Friday, July 21, 2017

U.S. bourgeois campaign against the working class today 

Liberals furor against Trump reflects fear of working class


Why are liberal Democrats, some Republican politicians and most of the mainstream capitalist media continuing to promote the witch hunt against President Donald Trump? Why can’t they accommodate themselves to work with his administration? After all, he’s one of their own: A wealthy capitalist seeking to advance the interests of U.S. capital at home and abroad.

The fact is both the Democratic and Republican parties are in crisis. The rulers increasingly fear the working class, which is battered by depression conditions and sees no wing of the capitalist political parties with answers and responds to Donald Trump’s call to “drain the swamp.” The bosses see working-class battles coming down the road.

The most significant phrase uttered by President Trump in his inaugural speech, economics columnist Martin Sandbu wrote in the July 18 Financial Times, was not “America First” but “American carnage.”

“What sort of country describes itself, in the words of its highest leader no less, in such terms?” Sandbu asked.

“American decline is not a figment of Mr. Trump’s imagination,” Sandbu said, describing the carnage facing working people in the U.S. “Centuries-old progress against mortality has gone in reverse” and working people “are dying from the afflictions of broken lives and broken communities: drug overdoses, liver disease and suicide.”

The rulers fear of the working class fuels the relentless drive of the liberal Democrats and media moguls, as well as the middle-class left and some anti-Trump Republicans, to press for indictments against his family members and to drive him from office. They are bound and determined to criminalize what are in fact political differences with President Trump.

Campaign against the working class 
“Trump didn’t seize the presidency by deception,” wrote Colbert King in the Washington Post July 14. “Nearly 63 million Americans sent that burlesque comedy with headliner Donald Trump to Washington.” In other words, the problem isn’t Trump, but the workers who voted for him.

“The hosts of the late-night shows decided that they had carte blanche to insult not just the people within this administration, but also the ordinary citizens who support Trump,” Caitlin Flanagan wrote in the May issue of Atlantic, viewing them as the “minions pouring out of his [Trump’s] clown car.”

As a result, working people don’t believe much of what they see on the news, Flanagan says, because they see themselves falsely portrayed as “a bunch of trailer-park, Oxy-snorting half-wits” and KKK supporters.

This is why the workers who turned to Trump, many of whom had turned to Barack Obama four years earlier, don’t buy the liberal assault on the president. They agree that the capitalist media runs “fake news.”

Is Moscow the smoking gun? 
After months of trying to find a crime they could pin on Trump and his administration, the New York Times and others leading the charge against the president thought they finally found the smoking gun — a June 9, 2016, meeting Donald Trump Jr. had with a Russian lawyer and an ex-spy lobbyist who they thought had dirt on Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. says it turned out the duo didn’t have any information of use, and they listened instead to their calls for relaxing sanctions against Moscow.

But even after the release of Trump Jr.’s emails, and scores of op-eds in the Timesand other papers crying bloody murder, no one can point to any “crime” that has been committed.

President Trump gets a hearing from many workers when he argues that Hillary Clinton violated the law with her handling of thousands of government emails, but was never prosecuted, while “my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News media.”

Charles Krauthammer, a conservative opponent of Trump, conceded in the Washington Post July 13 that Moscow is not the only world power that tries to intervene in the elections of other countries.

“You don’t have to go back to the ’40s and ’50s when the CIA intervened in France and Italy to keep the communists from coming to power,” he said. “What about the Obama administration’s blatant interference to try to defeat Benjamin Netanyahu in the latest Israeli election?”

The criminalization of political differences between different factions of the capitalist parties will continue.

Both parties are wracked by divisions and will never be the same. In addition to the ceaseless anti-President Trump chorus, the Republicans are divided by their own differences, incapable time and again of passing an alternative to Obamacare. And this despite the fact they have a majority in both houses of Congress.

Trump himself isn’t really a Republican. “President Trump has a funny way of talking about the Republicans as if he’s not one of them,” James Hohmann wrote in the Post July 19. “Maybe it’s because he was a registered Democrat until as recently as 2009.”

The Democrats are in no better shape. While they all are buoyed by the shrill campaign against Trump, they are bitterly divided on how to rebuild a party that can win elections and con working people. The Bernie Sanders “revolution” is working hard to gain position to take over the party, even if it means the Democrats continue to lose elections while they plod along.  


Joseph Hansen on 1969 moon landing

Read issue here:

Joseph Hansen:

The age-old fantasy of reaching the moon finally became a reality. The feat consti-
tutes a major milestone in the history of
mankind, particularly the development of

Watching the coverage of the event on
television, who could fail to be impressed
by the technological level that has now
been reached?

First of all, that man's first steps on
another planet could be viewed by millions
of persons all around our own globe
at the very moment these steps were taken
would hardly have been credible only a
few years ago. This advance itself is one
of the fantastic consequences of the space
age with its Telestar relay system.

Equally remarkable was the display of
reliability, not to mention clarity in voice
and image, of the communications system
linking the astronauts with their Houston
base. How much depended on this can be
judged by what would have happened to
Armstrong and Aldrin after they landed
if a single link in this system had failed.
Even more impressive was the revela-
tion of the sophistication reached in the
computers that carried out the continual
calculations as to the orbits and rendez-
vous of the two space ships. Hardly born,
the computer is already automated, mini-
aturized, coupled with radar and brought
to a level of dependability that spoke for
itself in the Apollo 11 mission.

As to the power of the jet engines, this
met all the requirements long laid down
by the better science-fiction writers.
Perhaps the most outstanding feature
of the entire mission was its superb orga-
nizational level- at least this was what
struck many Americans, who incline to
be connoisseurs of the organizational side
of human endeavors, ranging from the
performance of teams in the field of sports
to work forces numbering in the tens and
hundreds of thousands.

Most of the labor in the Apollo 11 mission
went into planning and preparation, the
actual mission representing only a live
performance of drills already performed
thousands of times. The contrast to ex-
ploration in previous centuries was strik-
ing, a convenient gauge happening to be
available in the news about the failure of
Thor Heyerdahl's attempt to cross the
Atlantic in a papyrus-reed boat.

The truth is, of course, that an enter-
prise of the scope of this one -like the
successful production of the atomic bomb-
is beyond the capacity of private enter-
prise. Only a government could assemble
500,000 persons, allot $24 billion, make
available the resources of the Army, Navy,
and Air Force in a concentrated effort
of such breadth for almost a decade. Which
does not mean, of course, that it was not
a highly profitable business for the compa-
nies that got the contracts. An accounting
on this would be highly revealing....

Hansen concludes:

....What can be achieved through central-
ized organization and the application of
scientific knowledge has been shown in a
way that will sink deep into the conscious-
ness of the masses.

Why can't similar organization and
scientific knowledge be applied to make
our everyday lives more secure and liv-
able? If we can go to the moon, why can't
we assure food for everyone? Provide de-
cent housing? Adequate medical services?

Guaranteed yearly incomes? An end to war?

It is now all the harder for the powers
that be to dismiss such questions as uto-
pian. They proved that itwas even possible to go to the moon!

Before too long science may thus have
its revenge on those who have diverted
it to inhuman ends-to profit-making at
the expense of human needs, to mass
murder, to the construction of fiendish
weapons capable of exterminating man-

New layers of humanity will now see
in a more vivid way how insane capi-
talism has become and what a world
could be built if the technological base
humanity has constructed could be placed
at the disposal of the people and utilized
in accordance with rational planning.

The most important feature of the Apollo
11 triumph may yet be the impact it has
on bringing man, the tool-making animal,
to realize that he has become sufficiently
skilled with tools, and that now he must
master his social and economic relations
if he is not to perish from what the tool
has become.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Hysteria, violence, and deepening political crisis of the U.S. capitalist rulers

Shooter’s bullets driven by liberal fury, capitalist political crisis



July 10, 2017

James Hodgkinson, a campaign volunteer and fervent supporter of Democrat Bernie Sanders, set out with a semi-automatic rifle and handgun June 14 to kill as many Republican congressmen as he could. As he walked toward the field in suburban Washington, where they were practicing for an upcoming congressional baseball game, he asked whether the team was the Democrats or the Republicans. In his pocket he carried a list of GOP representatives.

Within a few minutes Hodgkinson had fired off some 50 rifle cartridges and 10 shots from his handgun, severely wounding Rep. Steve Scalise, the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, and injuring four others. Members of a special Capitol Police security detail, assigned to Scalise due to his post as Republican house whip, shot and killed Hodgkinson before he could kill other Republican politicians. Senators Jeff Flake and Rand Paul and three other House members were also at the game.

The assault came amid a frenzy of anti-Donald Trump demagogy in the liberal media, Democratic Party circles, the middle-class left, and from Broadway to Hollywood and beyond. “It’s time to destroy Trump,” Hodgkinson himself had recently written on Facebook.

The shooting is a reflection of the deepening political crisis of the U.S. capitalist rulers that was revealed, and accelerated, by the outcome of the 2016 election. Both the Democratic and Republican parties are wracked with widening divisions. Neither of them, nor the two-party system through which the propertied U.S. families maintain their rule and defend their profits, will be the same again.

Behind the hysteria is the employing class’s fear of the workers who voted for Trump. They were hoping to “drain the swamp” of capitalist politics in Washington and somehow halt the mounting social, economic and human calamity they and millions of other working people face. The rulers and their political representatives in both ruling parties are frightened that the election results point to growing class struggle to come.

CBS news anchor Scott Pelley even rationalized the attempted assassination by blaming the Republican victims. “It’s time to ask,” he said, whether the attack “was to some degree, self-inflicted.” And Phil Montag, co-chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party technology committee, was caught on YouTube saying he was “glad” Scalise was shot — “I wish he was f---ing dead.”

Unabated witch hunt

The liberals’ witch hunt of President Donald Trump continues unabated. They hope the “investigation” by special prosecutor and ex-FBI Director Robert Mueller, initially justified to look into alleged “Russian ties” to Trump’s 2016 campaign, will damage the president and/or those around him enough to somehow invalidate the election results or even lead to impeachment proceedings.

Mueller’s 12 years as the federal government’s top cop equip him well to lead a witch hunt. Since the early 20th century, the FBI has served as Washington’s political police. It has spied on, harassed, and sought to disrupt political and union activity by vanguard workers, Socialist Workers Party members, fighters for Black liberation, and other opponents of Washington’s imperialist policies.

As special prosecutor, Mueller has the unqualified authority to force witnesses to testify and to drag them before a closed-door grand jury, where they have no right to counsel. Federal prosecutors — whether targeting working-class fighters, “organized crime” figures, union officials, or their own peers and rivals in the capitalist two-party setup — follow a notorious pattern. They pour agents and resources into finding something, anything, to pin on you, real or manufactured. “Where there’s smoke, there must be fire.” Then they go all out for a conviction or a plea bargain.

In the case of Donald Trump, the liberals and their newspapers and TV networks are more than pleased to boost the frame-up. Dispensing with any pretense of presumption of innocence, New York Times columnist Charles Blow wrote of Trump on the June 19 op-ed page, “in the court of public opinion he’s already guilty.”

Mueller has appointed a staff of lawyers that includes a number of Democratic Party donors, as well as a former Clinton Foundation attorney. Mueller is also a close friend of former FBI Director James Comey.

During the 2016 election, as part of an Obama administration effort to protect Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Comey usurped Justice Department authority by going on TV to say the FBI had decided not to recommend charges against her. Then, after he was fired by President Trump, he testified before Congress in early June that he “leaked” (through a friend) an FBI memo he’d written “because I thought that might prompt” the appointment of a special prosecutor.

“You don’t have to be a Trump partisan to have concerns about where all of this is headed,” said the Wall Street Journal in a June 16 editorial (and the Journal’s editors are decidedly not “Trump partisans.”) “Much of Washington clearly views Mr. Mueller as their agent to rid the country of a President they despise. Every political and social incentive in that city will press Mr. Mueller to oblige.”

Any attempt to impeach Trump, however, will infuriate millions of working people and others who voted for him, and many who didn’t, too. “American politics is divisive and dysfunctional as it is,” the Journal editorial warned. “Imagine what it will be like if millions of Americans conclude that a presidential election is being overturned by an elite consensus” of major newspapers and TV networks.

Growing numbers of working people already know something stinks about these “investigations” and the media orgy they’re subjected to morning, noon and night. This isn’t because they’re convinced the Trump administration has done anything to advance workers’ interests. Neither major capitalist party can or will. President Trump, like his Democratic and Republican predecessors, governs to advance the interests of the capitalist rulers and their profit-driven exploitation and oppression of working people.

Fewer workers than ever today identify themselves and the interests of their families with either party, the Democrats (the long self-proclaimed “friends of labor”) or the Republicans. They see that Democratic Party leaders and loyalists, as well as sections of the Republican Party, are determined to reverse the outcome of an election these bourgeois and middle-class layers can’t reconcile themselves to.

Liberal Democrats bemoan what they view as the “stupidity” and “ignorance” of workers and farmers who voted for Trump and who in mid-2017 are still incapable of “discovering” the danger of having him — instead of Hillary Clinton or some other Democrat — in the White House. Short of another sharp financial breakdown or deep capitalist recession, however, most of these working people will withhold judgment as long as they’re convinced the Democrats are determined to obstruct the new administration from doing anything.

Both capitalist parties fracture

The fracturing of the Democratic Party deepened after the defeat of party hopeful Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District June 20. Democrats had poured over $31 million into defeating the incumbent Republican. This was the fourth time this year that Democratic special election hopes have been dashed, trailing in the dust of others in Kansas, Montana and South Carolina.

These losses have aggravated political infighting between Democratic Party “regulars” — those who look to the Clintons, Barack Obama, or hopefuls such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo — and those grouped around Bernie Sanders. Sanders and supporters of his “political revolution” increasingly insist that even if the Democratic Party loses some elections, those defeats are worth the price if they can wag their fingers and later take it over and reshape it as what they’ll falsely paint as a party of the “working class” and “progressives.”

As for the Republican Party, its divisions are shown, among other things, by its inability — despite sizable congressional majorities, especially in the House — to pass a single piece of substantive legislation since the opening of Congress and presidential inauguration in January. Their failure in both the House and the Senate to “repeal and replace” the erroneously named Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a clear example.

The depth of the GOP’s crisis, however, is revealed elsewhere. That’s the fact that they’re stuck with a president, the de facto head of the party, who wasn’t elected as a Republican. And who really isn’t one.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Left Jew-hatred at gay rights march

Post from a comrade on Facebook.

3 women at a Chicago pride march were prevented from marching because their rainbow flags contained a Star of David. I'm angered but unfortunately unsurprised by these events.

I've felt for a long time in no uncertain terms that "anti-Zionism" as a political description today is a cover for Jew-hatred. The politics under that umbrella have become less and less coherent over the past decade, littered with poison pens and abstract conspiracies. By and large they only strengthen the worst dead end leaderships in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, from the worst butchers of the Israeli occupation to the the reactionary terrorists in Hamas.

I probably don't say this as loudly or as often as I should. As a firm opponent of the government in Tel Aviv, and a supporter of the fight for a viable Palestinian homeland, I would support any and every effort that I felt could advance that fight.

But Jew-hatred poses a danger much beyond the threat it poses to the small handful of Jews in the world. It's meant to disorient *fighters*. It's meant to disarm and redirect the anger of millions at the shape of their world and their place in it. It's meant to let the cynical ruling classes who sit atop a dying system off the hook for all the brutalities and indignities on earth, and toss them at the feet of the most maligned population in human history.

Though today I seem alone in these convictions, I share them with two of the greatest revolutionary leaders of the 20th century: Fidel Castro and Nelson Mandela. Unlike most radical "anti-zionists", these men led successful revolutions, and subsequently guided their nations on the world stage. Both gave unconditional support to the fight for a Palestinian state, and both formally recognized the State of Israel as a historic reality, something not to be undone without tremendous cost to humanity. Both rejected Jew-hatred without equivocation and understood the stakes in that.

Don't believe me? I have evidence:

Nelson Mandela-
"We identify with the PLO because like us, they are fighting for the right of self-determination"
"The support... does not mean that the ANC has ever doubted the Right of Israel to exist as a state legally"
"In our organization, we have Jews. In fact, Mr. Gadafi did not allow us to open our office in Libya"

Fidel Castro-
"I don't think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews."

If I'm a "Zionist apologist" or any epithet you'd like to throw my way, I'm in good company. What company are you keeping? And what have they won for humanity?

Friday, June 9, 2017

Reactionary terror does not equal resistance

This is the crucial point, and I've never seen it more clearly formulated:

....In a May 29 interview on Legacy Radio, Clifford took up Corbyn’s claim that the growth of Islamic State and its terror attacks are a blow-back from London’s participation in the Washington-led Middle East and Afghanistan wars.

Reactionary terror isn’t an understandable response by the toilers to imperialist aggression. The Algerian people faced tremendous brutality at the hands of French colonialism, but they didn’t respond in a reactionary anti-working-class IS-style way, Clifford said. “They organized a powerful revolutionary struggle and established a workers and farmers government.”

And in Cuba, Fidel Castro and the July 26 Movement led workers and farmers to overthrow the U.S.-backed Fulgencio Batista dictatorship. They have defended their socialist revolution for over 50 years, setting an example for workers everywhere.

Working people in the Middle East don’t need U.N.-imposed “stability,” as Corbyn has argued, Clifford said. They need time and space, free of foreign intervention, to find the way to fight for political power. “The Communist League calls for U.K., U.S. and all foreign troops out.” 

The Militant - June 19, 2017 -- Communist League campaign in UK fights attacks on workers’ rights

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Bourgeois liberals' war on workers

‘Deplorable’ workers are true target of liberals’ fury



It is tens of millions of workers in the United States, not President Donald Trump, who are the target of today’s relentless liberal press hysteria and efforts by Democratic Party politicians to invalidate the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Middle class radicals are cheering in the stands.

These liberal-inspired assaults reached a new crescendo following Trump’s dismissal of FBI Director James Comey in early May.

What’s fueling this frenzied crusade? Why can’t the big business media, liberal Democratic Party figures, and even growing numbers of Republican politicians and mouthpieces reconcile themselves to Trump’s election?

The answer is that it’s neither Donald Trump, nor “a Trump presidency,” that sticks in their craw. What these ruling-class voices find irreconcilable are the millions of working people who voted for Trump. As Washington Post columnist Charles Lane complained May 4, “There hasn’t been nearly enough blaming of the people most responsible for [Trump’s] rise: his voters.”

The target isn’t simply working people who are victims of capitalism’s spreading carnage. The target is those (whatever their skin color or mother tongue) determined to find some way to say “no” to the never-ending assaults and indignities inflicted by the propertied ruling families on workers and farmers today.

These workers are drawn to the prospect of “draining the swamp” — cleaning out the growing federal bureaucracy of those who’ve found themselves a comfortable berth, as they contrive new ways to “nudge” and “regulate” us.

That’s why Trump won the 2016 election.

That’s shown, among other things, by the fact that in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and others, Trump won the votes of workers — most of them Caucasian — who had cast ballots for Obama in more than 200 U.S. counties in 2008 and 2012. These workers were looking for a change from government as usual, from capitalism’s mounting blows over the prior eight years and more (as were many workers who just stayed home on election day).

But Trump is a billionaire capitalist politician. Like those who came before him, he aims to serve the needs of the U.S. rulers abroad (arguably doing better so far than his two predecessors in advancing imperialism’s class interests), and at home (still very much a work in progress, from the standpoint of both exploiters’ parties).

Capitalists fear working people 
The capitalists’ fear of working people didn’t begin in 2016. It’s been growing as the capitalist crisis deepens, and as more and more workers are open to the necessity of deep-going change. This includes growing openness by working people to explanations and proposals of Socialist Workers Party members who knock on their doors campaigning for communism, who fight alongside them at work and on picket lines, or who join them in protests against cop brutality or for a woman’s right to choose abortion.

Increasing numbers of workers are beginning to sense there is nothing the bosses can do to respond to the stagnation of capitalist production and trade apart from taking more of it out on us. A broad social crisis is unfolding, as a significant section of the working class has been pushed out of the workforce and working people confront deteriorating access to health care, an epidemic of drug addiction, and, for the first time in decades, falling life expectancy.

That’s why Democratic and Republican politicians alike are taking steps to curtail the political rights working people use, and will need to use more in months and years ahead. The rulers are disenfranchising more and more workers by strengthening and expanding the bureaucratic and “regulatory” apparatuses of the capitalist government and state.

From the outset of Barack Obama’s primary bid in 2007, he and his Democratic administration demonstrated the same anti-working-class attitudes that led Hillary Clinton last year to demean those planning to vote for Trump, not for her, as “deplorables.” They are “offensive, hateful, and mean-spirited,” Clinton said.

What’s more, those on Obama’s own “deplorables” list aren’t just Caucasian workers who, as he said in 2008, “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” In his sights are also millions of workers who are Black. African-Americans, Obama said that same year, need to “replace the video game or the remote control with a book once in a while.” And they should stop feeding their children “cold Popeyes” for breakfast. (See box.)

Both parties of the employing class are in the midst of crises and makeovers. Neither will ever be the same as they were prior to the 2016 elections.

More workers sense the accuracy of a political cartoon run during the election campaign. It depicted two neighbors with signs on their lawns reading, “He’s worse” and “She’s worse.”

Even if liberals now were somehow able to get Trump impeached, as the Washington Post recently acknowledged, there is no reason Trump supporters “would suddenly be satisfied again with the old Republican and Democratic parties.”

Saint Mueller 
On May 16, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special prosecutor, tasked with investigating alleged ties between Trump’s 2016 election campaign and Moscow. “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted,” Rosenstein said.

The liberal press and top figures in both capitalist parties responded with fawning tribute to Mueller, practically elevating him to sainthood. But this former U.S. top cop built his reputation working for the capitalist ruling families to make their federal police agency more effective and virulent in spying and disruption.

The campaign against Trump has relied on classic frame-up techniques, slapping together lurid allegations and innuendos, in hopes some will stick.

Workers, including those targeted by the bosses for union or political activity, are all too familiar with this kind of witch-hunting. Vanguard working-class fighters, including members and leaders of the Socialist Workers Party, have been railroaded to prison, beaten up, or threatened with deportation when such inquisitions pick up speed.

All this is reinforced by endless lewd and vulgar “comedy” on late-night talk shows slurring Trump, including demeaning, anti-women comments about his daughter Ivanka and wife Melania. Morning “news” shows pick right up where the foul-mouthed “comics” left off.

Disenfranchising working class 
Political servants of the U.S. propertied families — especially the liberal think tank, university, foundation, nongovernment organizations and other middle-class and professional meritocrats who buttress bourgeois rule — are finding more ways for the government to dilute workers’ use of the franchise.

There is no better example right now than the U.S. rulers’ new special prosecutor.

In Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s memo on Comey’s conduct, Rosenstein recounts how the former FBI director baldly usurped the authority of the Justice Department and refused to acknowledge it.

“At most,” Rosenstein says, Comey “should have said the FBI had completed its investigation and presented its findings. … The Director now defends his decision by asserting that he believed Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict. But the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department.”

Republicans had urged Lynch to step aside from the investigation, after former President Bill Clinton flagrantly maneuvered to compromise her by walking onto her plane as it waited on the tarmac at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport in June 2016. Rather than telling Clinton to take a hike, Lynch proceeded to talk for 30 minutes with the husband of a candidate under investigation by the “Justice Department” that she herself was in charge of.

The working class has no stake in who heads up the cop agencies and other government bodies that serve the interests of the capitalist class. These are their tools to defend the rule of the propertied ruling families. But workers have plenty of experience with FBI frame-ups and disruption of struggles against exploitation, racism and imperialist war.

In his investigation into the Trump campaign, former FBI head Mueller has the power to compel witnesses to testify, and to impanel a grand jury, which meets behind closed doors interrogating individuals with no right to counsel alongside them. He won’t be responsible to any elected body.

Nothing new 
Liberals have always been the first to move against workers’ rights, and then, when the employing class finds it necessary, capitalist rulers turn to the thugs of the ultra-right to carry their assault on workers to the end.

The McCarthyite witch-hunt in the 1950s was set up under the administration of Democrat Harry Truman.

It was the Democratic administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that initiated the FBI’s assault on class-struggle-minded union militants and opponents of Washington’s entry into the Second World War, leading to the frame-up and imprisonment of 18 leaders of the Socialist Workers Party and the Midwest Teamsters union under the notorious Smith “Gag” act.

Today the middle-class left and liberal groups increasingly blame workers — most of whom they consider ignorant, racist, xenophobic, and dangerous — for derailing what they consider “progressive politics.”

Many are circulating posters and bumper stickers saying “Impeach Trump,” while some furtively post flyers reading “Kill Trump.” Many celebrate the breaking up of meetings in Berkeley, California, and Middlebury, Vermont, closing down political space so necessary for workers and workers’ organizations to organize and act under conditions of capitalist rule.

And when a witch-hunt against working people opens up in bourgeois politics, it rapidly bumps into the communist vanguard.

It is the two Democrats on the Federal Election Commission, for example, who dealt a blow to workers’ rights when they defeated the extension of the Socialist Workers Party’s exemption from campaign disclosure laws last month.

That action by these liberal federal “regulators” gave a freer hand to government and right-wing spying and harassment of the SWP and other workers’ organization

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Affordable Care Act and Medicaid

....The Trump administration’s bill, like Obamacare, is not based on providing health care for all who need it, but pressuring more people to purchase health insurance, with rising premiums and deductibles for plans that offer less and less coverage. All these moves aim to maximize the superprofits of insurance, hospital and pharmaceutical companies....

Attack on Medicaid entitlement

Trump’s health care proposals included steep cuts to Medicaid, enacted as an entitlement program in 1965, a result of the massive Black-led proletarian struggle that eliminated Jim Crow segregation. It provides medical care for workers with the lowest incomes and the disabled. It currently covers more than 70 million people.

During the election campaign Trump promised not to cut Medicaid, but his administration’s final proposal involves the biggest structural alterations to the program since it was created. Block grants would replace federal matching funds. States for the first time could impose work requirements, drug tests, or place a cap on the number of years a person could be covered by Medicaid.

Some of these proposed attacks were the result of demands made on Trump by members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of some 35 conservative House members, many elected pledged to the Tea Party.

More importantly, a number of Republicans felt pressured to oppose the attacks on Medicaid in the bill, at a time when the carnage being visited on working people by the crisis of capitalism is deepening. Medicaid covers health care for one in five people in the U.S., including four of 10 children, nearly half of all births, and the cost of care for two-thirds of people in nursing homes.

Medicaid is widespread and popular. Two-thirds of everyone in the country — over 215 million people — either are covered by the program or have family or friends who are.

“I was not willing to gamble with the care of my constituents,” Rep. Frank LoBiondo, a Republican from New Jersey said, reflecting fear of the political price he would pay if he voted for the bill.

Many Republicans opposed the bill because they said its cuts would deepen the opioid epidemic ravaging their districts.

Workers are facing rising “deaths of despair” from deteriorating health care compounded by the unavailability of full-time work, a report issued March 23, by two Princeton University economists says. The study describes rising mortality of Caucasian men and women ages 45 through 54, from suicides, drug overdoses and alcohol-related deaths. In 2015 overuse of opioids killed more than 30,000 people in the U.S. 

Full article: