themcglynn.com

20 Jan

A Foreign Perspective, News and Analyses

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

Recommended:

The Guardian>>

Irish Examiner>>

France 24>>

Spiegel>>

The Age>>

The Observer>>

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In Polish capital Warsaw, nationalists want to rewrite history of World War II

Poland’s capital Warsaw suffered massively in World War II. By the end of the conflict, it was in ruins, with hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants killed. No one disputes that. But some Poles claim the reality was even worse: they accuse a combination of Jewish groups and Communists of covering up the existence of gas chambers where mainly non-Jewish Poles were murdered. Yet this theory has been formally disproved. Our Poland correspondent reports.

A programme prepared by Patrick Lovett.

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Read Full Article>>

World Politics

United States

In a break with convention, endorsement by the paper’s editorial board names two candidates as its preferred Democratic nominees for president

Klobuchar and Warren

The New York Times has endorsed both Klobuchar and Warren for the Democratic nomination for president Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

The New York Times has endorsed not one but two candidates for the Democratic nomination for president, Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar from the party’s moderate wing and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren from the progressive wing.

The paper said on Sunday that it had chosen the two most effective candidates from the moderate and progressive sides of the party without stating a preference for either approach. It praised Warren as “a gifted story teller”.

“She speaks elegantly of how the economic system is rigged against all but the wealthiest Americans, and of ‘our chance to rewrite the rules of power in our country,’ as she put it in a speech last month,” the editorial said.

Klobuchar was described as “the very definition” of midwestern charisma and grit.

“Ms Klobuchar speaks about issues like climate change, the narrowing middle class, gun safety and trade with an empathy that connects to voters’ lived experiences, especially in the middle of the country,” it said.

When mentioning another front-runner, the former vice president, Joe Biden, the Times acknowledged his years of experience but also noted his age, 77, desire, and occasional gaffes.

“It is time for him to pass the torch to a new generation of political leaders,” the paper said, borrowing from President John Kennedy’s inaugural address.

The paper mentioned senator Bernie Sanders’ age, 78, “serious concerns” about his health, and his unwillingness to compromise. The paper praised another of the front-runners, 38-year-old Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, as likely to have “a bright political future”.

The editorial ends with: “May the best woman win.”

The newspaper changed its approach to presidential endorsements this year, airing footage of candidate interviews and details about the endorsement process on a special edition of The Weekly, the FX network series about the Times.

In previous election years it has often chosen a candidate popular with the party establishment. It endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary in 2016 and over a charismatic but unproven newcomer, Barack Obama, in 2008.

In 2004 the Times endorsed John Kerry and in 2000 chose Al Gore. Each time it chose a candidate who was popular with the Democratic establishment and, except for 2008, the eventual nominee.

We don’t have to choose Biden’s way, which would give Trump a perfect foil

Former vice-president Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Simpson College in Iowa on Saturday.

Former vice-president Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Simpson College in Iowa on Saturday. Photograph: Jack Kurtz/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock

Democrats are trying to choose a candidate to beat Donald Trump, the most corrupt president in history. Some think nominating Joe Biden, a moderate white man who calls himself “Middle Class” Joe, makes sense.

But Biden has a big corruption problem and it makes him a weak candidate. I know it seems crazy, but a lot of the voters we need – independents and people who might stay home – will look at Biden and Trump and say: “They’re all dirty.”

It looks like “Middle Class” Joe has perfected the art of taking big contributions, then representing his corporate donors at the cost of middle- and working-class Americans. Converting campaign contributions into legislative favors and policy positions isn’t being “moderate”. It is the kind of transactional politics Americans have come to loathe.

There are three clear examples.

First, Biden’s support for finance over working-class Americans. His career was bankrolled by the credit card industry. He delivered for it by spearheading a bankruptcy bill that made it harder for Americans to reduce their debts and helped cause the financial crisis. He not only authored and voted for that bill, he split with Barack Obama and led the battle to vote down Democratic amendments.

His explanations for carrying water for the credit card industry have changed over time. They have never rung true.

Nominating a candidate like Biden will make it far more difficult to defeat Trump

The simplest explanation is the most likely: he did it for his donors. At a fundraiser last year, Biden promised his Wall Street donors that “nothing would fundamentally change” for them if he became president. Now the financial world is raising huge money for his campaign. It clearly thinks he’s going to be its friend if elected. Most Americans, who get ripped off by the financial sector on a daily basis, aren’t looking for a candidate who has made their life harder.

Second, healthcare. On 25 April, the day he announced his campaign, Biden went straight to a fundraiser co-hosted by the chief executive of a major health insurance corporation. He refuses to sign a pledge to reject money from insurance and pharma execs and continues to raise money from healthcare industry donors. His campaign is being bankrolled by a super Pac run by healthcare lobbyists.

What did all these donors get? A healthcare proposal that preserves the power of the insurance industry and leaves 10 million Americans uninsured.

Third, climate change. Biden signed a pledge not to take money from the fossil fuel industry, then broke his promise. Right after a CNN town hall on climate change, he held a fundraiser hosted by the founder of a fossil fuel conglomerate. He is pushing climate policy that has gotten dismal reviews from several leading environmental groups.

There are plenty of other examples that raise questions, like housing and social security. Big real estate moguls are playing a major role in Biden’s campaign. Unlike his rivals, he has no comprehensive housing plan. When he pushed for cuts to Social Security, was he serving donors or his constituents?

I can already hear the howls: But look at Trump! Trump is 1,000 times worse!

You don’t need to convince me. I have spent my life writing about and fighting against corruption, and in America I have never seen anything like the current administration. In the last three years, I have made combatting Trump’s corruption the heart of my work.

I was on the first lawsuit against him for corrupt constitutional violations and I ran for attorney general in New York on a platform of pointing out just how dangerous he is, and how important unused state laws are to stopping him. My work on corruption was cited in the House judiciary committee’s report on impeachment.

2020 should be about a crystal clear contrast between truth and lies, corruption and integrity, compassion and cruelty

But here’s the thing: nominating a candidate like Biden will make it far more difficult to defeat Trump. It will allow Trump to muddy the water, to once again pretend he is the one “draining the swamp”, running against Washington culture. Trump and the Cambridge Analytica of 2020 will campaign, as they did in 2016, on a message of radical nihilism: everybody lies, everybody is corrupt, nothing matters, there is no truth.

Corrupt politicians always use whataboutism. With Biden, we are basically handing Trump a whataboutism playbook. The comparison won’t be fair, but if you think he won’t use Biden’s closeness to donors as a cudgel to try to keep people home, you haven’t been paying attention. Unlike Democrats, who must give voters a reason to come out, Trump doesn’t need voters to love him. He just needs to convince people the whole game is ugly.

Whether or not Biden is making choices to please donors, there is no doubt his record represents the transactional, grossly corrupt culture in Washington that long precedes Trump. We cannot allow Trump to so lower our standards that we aren’t even allowed to call out that culture, which has not only stymied progress but also harmed the Democratic party.

The good news is that we still have time to break with this culture of corruption. We don’t have to choose Biden’s way, which would give Trump a perfect foil. The 2020 election should be about a crystal clear contrast between truth and lies, corruption and integrity, compassion and cruelty.

We have a rare opportunity to end a larger culture of corruption and we should take it – we will regret it if we don’t.

Iowa’s minority voters to Democrats: reject Trump and tell our story of hope

Biden calls for Sanders to disown ‘doctored’ video on Social Security

Trump legal team calls impeachment ‘brazen’ attempt to overturn election

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