Lula: The Once and Future President?

Source: In These Times
by staff

“Brazilian Workers’ Party leader (and Brazil’s president from 2003–2010) Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will face off against Brazil’s current, far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, in October. During Lula’s first two terms, as part of the ‘pink tide’ that was sweeping Latin America, Lula tried to reform the onslaught of neoliberalism in Brazil. If elected again, Lula will face a new challenge: a Brazil transformed by the far right. Back in 2004, Kevin Y. Kim reviewed Lula and the Workers’ Party in Brazil for In These Times, published on the anniversary of Lula’s inauguration.” (09/22/22)

South Korea: Yoon’s “profane” reaction to Biden speech caught on hot mic

Source: Fox News

“South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol went viral for his hot mic reaction to President Biden’s remarks at the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday. Yoon, who took office in May, reacted to Biden’s pledge to increase the U.S. contribution to the U.N. Global Fund, which would require congressional approval. ‘How could Biden not lose damn face if these f—ers do not pass it in Congress?’ Yoon asked his aides on a hot mic Wednesday, according to the South China Morning Post. Biden has repeated the talking point that America has been respected again on the world stage since his election in 2020. Yoon’s comments raised concern in his home country; strong U.S.-Korean relations are pivotal for mutual defense in the East Asian region.” (09/22/22)

When California Elects a Right-Wing (Equally) Unconstitutional Governor

Source: Town Hall
by Larry Elder

“California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who faces no real opposition for reelection in November, is on a rampage. The most recent unconstitutional legislation he signed includes an anti-First Amendment law requiring social media platforms ‘to publicly post their policies regarding hate speech, disinformation, harassment and extremism on their platforms,’ according to The Hill. Newsom issued a statement: ‘California will not stand by as social media is weaponized to spread hate and disinformation that threaten our communities and foundational values as a country. Californians deserve to know how these platforms are impacting our public discourse.’ Would this ‘hate and disinformation’ pertain to Democrats like former Vice President Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Stacey Abrams, former President Jimmy Carter and Jan. 6 Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, all of whom have questioned the legitimacy of elections lost by Democrats?” (09/22/22)

US regime sanctions Iranian morality police after woman’s death

Source: SFGate

“The U.S. government on Thursday imposed sanctions on Iran’s morality police and leaders of other government agencies after the death of a woman who’d been detained over an accusation she violated the country’s dress code by wearing her Islamic headgear too loosely. The sanctions come after at least nine protesters have been killed in clashes with Iranian security forces since violence erupted over the weekend because of the young woman’s death. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control also designated the leaders of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security, the Army’s Ground Forces, the Basij Resistance Forces and other law enforcement agencies for the sanctions, which deny them access of their properties and bank accounts held in the U.S.” (09/22/22)

North Korea: Regime denies supplying weapons to Russia

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“North Korea says it has never sold weapons to Russia and has no plans to do so, following US reports that Moscow was turning to Pyongyang to replenish stockpiles. US officials had said Russia was in the process of purchasing rockets and artillery shells from North Korea. They said such moves, along with alleged purchases of Iranian weapons, showed Western sanctions were impeding Russia’s efforts in the Ukraine war. Moscow denied the reports at the time. Any arms movement between the two countries would be in violation of United Nations sanctions. On Thursday, in a statement carried by North Korean state media KCNA, an unnamed official at North Korea’s defence ministry said: ‘We have never exported weapons or ammunition to Russia before and we will not plan to export them.'” (09/22/22)

The Military to American Youth: You Belong to Me

Source: Common Dreams
by Robert C Koehler

“Ah, the children! They belong to us, sayeth the Department of Defense. At least some of them do. It’s a little more complicated than it used to be, thanks to one of the changes that occurred back in 1973, a year of startling historical significance. That was the year of the Roe v. Wade decision and, oh yeah, the Watergate hearings. But there was more. The United States, tangled militarily in the quagmire of Vietnam and increasingly torn apart on the home front by protests, was on the brink of conceding defeat in Nam and getting the hell out of the ravaged country. Before that came about, the military-industrialists made a pragmatic decision. They got rid of the draft.” (09/22/22)

Iran: Regime attempts to restrict Internet as Mahsa Amini protests grow

Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar state media]

“Iran has curbed access to social media networks Instagram and WhatsApp amid protests over the [murder] of a woman in police custody, according to residents and internet watchdog NetBlocks. Significant internet outages were also reported across the country, with one of the biggest mobile phone operators disrupted, leaving millions of Iranians offline. Last week’s [murder] of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by morality police in Tehran for ‘unsuitable attire,’ has unleashed a wave of anger over issues including freedom in the Islamic Republic and an economy reeling from sanctions. At least six protesters have now been killed, according to Iranian media and officials, as well as a police officer and two member of a pro-government militia. However, activist groups say the death toll is higher.” (09/22/22)

Do Biden’s Words Even Matter Anymore?

Source: The Spectator
by Stephen L Miller

“Do the president’s words matter or not? This should be a very simple question, yet as we’ve seen with Joe Biden, on the rare occasion he gives an interview to someone other than the White House Easter Bunny, nothing is ever so simple. Every Biden sit-down seems to raise more questions than answers.” (09/21/22)

Poverty Is a Public Policy Choice

Source: In These Times
by Asha Banerjee & Ben Zipperer

“It should not have taken a pandemic to realize poverty is a public policy choice. Public investments in safety net programs continue to be extremely effective poverty reduction tools, as newly released Census income data show. Government social programs kept tens of millions of people out of poverty in 2021. Because of expansions to programs like unemployment insurance benefits and the child tax credit, poverty rates were actually lower in 2021 than they were prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. The poverty reduction achieved through expanded social insurance programs highlights how much policymakers’ choices can impact poverty. Unfortunately, some of the program expansions enacted in the pandemic have already been reversed, and cuts to programs like unemployment benefits and the child tax credit will increase household economic distress going forward.” (09/21/22)

GOP Smart To Highlight Biden’s Border Catastrophe

Source: Association of Mature American Citizens
by Seamus Brennan

“Last week, Republican Governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida finally forced elected Democrats and the mainstream media to face the consequences of the rapidly worsening crisis at the southern border by dropping off illegal [sic] migrants literally right on the doorstep of Vice President Kamala Harris (Biden’s ‘border czar’) and the homes of Democratic elites in Martha’s Vineyard. For months, the left [sic] has largely ignored the disastrous consequences of liberal [sic] border policies, while Republicans have had only mixed success at forcing Democrats to answer for their failures. Now, as momentum on illegal [sic] immigration turns in Republicans’ favor and voters are tuned into the issue, the GOP needs concrete solutions and specific policy measures to message to voters about how Republicans will halt the unprecedented influx of illegal [sic] aliens.” (09/21/22)