TO GO WITH India-unrest-Manipur-politics,FEATURE by Abhaya Srivastava
A policewoman escorts civil rights activist, Irom Sharmila Chanu (R) also known as the “Iron Lady of Manipur” or “Mengoubi” (meaning “the fair one”) to an ambulance as she leaves The Magistrate’s Court in Imphal on February 22, 2012. For more than 11 years, Sharmila has refused food and water to back her demand for the withdrawal of the special powers wielded by – and according to critics widely abused by – the security forces.
Photo: MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images
Irom Sharmila, a 40-year-old Indian woman who has been on a hunger strike for twelve years to protest a law giving the government broad counter-insurgency powers, is now being charged with attempted suicide. “I love life. I do not want to take my life, but I want justice and peace,” she said in court over the weekend, a government-mandated feeding tube up her nose. Irom Sharmila is better thanyou.
Obviously Bloomberg is gonna be at the center of tonight’s attacks, but he’s…not the one leading the polls. Buttigieg is by far the most intent on keeping some focus on the guy who’s far ahead of the pack in recent polling (Bernie). -gd
[B]ad systems corrupt good individuals [by] enlisting our self-interest to convince us to betray our values. And make no mistake: America’s campaign finance system is a disaster. Most candidates can’t self-finance their campaigns, so they spend a disproportionate amount of time asking the rich to donate to their campaigns. Those donations are limited to $2,800 per individual, but the Supreme Court believes political spending is a protected form of free speech, so the rich can spend as much as they want on their own campaigns, or on Super PACs to push their political agendas.
Populists like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and, in his complicated and contradictory ways, even Donald Trump, have risen in part because Americans loathe seeing their political system bought by the rich. Bloomberg isn’t so much a defense against those critiques as he is a confirmation of them. The populists say that politics is rigged, elections are bought by those with enough money to spend, modern liberalism is mere lipstick on perpetual corporatism. Bloomberg is here to test whether they’re right. He may pitch himself to centrists as an answer to the populists, but in leveraging his fortune to fight them, he offers the country the (hopefully) false choice between populism and oligarchy.