Mr. Ash on Russia’s potential turn inwards, or a collection of self serving conjectures: a comment by Political Skeptic

Mr. Ash is adept at glibly articulating the American/E.U. Party line on Ukraine. Garnished with a bit of cheer leading for the Coup Government, combined with a misbegotten wish that Putin will some how come round, this is pure fantasy! Mr. Ash’s piece resembles the essays of Mr. David Brooks at the New York Times, in that some of the historical markers are recognizable but it looks like a territory re-imagined in service to ideological ends.

Perhaps, when the blessings of Austerity finally hit home: the slashing of pensions in half and an attempt by NATO to place ABM’s on the Russian border, this low level war with fully ignite, to the joy of Victoria Nuland and her husband Robert Kagan.

But here is the piece de resistance:

‘Putin Inc. needs a new and different model. But over his 15 years in power, the regime has appeared unwilling or unable to tolerate the kind of radical reforms now needed, because they likely challenge the very underpinnings of the regime itself.’

The positing of a volte face by Mr. Putin into the ranks of the Neo-Liberal Austerity fold out ranks his earlier exercise in wish fulfillment. I write this on Thursday December 18, 2014, President Obama has announced a plan, an agonizingly timid plan, to normalize relations with Cuba after a half-century of a destructive hold over from the Cold War. The lesson we might draw from this could include both sides in the low level war over Ukraine ( the dangers of imperial adventurism as practiced by America and Russia?), except that a low level banking technocrat with ‘skin in the game’ and an ascertainable ideological myopia seems to miss what might be most relevant,compelling in the question of Ukraine: how many human lives will the American/E.U. alliance sacrifice to their hegemonic ambition?
Political Skeptic

http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2014/12/17/hello-2015-having-failed-in-ukraine-russia-will-turn-inwards/

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My comment on a book review

I read with interest Mr. McCarthy’s review of The Power of Market Fundamentalism, as I had found the book on Amazon, and it was quite outside my price range. Even facing that impediment, my interest was still active, and I was happy to find a link to Mr. McCarthy’s review on my twitter feed. And this quite thorough indeed compellingly well written review will lead me to an eventual purchase of a used copy of this book.

I purchased instead a copy of Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste by Philip Mirowski at the Verso web site:

http://www.versobooks.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=never+let+a+serious+crisis+go+to+waste&commit=%C2%A0

I’m on page 120 and finding it challenging and quite rewarding reading on the rise of Neo-Liberalism and it’s some thirty year dominance of the discourse of Political Economy in American politics. I came to this book after reading the issue of Critical Review volume 25 numbers 3-4 2013 titled Hayek: the Good, The Bad, The Ugly. An informative collection of essay on the ubiquitous epistemology/constructs/ideas/propaganda of Mr. Hayek.

As much as I enjoyed Mr. McCarthy’s review, I was struck by the comment or rather the near hysterical screeching reply of BMerker. It reads like a pastiche of the Cold War rhetoric of the Nixon/Mundt/McCarren/McCarthy political alliance wedded to the Tea Party Economics of Rep. Paul Ryan: the merging of Rand and Hayek scrubbed clean of it’s unapologetic atheism. It was quite a jarring experience to read the carefully considered and well written review against an obvious propaganda assault.

http://bostonreview.net/books-ideas/michael-mccarthy-block-somers-market-fundamentalism-karl-polanyi

StephenKMackSD

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Mr. Luce on Wall Street’s comeback: a comment by Political Skeptic

Mr. Luce in his essay titled ‘Too big to resist: Wall Street’s comeback‘ his rhetorical mood is subject to some breathtakingly wide swings in assigning blame for the 2008 Financial Crisis, and what he predicts will be the next Crisis, enabled by the persuasive power of the redoubtable Mr. Jamie Dimon, aided by a supine, purchasable congress. A thoroughly complex story reduced in his essay to the mention of major economic/political actors, yet the dismal failure of Neo-Liberalism, of the Free Market hegemony is never even put to question: Hayek’s irrational faith in the ‘wisdom of the Market’, as guiding principle that rendered the idea,not to say the practice, of the institutions of the commonwealth and it’s civic,legal,political, ethical holism moot. The blind faith in that Market as historical/economic singularity and it’s manifold popular vulgarizations is left utterly untouched, as source of our present political/economic dilemma. Although Mr. Luce does his best at scolding the culpable, while adroitly maintaining his well established credentials as defender/advocate for that very Neo-Liberalism.

Political Skeptic

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Mr. Douthat on ‘the working class male': a comment by Almost Marx

You have to credit Mr. Ross Douthat with persistence, or more accurately, with an unrelenting ideological fixation with the behavior of the lowers orders of political humanity: the working class. By which he means those shiftless poor who won’t, out of moral recalcitrance, adopt the morality of it’s betters. Mr. Douthat is really sounding the moral smugness of Reagan and his obsessions with ‘Welfare Queens driving Cadillacs’ which he alluded to in his 1976 presidential bid, and those ubiquitous out of wedlock children . Except that Mr. Douthat shifts the focus to the ‘working class male’ another maladroit code word for the morally feckless black male.

The second, by Binyamin Appelbaum, looked at the decline of work itself among less-educated men, and the forces driving this decline: low wages and weak job growth, the availability of safety-net income, the burden of criminal records, and the fraying of paternal and marital bonds.

 

The ‘availability of of safety-net income’ is the code word for welfare chiseling, not very hard to interpret this, you need only look to the code words and phrases among all the rhetorical garnish to Mr. Douthat’s essay. Add to this ‘the burden of criminal records, and the fraying of paternal and marital bonds’ to round out the right wing rhetorical engagement with the poor: the Black Family in Moral Crisis as rehearsed by a reactionary political moralist.

Almost Marx

 

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Geoff Dyer leavenes his meditation on the CIA Report with some thoughts on the ‘Deep State’ and a collection of political cliches

In the first paragraph Mr. Dyer’s essay he repeats what might be or is the Nihilist Republican Party Line on the very weak President Obama: not just a lame duck, but on the political critical list, as a result of his political weakness. In the second paragraph he lists the Presidents damming abuses of Presidential power: murder by drone and the War on ISIS. Political gridlock and hyper-partisanship follow, as if the Republicans hadn’t been completely obstructionist since 2008, with varying degrees of success. Redefine Mr. Dyer’s notion of ‘ hyper-partisanship’ as in reality Republican intransigence, if political honesty be the point! Then to add a touch of  near paranoid melodrama to the evolving story line, and perhaps rescue it from readerly ennui, he introduces the notion of ‘the deep state’. Or is this an attempt to pad his essay? It makes for a weak segue to the CIA Report, and the preposterous fashioning of the notion that Sen. Feinstein is an heroic crusader against CIA malfeasance. The value of one speech on the Senate floor trumps a career as apologist for the American National Security State, except that the CIA made an error in judgement and spied on the senator’s committee. The whole of America’s political class, including Sen. Feinstein, are at fault not just the scapegoat CIA. Sen. Feinstein’s delay of the vote on ‘the use force resolution’ regarding Iraq is testament to her political/moral culpability, that has continued to this day.
Political Cynic

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/de85486e-802e-11e4-9907-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3LWXy7KAb

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The Economist on the Torture Report (December 9,2014) , a comment by Almost Marx

Give Sen. McCain a few political moments to regain his ideological composure.He will quickly join the apologetic lock step of the torture rationalizers. Sen. McCain has long since spent his moral capital: D.K. makes a bad misstep to begin her/his essay with the shopworn moralizing of such an utterly compromised public figure.
Sen. Feinstein’s self-congratulatory and self-exculpatory address to the Senate today, December 9, 2014, is too little too late. An act of political courage, such as she and her colleagues Wyden and Udall taking to the Senate floor and all three taking turns reading the un-redacted report, not released today, into the congressional record, would have amounted to that illusive ethical quantity. Senators have legal immunity on what they speak about, in session. But being that we are dealing with the abject political conformists of that body of 100 careerists, it did not happen.
So what we have is Sen. Feinstein scolding the CIA for it’s misdeeds, yet America’s whole political class stands indited, as the report simply makes a bit clearer. We know that the CIA torturers made video recordings of torture sessions and destroyed the evidence. Our knowledge of the scope of the mendacity and wrongdoing is expanded, while carefully redacted from the report is the vital names of the political actors and places where these acts were perpetrated, in our name. To call this report an act of self-serving political cowardice is not in the realm of moral/political hyperbole.
Almost Marx

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2014/12/american-intelligence-and-torture

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On the Hollande/Putin meeting as repoted on in the Financial Times, a comment by Political Cynic

Left un-mentioned in this news story are some important but inconvenient facts concerning the current ‘Ukrainian Crisis’, that is due to western political meddling: Victoria Nuland, Amb. Pyatt and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies in concert with the EU spent billions to bring down a duly elected but manifestly corrupt government. The political alliance that brought down the duly elected regime included Right Sector and Svoboda, both notorious neo-fascist organizations. Puntin was supposed to accept this dismal state of affairs: ABM’s on the Russian border and IMF Austerity operating in Ukraine. So much for the plans of the Nuland led and financed coup which has devolved into a low level murderous war. Don’t poke the Russian Bear with a stick, in his own backyard!

One need only look to American history and the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, that the US has taken it’s self-proclaimed hegemony over the whole of the Western Hemisphere as a given, of the notion/practice of spheres of influence. It has been a defense of territorial mischief and murder since it’s inception. To reduce it to cartoonish elementalism, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander or a variation on quid pro quo.

Mr. Hollande isn’t the first EU leader to try to fix the mendacious and dishonest, not to speak of blundering and incompetent, political machinations of ideologically fixated incompetents like Ms. Nuland and her allies: Ms. Rice and R2P zealot Samantha Power and their allies in the ‘press’ like Timothy Snyder, Anne Applebaum or fake French Philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy!
Political Cynic

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/49151cbe-7d72-11e4-b927-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=intl#axzz3LDd9Nvid

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