Monday, July 13, 2020

By Any Means Necessary Discussion of Biden's "Task Forces" & Continuing Crises (7/9/2020)

In this episode of By Any Means Necessary hosts Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman are joined by Dr. Richard Wolff, Economist and Professor at the New School University and author of the new book “Understanding Marxism,” to talk about the latest discouraging jobless numbers, whether recent shifts in rhetoric from the White House and Congressional Republicans signal another round of stimulus checks, and how the failure of the ruling class to seriously address the public health or racial justice crisis is bringing the country to the point of collapse.

In the second segment, Sean and Jacquie are joined by Wyatt Reed, a journalist, Sputnik News analyst, and By Any Means Necessary producer, to give an update on the "Bountygate" narrative and explain how moves by US intelligence agencies to distance themselves from the story has led competing factions within the security state and the mainstream media to move the goalposts on the story.

In the third segment, Sean and Jacquie are joined by Kim Ives, editor of the English section of Haiti Liberte, to talk about his latest article, "Wikileaks: Secret U.S. Diplomatic Cables Highlight Danger that “Toto” Constant Might Elude Justice," whether Haiti's justice system is equipped to handle former CIA agent and death squad leader Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, and Constant's role in helping maintain foreign imperialist domination of Haiti.

Later in the show, Sean and Jacquie are joined by Jim Kavanagh, a political analyst and contributor to Counterpunch and ThePolemicist.net, to talk about the contradiction between attempts to draw progressives into the Democratic fold via Bernie Sanders' and Joe Biden's "progressive task force" and the party's ongoing push to flank President Trump from the right on foreign policy, the relationship between widespread substance abuse in working communities here and the various CIA campaigns to fund foreign proxy armies by smuggling narcotics into the US, and the role the mainstream media plays in legitimizing the imperialist coups they sometimes later repudiate.
[Related article: Joe or No?]

My segment starts ~59:30

Listen to "No End In Sight As Health, Economic, & Racial Justice Crises Swell" on Spreaker.

“By Any Means Necessary” on Radio Sputnik is hosted by Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman and aims to connect the political, social and economic movements shaping the world around us. With a sensibility informed by movements from Black Power to #BlackLivesMatter with a dash of Occupy, the show elevates the people and narratives that (while often ignored) are driving some of the most important changes in the world.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Loud & Clear Discussion of Primary Election Results (6/24/2020)

Primary election results point to important upsets

There were a number of surprising political upsets in primary races in Kentucky, North Carolina, and New York yesterday. In Kentucky, the race between establishment Democrat Amy McGrath and progressive state legislator Charles Booker to take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is too close to call. But in New York, Jamaal Bowman, a progressive middle school principal appears to have defeated Congressman Eliot Engel. Engel has been a member of the House since 1988 and is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. And in North Carolina, a 24-year-old real estate investor, Madison Cawthorn, defeated a Trump-endorsed candidate to win the nomination to succeed Rep. Mark Meadows, who is now White House Chief of Staff. He’ll face Guantanamo whistleblower Col. Morris Davis in the general election. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net.
[Related article: Joe or No?]


Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

By Any Means Necessary Discussion of John Bolton's Criticisms of Trump (6/22/2020)

Liberal #Resistance Embraces 'Warmonger' John Bolton Amid Book Release

In this episode of By Any Means Necessary hosts Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman are joined by Jim Kavanagh, a political analyst and contributor to Counterpunch and ThePolemicist.net, to talk about former National Security Adviser John Bolton's new book, why "#resistance" pro-establishment Democrats have largely embraced the far-right neocon despite his bellicosity, and the reactions by the international community to his claims.

Listen to "Liberal #Resistance Embraces 'Warmonger' John Bolton Amid Book Release" on Spreaker.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Critical Hour Discussion of Protests, Provocateurs, and Elections (6/12/2020)

Minnesota Government Asks Whether Outsiders, White Supremacists Lit Fires in Twin Cities

It’s Friday, so that means it’s panel time.

A very interesting article ran Friday in the Wall Street Journal, entitled "Who Set the Fires in the Twin Cities?" It reads, "Ever since protesters flooded the streets following the killing of George Floyd in police custody, residents here have wondered: Who burned down so many businesses in the Twin Cities, and why? While a few arrests have been made so far, the question continues to go largely unanswered. ... The ATF [US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] has released photos and videos, asking for the public’s help in identifying suspects caught on security cameras lighting fires, pouring accelerants and throwing an apparent Molotov cocktail. ... Minnesota state officials have pointed to unspecified and unconnected outsiders, including white supremacists, anarchists and drug cartels for turning peaceful demonstrations into violent riots that left scores of businesses looted, damaged or destroyed by flames." That’s an interesting narrative to me. US President Donald Trump has described protestors as thugs, playing into a racist stereotype from what’s been displayed in the media.
[Related article: Over the Rainbow: Paths of Resistance after George Floyd]

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Loud & Clear Discussion of Rod Rosenstein Senate Testiimony (6/10/2020)

Major development in case of former NSA Flynn, Rosenstein testifies

John Gleeson, a former judge leading a review of the Department of Justice’s handling of the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, released a brief today expressing strong disapproval of the Department of Justice’s effort to drop the prosecution of Michael Flynn after he already pled guilty. Also, Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified last week before a Senate Committee on the origins of the Russia investigation. What he had to say was devastating for those pushing the narrative that there was collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. Rosenstein told the committee that the FBI never had any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, but that he had asked Robert Mueller to lead an investigation because he had already determined that the FBI had lied to him. Rosenstein’s testimony contained a half-dozen bombshells that turn the entire Russiagate affair on its ear. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show.
[Related articles: Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake PoliticsDead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment GambitBe Careful What You Ask For: Wasting Time with Manafort, Cohen, and Russiagate]

Listen to "Major development in case of former NSA Flynn, Rosenstein testifies" on Spreaker.

Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

By Any Means Necessary Discussion of Nationwide post-George Floyd Uprising and My "Over the Rainbow" Article (6/9/2020)

At George Floyd's Funeral, Biden Offers Lots of Words, Little Action

In this episode of By Any Means Necessary hosts Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman are joined by Jim Kavanagh, a political analyst and contributor to Counterpunch and ThePolemicist.net, to talk about his latest article, “Over the Rainbow: Paths of Resistance After George Floyd,” the awkward and largely-symbolic responses by Democrats to the mass uprising, and why both the party and the black capitalist class appear to be attempting to co-opt the language of protesters while refusing to commit to core demands like defunding the police.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Over the Rainbow: Paths of Resistance After George Floyd


Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime
-Aristotle
It has been an extraordinary week. On the heels of a pandemic and months-long lockdown, a nationwide uprising erupted in response to the brutal killing of George Floyd. In some 75 cities across at least 16 states, and around the world, militant, multiracial gatherings of thousands of rightfully-enraged people overwhelmed police forces, prevented arrests, forced the evacuation of, and burned, a police precinct, and damaged and burned dozens of buildings. Mainstream news reporters from around the world were arrested and fired upon with rubber bullets on live television. Police SUVs drove into crowds of people. It has been the most extensive, and the most threatening, explosion of popular rage against the machine since the uprisings of 1967-8.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Critical Hour Discussion on George Floyd, Pressure on Biden, Stealing Stimulus (5/29/2020)

Former Officer Derek Chauvin Faces Murder Charge for Killing George Floyd — Will Others Be Charged?

It’s Friday, so that means it’s panel time!

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrested Derek Chauvin on Friday on third-degree murder and manslaughter charges. Chauvin is the now-former Minneapolis Police Department officer filmed with his knee on the neck of George Floyd on Monday. "Police responded to a convenience store in the area after someone called 911 claiming a person believed to be Floyd used a counterfeit bill and appeared drunk," 24/7 News Source reported Friday. "Floyd passed out and died a short time later." Chauvin and three other officers were fired this week for their involvement in Floyd's death. Hennepin County prosecutors said the others may be charged but did not provide specifics.

More than 40 million Americans have filed claims for unemployment benefits since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and about 30 million are receiving them, according to the US Labor Department. "For millions of Americans left out of work by the coronavirus pandemic, government assistance has been a lifeline preventing a plunge into poverty, hunger and financial ruin," the New York Times reported Thursday. "The $1,200 checks sent to most households are long gone, at least for those who needed them most, with little imminent prospect for a second round. The lending program that helped millions of small businesses keep workers on the payroll will wind down if Congress does not extend it."

"Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is facing growing pressure from activists and party leaders to pick a nonwhite running mate in the wake of explosive incidents involving race and police violence that have stoked widespread outrage," the Washington Post reported Friday. "Biden has pledged to select a woman, prompting leading Democrats to publicly and privately promote several high-profile women of color for the job."
[My related article:  Joe or No?]

GUESTS:
Caleb Maupin — Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy.
Dr. Colin Campbell — TV news reporter for more than 20 years. As a senior Washington, DC, correspondent since 2008, he has been a reporter-at-large covering two presidencies, Congress and the State Department.
Jim Kavanagh — Political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist.

[My segment begins ~21:41]
Listen to "Former Officer Derek Chauvin Faces Murder Charge for Killing George Floyd — Will Others Be Charged?" on Spreaker.

The Critical Hour is a daily 60-minute news analysis and talk radio program on Radio Sputnik hosted by Dr. Wilmer Leon. Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Loud & Clear Discussion of Richard Burr and Other Senators' Suspicious Stock Sales (5/15/2020)

Congressional stock sale scandal: Sen. Burr resigns committee chairmanship

Republican Senator Richard Burr stepped aside yesterday as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee after the FBI showed up at his office with a warrant and took his cell phone. Burr is alleged to have engaged in insider trading after having sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock after receiving a confidential briefing from the intelligence community in the days before the start in the United States of the coronavirus pandemic. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, whose latest article on The Polemicist and CounterPunch is titled “Joe or No?,” joins the show.

Listen to "Congressional stock sale scandal: Sen. Burr resigns committee chairmanship" on Spreaker.

Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

By Any Means Necessary Discussion of post-Covid Recovery Prospects (5/8/2020)

From Ahmaud Arbery to Amazon, Imperialism Is Showing Its True Colors

In this episode of By Any Means Necessary, hosts Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman are joined by Atlanta-based community organizer and activist Monica Johnson to talk about the news that Georgia police have finally charged the men involved in the videotaped killing 26-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, how various conflicts of interest between the accused killers and local law enforcement appear to have obstructed the investigation thus far, and why the case's handling seems to only confirm long-term doubts about the inability of Black families to get justice from the state.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Critical Hour Discussion on Economic Path of Recovery and Whether to Vote for Biden (5/1/2020)

Trump Officials Plan Revenge Against China, Despite COVID-19's Natural Origin

"Senior officials across multiple government agencies are expected to meet Thursday to begin mapping out a strategy for seeking retaliatory measures against China," the Washington Post reported Thursday. "Officials in American intelligence agencies are also involved in the effort." Last week, we discussed the fact that some states have filed or are filing civil law suits in US courts for damages against China. Now the administration is trying to map out a plan.

"The city of New York delivered a freezer truck to a funeral home on Wednesday after it was found to be storing dead bodies in unrefrigerated U-Haul vehicles," Reuters reported Wednesday, citing an eyewitness. "ABC News reported about 100 bodies were stored in the vehicles after the owner of the Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Services funeral home said the freezer that normally stores bodies stopped working. ... It was not clear how long the bodies had been stored in the U-Hauls or whether any were COVID-19 victims. The bodies were found after neighbors reported an odor coming from the trucks, New York media reported." This highlights some of the challenges that funeral homes are experiencing during the pandemic.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Critical Hour Discussion of Trump and Coronavirus Discourse (4/24/2020)

Iran Launches Military Satellite, Was Prepared to Hit US Targets in January

On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Caleb Maupin, journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.

It's Friday: that means it's panel time!

"After a presentation Thursday that touched on the disinfectants that can kill the novel coronavirus on surfaces and in the air, President Trump pondered whether those chemicals could be used to fight the virus inside the human body," the Washington Post reported Friday. “'I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute,' Trump said during Thursday's coronavirus press briefing. 'And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets inside the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.'” I would be laughing about this, but I am concerned that someone will hear that question and think it’s okay to drink Lysol or bleach or some other disinfectant. It is not. Do not. That is ridiculous and dangerous, if not deadly.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Loud & Clear DIscussion of Diversionary Personalization of Coronavirus Debate (4/22/2020)

Beyond Republican vs. Democrat: The need for systemic change in U.S. healthcare

The U.S. government at all levels is consumed by infighting over how to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. A right wing mobilization supported by President Trump is demanding that the economy reopen against the guidance of public health experts, but is the Democratic Party’s single-minded focus on the personality of Donald Trump drawing attention away from the systemic changes needed to save lives? Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, whose latest article in The Polemicist and forthcoming on CounterPunch is “Joe or No,” joins the show.

Listen to "Beyond Republican vs. Democrat: The need for systemic change in U.S. healthcare" on Spreaker.

Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Joe or No?


Elise Amendola / AP

Here we go again. Now that Bernie Sanders has completed his predictable circuit of loss and capitulation, leftists—those who stand for socialist and anti-imperialist, or even serious social-democratic and antiwar, politics—again confront the quadrennial quandary: Must one vote for the thoroughly neo-liberal and imperialist Democratic presidential nominee?

“The lesser evil is still evil.” “Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good.” “Trump!“ The Supreme Court!”  Round and ‘round we go. It is a frustrating, enervating, and, in the U.S. electoral duopoly, inescapable ritual.

Not just because Bernie—and, more importantly, Bernie’s agenda—is out of the picture, but because of the way he was taken out of the picture by the Democrats, the situation of extraordinary crisis in which it happened, and the horrible-on-every-level leading man the party settled on, 2020 has given us a gloriously clear version of a Hobson’s choice.

I won’t be voting for Joe Biden. Here’s why, and here’s what I make of the arguments why I should vote Biden no matter what, a corollary of Vote Blue No Matter Who (VBNMW).

Monday, April 20, 2020

What's Next for the Left? Interview with Charles Dunaway on Wider View Radio (4/18/2020)

What's next for the Left?
April 18, 2020

Half an hour of wide-ranging discussion with Charles Dunaway on his Wider View Radio Podcast about the reaction of the left to the end of the Bernie Sanders campaign and what options are left open for real change in the United States.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Mass Action Livestream (4/13//2020) Jails, Racism & Coronavirus; Bernie's Out, What Now?


Mass Action Livestream Forum: 
Jails, Racism & Coronavirus; Bernie's Out, What Now?; Venezuela Resists Imperialism and Coronavirus

Speakers
Lashawn Yvonne Littrice, BLM Women of Faith
Jesus Rodriguez Espinoza, Orinoco Tribune
Jim Kavanagh, The Polemicist
John Beacham, MASS ACTION

April 13, 2020

Friday, April 10, 2020

Critical Hour Discussion of Trump's Call for Payroll Tax Cut (4/8/2020)


The Bernie Train Stops, but Will the Senator Continue to Fight From Outside?

US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) announced Wednesday that he is dropping out of the Democratic race for the White House, following weeks of pursuing an increasingly unlikely path to defeating the moderate front-runner for the nomination, former US Vice President Joe Biden, in a race now overcome by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. What will be the impact of this on the race going forward? Also, will what took place in Wisconsin this week be the start of the 2020 election wars?

"President Donald Trump on Tuesday once again voiced his support for slashing the payroll tax — the primary funding mechanism for Social Security and Medicare — and said he would be calling for such a cut even if the US were not currently in the midst of a nationwide public health and economic emergency," Common Dreams reported Wednesday. Is this "code for gutting Social Security's dedicated funding," as progressive organization Social Security Works called it?
[Related articles: “Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program), Behind the Money Curtain: A Left Take on Taxes, Spending, and Modern Monetary Theory]

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Loud & Clear DIscussion of Coronavirus in NYC and Wisconsin Elections (4/7/2020)

New York enduring hundreds of Coronavirus deaths per day

New York remains the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, with more than 130,000 confirmed cases in the state and more than 3,000 people dead there. But the disease is just now showing signs of leveling off. Are the lockdown and social distancing finally working? Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net.


Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Loud & Clear Discussion After Mini-Super Tueday (3/18/2020)

Biden wins latest primaries as Ohio cancels vote over pandemic

Joe Biden swept yesterday’s races in Florida, Illinois, and Arizona, putting himself over 1,000 delegates. Biden won 62 percent in Florida and 59 percent in Illinois, and he beat Bernie Sanders in Arizona by 12 percentage points. The Sanders campaign now must win 60 percent of all remaining delegates to win the nomination. Meanwhile, Congressman Daniel Lipinski, one of the few remaining anti-abortion Democrats in the House, lost his primary race to a political upstart endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show.

Listen to "Biden wins latest primaries as Ohio cancels vote over pandemic" on Spreaker.

Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Loud & Clear Discussion on Upcoming Bernie-Biden Debate (3/13/2020)

Debate on Sunday Just Biden v. Sanders

The Democratic presidential debate scheduled for Sunday will be moved from Arizona to Washington DC because of coronavirus concerns, according to the Democratic National Committee. And one of the moderators, Univision’s Jorge Ramos, has dropped out because he was recently exposed to the virus. The debate will be limited to Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. The only other declared candidate still in the race, Tulsi Gabbard, was not invited. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net whose most recent piece is “The Party's Over: Bernie’s Last Dance With the Dems,” on thepolemicist.net and CounterPunch, joins Brian and John.


Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

By Any Means Necessary Discussion of Upcoming Bernie-Biden Debate (3/13/2020)

Sunday Debate Crucial for Sanders as National COVID-19 Outbreak Looms

In this segment of By Any Means Necessary, hosts Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman are joined by Jim Kavanagh, a political analyst and contributor to Counterpunch and ThePolemicist.net, where you can read his piece “The Party’s Over: Bernie’s Last Dance With the Dems," to talk about the upcoming Democratic debate between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, whether Sanders has to go on the offensive and point out Biden's habit of taking liberties with the truth if he wants to stay in the race, why the COVID-19 outbreak represents a key opportunity for Sanders to highlight the need for Medicare for All, why Sanders' reluctance to hit back at other Democrats may represent one of his greatest weaknesses, why recent exhortations by establishment types to maintain Democratic 'party unity' seem to ring so hollow, whether the momentum in the race could turn once more if Biden commits another of his signature gaffes in the debate, and why many media personalities are now using fear of the national Coronavirus crisis to call for the debate to scrapped altogether.
[Related article: The Party’s Over: Bernie’s Last Dance With The Dems]

Listen to "Sunday Debate Crucial for Sanders as National COVID-19 Outbreak Looms" on Spreaker.

“By Any Means Necessary” on Radio Sputnik is hosted by Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman and aims to connect the political, social and economic movements shaping the world around us. With a sensibility informed by movements from Black Power to #BlackLivesMatter with a dash of Occupy, the show elevates the people and narratives that (while often ignored) are driving some of the most important changes in the world.

Loud & Clear Discussion of Warren Dropping Out (3/6/2020)

Warren Drops Out: Why Hasn’t She Endorsed Sanders?

Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the presidential race yesterday, leaving Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and, many people forget, Tulsi Gabbard as the only remaining candidates. Warren declined yesterday to endorse anybody else, but in an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last night, she didn’t miss an opportunity to attack Sanders and his supporters. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, editor of thepolemicist.net.
[Related article: The Party’s Over: Bernie’s Last Dance With The Dems]


Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

Monday, March 2, 2020

Critical Hour Discussion of So. Carolina Primary (2/28/2020)


Can Pence Manage Coronavirus Better Than His Failed Leadership on HIV in Indiana?

It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time.

The COVID-19 coronavirus has spread to at least 56 countries, and the case numbers continue to rise, fueling fears of a worldwide pandemic. "From eastern Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas and Africa, a steady stream of new cases Friday fueled the sense that the new coronavirus epidemic may be turning into a global pandemic, with some health officials saying it may be inevitable," the New York Times reported Friday. "The WHO [World Health Organization] has raised the global threat level to 'very high,' its most extreme assessment, as new outbreaks appear," the Times also reported. This comes the day after the first US coronavirus diagnosis in a person who had no known link to foreign travel. "A Northern California woman has contracted the coronavirus without traveling to regions hit by the outbreak or coming into contact with anyone known to have the infection, the first sign the disease may be spreading within a US community, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday night," the Washington Post reported Thursday. That same day, the Wall Street Journal reported: "US Coronavirus Outbreak Would Pose Risk to Record Expansion."

By Any Means Necessary Discussion of So. Carolina Debate (2/26/2020)

Establishment Dems Compete to Pander, Red-Bait Their Way to Nomination

On this episode of "By Any Means Necessary" hosts Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman are joined by Jim Kavanagh to talk about the latest debate in South Carolina, why Bloomberg may have too much political baggage for the Democratic establishment to give him the nomination at a brokered convention, how Elizabeth Warren may be portraying herself as the 'electable Bernie' to position herself to steal the show, which of the candidates truly believe what they're saying and which are in a constant state of 'triangulation,' what Pete Buttigieg's rejection of the "revolutionary politics of the '60s" reveals about his willingness to denigrate the civil rights movement, and how the generational gap among the Black constituency in South Carolina could shape the outcome of the primary there.
[Reblated article: Bloomberg's GameThe Party’s Over: Bernie’s Last Dance With The Dems]

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Bloomberg's Game


MSNBC

There are two things I feel compelled to say about Mike Bloomberg and his candidacy.
Thing One: Thank you, Mike!
In a few weeks, Mike Bloomberg—along with the Democratic Party and its allied media—has demonstrated the reality of class rule more clearly than reams of marxist analysis could.
Let’s see:
The Democratic Party, the one political instrument that purports to represent working people and the only one through which they are effectively allowed to pursue their interests politically, defined a set of rules for participation in debates that were designed to ensure that only candidates with a certain depth and breadth of support among voters and donors could participate. On the basis of strict (and some would say arbitrary) enforcement of those rules, the party serially winnowed out a number of candidates, including women and persons of color, with particular attention to excluding an antiwar woman of color (Tulsi Gabbard). Then, after it was clear that the candidate with the strongest working-class agenda was taking the lead, and after receiving an $800,000 donation from Mike Bloomberg, the party changed its rules to allow Bloomberg to participate in the debates.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Interview with Kate Frey of We Are Many, They Are Few (2/19/2020)

We Are Many, They Are Few
A wide-ranging interview with Jim Kavanagh

My interview with political commentator and editor of the Polemicist, Jim Kavanagh. We discuss US imperialism in the Middle East, Israel, Bernie Sanders, the Democratic primaries, and the pharmaceutical industry.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Critical Hour Discussion of Bernie, Bloomberg, Dems (2/14/2020)

NYT's Smear Campaign Against Sputnik: Is This the Pot Calling the Kettle Black?

It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time.

A Thursday New York Times piece that seeks to discredit Sputnik News states, "In January, Radio Sputnik, a propaganda arm of the Russian government, started broadcasting on three Kansas City-area radio stations during prime drive times … In the United States, talk radio on Sputnik covers the political spectrum from right to left, but the constant backbeat is that America is damaged goods." In addition, The Hill reported Thursday, "A group of House Democrats criticized the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday for not taking action to curb Russian propaganda aired on U. radio stations, and urged the agency to take steps to remedy this ahead of the 2020 elections." These are Democrats, who are supposed to be the liberal side of the political aisle. We'll lay out the truth and the fallacies and point out the hidden message.

By Any Means Necessary Discussion of Senate War Powers Resolution (2/14/2020)

Black Mayors, White Players: Stop & Frisk Bloomberg Buying Black Votes

On this episode of "By Any Means Necessary" hosts Jacquie Luqman and Sean Blackmon are joined by Jim Kavanagh, a political analyst and contributor to Counterpunch and ThePolemicist.net (where you can find his latest article, "The Party’s Over: Bernie’s Last Dance With the Dems") to talk about the Senate's passage of the Iran War Powers resolution, why the legislation's unlikelihood of surviving a presidential veto makes it more symbolic than anything else, the complicity of President Obama in normalizing independent warmongering by the executive branch, why so many presidents get elected on anti-war promises only to maintain or enhance the global US military presence, how Trump's openly imperialist ambitions represent a break from the prior emphasis on so-called humanitarian intervention, why breathless reports that Attorney General William Barr is supposedly attempting to rein in President Trump may be exaggerated, and how the obsession with Trump's interpersonal dramas distracts from actual debates over policy.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Bernie's Army and the Socialist Revolution: A Conversation with John Beacham of Mass Action


A Conversation with Jim Kavanagh
Feb. 11, 2020


John Beacham: As you know, I recently traveled to Iowa to report on, get a feel for and join the Bernie Sanders campaign. What I saw, the real mass support, especially from young people, for a program that is in broad terms socialistic in its demands was very, very encouraging. To say the least. The campaign is actually much more militant in tone than I expected. In a rally of over 3,500 people in Cedar Rapids, when Rep. Ilhan Omar made a call for the multi-national working class to unite and take on the ruling class, that crowd absolutely erupted. I have never seen, in the United States, such a spontaneous, large and unanimous response to a call like that. The speakers are not shying away from defending Socialism, albeit ill-defined as liberalism or social democracy. Bernie clearly has the supporting army to win and/or to take on the establishment.

Like me, you have decided to endorse Bernie Sanders. For me, it is the progressive and "socialist" movement of millions behind the campaign that has compelled me to join it. I am not even that big of a Bernie fan, honestly. My politics place me in opposition to him frequently enough (on Venezuela for example). I mean, I believe he is earnest, but to really take on the establishment and accomplish anything close to what we need right now, he will have to fully employ that backbone that he seems to own but hasn't wielded against the ruling class.

Jim Kavanagh: I agree that the Bernie Sanders’s most important achievement is the movement he inspired—the millions of people who have been mobilized to fight for real social democratic programs. These are different in kind than the means-tested and multi-tiered ameliorative program, designed to accommodate profit-making enterprises put forth by his Democratic opponents. Bernie’s are universal, publicly owned and managed programs that establish new social rights. So, they certainly don’t amount to what we would call “socialism,” but they would also significantly change working-class lives for the better and change the direction of US politics and social policy. That’s why I think, that, unlike any of the other campaigns that now exist or have previously appeared in the Democratic Party in decades, Bernie’s program is worthy of support.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Loud & Clear In the News on SOTU, Iowa Caucus (2/5/2020)

In the News

Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Sputnik news analysts Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek join the show, along with Jim Kavanagh of thepolemicist.net.


Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

By Any Means Necessary Discussion of Iowa Caucus Debacle (2/4/2020)


Iowa Caucus Goes Kaput As Trump Prepares for SOTU

In this segment, Jacquie Luqman and Sean Blackmon are joined by Sputnik News Analyst Bob Schlehuber and Jim Kavanagh, a political analyst and contributor to Counterpunch and ThePolemicist.net, to talk about the electoral nightmare currently playing out in the Iowa Democratic caucus, the mysterious connections between the Pete Buttigieg campaign and the billionaire behind the vote-counting app at the center of voting inconsistencies, and why the Democratic Party may have just given Trump his biggest reelection campaign gift so far.

Listen to "Iowa Caucus Goes Kaput As Trump Prepares for SOTU" on Spreaker.

“By Any Means Necessary” on Radio Sputnik is hosted by Sean Blackmon and Jacquie Luqman and aims to connect the political, social and economic movements shaping the world around us. With a sensibility informed by movements from Black Power to #BlackLivesMatter with a dash of Occupy, the show elevates the people and narratives that (while often ignored) are driving some of the most important changes in the world.

Critical Hour Discussion of Bernie, Palestine, Ukraine (1/31/2020)

Friday Is Brexit Day, but Now the Work Really Begins

It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time.

There’s been a lot of hype around Friday for Brexit, the same way we all waited with bated breath for the clock to strike 12 on January 1, 2000, for Y2K, when all the computers were supposed to crash, and nothing happened. How’s this playing out in London?

According to Friday remarks from French President Emmanuel Macron, Brexit is a "historic warning sign" for the European Union, adding that it meant "we need more Europe." He continued, "This departure is a shock. It's a historic warning sign which must ... be heard by all of Europe and make us reflect.” How is this playing out there? Macron, who was elected on a promise to transform the EU, also argued that Britain's decision to leave was enabled by the fact that "we did not change Europe enough".

"US President Donald Trump unveiled his much-awaited peace plan on Tuesday at the White House. Alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump said his plan is 'a win-win' for both Israel and the Palestinians," Haaretz reported Tuesday. But the plan demands Palestinians to "dismiss all pending actions" before the International Criminal Court. So what do we make of this?

Friday, January 31, 2020

The Party’s Over: Bernie’s Last Dance With The Dems


Ethan Miller/Getty Images
The Good

I wrote six articles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) about the Bernie Sanders campaign during the 2016 primary. As everyone keeps saying, Bernie is a paragon of consistency, so my understanding of him stands unchanged. The political situation in 2020 is, however, significantly different, and has opened up new possibilities for the Sanders campaign. On the eve of the first primary vote in Iowa, let's consider what those possibilities are and where this campaign is taking its constituents and the Democratic Party.
Bernie himself is the same as he ever was. a moderate welfare-state Social Democrat, not a socialist or even anti-capitalist; anti-war with an historically anti-imperialist, but now imperialist-accommodating, tinge; nominally independent but functionally an auxiliary Democrat; fiercely critical of Republicans but stubbornly shy about criticizing Democratic colleagues. He is also, I think, honest and trustworthy. You can see that he takes and fights for the positions he does because he believes in them, not because he is opportunistically pandering to a specific audience segment or to the donor class. 
To be clear, even though, from my decidedly more leftist, socialist point of view, I have no illusions about Bernie’s faults (and was pretty ruthless about them in those 2016 essays), I hope he wins and will vote for him. Indeed, I changed my registration in New York to vote for him in the Democratic primary, and I would certainly vote for him in the general. He would be the first Democratic presidential candidate I have voted for in decades.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Aftermath: The Iran War After The Soleimani Assassination

Common Dreams/Getty
“Praise be to God, who made our enemies fools.”Ayatollah Khamenei 
The Killing
I’ve been writing and speaking for months about the looming danger of war with Iran, often to considerable skepticism.
In June, in an essay entitled “Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back,” after the U.S. initiated its “maximum pressure” blockade of Iranian oil exports, I pointed out that “Iran considers that it is already at war,” and that the downing of the U.S. drone was a sign that “Iran is calling the U.S. bluff on escalation dominance.”
In an October essay, I pointed out that Trump’s last-minute calling off of the U.S. attack on Iran in June, his demurral again after the Houthi attack on Saudi oil facilities, and his announced withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria were seen as “catastrophic” and “a big win for Iran” by the Iran hawks in Israel and America whose efforts New York Times (NYT) detailed  in an important article, “The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran.” I said, with emphasis, “It always goes to Iran,” and underlined that Trump’s restraint was particularly galling to hard-line zionist Republican Senators, and might have opened a path to impeachment. I cited the reported statement of a “veteran political consultant” that “The price of [Lindsey] Graham’s support… would be an eventual military strike on Iran.”
And in the middle of December, I went way out on a limb, in an essay suggesting a possible relation between preparations for war in Iran and the impeachment process. I pointed out that the strategic balance of forces between Israel and Iran had reached the point where Israel thinks it’s “necessary to take Iran down now,” in “the next six months,” before the Iranian-supported Axis of Resistance accrues even more power. I speculated that the need to have a more reliable and internationally-respected U.S. President fronting a conflict with Iran might be the unseen reason—behind the flimsy Articles of Impeachment—that explains why Pelosi and Schumer “find it so urgent to replace Trump before the election and why they think they can succeed in doing that.”
So, I was the guy chicken-littling about impending war with Iran.
But even I was flabbergasted by what Trump did. Absolutely gobsmacked. Killing Qassem Soleimani, Iranian general, leader of the Quds forces, and the most respected military leader in the Middle East? And Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, Iraqi commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) unit, Kataib Hezbollah? Did not see that coming. Rage. Fear. Sadness. Anxiety. A few days just to register that it really happened. To see the millions of people bearing witness to it. Yes, that happened.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

By Any Means Necessary Discussion of Opening of Impeachment Triial (1/21/2020)

Hot Brass, Hot Mics & Hot Sauce: Pandering Your Way to the Presidency

On this episode of "By Any Means Necessary" hosts Jacquie Luqman and Sean Blackmon are joined by Arnold August, a Montreal-based writer, journalist, lecturer, and author of several books including “Cuba U.S. Relations: Obama and Beyond" to talk about how the far-right Brazilian government has charged journalist Glenn Greenwald with “cybercrimes,” alleging that the “Lava Jato” or “Car Wash” files he published which exposed massive corruption in the Bolsonaro government were obtained illegally.

In the second segment, Jacquie Luqman and Sean Blackmon are joined by Coleen Rowley, a former FBI agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year and Jim Kavanagh, a political analyst and contributor to Counterpunch and ThePolemicist.net to talk about the GOP's proposed impeachment rules, their eagerness to expedite the impeachment process, and who benefits if witnesses are allowed in the impeachment proceedings.
[Related articles: Defeat or Impeach? The (Il)Logic of ImpeachmentDead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment GambitImpeachment: What Lies Beneath?]

In the third segment, Sean and Jacquie are joined by Delbert Orr Africa, a member of the revolutionary organization MOVE, who was just released after spending 42 years in prison, to talk about the history of political prisoners, the last remaining incarcerated MOVE member, and the use of political repression by the US government.

Later in the show, Jacquie and Sean are joined by Jamal "DJ One Luv" Muhammad, host of the "Love Lounge" radio show on Square1Radio.com to talk about the weaponization of identity by corporate Democrats in their attacks on Bernie, how gun control laws targeting marginalized communities help ensure the state's monopoly on violence, and how white politicians miss the mark when they lecture black parents.

My segment starts at 29:15
Listen to "Hot Brass, Hot Mics & Hot Sauce: Pandering Your Way to the Presidency" on Spreaker.

By Any Means Necessary” on Radio Sputnik hosted by Eugene Puryear connects the political, social and economic movements shaping the world around us. With a sensibility informed by movements from Black Power to #BlackLivesMatter with a dash of Occupy, the show elevates the people and narratives that while often ignored are driving some of the most important changes in the world

Loud & Clear Discussion of Tulsi's Lawsuit Aginst Hillary (1/22/2020)

Gabbard sues Clinton for defamatory “Russian asset” comment

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard yesterday filed a $50 million libel suit against Hillary Clinton, saying that the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee defamed her when she called Gabbard a “Russian asset” in an interview. Meanwhile, other Democratic candidates and major media outlets have lined up to criticize Clinton’s comments from Monday that Bernie Sanders was unlikeable and ineffective in the Senate and that she may not endorse him if he is the nominee. Clinton has since said that she would consider endorsing Sanders. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net.


Listen to "Gabbard sues Clinton for defamatory “Russian asset” comment" on Spreaker.

Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Critical Hour Discussion of MSNBC Bernie-Warren Disgrace (1/17/2020)

Will 2020 Be the Year of Bernie and Progressives or the Demise of Trump?

It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time.

"The third impeachment trial in US history officially began Thursday amid a swirl of new allegations about President [Donald] Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, which several Republicans rushed to downplay as they dismissed Democrats’ calls for further investigation," the Washington Post reported. "Lev Parnas, a former associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, has alleged that Trump knew of his role in the effort to dig up dirt in Ukraine that could benefit the president politically." Are these new revelations making it tougher for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to hold his line?
[Related articles: Defeat or Impeach? The (Il)Logic of ImpeachmentDead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment GambitImpeachment: What Lies Beneath?]

"[Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth] Warren and [Vermont Sen. Bernie] Sanders remain at odds over whether he told her, during a private dinner in 2018 about the presidential election, that a woman couldn't win -- neither backed off their previous statements," CNN reported Wednesday. "But both of the populist politicians seemed intent on avoiding a debate stage crack-up."

Discussion of Comey & Impeachment on By Any Means Necessary (1/17/2020)

Klansmen, Killers. Christians and Kooks

DOJ investigating James Comey leaks; America's "remain in Mexico policy"; FBI arrests 3 white supremacists ahead of Virginia gun rally.

On this episode of "By Any Means Necessary" hosts Jacquie Luqman and Sean Blackmon are joined by Jim Kavanagh, a political analyst and contributor to Counterpunch and ThePolemicist.net to talk about the Department of Justice looking into years old leaks by former FBI Director James Comey, the lack of political gains by the Democratic Party through impeaching Donald Trump, and Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz joining Trump's impeachment defense team. Read Jim Kavanagh's latest piece “Impeachment: What Lies Beneath?” at Counterpunch and ThePolemicist.net.
[Related articles: Defeat or Impeach? The (Il)Logic of ImpeachmentDead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment GambitImpeachment: What Lies Beneath?]

Loud & Clear Discussion of Parnas Impeachment "Bombshell" (1/16/2020)

Is the New Impeachment “Bombshell” Just Another Dud?

The impeachment trial of President Trump in the Senate has formally begun and those involved in the process have been sworn in. In addition, Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of presidential attorney Rudy Giuliani, has gone public saying that Trump, Vice President Pence, Attorney General Barr, and Congressman Devon Nunes were all involved in the conspiracy to take down Biden and his son Hunter. Is this a Watergate-style scandal, as Democrats maintain, or is it business as usual in Washington?
[Related articles: Defeat or Impeach? The (Il)Logic of ImpeachmentDead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment GambitImpeachment: What Lies Beneath?]

Listen to "Is the New Impeachment “Bombshell” Just Another Dud?" on Spreaker.


Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

Friday, January 17, 2020

Discussion on The Crirical Hour of Upcoming Senate Impeachment Trial (1/14/2020)

Another Democratic Debate, Less Diverse And More Polarizing - Why This Matters

On Tuesday night, Democratic presidential candidates will gather for their seventh debate, the last before the Iowa caucuses. The event is set to be the smallest and least diverse debate thus far. Between impeachment, the recent assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and US President Donald Trump planning to divert an additional $7.2 billion in Pentagon funds for a border wall, not to mention the infighting within the Democratic Party itself, there are a lot of new challenges for the Democratic presidential field. What are we to make of all of this?

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Week in Review on Loud & Clear (1/10/2020)

Shifting Narratives: What Caused the Ukrainian Plane Crash in Iran?

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker is joined by Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, and Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.

Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the many dimensions of the crisis between the United States and Iran.
[Related articles: The Polemicist: Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back,
The Empire Steps Back: Trump Withdraws From Syria – Impeachment Now PossibleImpeachment: What Lies Beneath?]


Listen to "Shifting Narratives: What Caused the Ukrainian Plane Crash in Iran?" on Spreaker.

Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

Iran Discussion on The Critical Hour (1/10/2020)

It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time.

"Taiwan votes in presidential and parliamentary elections on Saturday, which will set the course for the democratic island’s ties with its giant and autocratic neighbor China, which claims Taiwan as its territory," Reuters reported Friday. Why does this matter, and how does it affect the US?

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Discussion of Iran Retaliation on The Critical Hour (1/7/2020)

Iran Vows Proportional Retaliation for US Soleimani Murder - This Isn't a Threat!

In response to Friday’s assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, the military commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, "Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made a rare appearance at a meeting of the government’s National Security Council to lay down the parameters for any retaliation. It must be a direct and proportional attack on American interests, he said, openly carried out by Iranian forces themselves," the New York Times reported Monday. Meanwhile, "Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Tuesday confirmed reports that the Trump administration has denied him a visa to enter the US for a United Nations Security Council meeting in New York this week," AFP reported. What are we to make of this, and what signals are being sent by both sides?
[Related articles: The Polemicist: Eve of Destruction: Iran Strikes Back,
The Empire Steps Back: Trump Withdraws From Syria – Impeachment Now PossibleImpeachment: What Lies Beneath?]

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Discussion of the Soleimani Assassinaton on The Critical Hour (1/3/2020)

Is the US on the Brink of War With Iran? US Airstrike Kills Top Iranian General

It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time.

Qasem Soleimani, the son of a laborer who became Iran’s most revered military commander, was assassinated Friday in a targeted US drone air strike at the airport in Baghdad, Iraq. "Iranian politicians said, after his death, it would have been Soleimani’s dream to be 'martyred' by the US, Iran’s 'arch foe,' which he had relentlessly battled in the Middle East for the more than the two decades that he led the elite Quds force," the Financial Times reported. One of the fiercest military commanders in Iran in recent decades, the 62-year-old had long masterminded Iran’s support for Shia militant groups. "He was so close to Iran’s supreme leader that he saw him as a son.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Week in Review Discussion on Loud & Clear (12/27/2019)

The Week in Review

Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on a new Rachel Maddow critique and a broader Russiagate wrapup, the history of American politics, CIA-funded propaganda and arts, the 2020 race, one positive Sanders piece, Warren’s chameleon-like practices, Biden’s standing, Israel’s Likud election, and the new interviews out with the Navy Seal accusers of Ed Gallagher. Brian and John speak with Jim Kavanagh, editor of thepolemicist.net, and Sputnik News analyst and producer Nicole Roussell.
[My related article: Investigation Nation: Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake Politics

Listen to "The Week in Review" on Spreaker.

Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

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Joe or No?

Elise Amendola / AP Here we go again. Now that Bernie Sanders has completed his predictable circuit of loss and capitulation, leftis...