Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Interview On CNN’s State Of The Union Show

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Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese appeared on CNN’s State of The Union show (07/31/22) for a wide ranging interview that touched on among other things climate change, and specifically, his pledge that Australia will achieve net zero carbon emission by 2050.

Asked whether Australia’s 2050 goal will be thwarted because of reluctance by India, China and the United States to come together, and address climate change with the urgency it deserves, PM Albanese responded(video at 0:38): “Well, I certainly hope not, and I’m very optimistic. At the Madrid NATO Summit, I had discussions with world leaders and also of course at the Quad leaders meeting, and I regard people as being very prepared to take much stronger action. There’s a greater recognition now as well, that dealing with the challenge of climate change represents also an economic opportunity. We will see the greatest transformation that we have seen in our economy since the industrial revolution, with the shift to clean energy, and clean energy will of course see jobs being created at the same time, something that the Biden administration recognizes, something that our European friends certainly recognize as well.”

Asked about the growing threat from China, and specifically, a troubling poll that shows 75% of Aussies believe China will attack Australia within the next 20 years, PM Albanese responded (1:44): “What we are preparing for is strengthening our alliances. We want to have good relationships with China and cooperate where we can, but we’ll stand up for Australian values where we must, and that is my approach to the relationship with China. Clearly it has changed in recent years. Under [President] Xi, China has become more forward-leaning, more aggressive in the region. We have strategic competition.”

Asked whether Australia would defend Taiwan if it was invaded by China, PM Albanese punted, saying he did not want to deal with hypotheticals. He then went on to say(2:38): “Australia supports a One China policy, but we also support the status quo when it comes to the issue of Taiwan, that people respect the existing structures which are there. I believe that clearly is in the interest of all parties, and I have taken the view as well, that it is not in the interest of peace and security, to talk up those issues of potential conflict.”

Asked what Australians think about “the health” of democracy the United States in light of the ongoing January 6th investigation, PM Albanese responded (3:57): “Democracy in the United States remains strong. The United States remains a beacon for the world in terms of democratic nations, I firmly believe that. And whilst the assault on democracy that we saw on January 6th was of real concern to all those who hold democratic processes dear around the world, the fact that you are having an open and transparent process, these hearings are being broadcast to the world, indeed underlies, in my view, the strength of U.S. democracy, the strength of those institutions.”

Asked what America can learn from Australia regarding how to deal with gun violence, PM Albanese responded(5:26): “In Australia we had a bipartisan response to the Port Arthur massacre, and we haven’t had once [mass shooting] since, and I just say that people should look at our experience. It’s up to the United States as a sovereign nation what direction it takes of course, but the truth is that Australia’s experience shows that less guns, particularly less automatic weapons, the less crime occurs, and the less tragedy occurs.”

Asked whether he supports the growing sentiment among Aussies to break away from the Queen of England and become a republic, PM Albanese responded(6:24): “Well, I do support a republic, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the Queen, who has presided over the Commonwealth for 70 years, it’s quite an extraordinary achievement. Our priority this term, is the recognition of First Nations people in our constitution. Our history didn’t begin in 1788 with the arrival of the British First Fleet, it goes back some 65,000 years with Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander people, the oldest continuous civilization on the planet. It should be a source of great pride, and my priority is getting that constitutional change done first.” Hmm, very interesting.

Bottom line folks, interviews with world leaders are always interesting(at least to Your Truly-a nerd), because they give you a glimpse into how others view/deal with the same issues confronting us here in the United States. I think reasonable people will agree that by far, the biggest takeaway from PM Alabanese’s interview, is how politicians in Australia came together to stump out mass shootings after the Port Arthur massacre(1996). Simply put, there is zero excuse for the nonsense we get from Congress, when it comes to addressing gun violence in the United States. Zero!!

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TSMC Chairman Discusses Semiconductor Chip Production & Possible China Invasion Of Taiwan

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Mark Liu, the Chairman of Taiwan Semicondictor Manufacturing Company(TSMC), the most valuable company in Asia, and tenth in the whole world, appeared on CNN’s GPS show (07/31/22) to discuss the growing global shortage of semiconductor chips, and efforts by his company to ramp up production in the United States. TSMC is building a $12 billion advanced chip manufacturing plant in Arizona, thanks in large part to subsidies from the recently passed Chips Act. As expected, the interview also delved into growing global concerns about a possible invasion of Taiwan by China, especially given what is currently happening in Ukraine.

As it currently stands, the whole world relies on TSMC for the supply of advanced semiconductor chips, and as concerns grow about a possible invasion of Taiwan by China (especially after Russia-Ukraine), many in the tech world fear that their industry could be turned upside down without a free TSMC.

Asked what would happen to the chip industry if China were to invade Taiwan, Chairman Liu said even though the production of advanced semiconductor chips is critical to the Taiwanese economy, the chip industry/economy would be their least concern because such an attack would upend the world’s rules-based order, and dramatically change the geopolitical landscape.

Asked whether China may be interested in invading Taiwan so it can have total control of TSMC, one of the world’s most valuable assets, Chairman Liu responded (video at 3:15): “Nobody can control TSMC by force. If you take a military force, or invasion, you will render a TSMC factory non-operable because this is such a sophisticated manufacturing facility, it depends on the real time connection with the outside world–with Europe, with Japan, with the U.S., from materials, to chemicals, to spare parts, to engineering software diagnosis, and it is everybody’s effort to make this factory operable, so if you take it over by force, you can no longer make it operable.”

Asked about the so-called “TSMC shield”–this notion that because mainland China relies heavily on TSMC for it’s high end chips, it may be hesitant to invade–Chairman Liu responded (video at 4:45): “Our[TSMC] interruption will create great economic turmoil on either side–in China because, suddenly their most advanced components supply [will have] disappeared…it is an interruption, I must say, so people will think twice on this.” It appears Chairman Liu agrees with the “TSMC shield” theory. He then added that we should draw lessons from the Russia-Ukraine war because as we can see, there are no winners. Russia is suffering, Ukraine is suffering, and the rest of the world is suffering as a result of the war. China’s invasion of Taiwan would be no different.

Asked to explain how Taiwan has managed to grow at 5% per year for five decades straight–the so-called “Taiwan miracle”, Chairman Liu said a lot of it had to do with the fact that the Taiwanese are generally, very peaceful people. He said that since 1949, when the island transformed from authoritarian rule, they have managed to live peacefully. He also added the education system as another reason for the “Taiwan miracle.” Apparently, university education in Taiwan is available to anybody who wants it. As a result, 80% of adults in Taiwan are college educated.

Bottom line folks, as host Fareed Zakaria correctly put it, Chairman Liu is probably the most important man in the world, that you don’t know about. All in all, a fascinating interview, with a fascinating business leader, from a fascinating island, which I hope, the world does everything, to shield from an invasion by China.

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Glenn Greenwald Says FBI Is Manufacturing Domestic Terrorism Cases

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Glenn Greenwald on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle (07/27/22)

Independent journalist and whistleblower Glenn Greenwald appeared on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle (07/27/22) to discuss the recent bombshell whistleblower revelation that the FBI is essentially manufacturing domestic terrorism cases to justify the Biden administration’s push to go after White Supremacists and other domestic violent extremists(DVEs) after the January 6th insurrection. 

Greenwald went even further than that, saying the practice of manufacturing domestic terrorism cases has been going on, even with the original war on terrorism that was launched after the 9/11 attacks–something Yours Truly has constantly screamed about, to your rolling eyes of course. 

This intro by host Ingraham is important in establishing the context for Greenwald’s interview (video at 0:34): “The top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee[Rep Jim Jordan(OH)]told Fox Digital that new whistleblower documents allege that the FBI is pressuring[agents]to reclassify cases as domestic violent extremism, that are not examples of domestic violent extremism, and Jordan alleges that this is being done in order to justify the Biden administration’s push to focus on these cases and have a special unit focusing on them.” 

Asked by host Ingraham whether the FBI is making up domestic terrorism cases, Greenwald said (video at 1:13): “You know it’s not surprising…even though they now say January 6th is the reason they have to increase their attention to this problem, in fact, even before January 6th the Biden administration was saying one of its key priorities was to import the war on terror on to domestic soil and make that be a new war, only this time aimed at American citizens, and throughout 2021 there were so many instances where DHS issued one warning after the next…none of which materialized. You could see them exaggerating and inflating the threat the entire time because what they want to do is usher in all sorts of authoritarian attacks on civil liberties in the name of this domestic war on terror, and since they don’t have the cases, now they are just making them up, which is by the way what they did with the first war on terror as well.” 

Asked whether our intelligence agencies are abusing these tools to go after their political critics(something Putin and other autocrats are known for), Greenwald responded(video at 2:40): “You know we’ve obtained, and I’ve done reporting on the documents from Homeland Security where they identify the kind of people they regard as “domestic extremists”, and usually it’s just people with anti-establishment politics…people who are against the government, who question the legitimacy of government authority, even there are sometimes people on the left, say animal rights activists or environmental activists, and people on the right who are pro-life activists. It’s clearly aimed at any sort of exercise of free speech and free association and free political protesting that the constitution is supposed to guarantee, that they are going to say are just extremists and now should be regarded as terrorism.” 

Yours Truly has warned you about manufactured terrorism cases and importantly, how that is in itself, a threat to national security–to which you rolled your eyes of course. Here’s the point one more time, so that you finally get it. 

When these terrorism/ counterterrorism resources are abused by our Intel agencies to go after people they know, are not terrorists, and with seemingly zero pushback from Congress & MSM, sooner or later, the public loses confidence in our counterterrorism efforts/intel agencies.

Why is this a national security threat? It is a national security threat because when real domestic terrorism threats arise, like the one we have now with White Supremacists, and the intel agencies need more powers(statutes) and resources($$) to tackle the legitimate problem, the abuses end up ruining the reputations of such agencies so much, that the public(Congress) is unwilling to grant them the extra power and resources they need, even though everybody acknowledges the White Supremacy problem. In other words, the public knows there’s a legitimate White Supremacy/violent extremism problem, they just can’t trust the corrupt intel agencies with any more powers–therein lies the national security threat/problem—the understandable lack of faith. The same applies with the problems we recently saw with COVID vaccines–very skeptical public because of long-running and yet unaddressed questions (zero congressional hearings) about non-consensual human experimentation, primarily by the military industrial complex. 

Greenwald is somewhat of a polarizing figure so naturally, there will be efforts by his former liberal allies in the mainstream media to dismiss his manufactured terrorism charge. It is important to point out however, that other very respectable figures have long raised concerns about this very issue, chief among them former FBI Special Agent Mike German, currently a Fellow at the Brennan Center. This video, on how our intelligence agencies, and the FBI in particular, have become the biggest threats to democracy, is a must watch, and largely validates what Greenwald said on Ingraham’s show.

Bottom line folks, a wise man once said, “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Ever since 9/11, we’ve given our intelligence agencies absolute power to prosecute the war on terrorism. There was a reasonable expectation from the public, that Congress and MSM, would act as checks to this absolute power, something we now know was a total fantasy. This absolute power has corrupted our intel agencies so absolutely, that now when they come begging for more tools to combat the legitimate threat of White Supremacy/domestic extremism, nobody wants to “extend them the extra line of credit.” This is just the latest example as to why strict oversight in instances where government agencies are granted immense powers over people’s lives, is not just good for the public’s interest, but also for the said agencies. 

Also, it cannot be left unsaid that even though the media and some in Congress are just now beginning to speak out about the abuse of our counterterrorism resources, they are yet to start addressing the equally important topic as to what is actually done to the said innocent manufactured terrorists–the so-called targeted individuals. Let’s just say, when that is finally exposed, hopefully soon, many will quibble with the notion that we are “the land of the free”.

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Is Moldova Putin’s Next Target After Ukraine?

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CNN’s GPS show(07/24/22) aired a very interesting interview featuring Natalia Gavrilita, the Prime Minister of the small eastern European nation of Moldova, which shares a border with Ukraine. PM Gavrilita expressed her increasing fears that after Putin is done with Ukraine, he may set his eyes on her country, Moldova, because Moldova, like Ukraine, is on a rapid path towards E.U. integration.

The Russia-Ukraine war has had such an adverse global impact, that any talk of a possible Russian invasion of another country, should be cause for concern, not only for the United States, but for every democracy-loving country.

PM Gavrilita began by giving a brief introduction of Moldova, saying (1:13): “Moldova has had a troubled history in a complicated region, and it has not only been part of the Soviet Union, it has also been part of Romania between the first and second world war. The majority of the population is Romanian speaking, but we also have Ukrainian, Russian, Bulgarian, and Gagauz, which is a Turkish speaking minority.”

She went on to tell host Fareed Zakaria that like Ukraine, Moldova is rapidly moving towards E.U. integration. She specifically said(1:43): “In the last elections, the people have voted massively for a pro-European majority, for going the course of democratic institutions, fighting corruption, ensuring the respect for human rights, and striving towards the European integration course, so achieving candidate status for E.U. integration has been a significant victory for Moldova, one that people have waited for for a long time, but it is very unfortunate that it happens in such a complicated context in the region, and such horrible times for Ukraine.”

There is no other way to interpret PM Gavrilita’s remarks other than (I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course), Moldova’s rapid move towards E.U. integration comes at a time when Russia is increasingly suspicious of the West/NATO’s intentions. As a result, Putin is more likely to attack Moldova either during his invasion of Ukraine, or immediately thereafter, to prevent Moldova from joining the European Union. In other words, PM Gavrilita is simply sounding an early alarm bell, for a possible Russian invasion.

She went on to say this about her fear of a Russian invasion(3:35):“We are worried of course, this is a risk. It’s a hypothetical scenario for now, but if the military actions move further into the southwestern part of Ukraine, and towards Odessa, then of course we are very worried, especially considering that[Russian] troops[are already]on the territory of the secessionist Transnistrian region. We are doing everything possible to maintain peace and stability and to ensure that the fighting does not escalate.”

She went on to say that if Russia/Putin is allowed to get away with the annexation of large chunks of Ukraine, then no small country will be safe. She specifically said(4:26):“This is a very difficult position not just for Moldova, but for any small country, any country that relies on the rules-based international order. If a country can start an annexation war without any regard for international law, then in this sense, nobody is safe, and I think that a lot of countries are worried.”

Bottom line folks, the United States must develop a proactive approach when dealing with Russia and other adversaries. Where, as here, PM Gavrilita is sounding the alarm about a possible Russian invasion, the U.S. must do everything in its power to help Moldova prepare for any such eventuality. It’s better/cheaper to equip Moldova now, rather than after Russian tanks start rolling down their streets.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Europe appears to be churning out some very impressive female leaders lately–from Ursula von der Leyen, to Nicola Sturgeon, to Magdalena Anderson, to PM Gavrilita, who reasonable people will agree, was quite impressive on CNN’s GPS show. This begs the question: Is this the era of female/women leadership? The U.S. came very close (debatable point) to electing its first female president in 2016. Is 2024 the year the U.S. finally gets a female president? Hmm, Nikki Haley certainly thinks so. Oh, and by the way, Gavrilita is pronounced “Gavrilitsa”. Yeah, you didn’t know that.

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Senator Bernie Sanders Slams Manchin, Sinema For Intentionally Sabotaging Biden’s Agenda

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Senator Bernie Sanders(I-VT) appeared on ABC’s This Week show(07/17/22) to discuss President Biden’s controversial trip to Saudi Arabia. Unsurprisingly, Senator Sanders, who has been very consistent about his displeasure with Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses, was opposed to President Biden’s trip to the Kingdom, which he said, was tantamount to rewarding the Saudis.

The interesting part of the interview however came when host Martha Raddatz asked Sen Sanders about Senator Joe Manchin(D-WV) “abruptly” pulling out of negotiations on a climate change proposal that was key to President Biden’s agenda. Sen Sanders swiftly interjected saying, Manchin “didn’t abruptly pull out of anything”, and then proceeded to slam the Senator from West Virginia for intentionally sabotaging President Biden’s agenda. Whoa!!

Host Martha Raddatz(video at 3:20):“Senator Joe Manchin…abruptly pulled the plug on the Democrats’ plan to pass…”

Sen Sanders:“No Martha…he didn’t abruptly do anything…If you check the record, six months ago I made it clear, that you have people like Manchin, Sinema to a lesser degree, who are intentionally sabotaging the President’s agenda, what the American people want, what a majority of us in the Democratic caucus want. Nothing is new about this, and the problem was that we continued to talk to Manchin like he was serious. He was not. This is a guy who is a major recipient of fossil fuel money, a guy who received campaign contributions from 25 Republican billionaires.”

When host Raddatz tried to play devil’s advocate, saying Senator Manchin is concerned about record inflation, and is simply doing what’s best for West Virginians, Sen Manchin retorted:“Same nonsense that Manchin has been talking about for a year. West Virginia is a beautiful state…great people. It is one of the poorest states in this country. You ask the people of West Virginia whether they want to expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing and eye glasses…whether we should demand that the wealthiest people and large corporations start paying their fair share of taxes…whether or not all people should have healthcare as a human right like every other country on earth, that’s what they will say. In my humble opinion, Manchin represents the wealthiest people in this country, not the working families of West Virginia, or America.”

Bottom line folks, what Sen Sanders said on ABC’s This Week show, cannot be restated enough. There was a lot of hope and enthusiasm among Democrats, and a sizable chunk of Independents who voted for the Biden-Harris ticket in 2020, that the Biden-Harris administration would embark on big projects re infrastructure, climate, immigration, etc to set the country up nicely for the future. You even heard famous historians likening Biden to FDR and LBJ–both of whom are remembered for the big projects their administrations embarked, on and delivered.

However, somewhere in some Republican smoke-filled rooms, panic set in over the prospect of a transformational FDR-type Biden-Harris administration, and an elaborate plan was laid out to sabotage Biden’s presidency. Sen Sanders is absolutely right that Senators Manchin and Sinema have been willing participants in the grand GOP scheme to sabotage the Biden presidency, and they must be called out for it!!

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Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro’s Interview On Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Show

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Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson show (06/30/22)

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro sat down with visiting Fox News host Tucker Carlson (06/30/22) for a wide ranging, and quite interesting interview, that covered issues such as his upcoming reelection fight, China’s expansion into Latin America, COVID, Christianity, the media, LGBTQ rights, and even a pitch by Tucker Carlson to Bolsonaro to allow Fox News in Brazil (yeah, he really did that, I promise).

President Bolsonaro and Hungary’s President Viktor Orban, are two notable world leaders who have struck a resonance with Trump’s wing of the Republican Party, which appears to be on a path towards Christian Nationalism. Yours Truly was therefore very interested to hear what President Bolsonaro had to say regarding a whole host of issues, and so should you.

The first topic of discussion was Bolsonaro’s very interesting, even miraculous rise to the presidency. Here’s how he described it (video at 5:22): “My election itself was almost a miracle. I had nothing going for me to be elected. I was just an isolated member of Congress, known as the lower segment of national Congress in Brazil. I conducted my campaign anchored on a Biblical passage John 3:33–‘Thou shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.’ The media never gave me any visibility or space, much to the contrary, they attacked me all the time throughout the campaign. On 09/06/2018, on the eve of the election, I suffered an attempted assassination. Doctors said my survival was a miracle. The same is true for my election, and a very important factor which you may perhaps not be aware of, is the fact that Brazil is a country that upon taking office as the President, the incumbent President surrenders strategic positions in the cabinet and political parties, including the cabinet ministries, state banks, state companies. I did not do that.”

Bolsonaro then went on to attack his left wing opponent, Lula da Silva, using strikingly similar attacks you hear Republicans in the United States leveling against Democrats. Bolsonaro, for example insinuated that the left was planning to rig the upcoming elections, that they are using the pandemic to bring down his administration, and importantly, that if the left defeats him, they will never lose any election again after that–an argument strikingly similar to the one used by former President Trump during his 2020 reelection campaign, and after his loss to Joe Biden. Bolsonaro then went on to list a long laundry list of Republican-like attacks against Lula/the left wing; that they want unfettered abortions, they are soft on crime, that the left is anti-freedom, that the left wants to disarm the public (Brazil’s “second amendment”, I guess), that the left wants amnesty, that the left is manufacturing opinion polls which show him losing, so as to suppress his vote. Very interesting indeed.

Asked how he plans to win reelection despite what Tucker Carlson characterized as “the entire Brazilian media” against him, Bolsonaro responded (11:25): “Yes, there is the weight of the media against me. True, but social media has been doing a great job in Brazil. My social media channels are the most interactive in the world. I believe that today we have 40% of the population who has not yet expressed their voting intentions. Most of the voters we believe, will vote for me in the elections.”

Tucker then pulled the quintessential “shameless plug” and pitched Fox News to President Bolsonaro (11:49): “Why is there no Fox News in Brazil? CNN is here, you got over 50 million votes in the last elections, CNN’s a political player here, so is Globo, but there’s no TV channel for your voter?” Bolsonaro responded to Tucker Carlson’s pitch saying (12:00): “Well if I could launch an appeal for you, I can only say that you will be the most welcome in Brazil. You will be an excellent counterpart to the other vehicles or outlets. There are very few media outlets that are really unbiased in Brazil.” Hmm, again sounds awfully similar to what Republicans say in the U.S.

Asked how he felt about opposition to him, not only inside Brazil, but also from virtually all the neighboring countries, Bolsonaro gave this interesting answer (12:50): “Brazil is an economic powerhouse in South America. The 10 countries with which we have political, geopolitical, physical borders are not that economically strong as compared to Brazil. We are what you might describe as a cherry on the cake. If Brazil goes down or collapses, the whole of South America will go down, and be colored red(bloodshed) if you understand…”

The interview then moved to the topic that shot President Bolsonaro into the international spotlight, and that is, his opposition/refusal to take the COVID vaccine at a time when COVID cases were sky high in Brazil. This move endeared him to anti-vaxxer movements worldwide, but alienated him from Western governments who were at that time (height of the pandemic), desperately trying to get sufficient numbers of their populations vaccinated.

Asked why he refused to take the COVID vaccine, here’s how he responded (22:05 ): “As I said before, maybe I was the only head of state in the world who did not accept restrictive measures, or was against restrictive measures, and perhaps one of the few heads of state in the world who did not take the vaccine because I had already contracted the virus. The left was so worried about taking me out of office that they wanted me to take the vaccine, and I said well, ‘let me die, just let me die then and choose my policy.’ In South America we are the one country that best addressed the issue involving the need for vaccines, and we very properly and adequately equipped our hospitals with equipment and medications, and I believe we have pretty much turned the page there.”

To be clear, Bolsonaro’s argument was that he did not need a COVID vaccine because he had already contracted the virus. He therefore sought medications instead (including in Africa), that were being advertised at the time as cures for COVID. He says even though he was personally against the vaccines, he did make them readily available to the Brazilian public. He also said that part of his reluctance to take the vaccines, was the fine print from the vaccine manufacturers, which said they were not responsible for any side effects from their vaccines.

The interview then moved on to religion, and specifically, Christianity. Asked how he thought his opponent Lula and the left viewed Christianity, Bolsonaro responded (35:27): “The left wing, I mean the vast majority of them are atheists. They do not respect anything. They criticize priests and pastors and Lula himself has said that he will, if elected, he will place priests and pastors and the military in their rightful place, or in the right place in society. For instance, when the U.S. Supreme Court recently changed its understanding and ruling on abortion, the left wing in Brazil did not like that. We did like the new stance taken by the U.S. Supreme Court because we defend life from its very conception, but not so among the left wing people and Lula. Lula and the left wing, they often say that abortion is a matter of public health, and it is the woman that should decide. We believe that the life that has been given to a woman does not belong to the woman, and that is a stance espoused by our religion.” Hmm, interesting. Is this the TrumpGOP stance on abortion, too?

Asked about racism in Brazil, Bolsonaro, much like Republicans in the United States, blamed it on weaponized identity politics pushed by the left. He specifically said this about identity politics (38:17) :“It is a way to divide and conquer. Even before Lula took office in 2003, the left wing would already preach that, I mean, the division of people along identity lines such as Blacks and Whites, and employers and employees, and people from northeastern Brazil vis-a-vis southern Brazil. They have gained followers as a result of that approach, and the major divisionary split today is between employers and employees…and they say that, ‘hey you are not doing well today because of your employer’, and that divide approach or policy… has gained them at least one-fourth of the Brazil population. They have always been supported by at least one-fourth of the Brazilian population. My father-in-Law is…a Black man, and I am a blue-eyed White man. Racism is there in Brazil, yes, but not as it is often described. Most of our main football (soccer) players are, you know, people of African descent, no worries.”

The topic then shifted to gun control, where he was asked why he chose to make it easier for Brazilians to acquire firearms. He responded (39:25) :”I was unable to actually change the Brazilian law, but by means of a presidential decree, and also through ministerial orders, we interpreted the existing legislation as best as possible, and there has been a substantial increase in the number of people who legally own firearms in Brazil, and the consequences you see in the Brazilian media, is a drop in the number of people who are killed by firearms in Brazil. We understand that once people get armed, the crooks, the thieves will think twice before they break into other people’s property. If of course the number had gone up, I would be blamed, but just the opposite is going on today, and if reelected, if everything goes well, we will have a substantial support in Congress, and we’ll be able to pass laws on firearms, very much along the same lines as in the U.S.”

The topic then shifted to the Amazon rain forest, and specifically, whether it was being destroyed (deforestation) at an alarming rate causing global climate problems. Climate activists blame Bolsonaro’s administration for the deforestation. Here’s what Bolsonaro said when asked whether the Amazon was being destroyed at the high rates claimed by the news media (46:25): “No, that is not true. Two-thirds of the Brazilian territory are currently preserved, and remain pristine, just as they were back in the 1500s when this country was discovered by the Portuguese. The criminal acts that do happen, we will not deny that, are ultimately given too much visibility because there is a huge interest in making our sovereignty over the Amazonian region a relative fact, or perceived in a relative light. I met with President Putin and thanked him because on two occasions when this issue was discussed with other countries, he stated that the Amazon region belongs to the Brazilian people, not to anyone else. The Amazon region is as vast as eastern Europe. It’s huge, it’s wonderful, it’s just not possible to, you know, take care of every square meter in the Amazon region. There is illegal deforestation, yes, there are fire outbreaks, yes, but not at the rate that is announced out there. California itself always you know, catches fire, and it’s not given that much visibility, French Guyana likewise, I mean, you can’t possibly set a rain forest to fire, but there is illegal deforestation, yes, and we are working to tackle that.”

Asked about criticism regarding the Amazon, by celebrities-turned-climate activists, like Mark Ruffalo, Bolsonaro said (49:30):”These are people who do not understand anything about Brazil. I think these people have never been to the Amazon region, and I would actually invite them to come to the Amazon region, and overfly the region…They talk about the Amazon region because it’s trendy, it’s a fad. I mean, in Europe, if someone says that the Amazon region is not being devastated, they are politically doomed to fiasco. So, it’s politically good for them, you know, the criticism yields power, yields media visibility, yields votes, and that’s what celebrities feed on. They are not at all familiar with the Amazon region. They are not at all knowledgeable about the region, and the difficulty of investing in it. They just criticize it because it’s a fad.”

Asked whether he has enjoyed being President of Brazil, Bolsonaro said (50:30): “I must admit, you know, I first launched myself as a candidate, of course I intended to become the President, but I was all too aware of the challenges and the difficulties, and the experiences we have undergone, or I have undergone, I could never ever have imagined what it would look like, but I am comforted by the fact that the other candidate, the Workers Party candidate, Haddad, if he had won, Brazil would certainly be what Venezuela is today. So that’s a source of comfort to me, and that encourages me to say to the population that God is the one who has placed me where I am today…A message to the Americans–God, the homeland, family and freedom.”

The final topic of discussion was China, which Tucker Carlson said, was the primary reason for his visit to Brazil. Carlson contends that China is on a quest to colonize Africa and S. America–basically invest heavily in these regions and then take them over as colonies.

Tucker Carlson(58:50): “Given your natural resources, are you worried about the level of Chinese investment in Brazil.”

Bolsonaro:”I would very much like the Americans to also take part in more investments in Brazil. We of course have trade flows with China, and they have of course at least at first shown interest in ensuring their food security.”

Bottom line folks, I came out with the impression that President Bolsonaro is trying very hard to identify himself with the Republican Party in the United States, and specifically,, Trump’s wing of the party. His campaign message appears to be:“If you want Brazil to be God-fearing, rich, prosperous, and free, like the United States, vote for me. If Lula wins, Brazil will become a socialist nation and descend into bloodshed. I am the only one standing between Brazil and socialism/bloodshed, so vote wisely.” Will this campaign pitch be enough to earn Bolsonaro a reelection victory? Hmm, we’ll see what happens.

***Updated to include the fact that on 08/04/2022, Hungary’s President Viktor Orban addressed the CPAC Conference in Dallas, Texas. Orban and Bolsonaro appear to be playing from the same playbook re American conservatives–Christian Nationalism ***

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VP Harris Calls Out The Hypocrisy Of “Pro-Lifers” Who Consistently Vote Against Laws Meant to Financially Assist Parents

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U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris sat down for an extensive interview with CNN’s Dana Bash(06/27/22), where she discussed the bombshell Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v Wade, and other issues confronting the Biden administration as we approach the crucial midterm elections this Fall. One of the major highlights of the interview was when VP Harris called out the “abject obvious hypocrisy” of “pro-life” Republicans in Congress, who talk a big game about “right to life”, yet at every turn vote against measures intended to improve the financial situation of parents. It appears congressional Republicans only care about the life of the baby before they are actually born.

Asked by host Dana Bash whether the federal government will step in and help mothers who will be forced to have babies they can’t financially support, VP Harris responded(video at 0:10):“I’m so glad you raised that point because I’m going to say this, and here’s the abject obvious hypocrisy. Those people who say that they do not want to allow a woman to choose, to make the decision with her priest, with her rabbi, with her pastor, that instead the government is going to interfere and make the decision for her. Those same people are the ones who voted against the extension of the child tax credit, the same ones who voted against a tax cut for families to pay for child care, the same ones who are voting against paid family leave, the same ones who vote against putting resources into public schools. I was doing work on maternal mortality. We are pushing to say that for example, Medicaid should be extended for post-partum care from 2 months to 12 months. These are the same people who reject the notion of expansion of medicaid.”

Asked what the Biden administration can do in the form of executive action, VP Harris said that this is a democracy, and therefore Congress is the proper venue for effectively addressing issues related to the reproductive health of women. She said as it currently stands, “the numbers are not there” and so the filibuster remains an obstacle, even though Democrats control the White House, the Senate and the House. VP Harris said codifying Roe v Wade will become a reality if Democrats pick up more seats during the upcoming midterms–a tall order which I suspect will not sit well with already frustrated Dem voters.

Asked to weigh in on whether Supreme Court Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch lied under oath during their Senate confirmation hearings, VP Harris responded:“I never believed them. I didn’t believe them. That’s why I voted against them.” She added, “It was clear to me when I was sitting in that chair as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that they were very likely to do what they just did. That was my perspective, that was my opinion, and that’s why I voted like I did.”

As about what the Biden administration is doing to assist working families drowning under high inflation and gas prices, VP Harris pointed out that a lot of this has to do with Putin’s war in Ukraine, and that the Biden administration is working closely with our allies around the world to rectify the situation. She also pointed out the things the Biden administration is doing locally to ease the financial burden on working families, namely, lowering the cost of prescription drugs and child care.

Asked about the January 6th investigation, and whether given her background as a prosecutor, she would bring criminal charges against former President Trump, VP Harris cleverly dodged the question, saying jokingly, “As a former prosecutor, I never comment on another prosecutor’s case.”

Importantly, VP Harris finally settled the lingering rumors that keep popping up in various sections of the mainstream media about President Biden possibly opting out of 2024, or picking a different running mate. She gave host Dana Bash a plain an simple answer to that question: “Joe Biden is running for reelection, and I will be his ticket mate. Full stop.”

Hopefully this will put an end to the annoying MSM rumors about a broken Biden-Harris 2024 ticket. Seriously MSM, there are much more pressing issues to focus on–in 2022!!

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Former AG Holder: Americans Should Prepare For An “Ideologically Driven” Supreme Court Not Tethered To Precedent

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Former AG Holder on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports show(05/12/22)

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder appeared on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports show (05/12/22) to discuss his new book “Our Unfinished March”. During his interview, he was asked about the controversy caused by the leaked draft Supreme Court majority opinion dealing with abortion, to which he gave a very interesting response. He said while the leak itself was a serious issue, the bigger problem Americans need prepare themselves for, is an “ideologically driven” Supreme Court, that will have little regard to precedent–an issue Democrats need to focus on as we approach the midterm elections.

Former AG Holder(video at 0:35):“I think the leak is unprecedented both in its breadth, its scope, and its completeness. We’ve heard rumors before about where the court is going to go, how the justices perhaps were aligned, but never actually seen a draft opinion, and that’s serious. That’s something that needs to be addressed. But what we really need to focus on is what’s contained in that leaked opinion, and where the court appears to be lining up. Looks like they are going to overturn Roe v Wade, inconsistent with the notion that you adhere to precedent that people have relied on over the course of the last 50 years. It’s an attack on the right to privacy, and so the question has to be asked, is it only going to be abortion that is going to be at risk, or is same sex marriage going to be at risk? The regulation of contraception, is that going to be at risk? Even interacial marriage. All of these things are based on the right to privacy, which this opinion in its form as we saw it, really goes after that right to privacy.”

Holder added that people need to get prepared for an “ideologically driven” Supreme Court, that is “not going to adhere to the extent that they should, to precedent.” This is of course very troubling given the weighty issues the high court is getting ready to deal with–affirmative action, gun cases, voting rights, etc. Democrats can capitalize on this Supreme Court issue, but only if they present it in AG Holder’s terms–an untethered high court that threatens many of the legal precedents we have come to rely on. This approach will likely drive more people to the polls this Fall, as opposed to only presenting it as an abortion/reproductive rights issue.

Bottom line folks, Dems sucking at messaging is nothing new. “Leakgate” presents them with an opportunity to drive Dem voters afraid of an untethered Supreme Court, to the polls in record numbers, and bucking the midterm election trend which typically favors the party out of power(GOP). Hopefully Dems will get their Supreme Court messaging right this time around by railing against the MAGA Supreme Court as an affront to all the legal precedents we have come to rely on for decades.

It’s also worth noting that former AG Holder, a self-described “institutionalist”, said that after initially being opposed to a criminal prosecution of former President Trump, he now believes, given the revelations about his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, that he needs to be held accountable. Surely, current AG Garland has to take this seriously, coming from a former prosecutor, who recently held his position.

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Pompeo Slams Biden Admin For “Allowing China To Walk All Over Them” In The South Pacific

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Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle show(04/21/22) to discuss among other things, reports this week that China has signed a security pact with the strategically located Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. Pompeo slammed the Biden administration over this, saying they are “allowing China to walk all over them.” He added that China will “park missiles” in the Solomon Islands, and could in the future use this strategic location to block trade routes that are important to the United States.

Pompeo specifically told host Ingraham(video at 1:20):“The Chinese have been trying to expand their footprint in the Pacific, and in particular, the South Pacific for an awfully long time. They began by building out a set of islands called the Spratlys. They put military bases on there after they promised President Obama they wouldn’t, and when they did, he did literally nothing. The Solomon Islands and other Islands in the Pacific are places where they can park missile systems, naval bases, other naval capabilities that they can use to foreclose trade, all of the important trade that moves through all of the South Pacific into the Eastern Pacific, into places that matter an awful lot to the United States of America. It’s why China is so focused on it, it’s why in the Trump administration we worked so diligently to try and build out alliances with those countries. The Biden administration has allowed China to walk all over them throughout the entire Pacific.”

Pompeo went on to add(video at 2:30):“I don’t think they[China]respect or fear the United States under the leadership of President Obama and the team…This administration hasn’t shown the same resolve and the same capacity to deter aggression that we did for 4 years…The Chinese Communist Party presents the single greatest external risk to the United States of America from any place in the world…We need to lead the effort to make sure that the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t dominate global trade and dominate the global economy in the years and decades ahead. We can do it, but it takes American leadership.”

Bottom line folks, even though reasonable people will agree that Trump GOP is currently mired in frivolity(fights with Disney, hyperventilating over CRT, going after transgender athletes etc), the China issue remains one of the few legitimate arguments they still have. Simply put, the United States cannot allow a perception to fester out there, that China is always running us over. So you ask, “Why should we care about such a perception”? Look no further than the current Russia-Ukraine war. Make no mistake about it, Putin invaded Ukraine because (1) he knows he has China’s support and (2) the United States has demonstrated no willingness to confront China in any way out of fear of “disturbing our trade ties”. This dynamic has to change. We need to make China respect and fear the United States, not just for our own national security sake, but also to deter autocrats around the world who have figured out that they can commit atrocities while hiding under China’s umbrella.

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Is Locking Out MTG From The 2022 Ballot A Template For Locking Out Trump In 2024?

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Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene on the Tucker Carlson Show(04/18/22)

A rattled Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene(R-GA) appeared on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson show(04/18/22) where she lashed out at liberals for what she characterized as an effort to rip her name off the ballot, and steal her district’s ability to reelect her to Congress. What Rep Greene(aka MTG) is referring to, is a lawsuit filed by liberals, that seeks to bar her from running for reelection because she aided and abetted the January 6th insurrection. Her rattled appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show is explainable because it not only appears that the lawsuit may be headed for success, but also because establishment GOP is not offering her a helping hand. Simply put, MTG has reason to be worried about her future in Congress, even before a single vote is cast.

An elephant in the room question that has arisen from the MTG challenge, is the effect if any, it may have on others who aided and abetted the insurrectionists? The biggest question of course, is whether successfully locking out MTG from the ballot could be a template for locking out…idk…some guy in Palm Beach Florida, out of the GOP presidential contest?

Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene specifically told host Tucker Carlson(video at 0:38):“These people[liberals]hate the people in my district so much, they look down on them because they voted for me and sent me to Washington to fight for the things that most Americans care about, like secure borders, stopping abortion, protecting our second amendment, stopping the out of control spending in Washington, and stop funding never-ending foreign wars, and all the insanity that takes place in Washington. Well, I went there and I have been fighting it and now the Progressives, the people that donate to dark money groups, you know, the 501(c)(3)s and the foundations, they’ve hired up some attorneys from New York who hate the people in my district, and don’t believe that they should have the right to elect who they want to send to Washington, which is me. I have overwhelming support in my district and I’m so thankful for all of them. Well now they’ve filed a lawsuit, because they’re trying to rip my name off of the ballot, and steal my district’s ability to reelect me and send me back to Congress.”

Asked by host Tucker Carlson whether she was getting any help from the GOP establishment, Rep Greene responded, “Not yet. I’m on my own to defend myself…I have to protect myself. I have to go to court on Friday and actually be questioned about something[January6th]I’ve never been charged with, and something I was completely against.”

There’s no other way to interpret Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene’s remarks on Tucker Carlson’s show other than, she is completely rattled by the lawsuit, which she’s finally realizing, presents a real threat to her future in Congress. She’s also clearly surprised(not sure why), that no one from the GOP establishment is rushing to her aid.

Bottom line folks, the outcome of this MTG challenge may have far reaching implications, chief among them, whether former President Trump can be similarly locked out of the 2024 ballot. Hmm, we’ll see what happens.

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