White Nationalism Cited As Motive In Terrorist attack On Buffalo Grocery Store

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Tops grocery store in Buffalo New York, the site of a racially motivated terrorist attack on 05/14/2022

As news reports continue to trickle in about today’s(05/14/22) shooting at a Tops grocery store in Buffalo New York, a troubling picture of the suspect is emerging and that is, he was steeped in the kind of White nationalism we are increasingly witnessing in populist Europe, and at home with Trump’s GOP. The common theme among these budding White nationalism movements is their belief in the so-called “replacement theory”–a belief that there is a global conspiracy to replace/eliminate White people. This naturally instills in them a deep-seated hate of immigrants and non-Whites generally. NBC law enforcement analyst Jim Cavanaugh made a bombshell observation on American Voices show, telling host Alicia Menendez that this replacement theory rhetoric and the associated White nationalism screeds were commonplace in Trump’s White House, a startling revelation indeed.

Host Alicia Menendez(video at 4:02):“Jim, officials say that they believe that the suspect acted alone. How are they going to confirm that?”

Jim Cavanaugh:“It’s going to be what we[law enforcement] call like a psychological autopsy. We go back and we look at all of his telephone, computer, all of his contacts. He’s going to have contacts on the web, Alicia. He’s going to be reading the White supremacist websites, there’s many of them out there, and he’s going to have read them, maybe even posted on them, and he’s talking to these like-minded people like this is all okay. And of course he’s probably railing against immigrants–this is another thing where the DA or the police chief mentioned, the screeds about immigration, these White hate books. There’s a screed from Europe called “The Camp of The Saints”, and it’s just a horrendously racist book about immigrants to Europe. It was passed all over the White House when Trump was president, everybody’s reading it like it’s some book to read, I mean it’s just garbage, and they put this out in these White supremacist circles and these people read it, and they start to believe it, and what it does is it denigrates immigrants, anybody of color…That’s why the constant talk about the immigrants at the border is really coming right from this White nationalist perspective…”

You’ll remember the Trump administration was notoriously anti-immigrant, so this bombshell revelation about a White nationalist screed being circulated at his White House raises a whole host of questions as to whether racism was driving force behind his administration’s immigration policy. The anti-immigrant sentiment within the GOP remains strong even with Trump outside the White House, so it will be interesting to see how congressional Republicans and their allies on Fox News(looking at you, Tucker Carlson), respond to this White nationalist screed bombshell. Just the other day there was a news report saying Fox News’ Tucker Carlson show was a hit among White nationalists, and specifically, that the show’s segments dealing with the border/immigration draw the highest ratings.

Bottom line folks, it would foolhardy for anyone to argue that we do not have an immigration problem in the United States. Reasonable people will agree that our immigration system is broken, and has been for decades, largely due to our equally broken Congress(dithering on a permanent legislative fix). But having said that, it is impossible to ignore the racism that has emerged within Trump’s GOP, when it comes to immigration. One only hopes that this horrendous terrorist attack in Buffalo New York, will ignite a serious discussion about the replacement theory rhetoric that belies Trump GOP’s immigration policies.

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ECB President Christine Lagarde Blames Less Focus On Job Retention During COVID For High U.S. Inflation

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European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde appeared for an interview on CBS’ Face The Nation(04/24/22) to discuss the current global inflation brought about by covid and the Russsia-Ukraine war. During her interview, President Lagarde made an interesting observation, telling host Margaret Brennan that inflation is higher in the U.S. because unlike Europe, the U.S. focused more on issuing covid stimulus/relief checks than on job retention. Europe’s primary focus during covid was on job retention. She said the resultant labor shortage in the U.S. is driving up wages, which are in turn, driving up costs. Hmm, interesting.

Host Margaret Brennan(video at 4:53):“In this country there’s a lot of debate around how much the government is to blame versus the central bankers for the inflation that we are experiencing. The U.S. spent $6 trillion on covid relief, $2 trillion of it on President Biden’s watch last Spring when the economy was already recovering. Do you think some of this spending in the U.S. exacerbated inflation, because Europe didn’t spend like this?”

President Lagarde:“We in Europe spent less in stimulus, and I think we spent differently. We spent pretty much half as much as what the U.S. government spent on stimulus, and heating up the economy. But we also spent differently because I think the focus was predominantly on keeping the jobs, not necessarily sending the checks, and as a result of that, people who managed to keep their jobs alive, while not necessarily going to work because covid stopped everybody from going to work at some point in time, they had their job. So when covid was over, they went back to their job. So, I think that the labor market that you have currently in the U.S., which is incredibly tense, where you have a lot of jobs that are not filled, where you have plenty of vacancies, we don’t have that in Europe at the moment, and the current situation you have on the labor market here in the U.S. is clearly contributing to possible strong inflation and second round effect, where prices go up, wages go up, short supply of labor, wages continue to go up, and that feeds back into prices. That’s one of the differences between our two economies.”

There’s no other way to interpret ECB President Lagarde’s remarks other than(I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course), the current strong inflation in the U.S. is largely driven by the fact that the government did not do enough to help people keep their jobs during covid. In other words, even though a lot of people could not physically go to work during covid, more should have been done to make sure their jobs would still be there for them after the pandemic–propping up their employers to keep them afloat. According to President Lagarde, this is precisely what Europe focused on–propping up the employers, and is the reason Europe is not seeing the high levels of inflation as the U.S.

For the record, this does not mean Europe did not hand out covid stimulus/relief checks to workers like the U.S. did. What President Lagarde is saying is that the primary focus in Europe was job retention. It’s also worth pointing out for the sake of fairness, that the entire U.S. covid response, and the resultant high inflation, cannot be pinned solely on the Biden administration. Reasonable people will agree that the Trump admin is equally to blame.

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VP Kamala Harris’ Biggest Moment(Yet) On The International Stage

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U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris delivered the keynote address at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on 02/18/22. The Munich conference is arguably VP Harris’ biggest moment on the international stage, and her most consequential speech to date, given it’s timing–the looming Russia-Ukraine conflict. It’s also impossible to ignore the historical significance of the moment, given the fact that she addressed the Munich conference as the first female VP of the United States, and the first woman of color to represent the United States in that capacity.

VP Harris traveled to Munich Germany with a bipartisan group of lawmakers and foreign policy heads. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky also attended this important international conference, even as Putin’s Russia is on the cusp of invading his country. The Russians skipped the Munich conference.

VP Harris laid out the seriousness of the moment in her opening remarks: “I’m certain we all recognize, this year’s gathering is unlike those of the recent past. Not since the end of the cold war, has this forum convened under such dire circumstances. Today, as we are all well aware, the foundation of European security is under direct threat in Ukraine. Let us remember from the wreckage of two world wars, a consensus emerged in Europe and the United States. A consensus in favor of order, not chaos, security, not conflict…That the rule of law should be cherished, that sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states must be respected, and that national borders should not be changed by force.”

There is no question that the text of VP Harris’ historical speech in Munich will feature in many political science and history classes in years to come, as one of the defining moments in the relationship between NATO countries and Russia.

Bottom line folks, as Yours Truly said earlier, this is easily VP Harris’ biggest moment on the international stage, and reasonable people will agree, she shone bright. With the eyes of the world trained on her, she delivered a great speech, that clearly conveyed the danger Putin’s Russia poses to Europe and the rest of the world, without sounding alarmist. All in all, VP Harris, you represented President Biden, and America, exceedingly well in Munich!!

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