LUMPENPROLETARIAT—Oh, dang. Two men, who pull no punches. One brings a legal background, the other a comedic background. This is gonna be good. Let’s listen, learn, critique, discuss. Please leave your comments below. Cheers.
Featured video: “Glenn Greenwald: The Complete Interview!” by The Jimmy Dore Show, posted 23 NOV 2020, accessed 24 NOV 2020
One of the first topics discussed was censorship of media and alternative perspectives. Liberals, argued Greenwald and Dore, pick on easy right-wing targets, like Alex Jones, for censorship. But those liberals fail to realize the institutional abuse of power never stops there. Eventually, everyone is censored, if we allow censorship to begin.
Holy shit. Glenn Greenwald seemed to confirm what Alexa O’ Briensaid to me during the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations: “The culture wars are over. Everyone lost.” It’s just taking some of us longer to realize this, to perceive this fact. The capitalist rulers not only hate the left, they hate the right, too. All opposition to the elite rule is being targeted for censorship.
Glenn Greenwald pointed out that a big contributing factor to Biden’s presidential win is the fact that many Republicans drifted over to the Democrat Party, having recognized that the Democrat Party is now, without a doubt, the party of corporate power. If we are Democrats disappointed in corruption in the Democrat Party, we just can’t forget the Republican Party is also a corrupt handmaiden to corporate power, too. The answer isn’t to swing pendulum-like between two sides of a two-party dictatorship, it’s to expand party politics. Jimmy Dore talked about his past efforts to help build a third party movement. Many of us go back to the years of Ralph Nader, or further. At some point, we have to admit this dictatorship we live under is antidemocratic and does not allow any competition a chance to grow.
(c. 24:23) Jimmy Dore asks Glenn Greenwald about the longstanding problem with the misguided belief that progressive reformers within the Democrat Party will be able to capture the party from the left, which has never worked in the USA since the Second Red Scare and McCarthyism vilified, criminalized, and witch-hunted leftists after WWII. And, worse, as Jimmy Dore points out, having ostensibly leftist reformers within the Democrat Party, such as the Squad, creates a false sense of opposition among Democrats. Yet, the evidence proves that the Democrat Party is not a sincere opposition party to the Republican Party.
(c. 39:05) On Greenwald’s resignation from The Intercept over censorship issues. (Cf. “The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald Resigns Over Censorship Issues”, 31 OCT 2020)
(c. 1:01:49) On Greenwald’s abandoned friendships with Rachel Maddow, Chris Hays, and the topic of “cognitive capture”
[notes will be expanded as time constraints allow… cheers…]
LUMPENPROLETARIAT—Working class life means we’re often too busy or stressed out to read anything other than entertainment or what our jobs or small businesses require. And, when we do look up at The New York Times or The Washington Post, or tune in to NPR, to check what’s going on in the world, more often than not, we’re given a bullshit narrative. The real stuff is blurred. We turn to talk radio for a sense of community in our work trucks. But right-wing radio is bullshit, too. Or we download podcasts on our smartphones. But mealy-mouthed liberal media and NPR are also bullshit at least half the time, when it really counts. 
And the reality of how the world is getting uglier and uglier around us, as American politics get uglier, is hidden, or made easier to ignore for those who haven’t the stomach for it. And the bullies win. Systems of power are obfuscated. The working class is divided and conquered along ethnic, “racial”, and cultural lines of liberals and conservatives, triggered by white fragility and anchored by white supremacy and white privilege. The educated middle class liberal types in Silicon Valley, Manhattan or Los Angeles—comfortable and complacent, with their “Black Lives Matter” signs beside their “Biden 2020” signs on their front lawns—sit on the middle of the American political spectrum, unaware they’re not actually an opposition to the right-wing politics they bitch about.
So, the whole capture of the Supreme Court by antidemocratic politicians, by a Republican Party, within a two-party political cartel framework largely goes unnoticed. When it is, it’s met by working class grunts, liberal yawns, shrugs, and the ha-ha-ha emojis of my generation and adjacent generations. None of us seem to give a fuck. Or American atomization has obliterated popular political will, leaving only weak social ties and knee-jerk reaction. I mean it’s all I could talk about during the week of the confirmation hearings. Surely, I need to work on my delivery. How do we put into words the loss of human liberty? How do we show the world what we see? How can we steer the ship of state back towards democracy, and away from totalitarianism? How can we wake the folk up?
SCHEERPOST—[5 OCT 2020] All fascist and totalitarian movements paper over their squalid belief systems with the veneer of morality.
By Chris Hedges / Orginal to Scheerpost
The Christian Right is content to have the focus on Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett revolve around her opposition to abortion and membership in People of Praise, a far-right Catholic cult that practices “speaking in tongues.” What it does not want examined is her abject subservience to corporate power, her hostility to workers, civil liberties, unions and environmental regulations. And since the Democratic Party is beholden to the same donor class as the Republican Party, and since the media long ago substituted the culture wars for politics, the most ominous threat Barrett’s appointment to the court represents is going unmentioned.
All fascist and totalitarian movements paper over their squalid belief systems with the veneer of morality. They mouth pieties about restoring law and order, right and wrong, the sanctity of life, civic and family virtues, patriotism and tradition to mask their dismantling of the open society and silencing and persecution of those who oppose them. This is the real game being played by Christian fascists, which since the early 1970s have been building institutions with tens of millions in corporate donations to take power. Donald Trump, who has no ideology, has allowed the Christian Right to fill his ideological void. He is the useful idiot. And the Christian Right, awash in money from corporations that know their real political intent, will mobilize in this election to use any tool, no matter how devious, from right-wing armed militias to the invalidation of ballots, to block Joe Biden and Democratic candidates from assuming office. The road to despotism is always paved with righteousness. This was as true for Soviet communism as it was for German fascism. And it is true in the United States.
Capitalism, driven by the twin obsessions of maximizing profit and reducing the cost of production by slashing worker’s rights and wages, is antithetical to the Christian Gospel, as well as the Enlightenment ethic defined by Immanuel Kant. But capitalism, in the hands of the Christian fascists, has become sacralized in the form of the Prosperity Gospel, the belief that Jesus came to minister to our material needs, blessing believers with wealth and power. The Prosperity Gospel delights the corporations that have carried out the slow-motion corporate coup. This is why large corporations such as Tyson Foods, which places Christian Right chaplains in its plants, Purdue, Wal-Mart, and Sam’s Warehouse, along with many other corporations, pour money into the movement and its institutions such as Liberty University and Patrick Henry Law School. This is why corporations have given millions to groups such as the Judicial Crisis Network and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to campaign for Barrett’s appointment to the court. Barrett has ruled consistently in favor of corporations to cheat gig workers out of overtime, green light fossil fuel extraction and pollution and strip consumers of protection from corporate fraud. The watchdog group Accountable.US found that as a circuit court judge, Barrett “faced at least 55 cases in which citizens took on corporate entities in front of her court and 76% of the time she sided with the corporations.”
 I attempted to include two Wikipedia links, but neither one worked for some reason. When I tested the first hyperlink I embedded in the word “bullshit” in the last sentence of the first paragraph, I got an error message claiming the link didn’t exist or didn’t work, when in fact I had just used it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NPR#Controversies
The first hyperlink embedded in the previous use of the word “bullshit”, linked to an article on philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt’s work, On Bullshit. That one worked. But when I went to embed a link to an article critical of NPR, suddenly I got a technical glitch where hyperlinks don’t work. That’s a pity.
But the same thing happened. That link also didn’t work for some reason. WordPress is allowing to include these links in a clunky footnote at the bottom of this post. But each time I attempt to embed these links, WordPress will only direct readers to a bullshit placeholder making it look like a broken link, when the URL being linked is perfectly operational.
LUMPENPROLETARIAT—The Senate Judicial Committee began its Supreme Court Justice Confirmation Hearings today. The Republican Party seeks to install Republican Judge and Christian Right favorite Amy Coney Barrett on the U.S. Supreme Court.
In an unprecedented move, right-wing President Trump stands to seat his third Supreme Court justice. This will likely tip the scales on the nine-seat Supreme Court, 6 vs. 3, such that the Republican Party and Trump will be able to reverse six previously untouchable Supreme Court decisions (i.e., “super precendents”) by taking new controversial cases, which can overturn legal precedents, including Roe v. Wade, the Affordable Care Act, and same-sex marriage rights. And the Republican Party, along with their corporate funders and moneyed interests, have lined up those cases for the Supreme Court, just as they’ve filled it with right-wing ideologues.
The Republican Party has repeatedly tried to overturn those “super precedent” cases. That agenda has been part of the Republican Party platform, since at least 2016, when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both campaigned on promises of appointing judges, which would overturn Citizens United and Roe, respectively.
Meanwhile, Barrett has been on Trump’s shortlist for years. And Barrett, for her part, has checked all the necessary boxes in her meteoric rise to the Supreme Court after only four years on the bench. Barrett has been an activist in the right-wing Federalist society, which has effectively functioned as a feeder to the Republican Party’s Supreme Court nomination list. It’s obvious to any literate observers paying attention to this nomination process that Barrett is a Republican Party partisan and activist, who has carefully maneuvered her way to this position. Yet, Barrett will say she never expected to find herself in that position. Is she a wolf in sheep’s clothing, who will fulfill Trump’s 2016 promise? Will Amy Coney Barrett and the Republican Party gaslight the entire world? Or will Barrett prove to be non-partisan? They say the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.
Let’s listen closely and take notes, shall we?
Channel: PBS Newshour  Program: “The Barrett Confirmation Hearings” [Day 1], link Date: Monday, 12 OCT 2020
Ranking member Democrat Senator Feinstein offered a mealy-mouthed opening, with little-to-no forcefulness of opposition to the Trump judicial end run. She seemed more interested in preserving her political legacy, than in mounting a meaningful opposition to the Republican judicial confirmation.
Senator Grassley spoke in favor of the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Senator Durbin spoke against the confirmation of Republican Judge Barett
(c. 1:09:36) Senator Lee spoke again in favor of confirming Republican Judge Barrett.
(c. 40:52) Senator Leahy speaks against the confirmation of Judge Barrett.
(c. 1:20:54) [TW] Democrat Senator Whitehouse (Rhode Island) spoke against confirming Republican Judge Barrett to the Supreme Court.
(c. 1:31:30) Republican Senator Ted Cruz spoke in favor of confirming Republican Judge Barrett. He spoke nonchalantly about Barrett’s “impeccable” credentials. Never mind the broader political consequences to the credibility of the Supreme Court as an institution. Cruz argued that this Republican move is not unprecedented and cited the three branches checks and balances as reassurance to the public, even as the Republican Party’s agenda is to politically capture the Supreme Court.
Republican Senator Josh Hawley (Missouri) spoke in favor of confirming Republican Judge Barret to the Supreme Court. His rhetoric smacks of narcissistic abuse, in light ot the facts. But it likely played well to the Republican base.
(c. 2:25:22) Senator Blumenthal(sp?) [TW]
(c. 2:36:46) Republican Senator Tillis spoke in favor of confirming Republican judge Barrett.
(c. 2:43:09) Recess. Very interesting discussion. [TW]
(c. 3:07:25) A “political correspondent” reported live from the Senate building. Others joined later.
(c. 3:28:11) PBS host transitioned back to testimony in progress on the Senate floor. Senator Hirono began speaking a moment earlier. Woodruff and guest finished making one last point, as they watched Senator Hirono testifying.
(c. 3:32:35) PBS Host Judy Woodruff interrupted Senator Hirono’s testimony livestream to sign out of the televised broadcast. Woodruff informed viewers they must go online, if they want to continue observing the hearings. Never mind the digital divide.
(c. 3:39:10) Republican Senator Joni Ernst from Iowa spoke in favor, arguing against a “super legislature” in the Supreme Court. Ernst argued against “the left” and its “judicial activism” in the Supreme Court, evidently gaslighting the nation, as the Republican Party proceeds to do just what their blaming “the left” for doing. Ernst doesn’t even seem to understand the American political spectrum because there is no “left-wing” in the USA anymore, since the Second Red Scare and McCarhyism, when the Republican Party bullied society into criminalizing the entire left half of the political spectrum. Since then, the USA has only allowed center-right politics. Third party politics and political alternatives are marginalized, blocked, censored, and undermined. Ernst fearmongers against “the left”, but there is no “left” in the USA anymore. Ernst is complaining about Democrats, who are centrists. Socialists and communists were vilified, criminalized, and run aground after WWII. Ernst even sniped at the “left’s” accusation against Judge Barrett of being a “handmaid”, in an ominous reference to The Handmaid Tale right-wing dystopia.
(c. 3:47:40) Democratic Senator Corey Booker spoke against the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
(c. 4:00:03) Republican Senator Crapo spoke in favor of the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. Crapo made a series of straw man arguments, evidently hoping no one would notice.
Crapo bullshit argument number one: Republicans are railroading this in a legally unprecedented fashion. Crapo’s take-down of this argument involved listing a number of historical precedents when Supreme Court justices were seated within weeks of the passing of the previous Justice. Hogwash, he moaned. Of course, he knows as well as we do, the contention is not about the time between the death and the new confirmation. The contention is over the ethics of confirming a new justice so close to an election day, when millions of Americans have already voted, and there is a pandemic going on, as such controversial cases are at stake in an already conservative Supreme Court, in terms of the controversial cases.
Crapo bullshit argument number two. Crapo played some games of semantics around the terminology of the political science term, court packing. Crapo proceeded to gaslight the nation by claiming the Republican Party agenda is not to fill the Republican Party is not trying to fill the seat with ideologically conservative or right-wing justices. Crapo seemed to do this by deflecting to the personal character of Judge Barrett, rather than the political character of the Republican Party and its well publicized agenda.
When Crapo did talk about the Republican Party and its political character, he bemoaned that the Democrats had vetoed their earlier “$600 billion covid relief package.”
(c. 4:07:50) “Judge, let me talk about you,” said Crapo, before Crapo proceeding to once again laud Barrett’s personal character.
Another bullshit argument Crapo made was in his conclusion of celebrating Barrett’s bio. Crapo waxed poetically about how Barrett is a disciple of the right-wing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Crapo was either unaware, or feigned ignorance, of the fact that being a disciple of another judge makes a candidate less qualified for the Supteme Court, not more, because such a judge would be less independent, by definition. “She also stated that the judicial philosophy of Antonin Scalia was hers, too. […] That’s what we need,” he proclaimed triumphantly, a fresh new judge in the mold of Scalia, indeed personally mentored by Scalia.
(c. 4:11:00) Democrat Senator Kamala Harris spoke against the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S Supreme Court. Suspiciously, if comically, as the Democrat Vice Presidential nominee is about to speak, the Republican chair of the Senate Judicial Committee Mith McConnell struggled with technical difficulties, as Senator Harris sounded like she was in the middle of a Saturday Night Live satire.
(c. 4:21:30) [TW] Republican Senator John Kennedy from Louisiana spoke in favor of the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S Supreme Court. The Senator from Louisiana definitely turned up the volume and the drama on the Senate floor when he invoked the Democrat Party challenge to the previous Republican Party nomination to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. We recall Kavanaugh became embroiled in scandal stemming from allegations of his youthful indiscretions, when one “Christine Blasey Ford told the Washington Post Mr Kavanaugh had pinned her to a bed and tried to undress her when they were both teenagers.” That scandal arose in the context of his nomination by President Trump, who himself had to deal with a number of scandals himself. In one video, he was recorded talking about grabbing women by the pussy. Evidently, he was unaware such behavior constitutes sexual assault. Oy vey.
— snip —
(c. 4:3?2:30) [TW] Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee spoke in favor of the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S Supreme Court.
(c. 4:42:30) Republican Senator Lindsey Graham did some housekeeping, as chair of the Senate Judicial Committee.
(c. 4:45:06) A shillish Republican Senator interjected to ask what the obvious term “CDC compliant” means, which Graham ran with to fret about being accused of not testing for covid or wearing a mask and whatnot. The two engaged in a bit of political theater, which surely played well to the flag-wabing, gun-toting anti-maskers.
(c. 4:45:06) Grahamspeak
(c. 4:46:21) Republican Senator Todd Young spoke in favor of the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S Supreme Court.
(c. 4:51:02) Republican Senator Mike Braun from Indiana spoke in favor of the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S Supreme Court. Braun billed her as “a legal tiger that drives a minivan”, from the Midwest not the East Coast, he chided.
(c. 4:59:35) Judge Amy Coney Barrett spoke in favor of her own confirmation to the U.S Supreme Court.
(c. 5:11:50) O’Hara, Barrett’s “recruiter” spoke in favor of the confirmation of Republican Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S Supreme Court. Describing
(c. 5:19:28) Judicial Committee Chair Lindsey Graham gave his closing remarks, concluding Day One of the Amy Coney Barrett Confirmation Hearings.
“In October 2006 the media criticism group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) accused the NewsHour of lacking balance, diversity, and viewpoints of the general public, and for presenting corporate viewpoints. FAIR found that the NewsHour‘s guest list from October 2005 to March 2006 had Republicans outnumbering Democrats 2–1, and minorities accounting for 15 percent of U.S.-based sources. FAIR also protested in 1995 when Liberty Media purchased a majority of the program, citing Liberty’s majority owner, John Malone, for his “Machiavellian business tactics” and right-wing sentiments.”