The passing scene – August 8, 2015

Republican Assault on Trump May Only Make Him Stronger by Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone.

Trump’s Triumph: Billionaire Bloward Exposes Fake Political System by Mike Whitney for Counterpunch.

How Pathetic: Why Donald Trump May Be the Best Thing Going by Andrew Levine for Counterpunch.

The Republican Candidates Agree that the System Is Rigged for the Rich by William K. Black for New Economic Perspectives.

720x405-GettyImages-483208910I still can’t take Donald Trump seriously as a Presidential candidate, but he has said things that need to be said, especially about how he and other billionaires have the power to buy politicians.

Other Republican candidates also point out that the political system is rigged in favor of Wall Street and the large corporations.

Their answer appears to be lower taxes, less regulation and a minimal role for government, on the theory that the less government does, the less it matters whether corporations and wealthy individuals can manipulate government.

My problem with this is that some large corporations have grown so large and powerful that they are the next thing to governments themselves.

Hillary’s Libyan Torturers by Daniel McAdams for The Ron Paul Institute.

hillary-tortureThe achievement of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in foreign affairs was to find a way to find a way to continue the policies of George W. Bush without large numbers of American casualties.

The attack on Libya is an example of this.  The U.S. government supported an attack on a country that did not threaten the United States, based on lies, and reduced it to bloody chaos in which terrorists such as ISIS flourish.

The problem with Bernie Sanders by Joseph Cannon of Cannonfire.

Bernie Sanders is like many democratic socialists of the 1950s and 1960s—a defender of the interests of working people, a defender of civil rights, but also a cold warrior.

He thinks the United States should support Saudi Arabia and Turkey against ISIS, when these two governments are interested only in fighting the enemies of ISIS—Syria for Saudi Arabia and the Kurds for Turkey.   Likewise he favors confrontation of Vladimir Putin over Ukraine, which puts the United States at risk of nuclear war.

Pentagon: Team Obama Is ‘Too Timid’ on Putin by Nancy A Youssef and Noah Schachtman for The Daily Beast.

The U.S. military brass calls Russia an “existential threat” to the United States, which in a way is true.  The Russian nuclear arsenal makes it the only country in the world with the capacity to destroy the USA as a functioning nation, although at the cost of suffering its own destruction.

This is not a valid reason for military confrontation with Russia.  Rather it is a good reason to avoid poking the Russian bear over issues that are vital to Russians, but not to Americans.

Suddenly Hillary Clinton Is a Critic of the TPP by David Sirota for AlterNet.

Hillary Clinton, contrary to what she says, was a strong promoter of the pro-corporate Trans Pacific Partnership when she was Secretary of State.  You should examine any anti-TPP statements of hers for weasel words, ambiguities and loopholes.

More college students selling stock—in themselves by Douglas Belkin of the Wall Street Journal.

Lifetime indentured servitude is the new economic model.

How to Really Defend Planned Parenthood by Katha Pollitt for The New York Times.

Why President Obama and Congress turned their backs on food safety by Helena Bottemiller Evich for Politico.

Drivers, Beware: The Costly, Deadly Dangers of Traffic Stops in the American Police State by Washington’s Blog.

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