My reply to @tdal1moe in The Financial Times

@tdal1moe

Thank you for your comment. One of the reasons I came to read The Financial Times is that Chomsky recommended its reporting as more reliable. Iv’e been a reader since around 2007 and I’m inclined not to agree with Chomsky.
As the ‘reporting’ ,especially on Argentina and Macron, has steeped a kind of paranoia about the return of de Kirchner ,and a wan apologetics about the collapse of Macri’s Neo-Liberalism Lite, in the near free-fall of the peso. And Macron as the return of political sanity to France, via the now discarded Jupertarian Politics i.e. Rule by Decree. Not to forget that 36.5 % of the French electorate rendered their ballots uncountable. The spontaneous political manifestation of both the gilets jaunes and then the gilets noir, is a sign of deep anger about Macronism, and it attempts to Neo-Liberalize France. The naked character of Macron’s attempt ,to become the titular leader of the foundering European Utopia, is both darkly comic as it is mendacious. This internal rebellion no longer ‘reported’ in The Financial Times, Except for one lone interview with the least radical of the resistors:

https://www.ft.com/content/82624d98-f72f-11e9-a79c-bc9acae3b654

I was ‘guilt tripped’ into voting for the utterly misbegotten Hillary, you and a great many American voted for Trump. He is all you say about him and more, yet the New Democrats have based their Impeachment on hearsay, as Jim Jordan’s questioning of Taylor amply illustrates: ‘I heard that…’ . The center of the case against Trump is hearsay combined with the fact that the New Democrats haven’t got the votes to convict in a Senate controlled by the Republicans.

Regards,

StephenKMackSD

https://www.ft.com/content/7b8f8a12-0661-11ea-9afa-d9e2401fa7ca?commentID=db29fb34-5131-4495-bb5f-f6844d40c348

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janan.ganesh@ft.com ‘Democratic hopefuls are being held to an impossible standard’. Old Socialist comments

This is like reading David Brooks, in The New York Times before he became a Political Prophet, and Self-Help Guru to divorced over 40 males, in his utterly pretentiousThe Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life: the places, personages and the political landscape look familiar, yet they don’t reflect anything but an ideologically determined reading of a political present.

Mr Ganesh has confected, via his Neo-Liberalism, or should I say ,in the thrall to the myth that Obama is the political touchstone, that the New Democrats must contend. Obama’s de facto pardon of Wall Street, Investment House. and Banking thieves is a monument to political opportunism, that gives that opportunism a bad name!

This paragraph of Mr. Ganesh’s essay makes the case for Bloomberg in its dubious sub rosa way, as ‘reluctant but civic minded’. Mr. Patrick is mere what? Rhetorical embellishment, acting as argumentative ballast?  While placing his own opinions, in the political thought, calculation of  ‘…among a certain class of Democrat — rich donors, the media…’ .

This week, a grateful America has been told to anticipate late presidential bids from the reluctant but civic-minded. Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor, and Deval Patrick, who once governed the state of Massachusetts, are among them. Each man taps into a vein of doubt among a certain class of Democrat — rich donors, the media — about the current options. These are variously too old (Joe Biden), too young (Pete Buttigieg), too extreme (Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders) and too obscure (Amy Klobuchar). The hopefuls have “wilted upon inspection”, writes Andrew Sullivan, a conservative who longs to be rid of President Donald Trump.

Quoting American political hysteric Andrew Sullivan adds nothing in the way of  usable or valuable insight. But is it usable in making the case that the Democrats i.e. the New Democrats don’t actually offer some kind of viable , winning candidate that can defeat Trump? Mr. Ganesh relies on ‘polling data’ to add weight to his arguments yet this from Saturday 5 November 2016 :

Headline:Survey finds Hillary Clinton has ‘more than 99% chance’ of winning election over Donald Trump

Sub-headline: The Princeton Election Consortium found Ms Clinton has a projected 312 electoral votes across the country and only 270 are needed to win

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/sam-wang-princeton-election-consortium-poll-hillary-clinton-donald-trump-victory-a7399671.html

Has Mr. Ganesh missed this ?

Headline:Hillary Clinton Says She Faces ‘Enormous Pressure’ to Run in 2020

Sub-headline:The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate said ‘never say never,’ but added that a run is ‘absolutely not in my plans.’

https://www.usnews.com/news/elections/articles/2019-11-13/hillary-clinton-says-she-faces-enormous-pressure-to-run-in-202o

Old Socialist

https://www.ft.com/content/918c31f8-05f3-11ea-a984-fbbacad9e7dd

 

 

 

 

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The Financial Times’ ‘Wealth Editor’ Stefan Wagstyl ,with the help of UBS, produces a defense of Billionaires! Old Socialist comments

The reader just might wonder at what exactly a ‘Wealth Editor’ is/does? Its obvious that part of the job is to construct apologetics for billionaires, as in  this essay. As UBS is the ‘source’ for this opinion piece, what will a search of the internet reveal about this financial organization?

Violation Tracker Parent Company Summary

 

https://violationtracker.goodjobsfirst.org/parent/ubs

The ‘rap sheet’ of the machinations of this company should give pause to the reader,  of this essay, as the list of infractions and fines is not just extensive, but demonstrates a breath-taking pattern of contempt for the law.

This quote from Joseph Stadler demonstrates his function as some times mealy-mouthed apologist and  for the .001 %. And then as an enemy of a ‘New Aristocracy’: that partakes fully in Populist rhetoric he finds so reprehensible.

“I am not saying billionaires should be heroes,” said Josef Stadler, head of the ultra-high net worth unit at UBS, the world’s largest private wealth manager. “But at least they should be recognised.”

Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr Stadler said there was “bias in the media” in reporting on billionaires. “In the talk of inequality, the debate that they are too greedy, that they make too much money on the back of poor people.”

He said: “The data tells me that the debate is one-sided and it’s a pity. There is a natural tendency today to be critical when it comes to wealth accumulation. There is sometimes a fear that there is a new aristocracy coming.”

In the Worlds of both The Financial Times and Mr. Stadler , the as if expresses itself in  that Occupy Wall Street and Thomas Piketty and the rhetorical/political triumph of the idea and actuality of ‘inequality’ had never happened. But the political hysteria is cemented in the construct of a New Aristocracy: this notion steeped in the execrable populist rhetoric- that blatant irony lost on both  Mr. Stadler and Mr. Wagstyl’ !

The concluding two paragraphs of  Stefan Wagstyl’s essay offers the reader proof that a ‘Wealth Editor’ is the highfalutin term, for a not very sophisticated apologizer for Plutocrats.  Wagstly is  a political/economic Panglossian

Coming at a time when capitalism faces heavy criticism in the US and Europe, the report presents a stout defence of the world’s top wealth creators in applying “new technologies and business models to change entire industries”.

The authors argue that, while billionaires enrich themselves, they benefit the rest of society by generating jobs, creating wealth for others, including many employees, and paying tax.

Note that the photograph that accompanies this essay is of billionaire and Jeff Bezos. Who is an unapologetic, even an enthusiastic operative of the American National Security State.

Old Socialist

https://www.ft.com/content/a897387c-0222-11ea-b7bc-f3fa4e77dd47

 

 

 

 

 

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The Financial Times on the Bloomberg candidacy. Old Socialist comments

What reader can forget the Edward Luce’s  essay of Nov. 7, 2019 ?

Headline: America’s religious war will test the limits of democracy

Sub-headline: Liberal dogmatism risks alienating the ‘exhausted majority’

https://www.ft.com/content/0a4ac312-00f3-11ea-be59-e49b2a136b8d

Will Mr. Luce’s doom and gloom be lifted by Mr. Bloomberg’s entry into the maelstrom of the Democratic Party’s primaries? His record might be more in keeping with the closely held views of Evangelicals : an indigenous strain of political reaction to the Modern World, equal to Secularism? Bloomberg’s candidacy might not be a good fit? But an actual Oligarch has potential, as an instance of ‘Our Dear Leader’, in a belief system ruled by ruthless, but benevolent male figures.

Bloomberg’s list of accomplishments

Broken Widows Policing,  Removal, by stealth, of Judge Shira Scheindlin from the Stop & Frisk Case , Police violence against Occupy Wall Street, unstinting support of Charter Schools, and this Harvard Commencement Address warning against ‘political radicals’:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhfn2zgFFJ8&t=9s

‘Bloomberg adviser’ Mr. Wolfson offers these observations on what Bloomberg has to offers

But Howard Wolfson, a Bloomberg adviser, said the former mayor had grown concerned that the Democratic candidates were “not well positioned” to defeat Donald Trump.

“If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist,” Mr Wolfson said.

______________________________________________________________

My relpy @Koln

Thank your for your comment!

Headline: Departing Judge Offers Blunt Defense of Ruling in Stop-and-Frisk Case

‘She would never forget, she said, seeing a front-page photograph in a newspaper the day after she released her ruling, showing Mr. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, as she put it, “looking like two angry white men.”
‘They seemed out of touch with the issues that the communities cared about,” Judge Scheindlin said. “They didn’t seem to understand the impact of these policies on real people and real neighborhoods and real communities and the detrimental impact it was having, even on policing. And that’s the point. They didn’t seem to get it. It was all about fear — New York would blow up.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/nyregion/departing-judge-offers-blunt-defense-of-ruling-that-ended-stop-and-frisk.html

______________________________________________________________


Headline: Court Blocks Stop-and-Frisk Changes for New York Police

Judge Scheindlin issued a statement late Thursday explaining her use of the related-case rule, suggesting that encouraging the plaintiffs to file a new action made procedural sense. She added that in her interviews with the media, she had avoided talking about the Floyd case. “Some of the reporters used quotes from written opinions in Floyd that gave the appearance that I had commented on the case,” the judge said. “However, a careful reading of each interview will reveal that no such comments were made.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/01/nyregion/court-blocks-stop-and-frisk-changes-for-new-york-police.html?module=inline

Shira Scheindlin makes her case here, post-retirement :

https://www.acslaw.org/expertforum/setting-the-record-straight-on-stop-and-frisk/

StephenKMackSD

P.S. Charter Schools are a Neo-Liberal article of Faith ! The ‘Market’ has no place in public education
, even its once champion Diane Ravitch turned against this educational scheme: awash is waste fraud and abuse by political opportunist.

Headline: Charter schools damage public education

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charter-schools-are-leading-to-an-unhealthy-divide-in-american-education/2018/06/22/73430df8-7016-11e8-afd5-778aca903bbe_story.html

Regards,
StephenKMackSD

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janan.ganesh@ft.com is suffering from Old Cold War nostalgia, as a meandering apologetic for The New Cold War? Old Socialist comments

Its unfortunate that Mr. Ganesh missed reading Matthew Goodwin’s essay of Sunday November 3, 2019 in which he quotes H.L. Mencken:

The American journalist and critic HL Mencken once remarked that “the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary”.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/past-six-days/2019-11-03/comment/general-election-2019-jeremy-corbyns-elite-bashing-is-naked-populism-xmrwnt9fz

The original Cold War was the product of a post-war Republican Party, and their first attempt to brand The New Deal as ‘a generation of treason’ , that evolved into the Nixon/Mundt/McCarren/McCarthy witch hunt, that the ADA  ‘Liberals’ Schlesinger and Niebuhr, acted as enthusiastic, if coerced, callabos. Or so the Liberal self-apologetic is framed.

Mr. Ganesh resorts to political kitsch here -its easy to lose patience with this kind of puerile political commentary:

The Soviet empire was America’s favourite enemy: the one that gave it the securest sense of itself. When the wall fell, so did a certain kind of US nationhood. The partisanship that followed will endure until the next worthy ogre comes along.     

After much unconvincing historical exhumation,in defense of his nostalgia,  Mr. Ganesh closes his essay by celebrating, in true Cold War Triumphalist rhetorical style:

America’s victory in the cold war was a feat of strategy and patience that should be saluted this weekend. It just happens to be a victory from which it has never recovered.

What is interesting is what Mr. Ganesh excises from his radical political nostalgic essay: what is strategically absent from his narrative is that the transitional power of American political/cultural/civilizational paranoia, provided by Samuel P. Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations, published as an  essay of 1992,  that became a bloated BestSeller: was the transitional replacement for the the very specifically directed Cold War. The ‘Enemy’ ,  presented by Huntington,  was/is everywhere.

Mr. Huntington even became the bearer of xenophobia/racism in his Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity published in 2004. The Mestizo hordes are  actively subverting  ‘Anglo-Protestant virtue’!

Old Socialist

https://www.ft.com/content/fa0457d2-ffc3-11e9-b7bc-f3fa4e77dd47

 

 

 

 

 

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Gideon Rachman & Matthew Goodwin on the British Election, and the ‘Populist Menace’: A Thought Experiment . Old Socialist comments

Headline: The age of democratic deadlock

Sub-headline: Around the world, radicalization is making coalition and consensus much harder

The headline writers at the Financial Times and Mr. Rachman : ‘Welcome to the age of democratic deadlock’ The anti-system parties are now the political  problematic as diagnosed by Rachman, in its almost world context*  . Along with Identity Politics. ( Note that Johnson is mentioned more than once in the essay, yet Corbyn is utterly absent!)

It is not just the number of parties that matters; it is also their nature. The process of coalition-building and consensus-forming is made much harder by political radicalisation. The rise of anti-system parties that are deemed to threaten democracy or the survival of the nation, narrows the number of potential governing partners for mainstream parties.

Politics is also no longer dominated by economic questions. Instead, issues of identity such as Brexit or Scottish independence are on the rise in Britain too, with the effects seen elsewhere.

https://www.ft.com/content/3ec1952c-fee5-11e9-b7bc-f3fa4e77dd47

In a British focus on elections, refracted through American political history , Matthew Goodwin in the Times of November 3, 2019:

Headline:General election 2019: Jeremy Corbyn’s elite‑bashing is naked populism

Sub-headline: Labour’s demonising of the rich is divisive, but it resonates with voters

Mr. Goodwin writes this: What followed was a textbook example of the angry, divisive populism that is eroding everything once considered essential to our culture of consensus. But there is more, this is The Times!

This was the argument put forward nearly 60 years ago in a landmark study by the academics Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba. Unlike the Germans and Italians, the British nurtured a culture that was pluralistic, consensual, trustful of institutions and, most importantly, deferential to elites. A nation that respects elites, as reflected in our love affair with Downton Abbey, leaves little room for elite-bashing populists.

Populists on the left and right are united in their belief in a corrupt, self-serving and neglectful elite that undermines the interests of the “pure” people. Right-wing populists contend this elite is political. The left contends it is economic. Corbyn’s enemies of the people are not remainers and the courts but “billionaires”, “big polluters”, “greedy bankers”, “tax dodgers”, “dodgy landlords”, the “privileged few” and the “bad bosses”.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/past-six-days/2019-11-03/comment/general-election-2019-jeremy-corbyns-elite-bashing-is-naked-populism-xmrwnt9fz

Mr. Goodwin’s polemic is much more historically informed than Rachman’s,  yet it relies on the American history of ‘Populism’ rather than British sources, aided by an informative  quotation from H.L. Mencken: on the continuing patency of American political hysteria, that can be traced  back to Cotton Mather’s  use of ‘spectral evidence’ in the Salem Witch Trails.

About the why of both ‘democratic deadlock’, as world wide political pandemic, and ‘our culture of consensus’ under threat of Corbyn’s ‘political radicalism/nihilism’ remain a rhetorical phantom, in both Rachman’s and Goodwin’s essays. The reader is moored in both cases in a-historical territory.

The absent player in all these acts, of a single political melodrama, is the Economic Crisis of 2008. And Neo-Liberalism, as a now spent political/economic force. The Technocrats and Politicians who were its salesman, and codified its ideas into law and practice, have been proven to be, not just unreliable, but profiteers of a system, that robbed people of their futures.

The political condition that has afflicted political actors by this world wide pandemic is not just a  loss of faith , but a sense of electorates betrayed, by the greed of The Managers , Technocrats, who now chatter at them in their Corporatist newspapers, Television and on Internet Platforms on their unworthiness as citizens of a polity- the Soviet writer Zinoviev’s  books ‘The Yawing Heights’ and ‘The Radiant Future’ are instructive satires on a system in a state of collapse.

Old Socialist

*Note the absence of the the failed Neo-Liberal experiment of Macri in Argentina. The Peronists won, in a contest heavenly editorialized upon in both The Economist and The Financial Times. A perfect example of the Populist Menace?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On Robert Evans. Myra Breckenridge shares her thoughts.

I once saw the flawlessly groomed Mr. Evans, on a side street in Beverly Hills: in the early 1970’s , black cashmere turtleneck sweater, black slacks and black Gucci loafers. And his signature over sized sunglasses. A bit of a shock to see him on foot and seemingly alone. He looked like a figurine, that belonged in a glass case, for display in a collection dolls, such was his aura preciousness, if that is the right word.
Don’t waste you time reading Brooks Barnes’ pallid’ obituary.
Read the ‘The Kid Stays in the Picture‘ to get acquainted with Mr. Evans as refracted through many re-writes . Arrogance and charm in equal measure, and almost, but not quite, endearing. A Hollywood huckster! Mr. Evans did the talking book that created conversations , or is the word ‘buzz’ more descriptive, but not quite contemporaneous?

Yours,

Myra Breckenridge

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