by William Skink
It was interesting to see how Tester chose to slam Obama for prolonging approval for the Keystone XL pipeline. Here is the statement:
“I’m disappointed with the President’s decision. After dragging his feet for years on the Keystone pipeline, the President missed an opportunity to strengthen America’s energy security. This decision prevents more good-paying Montana jobs and ensures that we continue to do business with hostile countries in the Middle East. “
Ah, how quaint. Tester is referring to “America” like it’s a sovereign nation with a functioning representative Democracy. It’s not, but keeping the illusion going is helpful in maintaining political power.
America’s energy security? There is no such thing. There is corporate profit–the supreme deity of globalization–everything else is just decoration.
Tester’s statement is a steaming pile, especially the part where he implies that America Inc. is reluctant to “do business with hostile countries in the Middle East.” This statement couldn’t be farther from the truth.
While Tester talks about the fiction of America’s energy security, the next iteration of the global corporate coup is about to drop under the guise of the next batch of trade agreements. So what does Tester have to say about ceding the remnants of our national sovereignty to corporate boardrooms and international tribunal courts? Check out this squishy rhetoric from earlier this year. Tester’s statement is a great example of glib political rhetoric using lots of words without actually saying anything substantive:
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said he isn’t comfortable with approving Trade Promotion Authority, which would limit members of Congress to a “yes” or “no” vote on the TPP when it is presented.
“The reason is that I want to see what we are voting on,” Tester said. “The bottom line is that I think we are couple of months off before this is in front of the Senate. I want to see how this will impact middle class families and small business. If it is a trade agreement that will provide more opportunities for the U.S. to expand our middle class, I’ll be supportive.”
I hope Tester is busy reading the 6,000 pages of the monstrous TPP so he understands what he’ll be ceding away if he votes yes.
The ever expanding privatization for corporate profit is borg-like in its assimilation and corruption of state power, but faced with this reality, I suggest avoiding the F-word because clever, sarcastic people like Dan Brooks will be there to roll their eyes, then stroll off to fire up a smug post like this one:
Fascism: nobody know what it is, but it’s probably happening. Bane of the high school history teacher, Fascism is hard to define, probably because we know it when we see it. Specifically, we knew it when we saw Nazis and Italian corporatists start a world war with it. But Mussolini called fascism fascism before he became history’s most humorous monster. Like a nation, fascism is an idea. It stems from events but transcends them. And like a nation, fascism can live as an idea after it occupies no territory. The state is more important than the individual. We need a leader who can get things done, working with corporate power instead of against it, belligerent abroad and supervisory at home. We love this country, and we can take it away from those who don’t. Today is Friday, and I sure am glad that ideolgoy doesn’t describe any political movements now active in America. Won’t you evade responsibility for it happening here with me?
Brooks goes on to poke his finger at the GOP a bit, but leaves it at that, which is disappointing because I know Brooks has a pretty high opinion on what cultural producers can accomplish–an opinion he articulated in the midst of dismissing Banksy’s Dismaland as sarcastic kitch. Here is Brooks distinguishing between cultural producers like himself and an artist like Banksy:
Like Banksy, the highbrow, left-leaning Internet frequently indulges in sarcasm; how else could it produce so much ostensibly clever content every day? But such attitude-based aggregators distinguish themselves from the kitschy Internet by embracing the premise that cultural production can improve an unjust society, whereas Banksy’s premise seems to be that cultural production can point out how awful everything is.
Is it possible to improve an unjust society if one doesn’t first understand the true scope of how awful everything is? Sure, improvements can always be made, like putting a fresh coat of paint on a house. But those efforts will be pointless if the foundation is cracked. And America’s foundation is disintegrating underneath our feet.
Down there in the dark, in basement America, mutated corporate fascists work the shadows of both political persuasions. The Intercept has a good read with a long title: Leaked Emails from Pro-Clinton Group Reveal Censorship of Staff on Israel, AIPAC Pandering, Warped Militarism.
Here is a revalent excerpt from the article about the corporate donors of the very influential Democratic think-tank, Center for American Progress:
The Nation previously investigated CAP’s once-secret list of corporate donors, documenting how the group will abandon Democratic Party orthodoxy whenever that orthodoxy conflicts with the interests of its funders. That article noted that “Tanden ratcheted up the efforts to openly court donors, which has impacted CAP’s work. Staffers were very clearly instructed to check with the think tank’s development team before writing anything that might upset contributors.”
Since that article, CAP, to its credit, has provided some greater transparency about its funding sources. As the Washington Post’s Sargent reported earlier this year, “CAP’s top donors include Walmart and Citigroup,” and also “include the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents leading biotech and bio-pharma firms, and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.” Other large CAP donors include Goldman Sachs, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Bank of America, Google and Time Warner.
United Arab Emirates? Damn, if only we got that pipeline built, we wouldn’t be forced into doing business with these bankrollers of terrorism, possibly even that recent plane allegedly blowing up over Egypt, but I digress.
Anyone with half a brain understands politics in America has been hopelessly corrupted by corporate money. My question is this: why give politicians any benefit of the doubt with regards to the empty words that tumble so easily from lying lips?
I’ve heard supporters of The Sheepdog claim that, at the very least, Bernie is forcing Hillary to pay lip service to progressive issues. So what? Expanding the allowable discourse means, at least for Democrats in 2016, allowing Hillary to weave a cloak of populist deceit more colorful than Joseph’s, the dude who built pyramid-shaped grain silos in Egypt.
Mocking the sillier fictions sprouting from the 2016 political field is a coping mechanism, and on that level I get it. They are so bonkers on the right, how can you not tilt your lance at that low-hanging fruit?
Well, I would argue time spent on those sillier fictions is time wasted because the corporate reality is borg-like in its persistence that resistance is futile.
But it’s not.