Little Fascist Came To Town

Our Beloved Supreme Leader seems to have this unnatural love for authoritarian little toads….PDRK’s Kim, Putin, the Saudi killers and now Hungary’s little fascist, Orban….

Viktor came to town to meet another demagogue in waiting……Trump welcomes a leader that is having a war on democracy….something Trump seems to be trying here in the good old US of A……

President Donald Trump will welcome Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to the White House on Monday, in what sounds like a routine reception for a foreign head of state. In reality, it’s something else: a meeting between two like-minded illiberal leaders, men at the forefront of the campaign to undermine Western democracy from within.

Hungary today looks like a democracy — there are still elections, and dissidents aren’t jailed. But since winning the country’s 2010 election, Orbán has subtly consolidated power and rendered elections almost impossibly unfair. He and allies of his political party, Fidesz, control nearly all of Hungary’s media; he manipulates the state’s economic powers to weaken potential rivals and empower his cronies. Widespread anti-immigrant sentiment, kicked off by the 2015 refugee crisis, has become a key propaganda tool Orbán uses to legitimize his power grabs.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/5/13/18564378/donald-trump-viktor-orban-white-house-visit-2019

Or maybe this look at the dictator-in-waiting……

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/13/cozy-visit-far-right-autocrat-denounced-trump-praises-tremendous-job-hungarys-viktor

This is an interesting piece and food for thought……

What characterizes American government today is not so much dysfunctional politics as it is ruthlessly contrived governance carried out behind the entertaining, distracting and disingenuous curtain of political theater. And what political theater it is, diabolically Shakespearean at times, full of sound and fury, yet in the end, signifying nothing.

Played out on the national stage and eagerly broadcast to a captive audience by media sponsors, this farcical exercise in political theater can, at times, seem riveting, life-changing and suspenseful, even for those who know better.

Week after week, the script changes (Donald Trump’s Tweets, Congress’ hearings on Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, the military’s endless war drums, the ever-widening field of candidates for the 2020 presidential race, etc.) with each new script following on the heels of the last, never any let-up, never any relief from the constant melodrama.

D Is for a Dictatorship Disguised as a Democracy

Birds of a feather crap together!

Advertisements

When Is Truth Not Truth?

Closing Thought–20Aug18

In this case when Rudy opens his mouth…..Good old Rudy is doing a fine job of making everything around the president seem silly and unimportant when the only thing that falls into that category is Rudy himself……

But Rudy keeps talking and the country keeps laughing……

There’s a reason President Trump hasn’t sat down yet for an interview with Robert Mueller, says Rudy Giuliani—and it’s all about “truth.” The president’s personal lawyer in the Russia probe dueled with anchor Chuck Todd over a clear definition of the word Sunday on Meet the Press, the Hill reports. “I’m not going to be rushed into having him testify so he gets trapped into perjury,” says Giuliani. “And when you tell me that he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because that’s somebody’s version of the truth, not the truth.” Says Todd: “Truth is truth.” Giuliani: “No it isn’t. Truth isn’t truth.” Todd: “Mr Mayor … this is going to become a bad meme.”

I hear Rudy keeps taunting the possible “perjury trap”…..really?  Some advice here….tell the truth and you do not fall into a trap.

I know that is just silly to think that a person who seem to be allergic to the truth would ever testify under oath…..

Rudy is just as silly as he was in 2008……his dementia is getting worse.  Not to worry there will be a clarification…..

Rudy Giuliani uttered a memorable line in defense of President Trump on Sunday when he declared that “truth isn’t truth.” Not surprisingly, it kicked up quite a reaction online, and on Monday, Giuliani tweeted about what he meant. The explanation in full: “My statement was not meant as a pontification on moral theology but one referring to the situation where two people make precisely contradictory statements, the classic ‘he said, she said’ puzzle. Sometimes further inquiry can reveal the truth other times it doesn’t.” Message clarified? The conservative Washington Times thinks so, though most other coverage, as from CNN, NBC News, and the Hill, hedge that a bit and say Giuliani “sought to clarify” or words to that effect. Politico, for example, uses the phrase, “tried to walk back.”

The context of the original statement: “Look, I am not going to be rushed into having [Trump] testify so that he gets trapped into perjury,” Giuliani told NBC’s Chuck Todd. “And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth. He didn’t have a, a conversation—” Giuliani said. When Todd interjected, “Truth is truth,” Giuliani answered, “No, it isn’t truth. Truth isn’t truth.” Among those dinging Giuliani was John Oliver, who declared, “Trump is going to wind up behind bars with Giuliani visiting him and saying, ‘Don’t worry Donald, prison isn’t prison.'” James Comey (here) and Merriam-Webster (here) also got in on it.

This drama is getting sillier by the statement……

The New “Communists”

You guys know me if there is a history lesson or a political lesson to be told I am more than happy to give it to you.

Back in the days of the Cold War Eastern Europe was a hot bed of authoritarian Communists….Romania, Bulgaria, East Germany and even Poland had its share of tough Communists ……..fast forward to today and the rise of nationalism in Eastern Europe smacks of the days of Communism……

Call it electioneering, Viktor Orbán style.

In the weeks ahead of Hungary’s parliamentary election on Sunday, postboxes across the country delivered some welcome news — courtesy of the prime minister. One letter informed households that due to a one-time action by the government, their next gas bill would be reduced by roughly €38. Another, delivered to each of the country’s more than 2 million pensioners, contained about €32 in gift vouchers.

Much has been written about the assaults on press freedom and civil society by Central European governments in Budapest and Warsaw. Far less attention has been paid to a fact their critics prefer to elide: They keep winning elections.

https://www.politico.eu/article/new-communists-hungary-poland-viktor-orban-jaroslaw-kaczynski/

There are events unfolding in Europe that could have far reaching consequences………hold your nose to these events.

“Axis Of Autocracy”

Do you remember the original “Axis Of Evil”….North Korea, Iran and Iraq so labeled by GW Bush in a SOTU speech.

Now step back a few decades when the USSR and China were in competition for world domination….well there forms of communism…..

Why would I even bring this up?  What does it have to do with anything?

Well China and Russia are in budding bromance that could become a world problem……and when Iran is added to the total it is what is being called an “Axis of Autocracy”

It sounded like an echo of Sino-Soviet alliance of the 1950s and 1960s when China’s new defense minister, Wei Fenghe, said at a meeting in Moscow this month, “The Chinese side has come to show Americans the close ties between the armed forces of China and Russia.”

A full-blown military alliance remains a long ways off, of course, and it is easy to dismiss Wei’s remarks as rhetorical posturing. But that would be a mistake, because Wei nonetheless captured an ominous feature of world politics today: the growing alignments between America’s various geopolitical rivals.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-04-19/china-russia-and-iran-are-forming-an-axis-of-autocracy

While NATO is build-up its position in Eastern Europe the US Navy building up to counter China in Asia…..

The American admiral slated to head the US Pacific Command is planning a buildup of American forces in the region along with closer alliances as part of the Pentagon’s new strategy to counter China.

Admiral Philip Davidson, the nominee for the command job, revealed in little-noticed testimony to a US Senate committee how he will restructure the 375,000 military and civilian personnel, 200 ships and nearly 1,100 aircraft in the region.

http://www.atimes.com/article/us-admiral-outlines-new-military-buildup-to-counter-china/

Then there is Iran…..the US is countering the spread of Iranian influence with the Army and Air Force in the Middle East…..

Where will all this posturing lead?

To a place we all would rather avoid.

Jackboots And Apple Pie

Most Americans are spectators in this democracy….I say that because most elections only about 49% of the voting population actually shows up.

But in the last year it seems that this fragile democracy is in danger of falling apart….yes, I am talking about the time from 2016 election to today……nothing happening is encouraging if anything it appears losing ground weekly…..

It can be analyzed back to Pres. Trump……

The problem with Donald Trump is not that he is imbecilic and inept—it is that he has surrendered total power to the oligarchic and military elites. They get what they want. They do what they want. Although the president is a one-man wrecking crew aimed at democratic norms and institutions, although he has turned the United States into a laughingstock around the globe, our national crisis is embodied not in Trump but the corporate state’s now unfettered pillage.

Trump, who has no inclination or ability to govern, has handed the machinery of government over to the bankers, corporate executives, right-wing think tanks, intelligence chiefs and generals. They are eradicating the few regulations and laws that inhibited a naked kleptocracy. They are dynamiting the institutions, including the State Department, that served interests other than corporate profit and are stacking the courts with right-wing, corporate-controlled ideologues. Trump provides the daily entertainment; the elites handle the business of looting, exploiting and destroying.

https://www.alternet.org/peek/donald-trump-useful-idiot

I am not alone…..most thinking people, that means people that can count beyond 10 sees problems mounting up….

Democracy is in under siege around the world, according to a new report by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The annual Democracy Index tracks the health of the world’s governments. And the results for 2017 are depressing. In 89 countries, democratic norms look worse than they did last year, the report’s authors write. Just 4.5 percent of the world’s residents live in fully functioning democracies, down from 8.9 percent in 2015.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/02/01/u-s-democracy-is-in-grave-danger-a-new-economist-report-warns/

So far events in government point to a leader that is more concerned about his personal affairs and not those of the country…..a leader that demands loyalty to him and not necessarily the rule of law….BTW this country was founded on the rule of law, in case there was confusion…..a leader who shows affection for authoritarian heads of state…..

It appears that Trump wants to be a dictator…..

It began the day he was sworn in, with his vow to end “American carnage”—a direct echo of his autocratic pronouncement when accepting the Republican nomination that “I alone can fix it.” Donald Trump has chipped away at the pillars of democracy ever since. According to a new report from Freedom House, an independent watchdog group that has monitored democracy globally for decades, “The past year brought further, faster erosion of America’s own democratic standards than at any other time in memory.” The nation’s core institutions, the report says, have been “attacked by an administration that rejects established norms of ethical conduct across many fields of activity.”

In his first year as president, Trump often appeared driven by his urges for self-aggrandizement, self-enrichment, and revenge against anyone and everyone he perceived to be his political enemies—targets to be punched 10 times harder or screwed 15 times harder than they’ve punched or screwed him. He has used the presidential platform to taunt and threaten, going after federal judges, members of Congress, law enforcement leaders, celebrities, professional athletes, private citizens, and, of course, his greatest bête noire: the “Fake News” media, which he has blasted hundreds of times since taking office.

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/01/donald-trump-wants-to-be-dictator-of-the-united-states/

TO political observers nothing about the Trump act seems to be democratic……he desires total control on all aspects of government and even some within the legislative branch are enabling his moves toward authoritarianism.

American democracy is in danger!

That is the tale back when I was a radical wanting to rid ourselves of this system….it is humorous that they saw a danger then but do not see it now…..selective knowledge.

I do not think that our republic will be replaced with some sort of Trumpian mind fuck…..I just see the games being played that can be dangerous to our way of governance.

Did you know that about 1 in 4 Americans would accept authoritarian rule…..

A new survey reveals that although most Americans like to believe they prefer democracy over authoritarian forms of government, the actual content of their convictions can veer precipitously toward authoritarianism.

“If given a direct choice, the overwhelming majority of Americans choose democracy,” writes Lee Drutman, Larry Diamond and Joe Goldman of the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group. “In fact, on each of the five questions we asked, three quarters or more of all respondents provide at least some support for democracy, and half or more express support for the strongest pro-democratic option. By contrast, depending on the question, between an eighth and a quarter of respondents provide an answer that does not support democracy.”

https://www.salon.com/2018/03/16/more-than-one-in-four-americans-prefer-authoritarian-politics/#.Wq0YyHZOt8Y

A scary thought and turn of our democracy…..we should be careful and watchful….

Could this be the beginning of a 3rd revolution?

Get ready, America. According to a new study on inequality and revolutions throughout history, the United States soon may experience a profound paradigm shift, Inverse reports (with a hat tip to Lee Camp). A team of scientists at Washington State and 13 other institutions conducted the study, and their findings, published in the journal Nature, could have major implications for today’s world.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/revolution-u-s-brewing/

If accurate which way will it go?

Will the revolution be televised?

Maybe We Should Try It Sometime

We should all thank the gods above that we have a republic…..China just gave their president the title of “president for life” and other countries have done this in the past….that is what authoritarian leaders, dictators, do when they get the reins of power….they want to keep it as long as possible…..

There was a piece of disturbing news over the weekend…….

So nice, he said it twice: “President for life.” In a closed-door meeting with donors on Saturday, President Trump expressed praise for his Chinese counterpart’s ability to kill off term limits, reports CNN. “He’s now president for life,” Trump says of China’s President Xi Jingping. “President for life. No, he’s great. And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot some day.” It’s not clear whether he was kidding, Newsweek notes, and requests for comment from the White House were not returned. Trump also peppered his lengthy talk in the ballroom at Mar-a-Lago with a few political jabs:

  • “It’s a rigged system,” he says of US politics. “And we don’t have the right people in there yet. We have a lot of great people, but certain things, we don’t have the right people.”

When the MSM goes batcrap crazy over this statement then it will spun as some sort of joke but the problem is that he, Trump, has made other statements that fit well in authoritarian thinking….statement like the one during the White House summit on guns when he said that the law moved too slow that we should just take the assault weapons and then worry about the due process thing…..

But was it a joke?  Trump has given props to dictators in the past year or so……

Context, of course, is everything. Trump may well have been joking (CNN hasn’t yet released the audio of the remarks), but his comments about Xi’s hold on power in China, a Communist dictatorship, add to Trump’s long history of offering support or even outright praise for dictators and strongmen the world over.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/03/trump-xi-jinping-dictators/554810/

So personally, I do not think he was joking at all…..he would truly like to be the master of the universe…..starting with the US……

On The Road To Authoritarianism

There is a trend going on here in the US that is not something to be proud of…..I know we are according to the slogan “Making America Great Again”…..but the only thing that we are doing to our country is making it more authoritarian….

What does it feel like when a liberal democratic country turns the corner into authoritarianism?

America is changing. It isn’t always obvious and flagrant — like Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announcing that some opposition parties will not be allowed to take part in the country’s 2018 elections, or the Polish government changing the way the courts oversee the nation’s laws in order to advance the agenda of those currently in power. And neither are these changes necessarily all things that have happened only since President Trump’s election last year. Even if the authoritarian drift accelerated with Trump’s rise, it didn’t begin with him. He is its expression. We need to do everything we can to ensure he doesn’t end up being its culmination.

Doing that requires keeping our eyes open for and taking note of longer-term trends and signs of authoritarian drift that are sometimes difficult to detect.

http://theweek.com/articles/742632/americas-dawning-authoritarianism

What started off as a positive thing….the generals in the Trump cabinet would keep Trump on an even keel…..that has yet to materialize….if anything they are traveling the authoritarian road…..

An article yesterday at NBC focusing on Trump and “his” generals got me to thinking on this subject again.  Its author, Suzanne Garment, suggests that Trump likes generals as obedient alpha males.  They lend him credibility without directly threatening his delicate ego.  And there’s truth in this.

But I want to focus on other reasons for Trump’s preference for generals in high positions.  A year ago, I wrote an article for TomDispatch.com on “All the President’s Generals.”  That article focused mainly on the potential impact of these generals on America’s foreign policy and domestic culture.  As I wrote last December:

https://www.laprogressive.com/trump-authoritarianism/

It is not looking good for the country…..the American people need to stay informed and stay alert……we have a country to lose.