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After Inauguration… January 21, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Anyone catch this? RTÉ’s less than fantastic guest during the Inauguration coverage – James Conner of Republicans Overseas – who…

…called Joe Biden and Kamala Harris “two frauds” and falsely claimed one was “a bona fide criminal”. Conner was previously criticised following an appearance on the Today programme with Philip Boucher-Hayes a fortnight ago, when he suggested Antifa was to blame for the attack by supporters of Donald Trump on the US Capitol.

Given there are Republicans who actually accept the transfer of power was legitimate surely RTÉ could have found someone more measured to represent that side of the house? And why invite him back again after the first incident? This tweet captured this perfectly…

Meanwhile Biden moving pretty fast, not least in this. Now I’m not a Democrat so my expectations are low in regard to what happens next – while at the same time applauding a calmer polity and the election of the first woman and person of colour as Vice President. But good on him/them for the following:

Biden terminated Michael Pack, who was confirmed to head the U.S. Agency for Global Media in June. Pack sought to transform the agency, which oversees the international broadcaster Voice of America, into a propaganda outlet for Trump—despite a statutory mandate that prohibits such political interference. He purged the staff of VOA and its sister networks, replaced them with Trump loyalists, demanded pro-Trump coverage, and unconstitutionally punished remaining journalists who did actual reporting on the administration. In a perverse move, he refused to renew visas for foreign reporters who covered their home countries, subjecting them to retribution by authoritarian regimes. Pack also illegally fired the board of the Open Technology Fund, which promotes international internet freedom, and replaced them with Republican activists.

And;

Second, Biden sacked Kathleen Kraninger, who was confirmed as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2018. Kraninger, who had no previous experience in consumer protection, immediately tried to undermine the agency’s role as a watchdog for the financial sector. She scrapped a landmark rule that restricted predatory payday lending, pressuring staffto downplay the resulting harm to consumers. And she refused to enforce a federal law that protected military personnel against a broad range of predatory lending. Her decision yanked federal support from military families who were defrauded by lenders. In the midst of the pandemic, Kraninger also approved a rule that allows debt collectors to harass Americans with limitless texts and emails demanding repayment.

But this perhaps most importantly:

Third, Biden demanded the resignation of Peter Robb, who was confirmed as the National Labor Relations Board’s general counsel in 2017. The NLRB was created to enforce federal laws that guarantee workers the right to form a union and bargain collectively. Yet Robb is vehemently anti-union; during his tenure, he tried to limit employees’ free speech, give managers more leeway to engage in wage theft, hobble unions’ ability to collect dues, and prevent employers from helping workers organize. He also tried to seize near-total control of the agency by demoting every regional director and consolidating power in his office. If successful, this gambit would’ve given him unprecedented authority to bust existing unions and prevent new ones from forming.

Meanwhile as CL has noted QAnon is in uproar after The Storm (sic) [this being ‘the day of reckoning when Donald Trump and his faithful allies in the military would declare martial law, round up all their many political enemies, and send them to Guantánamo Bay for execution by hanging – was finally here. 20 January 2021 wouldn’t mark the end of Trump’s presidency, but the beginning of “the Great Awakening”.‘] manifestly failed to arrive.

“We’ve been lied to,” wrote one person.

“I think we have been fooled like no other,” another responded, adding: “Hate to say it. Held on to hope til this very moment.”

“I feel like I’m losing my mind,” said a third. “I don’t know what to believe anymore.”

“Anyone else feeling beyond let down right now?” read a popular post on a QAnon message board. “It’s like being a kid and seeing the big gift under the tree thinking it is exactly what you want only to open it and realize it was a lump of coal the whole time.”

What can one say in the face of this level of delusion?

Comments»

1. Pangurbán - January 21, 2021

Complain to RTÉ and then complain to BCC. There should have been no place for a Republican Party commentator on what is a state occasion, google
Complaints RTÉ to get the email
Bring down bad consequences on the person responsible for inviting connors

Liked by 2 people

alanmyler - January 21, 2021

Done.

Liked by 1 person

2. alanmyler - January 21, 2021

Yes, that Republican Overseas spokesperson really went beyond the Pale with that comment about fraud. Completely inappropriate accusation to make as part of commentary about the inauguration ceremony, it really exposed him as a petty-minded Trump-like man-child. Fair play to RTE’s Catriona Perry for closing down that like of commentary very quickly but you’d really have to ask questions of the RTE producers as to why they picked him to be part of the program, given his previous outings and equally outrageous comments. Fair enough maybe having him on a Brendan O’Connor panel where the whole show is about looking for shock value, but not on a mainstream news program.

The Guardian article you link to there about QAnon is grimly fascinating. I’m not getting much work done this morning, reading various articles in that vein. This one about the Proud Boys is also worth a read:

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/jan/21/donald-trump-useful-thugs-proud-boys-far-right-republican-party

As to Biden’s first actions in the job, yes, it’s these small things that add up. I mean Biden isn’t a Socialist, he’s not a Bernie Sanders, he’s not a Jeremy Corbyn etc., but he’s better than Trump. I found myself enjoying the symbolism of the inauguration yesterday, the rhetoric of the speech, the prominence of women and people of colour (I was going to write ethnic minorities there but in the US context I guess “minorities” wouldn’t be factually correct and would be dismissive) and the broadly uplifting nature of the event. There’s something just so dour about the Republicans, is it their colour sense, their aging whiteness, something that aesthetically puts me in mind of the ruling clique in Gilead in the Handmaids Tale, whereas yesterday just seemed more colourful and vibrant. Of course symbolism only carries things so far, but it’s encouraging to see Biden get off to a good start on the concrete details too. They have a hell of a task ahead of them, to institute policies that can turn back the tide of hate that 70m voters approved of by backing Trump, but they have the House and Senate and they can’t hide behind Republican obstructionism this time around, they have to actually act out on their rhetoric, or else those hateful forces will be back with a vengeance come the next round of elections.

Liked by 2 people

WorldbyStorm - January 21, 2021

If the left of the Democrats and the unions can push for some good outcomes, if they can genuinely see some engagement with working class people across the US wherever they may be, then the next four won’t be wasted. Your point re not hiding behind the House and Senate is spot on.

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - January 21, 2021

Good piece from the NYT about the Pbs turning on the ex-Commander in Chief:

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - January 21, 2021

Couldn’t happen to a nastier guy

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WorldbyStorm - January 21, 2021

Though I have to say, the PBs actually are spot on in their analysis. He has been useless from their perspective. And everyone else’s. The hilarious thing is that they expected anything much better.

Liked by 1 person

3. CL - January 21, 2021

” “The mob was fed lies,” McConnell said. “They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence to stop a specific proceeding of the first branch of the federal government which they did not like.”-AP

” As lawmakers from both sides of the aisle pin blame on President Trump for the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) went as far as suggesting that the president could be implicated in the deaths that stemmed from the violence.” – Forbes

Trump provoked a mob that attacked the Capitol, caused deaths, and endangered the lives of members of Congress.

Its difficult to see McConnell and Trump as members of the same political party.

But if Trump is not kept within the tent…..

“Trump, according to The Wall Street Journal, is considering the possibility of starting a new party, which he has contemplated calling the “Patriot Party.”…
A Trump-backed splintering of the Republican base — or, even worse, an open war between the Trump party and the GOP — could cripple the chances of conservatives regaining power in Washington not for months, but for years.”
https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/20/politics/donald-trump-destroy-gop-patriot-party/index.html

” Trump is well aware of the importance of trademark protection (his family owns over 1,000), but he could face a challenge in securing the rights to his preferred party name due to the existence of numerous trademarks on the US register for terms related to ‘patriot party’”
https://www.worldtrademarkreview.com/brand-management/trumps-patriot-party-prior-trademarks-could-be-significant-hurdle-new-political-venture

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sonofstan - January 21, 2021

There seem to be a few Patriot Parties in existence already. Not linking, for obvious reasons.

Liked by 1 person

alanmyler - January 21, 2021

This one looks like one we might approve of here at the CLR:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_Party_(1960s%E2%80%931980s)

Liked by 1 person

4. Dr Nightdub - January 22, 2021

‘”Anyone else feeling beyond let down right now?” read a popular post on a QAnon message board. “It’s like being a kid and seeing the big gift under the tree thinking it is exactly what you want only to open it and realize it was a lump of coal the whole time.”

What can one say in the face of this level of delusion?’

Johnny Rotten: “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”

Share this:

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Fergal - January 22, 2021

I have a feeling Biden may be ‘alright’ domestically but internationally a disaster … another Johnson? war!
I base this on nothing at all…
Absolutely nothing!

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Colm B - January 22, 2021

One of the few inadvertently positive consequences of Trump’s original victory is that the centrists who totally dominate the Democrats may be more cautious in foreign policy matters – less gung-ho when it comes to war and less enthusiastic about neoliberal trade treaties. Not out of any principled change, but just motivated by a fear of such policies fueling post-Trumpism. I think they’ve learned that fully caffeinated Clintonism is an electoral mill-stone.

That said I have no illusions about the Democrats, there is a crying need for a mass socialist party or alliance in the US. Whether that’s even a remote possibility is another question.

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WorldbyStorm - January 22, 2021

+1. I’m slightly optimistic on foreign adventurism they’ve learned something and tbh just delinking with the international community and UN agencies will shape matters too so I’d think you’re right, said it elsewhere tho, these guys are able and smart compared to the Trump crew and some will need to be watched like hawks.

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WorldbyStorm - January 22, 2021

Just thinking one of the great things about punk was the intrinsic scepticism. Conceptually that’s no bad thing in a world of idiocy like QAnon.

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sonofstan - January 22, 2021

Agree in principle, but I’ve seen and heard a lot of nonsense from aging punks too.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - January 22, 2021

True, Lydon is a perfect example.

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sonofstan - January 22, 2021

I’m conflicted about Lydon – he can be a spiky haired Farage sometimes, but I read a piece on him recently where he was talking about looking after his wife who now has dementia and his humour and lack of pretension seems to survive.

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WorldbyStorm - January 22, 2021

I’ve often wondered does the need to be performative have a functionally distorting effect on him. He is an intelligent and compassionate guy, but as you say there’s the sub-Farage stuff too. And of course there’s the old saw – some people have never seen a microphone they didn’t like the look of and the impulse to let loose can be overwhelming.

Speaking of which, you know of my love of John Cooper Clarke, but he too has had a certain ossification in recent times too and said a few things that had me going ‘hmmmm’. And yet reading his autobiography he’s clearly a decent guy too.

Conflicted, that is indeed the term.

Liked by 1 person

sonofstan - January 22, 2021

“he’s clearly a decent guy too”

Whereas Morrissey…

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - January 22, 2021

Never a fan (though Johnny Marr seems okay, and two of their songs I do like)! I can’t say it was a massive surprise after his 1990s solo career. But yeah. That’s a terrible mess.

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5. CL - January 22, 2021

” America is in deeper shit as Biden moves into the White House than it was when Clinton and Obama took up the reins of power. The economic, environmental, social, and other contradictions have deepened and there’s no hope of climbing out of them without concerted and positive government action….
there’s more of a conscious and organized social-democratic Left – and more broad support for social-democratic and even socialist measures – in this country than there was in 1993 and 2009…..

the menace on the ever more mainstreamed far right has been rendered less mysterious and exposed as eliminationist and indeed fascistic like never before in recent years. It is clearer than it ever has been that the Amerikaner right-wing that has expanded like a cancer since the 1990s needs to be defeated, indeed crushed, not coddled and feared. The Trumpist-fascist experience has been instructive in that regard….
internal conflict within the Republican Party, evident in Trump and Trumpism costing it control of the U.S. Senate, could deepen in coming months and years, opening more space for decent policy.”
https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/01/22/why-biden-may-be-less-evil-than-obama-and-clinton-and-why-this-may-not-matter-all-that-much-in-the-end/

“One of the most striking moves from the Biden administration thus far was a show of continuity — concurring with the Trump administration’s last-minute determination that China had committed “genocide” against Uyghur Muslims.
Secretary of State-designate Tony Blinken also said the U.S. would continue to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, consider Juan Guaidó the legitimate interim president of Venezuela, provide lethal defensive weaponry to Ukraine, and oppose the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.”
https://www.axios.com/biden-foreign-policy-yemen-iran-0c3ccf09-62c6-4197-9970-21f2e3bff479.html

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