Louisiana - Louisiana Democratic Party leaders are accused of funneling thousands of dollars from utility companies to the campaign of a fossil fuel–friendly candidate who ran for reelection on the state’s utility regulatory committee. Campaign finance records filed this week show that the Party received more than $90,000 in donations from utility companies, energy producers, and their executives during the elections for two Louisiana Public Service Commissioners. The same utility companies — Entergy, Cleco, and CenterPoint Energy — also donated directly to incumbent Lambert Boissiere III, whose campaign was largely sponsored by industry groups. Entergy, Cleco, and CenterPoint Energy did not respond to requests for comment for this story. Despite these industry donations to his opponent, climate candidate Davante Lewis won the District 3 Commissioner seat, which represents parts of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
The Democrats position themselves as the party of virtue, cloaking their support for the war industry in moral language stretching back to Korea and Vietnam, when President Ngo Dinh Diem was as lionized as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. All the wars they support and fund are “good” wars. All the enemies they fight, the latest being Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping, are incarnations of evil. The photo of a beaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris holding up a signed Ukrainian battle flag behind Zelensky as he addressed Congress was another example of the Democratic Party’s abject subservience to the war machine. The Democrats, especially with the presidency of Bill Clinton, became shills not only for corporate America but for the weapons manufacturers and the Pentagon.
There was once a wing of the Democratic Party that stood up to the war industry. J. William Fulbright, George McGovern, Gene McCarthy, Mike Gravel, William Proxmire, and, of course, Dennis Kucinich. But that was largely decades ago. The new Democrats, especially with the presidency of Bill Clinton, became shills not only for corporate America, but the arms industry. The massive military budget, $858 billion in military spending allocated for fiscal year 2023, is an increase of $45 billion over the Biden administration’s budget request, and nearly $80 billion more than the amount appropriated by Congress for the current fiscal year. What happened to the Democratic Party? Why has it become impossible to question war and the massive expenditures on arms?
From unionizing Starbucks and Amazon workers to thousands of graduate students on strike, we’re seeing a fresh upsurge of union struggle in the United States. And that movement is becoming more militant: the last few months alone have seen a major uptick in strikes, with this year already outstripping the last. Eric Blanc has weighed in on the upsurge. Assistant professor at Rutgers and writer at Jacobin and elsewhere, he recently sent out and posted a four-part essay (here are parts I, II, III, and IV) responding to the work of Charlie Post as well as Cody Melcher and Michael Goldfield. In it, Blanc wants to convince union organizers our first hope has to lie in the Democratic Party. For him, a key part of our strategy has to be voting for, and appealing to, Democrats.
The total cost of the 2022 federal midterm elections is projected to exceed $9.3 billion. But what do we get from what must surely be the most expensive electoral system on the planet? There’s little real choice. The dismantling of our democracy which took place over the last few decades on behalf of corporations and the rich has been a bipartisan project, leaving only the outward shell of democracy. The courts, legislative bodies, the executive branch, and the media, including public broadcasting, are captive to corporate power. There is no institution left that can be considered authentically democratic. The corporate coup d’etat is over. They won. We lost. The wreckage of this corporate coup is appalling, endless and futile wars to enrich a military-industrial complex that bleeds the US Treasury of half of all discretionary spending, de-industrialization that has turned US cities into decayed ruins, the slashing and privatization of social programs including education, utility services, and healthcare, which so over one million Americans account for one-fifth of global deaths from COVID, although we are 4% of the world’s population.
The agenda was set with the Lewis Powell Memorandum in 1971. Written at the request of the United States Chamber of Commerce, probably the most influential structure of capitalist rule at the time, the concern for the Chamber was the need to find a more coherent counter-offensive to the attacks against the system over the previous years. At the center of the anti-system attacks during the 1960s was, of course, the Black Liberation Movement and the Anti-War movement. Powell made the argument that the capitalist class had to recognize that their very survival was at stake and that meant capitalists had to understand that as a class their interests transcended their individual enterprises.
While the public endured months of campaign jostling by the capitalist Republican and Democratic party candidates in this U.S. midterm election, there are some self-styled revolutionaries and Pan-Africanists who peddle the propaganda of the bourgeoisie. Their message is a call for Black people to turnout to “save U.S. democracy” or else face certain doom at the hands of the Republican Party led by the ominous orange menace, Donald Trump. The concept of “fascism” is often bandied around with no regard for it as a historically constant condition for African descendants and Indigenous people. As always for the U.S. oligarchy, at stake is which wing of the duopoly will dominate the legislative branches of government. The Republicans need five seats to take control of the house and only one to control the senate.
The bipartisan project of dismantling our democracy, which took place over the last few decades on behalf of corporations and the rich, has left only the outward shell of democracy. The courts, legislative bodies, the executive branch and the media, including public broadcasting, are captive to corporate power. There is no institution left that can be considered authentically democratic. The corporate coup d’état is over. They won. We lost. The wreckage of this neoliberal project is appalling: endless and futile wars to enrich a military-industrial-complex that bleeds the U.S. Treasury of half of all discretionary spending; deindustrialization that has turned U.S. cities into decayed ruins; the slashing and privatization of social programs, including education, utility services and health care.
Tulsi Gabbard made headlines on October 11, 2022 with her announcement that she was leaving the Democratic Party. In her statement, Gabbard provided a litany of reasons for her decision. She condemned the Democratic Party for being under the control of an “elitist cabal” of warmongers that are driven by “cowardly wokeness” and who divide the people with “anti-white racism.” Gabbard further decried the Democratic Party’s support for “open borders” and its demonization of the police. The Democratic Party, according to Gabbard, has also weaponized the national security state against its opponents and brought the world closer to nuclear war. On the last point, there is no argument. The Democratic Party has ridden on the back of its Russiagate conspiracy theory to serve the repressive imperatives of the national security state and expand censorship.
Los Angeles, California - Los Angeles City Council members have been exposed for their offensive treatment of activists and community members. Private conversations, taped and leaked to the press, revealed President Nury Martinez, Council members Kevin De Leon and Gil Cedillo, and Los Angeles County Federation of Labor president Ron Herrera using racial slurs during a “redistricting” meeting. The four members, who are all Democrats, made fun of the adopted Black child of City Council member Mike Bonin, calling the toddler a “little monkey” in Spanish (“parece changuito”), saying he needed to be beaten for his behavior during a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade. They were also heard conspiring against other city officials, stating the district attorney is “with the Blacks.”
For several days, buses have been dumping refugees from Texas in New York City, along with buses that have been going to Washington D.C. for months. Mutual aid groups are receiving these refugees and providing them with mental health, legal support, and other resources. This mutual aid has formed in the absence of a citywide policy to welcome refugees. In recent years, more and more refugees from Latin America are migrating to the United States. This increase in migration is a direct result of the climate crisis and centuries of imperialism ravaging and underdeveloping the Global South. Wealthy countries in the Global North are responding with callous disregard for the basic right to migrate, even as they create the conditions for it. For example, many of the refugees are migrating from Venezuela, a country being economically devastated by some of the most intense U.S. sanctions regimes.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The United States has perfected the art of regime change operations. The US is the largest empire in world history with more than 1,000 military bases and troops operating throughout the world. In addition to military force, the US uses the soft power of regime change, often through 'Color Revolutions.' The US has been building its empire since the Civil War era, but it has been in the post-World War II-time period that it has perfected regime change operations.US military presence around the world Have the people of the United States been the victims of regime change operations at home? Have the wealthiest and the security state created a government that serves them, rather than the people? To answer these questions, we begin by examining how regime change works and then look at whether those ingredients are being used domestically.
After Joe Biden announced his extraordinary request for $33 billion more for the war in Ukraine — on top of the $14 billion the U.S. has already spent just ten weeks into this war — congressional leaders of both parties immediately decided the amount was insufficient. They arbitrarily increased the amount by $7 billion to a total of $40 billion, then fast-tracked the bill for immediate approval. As we reported on Tuesday night, the House overwhelmingly voted to approve the bill by a vote of 388-57. All fifty-seven NO votes came from Republican House members. Except for two missing members, all House Democrats — every last one, including all six members of the revolutionary, subversive Squad — voted for this gigantic war package, one of the largest the U.S. has spent at once in decades.
Amazon Labor Union (ALU) organizer and former Amazon worker Chris Smalls testified in a Senate Banking Committee hearing called by Bernie Sanders on May 5th to investigate whether Amazon and other monopoly corporations that violate labor law should receive federal contracts. That Amazon would receive federal assistance despite accumulating record profits amid a global pandemic is bad enough. Worse yet is that it took months before so-called progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged the efforts of workers organizing a union within the corporate behemoth. The hearing proceedings went viral after Smalls replied to Republican Senator Lindsay Graham’s screed against the “demonization of companies” by reminding him that “the people are the ones who make these companies operate, and when we're not protected, the process for when we hold these companies accountable is not working for us, then that's the reason why we're here today.”
The Democratic Party – which had 50 years to write Roe v Wade into law with Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama in full control of the White House and Congress at the inception of their presidencies – is banking its electoral strategy around the expected Supreme Court decision to lift the judicial prohibition on the ability of states to enact laws restricting or banning abortions. I doubt it will work. The Democratic Party’s hypocrisy and duplicity is the fertilizer for Christian fascism. Its exclusive focus on the culture wars and identity politics at the expense of economic, political, and social justice fueled a right-wing backlash and stoked the bigotry, racism, and sexism it sought to curtail.