Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Bloomberg's Game


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?

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