubt. But these issues will not sink Donald Trump — they will provide him with an excuse. Like many of Trump’s most dreadful policies, his pork-laden pandemic “relief” bill received nearly unanimous bipartisan support — and the response of Democrats to the virus, from Gov. Cuomo to Joe Biden to DNC Chair Perez, has been every bit as reckless and derelict as the administration’s… so how exactly can maundering, mush-brained Biden turn this into a winning election issue in November?

He can’t.

Since Democrats, including AOC (and Bernie), just gave away the $4.5-trillion store to corporations and the 1% — and hardly anyone (including Rising) is willing to discuss blatant election fraud in the 2020 primary — I don’t see anything but a bleak future for the nation, with or without the corona-virus.

Unfortunately, that includes Trump’s reelection in November.

The New York Times recently reported on the DNC’s plans to disregard the winner of the popular vote at their convention this summer, even though, per the article: “Historically, superdelegates had always supported the candidate who won the most pledged delegates, which accrue from primary and caucus wins.”

But now that Bernie is clearly projected to win the most pledged delegates — democratically, by a large margin — history, precedent, and tradition are all being shit-canned.

“While there is no widespread public effort underway to undercut Mr. Sanders, arresting his rise has emerged as the dominant topic in many Democratic circles…. In recent weeks, Democrats have placed a steady stream of calls to Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who opted against running for president nearly a year ago, suggesting that he can emerge as a white knight nominee at a brokered convention…” (NYT)

Great! Now, they want Trump’s opponent in November to be SOMEONE NO ONE VOTED FOR in the primary! Someone who didn’t even run!

The Democratic establishment is obviously desperate to nominate anyone but Bernie. They want to nominate anyone except the projected winner of the popular vote — anyone but the candidate who consistently polls best against Donald Trump!

(Because defeating Trump, the most dangerous president in our lifetimes, is simply not a priority for them.)

Former adviser to President Obama, Bernie-hater Anton J. Gunn, has been explicit about the party’s aversion to democratic norms: “The public doesn’t really decide the nominee.”

(It’s like they didn’t spend the last three years bemoaning the fact that the winner of the popular vote lost the 2016 general election.)

Sadly, it seems that Sen. Warren agrees with the DNC and Mr. Gunn. Lately, Warren has been on the warpath against Sen. Sanders (again), disingenuously accusing him of endorsing the role of super-delegates at the convention — and changing his mind “just because he now thinks there’s an advantage to him…”

(That’s a pretty dishonest talking point, Senator.)

Warren is well aware that Bernie and progressives argued for the complete removal of super-delegates from this process. She knows full-well that Sanders argued for a more democratic convention, one not decided by un-elected lobbyists and party apparatchiks. She also knows that the party denied Bernie’s request, refusing to end the super-delegates’ democracy-nullifying role in their nominating process.

And contrary to her latest false talking point, Warren knows that Bernie nixed the idea of lobbying the super-delegates in 2016, choosing instead to release his pledged delegates and enthusiastically support the nomination of Sec. Clinton.

The Elizabeth Warren of old: “I don’t believe in superdelegates.” (Ah, but today she does!)

The Elizabeth Warren of old: “I don’t believe in super PACs.” (Ah, but today she does!)

The Elizabeth Warren of old: “What we have to focus on now as Democrats is, we recognize the process was rigged” — referring to the 2016 Democratic primary “won” by Sec. Clinton. (Later, she reversed her position, saying “the process was fair.”)

The Elizabeth Warren of old: “In most democracies around the world, the person who gets the most votes wins. How about we make America that kind of democracy?”

But the Elizabeth Warren of old has apparently been swallowed whole by some kind of ophidian creature. She “now thinks there’s an advantage” (for her) in opposing “that kind of democracy” (the kind where “the person who gets the most votes wins”).

[Thank you, Niko House, for drawing my attention to this very interesting exchange, “a very entertaining back-and-forth,” indeed.]

Colbert: “Why do you think that THE PEOPLE — why do you think he (Bernie) has got, while not the majority of the support in the Democratic Party, right now, he’s got the plurality, to use that twenty-cent word…?”

Christie: “Because he’s one of the only people up there who’s actually talking about ideas.”

Colbert: “Elizabeth Warren talks about ideas.”

Christie: “No, she doesn’t.”

Colbert: “Yes, she does!”

Christie: “No!”

Colbert: “She talks about all the same ideas that Bernie talks about!”

Christie: “No! No, she used to talk about all the same ideas, then she backed off of it. And now everybody doesn’t like her. Because the people who are the real progressives don’t think she’s genuine, anymore. And the people who are the moderates don’t trust her. So, she’s in No Man’s Land.”

Precisely right…

As a “progressive,” Sen. Warren has greatly damaged her brand and given many of her former supporters grave doubts about her character, allegiances, and priorities.

In terms of policy proposals, Sen. Warren remains one of the top three candidates in this race, along with Sen. Sanders and Rep. Gabbard.

But in political terms (former New Jersey governor and emblem of corruption) Chris Christie is 100% correct: Warren is toast.

She’s dealt herself one too many critical blows already this year, thanks to her Obama/Clinton consultants. There’s no path forward for her in 2020, except damaging the progressive frontrunner on behalf of Mike Bloomberg and the establishment.

(Her less charitable critics, including myself, have suggested that that’s what she’s been after, all along.)