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Posts tagged as “liberal”

The Age Of Great Expectations And The Great Void

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com
The fall of the Berlin Wall in October 1989 abruptly ended one historical era and inaugurated another. So, too, did the outcome of last year’s U.S. presidential election. What are we to make of the interval between those two watershed moments? Answering that question is essential to understanding how Donald Trump became president and where his ascendency leaves us.
Hardly had this period commenced before observers fell into the habit of referring to it as the “post-Cold War” era. Now that it’s over, a more descriptive name might be in order. My suggestion: America’s Age of Great Expectations. 
Forgive and Forget
The end of the Cold War caught the United States completely by surprise.  During the 1980s, even with Mikhail Gorbachev running the Kremlin, few in Washington questioned the prevailing conviction that the Soviet-American rivalry was and would remain a defining feature of international politics more or less in perpetuity. Indeed, endorsing such an assumption was among the prerequisites for gaining entrée to official circles. Virtually no one in the American establishment gave serious thought to the here-today, gone-tomorrow possibility that the Soviet threat, the Soviet empire, and the Soviet Union itself might someday vanish. Washington had plans aplenty for what to...

Fentanyl Overdoses Are Rising And Science Can’t Keep Up

Bribery. Conspiracy. Racketeering.
Those are just three of the accusations that federal prosecutors leveled against two Alabama physicians in April as part of a 22-count criminal indictment ― alleging that Drs. John Couch and Xiulu Ruan ran an opioid pill mill in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from a pharmaceutical company.
Couch and Ruan were arrested in 2015 after prescribing Medicare patients a combined $4.9 million in Subsys ― a potent form of fentanyl, taken via mouth spray and designed to treat severe cancer pain ― between 2013 and 2014.
Some of those prescriptions were “diverted and/or abused by drug traffickers and addicts,” prosecutors say, and may have contributed to the opioid crisis currently gripping the nation.
Couch and Ruan deny the allegations. 
A third doctor, Michigan neurologist Dr. Gavin Awerbuch, pleaded guilty in November to health care fraud and to prescribing Subsys without a legitimate medical purpose. Awerbuch prescribed more Subsys than any other dispenser in the country, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Couch, Ruan and Awerbuch’s alleged misdeeds signify more than a few rogue doctors attempting to turn a profit at the expense of patient health. The accusations against the physicians are part of a larger story about America’s insidious fentanyl problem and the...

Monday’s Morning Email: Meryl Streep Takes Aim At Trump At Golden Globes

TOP STORIES MERYL STREEP GOES AFTER DONALD TRUMP AT THE GOLDEN GLOBES While receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her lifelong achievements in acting, Meryl Streep went after Trump for his treatment of a disabled reporter and immigrants. Twitter had a field day imagining the president-elect’s response. Trump did tweet this morning about her speech and spoke to The New York Times about it. As for the actual awards, “La La Land” took home more Golden Globes than any film, ever. Here’s who else won the rest, and what we thought about the red carpet stunners. [Matthew Jacobs, HuffPost]
FORT LAUDERDALE AIRPORT SHOOTER REPORTEDLY HAD MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES, NO TIES TO TERRORISM Esteban Santiago, the 26-year-old Iraq war veteran, who killed five people and injured six more in the shooting Friday, reportedly had visited FBI offices in Alaska, saying he was hearing voices. Video has been released of the moment he opened fire in the baggage claim. And this shooting survivor says his laptop saved his life by blocking a bullet. [Reuters]
A LOOK AT POTENTIAL RUSSIAN ELECTION MEDDLING IN EUROPE “Russia’s alleged use of computer hacking to interfere with the U.S. presidential election fits a pattern of similar incidents across Europe for at least a decade. Cyberattacks in Ukraine, Bulgaria,...

Want to Challenge Trump on Immigration? Try a Strategy from the Antebellum South

By Anna O. Law, City University of New York Immigrant communities and their advocates are gearing up to challenge President-elect Donald Trump's proposals for immigration policy. The U.S. federal system structure of government may be their best defense. Trump has said he will deport two to three million immigrants with criminal records. To find, apprehend, legally process, incarcerate and return that many people to their home countries would require the cooperation of local law enforcement. Only 5,700 immigration enforcement agents work the entire geographical U.S. By contrast, there are more than 20,000 border patrol agents policing a jurisdiction that is limited to 100 miles of the border. Although states and localities cannot evade enforcement of federal laws, they can refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in carrying out mass deportation. The underlying premise is that the U.S. Constitution mandates power be divided between the national government and state and local governments. States would have constitutional grounds for resisting - the same grounds that allowed southern states to argue in favor of preserving slavery. My research on the historical overlap between slavery and immigration policies shows how the federal system is a double-edged sword that can produce both liberal and conservative policy outcomes. The possibilities...

Indonesia restores military ties with Australia after latest neighbourly dispute

Indonesian military Chief Gatot Nurmantyo talks to reporters in the Indonesian capitals Jakarta on January 5. Beawiharta/Reuters Yohanes Sulaiman, Universitas Jendral Achmad Yani The Indonesian government has confirmed that it will not suspend military cooperation with Australia after a top general said earlier in the week that ties between the two nations would be cut. The incident is just the latest episode in a rocky relationship between the neighbours. On January 4, Indonesian Military Chief Gatot Nurmantyo declared the suspension of Indonesia-Australia military cooperation, apparently because an Indonesian special forces commander trainer found materials at an Australian teaching facility that were insulting to both the Indonesian military and the state's ideology of Pancasila. Pancasila, from the Sanskrit word for for "five", panca, and the Javanese for "principles", sila, is the name given to the official founding principles of the Indonesian state. The principles are: "The one God system (monotheism), just and civilised humanity, the unity of Indonesia, democracy and social justice for all." The incident is part of the ups and downs of the Indonesia-Australia diplomatic and military relationship that dates back to 1945 when Indonesia first declared independence from both Japan, which had occupied the country in 1942 and the Dutch, who had colonised...

Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti: I Am Not a Beat!

npr.org This week in KCRW's Scheer Intelligence, Robert Scheer sits down with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the 97-year-old poet, co-founder of City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco and champion of Beat poets and writers Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and others. Despite his lifetime of work with the Beats, Ferlinghetti never considered himself one. "I was a straight man keeping the store back home," he says cheerfully. "I was leading a respectful married life on Portrero Hill. These guys were much too far out for me. I didn't go out on the road with them. And I came from a former generation. When I arrived in San Francisco I was still wearing my beret from Paris, and we were known as bohemians ... people who led an unconventional creative life before the Beats came along." In their conversation, Ferlinghetti tells Scheer how his experience as a naval officer in Japan during World War II, seeing "acres of mud with bones and hair sticking out of it" in "a landscape in hell," made him an "instant pacifist." When Scheer suggests that Ferlinghetti and the Beats were sympathetic to the idea that in Cuba, [Fidel] "Castro had the potential of developing a democratic, socialist alternative in Latin America, and that...

Backwater blues: how populism reveals rural resentment in the US and Europe

In Pennsylvania, Trump, supported by rural voters, defeated Clinton. Eden, Janine, Jim/Fickr, CC BY-SA Wiebren J. Boonstra, Stockholm University How could Trump win? After the US election, media everywhere started churning out explanations to understand a victory they failed to see coming. A consensus appears to be that Trump won because his populist message successfully addressed feelings of resentment held by many Americans. If we accept that populism indicates resentment, we learn from these elections that resentment is foremost found in the American countryside. People in the countryside voted for Trump, urban dwellers voted for Clinton. Using populism as telltale, a quick glance at Europe shows that we can suspect rural resentment across the Atlantic too. Prominently visible advocates for Brexit were English fishers who organised under the "Fishing for leave" slogan. A UKIP campaign caravan on the Isle of Wight. Editor5807/Wikimedia, CC BY-ND ...