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Avocados in power: millennial upsets Democrat establishment

And Israel is not happy about it

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The Democrats apparently didn’t learn any lessons from their defeat in the 2016 elections. Instead of realizing their defeat as the loss of politics as usual, they preferred to simply point the finger at pretty much anything else, from fake news to bigotry, to ignorance, to you name it. Corporate owned politics in the Democratic Party is now realizing another defeat as a millennial has managed to upset a major congressional election by defeating one of the Democratic Party’s finest, Joseph Crowley.

In cheating Bernie Sanders out of the Democratic nomination, the Democrats ensured that they would not get the needed support of voters who were sick of the political game that the Clinton’s had been playing for decades. Now, one of Sander’s campaign organizers has brought that back to haunt them by ensuring that the Democrats would reap what they had sown.

Danielle Ryan, over at RT, reports:

A 28-year-old socialist has shaken up New York politics and sent shockwaves through the Democratic Party by defeating 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley in the party’s congressional primary.

The political newcomer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was working as a server in a New York restaurant just nine months ago, is a former volunteer for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign and comes from a Puerto Rican family. She won the primary with 57.5 percent of the vote in a largely ethnic-minority district.

Crowley, an establishment Democrat, who had been whispered about as a future leader of the party, had not faced a challenger from the left in 14 years — and his defeat will surely have come as a major shock.


In fact, Crowley was so assured of his victory that he made what was perhaps his fatal mistake: He skipped two debates with the millennial candidate and on one occasion sent a surrogate in his place — moves which came across, naturally, as arrogant snubs to both his opponent and to voters.

Since the defeat of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, progressives in the Democratic party — and outside it — have warned that this kind of complacency would hurt the party in the long run. They argued that the party needed to put forward more truly progressive candidates if it wanted to regain control of the House of Representatives in the November midterm elections.

Impervious to common sense and unwilling to learn the lessons from Clinton’s loss, the top dogs in the Democratic party were still reluctant to listen. In April, a secret recording was leaked, of House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer telling progressive candidate Levi Tillemann, who was running in Colorado’s Sixth District, that he should get out of the race to make room for Jason Crow, the candidate favored by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Tillemann ended up losing his primary to Crow, but the real lesson for Democrats is in New York.


Ocasio-Cortez’s victory sends a resounding message to the Democratic establishment: Progressives are demanding change — and the party can’t afford not to listen to them.

The Sanders-style Democrat ran on a socialist platform far to the left of Crowley. Her policies included abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), medicare for all, free university education, criminal justice reform, and a federal jobs guarantee.

She also challenged the conventional wisdom that Democrats need to take massive donations from corporations in order to win. She took no corporate donations. Instead, she managed to raise more small donations than any other congressional candidate in New York, which allowed her to campaign sincerely on a platform for economic justice, while exposing Crowley as a centrist who does not represent real change.

Ocasio-Cortez’s victory should be seen as a test for Democrats. Are they, finally, willing to learn the lessons from Clinton’s defeat and the growing movement towards real progressive politics — or will they bury their heads in the sand?

The triumph of a 28-year-old socialist against one of the top figures in the Democratic party should be a wakeup call. It’s time for Democrats to ask themselves what could have been if they had had the foresight to nominate a likeable, less-divisive and more progressive candidate to run against Trump in 2016. Surely it is beginning to dawn on them that doing everything in their power to thwart Sanders and rig the primary against him was akin to shooting themselves in the foot.

Ocasio-Cortez will face off against Republican candidate Anthony Pappas in the November midterm elections and, if she wins, she will become the youngest woman ever to be elected to the US Congress.

But that’s not the only thing that is being upset by Ocasio-Cortez’s victory in New York. American foreign policy is witnessing its unpopularity amidst America’s growing number of Democratic Socialists and largest demographic, the millennials, who are not quite as beholding to politically driven ideologies as lens through which to perceive the world, tend to look at the situation as it is. Take Israel’s recent genocidal behaviour in Gaza, for example. Israel came out guns blazing, literally, shooting unarmed protesters, journalists, and nurses and millennials like Ocasio-Cortez are calling it what it is, a massacre.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

WASHINGTON — A 28-year-old progressive Democrat and former organizer for Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid ousted a ten-term party boss from his perch in Congress on Tuesday, touting a new era in Democratic politics that would shift the party, in her image, sharply to the left.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated Joseph Crowley in the Tuesday primary race in New York’s 14th Congressional District by campaigning largely on radical changes to immigration and welfare policy, such as abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and securing Medicare and federal jobs for all. Crowley has been Chair of the House Democratic Caucus since 2017.

But she drew attention from foreign policy circles upon her upset victory for a single tweet on Israel she published during her campaign, in which she characterized the killing of over 60 Palestinians on the Gazan border last month as a “massacre” and demanded congressional attention.

In an interview with Glenn Greenwald, a pundit with the Intercept, conducted earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez explained her position in greater detail. Greenwald opened the discussion referring to “peaceful, unarmed protesters” killed on the Gaza-Israel border in the mid-May protests, although Israel and Hamas both note that 50 of the 62 killed were members of Hamas– categorized by Western governments as a terrorist organization– and were attempting to breach the border.

“My background is as an educator, an organizer and an activist. And I think I was primarily compelled on moral grounds, because I can only imagine if 60 people were shot and killed in Ferguson, or if 60 people were shot in killed in the West Virginia teacher strikes,” Ocasio-Cortez said, referring to civil rights and labor rights protests held in the US in recent years. “The idea that we are not supposed to talk about people dying when they are engaging in political expression just really moved me. And running for office, seeing ,like, the silence around this issue, has been a little interesting to me.”

Ocasio-Cortez noted that her family is Puerto Rican, a US territory “that is granted no rights or civic representation,” she said. “If 60 people were shot in protest of the United States’ negligence in FEMA and kind of keeping us on that island, I couldn’t even imagine if there was silence on that,” she added, referencing the slow federal response to devastation wrought to the island after Hurricane Maria hit last year.

The Democratic candidate also noted the diversity of her congressional district, and said that many Jewish and Muslim constituents had thanked her for the stance she took on Twitter. According to the Berman Jewish Data Bank, a project of the Jewish Federations of North America, roughly 29,000 Jewish residents live in the district– or 4% of the district population..

“People say in New York City this is political suicide, and so on, but I had a lot of my own constituents thanking me for taking that position,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “I think that in the same lens that I looked at it, people, I think, are separating the actions and the status of the Palestinians from the greater geopolitics of the area. I think people are starting to just look at the humanitarian state of the Palestinian people through a humanitarian lens.”

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez’s former boss, has taken similarly hard lines against the Israeli government. He referred the violence in May, around the Palestinian commemoration of the “disaster” (Nakba) of Israel’s birth and the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, as a “tragic overreaction” by the IDF.

At the time, Sanders said the solution was a US-led response to the growing humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip, currently controlled by Hamas.

“I don’t even see this as a political issue, especially through the frame of that one incident, and especially coming from the background of an activist,” Ocasio-Cortez added in her interview with Greenwald. “I just think that we need to talk about these things, and we need to talk about the basic humanitarian rights that should be afforded to all people, including the freedom of political expression.”

That’s not the same political rhetoric that the Israel lobby has been circulating in Washington. As far as the traditional right and left are concerned, protesters were protesting and the bullets just came and the casualties just happened, as if the Israelis, who were claiming that they knew just where every one of their bullets was landing, had nothing to do with those killings.

As the millennials finally gain a foothold in American society, lots of things are going to be changing,  including politics, and Ocasio-Cortez is showing how that happens in way that is going to require some political adjustment. Maybe it’s all that avocado toast and kombucha that millennials are into.

 

 

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Nightcrawler136

So there’s hope for the US but it will be 20-30years before the millennials have an effect on policies!

ghartwell
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A significant window into what is happening in the Clinton-Democrats. Blame, denial and complacency is not leading to competitive politics. Does not look good for Democrats in mid-terms.

91.185.51.35
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“Ocasio-Cortez…won the primary with 57.5 percent of the vote in a largely ethnic-minority district.

Still, assigning her win to overwhelming electorate enthusiasm and energy might be premature. Keep in mind that yes, she upset the lazy old white dude, but the total vote count was barely 28,000 out of a district of 700,000+ people with 350,000 (+/-) registered voters. If that’s energized I’m wondering what ‘disinterested’ would look like.

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Some Russian monarchists want Tsar Vladimir Putin

Latest news from Russian monarchists highlight the debate over bringing the Russian Empire back to life in modern times.

Seraphim Hanisch

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A December 13 report in The Wall Street Journal shone light on a notion that has been afoot in the Russian Federation since the fall of Communism in 1991 – the restoration of the Monarchy as the form of government, complete with a new Tsar of all the Russias.

Of course, some of these monarchists have a top contender in mind for that post, none other than President Vladimir Putin himself.

This idea has long been used in a pejorative light in the West, as various shadowy and not-so-shadowy elements in the American media speculated over the years that Mr. Putin was actually aspiring to become Tsar. This was thrown around until probably the time that the Russian president spoke, lamenting the fall of Communism, and since then the prime accusation has been that President Putin wants to bring back the Soviet Union.

This is not true. It also does not appear to be the case that the Russian president wants to be Tsar. But the monarchists are not fazed in the slightest. Here is excerpted material from the WSJ piece, with emphases added:

The last time term limits forced Russian leader Vladimir Putin to step down from the presidency, he became prime minister for a few years.

This time around, a group of pro-Kremlin activists have a different idea: Proclaim him Czar Vladimir.

“We will do everything possible to make sure Putin stays in power as long as possible,” Konstantin Malofeyev, a politically active businessman, said recently to thunderous applause from hundreds of Russian Orthodox priests and members of the country’s top political parties gathered at a conference outside Moscow. They were united by one cause—to return the monarchy to Russia…

Even among those who want a monarchy, however, there are splits over what kind it should be. Is an absolute monarchy better than a constitutional monarchy? Should a blood line be established or should the czar be elected? For those who favor male succession, would it be a problem that Mr. Putin reportedly only has two daughters? Some have even suggested others besides Mr. Putin should accede to the throne.

There is a very keen interest indeed among some in Russia that propose various options as to who might best become Tsar in the event that the Monarchy is restored.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich Romanov and his mother, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna of Russia, together with Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, head of the Russian Orthodox Church Department of External Relations

One candidate that has received significant attention is a man by the name of George Mikhailovich Romanov. He is an actual member of the Royal family, the heir apparent to Maria Vladimirovna Romanova, Grand Duchess of Russia. There are other heir apparents as well, and the issue as to who it should be has not been settled among the surviving members of the Romanov family.

The restoration of the Russian monarchy is unique because to carries strong religious significance. As far back as the 8th and 9th centuries, A.D., a host of saints and prophets appear to have foreseen the advent of the Soviet times and the restoration of the Tsar after their conclusion.

Some such prophecies are attributed to anonymous sources, but some are named. Here are two with rather extensive editing, so please go to the site linked for the fullest description of the prophecies.

Monk Abel the Prophet (+1831).

In a conversation with Tsar Paul I (+1801), after prophesying the destinies of all the Tsars from Paul I to Nicholas II:

“What is impossible for man is possible for God. God delays with His help, but it is said that He will give it soon and will raise the horn of Russian salvation. And there will arise a great prince from your race in exile, who stands for the sons of his people. He will be a chosen one of God, and on his head will be blessing. He will be the only one comprehensible to all, the very heart of Russia will sense him. His appearance will be sovereign and radiant, and nobody will say: ‘The Tsar is here or there’, but all will say: ‘That is him’. The will of the people will submit to the mercy of God, and he himself will confirm his calling. His name has occurred three times in Russian history. Two of the same name have already been on the throne, but not on the Tsar’s throne. But he will sit on the Tsar’s throne as the third. In him will be the salvation and happiness of the Russian realm.”

“Russian hopes will be realized upon [the cathedral of Hagia] Sophia in Tsargrad [Constantinople]; the Orthodox Cross will gleam again; Holy Rus will be filled with the smoke of incense and prayer, and will blossom like a heavenly lily.”

And from one of the most famous saints in Russian history:

St. John of Kronstadt (+1908):

“I foresee the restoration of a powerful Russia, still stronger and mightier than before. On the bones of these martyrs, remember, as on a strong foundation, will the new Russia we built – according to the old model; strong in her faith in Christ God and in the Holy Trinity! And there will be, in accordance with the covenant of the holy Prince Vladimir, a single Church! Russian people have ceased to understand what Rus is: it is the footstool of the Lord’s Throne! The Russian person must understand this and thank God that he is Russian.”

“The Church will remain unshaken to the end of the age, and a Monarch of Russia, if he remains faithful to the Orthodox Church, will be established on the Throne of Russia until the end of the age.”

What may surprise those in the West is that there are a great many people in Russia and in Orthodox Christian countries in general who take these prophecies quite seriously.

Interestingly enough, when the idea of restoring the monarchy was brought to President Putin’s attention, he regarded the idea as “beautiful” according to Lt. General Leonid Reshetnikov, but also expressed concern that it would lead to stagnation within the country.

A second statement, this one by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, noted that President Putin does not like the idea of bringing back the monarchy, but offered no comment on the conversation with Mr. Reshetnikov.

The idea of restoring the monarchy is not completely absurd. Britain overthrew its own monarchy in 1649 during that country’s Civil War, but it was restored shortly afterwards under King Charles II. Spain cast aside its monarchy in 1931, with its king, Alfonso XIII going into exile, but after sixteen years this monarchy, too, was restored.

Both of these monarchies have become largely ceremonial, with most governing functions carried out through some kind of Parliament and Prime Minister. It is therefore not clear what a ruling monarchy in Russia would look like.

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US confirms pullout from INF treaty, Moscow will respond if missiles placed in Europe – deputy FM

Moscow will respond to possible attempts to place short and intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles in Europe if the US decides to go on with this plan.

RT

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Washington has confirmed its decision to withdraw from the INF treaty is final, Russia’s deputy foreign minister said, adding that Moscow will ‘take measures’ if American missiles that threaten its security are placed in Europe.

“Washington publicly announced its plans to withdraw from the treaty (the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) already in October. Through the high-level bilateral channels it was confirmed to us that this decision was final and wasn’t an attempt to initiate dialogue,” Sergey Ryabkov told the Kommersant newspaper.

The Deputy FM said that Moscow will respond to possible attempts to place short and intermediate range nuclear-capable missiles in Europe if the US decides to go on with this plan.

“We’ll be forced to come up with effective compensating measures. I’d like to warn against pushing the situation towards the eruption of new ‘missile crises.’ I am convinced that no sane country could be interested in something like this,” he said.

Russia isn’t threatening anybody, but have the necessary strength and means to counter any aggressor.
Back in October, President Donald Trump warned that Washington was planning unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty because “Russia has not adhered to the agreement.” The US leader also promised that the country would keep boosting its nuclear arsenal until Russia and China “come to their senses.”

Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington will suspend its obligations under the treaty within 60 days if Russia does not “return to compliance.”

Signed in late 1988, the INF agreement was considered a milestone in ending the arms race between the US and the USSR.

In recent years, Moscow and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of violating the INF deal. While the US has alleged that Russia has developed missiles prohibited by the treaty, Russia insists that the American anti-missile systems deployed in Eastern Europe can actually be used to launch intermediate-range cruise missiles.

The deputy FM said that Washington “never made a secret” of the fact that its INF treaty pullout “wasn’t so much about problems between the US and Russia, but about the desire of the Americans to get rid of all restrictions that were inconvenient for them.”

The US side expressed belief that the INF deal “significantly limits the US military’s capabilities to counter states with arsenals of medium-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles,” which threaten American interests, he said. “China, Iran and North Korea” were specifically mentioned by Washington, Ryabkov added.

“I don’t think that we’re talking about a new missile crisis, but the US plans are so far absolutely unclear,” Mikhail Khodarenok, retired colonel and military expert, told RT, reminding that the Americans have avoided any type of “meaningful discussion” with Moscow in regards to its INF deal pullout.

While “there’ll be no deployment of [US missiles] in Europe any time soon,” Moscow should expect that Washington would try to void other agreements with Russia as well, Khodarenok warned.

The INF deal “just stopped being beneficial for the US. Next up are all the other arms control treaties. There’ll be no resistance from the NATO allies [to US actions],” he said.

“The neocons who run Trump’s foreign policy never have liked arms reduction treaties,” former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT. “The new START treaty which comes up for renewal also could be in jeopardy.”

“The risk of a new nuclear buildup is really quite obvious” if the US withdrawals from the INF treaty, Dan Smith, the director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, told RT.

“I think the relations between the great powers – the US and Russia as well as the US and China – are more difficult than they’ve been for a long time,” he added.

However, with Washington having indicated that it wants China to be part of the new deal, “there are still possibilities for negotiations and agreement,” according to Smith. Nonetheless, he warned that following this path will demand strong political will and tactical thinking from the leadership of all three countries.

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US Pressures Germany To Ditch Huawei Over ‘Security Concerns’

This news will likely not go over well in Beijing, which is still struggling with the US and Canada over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.

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Via Zerohedge


First it was Australia, New Zealand and Japan, now the US is pressing the German government to refuse to use equipment manufactured by Chinese telecom giant Huawei as Europe’s largest economy seeks to build out its 5G infrastructure.

According to Bloomberg, a US delegation met on Friday with German Foreign Ministry officials in Berlin to talk about the security risks presented by Huawei’s equipment, which the US says is vulnerable to spying. The meeting in Germany follows a report from late last month claiming the US had launched an “extraordinary outreach campaign” to warn its allies against using Huawei equipment (while its vulnerability to Chinese spying has been cited as the reason to avoid Huawei, it’s also worth noting that the US and China are locked in a battle for who will dominate the global 5G space…a battle that Huawei is currently winning).

Germany is set to hold an auction early next year to find a supplier to help expand its 5G network. The Berlin meeting took place one day after Deutsche Telekom said it would reexamine its decision to use Huawei equipment.

US officials are optimistic that their warnings are getting a hearing, though any detailed talks are in early stages and no concrete commitments have been made, according to one of the people.

The US pressure on Germany underscores increased scrutiny of Huawei as governments grapple with fears that the telecom-equipment maker’s gear is an enabler for Chinese espionage. The Berlin meeting took place a day after German carrier Deutsche Telekom AG said it will re-evaluate its purchasing strategy on Huawei, an indication that it may drop the Chinese company from its list of network suppliers.

France is also reportedly considering further restrictions after adding Huawei products to its “high alert” list. The US has already passed a ban preventing government agencies from using anything made by Huawei. But the telecoms equipment provider isn’t taking these threats to its business lying down.

U.S. warnings over espionage are a delicate matter in Germany. Revelations over the scale of the National Security Agency’s signals intelligence, including reports of tapping Merkel’s mobile phone, are still fresh in Berlin five years after they came to light.

Huawei is pushing back against the accusations. The company’s rotating chairman warned this week that blacklisting the Chinese company without proof will hurt the industry and disrupt the emergence of new wireless technology globally. Ken Hu, speaking at a Huawei manufacturing base in Dongguan, cited “groundless speculation,” in some of the first public comments since the shock arrest of the company’s chief financial officer.

This news will likely not go over well in Beijing, which is still struggling with the US and Canada over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver. In an editorial published Sunday, the Global Times, an English-language mouthpiece for the Communist Party, warned that China should retaliate against any country that – like Australia – takes a hard line against Huawei. So, if you’re a German citizen in Beijing, you might want to consider getting the hell out of Dodge.

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