Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 19, 2020

Supreme Court Fight Exposes Bipartisan Hypocrisy

On Friday the liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. The discussion about the Senate confirmation of her replacement reveals the utter hypocrisy of U.S. politics and politicians.

The stakes are high:

The blunt fact is that the opportunity to seat a third justice represents a monumental political opportunity for President Trump. He would go down in history as one of the most significant presidents, whether or not he wins a second term. The last Republican president to install three justices in his first term was Richard M. Nixon. A likely Trump nominee would be Notre Dame’s Amy Coney Barrett, whom Trump has previously considered for a seat on the court.

Trump will have the opportunity to put the final seal of defeat on the liberal era that began with the Roosevelt administration and ran through the Obama administration. A sixth Republican justice would essentially ensure that any sweeping liberal programs a President Joe Biden or another Democratic president might endorse would be condemned to the ash heap of history before it even had an opportunity to become established.

The Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is now arguing that any decision over the new supreme court judge should be left to the next president:

The Senate shouldn't take up the vacancy on the Supreme Court opened by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg until after voters have expressed their choice in the election, former Vice President Joe Biden said Friday.

The Democratic presidential helpful kept in lockstep with his colleagues now in the Senate minority, who wasted little time after the announcement of Ginsburg's death in stating their belief that Washington must wait.

Unsurprisingly the Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell disagrees with Biden:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said unequivocally Friday night that President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to fill the vacancy of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

Four and a half years ago the situation was inverse. Then President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to replace the deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The Republican led Senate blocked the decision:

On February 13, 2016, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died. Later that day, Senate Republicans led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement that they would not consider any nominee put forth by Obama, and that a Supreme Court nomination should be left to the next President of the United States. President Obama responded that he intended to "fulfill my constitutional duty to appoint a judge to our highest court," and that there was no "well established tradition" that a president could not fill a Supreme Court vacancy during the U.S. President's last year in office.
After a period of 293 days, Garland's nomination expired on January 3, 2017 at the end of the 114th Congress. On January 31, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the Court vacancy. On April 7, 2017, the Senate confirmed Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Mitch McConnell's argumentation back then was the opposite of his current one.

The same holds for Joe Biden. Contrary to his current position then Vice President Joe Biden argued in 2016 that the Senate should proceed with the Garland nomination. His problem though was the he had earlier argued differently:

Vice President Joe Biden slammed Senate Republicans Thursday for citing the "Biden Rule" as reasoning for why they won't hold a hearing for Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick.

In a Thursday speech, Biden called Republicans "frankly ridiculous" for relying on comments he made in 1992 about the dangers of holding Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the midst of presidential elections.

Biden's 1992 position, which he contradicted in 2016, is the same one he is espousing now:

In the part of Biden's 1992 speech that has been oft-cited by McConnell and other Republicans, Biden said then-President George H.W. Bush shouldn't name a nominee if a vacancy arose until after that year's November election.

"Should a justice resign this summer and the president move to name a successor, actions that will occur just days before the Democratic Presidential Convention and weeks before the Republican Convention meets, a process that is already in doubt in the minds of many will become distrusted by all," he said. "Senate consideration of a nominee under these circumstances is not fair to the president, to the nominee, or to the Senate itself."

While McConnell flip-flopped on the issue Biden exceeded his hypocrisy by flip flopping to then flip again. Neither of them has principals. Neither of them is serious in their arguments. That is because they are just two slightly diverging men serving the same unitary oligarchy:

The opportunistic galvanization process has already begun before Ginsburg’s body is even cold, with liberal influencers calling Democrats to rally to a November win for “the notorious RBG” and Trump supporters dropping their faux anti-establishment schtick and metamorphosing into a bunch of mini-Mitch McConnells. Leftists are being shrieked at by mainstream Dems that they need to fall in line and support Biden or they’re personally responsible for every civil right that is taken away by Ginsburg’s replacement.
If you understand that America has a two-headed one-party system designed to shrink the spectrum of acceptable debate down to arguments about how oligarchic agendas should be facilitated rather than if they should, what you see is a single entity threatening to take away your civil liberties if you don’t support it. A single establishment threatening to punch you with its right hand if you don’t let it punch you with its left.

All the screaming that will follow now is in vane. Hillary Clinton could offer to replace Ruth Ginsburg but the funeral home would likely reject that. The die is now cast.

The only question left is if McConnell will shepherd Trump's nominee through the Senate confirmation before or after the November 3 election.

If he proceeds now he puts some of the Republican senators in swing states into a tough position. Voting for Trump's nominee could put off centrist voters they need to hold onto their seats while not voting with Trump would enrage their Republican base. If McConnell waits there is a risk that Biden wins the election and maybe Democrats win the Senate. He would still have several weeks before Democrats would take power but some Republican senators might be squeamish about pushing a nominee through after losing an election.

Whatever way he chooses it is likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will soon have a solid conservative majority.

As much hagiography Ruth Ginsburg is now receiving it is her and the Democrats fault that this is happening. Ginsburg should have resigned when she was urged to do so:

The calls for Ginsburg to step down began in 2011 when Randall Kennedy, a Harvard law professor and former clerk to the late Thurgood Marshall, wrote a piece in The New Republic gently urging Ginsburg, then 78, to retire while Obama was in office.
After Obama’s 2012 reelection, the Ginsburg retirement calls came with a new urgency. In December 2013, the National Journal ran a piece titled, Justice Ginsburg: Resign Already!, in which writer James Oliphant observed that the passage of Obamacare would likely hand Senate control to the Republicans in 2014, thus preventing Obama from naming a Ginsburg successor.

In summer 2013 then President Barack Obama invited Ginsburg for a talk. It was seen as a request to her to retire. But Obama did not offer an adequate replacement for her position. The details are not know but Ginsburg rejected whoever Obama had in mind:

Referring to the political polarization in Washington and the unlikelihood that another liberal in her mold could be confirmed by the Senate, Ginsburg, the senior liberal on the nine-member bench, asked rhetorically, “So tell me who the president could have nominated this spring that you would rather see on the court than me?”

Ginsburg, in a wide-ranging 75 minute interview with Reuters in her chambers late on Thursday, also acknowledged that President Barack Obama had invited her to a private lunch last summer at the White House. It was an unusual move, she conceded.
Ginsburg said on Thursday that even if she had retired, the president would have been more likely to have chosen a compromise candidate than a liberal.

The good-enough centrist nominee Obama offered as a replacement for the progressive Ginsburg was, in her judgment, not perfect enough. In consequence important Supreme Court decisions like Roe vs. Wade are now in jeopardy.

Liberals should rue this but are unfortunately unlikely to learn from it.

Posted by b on September 19, 2020 at 12:12 UTC | Permalink


Principal means leading, main, head, as in the principal is the head teacher. Moral imperatives or laws of nature are principles.

Nothing is ever in vane, as a vane is a rigid surface designed to be pushed by a fluid like water or air. Fans and propellers have vanes. Things are in vain when they useless, like being a grammar nazi is in vain. Or in vanity, perhaps.

Trivia aside, it is generally conceded that people should at least piss on the grave, not the corpse. Ginsburg is dead and can't really be punished any more. Reviling her now is partisan fury, which looks kind of strange, almost hypocritical, in a post denouncing partisan hypocrisy, doesn't it?

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 19 2020 12:47 utc | 1

Is anyone surprised by the actions of either party? Didn't think so. The republitards will win, when they need to be, they are quite ruthless.

"... arguments about how oligarchic agendas should be facilitated rather than if they should ..."


"A single establishment threatening to punch you with its right hand if you don’t let it punch you with its left."

Interesting analogy, I might have to use this one in the future, it is probably more socially palatable than one I have used in the past about getting fucked.

I am not looking forward to the additional shit show coming down the pike, in the middle of the shit show that is the presidential election.

All manner of hysterics and "end of democracy/rule of law" wailing and gnashing to begin momentarily.

Posted by: visak | Sep 19 2020 13:19 utc | 2

Capital and capitol is another frequent one. But not for me Spanish speaker, my many mistakes are on the saxon part of english, the latin one is plain Spanish.

I guess we have the politicians that we deserve, a painful picture all over the west, but especially acute in the US,

Posted by: Paco | Sep 19 2020 13:24 utc | 3

Those collapses of "rule of law" are inevitable in the Republic political model. Republics tend to degenerate and collapse to civil wars precisely because they seek the utopian goal reducing very important societal issues (class struggle) to a children's game (elections).

The efficacy of a Republic is inversely proportional to the height of the stakes involved.

And it was precisely because of that that the Roman Republic collapsed: it was all fine and dandy when what was put to vote in the Senatus was "let's conquer Gallia!", "let's destroy Carthage!", "let's help the Greeks!", "let's intervene in Egypt!" etc. etc. But when it came to land reform, the game suddenly stopped being funny: Gaius Gracchus' head "collected" in the Forum and its weight in gold was paid to its murderer by the Senate itself (on the other side of the same Forum); almost 100 years later Iulius Caesar invaded Italia itself and became the first emperor of Rome; a couple decades later his son Gaius Octavius founded the Principate.

The lesson for the Republic (liberal/representative democracy) lovers can be only one: it stops mattering/being fun when the stakes are high.

Posted by: vk | Sep 19 2020 13:33 utc | 4

As far as i can tell this is another log piled upon an already raging fire. It's looking to be a warmer than average November.....

Posted by: Chevrus | Sep 19 2020 13:52 utc | 5

There's nothing hypocritical about the Republicans' pushing to fill that seat. It was purely naked political advantage that gave them the power to block an Obama nomination in 2016 and it's the same now for them to push through Trump's now. "Principle" be damned: it's politics and one should use any advantage one has, particularly in the peculiar instance of Supreme Court composition.

Posted by: A. Pols | Sep 19 2020 13:56 utc | 6

Y'know, I can think of about ten thousand things that are more important to me right now, from the personal to the universal, than which corporate stooge becomes a lifetime judge in an evil imperalist country that's falling apart anyway.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Sep 19 2020 14:11 utc | 7

That the Democrats are the other face of the u.s. political Janus is a truism. So why this moral set-off B? A solid right-wing majority in the u.s. Constitutional Court would be a catastrophe. Everyone in the United States who can count on three politically knows this. RBG's death will motivate many who did not want to vote because of Biden to do so in order to prevent the election of another reactionary constitutional judge. The precondition is, of course, that the Senate does not manage to pass a replacement for RBG before the elections. But the Democrats will come up with enough to prevent this. It is only 6 weeks.

Posted by: pnyx | Sep 19 2020 14:45 utc | 8

It is about power; shared power. Each branch of government can make their own decisions in this case. The democrats eliminated the 60 vote rule and the filibuster in the case of judge selections so they have themselves to blame. What was said in the past is irrelevant.

The left will move into a tailspin of rioting and burning because they cannot get their way and guarantee a Trump victory. Any energy added to the base will be negated by their violence and the media's harping of their panicked narratives.

What is it about power that you hang onto it until death knocks at the door and it is too late?

Posted by: circumspect | Sep 19 2020 14:46 utc | 9


Now West should sit on its backside, shut up and listen to “the others”
By Andre Vltchek | Sep 16, 2020

I have just spent two weeks in the United States, analyzing the profound crises of U.S. society. I visited Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, New York, and Boston. I spoke to many people in all those places. What I witnessed was confusion and total ignorance about the rest of the world. The United States, a country which has been brutalizing our Planet for decades, is absolutely unable to see itself in the context of the entire world. People, including those from the media, are outrageously ignorant and provincial. And they are selfish.
I asked many times:
“Do black lives matter all over the world? Do they matter in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and do they matter in West Papua?”
I swear, I received no coherent answers . . . whatsover !!??

Western political talk, academic chatter, Hollywood mental hallucinogenic degeneracy, Disney brain damage since early childhood, mass media surreal narratives – these are all reducing our human race to nothing, to intellectual zero. Colonialist, imperialist, racist concepts of North America and Europe are simply not good enough for the world.

Now under the leadership of WikiPedia: Distortion, Misinfromatinm Censorship & Propaganda

W Chua
A salute to the CIA declassified Document policy:
Question: Does this CIA declassified Document evidence of the so-called "estimated 30-50 million Chinese people die of starvation in the 1957 Great Leap Forward a Hoax?
The 1989 Tiananmen Square “Massacre”?And the media agenda:
The Power of Words vs. Silent Evidence" by Wei Ling Chua

Two Big Differences Between Stalin and Hitler

Other Losses by James Bacque
In just a couple of years about a million prisoners died in the American camps for German prisoners of war ... I
It was on YT but the video got banned. The new normal there.

Posted by: Ashino | Sep 19 2020 14:49 utc | 10

"It is about power; shared power"
not really, it is all about taking power, there is no "sharing power", especially here in the (Deep) Corporate States of America.

Posted by: Perimetr | Sep 19 2020 14:59 utc | 11

Frankly - the Supremos should not be in their jobs till they decide to retire or finally drop dead. No one should have a taxpayer paid lifetime appointment, undoubtedly one with a nice pay packet and accessories, especially one where one has a fair bit of UN-ELECTED power.

As for refraining from speaking "ill" of the dead - really? Why not, if their past actions and/or words warrant such criticism? And clearly RBG really, really enjoyed the attention being on the court provided, or she would have retired when her side of the Janus party had its opportunity to replace her (as B writes).

Posted by: Anne | Sep 19 2020 15:04 utc | 12

"Caesar invaded Italia itself and became the first emperor of Rome; a couple decades later his son Gaius Octavius founded the Principate .."

"his son Gaius Octavius" -> "his grand-nephew & adopted son Gaius Octavius"
"first emperor" -> "first lifetime dictator of Rome"

"Dictator" was a constitutional office of the Roman Republic. Caesar's only wrinkle was to make it perpetual.

Posted by: Webster | Sep 19 2020 15:13 utc | 13

Party pooping with his super duper, another one from the book. To start with, Trump talks about technology theft for hypersonic weaponry, just a couple of days before Russia celebrates the day of the Armory, lets call it like that, and to congratulate via video-conference the scientist in charge of the Avangard project, during which Putin stated that at times Russia was vulnerable facing the deployment of anti missile systems close to its borders. He thanks the team that has made possible the deployment of those systems since 2019.

The official translation is Gunsmith Day, but Armory was close.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 19 2020 15:46 utc | 14

Thanks b, for an excellent report of the situation.

Apologies for the off-topic but just to inform people, Stephen F. Cohen has also died:
Stephen F. Cohen, pre-eminent contemporary American scholar of Russia & USSR, friend of Gorbachev & advisor to Bush, dies at 81

That's a loss that I suspect many of us will truly mourn.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 19 2020 15:52 utc | 15

thanks b for the overview... the whole usa political system is extremely polluted... i really like how you have been able to add humour into the story here -
"Hillary Clinton could offer to replace Ruth Ginsburg but the funeral home would likely reject that. The die is now cast."

@ 14 grieved.... thanks.. i was sorry to read of that as well... he was a voice of sanity in an echo chamber of craziness...

Posted by: james | Sep 19 2020 15:57 utc | 16

What a mess. Pancreatic cancer doesn't normally take very long to do you in. In that sense she did surprisingly well.

On the other hand I don't believe at this stage in our devolution one more reactionary judge is going to make much difference, so I don't want to join in any fighting over gets the slot in her place.

Might well derail the election further, easy to see that.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 19 2020 16:00 utc | 17

I would like to take issue with RBG's motivation for not retiring under the Obama regime. IMHO she correctly saw through Obama's well crafted veneer as a "Democrat" and understood he would appoint another corporatist, as was his history.

Why she thought she would receive a better shot under a Clinton regime is unknown to me, but then nobody but Thomas Frank saw the possibility of a Trump triumph in 2016, as Clinton was thought by everyone including Trump that she would receive her coronation. As everyone knows from Wikileaks she assured Trump would win the Republican nomination through her connections with CNN, as she thought he could never possibly win against her machine.

RBG just like all on the Demo side of the oligarchs never understood how deeply the Clintons were hated by those in the Clinton deindustrialized Rust Belt.

Posted by: Michael | Sep 19 2020 16:08 utc | 18

Some editing would have been useful here. Basic mistakes detract from the credibility.

Posted by: jasmoran | Sep 19 2020 16:16 utc | 19

@ Posted by: Webster | Sep 19 2020 15:13 utc | 12

According to Suetonius (De vita caesarium) - a famous Roman historian who lived during Hadrian (during the height of the Roman Empire) - Gaius Iulius Caesar was the de facto first emperor ("Caesar").

Roman law put the adopted son at the same status as the biological son, so Gaius Octavius Thurinus was, beyond any interpretation, Gaius Iulius Caesar's son. By republican-era law convention, his name must've changed to Gaius Iulius Caesar Octavianus (i.e. a Gaius Iulius Caesar from the gens Octavia) after the adoption. After he founded the "Principate", he adopted the title (one of the many he received) "Augustus" probably because of personal taste and political propaganda.

Family (gens) had a completely different meaning and function in Ancient Rome compared to our times. In Rome, it was a literal political institution, which included not only the paterfamilias and his children, but also his slaves, clients and freedmen. It was essentially what we call nowadays a mafia ("cosa nostra"). The paterfamilias had absolute power, and could condemn any member in it to death (although executing his own sons was already considered archaic by the Late Republic). The wife remained in her father's gens (i.e. she was always her father's daughter first, wife second), and her power depended directly on her father's power in relation to her husband's. In this context, it's not hard to understand why adopted children were considered as important as biological children: the gens was an institution (political) before it was a natural (biological) formation.

"Augustus", however, wasn't Gaius Octavianus' favorite title. His favorite one was pater patriae (father of the fatherland) - a title he refused to receive from the Senate until he was old and near his death. According to Goldsworthy, he cried after he received the title. It's important to understand that the concept of "patria" was also completely different in Ancient Rome: it was the city from which your gens (family) came from and was a patron. Hadrian himself, for example, was born and raised in Italia (at the outskirts of Rome) but was considered (and he considered himself) a Spaniard for the simple fact his gens was a local elite from a city in Hispania. There was no concept of nationalism or patriotism in Antiquity.

Posted by: vk | Sep 19 2020 16:17 utc | 20

H. Ross Perot ran against the first Clinton in 1992 on a platform against free trade deindustrialization of the US. That was not because Clinton, who wasn't president until 1993. NAFTA, focus of Perot's irate remark about the "giant sucking sound," wasn't Clinton's doing either. Deindustrialization started with the failures of the US auto market to meet Japanese competition, which predates the Great God Reagan. Deindustrialization as union busting is ignored but highly important, by the way. Every comment about Clinton deindustrialization is Trumpery, BS designed to support the Big Lie that Trump is an economic nationalist. Trump is for finance capital, which is innately international. Nazis, overt and covert, pretend "international" means Jewish, but then, they are all scumbags.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 19 2020 16:22 utc | 21

Means nothing Ginsberg was not a champion of anyone but the elites. Today as has been the case every day for the past 75 years the US is slaughtering innocent people in Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Belarus, Venezuela and over 50 other countries. Hundreds of people will be killed today more will be added to the 37 million people displaced by Western imperial conquest.

People ignore it but Western civilization is built on the pathologies of division and domination and can not be sustained.

The sanctification of the earth through strife and labor is what the Western empire is about and the slaughter of innocents is just part of the territory.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Sep 19 2020 16:29 utc | 22

That's terrible to hear about Stephen Cohen I've been worried about him since January when he stopped doing his weekly interviews with John Bachelor and he hadn't written any articles since Apr. With Cohen's passing there are now no major figures actively advocating detente with Russia (the closest would be John Mearsheimer, but he's somewhat of a hawk on China). Cohen rarely went on CNN, i think the last time he went on CNN, Max Boot was the co-panelist and called Cohen to his face a "Russian Apologist for the last 45 years", Cohen was flabbergasted by Boots Mccarthyite smear and Anderson Cooper just stood there and let his guest be mocked.

I dont think Cohen ever really accepted that American political discourse has collapsed over the past 20 years and that men of real intellect and honesty are not welcome in the halls of the powerful. The current crop of Western mainstream politicians and media pundits will ignore his passing in favor of their political games, but the loss of this great intellect, voice of diplomacy and defender of truth will be far more keenly felt throughout the world over the coming years than any judge.

Posted by: Kadath | Sep 19 2020 16:41 utc | 23

steven t johnson | Sep 19 2020 16:22 utc | 20

I always find it amusing when people get angry and make emotional generalizations regarding history. Just because the Dumpster used Bill Clinton's failings to win his 2016 run doesn't mean those events did not occur. To pronounce historical facts as rubbish, just to maintain a false legacy of a regime does not display effective critical thinking.

Yes, the corporations did push for exporting jobs prior to the Clinton Regime, as was always their goal, but following NAFTA and following the fleecing Robert Rubin agreed to by better prepared negotiators from China light manufacturing employment in the US plummeted. I recall listening to NPR reports about how Wal-Mart pressured manufacturers to move of offshore to meet the pricing demands of that company. Also, lliberal Thomas Frank in "Listen Liberal" discussed this and was banished to the hinterlands by the Demo machine due to his critical analysis.

My friend, methinks thou do protest too much.

Posted by: Michael | Sep 19 2020 17:00 utc | 24

>> any sweeping liberal programs a President Joe Biden or another Democratic president might endorse

Oh, FFS. The only “liberal” programs are distraction for greater theft by the wealthy warlords via other programs.

Also: the D’s went along with Trump’s picks before, albeit with some kabuki one should expect from controlled opposition. There’s no reason they wont go along with the next corporate pick. The real reason they’ll sensationalize this is to promote The Democracy Show. (JR, isn’t that what you call it?). The conmen want to see people vote (for either of two parties) because it proves their tricks remain potent enough for business to continue as usual.

Posted by: oglalla | Sep 19 2020 17:07 utc | 25

I believe that Senate Republicans will confirm Trump's nominee after the election in the so-called "lame duck" session before a new Congress is seated. From a purely electoral standpoint, there are potential openings for the Democrats to exploit at this point:

1. Every Democratic candidate for Congress, both in the House and the Senate, should campaign non-stop on a promise to pass legislation that will ensure the right of all women in the United States to have safe and legal abortions. Such legislation, when signed by a Democratic President, will rob a conservative Supreme Court of the power to withdraw that right by overturning the Roe v. Wade decision. The pro-choice law should be written so as to be absolutely bullet proof against legal challenges and state level skullduggery and evasion.

2. Biden and candidates for Congress should promise, if elected, to expand the Supreme Court by two seats. This will serve to re-balance the overwhelmingly reactionary tilt of the Court that is far removed from popular sentiment.

Both of these campaign promises will awaken women and progressive voters from their slumber induced by the Biden nomination and the pathetic Democratic leadership in Congress. The chance of regaining a majority in the Senate will be increased. Ripple effects might be felt all the way down to state and local elections. And most importantly, if all goes according to plan, the inexorable rightward shift in U.S. governance will be slowed, if not stopped.

Posted by: Rob | Sep 19 2020 17:09 utc | 26

We Have Lost a Real Giant (Stephen F. Cohen Has Died)!

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 19 2020 17:19 utc | 27

With many cases before the US Supreme Court, all involving obvious corruption of local government, and state and federal judiciaries, all ignored by them, and knowing that the court is utterly corrupt and makes a life work of sabotaging the US Constitution and laws, I don't think that a bit more corruption will make a difference. The entire US judiciary is corrupt from top to bottom in every state, along with the executive and legislative branches and mass media. Only their complete replacement and restructuring of the Constitution would bring a semblance of democracy. The US government cannot be repaired, and the sooner it is recycled, the better for its people and the world.

Posted by: Sam F | Sep 19 2020 17:31 utc | 28

Michael@23 somehow imagines that the consequences of things like NAFTA continuing during Clinton's presidency, aided and abetted by the invocation of Robert Rubin (on the grounds this is supposed to be a Jewish name, or reference to Jewish Goldman Sachs?) somehow negates the historical fact that it wasn't Clinton who deindustrialized the US. Pretending it was Clinton, which is what Michael did in the comment, was and still is pure Trumpery. Since Trump didn't even win the vote with Trump's supposed fake claim it was Clinton who rusted the Rust Belt, mentioning Clinton served no other purpose than to pretend Trump is an oppositionist to something Bad. The hatred for the Clintons started with their supposed nefarious scheme to put gays in the military. Hilary personally was reviled as a lesbian who murdered Vince Foster and trafficked in child sex slaves (or maybe made matzoh from infant corpses) long before the kissers of Trump's ass (selectively) fastened on the advanced social decay. Trump lost the votes and winning the Electoral College was a fluke and pretending RBG was a vile fool who believed Hilary Clinton was more popular is a Big Lie of the Goebbels variety.

As for the likes of Michael being amused? They should quit looking in the mirror.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 19 2020 17:31 utc | 29

jasmoran @ 18 - You what?

B(Bernhardt) is German, for goodness sake. I'll bet his English is better than your German.... Plenty of Americans (and now even Beeb Brits) make awful errors of English - and think they're A-OK. They can't distinguish between (for example) the simple past and the past participle thus say such as I heard diese morgen: "have CAME!!!!!!!" We get: Had/have Went? Lay (down) when Lie (down) should be used (and I don't mean telling untruths); then there's the apparent reality that most Americans don't know (not taught, don't read?) their comparitives and superlatives...

Where do these (?) so-called English speakers of the native variety learn their grammar - not by reading excellent writers or having teachers who know one end of the English language from another.

So - B is excellent - very much so by comparison with even the so-called "well -educated" American...

Posted by: Anne | Sep 19 2020 17:33 utc | 30

I'm sorry about the "diese morgen" B - please know that my middle name is "Salvatore" - or would be were the truth to be told. I have so many scraps of French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Italian running around in my head (having lived with my late husband in many different countries) and they pop up now and then (and I blurt them out... at any moment)...

Posted by: Anne | Sep 19 2020 17:39 utc | 31

And Stephen Cohen's death is far more troubling, concerning to me than is RBG's. He was not, in general, at least, an integral part of the ruling elites...And didn't expect to be employed until he dropped dead...

Posted by: Anne | Sep 19 2020 17:42 utc | 32

"Neither of them is serious in their arguments. That is because they are just two slightly diverging men serving the same unitary oligarchy"

They don't deserve that much credit.

Both say whatever serves the moment to win for their side. It does not matter what they must say to win, they'll say either or both sides of anything.

What matters to them is their own win, their own reach for power.

With that power, they mean to serve their own set of the wealthy donor elite. In that way, yes it is serving the oligarchy, but a divided greedy grasping oligarchy always at odds with the others in it.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Sep 19 2020 18:07 utc | 33

Nothing matters but what I see and feel with my eyes and heart. Side shows like this do not distract me. I'm watching my neighborhood and the small city where I live. Good luck to anyone/group who wants to impose their rule of law on others. Just a waiting game now.

Posted by: so | Sep 19 2020 18:12 utc | 34

There I was marveling at the brilliantly understated German humor somehow conveyed in English and then some ignorant monolingual has to come and criticize the grammar.

I'm sorry, jasmoran @18, but your advice is out of place.

Posted by: William Gruff | Sep 19 2020 18:18 utc | 35

With the empanelling of another hard-right S.C. judge, the Corporate Oligarchy adds another arrow to its quiver of over-whelming power ... the next decade offers a very depressing outlook of attacks on rights and freedoms.
At some point, the 99% have to organize themselves to establish a credible third party to oppose the legislators completely in the pockets of the Corporate Oligarchy.

Posted by: chet380 | Sep 19 2020 18:34 utc | 36


Brilliant diagnosis of the ills of a Republic. Electioneering is a child's play indeed! Calling the USA judiciary system a 'justice' system, and the personas at the top 'Justices', is a laughable travesty of humanity.

No, there are no decent human beings amongst the top three/four layers of people within the US justice system. There are only cohorts and opportunistic weasels occupying offices that are meant to manipulate and pacify a domicile population towards behaviors that benefit the deep state. When, oh when, would the stake be high enough for the shenanigan to stop mattering for this republic to collapse???

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Sep 19 2020 18:44 utc | 37

Sam F | Sep 19 2020 17:31 utc | 27:

The growing division among the people and rampant corruption in all levels of government makes it impossible for any agreement on a complete replacement / restructuring of the Constitution. The US is heading towards dissolution.

Posted by: Ian2 | Sep 19 2020 18:45 utc | 38

Lot of good people passing away this year.

Also a little sad to see the pundit-sphere going right to the nomination drama, less than a day after. 24 hour news cycle...

The commenter above who mentioned the lame duck session makes an interesting point. That is one fallback position for McConnell. Although he may well prefer the drama of a fight, putting up a nominee around the end of the month just so Republicans get to drive the news flow, play the victim, and take the issue off the table before the election. A supreme court seat at this point is arguably worth as much as a term of Trump presidency, although not as much as continued control of the Senate.

Posted by: ptb | Sep 19 2020 18:58 utc | 39

I would concur with sentiments that the entire US Establishment is corrupt to the core. The Democrats are most decidedly not working on "sweeping liberal programs", and the last of them to do so in the 1960s were murdered. The most consequential Supreme Court decision of recent times effectively ended any control of the election process in favour of unlimited private money and influence. The key justices who pushed this ruling were appointed by W Bush, who did not in fact win either election for president in which he ran. The Democrats in those years expended far more energy in keeping third parties off the ballot (i.e. Green Party) than opposing Bush and stolen election practices.

A new Supreme Court justice in time for the inevitable legal dispute after the November election will suit Trump's interests, so it should be expected. Hello post-Republic Rome.

I doubt that a new Court will wade into a controversial issue such as abortion , as the social fracturing it will ensure will be counter-productive to the real business of maintaining the empire and looting the population's retirement benefits.

Posted by: jayc | Sep 19 2020 19:10 utc | 40

I'm sad about Stephen Cohen's death. An honest man and one who wanted peace. I doubt we'll see anyone who can replace him or will be allowed to.
Especially in the past 20 years, the Dems and Repubs have refined their techniques to corrupt the vote in the US. Massive voter suppression, electronic vote fraud, etc. The Republicans have used them to win the presidency at least twice, the Dems to beat Bernie twice, to say nothing of the rascality used in down-ticket elections.
I wonder if this will be the year both parties use every trick they have against each other or if this will be another situation brokered behind the scenes, like GW Bush 1 and 2?

Posted by: NoOneYouKnow | Sep 19 2020 19:27 utc | 41

vk @ 19 thanks for that great explanation. ancient Rome/later Rome and patria.. I translated in high school much of that but I think understanding was over my teacher's head, so i did not get the meaning from the zillions of useless translations our class tried to do.

Trump is for finance capital, which is innately international. Nazis, overt and covert, pretend "international" means Jewish, but then, they are all scumbags. by: steven t johnson @ 20 <=how do you translate monopolism into finance Capital? 84% of all assets on balances sheets in the major stock markets are intangible assets.

one cannot have intangible assets without a nation state (armed central governing authority) passing a law, because intangible assets do not exist naturally? It takes rule of law to turn hot thin air into an asset.. and it takes enforcement power to be able to make the thin in the air remain stable.

so intangible assets are created by rule of law. When the law is made to create an intanbile there is a great sucking of the bits of wealth owned by masses into the great pockets of a very wealthy few..

I call Trump a monopolist..

The comment want to see people vote (for either of two parties) because it proves their tricks remain potent enough for business to continue as usual. by: oglalla @ 24 yes, divide and conquer. 100% of the vote against you is not as easy to fix as 51% against you vs 49% for you..

Only their complete replacement and restructuring of the Constitution would bring a semblance of democracy. The US government cannot be repaired, and the sooner it is recycled, the better for its people and the world. by: Sam F @ 27

Well said.. the constitution was written to bring about the result we now must deal with..Two mafia families in charge. The very idea that a representative government can operate in secret, restrict voting to isolated containers (2 votes for the two senators from each state,<=limits voters vote to 2 senators, when there are 98 other senator jobs not in the state container in which you the voter get to vote, and 1 vote in the house voting district which you the voter many select from the candidates to appoint to serve in the house of representatives, and no vote by any voter for either the president or the vP.)

Containers = each state is a container<<<<<>>>>>each house voting district is a container..
in the state container voters get 2 votes in the house container voters get 1 vote

there are no decent human beings amongst the top three/four layers of people within the US justice Oriental Voice @ 36 <=understatement. Sam F @ 27: The decent humans are on unemployment or pushing daises.

The growing division among the people and rampant corruption in all levels of government makes it impossible for any agreement on a complete replacement / restructuring of the Constitution. The US is heading towards dissolution.

Posted by: Ian2 @ 37 <== I think division is necessary to create the environment for the corruption to survive? seems to me divide to conquer methods are extremely well organized.. and targeted to the weak points.

Posted by: snake | Sep 19 2020 19:44 utc | 42

I suspect Trump will nominate Amy Coney Barrett in the next few days, she is qualified and seems OK for a conservative. I don't think the democrats can stop the confirmation hearings, but they may be able to block the final vote.

It is the theater around this confirmation hearing which matters. Amy Coney Barrett is a woman, so the 'me too' attacks won't work and RGB seats would be going to a woman; this leaves religion, the Democrats will fall into the election year trap of attacking her Catholic faith. Meanwhile my liberal friends have been positively triggered by the loss of RBG, the confirmation hearings will bring massive protests to the streets and those protests will surly turn into riots. This can only help Trump

Posted by: Gregory Purcell | Sep 19 2020 20:08 utc | 43

First and foremost the Supreme Court should have never legalized abortion. Making laws is something Congress should be in charge of then and now. There is your politics of hypocrisy done by the craven. Secondly as a conservative (whatever that is these days) the courts will never do away with abortion. The financial class want it stay, and so it will. Now for my pragmatic point which was made to an individual calling for the ACLJ, liberals likely get more abortions. After the mass hissy fit of 2020, it is apparent that actually might be a good thing. Now I must pop lots popcorn for round whatever it is of the left's never ending temper tantrum. The GOP will no doubt pick a fraud like they always do, but the spectacle should be good for many laughs. Please Mitch make it happen.

Posted by: Old and Grumpy | Sep 19 2020 20:09 utc | 44

That a nation's laws and legal decisions, and with them that nation's values and principles (upon which its culture, economy and politics, indeed its very being, depend), come to rely on one institution of 15 people, arbitrarily selected by partisan politicians in either the red corner or the blue corner, who enjoy (and are spoilt by) unlimited tenure, is a real indictment on the weaknesses of the current US political system and its structures. It really does not say much for the role of Congress as a legislative body if the US Supreme Court acts as a de facto legislative institution, as a sort of super Senate. This is perhaps one reason why Ruth Bader Ginzburg insisted on staying on as a Supreme Court judge: she could enjoy being an eminence grise forever. At the end of the day, despite her supposed progressive political reputation, she was just another power seeker.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 19 2020 20:41 utc | 45

An overruling of Roe v. Wade will not be a nationwide ban on abortion. It will just return the issue to state governments, where it was before the Supreme Court stepped in, and where it should always have stayed.

Posted by: lysias | Sep 19 2020 21:19 utc | 46

An overruling of Roe v. Wade will not be a nationwide ban on abortion. It will just return the issue to state governments, where it was before the Supreme Court stepped in, and where it should always have stayed.

Posted by: lysias | Sep 19 2020 21:19 utc | 47

RIP Stephen Cohen

A real loss. We need more like him.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 19 2020 21:30 utc | 48

oglalla @Sep19 17:07 #24

... Democracy Show. (JR, isn’t that what you call it?)

It's known as the 'illusion of democracy'. The term for mock battle (a Trump specialty) is 'kayfab'.

I say: "enjoy the Show."


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 19 2020 21:37 utc | 49

This year has been very entertaining, looking forward to what happens next!

Posted by: Smith | Sep 19 2020 22:05 utc | 50

You left out Trump having said that it would be wrong for a president to appoint a Supreme Court Justice in the last year of a presidents term as well. If the Republicans do go ahead with ramming through some one the blow back is going to be enormous.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Sep 19 2020 22:26 utc | 51

Before or after the election is no matter I think. Might be easier afterwards. The main thing for Republicans is to have a majority should the election be contested.

I do wonder at the timing of her death. Granted she was old and sick. Kennedys resignation was also curious until you realize his son was behind many of Trumps Deutsche Banks loans and DB was under investigation

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Sep 19 2020 22:45 utc | 52

Thank you b

The decline of empire step 3 - or is it 4?, 5?

I like the possible story line about Ginsberg telling Obummer to go f#k himself for wanting to appoint a conservative replacement. If true, then the lady is a champ in denying Obummer and his grubby Demonazis a win in the dive to the bottom.

If the Demonazis get the gangs back out in the streets over this, they will surely lose the election.

But then if Americans 4 Innovation have even a vaguely accurate interpretation of USUK relations, there will be extreme street violence and looting ahead with the Demonazis doing as told and the Repugnants following the script for their second Trump term. Weimar Republic rerun in the USA.

O great asteroid where art thou?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 19 2020 22:49 utc | 53

Thanks, Bemildred, Grieved, Jackrabbit, all -- Stephen Cohen was a great man; I am very sad to hear of his passing.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 19 2020 23:12 utc | 54

Couldn't care less about a dead judge - it's just too bad the rest of them haven't been assassinated. As for whether there will be "liberal" vs "conservative" Supreme Court opinions from now on - that's a joke. There are *no* valid opinions from the Supreme Court (with the possible exception of Heller on the Second Amendment - and that is likely to be overturned at some point.) It's *all* intended to continue the oppression of the state and the domination of society.

Losing Cohen is unfortunate, as he was probably the only significant voice in opposition to increased tensions with Russia - even if he was mostly being ignored by literally the entire MSM. That he was reduced to doing the Batchelor show as his only means of dissent just reinforces what I keep telling people: you have *zero* influence on *anything*. Get over it.

Meanwhile, today I read that the US considered dropping *eighty* nuclear weapons on North Korea back in 2017. The article talks about the utterly absurd proposition that North Korea would seriously consider unilaterally attacking the US, and that Mattis spent all his time 24x7 worrying about that ridiculous possibility. I don't believe a word of it - and if that were true, it would only underscore the paranoia and stupidity of the people in the US government with their fingers on the nuclear trigger. Instead, I believe it is merely yet another propaganda piece intended to make NK look bad and the US efforts for regime change there look justified. The real absurdity is that no one in the US electorate is even going to notice that the US intended to obliterate yet another country of "gooks".

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Sep 19 2020 23:44 utc | 55

In this case, McConnell isn't flip-flopping, he's following a century long tradition. When Obama, a democrat, put forward Merrick Garland, the US Senate was controlled by the opposition party, the Republicans. From Wall St. Journal: "For well over a century—the last exception was Chief Justice Melville Fuller in 1888, during President Cleveland’s first term—the Senate hasn’t confirmed a Supreme Court nominee chosen in an election year by a president of the opposite party. That’s why, in 2016, Mr. McConnell let voters break the stalemate." This explains why there weren't riots at the time. It wasn't something McConnell decided on his own.

Posted by: susan mullen | Sep 19 2020 23:45 utc | 56

"A sixth Republican justice would essentially ensure that any sweeping liberal programs a President Joe Biden or another Democratic president might endorse would be condemned to the ash heap of history before it even had an opportunity to become established."

I don't see Biden trying to enact any "sweeping liberal programs", although a future president might see their efforts blocked by a very conservative Supreme Court. Campaign Finance Reform seems unlikely for a couple decades at least, but how hard have the Democrats been pushing for that?

As far as Biden/Harris and a democratic congress go, the only legislation I see being blocked by the Supreme Court would be gun control laws.

Posted by: Jason | Sep 20 2020 0:26 utc | 57

i knew this would happen as soon as she got diagnosed with cancer in her 80s and then had a relapse recently. it's hardly surprising that she would put her own wishes and opinions above those of everyone else; she was a first wave feminist icon, after all. and if the early feminists - as well as the current wave comprised of lena dunhams and alyssa "rape's okay if you're biden" milanos - are remembered for anything it should be hijacking and diverting attention from wider civil rights struggles to get what they want. their idea of "intersectionality" is being at the axis where "white" meets "bread". see also: this and obviously this.

Posted by: the pair | Sep 20 2020 0:39 utc | 58

he repugs are on the way out.
A Dim victory, getting the trash and smell out of the White House, and trying to figure a way to unwind the gerrymandering and voter suppression of the repugs will be a task.
Might be best for he repugs to stay in power, dims are mostly just a slower death.
The survivors, if any, might have more resources with the repugs running this into the ground?

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Sep 20 2020 0:50 utc | 59

Okay, snap out of your Trump-is-now-King-with-this-SCOTUS-appointment La-La Land!

Lately, I've been rightfully throwing around dirty, and before I embark on the dirty in this monumental event, I want to headline certain other monumental facts that are concurrent with this one just to add perspective on Trump's monumental failure.


Here's what's at stake if Trump appoints a SCOTUS Justice now:

Tens of millions of Americans will lose their healthcare on the eve of the 2nd Wave of a Pandemic that has already killed 200,000 Americans, because the case that SCOTUS will take up one week after the Election is The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

All Trump's lackey Justices will strike down Obamacare.

Trump should heed this warning.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR....when the facts are all against you.

If Trump's power lust gets the better of him, and it will, cause there is no better him; he will lose the Presidency (already a given), Republicans will lose the Senate annnnd, Democrats will then use that power to increase the # of Justices on the Court and get Breyer to retire while Biden is President.

Now, I'm an equal opportunity offender, cause I only care about the truth.

It's true that RBG should have retired especially in view of the successive Cancers she suffered. It would also have spared Liberals today's grief.

However, Obama is fully to blame for being a Centrist Neoliberal asshole and betraying Liberal values. Hillary, however, the Queen b of Neoliberalism is the most to blame for today's outcome.

All you Neolibs still blaming Sanders for Hillary's defeat -- look in the mirror! You can't have a Liberal Court when the U.S. government is a duopoly comprised of Neolibs and Neocons.

RBG spent most her time dissenting in a majority Conservative Court.

Unless, there is a real Revolution, and I mean against both parties, Liberals are fcuked in the U.S.A.

However, don't throw out the baby with the swamp water. First, VOTE, just to throw Trump out instead, and get everyone to vote Dem for Senate to kick all vulnerable Republicans out of the Senate and once Biden wins, and the Senate is his, take to the streets to demand Dems increase the # of Justices on the Court--fight fire with fire!

Trump will sign his defeat with his insatiable lust for power while people are dropping dead, tens of millions are jobless and about to lose what is a human right; HEALTHCARE.

Screw your Dirty Zionist Comrade Pig...Trump.

Posted by: Circe | Sep 20 2020 1:00 utc | 60

If a president committed to principle were ever to win the quadrennial beauty contest - something which is highly doubtful given that such a thing has never occurred previously in nearly 250 years of corrupt/fixed beauty contests, then surely it would be trivial for him/her to knock off a swag of these overpaid judge judys and then slot a mob of honest judges into the gigs instead. Oh OK maybe it could be tough uncovering sufficient (say 6) amerikans who are members of the bar or whatever the minimum qualification is, but it shouldn't be impossible.

In fact for me it is this entire political appointment process whereby judge, military & senior civil servants are selected & appointed by the political elite which makes amerikan corruption so deeply embedded in the culture.
People here rabbit on about third parties etc but they forget that there is barely a judge or a senior policy maker in the land who isn't beholden to one half of the amerikan empire party or the other.
Maybe more amerikans realise the implications of that now than they used to, I can remember trying to point that sad fact out to b's predecessor at the Whisky Bar when Kenneth Starr was appointed as an independent investigator. The claim at the time was that he was truly independent cos he had never been a registered dim or registered rethug but even otherwise reasonable critically thinking dim favouring contributors stuck with the facile belief Starr was independent - until it became obvious that he wasn't.
At the time it seemed to me that he was an obvious mole, a rethug who had concealed his true allegiance precisely in case he was needed for a task such as leading an 'independent' investigation into a senior dim.
How could a true independent have hoped to have had a career such as Starr's if he hadn't at some stage made a committment to one or other portions of the duopoly.

So until responsibility for all senior government appointments is removed from the politicians, amerikans can start up as many alternative parties as they choose, but all they will be doing is pissing into the wind.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 20 2020 1:09 utc | 61

Correction: Trump is a fascist pig; comrade of Putin.

Posted by: Circe | Sep 20 2020 1:11 utc | 62

@42 Gregory Purcell

The only thing people of all stripes with any kind of moral compass should focus on while Trump is killing hundreds of thousands of Americans, tanking the real economy, put 55 million out of work and is about to deprive millions of healthcare all for his political interest power greed, is to focus on defeating the bastard with a landslide.

Getting rid of Trump IS the ultimate revenge at this time; no riots required, only camping chairs, something to read, and a mask while waiting in the endless lines at early voting.

Posted by: Circe | Sep 20 2020 1:52 utc | 63

Congratulations to our house dembot for succinctly illustrating that the dims are just as destructively & mindlessly partisan as the rethugs.
The dembots may claim orangeutan is the issue but anybody with at least half a brain can recognise a dumb stooge.
Unfortunately for the dembot most readers/posters are aware that the dem congress has passed every piece of legislation his/her alleged 'fascist pig' asked them to. Ooops doesn't that mean they must be 'fascist pigs' as well? Hmmm! Maybe they are just dumb stooges as well.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Sep 20 2020 2:39 utc | 64

Trump will pressure McConell to get this done and the Dems would have done the exact same thing.

Posted by: DannyC | Sep 20 2020 2:43 utc | 65

steven t @ 20
Deindustrialization as union busting is ignored but highly important, by the way. Every comment about Clinton deindustrialization is Trumpery, BS designed to support the Big Lie that Trump is an economic nationalist.

I think it started even earlier with Nixon's trip to China. Union busting was high on Kissinger's and the capitalists agenda. The unions were at peak power at that time. Business started to flow to China from the US at that point and China started to slowly change.

Something changed drastically with Trump. He went on the offensive against China right out of the gate. There appears to be a biological and trade war going on now. It is a precursor to the bullets flying.

Maybe the Western Capitalist elites are afraid that their 500 year run is coming to an end and the world economic torch is being passed out of their hands?

Posted by: circumspect | Sep 20 2020 2:45 utc | 66

@63 Debsisdead

posters are aware that the dem congress has passed every piece of legislation his/her alleged 'fascist pig' asked them to.

Even though I stated I am not partisan to any side of the duopoly, except to the truth, therefore please provide legitimate proof for that hyperbole.

Just so you know, I don't usually bother with dishonesty or someone who writes something disparaging in a way that I know is beneath them purely out of spite. Funny, cause your previous other comment was quite true albeit rather cynical.

I wonder what I wrote that really pissed you off so much that you would deign to address me? This I know: it hit a nerve or you wouldn't undermine your intelligence this way.

Posted by: Circe | Sep 20 2020 4:02 utc | 67

Hypocrisy? Did someone mention USA and hypocrisy in the same sentence?

Tell me this isn't true.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 20 2020 6:50 utc | 68

Debsisdead #63

Ooops doesn't that mean they must be 'fascist pigs' as well? Hmmm! Maybe they are just dumb stooges as well.

Only if you put moscow red lipstick on the pig 💋.

Next the Demonazis will start accusing Russia of interfering with the tectonic plates to explain the landslide win by Trump.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 20 2020 6:58 utc | 69

Posted by: circumspect | Sep 20 2020 2:45 utc | 65

It started in the Ford-Carter period, 1974-1978. Or at least that is when they started exporting our nat. resources to other places instead if employing them in manufacturing here at home. I remember it well. The schools were already being undermined with all this "run it like a business" bullshit by 1980 too. Pre-1970 (California), school all the way up was nominal in cost; In 1974 I did two terms at Berkeley (math grad.) on "work study", it was still cheap. By 1978 when I went back to school to study comp. sci. at Humboldt it was already heading up fast. That was around when the health care system got subordinated to profit too. All kinds of social assets and profitable public services business like for example Greyhound got salvaged off of crapified to scrape extra cash out of them.

And do you want to know why we are now in the position of not being able to compete with the Russians or Chinese these days? This is why: they, our billionaires and their minions, crapified the education system to make money, they have crapified everything here to make money. Our "elites" did to themselves. Stupid indeed.

Posted by: Bemldred | Sep 20 2020 7:33 utc | 70

And Stephen Cohen's death is far more troubling, concerning to me than is RBG's. He was not, in general, at least, an integral part of the ruling elites...And didn't expect to be employed until he dropped dead...

Posted by: Anne | Sep 19 2020 17:42 utc | 31

Your tentative appraisal is justified. He was employed and has written for The Nation where his wife is publisher and senior editor and likewise member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He himself had been a member of this "club of power brokers".
Not that his death is not a grievous loss, but he certainly wasn't that much an expert of the Soviet Union like it is portrayed in alt-media circles. His Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution is just the same more liberal-left demonization of the Soviet Union, made up of bogus stories about Stalin and overall one-sided sources of information.

Posted by: v | Sep 20 2020 8:01 utc | 71

Bemldred #69

And do you want to know why we are now in the position of not being able to compete with the Russians or Chinese these days? This is why: they, our billionaires and their minions, crapified the education system to make money, they have crapified everything here to make money. Our "elites" did to themselves. Stupid indeed.

Thank you and circumspect #65 for that.

Can I add that IMO the billionaires and minions totally miscalculated (as hubris is a blinding light) and figured the homeland innovation momentum would continue to build AND that Russia and China (and Iran?) would never catch up. They had the ignorance to assume that they could gut the educational system and rely on their ivy league upper middle class children to continue to innovate.

It does not work like that - innovation and the mental agility that drives it comes from the least expected people and processes.

Additionally they were over enthusiastic in giving access to technology and patent bundles as components of the technology and manufacturing transfers. This was partly based on their hubris as above and partly on their puerile assumption that among the millions of students in those countries there would be no prodigies, no genius, no insight into better methods or entirely different technologies.

So they gave it away in their stampede for riches and short term gain and blindsided by hubris.

The recipients understood them and their motivations and their weakness and so received them well and gave banquets and exotic adventures and worked fiercely hard to produce the goods as contracted. And all the while imitating the technology and innovating the production methods but at the rate of ten or a hundred to one as they possessed strong and effective public education coupled with a work and responsibility ethic that left the empire billionaires and minions for dead.

Sure the nations of Russia, China and Iran are not entirely at par in some fields but now THEY have the momentum, the depth of development and the scope of innovation that takes decades to build. For one, China won't be giving away its 'gunpowder' formula any time soon if I can use that metaphor.

The billionaires and their minions took time off on the very practice they needed to endure at the top. Its a long and steepening slide for them.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 20 2020 8:18 utc | 72

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 20 2020 8:18 utc | 72

Agreed. They think they REALLY are better, they think it's like hair color or something, something you can just buy. Very convenient for them, but entirely wrong too. I've been waiting for the crisis/collapse ever since I realized what they were up to (about 1981 or so). They are pissed at the Chinese leadership now for: A.) not selling out their citizens like any of them would, B.) showing them up for the lousy incompetents at running a country that they are.

We don't really have citizens here any more, we are all consumers and that is the only say we get, and we don't get much say about that either.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 20 2020 8:57 utc | 73

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 20 2020 8:18 utc | 72

It deserves to be remembered that the education system we once HAD here was created by our plutocrats too, Carnegie and those people 100 years ago and more. It was their descendants and heirs that were too dumb to know what they had been given and how to keep it.

I get pissed of every time I think about what was thrown away after WWII by the NatSec shitheads. And then the same arrogant crap from the Neocons when the USSR collapsed in 90s. Did it even occur to them that it could happen here, the same way? Uhuh. Exceptionalism (in all it's forms) makes you stupid.

The 20th century was very bad for empires, the 21st is going to be much worse.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 20 2020 9:13 utc | 74

Bemildred #74

Right on. The fools believe that the chook is to be plucked and who needs eggs? As their champion is often quoted "there is no such thing as society" and they clapped and clapped until their hands were sore.

We stand at the brink yet again as we did in October 1962 with the Cuban sabre rattle. Then we had sage and insistent voices such as Bertrand Russel urging sanity and amplifying the millions of people's voices calling for peace throughout the world. I sure trust we can haul this rotten cart back from the brink again.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 20 2020 9:26 utc | 75

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 20 2020 9:26 utc | 75

I was born right before Hiroshima. I've hidden under many a desk in my grammar school years. So it's always been there. The truth is I feel privileged to be here to watch, win or lose. But it would be great it we could come to our senses and assume our proper role as stewards of this planet and all the life on it instead of blowing our brains out or turning the planet into a toxic dump.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 20 2020 10:34 utc | 76

Bemildred #76

it would be great it we could come to our senses and assume our proper role as stewards of this planet and all the life on it

Thank you, I will drink to that. We just need to oppress the greedies for as many centuries as are necessary. I would like to hang around this glorious planet for another 400 + years as I find it fascinating and deeply beautiful. We humans could seriously screw it up but Gaia is a wonderfully resilient and creative blue jewel and she is often visited by some rather fast moving rocks and the odd sun scorch.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 20 2020 11:12 utc | 77

So karma that the Democrats now run into the consequences of their own stupid partisan attitude.

By the way refusing to accept Obama nominating Merrick Garland four and a half years ago to replace the deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has recently proved to be a lucky escape for US as a constitutional nation. This justly failed nominee Garland proved his ineligibility for a Supreme Court seat by supporting in the DC appellate court the referral of the Flynn case back to that abysmal partisan rogue judge Sullivan.

Posted by: JR | Sep 20 2020 12:06 utc | 78

My fellow conservatives(and the firebrands) need to lay off the personal attacks against this justice. Both sides need to quit with the "she should have stepped down at 80 etc."

A supreme court appointment is for life. It was and is a decision for the individual justice to make. Justice Ginsburg spent her life fighting for what she believed in and I find that admirable and something that we all can take a lesson from. If she felt that she was still making a contribution to the work of the court, that was her business to stay on.

Posted by: morongobill | Sep 20 2020 14:21 utc | 79

It's full merkan bullshit promoting time again.Who cares about yer supreme court and who is in it,in a country that never even respects its own constitution,nor all the legal conventions,treaties and charts that it signed once.Fuck you america,burn yourself to the ground ,go down,and stop meddling with the rest of the world.

Posted by: willie | Sep 20 2020 14:45 utc | 80

Gor Blimey - RBG as been Beatified...she was not a saint, for f***'s sake. Does not deserve the hagiographic treatment she is getting. Yes - she was a feminist and supported women's rights, in part, let us be honest, for her own career's sake. No different to any male with any access to power. But that does not make her a saint.

The Supreme Court justices (hm, there should be a name change back to judges) - I repeat - should not be lifetime appointments, ever. It should not be up to the individual judge when they decide to retire. And the idiocy that such a form of employment (for that is what it is - by us, the taxpayers) makes them "above" politics and political positions is absurd, utterly.

Posted by: Anne | Sep 20 2020 15:07 utc | 81

Sure, it is complete hypocrisy for the Republicans today to argue that the Constitution allows and even requires immediate Senate consideration of a Court appointment.

But yes, it is also complete hypocrisy for the Democrats today to argue that the Senate cannot do what they just demanded it must do, immediately consider a Court appointment.

There is not the least scintilla of honesty in the arguments of either side.

What they care about is power, gaining power and keeping power. For whom? The small pool of large donors who own and control each party.

Do they even care about their "principles?" Probably a little bit, but not enough to do more than manipulate others with the arguments.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Sep 20 2020 15:37 utc | 82

Kay Fabe @Sep19 22:45 #52

I do wonder at the timing of her death.

Me too.

You mentioned Kennedy but there was also Scalia's death in an election year (2016) with no autopsy.

Scalia was a strict Constitutionalist. Hillary (and others) have loudly proclaimed that "the Constitution is not a suicide pact." The Constitution has been increasingly bothersome to the Deep State. Privacy rights, gun rights, free speech rights, and more have been infringed upon. And Sovereignty of the People is not something that the Deep State respects at all. An example of which is the 2013 repeal of the ban on propaganda directed at the American people.

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Strange coincidence: The owner of the ranch where Scalia died is John A. Poindexter. John M. Poindexter was National Security Advisor for Ronald Reagan and:

"... was convicted in April 1990 of multiple felonies as a result of his actions in the Iran–Contra affair, but his convictions were reversed on appeal in 1991. More recently, he served a brief stint as the director of the DARPA Information Awareness Office for the George W. Bush administration."

PS AFAIK The only indication of any relationship between the two Poindexter's is that they share a last name. That alone means little. But the people involved in Iran-Contra always seem to pop up in unusual ways. Their loyalty and willingness to be ... useful ... never wanes.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 20 2020 15:50 utc | 83

Jackrabbit #83

Hillary (and others) have loudly proclaimed that "the Constitution is not a suicide pact."

Looks pretty much like it IS a suicide pact to me.

Once you let a bunch of corporations masquerade as 'people' waving that document around then I suggest deaths are imminent. Recent events support my interpretation. PLUS Hilary said the opposite so it must be true ☠️

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 20 2020 20:53 utc | 84

According to a September 20 article at Dissident Voice, Human Rights warrior Ruth Bader Ginsburg's definition of Human led her to maintain silence on the plight of Palestinians.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 22 2020 3:35 utc | 85

Sorry, but your narrative is nonsense given that it fails to note that HRC was extremely heavily favored to win.
The deal was made because both sides expected HRC to win, and thus McConnell could get a victory while the Democratic party expected to get "their" SCOTUS judge anyway.
Besides which - the notion of any politician having integrity or consistency is ludicrous to start with regardless of their being Democrat or Republican.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 23 2020 20:26 utc | 86

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