Monday, June 26, 2023

A @DailyOutsider Network-Wide Special Announcement

 We wanted to take this opportunity in all our properties to advise that we will be "Dark". However, our Social Media Corners will receive daily updates Until After the July 4 Holiday W-End in the United States.

We look forward to the continued privilege of serving in the New Quarter.                                                                                         

Monday, June 19, 2023

On Our "Virtual Route 66" Around the World: On the Week That Was


It has been a challenging number of weeks in our World as we present a sampling of the last few weeks in our World during our ongoing Virtual Walkabout on our "Virtual Route 66" with thoughts courtesy Jacobin, Kaltoons, IEP, Crooked Media, the Coop Scoop, the Financial Times, The Virtual Capitalist, Le Monde Diplomatique and other leading publications.

Trump’s Kryptonite: How Progressives Can Win Back the Working Class
In November 2021, together with Jacobin and YouGov, the Center for Working-Class Politics (CWCP) published findings from our first original survey experiment, designed to better understand which kinds of progressive candidates, messages, and policies are most effective in appealing to working-class voters.

Among other things, the survey found that voters without college degrees are strongly attracted to candidates who focus on bread-and-butter issues, use economic populist language, and promote a bold progressive policy agenda. Our findings suggested that working-class voters lost to Donald Trump could be won back by following the model set by the populist campaigns of Bernie Sanders, John Fetterman, Matt Cartwright, Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez, and others.

Yet our initial study left many questions unanswered and posed many new ones. Which elements of economic populism are most critical for persuading working-class voters? Would economic populist candidates still prove effective in the face of opposition messaging and against Republican populist challengers? How do voter preferences vary across classes and within the working class? Can populist economic messaging rally support from working-class voters across the partisan divide?

To address these questions, we designed a new survey experiment in which we presented seven pairs of hypothetical candidates to a representative group of 1,650 voters. We assessed a vast range of candidate types (23,100 distinct candidate profiles in total) to better understand which candidates perform best overall and among different groups of voters.

Our aim was to test which elements of economic populism are most effective in persuading working-class voters, how the effects of economic populist messaging change in the face of opposition messaging, and how these effects vary both across classes and within the working class.
Read the results of the new study

Le Monde diplomatique English edition logo
Archive selection

June: the longer view

It's hard to establish what people in Russia think of the Ukraine war, though there are signs of discontent. One thing is clear: distrust of 'elites' is growing. '"Us" and "them" are taking on new meanings,' Alexeï Sakhine and Lisa Smirnova write in our current issue. 'While the former encompasses various interpretations ('ordinary people,' 'true patriots,' 'victims of the state'), the latter is less ambiguous: it means the authorities, no longer just the external enemy.' After all, here is a country with sharp inequalities of power and wealth. Reforms to the pension system in 2018 showed that 'the interests of the working and middle classes count for little compared to those of the economic and financial elites', as Karine Clément argued at the time.

The war has had an effect on the global humanitarian aid infrastructure. Aid to Yemen is decreasing because of donor fatigue, the effects of the pandemic, economic problems and the priority Western organisations are giving to Ukraine. This resulted in a 75% drop in 2022.

Elsewhere, El Salvador's self-styled libertarian paradise has the highest incarceration rate in the world; China, Turkey and Russia vie for influence in Cameroon; and Mercosur has an opportunity to become more than a neoliberal alliance. Here's a selection of archives related to our June issue.

A war on history

Benoît Bréville
Anyone who learned about the second world war through how it has been commemorated in 2023 would come away with some very strange ideas. On 27 January the director of the (...)

Western media as cheerleaders for war

Serge Halimi & Pierre Rimbert • March 2023

Heroes and villains, massacres and myths

Jean-Marie Chauvier • August 2007

Russian 'left' split over Ukraine war

Ilya Budraitkis • June 2022

Yemen: tough fight for survival in Marib

Quentin Müller
Two million displaced Yemenis struggle to survive in Marib while fierce fighting continues and the world's aid priorities have switched to (...)

Saudi-led coalition loses its grip on Yemen

Pierre Bernin • January 2021

Yemen's futile war

Laurent Bonnefoy • March 2016

Who wants what in Yemen

P. B. • March 2019

Do Russians really support the war?

Alexeï Sakhine & Lisa Smirnova
With democratic opposition stifled, Vladimir Putin's most vocal critics are on the ultranationalist right. But there are other signs of support ebbing, from deserting (...)

The deep ideological roots of Russia's war

Juliette Faure • April 2022

The view from Moscow

Hélène Richard • April 2022

Russia looks after its rich

Karine Clément • November 2018

Moldova's stark choices about its future

Glen Johnson
Moldova's leaders are resorting to ethnonationalism in response to the Ukraine war. This former Soviet republic is traditionally neutral, and accepting Western support would (...)

Transnistria, relic of a frozen conflict

Loïc Ramirez • January 2022

Moldova's economic exiles

Zoé Lamazou • October 2010

El Salvador run by 'the world's coolest dictator'

Anne-Dominique Correa
Technolibertarians see El Salvador as paradise, but Central America's smallest state locks up more people than anywhere else on earth and its young president, Nayib Bukele, is (...)

Bitcoin, even better than gold?

Frédéric Lemaire • February 2022

Revolutionary management in El Salvador

Karim Bourtel • March 2002

Bringing up the bodies in El Salvador

Sarah Esther Maslin • April 2017

Coop Scoop: The Judge is a Flunky. But Trump is Toast.

The rest of his life will be spent in criminal litigation.



June 16, 2023

By Marc Cooper

Here’s some frightening news.  As a minor defendant in anti-war protest cases 55 years ago and as a journalist who has observed numerous court hearings and cases, I figure that I have spent about 10 times more days in court than Judge Aileen Cannon, assigned to the Trump case, has spent sitting as an active judge.   After she took her lifetime seat on the federal bench three years ago, Judge Cannon has heard a grand total of four cases and as a result has spent a grand total of 14 days actually adjudicating. 

But, wait, there’s more.  Ms. Cannon had exactly ZERO experience as a trial judge when Mad Donald appointed her in late November 2020 – just at the time he was neck deep in plotting how to remain illegally in power.  

Oh, one other detail… before the Senate confirms a federal judge, the nominee must submit everything he or she has ever published or written publicly.  Most nominees turn in their articles from various law reviews, their NYTimes op-eds and, of course, their books.  Aileen Mercedes Cannon turned in 20 newspaper articles she had written. Seventeen of them were written as a college intern for the Spanish language newspaper of the Miami Herald and they have nothing to do with the law or public policy but rather are about tomatoes and pre-natal yoga. When required by the Senate to disclose any and all speeches, public talks, panel and media appearances, Cannon’s answer was “none.”

Almost no one ever noticed the now 41 year old judge until a few months ago when she got assigned the Trump classified documents case.  She immediately broke out her finger painting set and colored pencils and proceeded to so muck up the case so badly, to bend so far in Trump’s direction, to so needlessly extend and complicate the case that within a very short period of time not one but two appeals courts struck down her risible and biased decisions and went so far as to upbraid her.  The appeals court essentially said she did not understand the constitutional separation of powers and that her rulings eroded that pillar of democracy. Scores of other legal experts piled on to express their amazement at her poor decisions.

Just saying this in case the 11th Circuit decides to take her off the case in the coming weeks… to let them know that I, also, have never sat before as a judge but that a) I know much more about the constitution than this lady does and b) I am not a known Trump Flunky and c) I am tanned, rested and ready to serve and therefore am inclined to accelerate rather than obstruct the pace of the trial.

Guess there’s one problem with my proposal.  Unlike Ms. Cannon, I did not spend a previous fifteen years as a loyal ideological robot in the extreme right Federalist Society – quite literally the primary incubator of our current gargoyle-studded Supreme Court as well as much of the federal judiciary as a whole as well as Cannon herself.

Apparently, her tissue thin legal credentials were outweighed by her political obedience to the outgoing and deranged president who appointed her.   And just in case you think this is strictly a Republican production, keep in mind that twelve Senate Democrats also voted along with the insurrectionists on the other side of the aisle to put her over the top and confirm this has-been star of fifth tier journalism.  Keep this in mind… that the confirmation vote came on November 20, 2020 after the election Trump lost and after Trump had shoved dozens of Federalist Society-vetted reactionaries onto the federal bench and after it was clear that in two more months Democrats would have the Senate majority.  Wouldn’t this been like the right moment to put an end to this conveyor belt of Trumplicans making it into black robes in the federal courts?

I think so.  But not everybody. Turns out that only 44 Republicans voted for her confirmation (many senators were just not present because, um, confirming a federal judge for life can hardly be termed important enough to show up). She could only be confirmed with the help of a half dozen Democrats to get her over the line. And now that top Democrat Joe Biden has offered up so many paeans to bi-partisanship, the Dems were generous enough to give Cannon twice the number of yes votes she needed.

Here are the twelve Democratic senators we need to acknowledge for voting to confirm quite possibly the worst judge in recent American history who will now get to oversee, run and, if she feels like it, sabotage or sink what is to date the most important federal prosecution in recent memory:

Jacky Rosen – Nevada.

Mark Warner – Virginia

Joe Manchin – West Virginia

Pat Leahy – Vermont

Tim Kaine – Virginia

Chris Murphy – Connecticut

Doug Jones- Alabama

Maggie Hassan – New Hampshire

Catherine Cortez Mastro – Nevada

Chris Coons – Delaware

Tom Carper – Delaware

And, last, but certainly not least…

Dianne Feinstein of California.

Some of these jokers are still in the Senate (even if some might not be sure where they are in any given moment).  We should bring heavy pressure on that other set of jokers known as The Media to make sure that if any of the above attempt to make any public statements questioning the integrity, seriousness and probity of Federal Judge Cannon, they should first be asked if they wish to apologize for or at least explain their vote to confirm her.

Then, the mandatory follow-up question is the same question that should be asked of anybody not ready to toss this poor excuse for a judge into the rubbish bin:  “Do you think it is OK for a judge to hear a case where the president who appointed her is the defendant? A simples yes or no, please.”

[While we are on the subject of questions…the first question each GOP candidate should be asked and made to answer with as many follow-ups as needed at the Republican Presidential Debate should be: “Do you agree that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election and that Joe Biden is currently the legitimate president of the United States?”  No answer and you are disqualified from further participation].

The damage this judge could do ranks as catastrophic.  As the trial judge she could literally impose a zero sentence on Trump even if found guilty on three dozen felony counts…that’s if she doesn’t delay and delay and delay the trial until Trump has already been re-elected or croaked.

On the other hand…given her history as a skilled political opportunist, it’s possible that Cannon might decide to suddenly play bad cop in order to snuggle up to whatever greater powers might replace Trump,  Or maybe she just got sufficiently humiliated by the appeals courts rebuke to try and act with a modicum of fairness.  Possible. Not probable. Problem is, she just seems not that smart and is capable of an infinity of stupidities.

It’s still not clear if the DOJ or the 11th Circuit will move to replace her.  She certainly is not going to recuse herself as she knows this trial is just one step on the ladder below a big book deal and maybe a Judge Aileen Show on Newsmax when she tires of the real court room. Or if she absolves her hero and mentor and, God Forbid, he’s re-elected, she might dream of being the first mentally challenged justice of the US Supreme Court (though she will have to find a billionaire to be her sponsor, BFF and vacation provider).

That said – and you can call me terribly naïve—I am certain that Trump is, in fact, toast. Even if Cannon goes super easy on him,  Trump is going to spend the rest of his time on earth not in the Oval Office, but in constant civil and criminal litigation.  Somewhere in between he’s a dead-on favorite to lose one more presidential election.  He will also soon be indicted for election subversion and possibly a RICO charge in Georgia and there’s a greater chance than not that Jack Smith will also tag him and bag him for January 6th.  Candidate Trump? Yes. Nominee Trump? Possibly.  Serial Defendant Trump: a total certainty.

I am just as guilty as many in too closely following the Trump story thereby giving undue weight and importance to every daily development.  Some of them really are mind-boggling.  Many are not.  Who the judge is in this case is more in the first category.  But the trick here is to not get distracted by the small stuff but rather to identify and analyze the larger trend lines.

Sorry to sound arrogant, but those are fairly easy to discern as follow:  The walls are closing in. With every passing day, Trump is angrier and more inflammatory.  His hard core supporters are more radical than ever and represent an authentic public danger as Trump sinks. But there are fewer of them every day.  On TV we see the crazier folks draped in flag suits who are ready to set themselves and others aflame for The Dear Orange Leader.  We don’t see, almost ever, the millions of less exuberant former Trump voters who have quietly become disgusted by him and are not about to re-elect him.  Even that growing pack of salamanders who claim to be challenging Trump for the GOP nomination have finally begun painfully crawling toward more direct criticism of Trump.  They also read the trends.

Trend Summary:  Circling the Drain. ++

Most Americans knew that the end of Roe would be ugly. What they didn’t know was how far Republicans were willing to go to punish anyone who tried to fight back. 

  • Rubio wrote in an opinion piece last June that “Pro-abortion terrorism is sweeping our nation,” and particularly targeted the small activist group Jane’s Revenge, which firebombed an anti-abortion pregnancy center in June 2021, but Rubio himself admitted that the other incidents of so-called “terrorism” he describes has not killed or seriously injured anyone. Kowtowing to Republican pressures (as they always do) Facebook later designated Jane’s Revenge as a terrorist organization in June 2022. 


  • But Rubio is not alone in this scheme to even further suppress pro-choice activism. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) also urged the FBI to “identify and investigate cases of abortion-related violence across our country,” in a June 27, 2022, letter he wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray. This time last year, Rubio and Grassley were senior members on the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Judiciary Committee, respectively, both of which oversee the FBI. Their complaints, although largely unfounded, were nevertheless taken very seriously by federal law enforcement. During that same period in which investigations into pro-choice activists skyrocketed, the FBI investigations into “racially or motivated extremists” and “anti government / anti-authority” groups declined precipitously. You know, the right-wing demographics who do actually kill and seriously injure people? Isn’t that interesting! I’m sure Chuck Grassley and Marco Rubio were appalled that investigations into their dear friends dropped.

But wait, unfortunately, there’s more. 

  • Majority rule in the United States isn’t just about elected Republicans imposing wildly unpopular policies on the majority of Americans. It’s also about the handful of consultants and lobbyists who lead Republicans to those decisions. A small group of right-wing medical professionals called the American College of Pediatricians has gained enormous political influence over the past few years despite its research and conclusions being widely uncorroborated and even discredited by the medical establishment. Leaked meeting minutes from inside the organization describe how it has worked with religious groups to “affect the idea makers through the high courts, professional literature, and legislatures.” The group promotes conversion therapy, banning health care for transgender minors, and severe abortion restrictions.