At The Financial Times: On Macri’s failed attempt at the Neo-Liberalization of Argentina. Political Observer comments

It was a stunning reversal for the 59-year-old former businessman who came to power in December 2015 vowing to make Argentina a “normal country”, after 12 years of leftist rule by Mr Kirchner and his wife Cristina Fernández.

Not ‘normal country’ ! Macri paid a ransom to Vulture Capitalist Paul Singer, as the admission price to the utterly dysfunctional Family of Neo-Liberal Nations!

Two days ago, in this newspaper, there were at least three ‘news stories’ about the present Argentine Crisis that I read, two of those ‘reports’ had disabled comments sections. There is nothing this newspaper fears more than The Rebellion Against The Elites, except the open contempt of its readership! Those ‘news stories’ brimmed with the symptoms of the ‘run on the currency’. But  the pseudo-technocrats at The Financial Times demonstrate that the Dismal Science is in fact Political Economy, in the vulgar ill-fitting party dress of Statistical Data!

Austerity has never worked even in its ‘gradualist’ iteration of Macri. Wunderkind Alfonso Prat-Gay was Macri’s Minister of Finance for a short time but  look at his record of achievements in ending ‘the clamp’ and the part of his record that is equally dubious :

A decade later, as Minister of the Economy of Mauricio Macri, he lifted 4-year-old government controls on the Argentine currency (“the clamp”), a mere 4 days after taking office.[4]

Prat-Gay was appointed minister of financed in 2015, by president Mauricio Macri. In that capacity, he successfully ended the currency controls established by Cristina Kirchner and the sovereign default declared in 2001. He also helped to restore international relations, and the update of the figures of the wealth tax, which had not been updated in previous years in line with inflation. He had conflicting views of the economy with Federico Sturzenegger, president of the Central Bank of Argentina. By demand of president Macri, he resigned on December 26, 2016,[15] and was succeeded by Nicolás Dujovne.[16]

Prat-Gay was appointed minister of financed in 2015, by president Mauricio Macri. In that capacity, he successfully ended the currency controls established by Cristina Kirchner and the sovereign default declared in 2001. He also helped to restore international relations, and the update of the figures of the wealth tax, which had not been updated in previous years in line with inflation. He had conflicting views of the economy with Federico Sturzenegger, president of the Central Bank of Argentina. By demand of president Macri, he resigned on December 26, 2016,[15] and was succeeded by Nicolás Dujovne.[16]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfonso_Prat-Gay

Could the removal of ‘the clamp’ and the ‘gradualism’ of the Austerity of Macri be the root of the present Argentine Crisis?

I can’t find any information on ‘political analyst’ Carlos Germano in English. My cynicism tells me he is an Investment House or Think Tank employee.

“When you talk about the IMF in Argentina, you are talking about a crisis,” says Carlos Germano, a political analyst, who says that “Fund” has become a dirty word in Argentina. “The Kirchner government worked hard to [demonise] the IMF. The vast majority now believe it is synonymous with crisis and usury.”

More quotes from Macri apologists is predictable, Juan Cruz Díaz, managing director at Cefeidas Group, a Buenos Aires risk consultancy. :

“No one seriously thinks that,” says Mr Díaz. “We are a long way from 2001. It is still a solid government — with problems, yes, and there have been a lot of criticisms of the way economic policy has been handled — but no one is questioning the strength or the capability of the government to run the country, which is what was happening in 2001.”

And Nicolás Dujovne, Argentina’s treasury minister:

Last, the IMF has changed. “Today it is very different from the one we knew 20 years ago,” Nicolás Dujovne, Argentina’s treasury minister, said on Tuesday. “It has learnt lessons from the past, and I repeat, it has helped our gradual programme.”

Here is a quote from Ricardo Alfonsín of the Radical party, on the $30 billion loan by the IMF (via the Guardian):

“More than an agreement with the IMF, what is needed is an agreement between Argentinians,” Ricardo Alfonsín of the Radical party told the Guardian. “I’m worried by the IMF’s conditions. With time, the remedy could prove worse than the disease.”

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/argentina-seeks-emergency-credit-from-the-imf-2018-5

Ricardo Alfonsín comment is instructive about a more that likely political outcome of the Macri’s failure. But this failure is carefully garnished by the Neo-Liberal apologists at The Financial Times, and their allies in the present Macri government, not to speak of the ideological fellow travelers in the Policy Technocracy.

As reported in The New York Times of October 22, 2017, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner lost to a Macri candidate Esteban Bullrich by a mere 4%.

In the closely watched province of Buenos Aires, where the Senate candidate aligned with Mr. Macri, Esteban Bullrich, faced off against Mr. Macri’s predecessor and political rival, former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the governing coalition won by four percentage points.

“Today, the winner wasn’t a group of candidates nor a party. Today the winner was the certainty that we can change history forever,” a beaming Mr. Macri said at his campaign headquarters before he danced on stage alongside his wife, Juliana Awada, and key members of his coalition.

Macri’s appeal to the IMF to rescue his failed attempt at his ‘gradualist reforms’ ,of the Argentine Economy, looks like the perfect opportunity for the political return of  Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. And her collection of Porteños, criollos, mestizos and indigenous people. In fact, it looks like a gift!

Political Observer

https://www.ft.com/content/025d288e-5325-11e8-b3ee-41e0209208ec

 

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Macri’s Folly @FT

Headline:Argentine peso sinks to new low as sell-off resumes

Sub-headline: Decline comes despite central bank raising interest rates to 40 per cent
4  hours ago

Markets need to see a radical tightening in fiscal policy in order to stabilise the situation, and that includes cutting wage hikes in order to fight inflation. The next step would be to ask the IMF to come to the rescue.”

Chile’s peso is off 1.3 per cent lower, the Polish zloty has fallen 1.2 per cent and the Mexican peso is off 0.9 per cent. The Russian rouble, the South African rand and the Brazilian real are all at least 0.5 per cent lower. The euro was down 0.6 per cent at $1.1932, while the pound dropped 0.3 per cent to $1.3511.

Comments disabled !!!!!!

https://www.ft.com/content/63a9ef64-52c6-11e8-b24e-cad6aa67e23e

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Headline: Argentina’s ‘shock and awe’ appears to pay off

Sub-headline: Investors have taken comfort from central bank action, but Turkey is struggling

5 hours ago

Argentina’s drastic policy actions appear to have paid off. Last week, the country was on the ropes.

After monetary and fiscal policy mis-steps, the Argentine peso fell to a record low and the country’s debt tumbled in price. Its 100-year bond — issued almost a year ago and lapped up by investors hailing a new market-friendly government — sank from 94 cents on the dollar last month to a low of 83.1 cents. But a series of substantial interest rate increases and a promise to reduce the budget deficit more quickly have helped stabilise markets, with the “century bond” holding just below 87 cents on the dollar on Tuesday in London. Both Payden & Rygel and T-Rowe Price — US investment groups that bought the century bond when it was sold — say they have taken advantage of the rout to buy more Argentine debt.

https://www.ft.com/content/ea4728b8-5229-11e8-b3ee-41e0209208ec

@FT What is the Neo-Liberal Party Line on Macri’s misbegotten ransom payment to Vulture Capitalist Paul Singer? Shock and Awe or Welcome to The Neo-Liberal Collapse? 

Almost Marx

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Wunderkind Ronan Farrow on the American Empire’s henchman Richard Holbrooke. Political Reporter comments

As a reader of this excerpt of Ronan Farrow’s book War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence on Richard Holbrooke, he must have a prodigious memory, or be like Samuel Pepys spending many hours recording the events of his day in dairy entries. Yet his penchant for supplying quotation marks, to comments made by the prominent political actors, in his melodramatic retelling of the Holbrooke Saga, indicates what? Some of the quotations are part of the public record, but others are not.

For one so young Mr. Farrow traveled in exalted political circles. In 2009 Mr. Farrow was 22 years old. Yet his educational achievements, for one so young, are more than impressive:

Farrow attended Bard College at Simon’s Rock, later transferring to Bard College for a B.A. degree in philosophy[6] and becoming the youngest graduate of that institution at age 15.[7][8] In 2009,[9] he received a J.D. degree from Yale Law School,[8] and was later admitted to the New York Bar.[10]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronan_Farrow

Mr. Farrow’s rise to prominence as political commentator can be attributed to his academic achievements, and the prominence of his parents and the advantages that brought.

He was part of a team of officials recruited by the diplomat Richard Holbrooke,[20] for whom Farrow had previously worked as a speechwriter.[21] For the next two years, Farrow was responsible for “overseeing the U.S. Government’s relationships with civil society and nongovernmental actors” in Afghanistan and Pakistan.[15][18]

In 2011, Farrow was appointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as her Special Adviser for Global Youth Issues[22] and Director of the State Department’s Office of Global Youth Issues.[15

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronan_Farrow

Mr. Farrow offers this telling assessment of Holbrooke early in his essay: But he was a detailed observer of the world and indomitable in his excitement about it. In other words, he was the rare asshole who was worth it.  Is this what Mr. Farrow wishes to convey about Holbrooke?

In August 1977, then Assistant Secretary of State, Holbrooke traveled to Indonesia to meet with President Suharto in the midst of Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor, in which over 100,000 East Timorese were ultimately killed or starved to death. According to Brad Simpson, director of the Indonesia and East Timor Documentation Project at the National Security Archives, Holbrooke had visited officially to press for human rights reform but, after meeting Suharto, had instead praised him for Indonesia’s human rights improvements, for the steps that Indonesia had taken to open East Timor to the West, and for allowing a delegation of congressmen to enter the territory under strict military guard, where they were greeted by staged celebrations welcoming the Indonesian armed forces.[17]

n January 2001, Holbrooke said that “Iraq will be one of the major issues facing the incoming Bush administration at the United Nations.” Further, “Saddam Hussein‘s activities continue to be unacceptable and, in my view, dangerous to the region and, indeed, to the world, not only because he possesses the potential for weapons of mass destruction but because of the very nature of his regime. His willingness to be cruel internally is not unique in the world, but the combination of that and his willingness to export his problems makes him a clear and present danger at all times.”[48]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Holbrooke

Near the end of this excerpt,  Mr. Farrow offers this bit of either the cynical use of political kitsch, or perhaps the saddest comment on the absence of a father, in the life of a child, I have yet to read!

“He was the closest thing to a father I had,” I said quietly, surprising myself. “He was the closest thing to a father I had,” I said quietly, surprising myself.

Political Reporter

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/05/05/richard-holbrooke-ronan-farrow-book-excerpt-218319

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John Paul Rathbone interviews Mario Vargas Llosa, for The Financial Times. American Writer comments

I’ve only read one of Vargas Llosa books ‘The Temptation of the Impossible Victor Hugo and Les Misérables’ published in English translation in 2007 by Princeton University Press.

TheTemptationoftheImpossiblePrincetonFTMay072018

https://press.princeton.edu/titles/8358.html

I had read the Penguin paperback of Les Misérables , and found Vargas Llosa commentary and tribute to Hugo’s book worthy of the time it took to read and think about this classic of World Literature. At least until reading Tim Park’s essay, in The London Review of Books, titled ‘Thunderstruck’ a review of The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure of ‘Les Misérables’ by David Bellos. This paragraph of Park’s essay demonstrates that Hugo and  Vargas Llosa share an oligarchic sympathy against the ‘Left’ outlook, if not practice :

And on another, of reversal. Elected to the National Assembly after the collapse of the monarchy in 1848, Hugo found himself at the centre of things when Parisian workers rebelled against the new government’s decision to introduce conscription for the unemployed and threw up barricades across the city in response. Though at this point he was claiming that the future lay with the people, Hugo first agreed to visit the barricades and demand they be dismantled, then, when the rebels wouldn’t obey, exceeded his brief by ordering the National Guard to open fire. For three tumultuous days and at great personal risk, Hugo, unasked, led government attacks on the barricades. ‘He was a dutiful man,’ Bellos remarks. Hugo’s biographer Graham Robb puts it more brutally. ‘This means that [Hugo] was directly responsible for the deaths of untold numbers of workers.’

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n09/tim-parks/thunderstruck

The above quotation from the Park’s review confirms the evidence of the Hugo and Vargas Llosa  political propinquity:

There, during the Margaret Thatcher years, he re-forged his political compass, reading deeply Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek and Isaiah Berlin. Such classic liberalism, even among fans of his fiction, often jars in a part of the world where leftist views are still taken as a badge of intellectual honour.

Mr. Rathbone assures his readership that Vargas Llosa’s status as disillusioned ‘Leftist’, and his conversion to Thatcherite is mitigated by : ‘nor is he quite a standard-bearer for the conservative right either.’  In sum, Vargas Llosa is a Neo-Liberal, but with decidedly oligarchical political sympathies. As evidence of his status :

On 4 February 2011, Vargas Llosa was raised into the Spanish nobility by King Juan Carlos I with the hereditary title of Marqués de Vargas Llosa (English: Marquis of Vargas Llosa).[97][98]

Vargas Llosa joined the Mont Pelerin Society in 2014.[101] He is also a member of Washington D.C. based think tank, the Inter-American Dialogue.[102]

He was named in the Panama Papers released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on 10 May 2016.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Vargas_Llosa

Mr. Rathbone writes an eminently readable essay, on his lunch with one of a completely vanishing species, the Man of Letters. And the portrait of  Vargas Llosa drawn by Mr. Rathbone is winning, yet a question remains, where might be the Women of Letters be in the present dismal age of Neo-Liberal Collapse? A question not to be answered in the pages of this newspaper? In Conservative Letters, what we in America have is the rickety old Dandy, as imagined by Walt Disney, Tom Wolf. Gore Vidal remains the model for the American Man of Letters, as yet to be matched, by any writer male of female.Capote, Mailer and Vidal were once ubiquitous figures on the American scene, not to speak of Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Susan Sontag, Mary McCarthy, Lillian Hellman.

Television is the preferred medium of choice for the gaggle of Think Tank propagandists, that corrupt the public discourse, with their never ending, but vacuous chatter, that defines the Centrism of the political present: the alliance between the Neo-Liberals and the Neo-Conservatives.

American Writer

https://www.ft.com/content/7cc0568a-4d23-11e8-8a8e-22951a2d8493

 

 

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edward.luce@ft.com chatters about the Trump/Murdoch alliance. Almost Marx comments

With not too many changes this paragraph could very well be said of many politicians from Goldwater, Nixon, Reagan and Thatcher. Even Tony Blankly used to engage in the rhetoric of resentment, when his usual political bluster was exhausted: as an instrument  of an Oakeshottian dismissal of the political aspirations of the Lower Orders. Perfect territory for Mr. Luce to extemporize upon Trump, the mentee of the utterly loathsome Roy Cohn, not to speak of Game Show host with an unforgettable tag line: ‘Your Fired‘ , that established his Leadership in the minds of Americans who consume the snack-food of Television.  Murdoch a Press Lord whose fortune was made by reactionary politics ,scandal mongering and an a trove of bribe money, spiced up with soft-core pornography. His Tabloid journals set the stage for ‘Fox News’ Empire of Un-Reason‘. With its Know-Nothings Beck, O’Reilly and Hannity, and his collection of Stepford Wives, under the care of his gargoyle Roger Ailes.

Today’s great electoral skill is the ability to harvest resentment. The psychology is simple. Identify with a large demographic that feels looked down on. Fuse your anxieties with theirs. Always be entertaining. Above all, treat voters as a delivery mechanism for your ends: power, status and more money. Policies are for wonks. Celebrity is for winners. Those who find a way to tap mass insecurity have struck political gold.

Here Mr. Luce’s narrative begins to take shape:

It was Cohn who introduced the US president to Rupert Murdoch in 1976 after he bought the New York Post. Mr Trump’s antics helped sell newspapers, which, in turn, gave him the celebrity he craved. Their relationship changed the west’s democratic course. But it was Mr Murdoch who made it possible.

This may be true, but the proximate cause of Mr. Trump’s political rise was his Apprentice television show where his ‘leadership abilities’, or rather his bulling tactics passing as leadership, were established in the television viewers minds, that eventually voted for him.

There is much more of Mr. Luce’s potted history of the Murdoch/Trump Alliance, brimming with the tales of Corporatist maneuvering ,deal making and other points of near prurient interest, all of it framed by the ‘politics of resentment’ .With not one mention of Mr. Trump’s racist campaign against the Central Park Five:

But in 2002, a convicted rapist named Matias Reyes confessed to the crime, saying he had acted alone. While police were unable to connect DNA from any of the Central Park Five to the scene of the crime, Reyes’s DNA matched that in semen found on the victim’s body. The five were exonerated and paid a $41 million settlement in 2014.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/10/trump-the-central-park-5-are-guilty-despite-dna-evidence.html

The rise of Populism is about the abject failure of Neo-Libralism to deliver the goods. The failure to produce the long promised Prosperity, that was to be the end point of its Still-born Revolution. Never will the advocates/apologists, for this catastrophically failed  economic experiment admit their culpability. While they condemn the Populism that is the end point of that failed social/economic experiment. ‘The Road to Serfdom’ is the title of the biography of this age!

Almost Marx

https://www.ft.com/content/d860a116-4de1-11e8-97e4-13afc22d86d4

 

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gideon.rachman@ft.com contemplates ‘the strange isolation of Emmanuel Macron’ . Almost Marx comments

Mr. Rachman outdoes himself in this second paragraph of his anguished love letter to M. 37%. And the quotes from CIA shill Jeff Bezos’ Neo-Con dominated Washington Post, or from John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei’s political gossip sheet Politico (Leader of The Free World, bunk!) lends nothing , with the exception of the power of the ersatz charisma of Macron. Or that he  ‘radiates energy, charisma and intelligence’  Where might the reader place his declining approval ratings at 40% as of last week?

http://en.rfi.fr/france/20180418-macron-s-popularity-rating-falls-40

At a time when Angela Merkel looks tired, Theresa May looks overwhelmed and Donald Trump looks berserk, the French president radiates energy, charisma and intelligence. His US trip generated laudatory headlines, with a Washington Post column arguing that “the fate of the western alliance is in Macron’s hands” and Politico proclaiming that Mr Macron is now the “new leader of the free world”.

But Mr Rachman does not miss the point of Macron’s steeply declining French poll numbers,  Macron dismisses ‘polls’ in his Vanity Fair interview:

“I don’t believe [for] one second in polls,” he says.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/04/emmanuel-macron-opens-up-about-iran-and-his-new-pal-in-the-west-wing-trump

Mr. Rachman says of Macron : ‘He has admirers in many western capitals (and in even more western newsrooms). Although Mr. Rachman is not a reporter, but a Financial Times Pundit, who recites the Neo-Liberal Party Line. The hint is that our writer is not wearing blinders, but softens the impact of such a vexing political conundrum as eroding support for Jupertarian Politics.

But to lead you have to have followers — or at least close allies. So far, Mr Macron is struggling in that department. He has admirers in many western capitals (and in even more western newsrooms). But there is, as yet, little evidence that he can form international coalitions to shift the direction of world affairs.

What Macron and Trump share is their Authoritarian Personalities, in that very important sense they a kin.

Rachman, then, engages in an exercise in self-serving History Made to Measure in its crudest form. But the clear evidence is that M. 37% is a New Cold Warrior gives some consolation. And in the final ,yet truly surprising conclusion to Mr. Rachman’s essay, that almost looks like a bolt of Political Realism, he is still unable to face the pervasive nihilism of Neo-Liberalism, and he trivializes it as less fashionable. Liberalism and Neo-Liberalism cannot be mistaken for each other, although demonstrating a kind of  diffuse propinquity.  While one of the central dogmas of that Economic Theology, ‘The Self-Correcting Market’ , has yet to manifest itself, to put right the Economic Collapse of 2008, and its interminable aftermath. Not to speak of a Capitalism, that has forgotten the Cold War Myth that its Free Market would bring an unending age of prosperity!

The danger for Mr Macron is that he could be a leader who is out of tune with the times. At home, he is a liberal economic reformer, at a time when “neoliberalism” has never been less fashionable. He is a pro-European at a time of mounting Euroscepticism across the EU. He is a globalist and an internationalist at a time when protectionism and nationalism are on the march.

Almost Marx

https://www.ft.com/content/f6634708-4c52-11e8-97e4-13afc22d86d4

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@MissMarple

Agatha Christie’s great detective was an empiricist to her core, aided by the working of her mind, and the insights that came to her as flashes of intuition. Would that your bizarre affirmation of what, exactly, could reach her standard! Faith in Macron’s ability to charm? Or sharing in his exercise of his rampant megalomania ? His unslakable ambition for a place on the World Stage should be a warning signal, at least for the empiricist not blinded by a perverse hero worship!

This man who managed to inspire a 36.5% of uncountable ballots, either blank or spoiled in some way , in the final vote. And his popularity at 40 %  with the Rolling Strikes make a perfect political atmosphere for the ‘Left’ or a ‘Center’ not corrupted by the Neo-Liberal pathogen (A vain hope I know!) to bring his Pseudo-Revolution to a crawl.

And this:

A politician’s actions cannot be dictated by opinion polls

Macron came to power with a ready made dissident citizenry of that 36.5%, factor that with his 40% popularity, representing the decline of a decline: and even the most ardent acolyte, might just be chastened by the inconvenient empirical evidence.?

Regards,

StephenKMackSD

https://on.ft.com/2I4Rj5r

 

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@Ivanhoe

While @Descartes, above your comment, makes, raises some challenging, indeed very pertinent issues, you recite The Neo-Liberal Party Line on France:


Macron today represents both the hope for a liberal and democratic Europe as well as at least a hope for a revitalized France which slowly is succumbing to a national inertia which is depriving young French people a fair chance to build a prosperous life of their own by establishing entrepreneurial small companies and obtaining relevant education in a society that does not give all its people equal chances.

Yet in America that selfsame Neo-Liberalism has eviscerated the Middle Class, the very life force of Democracy. The inertia you speak of, in the French context, is not just present in America, it is the product of the misbegotten Neo-Liberal experiment, that demonstrates that  one of the articles of Faith of this Corporatist Swindle, the Self-Correcting Market,  is the purest of fictions. The Entrepreneur is not an historical singularity, to replace the Citizen in all her obligations, privileges, duties ,nor to speak of her sovereignty. The Economic Trinity of Mises/Hayek/Friedman to express it in the most vulgar terms were/are Corporatists with a pretentious ‘philosophical veneer’. Begin your inquiry here:

Hayek: The Good, The Bad,The Ugly

http://www.criticalreview.com/current_issue25_34.html

Regards,

StephenKMackSD

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The New York Times’ Editorial Board metaphorically kisses Anthony Kennedy’s Ass. American Writer comments

After their obsequious preliminaries, The Editorial Board of The New York Times frames their milquetoast critique of Neo-Confederate/Originalist Fellow Traveler Anthony Kennedy, as residing in ‘part of his charm’. Call this not just the exercise of the obsequious, but of kowtowing of the most nauseating kind. The obsequious tone is a cover for a overly respectful scolding: it bears the form of respect, but not its actuality. Here is where the timid exercise of ‘truth telling’ appears to come to rhetorical life.

Of course, part of your charm is that you’re an equal-opportunity disappointer. In 2010, you wrote the majority opinion in the Citizens United case, which opened the floodgates to unlimited spending in political races by corporations and labor unions. In 2013, you signed on to an opinion — a deeply misguided one, we believe — that gutted the Voting Rights Act and allowed states across the country to make it harder for people, especially minorities, to vote. In the next two months, you may well upset liberals again by casting the deciding vote to uphold President Trump’s travel ban, or in favor of the Christian baker who doesn’t want to make cakes for same-sex weddings. At the same time, you would most likely be the key vote to rein in partisan gerrymandering, one of the most corrosive and anti-democratic practices in modern America.

And none of us outside the court can know how much your mere presence affects which cases the justices choose to review — or not review.

goo.gl/QdyTJt

Because this is ‘The Paper of Record ‘ these editorial writers need to let their bourgeois readership know, that they have a grasp of contemporary legal history, as the permission for their critique. Further into the essay we have more of the same scolding:

As Justice O’Connor would tell you, legacy isn’t only what you do when you’re on the court; it’s also the circumstances in which you leave it. To put it bluntly, did you spend a lifetime honoring and upholding the Constitution and the values of civility and decency in American public life only to have your replacement chosen by Donald Trump?

But not content with the above, the writers offer this :

Do you want to give your seat to a president whose campaign and administration are under criminal investigation, whose closest aides have been indicted or have pleaded guilty to federal crimes? A president with so little regard for or understanding of the role of the judiciary, the separation of powers and the rule of law? A president who nominated to the federal bench someone who called you a “judicial prostitute?

You know as well as anyone that the Supreme Court’s authority depends on public confidence. When that fails, the consequences can be dire.

This is where you come in, Justice Kennedy. You’re a conservative from a time when conservatism was a more or less coherent political philosophy, not a tribal identity. You’re a believer in free markets and individual liberty, and also in human rights and equal justice. A defender of the rule of law, of civility and decorum — those time-honored values now desecrated daily by the current inhabitant of the Oval Office.

 

The erosion of ‘public confidence‘  in The Supreme Court  began with the appointments of Rehnquist, followed by Scalia , Thomas, Roberts,  Alito and finally Gorsuch. But look to the utter mendacity of John Roberts, in his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Where he pledged his undying fealty to stare decisis ,and then his own call for arguments for Citizens United*, the destruction of one hundred years of election reform . And since the lawyer’s métier is lying, he appointed Kennedy to head his long cherished destructive exercise in judicial betrayal of  ‘settled law’.  As first, a lie before a committee of the Senate. And then a demonstration of ideological commitment to Corporate Money in politics as ‘protected speech’. And the Neo-Confederate/Originalist, white supremacy’s victory for the Confederacy in the 21 st Century: Shelby County v. Holder which eviscerated the ‘Pre-Clearance Clause’ of the Voting Rights Act. Mr. Kennedy is  nothing more that a Fellow Traveler of  the vile quartet of Roberts , Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch. No amount of made to measure historical chatter, or the maladroit begging of this misbegotten ‘savior’ of the Republic, now long dead, is the last gasp of the Paper of Record, and its claim to some kind of moral/political leadership. The cumulative evidence is that The New York Times is the ally of respectable American bourgeois politics. Nothing  from the New York Times Editorial Board, can change or mitigate the facts of its betrayal of the idea and practice of Journalism, as an integral, not to speak of an essential part of this once Republic!

American Writer

*See this link for the essential arguments from the Supreme Court and the arguments pro and con :

http://reclaimdemocracy.org/who-are-citizens-united/

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