Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Friday

Via L'avenir en commun, website of the Jean-Luc Mélenchon campaign.
I've felt pretty dispirited about the French election, and was heartened by this Mélenchon campaign cheer by one key supporter, Olivier Tonneau, in The Guardian, which may help talk you out of any fears inspired by reportage from the bothsiderist mafia that the only plausible leftist candidate is where Left meets Right around the back of the circle if you believe in that particular myth, or that Mélenchon is a Putinist or that he wants to destroy Europe:
we don’t plan to leave the EU: we aim to force the renegotiation of its treaties by means of unilateral disobedience. From the moment we come to power, we will implement a massive, environmentally focused Keynesian stimulus funded via a public bank, thus kickstarting the French economy and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.
We will not apply privatisation directives. We will opt out of the posted workers programme, but we will not reduce freedom of movement. We will implement a salary scale: the highest salary will never be more than 20 times the lowest. We will cap revenues at €400,000 a year. We will regularise the situation of all working illegal immigrants, and we will not implement quotas for refugees.
Mélenchon is among those who love the EU and want to save it from its self-destructive penury. He wants to end the ruinous austerity imposed by German bankers on the PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain), and he's by far the most generously pro-immigrant politician in Europe, with all respect to the Swedes and Germans for going as far as they've gone. He shows how to build a serious program to defeat inequality out of principle rather than the fetishization of laundry-list items (from Hollande and his 35-hour week to Sanders and the mantra "Medicare for All" and the $15 minimum wage instead of universal health care and the living wage, always focusing on means to the point of forgetting goals).

And he's really doing extremely well in the polls. I never believed "Bernie would've won", but I think this person may have a chance. If he doesn't, Le Pen can still be defeated in the second round, so there's no harm in voting for him.

Meanwhile, Trump and ISIS working together to elect Marine Le Pen:

I note Trump is also trying to get rightwingers elected in Iran's presidential election May 19, by threatening to back out of the nuclear deal with "an interagency review of the plan and evaluate whether suspension [of] sanctions … pursuant to the JCPOA are in the vital interests of our national security," even as his administration has certified that the deal is working, but hopefully the great Al-Monitor correspondent Laura Rozen is right and this is just bluffing, to provide cover for another broken election promise (one of the ones I'd be most glad to see him break).


I don't support bombing Assad facilities in general, though I care more about the civilian deaths than the violation of Assad's sovereignty, but the situation is complex and the portrayal of ISIS and Assad as enemies has always been a gross oversimplification. ISIS is literally the least of Assad's worries (though that's not true for his Russian friends).

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