Here’s the Corrupt Financial Web That Links the Trump and Kennedy Families

Behind every great fortune there exists a crime.

Balzac knew that behind every great fortune there is a crime. But if he were contemplating the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the great French novelist might have put it another way: Behind every great crime is another crime.

As a way of looking at a presidency that is enamored of every possible felony — self-dealing, conflicts of interest, emoluments, collusion with foreign governments and domestic corporations — crime-breeds-crime is a reasonable way to look at any Trump-related event.

But the resignation of a Supreme Court justice?

Because Trump cares so much about money, that’s been suggested. And there’s smoke: the links between Trump, Kennedy and Kennedy’s son Justin. In years past we’d call that the League of White Men, taking care of their own, behind the scenes, The Way It Is. Today we tend to call it something else: collusion.

Here’s why. On the surface, Kennedy’s resignation looked textbook: He’ll leave effective July 31, at the end of the Supreme Court term, as is traditional. But he announced it on June 27. Hand-delivering his letter to the Oval Office was no surprise to the White House, which had a list of candidates ready to roll out. Trump says he’ll announce his nominee on July 9.

Why the rush?

More

Angela Davis on Not Endorsing Any Presidential Candidate: “I Think We Need a New Party” | Democracy Now!

In a Women’s History Month special, we speak with author, activist and scholar Angela Davis. For more than four decades, Davis has been one of most influential activists and intellectuals in the United States. An icon of the 1970s black liberation movement, Davis’ work around issues of gender, race, class and prisons has influenced critical thought and social movements across several generations. She is a leading advocate for prison abolition, a position informed by her own experience as a fugitive on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list more than 40 years ago. Davis talks about the “fascist appeal” of Donald Trump and explains why she is not officially endorsing any candidate in this election. “I believe in independent politics,” she says. “I still think that we need a new party, a party that is grounded in labor, a party that can speak to all of the issues around racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, what is happening in the world. We don’t yet have that party.”

Source: Angela Davis on Not Endorsing Any Presidential Candidate: “I Think We Need a New Party” | Democracy Now!

At the Very Least, Your Days of Eating Pacific Ocean Fish Are Over

At the Very Least, Your Days of Eating Pacific Ocean Fish Are Over

 

Radiation

Opinion by Gary Stamper

The heart-breaking news from Fukushima just keeps getting worse…a LOT worse…it is, quite simply, an out-of-control flow of death and destruction. TEPCO is finally admitting that radiation has been leaking to the Pacific Ocean all along. and it’s NOT over….

I find myself moving between the emotions of sorrow and anger.

It now appears that anywhere from 300 to possibly over 450 tons of contaminated water that contains radioactive iodone, cesium, and strontium-89 and 90, is flooding into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Daichi site everyday. To give you an idea of how bad that actually is, Japanese experts estimate Fukushima’s fallout at 20-30 times as high as as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings in 1945

There’s a lot you’re not being told. Oh, the information is out there, but you have to dig pretty deep to find it, and you won’t find it on the corporate-owned evening news.

  • An MSNBC article in April of 2012 reported that seals and polar bears were found to have “external maladies” that consisted of fur loss and open sores, obvious signs of radiation burns from the Fukushima meltdown, despite the conclusions of the article.
  • Fukushima radiation appears to be causing an epidemic of dead and starving Sea Lions in California and the FDA has refused to test for radiation
  • Since the summer of 2011, U.S. scientists have observed several dozen living and dead Pacific Ocean marine mammals with a strangely similar condition of skin sores and hair loss. These animals may be suffering from ‘beta burns,’ which are caused by significant external exposure to ‘beta emitters’ such as radiostrontiums, which were released in copious quantities to the Pacific Ocean at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011
  • .Almost a third more US West Coast newborns may face thyroid problems after Fukushima nuclear disaster
  • Contaminated water from Fukushima reactors could double radioactivity levels of US coastal waters in 5 years — “We were surprised at how quickly the tracer spread”

Radiation

IS THE PACIFIC OCEAN FOOD CHAIN DOOMED? – May 2013 – Incredibly worrisome levels of cesium, including short-lived radioactive cesium-134, have been found near Hawaii in the LOWEST part of the marine food chain: plankton. Levels up the food chain, i.e. fish, whales, seals, due to bioaccumulation, MUST be magnitudes higher in contamination now or soon – stop eating Pacific wild seafood now – Researchers find high cesium in some Pacific plankton

SEAFOOD LOVERS ACROSS THE WORLD – The ‘levels’ of radiation in the seafood you are eating now and in the future certainly contain Fukushima radiation but will be considered ‘safe’ by government scientists. Let’s boil it down quickly: Scientists say the only safe level of radiation is zero. YET, governments set ‘limits’ for radiation in food well above zero. These limits actually increase every decade or so. If you love nuclear power and nuclear weapons complexes, then you should accept these limits as well as the fact that a fraction of our cancer epidemic is blamed on nuclear emissions. If you don’t want people (or yourself) to die of cancer to preserve nuclear power and nuclear weapons, then you should heed the scientific consensus conclusion that the safe level of radiation is zero becquerels of anything. Unless you are a nuclear nut, please protect your own health and regulate your genetic stability for the sake of your children, grandchildren, etc…by NOT EATING SEAFOOD OR CONSUMING ANYTHING MADE IN THE SEA. Learn more about food safety.

KEYPOINTS ABOUT FISH CONTAMINATION

  • Bluefin tuna will grow in radioactivity over years with each migration back to West Pacific; older caught fish will be hotter
  • Media is neglecting March (2012) lab study find that North Pacific albacore ‘tuna fish’ has same Fukushima cesium contaminant
  • All Pacific migratory fish are probably Fukushima contaminated – why isn’t this all over Twitter?
  • Alaska Halibut also found with same Fuku-cesium contaminant – but did not migrate to Japan’s waters. How did cesium-134 get into Alaska halibut?
  • Bluefin tuna in 2012 study aren’t all equally radioactive; sample #8 contained 50% higher cesium concentrations than the average of the 15 samples
  • Bluefin scientists did a most non-stellar job. They cherrypicked isotopes for dose comparison.
  • FDA is telling media and consumers it is ‘testing fish.’ It is testing imports and not testing U.S.-caught wild seafood (billions of pounds caught annually in U.S.) More
  • Cesium-134 is marker for strontium-90 – causes bone cancer and immune-disorders; babies are ‘sponges’ for calcium and strontium
  • Levels in bluefin tuna are similar to record food concentrations in 1960s
  • ECRR (Busby) predicts ’61,600,000 deaths from cancer’ (and 3.5 million baby deaths) ‘from the nuclear project since 1945,’ mostly the 1960s.
  • Bulk of 1960s exposure was internal, largely from ingested FOOD made radioactive from hydrogen bomb test fallout.
  • FDA saying levels are safe is a lie. FDA says its intervention levels will kill people. Downplays risk as ‘small’ compared to our ~40-50% cancer rate. But much of that rate is prolonged fallout effects from 1960s.
  • Baseline levels of manmade-radionuclides in Pacific seafood pre-Fukushima caused some genetic defects and cancers in world population
  • FDA uses faulty dose calculations that lowball rate of cancer carnage by several magnitudes. Genetic harm from cesium’s gamma rays ignored in dose models
  • Alvarez asks would a 1950′s NPR ‘trivialize’ ‘impacts of open-air hydrogen bomb testing?’ You bet. Our government and media is herding us into rail-cars destined for another radioactive holocaust.

Hawaii Is Hot

Hawaii is Hot with Radiation

 

The Business of Mass Incarceration Chris Hedges

The Business of Mass Incarceration

Posted on Jul 28, 2013
Illustration by Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges

Debbie Bourne, 45, was at her apartment in the Liberty Village housing projects in Plainfield, N.J., on the afternoon of April 30 when police banged on the door and pushed their way inside. The officers ordered her, her daughter, 14, and her son, 22, who suffers from autism, to sit down and not move and then began ransacking the home. Bourne’s husband, from whom she was estranged and who was in the process of moving out, was the target of the police, who suspected him of dealing cocaine. As it turned out, the raid would cast a deep shadow over the lives of three innocents—Bourne and her children.

* * * The murder of a teenage boy by an armed vigilante, George Zimmerman, is only one crime set within a legal and penal system that has criminalized poverty. Poor people, especially those of color, are worth nothing to corporations and private contractors if they are on the street. In jails and prisons, however, they each can generate corporate revenues of $30,000 to $40,000 a year. This use of the bodies of the poor to make money for corporations fuels the system of neoslavery that defines our prison system.

Chris Hedges will be among those fasting Wednesday in solidarity with the California prison hunger strike. For information about how to become involved in this week’s protest,click here.

Prisoners often work inside jails and prisons for nothing or at most earn a dollar an hour. The court system has been gutted to deny the poor adequate legal representation. Draconian drug laws send nonviolent offenders to jail for staggering periods of time. Our prisons routinely use solitary confinement, forms of humiliation and physical abuse to keep prisoners broken and compliant, methods that international human rights organizations have long defined as torture. Individuals and corporations that profit from prisons in the United States perpetuate a form of neoslavery. The ongoing hunger strike by inmates in the California prison system is a slave revolt, one that we must encourage and support. The fate of the poor under our corporate state will, if we remain indifferent and passive, become our own fate. This is why on Wednesday I will join prison rights activists, including Cornel West and Michael Moore, in a one-day fast in solidarity with the hunger strike in the California prison system.

In poor communities where there are few jobs, little or no vocational training, a dearth of educational opportunities and a lack of support structures there are, by design, high rates of recidivism—the engine of the prison-industrial complex. There are tens of millions of poor people for whom this country is nothing more than a vast, extended penal colony. Gun possession is largely criminalized for poor people of color while vigilante thugs, nearly always white, swagger through communities with loaded weapons. There will never be serious gun control in the United States. Most white people know what their race has done to black people for centuries. They know that those trapped today in urban ghettos, what Malcolm X called our internal colonies, endure neglect, poverty, violence and deprivation. Most whites are terrified that African-Americans will one day attempt to defend themselves or seek vengeance. Scratch the surface of survivalist groups and you uncover frightened white supremacists.

The failure on the part of the white liberal class to decry the exploding mass incarceration of the poor, and especially of African-Americans, means that as our empire deteriorates more and more whites will end up in prison alongside those we have condemned because of our indifference. And the mounting abuse of the poor is fueling an inchoate rage that will eventually lead to civil unrest.

“Again I say that each and every Negro, during the last 300 years, possesses from that heritage a greater burden of hate for America than they themselves know,”Richard Wright wrote. “Perhaps it is well that Negroes try to be as unintellectual as possible, for if they ever started really thinking about what happened to them they’d go wild. And perhaps that is the secret of whites who want to believe that Negroes have no memory; for if they thought that Negroes remembered they would start out to shoot them all in sheer self-defense.”

The United States has spent $300 billion since 1980 to expand its prison system. We imprison 2.2 million people, 25 percent of the world’s prison population. For every 100,000 adults in this country there are 742 behind bars. Five million are on parole. Only 30 to 40 percent are white.

The intrusion of corporations and private contractors into the prison system is a legacy of the Clinton administration. President Bill Clinton’s omnibus crime bill provided $30 billion to expand the prison system, including $10 billion to build prisons. The bill expanded from two to 58 the number of federal crimes for which the death penalty can be administered. It eliminated a ban on the execution of the mentally impaired. The bill gave us the “three-strikes” laws that mandate life sentences for anyone convicted of three “violent” felonies. It set up the tracking of sex offenders. It allowed the courts to try children as young as 13 as adults. It created special courts to deport noncitizens alleged to be “engaged in terrorist activity” and authorized the use of secret evidence. The prison population under Clinton swelled from 1.4 million to 2 million.

Incarceration has become a very lucrative business for an array of private contractors, most of whom send lobbyists to Washington to make sure the laws and legislation continue to funnel a steady supply of poor people into the prison complex. These private contractors, taking public money, build the prisons, provide food service, hire guards and run and administer detention facilities. It is imperative to their profits that there be a steady supply of new bodies.

* * *Bourne has worked for 13 years as a locker room assistant in the Plainfield school system. She works five hours a day. She does not have medical benefits. She struggles to take care of a daughter in fragile health and a disabled son.

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The World As It Is: 


Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress

A collection of Truthdig Columns
by Chris Hedges

Keep up with Chris Hedges’ latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more atwww.truthdig.com/chris_hedges.

The Reactionary Nature of Black Politics l Pascal Robert

The Reactionary Nature of Black Politics

Posted: 05/11/HUFFPO
Pascal Robert

Lawyer, Co-Founder of The Haitian Bloggers’ Caucus

GET UPDATES FROM PASCAL ROBERT

2013-05-11-BlackPolitics.JPGThe image above is the cover jacket from Professor Frederick C. Harris’ excellent book, “The Price of the Ticket: Barack Obama and the Rise and Decline of Black Politics”In 1619, the first 19 Africans brought to the shores of the United States landed in Jamestown, Virginia starting the tortured history of what would be the centuries long relationship between Black people and the United States. The nature of the relationship was innately economic and political from the start. Sadly, the organizing mechanisms of the Black American social enterprise since that time have been poorly grounded in sound application of either economics or politics, barring rare exceptions.

What has caused Black people, after almost 400 years in North America, and after 150 years of emancipation from slavery, to be mired in a social condition that is becoming more debilitating by the day? One need not sound off the various statistics available illustrating the evisceration of whatever illusory semblance of progress Blacks have made, particularly since the post movement era after the 1960s.

Contrary to the inclinations of racists and many self-hating Blacks to deem this failure as some innate shortcoming in the Black American psyche, the social and political condition of Black America is a direct consequence of the level of political sophistication and sheer brutality of the tactics that have been used to deny them clarity of vision and planning as a means of rectifying this pervasive cavern they have found themselves in for generations.

The main vehicle allowing this constant social and political demobilization of the Black community stems from the problematic reality that Black politics has traditionally been grounded in a purely reactionary response to the phenomenon of racism — particularly without a clear understanding of the purpose of racism in its application to Blacks.

This stems from a failure to understand basic key aspects of the relationship of Blacks to America and racism, mostly because the sheer terror used under the guise of racism to maintain the prevailing order has been so atrocious that the political focus by Blacks has been to concentrate on that terror and attempts to neutralize it without truly addressing its root cause.

From the beginning, Europeans did not bring Africans to the Americas because they were racist. They brought Africans to the Americas to expropriate labor from them as workers in an economic system that denied compensation for that labor to maximize return on investment for the presence of those Africans. The function of Black people in America was an innately economic one from the start rooted in a politics that was based on protecting the sanctity of that economic relationship. All the terror and brutality used to maintain that system was purely ancillary to the goal of protecting that economic system of exploiting free Black labor. Yet many Blacks, even educated ones, will say that Europeans brought Africans to the Americas because of racism and White Supremacy. Racism is merely the rationale and tactic used to justify that exploitative economic relationship, and White Supremacy is the subsequent accrued benefit of the successful maintenance of that relationship — in varying degrees — over time.

A perfect example of how these realities are confused can easily be shown by attempting to ascertain from most people what the actual purpose and function of Jim Crow Segregation, which started with the consummation of Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, and lasted to the end of the Civil Rights Era in 1968, actually was. Many would say things like: keeping Blacks subjugated, or denying blacks the ability to compete with Whites, or racism/White Supremacy, or fear of Black male sexual potency via White women. In reality, Jim Crow was a purely intentional reaction by White Southern agricultural interests meshed with Northern industrialists to combat the rising political and economic militancy and mutual co-operation of Blacks and poor Whites during the progressive era of the 1890s with the combined efforts of the Farmer’s Alliance and the Colored Farmers Alliance in order to maintain economic hegemony and cheap exploited labor for capitalist interests in the South, primarily Agricultural but also industrial, with the slow but new development of Southern industrialization. Jim Crow was rooted in economic control, not simply racism and brutality. Those were the tools used to keep the system intact.

Moreover, few people will admit that the main reason for the collapse of Jim Crow starting in the 1930s, and expanding rapidly into the post World War II era, had more to do with three key factors as opposed to the romanticized notions of how the valiant fight of the ancestors during the Civil Rights Movement brought us freedom: First, the new methods of mechanized agricultural farming technology started to make the need for Black farm labor in the South obsolete. Hence, the need for the disenfranchisement and related oppression became more about form rather than substance; second, the rise of Hitler and Nazism made the notion of race-based exclusion in the United Stated unpalatable, particularly in the face of Hitler’s anti-semitism; thirdly, the Cold War era and the fear of American racism being an obstacle to the competitive advantage over the Soviet Union in winning the hearts and minds of the newly independent Black, Brown, and Yellow third world would rapidly assure desegregation and ending Jim Crow being an American primary domestic agenda.

As African American political science professor Adolph Reed, Jr. states in his essay “The Color Line Then and Now,” found in the anthology, Renewing Black Intellectual History, when discussing some of the egalitarian social science and legal strategies to end Jim Crow:

This intellectual enterprise was no more responsible for defeating early-twentieth-century race theory than Charles Hamilton Houston’s and Thurgood Marshall’s legal arguments were for defeating codified racial segregation, probably much less so. Factors like the leftward shift in the domestic political climate in the 1930s and 1940s, the embarrassment that Nazi extremism presented for racialist ideology, and cold war concerns with the United States’ international image were undoubtedly more important.

An excellent treatise that explains the relationship between the Cold War and the Civil Rights victories we often wrongly think were a result of these romanticized protest activities is Cold Civil Rights: Race and the Imagery of American Democracy, by professor of law and political science, Mary L. Dudziak, in which she states about Brown v. Board of Education: “According to the Justice Department, the interest of the United States in school segregation was that race discrimination harmed American foreign relations.”

This is not to diminish the efforts of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who waged moral protest to the brutal and racist treatment of our nations Black citizens. To diminish in such a fashion could have the effect of discouraging the belief in the human capacity to make social or political change. The point is to show that our desires to romanticize certain periods of history, especially dealing with African Americans, lead to a limited and pedestrian understanding of the factors that truly shape events.

In the face of the reactionary nature of Black politics, we can better understand the post Civil Rights dilemma that has plagued the Black political scene. If the illusion of racial equality is touted as one of the greatest achievements of the 20th century American democratic experiment via these Civil Rights victories, how do you create a Black politics in a post Civil Rights era when the political traditions of this group has been rooted in combating or reacting to the racism that society now forces them to accept as no more, when in fact that is not the case?

Now we understand the root of the past 45 years of increasing Black political demobilization — meaning Black politics being unable to actually achieve lasting policy that succeeds at remedying the true root of Black suffering: economic inequality.

The ultimate sign of that demobilization is the over 97 percent support of Black America for a president whose agenda is to introduce neoliberal privatization of government resources at rates never seen before that might ultimately demolish those same communities that supported him — i.e. Barack Obama.

This is why Black America is in a crisis, because Black politics is in a crisis. That crisis is a product of the place from which Black politics was born and grew. We now need a new politics, if we shall even call it Black politics, that is not rooted in reactionary response to racism, but seeks to foster cross-racial coalitions with those similarly situated to crush the barriers to economic equality while allowing Blacks to maintain social autonomy and ideological integrity in recognition of the need for nuance in neutralizing the tool of racism that has been used to distract them from the ultimate problem of economic injustice. This is the work that must be done, but the question is: Who is up to the task?

 Follow Pascal Robert on Twitter: www.twitter.com/probert06

OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham l “The State of Black America: A Tale of Two Countries” l Guest: Dr. Wilmer Leon l April 6, 2013

OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham

April 6, 2013       10 pm ET  LIVE

“The State of Black America: A Tale of Two Countries”

Tonight’s Guest: Dr. Wilmer Leon

 

04-06 Wiler2 Leon

 

“The State of Black America: A Tale of Two Countries”

Tonight’s Guest: Dr. Wilmer Leon

Dr. Leon comes to OCG once again to weigh in on the issues which face Black America, the politics of our problems and the light of solutions available.

Wilmer J. Leon III, Ph.D. is a Political Scientist whose primary areas of expertise are Black Politics, American Government, and Public Policy. He is a Teaching Associate in the Political Science Department at Howard University in Washington, D.C., a nationally syndicated broadcast radio talk show host, columnist, commentator, political consultant, TV host, lecturer, and much sought after motivational speaker.

Dr. Leon earned a BS degree in Political Science from Hampton Institute, a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from Howard University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Howard University.

A serious void exists in the public discourse relating to the issues that directly and/or disproportionately impact the global village in which we live. Dr. Leon’s lectures and writings focus on issues such as the media’s coverage of national and international issues, the criminal industrial complex, environmental racism, school vouchers, health care, crime policy, economic globalization, American domestic and foreign policy from as much of a non- biased and academically accurate perspective as possible. Dr. Leon’s perspective and lectures are grounded in the history of the African American community and the tradition of African American scholarship.

Dr. Leon is host/producer of the nationally broadcast call in talk radio program Inside The Issues With Dr. Wilmer Leon on XM/Sirius satellite radio channel 169 “Urban View” and the host of Epilogue, a political book discussion program on Press TV. He hosts discussion on Facebook as Dr. Leon Prescriptions.

Dr. Leon was a regular guest on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight and is a contributing columnist to The Grio.com, The Black Agenda Report, The Maynard Institute.com, TruthOut.org, PoliticsInColor.com and Black Star News.

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Poison Pill Politics l Charles Blow NYT

OP-ED COLUMNIST

Poison Pill Politics

The deadline has passed. The sequester is in effect. And Congress is not in session.

By CHARLES M. BLOW
Published: March 1, 2013

Damon Winter/The New York Times

Charles M. Blow

We now know that our political system is broken beyond anything even remotely resembling a functional government.

The ridiculous bill was designed as a poison pill, but Republicans popped it like a Pez. Now the body politic — weak with battle fatigue, jerked from crisis to crisis and struggling to recover from a recession — has to wait to see how severe the damage will be.

(The director of the Congressional Budget Office estimatesthat the sequester could cost 750,000 jobs in 2013 alone.)

This is all because Republicans have refused to even consider new revenue as part of a deal. That includes revenue from closing tax loopholes, a move they supposedly support.

As Speaker John Boehner said after his Congressional leaders met with President Obama on Friday:

“Let’s make it clear that the president got his tax hikes on Jan. 1. This discussion about revenue, in my view, is over.”

Boehner’s intransigence during the talks drew “cheers,” according to a report in The New York Times, from his chronically intransigent colleagues. But their position is a twist of the truth that is coming dangerously close to becoming accepted wisdom by sheer volume of repetition. It must be battled back every time it is uttered.

Let’s make this clear: it is wrong to characterize the American Taxpayer Relief Act as a “tax hike.” In reality, much of what it did was allow 18 percent of the Bush tax cuts — mostly those affecting the wealthiest Americans — to expire while permanently locking in a whopping 82 percent of them.

But of course, that misrepresentation fit with the tired trope of Democrats as tax-and-spend liberals. It also completely ignores that it was Bush-era spending that dug the ditch we’re in.

Republicans have defined their position, regardless of how reckless: austerity or bust. However, as economists have warned, austerity generally precedes — and, in fact, can cause — bust. Just look at Europe.

But Republicans are so dizzy over the deficits and delighted to lick the boots of billionaires that they cannot — or will not — see it. They are still trying to sell cut-to-grow snake oil: cut spending and cut taxes, and the economy will grow because rich people will be happy, and when rich people are happy they hire poor people, and then everyone’s happy.

This is the vacuous talk of politicians trying to placate people with vacation homes, not a sensible solution for people trying to purchase, or simply retain, their first homes.

Now the president is trying to make the best of a bad situation and bring expectations in line with what is likely to happen.

When Gallup this week asked Americans to use one word to describe the sequester, negative words outnumbered good words four to one. The top three negative words or phrases were “bad,” “disaster” and “God help us.”

At a news conference after Friday’s meeting with Congressional leaders, the president tried to tamp down some of the most dire predictions about the sequester’s impact. He said:

“What’s important to understand is that not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away. The pain, though, will be real.”

The president knows well that if the sequester’s effects are so diffused that the public — whose attention span is as narrow as a cat’s hair — doesn’t connect them to their source, people might think the administration cried wolf.

That’s why he said, and will most likely continue to say for months, “So every time that we get a piece of economic news over the next month, next two months, next six months, as long as the sequester’s in place we’ll know that that economic news could have been better if Congress had not failed to act.”

He must yoke this pain to the people who invited it. It’s not as though most Americans don’t already think poorly of Republicans anyway.

Pew Research Center report released this week found that most Americans think the Republican Party, unlike the Democratic Party, is out of touch with the American people and too extreme. And most Americans did not see Republicans as open to change or looking out for the country’s future as much as Democrats.

The president said Friday that “there is a caucus of common sense up on Capitol Hill” that includes Congressional Republicans who “privately at least” were willing to close loopholes to prevent the sequester.

Those privately reasonable Republicans might want to be more public before their party goes over another cliff and takes the country with them.

I invite you to join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, or e-mail me atchblow@nytimes.com.

A version of this op-ed appeared in print on March 2, 2013, on page A19 of the New York edition with the headline: Poison Pill Politics.
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For Op-Ed, follow@nytopinion and to hear from the editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, follow@andyrNYT.

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