Monday 18th of February 2019

in the race to the bottom of presidential election: when god, guns and greed ran texas' luck...

perry 2nd

Oops, he did it again: Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is officially launching his second campaign for president today. He's expected to announce his bid flanked by combat veterans in the Dallas suburb of Addison. His entry to the race swells the growing GOP field to 10 official candidates.

Perry served for three terms as governor of the Lone Star State before stepping down earlier this year. He last ran for president in 2012, when he briefly was considered the GOP's strongest conservative alternative to Mitt Romney until a few high-profile gaffes convinced many Republicans he wasn't up to the job. Perry enters a far more crowded field this cycle, and faces stiff competition from fellow Texan Sen. Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson,  former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum to win over the social conservatives who have supported him in the past.

read more:


prof. perry on rewriting history...


Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally announced his new presidential bid earlier today. Perry’s speech included some unconvincing populist rhetoric and criticisms of corporatism that contradict Perry’s own record of cronyism while governor, and he made gushing promises not to “forget” poor and marginalized citizens that were equally credible. He didn’t spend much time on foreign policy, but what he did say would be worrisome if there were any realistic chance that he could become president.

First, he asserted that America “had won the war” in Iraq by the start of 2009. That isn’t true, and it is a mark of a real Iraq war dead-ender or the most cynical partisan (or both) to claim this. The idea that there was a victory in Iraq that was subsequently squandered is not just shoddy, self-serving history for the party that is most closely identified with the war. It is also a pernicious bit of myth-making that is designed to avoid learning anything from the debacle, and it is an attempt to pin the blame for the war’s disastrous consequences on the people opposed to it. Dominic Tierney recently observed that Americans like to believe that the U.S. should always win the wars that it fights, and that makes the repeated failures in major foreign wars since 1945 difficult to accept or understand. As Andrew Bacevich explains in the current issue of TAC, hawks take advantage of this by inventing convenient, self-congratulatory stories about how the war was won or would have been won if not for the fecklessness of political leaders...


junk religion...


This week the Grabber-in-Chief surrounded himself with a lot of religious types and laid down the law: there would be more guns on federal lands, references to LGBTQI people would not appear as part of the federal program to deal with victims of sex trafficking, and there would be no federal money for international groups that advocate abortion.

Policies for guns and God have got a real shot in the arm.

The war on science also continues. The New York Times reports that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has been ordered to stop studying the health risks associated with blowing the tops off mountains to get at the coal seams. This activity has been associated with an increased rate of birth defects and other health problems for those unfortunate enough to be living close to coalmining activities.

There has also been a purge of government scientists who work on the connection between human activity and climate change.

In fact, there is an all-out effort at the Environmental Protection Agency to abolish use of the words “climate change”. The preferred term is “weather extremes”.

There have also been some terrific appointments. David Zatezalo is to be assistant secretary of labour at the Mine Safety and Health Administration. He’s a former coal company executive who is unhappy about mine safety regulations.

Then there’s Sam Clovis, who has been nominated to be the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist. He’s not actually a scientist but a former talkback radio shock jock and “incendiary blogger” who says climate change is “junk science”.

read more:


read from top, especially the cartoon which is spookily prophetic... "any idiot can become president"...


dangerous dual obsession...


In this provocative book, Andrew Bacevich warns of a dangerous dual obsession that has taken hold of Americans, conservatives, and liberals alike. It is a marriage of militarism and utopian ideology--of unprecedented military might wed to a blind faith in the universality of American values. This mindset, the author warns, invites endless war and the ever-deepening militarization of U.S. policy. It promises not to perfect but to pervert American ideals and to accelerate the hollowing out of American democracy. As it alienates others, it will leave the United States increasingly isolated. It will end in bankruptcy, moral as well as economic, and in abject failure.

With The New American Militarism, which has been updated with a new Afterword, Bacevich examines the origins and implications of this misguided enterprise. He shows how American militarism emerged as a reaction to the Vietnam War. Various groups in American society--soldiers, politicians on the make, intellectuals, strategists, Christian evangelicals, even purveyors of pop culture--came to see the revival of military power and the celebration of military values as the antidote to all the ills besetting the country as a consequence of Vietnam and the 1960s. The upshot, acutely evident in the aftermath of 9/11, has been a revival of vast ambitions and certainty, this time married to a pronounced affinity for the sword. Bacevich urges us to restore a sense of realism and a sense of proportion to U.S. policy. He proposes, in short, to bring American purposes and American methods--especially with regard to the role of the military--back into harmony with the nation's founding ideals.


Read more:


Andrew J. Bacevich, Sr. (born July 5, 1947) is an American historian specializing in international relationssecurity studiesAmerican foreign policy, and American diplomatic and military history. He is a Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at the Boston University Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies.[1] He is also a retired career officer in the Armor Branch of the United States Army, retiring with the rank of Colonel. He is a former director of Boston University's Center for International Relations (from 1998 to 2005), now part of the Pardee School of Global Studies.[1]

Bacevich has been "a persistent, vocal critic of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, calling the conflict a catastrophic failure."[2] In March 2007, he described George W. Bush's endorsement of such "preventive wars" as "immoral, illicit, and imprudent."[2][3] His son, Andrew Bacevich Jr., also an Army officer, died fighting in the Iraq War in May 2007...