Yesterday, Joe Biden became the first sitting president to visit a picket line of striking workers. It is historic. A few hours later, Jacobin published an article entitled “The Militancy of the UAW Strike Forced Joe Biden to Take a Side and Walk the Picket Line,” by Nick French. Jacobin is right that Biden’s visit to the picket line results from the UAW strike’s strength. But Jacobin is dead wrong in its assessment that Biden is “on the side of the working class.” Instead, Biden’s visit is a product of the capitalist crisis in which both Trump and Biden are vying for influence over the working class in a tight presidential race.
One year after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which Big Green groups hailed as a 'climate justice bill,' the truth is surfacing that this legislation is lining the pockets of the fossil fuel industry to the detriment of frontline, especially Black and Indigenous, communities. Clearing the FOG speaks to Anthony Rogers-Wright, a national racial and climate justice advocate, about the ways Joe Biden and the Democrats are failing to address the climate crisis and Big Green groups are turning away from climate justice to embrace Green Capitalism. Rogers-Wright also describes better alternatives to the Big Greens and where people can focus their efforts effectively to struggle for a just and livable future.
Everyone knows what it means to mislead. The simplicity of the word gives it a lot of power. Black elected officials are beholden to the Democratic Party and their corporate, neo-liberal and imperialist interests. Working in concert with them is by definition working against the interests of Black people. Of course the misleaders can’t be obvious about their subterfuge. They have to at least go through the motions of opposing the Republican Party, the white people’s party, and anyone who is seen as a prominent representative of that group. Performance is the order of the day, while any concrete actions made on behalf of Black people are few and far between.
At writing, we are 16 months and five days from the 2024 presidential election. If a week is a long time in politics, there is too strong a chance that the interim upon us will prove one of awful eventfulness. In my read, the risk of brazen lawlessness in the upper reaches of power and, in consequence, a constitutional crisis, is now greater than at any point in the postwar period. It is time to brace ourselves against this eventuality. Is there any other plausible conclusion as things now stand? I do not see one. Two reasons: One, the Democrats have emerged since Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016 as a party of liberal authoritarians intent on imposing their political hegemony on our republic by whatever means this project requires.
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a record-breaking military budget of $886 billion for the coming fiscal year. The National Defense Authorization Act was passed by lawmakers on July 14 by a slim margin of 219 to 210, with the majority of Democrats opposing it. However, the bill is unlikely to be approved in the Senate, as Republicans have introduced amendments that would restrict Pentagon funding to access abortions and prohibit gender-affirming medical care and hormone therapy for transgender personnel. In addition, the display of LGBTQIA2S+ Pride flags at military bases was banned. Rep. Greg Stanton from Arizona has pointed out that nearly 50% of women in the military do not have access to abortion care, largely due to state bans, making it difficult for them to obtain this necessary medical treatment.
Lunch with Tom Frank is a totally American experience. He’s a proud native of Kansas but far from a country boy: he got his doctorate from the University of Chicago and has written a series of influential books. He likes people, food, and telling it like it is. He teases the waiter, talks about a healthy salad, and then orders an overstuffed sandwich that he wolfs down as he dissects the increasingly crazed American political world. He’s not just a guy who happens to be bright and unpretentious and a lot of fun who has chosen to focus on American politics; he’s a political prophet who two decades ago saw what others could not glimpse and published What’s the Matter with Kansas?
The Republican and Democratic parties have no intention of allowing independents and third parties into their exclusive club. A series of arcane laws and rules governing elections make it extremely difficult for outsiders to get on the ballot, receive exposure, raise money, comply with regulations that are designed to advance the interests of Republicans and Democrats or participate in public debates. Third parties and independents are effectively disenfranchised, although 44 percent of the voting public identify as independent. This discrimination is euphemistically labeled “bipartisanship,” but the correct term, as Theresa Amato writes, is “political apartheid.”
Joe Biden got what he needed before the NATO summit this week by somehow turning Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan inside out and getting him to rebuff Vladimir Putin by announcing that he would support NATO membership for Sweden. The public story for Biden’s face-saving coup was talk about agreeing to sell American F-16 fighter bombers to Turkey. I have been told a different, secret story about Erdogan’s turnabout: Biden promised that a much-needed $11-13 billion line of credit would be extended to Turkey by the International Monetary Fund. “Biden had to have a victory and Turkey is in acute financial stress,” an official with direct knowledge of the transaction told me.
Following the decision by High Court Judge Sir Jonathan Swift this month to reject Assange’s application to appeal his ordered extradition to the United States to stand trial on espionage charges, Assange’s legal team filed a new application to the High Court last week. The decision on this application could come any day. If it is refused, Assange will have run out of legal options in Britain, and could only be saved by the intervention of the European court. There is also still a chance of a plea deal in which President Joe Biden would need to exact punishment of Assange to cover his political posterior.
In 2015, Black Agenda Report co-founder Bruce Dixon coined the term “sheepdog” to describe the role that Bernie Sanders would play in the 2016 presidential campaign. Dixon presciently said, “Bernie's job is to warm up the crowd for Hillary, herding activist energies and the disaffected left back into the Democratic fold one more time. Bernie aims to tie up activist energies and resources till the summer of 2016 when the only remaining choice will be the usual lesser of two evils.” The word stuck and since that time the question is rightly asked whether a particular democratic challenger is serious about getting the nomination or is merely a sheepdog who will herd supporters back into the hands of their party’s oligarchy.
Joe Biden announces — via a video, not in person so we can see him live — that he will run for reelection in 2024. Immediately we read that Forty-Six is playing his cards close to his chest, letting his record speak for itself — a daring proposition — and has no plans to begin campaigning in earnest, not even in those states we commonly refer to as “swing.” No, Joe will remain sequestered in the White House, behind those walls and porticos and ridiculous sunglasses, a man of the people taking care of America’s business. Get ready, readers. We are in for 19 months of relentless, insultingly transparent spin, propaganda, and lies of omission, by way of which a senile, patently incompetent man will be offered to us as the president for another four years.
President Biden laced his 2020 presidential campaign with rhetoric and promises about addressing climate change, drawing some to wonder if he could be America’s first “climate president.” More than two years in, the reality of his term is a letdown for those who hung their hopes on this label. With the official announcement that he’ll run for office again in 2024, it’s time to examine why “lesser evil” Biden and his flimsy platform represent nothing more than a green dream. As an example, Biden’s administration has now signed off on more gas and oil drilling permits than Trump had at the same point in his term — surpassing Trump by a few hundred at the two-year mark.
Lenin wrote that “The younger the socialist movement in any given country…the more resolutely the workers must be warned against the bad counsellors who shout against ‘overrating the conscious element.’” Even though the USA’s socialist movement is technically quite old, it might as well be as young as it was in Lenin’s time. Because the American communist movement got virtually destroyed by McCarthyism, then by the war against the Panthers. It’s now trying to rebuild itself, and regain the mainstream status it used to have. And the fact that the Democratic Party gained a vast amount of influence over the movement after the USSR’s fall, effectively turning the parts under its control into wings of the party, has made those same actors Lenin warned against into significant threats to this rebuilding effort.
Last weekend the New York Times published a report that President Biden has been missing in action in recent months when it comes to serious question-and-answer sessions with the Washington press corps. The obvious reason for the lack of press conferences is “to protect” the president from unscripted exchanges that often result in missteps and confusion. Had I been writing the piece, I might have added that the president is intent on not blurting out an unwanted truth. And he is not alone in avoiding the press. The fact is that Secretary of State Tony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan have similarly disappeared in recent months when it comes to give-and-take sessions with the White House press corps.
On April 6, the Biden administration proposed changes to Title IX regulations concerning trans youth participating in sports. The regulation change would prohibit any schools or universities that receive public funding from passing “blanket bans” — bans that prohibit all trans youth from participating in any sport at all — but would make it acceptable for schools to ban transgender students from sporting activities on a sport-by-sport basis. While Democrats are touting this as a win for transgender rights, this is simply another example of the so-called “progressive” party proposing moves to make themselves seem trans-positive, while taking no meaningful action to protect trans children.