Impeachment proceedings are underway Wednesday in Washington DC as the US House of Representatives debates whether to take action against President Donald Trump for inciting last week’s deadly riot at the Capitol. This comes hours after the House passed a resolution encouraging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment in an attempt to remove Trump from office before his term ends next week.
The US Congress is pushing through another record-breaking military budget this week while tens of millions of Americans are staring into the abyss of Christmas misery from poverty and disease. The twisted priorities of Washington’s politicians show the American political system is sick beyond words.
In June 2019, Joe Biden promised wealthy so-called donors that nothing would fundamentally change. At this moment hundreds of millions of people — from those shooting off fireworks to those ranting as though they will soon shoot up public places in their MAGA hats — seem convinced that everything will fundamentally change. Biden was wrong. Everybody else is right. Either everything will change for the better or one or both of the twin dangers of environmental and nuclear apocalypse will change everything for the worse.
The U.S. House of Misrepresentatives on Tuesday voted 324 to 93 (with 13 not voting) to defeat a proposal to move a mere 10% of military spending to human, environmental, and health needs. The 324 people who voted the wrong way on this really should never show their faces in public again. Our society ought to shame them so deeply that they pick up and move to a country with healthcare and retirement and clean energy and a decent education system where they can discover what they’ve been depriving the United States of, as well as discover what they’ve been inflicting on the world. Certainly, nobody should ever vote to elect any of them again.
The Democrats have now revealed the hand they’re going to play for impeachment. I have been vehementlyarguing against playing this game and pointing out how futile it is, but, seeing the two cards actually laid out on the table, even I am gobsmacked at what a loser of a hand they’ve got.
The Federal Reserve (the Fed) – the United States’ version of a Central Bank – is a strange duck. It is the U.S. government’s most powerful regulatory agency. It, after all, regulates money and interest rates. Yet, its budget comes entirely from the banking industry and relationships with the financial industry. So Congress, which appropriates money for all other federal agencies, has little leverage over the Fed’s operations.
“Trump has taught us a lot about ourselves. He has taught us what happens when we don’t do our homework. He has taught us what happens when we don’t spend time on our civic duties back home….” In the second part of Chris Hedges’ interview with Ralph Nader, activist and attorney, on the importance of a civic life.
Congressional Democrats are attempting to discipline Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar for speaking critically about the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) — and more generally in defense of Palestinian rights — after smearing her as “anti-Semitic.” This comes at the same time that Omar, one of the only Muslim representatives in Congress, has been targeted for death threats and Islamophobic propaganda likening her to those who carried out the 9/11 attacks.
We say we want change. So every few years, we elect new officials, and they continue to churn out more of the same policies, legislation, and rhetoric. The rich continue to get richer. The poor slide deeper into poverty. Corporations and the wealthy see pet projects and sweet deals passed through Congress. The People receive yet another bitter slap in the face.
A lot more energy is invested by people in theorizing what respectable and corrupt influences motivate members of the U.S. Congress than at least some members of the U.S. Congress invest in thinking or in having opinions at all. If you’ve ever been the victim of one of those Tonight Show videos in which they ask you and other bumbling idiots on the street in Los Angeles to name a country, any country, or something else that easy, and you couldn’t do it, you may enjoy watching videos of U.S. Congress Members clearly incapable of finding their own asses with a flashlight and a map. Are they opposed on principle to a coup in Venezuela, or in support of one? [Watch video below] Do they flip their position because of the party of the emperor in the White House or because of a “donation” to their campaign fund? Have they been swayed by this or that lobbyist or news report? Nope. None of it. They’re lucky if they can identify Venezuela as a place in South America where something or other happened recently. Some of these people, elected to run this so-called country, openly declare that they like to work in only one issue area, which doesn’t happen to be foreign policy. Some of them clearly oppose Trump only haphazardly and for some reason other than the babbling incoherence of his speech habits. Commentators have surmised that Trump addresses his fourth-grade-level logorrhea to the people with the misspelled signs at the fascist rallies, but it’s possible he’s actually a better communicator to Congress than some of his predecessors have been.
The Lobby – USA, the four-part Al Jazeera documentary on how the government and intelligence agencies of Israel work with US domestic Jewish groups to spy on, smear and attack critics, that was blocked under heavy Israeli pressure, has been leaked online by the Chicago-based Electronic Intifada, the French website Orient XXI and the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar. Joining Chris Hedges in the second part of the two-part interview are Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah, and journalist and author, Max Blumenthal.
The Lobby – USA, the four-part Al Jazeera documentary on how the government and intelligence agencies of Israel work with US domestic Jewish groups to spy on, smear and attack critics, that was blocked under heavy Israeli pressure, has been leaked online by the Chicago-based Electronic Intifada, the French website Orient XXI and the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar. To discuss the series, in a two-part interview, Chris Hedges is joined by Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada, and author and journalist, Max Blumenthal.