MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en Trump Meltdown Continues Apace <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Only 16 days to go! So what did Hillary Clinton <a href="" target="_blank">spend the weekend doing?</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Hillary Clinton moved to press her advantage in the presidential race on Sunday, <strong>urging black voters in North Carolina to vote early</strong> as Republicans increasingly conceded that Donald J. Trump is unlikely to recover in the polls....By running up a lead well in advance of the Nov. 8 election in states like North Carolina and Florida, <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_16_days.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 20px 0px 15px 20px;">she could make it extraordinarily difficult for Mr. Trump to mount a late comeback.</p> <p>....Both Mrs. Clinton and key Republican groups have effectively pushed aside Mr. Trump since the final presidential debate on Wednesday, treating him as a defeated candidate and turning their attention to voter turnout and battling for control of Congress. An ABC News tracking poll published on Sunday showed <strong>Mr. Trump trailing Mrs. Clinton by 12 percentage points nationally and drawing just 38 percent of the vote.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>OK, that sounds like good, sound campaign strategy. How about Donald Trump? Well, he went to Gettysburg, the site of Abraham Lincoln's famous speech about living up to our highest ideals as a nation. He was there, supposedly, to provide a vision of his <a href="" target="_blank">first hundred days in office:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Instead, the Republican nominee used the first third of what had been promoted as a &ldquo;closing argument&rdquo; speech to <strong>nurse personal grievances,</strong> grumbling about &ldquo;the rigging of this election&rdquo; and &ldquo;the dishonest mainstream media,&rdquo; and threatening to sue the women who have come forward &mdash; an 11th woman did on Saturday &mdash; to accuse him of aggressive sexual advances.</p> <p>&ldquo;Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign &mdash; total fabrication,&rdquo; Mr. Trump said. &ldquo;The events never happened. Never. <strong>All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.</strong>&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>As always with Trump, his timing and his venue are perfect. Next up: Trump goes goes to Checkpoint Charlie to complain about NATO allies not paying us enough money.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sun, 23 Oct 2016 19:16:06 +0000 Kevin Drum 317261 at Singer Aaron Neville's Rough Road to Salvation <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/14.09.14_NevilleC07.jpg"><div class="caption">Jacob Blickenstaff</div> </div> <p>The distinct beauty of Aaron Neville's voice has been a constant through a recording career that covers regional soul of New Orleans, his integral work with his siblings in the Neville Brothers, his crossover pop success <a href="" target="_blank">with Linda Ronstadt</a> in the '80s, and his more recent tributes to his old doo-wop and gospel influences.</p> <p>Now 75, Neville's latest album, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Apache</em></a> (a nickname from his youth), reconnects him with the sounds of 1960s and '70s New Orleans soul, courtesy of producer Eric Krasno of the bands Soulive and Lettuce. <em>Apache</em> also serves as Neville's reclamation of a youth fraught with challenges. He served a six-month stint in Orleans Parish Prison for car theft at&nbsp; the age of 19, and was later sentenced for burglary (the result of his falling in with a bad manager, the 1950s R&amp;B singer and pimp <a href="" target="_blank"> Larry Williams</a>). He also struggled with addiction into the early '80s.</p> <p>Neville's poems&mdash;candid statements on love, awareness of the world, and his memories&mdash;are the lyrical source for the majority of the album, a first for a singer whose work is typically more interpretive. But his original songs have been signposts in a long career, starting with the 1960's "Everyday" on the flip side of his first single, the Neville Brothers staple "Yellow Moon," and "To Make Me Who I Am," from the 1997 album of the same title.</p> <p><em>Apache</em> presents an opportunity to get to know an honest, humble soul who happens to be one of our greatest living voices. I photographed and spoke with Neville at <a href="" target="_blank">his farm</a> in Duchess County, New York, where he lives with his wife, Sarah; their peekapoo,&nbsp;Apache Jr.; and a whole bunch of chickens.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong>Mother Jones:</strong> You were 19 when you first set foot in a New Orleans recording studio. Tell me about the experience.</p> <p><strong>Aaron Neville:</strong> I just wanted to sing. I'd been wanting to record, like Ernie K-Doe and Irma Thomas, and I got a chance to be on the same label, Minit Records.&nbsp;Larry Williams got me the first recording session, he and Larry McKinley, who was a disc jockey. I would learn the song right then, because most of the stuff <a href="" target="_blank">Allen Toussaint</a> wrote. I wrote my first song, "Everyday" and he wrote the B-side, "Over You." It's not like today where they can fix things. Whatever you did was what you had&mdash;there wasn't no 10 and 12 takes. If you did harmonies, it was everyone around the same microphone. To hear my voice coming back on the tape, that was amazing: "Oh wow, that's me." Then when it started playing on the radio, that was a big thing there.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> I heard a story that Toussaint pushed you to sing more straight-ahead on that first session. Was there much creative tension in that relationship?</p> <p><strong>AN:</strong> No, I just sang that the way he wanted me to, and he was satisfied. After he did the music on "Everyday," he started modeling everything else he wrote for me behind that&mdash;sort of like a doo-wop thing.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> Tell me about your relationship with Larry Williams.</p> <p><strong>AN:</strong> Larry came to New Orleans around '56 and took the Hawkettes out on the road with him, but he told me, "I'll be back for you." When I got out of jail, he got me in the studio to record and took me on the road. He got tired of being misused, so he says he's going to be a pimp&mdash;he went to California and started pimping. When I went out there, he was going to manage me, but I had a contract with Minit records, so I did a few gigs with him and Etta James and Johnny Watson at the 5-4 Ballroom.</p> <p>I had to do something to earn my keep. Since I didn't want to pimp, he said we've got this guy who will book some burglaries. We'd go and clean the place out, and we had rooms in a hotel out on the highway and we'd fill it up with clothes and suits and whatever. The whole time I'm saying to myself, "Lord, get me out of this, send me back home, please." So when I did get busted, I said, "Thank you, Jesus." I ended up doing time in '63 and part of '64 fighting forest fires. It was dangerous. That's when I first got into the weights. I was looking like the Hulk up in there. I was 22 years old.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong>&nbsp;The success of 1966's "Tell It Like It Is"&mdash;another local New Orleans production&mdash;caused problems in that the label, Parlo, couldn't keep up with the demand.&nbsp;Was that frustrating for you?</p> <p><strong>AN:</strong>&nbsp;They were trying to make it look like they knew what they were doing, but they didn't. They had to declare bankruptcy, so hey. I was fresh out on the streets with a hit record. I didn't have time to really think about that. I had people coming at me to manage me&mdash;they didn't have nothing to offer, they were just telling me crazy stuff. They were going to send me on the road with no music, no stage clothes, no nothing. This guy Joe Jones, who was managing the Dixie Cups and Alvin "Shine" Robinson, was a shyster, but he kinda saved the day because he came in and made sure that I had music, clothes, and pictures and stuff. He was a professional but, like I said, a shyster&mdash;he was looking out for his interests. At the time, Frank Sinatra wanted to do something with me but Joe didn't let me know about it, and messed it up.&nbsp;</p> <p>I never really got paid for "Tell It Like Is," but I look back at it and say God knew what he was doing; he probably figured that if I had got money back in them days I wouldn't be here now.&nbsp;That's okay. I'm here. And I'm still singing the song.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> So, <em>Apache</em> marks the first time in your career you've written the lyrics for an entire album.</p> <p><strong>AN:</strong>&nbsp;I write poetry on my iPhone. I've got about 100 poems on there. So I wanted to do some of my stuff and that's how I got hooked up with Eric Krasno and Dave Gutter. We started talking on the phone, or texting, and they'd send me some ideas, and then we got in the studio.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong>&nbsp;So these songs start purely as poems? Expressions of feeling that you later set to music?</p> <p><strong>AN:</strong>&nbsp;I write when there's something happening in my life and it helps me to get through whatever. I have to be inspired. I can't just sit down and plan to write. "Yellow Moon" was a poem. My wife at the time, Joel&mdash;she's dead now&mdash;it was our 25th anniversary. She had the chance to go on a cruise with her sister. And I'm home with the kids and looking up and I saw the big moon, and I just started writing.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong>&nbsp;A few songs on <em>Apache</em> speak of your love for your second wife, Sarah, whom you married in 2010, three years after Joel passed. How did you navigate your grief and open yourself up to a new relationship?</p> <p><strong>AN:</strong>&nbsp;I buried Joel on our 48th anniversary. I had been with her since I was 16. I think Joel might have sent Sarah into my life. It was God-sent. That first year after she passed, I can't even explain it. I would cry, and people would come and tell me, "I know what you're going through." I'd think, "You don't know what I'm going through." They had no idea! It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. Before that, the lowest part was when Joel had left with the kids and went to be near her momma in '72. That's when I did "Hercules." When Sarah came in, she let me talk about Joel, because it was heavy on me. I'd cry and it was&nbsp;a healing thing, you know?</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> Anyone who writes about you points out how distinctive your voice is. Even when you account for your influences&mdash;cowboy yodels, early gospel, doo-wop, and soul&mdash;there's something in it that is undeniably unique, improvisational, and in the moment.</p> <p><strong>AN:</strong>&nbsp;There's a saying, "He who sings prays twice." It's like somebody is telling me how to do it. I can't explain it, and sometimes I'll be singing and I just want to close my eyes, and I wish I could just hit a note that could cure cancer. That's how I feel when I'm singing. This lady told me about an autistic boy in Las Vegas, he was about six years old, they couldn't do nothing with him; he'd flail around and they had to keep him constrained. The only thing that would calm him down: They'd put the headset on and I was singing. It gave me chills to hear that. I said it must have been the God in me touching the God in him. I ain't gonna take credit for that.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> It's worth mentioning this beautiful farm that&nbsp;we're looking out at.</p> <p><strong>AN:</strong> It's paradise. Going to the city, I'm always in a hurry to get back here. Peace and calm. Sometimes I just sit out there and look at the trees, the harmony in the trees. They just lay together. There are no problems, nobody arguing with each other, except the chickens maybe.</p> <p><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/14.09.14_NevilleE10-3.jpg"></p> <div class="caption">Jacob Blickenstaff</div></body></html> Media Interview Music Contact Sun, 23 Oct 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Jacob Blickenstaff 316906 at Donald Trump Promises to Sue Women Who Accused Him of Assault <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>On Saturday, Donald Trump vowed to sue the 11 women who have come forward over the last few weeks with accusations of sexual assault against the Republican presidential nominee.</p> <p>"Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign,&rdquo; Trump <a href="" target="_blank">claimed</a>. "Total fabrication, the events never happened&mdash;never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over."</p> <p>Trump's threat came during a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which was plugged as a major policy speech to lay out his first 100 days in office should he win the election next month. His promise to sue his accusers wasn't the only notable moment.</p> <p>While taking a hard line on his accusers, he seems to be softening on a key campaign promise: That the US will build a wall along its southern border and that Mexico will pay for it. Now, according to his speech, his position is that the United States will pay for the wall but Mexico will reimburse the US.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Trump says his "end illegal immigration act" would fully fund a wall "with the full understanding" that Mexico "will be reimbursing" U.S.</p> &mdash; Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) <a href="">October 22, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Trump also promised to break up Comcast and NBC as part of a response to media bias against him during the campaign.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Trump says he's look to break up Comcast/NBC, alleging excessive concentration of power and attempt to "poison the mind of the voters"</p> &mdash; John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) <a href="">October 22, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Donald Trump Sat, 22 Oct 2016 17:49:15 +0000 Pema Levy 317256 at Pat Buchanan Defends Donald Trump <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Jay Nordlinger and I don't agree on much, but I've never held that against him. However, with 17 days left until we go to the polls, I <em>do</em> hold against him the five minutes of my life that I lost from reading Pat Buchanan's latest column. But you know what? If I have to suffer, so do you. Ladies and <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_17_days_prince_0.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">gentlemen, here is Buchanan's <a href="" target="_blank">latest defense of Donald Trump:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>What explains the hysteria of the establishment? In a word, fear.</p> <p>....By suggesting he might not accept the results of a &ldquo;rigged election&rdquo; Trump is committing an unpardonable sin. But this new cult, <strong>this devotion to a new holy trinity of diversity, democracy and equality, is of recent vintage and has shallow roots.</strong> For none of the three &mdash; diversity, equality, democracy &mdash; is to be found in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers or the Pledge of Allegiance.</p> <p>....Some of us recall another time, when Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas wrote in &ldquo;Points of Rebellion&rdquo;: &ldquo;We must realize that today&rsquo;s Establishment is the new George III. Whether it will continue to adhere to his tactics, we do not know. If it does, the redress, honored in tradition, is also revolution.&rdquo; Baby-boomer radicals loved it, raising their fists in defiance of Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew. <strong>But now that it is the populist-nationalist right that is moving beyond the niceties of liberal democracy</strong> to save the America they love, elitist enthusiasm for &ldquo;revolution&rdquo; seems more constrained.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Nordlinger comments:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Around the world, there are many, many places that lack the &ldquo;niceties of liberal democracy.&rdquo; You don&rsquo;t want to live there. You would quickly discover that the niceties are more like necessities &mdash; a rule of law necessary to live a good, decent, and free life.</p> </blockquote> <p>Is this just garden-variety Buchanan? It's been years since I've read or listened to him. He's always been a bit of a lunatic, but it seems like he's gotten even crazier in his old age.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sat, 22 Oct 2016 16:33:52 +0000 Kevin Drum 317251 at This Guy Is So Smart, He's Got His Own Academic Journal <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Slavoj <span class="st">&Aring;&frac12;i&Aring;&frac34;ek</span> is part philosopher, part international phenomenon. And if that seems impossible in this day and age, consider: <span class="st">&Aring;&frac12;i&Aring;&frac34;ek</span>, a Slovenian cultural theorist, has published more than 40 books in English, has starred in four films, and even has an academic journal (<a href="" target="_blank"><em>International Journal of&nbsp;</em><span class="st">&Aring;&frac12;i&Aring;&frac34;ek</span><em> Studies</em></a>) dedicated to his work. Renowned for his gymnastic thinking and mastery of counterintuition, <span class="st">&Aring;&frac12;i&Aring;&frac34;ek</span> has been <a href="" target="_blank">called</a> "the most dangerous philosopher in the West" by the <em>New Republic</em> and "one of the world's best known public intellectuals" by the <a href="" target="_blank"><em>New York Review of Books</em></a>.</p> <p>Out this week, his latest book, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Refugees, Terror</em> <em>and Other Troubles With the Neighbors</em></a> is an urgent and entertaining diagnosis of the ongoing refugee crisis and global terror threat, highlighting the glaring contradictions in our attitudes and actions. True to form, <span class="st">&Aring;&frac12;i&Aring;&frac34;ek, </span>an avowed Marxist, takes this fraught historical moment as an opportunity to apply his particular brand of bombastic, unconventional salve. His past positions have chafed <a href="" target="_blank">liberals</a> and conservatives alike, and this book will be no exception. (See below.) I caught up with <span class="st">&Aring;&frac12;i&Aring;&frac34;ek</span> to talk about the limitations of democracy, orphan prophets, and America's ugly presidential election.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Zizek-REFUGEES%252c%20TERROR...-cover_1.jpg"></div> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%">&nbsp;</div> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%">&nbsp;</div> <p><strong>Mother Jones: </strong>What, specifically, is the biggest problem that the refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East, and to a lesser extent in North America, has exposed?</p> <p><strong>Slavoj <span class="st">&Aring;&frac12;i&Aring;&frac34;ek</span>: </strong>It's an issue with democracy! When people complain Europe is not transparent&mdash;if, right now, you organized elections all across Europe, the first result would be to throw all the immigrants out. Unambiguously. This is the problem! I spoke with some Slovenian representatives in Brussels when they were negotiating to help Greece and immigrants. And they told me they were making deals in closed sessions, but if the debate were to be public, it would have been much worse for Greece and for immigrants, because public opinion in countries like Slovenia and Poland was much <em>more</em> against immigrants and against helping Greece. What shocks me is that the very same people who complain that the democratic process in Europe should be more transparent at the same time want more rights for immigrants.</p> <p><strong>MJ: </strong>And what does this mean for democracy?</p> <p><strong>SZ: </strong>The state wants to impose basic anti-racist measures, and then local communities controlled by right-wing fundamentalists block that. I am here on the side of the state, which I am ready to endorse up to the crazy end. We have to accept that the people are quite often not right. I believe in democracy but in a very conditional way. There are elections that are a miracle, in the sense that you can see that people were really, authentically, mobilized. For example, in spite of all the compromises that occurred later, the Syriza elections&mdash;this was an authentic choice. So miracles do happen, but they are exceptions. Don't fetishize the people. Don't mythologize the people, they are not right! Don't mythologize the immigrants. This is the big motive running through my book.</p> <p><strong>MJ: </strong>This is one of those positions that won't be too popular on the left.</p> <p><strong>SZ: </strong>My point is precisely that the ultimate racism is to endorse the immigrant other, but the idealized version of that other. They are ordinary, shitty people like all of us. The point is not to <em>like</em> them. The point is to accept them the way they are and try to help them. That's why I don't want to open my heart to the refugees. That's for liberals to do. Let's open our purses to them. Give them money! Let's not get into this emotional blackmail.</p> <p><strong>MJ: </strong>You first bring up the term "double blackmail" in the book with regard to the supposedly irreconcilable opposition between secular capitalism and Islamic fundamentalism. Please explain that.</p> <p><strong>SZ: </strong>Although I'm totally opposed to Islamic fundamentalism, I don't buy the story of stupid, radical leftists who claim Islamic fundamentalism is one of the big anti-capitalist forces. I think this is empirically not true. I read reports of Daesh [ISIS]. The nearest approximation is that they operate like a big mafia corporation, dealing with artifacts, cultural monuments, oil. Al Qaeda or the Islamic State, they are not traditional. Forget about their ideology; look at their organization! They're a brutal centralized power. They are ultramodern in their mode of functioning.</p> <p>The second reason I think the opposition is wrong is that a new form of capitalism is emerging. It's a wrong, racist term, but "capitalism with Asian values," which simply means capitalism no longer ideologically perceives itself as this hedonistic individualism. More and more, you can combine a certain religious, ethnic, or cultural commitment. Like India's prime minister, Narenda Modi, my hero in a horrible sense. I am totally opposed to him. He is a neoliberal economist and Hindu fundamentalist. So again, this entire disposition of oppositions like "liberal permissive capitalism" versus religious fundamentalism is wrong&mdash;it doesn't function like that. This is not where capitalism is moving.</p> <p><strong>MJ: </strong>An interesting illustration of this contradiction is Uber, which recently caught flack for taking <a href="" target="_blank">$3.5 billion</a> from Saudi Arabia. So we have the technological vanguard of Silicon Valley in bed with one of the world's most infamously regressive Islamic regimes, and yet Uber's services in the kingdom have been portrayed as a <a href="" target="_blank">social justice</a> issue, since women aren't allowed to drive.</p> <p><strong>SZ: </strong>So let me play the devil here. As Saudi Arabia I will tell you, "Fuck you. You preach multicultural tolerance. Such a role of women is an immanent part of our culture. Where is your tolerance for different cultures?" And in a way, I would be right! Because you cannot say, "We will correct women's role in society and otherwise we leave to Saudis their culture." A shameful story is how American feminists supported the invasion of Iraq, claiming it would bring liberation to Iraqi women. They were totally wrong. Saddam was still, with all the horrors, a secular leader. Women held public posts in Saddam's Iraq. If anything, now the role of women is much lower. They are much more oppressed now. Isn't this a beautiful irony?</p> <p>The main social effect of the American occupation of Iraq was to worsen the position of women and, because of the rise of more orthodox Islam, most of the Christians left Iraq. Christians were a considerable minority there, a couple million of them for thousands of years. It took American intervention to see them thrown out. Tariq Aziz, Saddam's foreign minister, was an Iraqi Christian. We should never forget this. The two states which are disappearing now in the Middle East, Iraq and Syria&mdash;are you aware that these are the only two states which were formerly secular? Assad was also horrible, but neither Syria nor Iraq defined themselves as Islamic states. They defined themselves as secular states.</p> <p><strong>MJ: </strong>Yet in your book, you focus as much on the impact of economic policy in creating these problems as you do on the impact of military intervention.</p> <p><strong>SZ: </strong>Economic trade agreements are more destructive; they're even worse. I'm not even <em>a priori</em> against military interventions. Take the Republic of Congo. The state is simply not functioning&mdash;it's the closest you can get to hell on earth. But of course nobody wants to intervene there because Congo's local warlords all make deals with big companies who get minerals&mdash;like <a href="" target="_blank">coltan</a> for electronics&mdash;much cheaper. I would have nothing against a nice military intervention into Congo to simply establish it as a normal functioning state with basic services. But this I can guarantee will never happen. Big powers become interested in human rights violations only when there is some economic interest behind it.</p> <p><strong>MJ: </strong>Let's talk about the American election.</p> <p><strong>SZ: </strong>When I was young, decades ago, my leftist friends were saying that those in power speak the official polite dignified language. To provoke them we should be more vulgar with words. But today it's the opposite. Right-wing populism introduces vulgarity into public space. Trump is obviously a pure ideological opportunist. You know he makes the move to the right, then a little bit to the left. At some point he supports raising minimum wage, then he's lowering it. At some point he said we should have more understanding for Palestinians; now he says we should recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel. He is an opportunist, and I think that even with his provocations, he is nothing extraordinary. I don't think there is anything remotely radical in his position. I am infinitely more afraid of people like Ted Cruz. Trump is a vulgar opportunist. Cruz is a monster. Do you think Ted Cruz is human?</p> <p>What I find problematic about this demonization of Trump is that through this demonization, Hillary Clinton succeeded in building a common front. This is the only time I sympathize with Trump. When Bernie Sanders supported Hillary, Trump said, "It's like Occupy Wall Street supporting Wall Street." Hillary succeeded in building this totally ideological unity, from [Clinton Foundation donations from] Saudi Arabia to LGBT, from Wall Street to Occupy Wall Street. This consensus is ideology at its purest.</p> <p><strong>MJ: </strong>What do you make of the argument that, beneath all the racial animus we're seeing toward immigrants and refugees, there's some vague, misdirected frustration with neoliberal policy?</p> <p><strong>SZ: </strong>This is always how racism works. Take anti-Semitism: The Jew was always the ersatz for the capitalist. The big achievement of anti-Semitism was to take class resentment and rechannel it into race resentment. Here we come to the true greatness of Bernie Sanders. Instead of just despising the ordinary farmers who fell for [racist rhetoric], he got them on his side. He got those who by definition are conservative fundamental Republicans to the moderate left. This is a mega achievement. He is the answer for the left. To get this infamous silent majority on your side should be our strategy. The left should reappropriate things like public decency, politeness, and good manners. We shouldn't be afraid of this. Capitalism has become an extremely vulgar space.</p> <p><strong>MJ: </strong>Back to the question of refugees. Nowhere do you advocate opening borders, or posit that everything will work itself out.</p> <p><strong>SZ: </strong>There are real cultural problems. You know in Cologne, Germany, the <a href="" target="_blank">New Year's scandal</a>. This was of course not a rape attempt&mdash;if you want to rape you don't go to the place full of light and people at the center of the city. This sort of thing happens all the time. It was happening at the anti-Mubarak protests at Tahrir Square. This is a typical lower-class Arab carnival ritual. You dance around women; you maybe pinch them a little bit, but you don't rape. Of course, this is unacceptable for us. But we need to talk openly about this, because if we don't talk about this we feed the opponents, the right-wing paranoiacs, Islamophobia. An open, honest debate should be risked here. And the first mistake we make is if we think we understand ourselves, we definitely don't. Yes, criticize Islamic fundamentalists. But at the same time analyze ourselves.</p> <p><strong>MJ: </strong>So can progressive values and Islam be reconciled?</p> <p><strong>SZ:</strong> If you look at the Muslim tradition, there are terribly progressive elements of it. Islam is not a religion of family; it's a religion of orphans, which is crucial&mdash;Muhammad was an orphan and so on. There is tremendous emancipatory potential in that. The Haiti revolution, the key ideologist was a guy named John Bookman, a slave who knew how to read, that's why they called him Bookman. But you know which book he was reading? The Koran. Islam played a key role in mobilizing slaves in Haiti. Right now, I think we live in dangerous times. Who knows what turn it will take. But I think there is a chance for the left.</p></body></html> Media Interview Books International Iraq Top Stories Sat, 22 Oct 2016 10:00:18 +0000 Alexander Sammon 316981 at Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele Announces He Will Not Be Voting for Donald Trump <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has added his name to a growing list of Republican figures disavowing Donald Trump, announcing on Thursday that he will not be voting for his party's presidential candidate next month.</p> <p>"I will not be voting for Clinton," Steele said at the <em>Mother Jones</em> 40th anniversary dinner. "I will not be voting for Trump either."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>He singled out Trump's first remarks disparaging Mexicans as rapists and criminals as the moment that party leaders such as current RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and House Speaker Paul Ryan should have stepped in to oppose Trump's views.</p> <p>"The chairman has the responsibility to provide law and order, in the sense that you want to inflect party discipline and instill party discipline where you need it," he said, speaking from his experience as the party chair from 2009 until 2011.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>He went on to describe Trump as the voice of the frustration of the "racist" and "angry" underbelly of America and noted, "I was damn near puking during the debates."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Donald Trump Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:51:09 +0000 Inae Oh 317166 at Happy Anniversary to Us! <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><em>Mother Jones</em> was <a href="" target="_blank">born</a> in 1976 (the <a href="" target="_blank">same year</a>, incidentally, as Apple Computer, <em>The Muppet Show</em>, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Big Red gum). We celebrated our birthday on October 20 with a gala where former Republican Party Chair Michael Steele made some <a href="" target="_blank">news</a>, and where we also premiered a new video that takes you inside <em>MoJo</em>'s journalism.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>We're on a mission to save investigative reporting by building a new, reader-supported revenue model. If you think this kind of journalism is an essential element of our democracy, <a href=";list_source=7H6ADE01&amp;extra_don=1&amp;abver=A" target="_blank">please make a tax-deductible gift now</a>.</p></body></html> About Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:06:45 +0000 Monika Bauerlein 317241 at Hackers Just Brought the Internet to Its Kneesā€”And No One Knows Why <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>A number of websites&mdash;including Twitter, Netflix, and PayPal&mdash;were disrupted today by an early morning cyberattack against a key company responsible for routing internet traffic. The company, Dyn, <a href="" target="_blank">has been posting a series of updates</a> throughout the day, claiming that it came under multiple Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. A DDoS attack floods a website or server with traffic from multiple sources, slowing the targeted site or shutting it down altogether.&nbsp;</p> <p>In this case, the target was Dyn, a major provider of Domain Name Servers (DNS), which allow internet traffic to get routed properly. (<a href="" target="_blank"><em>Gizmodo </em>has an excellent breakdown</a> of how DNS servers work, and why an attack on a major provider of them would impact so many sites at once.) The attack started at about 7:10 a.m. on the East Coast of the United States, and the company was initially able to restore service. But later in the morning a second and more widespread attack ensued, and service disruption might have spread to Western Europe, <a href="" target="_blank">according to Reuters</a><em>.</em></p> <p>Today's attack is being investigated by the US government as a "criminal act,"<a href="" target="_blank"> Reuters reports</a>, and it could be just the latest in what the Department of Homeland Security has characterized as increasingly powerful DDoS attacks. In <a href="" target="_blank">an October 14 message</a> posted on the DHS Computer Emergency Readiness Team page, the agency warned of "increased risks" of massive DDoS attacks because of poorly secured internet-connected devices such as cameras and home routers. "Recently, [Internet of Things] devices have been used to create large-scale botnets&mdash;networks of devices infected with self-propogating malware&mdash;that can execute rippling distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks," the warning read.</p> <p>Although it's unclear who is behind the attack, in an early Friday evening tweet, WikiLeaks told its supporters:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Mr. Assange is still alive and WikiLeaks is still publishing. We ask supporters to stop taking down the US internet. You proved your point. <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) <a href="">October 21, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script><p>By the way, here's what a DDoS attack looks like when it's visualized (<a href="" target="_blank">via </a><em><a href="" target="_blank">Gizmodo</a>)</em>:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections cybersecurity Fri, 21 Oct 2016 21:09:54 +0000 AJ Vicens 317216 at Richard Branson Describes "Bizarre" Lunch in Which Donald Trump Waxed About Revenge <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>As our own David Corn noted just this week, Donald Trump loves nothing more than <a href="" target="_blank">seeking cold revenge</a>. It turns out billionaire Richard Branson has a Trump story that illustrates Trump's obsession with vengeance perfectly.</p> <p>Branson, the billionaire owner of the Virgin Group, <a href="" target="_blank">wrote a post</a> on his company's website on Friday afternoon describing an out-of-the-blue lunch the two men shared "some years ago." Branson says it was the first time he and Trump had met, but Trump had only one topic he wanted to discuss.</p> <blockquote> <p>Even before the starters arrived he began telling me about how he had asked a number of people for help after his latest bankruptcy and how five of them were unwilling to help. He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people.</p> <p>He didn't speak about anything else and I found it very bizarre. I told him I didn&rsquo;t think it was the best way of spending his life. I said it was going to eat him up, and do more damage to him than them. There must be more constructive ways to spend the rest of your life. (Hopefully my advice didn&rsquo;t lead to him running for President!)</p> <p>I was baffled why he had invited me to lunch solely to tell me this. For a moment, I even wondered if he was going to ask me for financial help. If he had, I would have become the sixth person on his list!</p> </blockquote> <p>Branson <a href="" target="_blank">wrote</a> earlier this month that "Mr Trump's temperament is irrational [and] aggressive," and added on Friday that those character defects are perhaps the scariest part of this election. "What concerns me most, based upon my personal experiences with Donald Trump, is his vindictive streak, which could be so dangerous if he got into the White House," Branson wrote.</p> <p>The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from <em>Mother Jones</em>.</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Donald Trump Fri, 21 Oct 2016 20:02:32 +0000 Max J. Rosenthal 317231 at Friday Cat Blogging - 21 October 2016 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Here is Hopper doing her best impression of a three-toed sloth. It lasted for about three seconds. Sometimes I wish she had the energy of a sloth. She is one high-maintenance cat.</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_hopper_2016_10_21.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 15px 0px 5px 30px;"></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 21 Oct 2016 19:14:03 +0000 Kevin Drum 317226 at