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  1. On Election Day, Talking Points Memo posted a major at-length analysis well worth review by leftists: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/feature/get-ready-for-a-post-election-push-to-slash-social-programs Get Ready For A Post-Election Push To Slash Social Programs Following last year’s tax cut, Republicans have been plotting to cut social insurance in the name of debt reduction — but wanted to wait until after the election to do so. Here are some key excerpts: Those last couple of paragraphs, in my view, encapsulate realistically much of the danger that I hinted at in my previous post about the Democrats' gushing willingness to collaborate now with Donald Trump – Thug-in-Chief, Liar-in-Chief, Manipulator-in-Chief, and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of U.S. imperialism.
  2. In the Nov. 7th Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/07/rapprochement-not-impeachment-democrats-likely-approach-to-trump Democrats’ policy agenda likely to include cooperation with Trump With Nancy Pelosi at their head, the new House majority is likely to pursue a policy agenda that may include cooperating with the White House The story reports that "Pelosi laid out six legislative priorities she said Democrats would [pursue]." What should be of concern to the left is this excerpt: So what's the problem? Think about it – Trump's the top gorilla, the King of the Mountain. He takes credit for anything that benefits him or his political ambitions and reactionary agenda. While screwing the working class horribly, he's always seeking anything that furthers the illusion that he loves "the workers". Pelosi and the Dems live in this perpetual cloud-liberal-lala-land where they imagine they can reap some kind of public acclaim from having some peripheral role in Trump's version of an infrastructure program (remember the last fiasco?) and who-knows-what pharma legislation. Trump and his now vast and powerful support base and infrastructure will somehow wangle this to his own great credit (and probably prove in the process that the Dems are a bunch of quivering wimps and violent leftwing socialists out to destroy his good works).
  3. On Hallowe'en the Washington Post published an article on U.S. wage growth: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/us-workers-see-fastest-wage-increase-in-a-decade/2018/10/31/3c2e7894-dc85-11e8-85df-7a6b4d25cfbb_story.html The headline proclaims "U. S. workers see fastest wage growth in a decade, but inflation takes a toll". OK, so what about this inflation? Read further down into the report, and you learn: So this is Trump's great accomplishment to benefit the working class? Wage growth well under 1% in a year?
  4. The Epic Failure of Labor Leadership in the United States, 1980-2017 and Continuing https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/08/04/the-epic-failure-of-labor-leadership-in-the-united-states-1980-2017-and-continuing/ This article has some reasonably good insights into the catastrophic decline of unions and the abysmal role of the labor bureaucracy. As the author points out, This is perceptive – I also see the national trade union leadership failure during the PATCO air traffic controllers strike beginning in 1981 as a key moment in the decline in the power of the U.S. working class – a critical class-struggle defeat, and a sinister victory for the ruling class of U.S. capitalism. I also concur with the author's assessment that This appears to corroborate some points made in the RAN analysis American capitalism enters a darker new era: As the RAN analysis goes on to point out,
  5. With a Vocabulary From ‘Goodfellas,’ Trump Evokes His Native New York https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/23/us/politics/trump-vocabulary-mob.html I thought Trump's lingo had a certain familiar "flavor" to it. Glad somebody has put this together ...
  6. In his column today (Aug. 21st) Frank Bruni may be onto something: Melania Trump Could Be Our Greatest First Lady Is this a spectacularly tense marriage or a pussy-bow coup? https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/21/opinion/melania-trump-could-be-our-greatest-first-lady.html Excerpts that got me interested ...
  7. Definitely not an easy question to answer, but I would suggest it will take consistent, militant, radical-leftist activism at a grassroots level. An example was suggested in another RAN analysis: Multiracial working class must fight the Alt-Right https://realityanalysisnotes.wordpress.com/2017/08/27/multiracial-working-class-must-fight-the-alt-right/ While the focus was more about defeating the fascists and others in the Alt-Right, the recommendations can be applied to raising workingclass consciousness within the workers movement generally:
  8. The Slippery Slope of Complicity https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/18/opinion/the-slippery-slope-of-complicity.html Interesting analysis of GOP behavior by Paul Krugman. I found several excerpts particularly interesting: One factor Krugman seems to have omitted is ... fear of being primaried. RAN
  9. Just FYI, the Washngton Post editorial today (Monday 13 August) is pretty darn pessimistic about Sanders's Medicare-for-All single-payer plan: The cosmically huge ‘if’ of Medicare for all https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-cosmically-huge-if-of-medicare-for-all/2018/08/12/48fe5736-9506-11e8-80e1-00e80e1fdf43_story.html Here are some excerpts: My own take on this issue is that an adequate universal healthcare system will not be achieved short of the overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of a socialized system, first with a workers state and eventually socialism. Compared to what's actually needed, the ACA was (is?) a cruel joke, and even "Medicare for All" would be pathetically inadequate. (Exhibit #1 here: the disgustingly large holes in Medicare coverage.) And now we have the Washington Post, a major media outlet of the liberal establishment, telling us that even this limited "Medicare for All" proposal is basically unaffordable – here in the richest capitalist economy on Earth.
  10. Hundreds show solidarity with socialist bookshop targeted in right-wing protest https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/11/hundreds-show-solidarity-socialist-bookshop-targeted-right-wing-protest-7827942/ What particularly grabs me about this is that some of the people carrying out the attack were "wearing Donald Trump masks, shouting pro-Trump and Tommy Robinson chants ...." (Robinson is a far-right British activist and founder of the virulently racist English Defence League.) In other words, the current U.S. president Donald Trump ranks alongside some of the most toxic racists on the planet in inspiring rightwing extremists and their violent escapades on a global scale ...
  11. I think the article does at least provide a glimmer of hope. As I remarked in a previous comment, I sense a nationwide radicalization to the left currently underway. This includes the re-emergence of some combativeness within the labor movement, seen in an upswing of sporadic strikes (CWA, IBEW, ILWU, etc.), a push to organize retail and fast-food workers, and the recent militant teachers protests and strikes. Obviously, there remains a long climb to go. In my view, this hinges on the emergence of a fresher, probably younger, far more militant, combative leadership within the trade union movement, some of which would almost surely have to come from the radical left.
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