Jul 26 2020

The Breakfast Club (Red Grapes)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club!

AP’s Today in History for July 26th

President Harry Truman orders desegregation of U.S. Military; Cuba’s Fidel Castro attacks Moncada barracks; Argentina’s Eva Peron dies; Playwright George Bernard Shaw and rock star Mick Jagger born.

Breakfast Tune Don’t cry for me Argentina – Banjo

Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

The Current Trendline Is Full-fledged American Social Collapse
Ian Welsh

… or a full fascist turn.

Jared Diamond wrote a long book on why societies collapse.

Let me summarize his findings.

Societies collapse when elites are isolated from the consequences of their decisions as experienced by the rest of the population.

Here’s America:

Imagine that. The numbers nationally are worse. There is NO reason for the people who run America to change their Covid-19 strategy. None. Less than zero; the strategy is working brilliantly for them. Your suffering and deaths make them richer. Understand this. Understand it.

So, what does that mean?

It doesn’t mean that the US is likely to have 550K more deaths. Why not? Because the number one rule for understanding the US in the age of neoliberal greed is this:

No matter how bad you think something is in the US, it’s worse, even if you take this rule into account.

So, 550K is now the “good case scenario.” The case against it is based only on “lot of the old people have already died, and we’re better at keeping people alive now than at the start.” It’s not based on numbers of infections, which are already past the initial peak and nowhere near the top.

Then there’s those 32 percent of people who couldn’t make their housing payments in July, 22 percent of small businesses going bankrupt, etc.

So, I’ve been pounding this issue but today, looking at all this, it became utterly clear that the perceived self-interest of American elites is now so completely detached from the rest of American society and everyone else that there is no recovery without a revolution, peaceful or otherwise (and a non-peaceful revolution could trigger the collapse all by itself, while peaceful revolution is… unlikely).

Nonetheless, ordinary Americans are being pushed to the wall: broke, homeless and hungry will become normal for some number of Americans in the tens of millions. The actual economy will contract, but the rich will be richer.

Complete and absolute disconnect. This was visible in 2008, when the rich were bailed out despite being bankrupt and not just allowed, but encouraged, to set up an assembly line to steal ordinary Americans’ houses.

This is not recoverable.

It is not sustainable.

The Age of America is nearly done. Empires do not die cleanly. Russians died like flies when the USSR collapsed, and Russians were in far better shape to handle collapse than Americans are because they had garden plots and housing that wasn’t going to be taken from them.

Biden will probably win this election. He will not stop this. He will delay it somewhat, while furthering the conditions that made it happen.

Once Biden’s done, another right-wing “populist” will win the election, because the center would rather elect a fascist than even a 50s-style left-winger.

That President is likely to either turn the US full fascist or cause its collapse, or both.

When US passports start working again after Covid burns through the country, get out if you can. If you can’t, prepare as best you are able. …

Something to think about over coffee prozac

Joe Biden Just Made a Big Promise to His Wall Street Donors

Two weeks ago, Joe Biden rightly received praise for creating policy task forces that released a package of progressive legislative initiatives. The proposals augmented Biden’s previous legislative initiatives to change corporate behavior. The task forces were meant to unify the Democratic Party after the primary, and their recommendations were blared all over the world in glowing headlines promising an era of progressive change under a Biden administration.

Then, this past Monday, Biden told his Wall Street donors that actually, he is not proposing any new legislation to rein in corporate power or change corporate behavior — and this was reported exactly nowhere, even as his campaign blasted it out to the national press corps.

You don’t have to believe me — you can click here to read the full pool report that the Biden campaign distributed to the press after his teleconference fundraiser. That event was headlined by Jon Gray, a top executive at the Blackstone Group, which is a private equity behemoth at the center of the climate, health care, housing, and pension crises. Blackstone executives had already donated $130,000 to the Biden campaign and $350,000 to a super PAC supporting him.

Here’s the relevant section, reviewing what Biden said:

Second question, again from Mr. Gray, who noted that there are “a bunch of business leaders” on the line. “What do you think is essential to get this economy rolling again?”

“I come from the corporate state of American, many of you incorporated here,” said Mr. Biden. “It used to be that corporate America had a sense of responsibility beyond just CEO salaries and shareholders.”

“Corporate America has to change its ways. It’s not going to require legislation. I’m not proposing any. We’ve got to think about how we deal people back in.”

There’s an obvious contradiction here. Before making these comments, Biden had previously promised to pass legislative initiatives to change corporate behavior on everything from climate change to tax policy. He has an entire section of his website outlining promises to pass corporate accountability legislation. He has received praise for these kind of promises.

But now he’s telling his donors they can rest assured that legislation to change corporate behavior is not forthcoming. Indeed, read Biden’s comment again: “It’s not going to require legislation. I’m not proposing any.”

Now, sure, you can try to write this off as just another gaffe — good ol’ Joe being good ol’ Joe. But it is part of a pattern.

Biden had previously promised his wealthy donors that if he is elected, “nothing would fundamentally change.” He insisted that we don’t need a political revolution in America because that might “disrupt everything.” …