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Monday, July 23, 2018

What will you remember about the summer of 2015?

Will it be the GOP tying its fate to the most divisive, thin-skinned and clownish Republican frontrunner/birther in American history? Will it be an amorphous Benghazi investigation that has been impaneled longer than the investigation into Iran-Contra — an actual Constitutional crisis that saw a sitting vice president/candidate for president refuse to release relevant diary entries that may have implicated him in the crime — yielding nothing but questions about administrative vagaries of classified email? Will we remember how the right and a complicit media machine that invented Whitewater, summoned a ridiculous impeachment, and misled us into war deployed every argument at its disposal to destroy the strongest non-incumbent and first female frontrunner for president in American history?

Or will these daffy distractions go the way of the media’s illusory concern for Ebola, the missing plane, and President Obama’s tan suit?

Who knows? But what we can say for sure is that truly historic things have unfolded this summer, and been only glanced at by a media transfixed on conflict and personality. Here are five important events that history will definitely have to reckon with, even if the media would rather not.

1. The Iran deal.
On Sunday, Colin Powell joined Richard Lugar and Brent Scowcroft to support the deal the U.S., its European allies, China, and Russia reached with Iran to bring the nation under compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. These three former high-ranking Republicans represent the last remaining rinds of right-wing realism, and they join with 38 Democratic senators who have vowed to support the president’s veto on any attempt to undermine the agreement. Legitimate fears and concerns about Iran’s conduct have been overwhelmed by a calculus that assumes the rogue state is both canny enough to evade the laws of physics and suicidal enough to secretly build a bomb, knowing that would invite the world to destroy its economy and possibly the entire existence of the regime. This deal could be the first successful attempt in history to use diplomacy to dissuade a nation that has defied the world to swear off the pursuit of a nuclear weapon. It does not eliminate Iran’s ability to fund terrorism any more than our long relationship with Saudi Arabia prevented that nation and its citizens from funding terrorism, including the seeds of al Qaeda and ISIS. But it does stand in sharp contrast to the way America approached Iraq’s alleged nuclear program. This caution and realignment of strategies makes sense given the incredible humanitarian disaster that was fueled by the failures of the neoconservative approach to Iraq. If America were to suddenly shift back to the chauvinism of the recent past, either by choice or force, history would distinctly note how profoundly disappointing the collapse of this noble effort was.

2. Syrian refugee crisis.
No disaster has gone more ignored by the American media than the ongoing refugee crisis in the countries surrounding Syria. And that probably would have continued forever if a small percentage of those fleeing the war-torn nation had not begun to seep into Europe, and the world had not been shocked by the image of a dead toddler on a beach. Predictably, the right has advanced fantasies that more western interventionism could have fixed a problem ignited by western interventionism. There’s no doubt that the nations that have done the most to fuel the catastrophe—which include the United States, Iran, Russia and Saudi Arabia—have done little to nothing to take responsibility for the brunt of this humanitarian crisis. From Europe, we’ve seen both images that conjure the vile specter of how Jews were treated in the 1930s and incredible acts of enlightened graciousness. Both will play a role in the European perception of the costs of a belief that the west can reshape the Middle East by force. But for America, the agony is still distant. And, for many, so are the lessons.

3. Climate change.
We joke that President Obama has done more to fight climate change than all other U.S. presidents combined because it’s impossible to multiply by zero. His stimulus was a ginormous green-energy bonanza that manifested an American renewables industry from almost nothing, leading us to a revolution that has now seen clean energy become cheaper in some instances than its dirty competitors. The president’s deal with China, the world’s largest carbon polluter, to limit emissions neutered the strongest argument against persistent climate action. This summer, the president presented his finalized plan for demanding power producers reduce their carbon output by 32 percent from what it was a decade ago, by 2032. This new rule is tougher on the states that have been the most recalcitrant in pursuing limitations on emissions, and arrives as we have increasing evidence that fighting climate change is actually helping the economy. This rule still needs to survive legal challenges, which seems likely given the current makeup of the Supreme Court, which rejected a Bush administration attack on regulating CO2 under the Clean Air Act in 2007. So like much of Obama’s legacy, this will truly be decided by the outcome of the 2016 election.

4. Record job growth.
We’ve finally recovered all the full-time jobs lost in the Great Recession and it only took a record 66 months of private-sector job growth. That Obama has gone from the president who prevented a greater depression to the steward of a genuine boom is too much to handle for many Republicans. They argue that his unemployment rate is only lower than anything ever achieved by Reagan because so many people have left the job market out of fear of contracting a bad case of Obama’s Muslim atheism. To make this argument, they have to ignore trends that have been going on for decades or reveal that they’re really upset that Baby Boomers are actually getting to retire. This isn’t to say the economy is perfect, at all. Wage growth is far too slow and too much of the recovery is going to the richest Americans, and this is a problem that Marco Rubio, for instance, wants to solve by cutting Mitt Romney’s taxes to zero. The economy is definitely not as good as we should demand. It’s just better than it’s been all century, and it’s showing great resilience despite persistent claims it would be destroyed by inflation, food stamps and — of course — Obamacare.

5. Obamacare wins.
Perhaps the most underreported story of the summer of 2015 is that Obamacare won again.

This wasn’t proven by the uninsured rate dropping below 10 percent for the first time in decades. Though that’s impressive. And it wasn’t proven by Obamacare spending its first two straight months receiving higher favorable than unfavorable ratings in the Kaiser Foundation’s tracking poll. That’s good, but nope.

This was proven by Scott Walker — the Koch brothers’ mascot — actually producing an Obamacare alternative that resembles… OBAMACARE.

“At the talking-point level, Governor Walker’s plan sounds an awful lot like Obamacare,” said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president of Kaiser Family Foundation.

The big difference? It protects way fewer people, and the people it does protect aren’t those who need it the most. This isn’t surprising, but it’s proof that after a half-decade of vowing the destruction of Obamacare, even the most right-wing Republicans recognize that the American public will refuse to give up much of what the law offers. You can see why Republicans aren’t eager to have that story get out.

Photo: A guest takes a video of U.S. President Barack Obama with his mobile phone during a welcome reception for the WNBA Champions Phoenix Mercury team at the East Room of the White House in Washington, August 26, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

54 Responses to 5 Huge Historical Events That America Is Mostly Ignoring

  1. What I will remember the most about the Summer of 2015 is the emergence of a buffoon as the front runner to the nomination of a major political party. Just the thought of an immature bully, an arrogant narcissistic twit, a loud mouth prone to childish mannerisms, and a man who does not seem to understand the potential consequences of inciting violence when he engages in rhetoric designed to exploit emotion for political gain, makes me sick. The second most important thing I will remember about this season is the ambivalence, or more accurately, the complicity of the U.S. media in promoting, or not challenging, this buffoon.

    • So much for the non existent left wing media. All news outlets seem to be kowtowing all over The Donald. Meanwhile, the person getting the largest legitimate crowds, Bernie Sanders, is dismissed. I,m not getting it.

      • I agree. I am as surprised as everyone else with the indifference of the media towards Bernie Sanders, who is leading in the polls in New Hampshire. Money talks…

      • It’s all about who really controls the major players of the media which is clearly Faux News and Clear Channel – both right wing organizations. And because they are the major players, the lesser players, not to be left out follow their lead. (Clear channel claims to have a 225 million plus listening audience in local radio and TV outlets. Add Faux News to that and the right-wing really controls the media. Which obviously wants to promote Trump and not Bernie)

    • “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution”
      A. Lincoln.’Now we have a ElDonaldo being the Mastero Supremo, experto naturale in everything he does and says and most the gullible buys his crap.

      “Control the media, control the message, control the masses” J. Goebbel he was Nazi propaganda Minister and Germany got Hitler. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Sir W. Churchill.
      It looks like most Americans didn’t learn anything.
      We gave up our liberties for security to greedy politicians and those who owns them and we do not hold them accountable for any wrongdoings. Be careful what you wish for. You might get it and regret it. Most did after Bush the Stupid, and here we go again. EL Donaldo the Presidente of USA under the juristriction of Israel.
      One thing I can tell good about our new El Presidente, he did tell the way it’s. He paid all these politicians to achieve what he wanted and will continue to do so.
      Money talks BS walks.

      • Diversion.
        This would be the sign that you know and dislike the current state of affairs where a bombastic hair-support-system is winning your nomination… so misdirect to another topic.

        • So you like the status quo??? I want to see see the trumpet throw a bag of hammers into the Washington political machine. I want to see professional politicians running for cover. I am tired of being drenched in snake oil. I want to see the fangs of don’t tread on me spreading its venom on our enemies before they become our masters. While you are all a twit with topics I am into survival.

    • Can you imagine a President with clear ties to the mafia? Who is supposed to vet these candidates? This crook is clearly operating by the Hitler handbook, which his ex-wife, by the way, has said he had on his nightstand.

      • You mean like our government did during WW11? What his ex wife said??????????? Do you know her?? Better yet do you believe her? Of course you do. We need Hilary she is just such a saint.

  2. Notice the way this Post starts out by putting all of the propaganda thought inducing leftist messages that so easily turn the discussion to their ideology. And the Liberals all follow along influenced by those messages, instead of using their own thoughts. Just like College Professors do to indoctrinate young, impressionable minds. What type of governments does this bring to mind?

    • Only a weak mind is impressionable. I fact check and try to make an informed decision. My son and friends never tried to go in the sewers looking for TMNTS!! WE didn’t need disclaimers that these toys don’t actually walk, talk, move as shown on a c ommercial.

    • What specifically do you find fault with? What is not true in the article? Make your case with facts that are verifiable, from reputable sources.. Otherwise, I personally wish you would STFU.

        • My request was to paulyz, has he authorized you to post on his behalf? If you too disagree with the article than I invite you to state your objections. What was not factual? Cite reputable sources if you want to be taken seriously.

      • In case you can’t understand, just read the 1st. paragraph. Whether what they put in your minds were facts or fiction, they set your minds in a purely partisan thought process, leaving you not able to make your own thoughts. They steer you in the direction they want, & you all follow without question. Just as MSNBC does. FOX News on the other hand, always shows both sides with many Liberals regularly stating their opinions. Do you “get-it” now?

    • Notice the way this Post starts out talking about Clowns, being Contra to Iran, Ebola and Tan Suits, the primary totems Republicans use when creating talking points for their ideology. And the Conservatives follow along, influenced by those messages, instead of using their own thoughts. Just like Faux News do to indoctrinate old, ail(es)ing and impressionable minds. What type of political machine does this bring to mind?
      Oh yeah. The GOP.

      See? I can draw meaningless conclusions from unrelated items too!

      • 
        “Over the weekend Israel’s right-wing politicians and key advisers in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet laid the groundwork to formally abandon a two-state solution with the Palestinians and crystallize a policy towards annexation. The proposals were unveiled at the Herzliya Conference, Israel’s premier security forum where major government changes are often debuted—it was at this venue where the 2005 disengagement from Gaza was announced.

        “I negate the idea of a two state-solution,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said. As Israel’s chief foreign relations official, Hotovely is responsible for representing Israel if negotiations with the Palestinians were to resume.

        – See more at:

        “In June 1967, Israel won a stunning military victory against its neighbors, elating Israelis and the global Jewish community with a sense that the grand experiment of a Jewish state might really work. Three weeks later, amid Israel’s national euphoria, the country’s founding prime minister emerged from retirement to warn Israelis that they had sown the seeds of national self-destruction. David Ben-Gurion, 81 years old, insisted that Israel, which had conquered the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank in the war, must immediately give them up. If they did not, he said, this act of forcible occupation would corrupt the Jewish state and possibly destroy it outright. His speech was barely covered in the Israeli press and widely ignored by Israelis. The Palestinians have lived under Israeli occupation now for 48 years.

        Israel has always been more than just a place on a map. From the beginning, it has existed as a series of promises as well as a geographical location: a promise of being a place where Jews can live, a promise of being a place that will keep Jews safe, and a place that secures the Jewish people’s democratic ideals. Implicit in those promises has always been a threat: that if any of them were ever broken, Israel would no longer truly be Israel. It would just be a place on a map that happened to be labeled with that name.

        Theodor Herzl, one of the founders of modern Zionism, once told a gathering of Zionist leaders that “those of us who are today prepared to hazard our lives for the cause would regret having raised a finger if we were able to organize only a new social system, and not a more righteous one.” As the American Zionist leader Louis Lipsky wrote in the 1946 forward to Herzl’s 1896 treatise “The Jewish State,” Zionism “had to become a movement of democracy.”Israel cannot maintain both its democracy and its occupation of the Palestinians. Day by day, it is choosing the latter.

        Ze’ev Jabotinsky, a Russian-born Zionist who is considered a father of the modern Israeli right, argued that Jews’ experiences as a besieged minority made democracy and pluralism essential values. “Democracy means freedom,” Jabotinsky wrote. “The Jewish State will have to be such, ensuring that the minority will not be rendered defenseless.”

        For the first decades after its founding, it was those promises of physical security that seemed hardest to keep, as Israel and the Jews who lived there faced threats from hostile neighbors. But now Israel faces a very different sort of threat: a threat that it will abandon the democratic principles that have been part of its foundation since the earliest days of Zionism.

        Quietly, gradually, an internal crisis has grown so great that it threatens the survival of Israel as we know it today: Jewish, democratic, and an accepted member of the community of nations. If something does not change, then that Israel cannot survive. An Israel that is authoritarian, that is isolated in the world, and that betrays the ideals of its founders will take its place. It will retain the Israeli flag and national anthem, it will stamp “Israel” on its passports, but it will not be Israel as Zionists like Herzl and Lipsky — and millions of Jews who believed and still believe in their vision — hoped and intended.

        Israel’s path away from democracy

        This trajectory has been clear for some time. The US and much of the world saw this year’s electoral victory of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — after a campaign that disdained peace, vilified the country’s Arab minority, and alienated Israel’s Western allies — as a watershed event. But the truth is that Netanyahu’s reelection changed nothing, other than dispelling the polite fiction in the United States about the direction in which Israelis are choosing to take their country.”

      • That will never happened. USA (taxpayers) is pumping enough money to keep BIBI in luxury and control our Government. Former (late) Israel PM-
        Sharon said – we own the United states of America. Later he had gone into coma. He spoke the truth.
        People don’t know or understand the difference between a paid political advertisement (hack) and the real truth. Ignorance is a bliss.
        All is about security of Israel, what about the security and return the lands to the rightful owner?? They don’t count?. It’s pick and choose??A Palestinian nation is less worthy of freedom and peace?? If YES – WHY??
        I never heard anybody asking that question of any of the running hopefools on both sides Repnukes and Dempukes.
        Maybe we should have 1 more square in our ballots – None of the above??
        That way I would feel I voted w/my conscience and did not put any oxy moron in the office and support him/her in his/her old age while he/she is telling me how good they will be for me and my country..
        “Educate and inform the whole mass of people….. they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our Liberty” T. Jefferson.
        Not in my lifetime I will see any Newspaper/Magazine/ TV/Radio station telling the TRUTH for FREE. THAT WILL NEVER HAPPENED.
        BiBI is a liar and opportunist.

      • So did Meier, Sharon and Rabin…The Israelis choose the land they call the Promised Land. After all, if we all used that excuse to rain hell on others today, we’d end up looking like what Netanyahu does…a land grabbing fool.

    • Rather a historic parallel between the Israeli settlers, backed by the Israeli Army, pushing Palestinians out of their land, and what American settlers, backed by the American Army, did to the American Indians. With bursts of terrorist activity by the people being pushed out.

  3. One thing I will remember is how the idiots of Ohio, including Kasich, whining about the mountain name change back to Denali. It’s hysterical watching them, led by Boehner and no support from the media.

  4. Count on it. Republican state history books will never allow any historic events tied to the Democrats. All they know is the CONfederacy, the Stars and Bars, bigotry and racism and creating state industries they know will be funded by federal taxes the rest of the states will pay for.

    Then, the CONs will tell the rest of the states to pay for education, infrastructure and other needs out of state taxes or get taxpayers to donate to charities and volunteer to work on state projects for free…all while they lap up our federal tax dollars and touch not one dime of THEIR state taxes.

    My memory is of GWB’s SOTU speech where he told the nation to “donate to charities” to pay for things our taxes already pay for.

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